This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Boot Camp, Biathlon, Gladiators, Oh My!

Spring brings a new fervor that new classes and programs take full advantage of. I am grateful for that.

My running game has been slack for quite some time now. I have vowed not to enlist in anymore races *in advance* but to run them when I feel like it.

That won't last long but first, I need to get back into a routine.

But before I get into a routine, I need to do other stuff.

And the other stuff came in the form of several activities, including women's wallyball (lost the season but not without a fight) and grass volleyball (not doing so hot and the season is pretty much done).

Biathlon training was really a "class" where a dozen of us rode spin cycles at various tensions, then ran, got back on the bike, ran, etc. I had never done the spin cycles, not was I ever interested. But my interest in trying a triathlon - a really simple easy a kid's triathlon with an adult division :) - prompted $Bill to encourage me to give this class a try.

I'm glad I did because I ended up enjoying it and not hating the biking part so much. Granted, biking on the spin cycle is not like biking outdoors. I know this from experience. But biking and running was something different for me and I didn't foresee it being as fun as it was.

The week of Spring Break was a mock race that I came in from vacation to do. There is definitely a fine line between "fun", challenging, hurt, and competitiveness. The mock run was so hard for me physically and mentally that the following week, which would be the final class...the "race"...was even worse.

When Kristen the instructor started talking about prizes for the top three men and women, my heart rate elevated. I am so scared of competing. I came in first girl at the mock race and I felt even more pressure on myself.

And just to level set this: the one girl that could blow the men and women out of the water was not able to attend the last two days of the class.

I was NOT looking forward to the run part. I already feel like I am not in my best possible shape and the person who ran the mock race was not really me but some other persona that came out and ran an 8:15 mn/mile with little training.

But we were off and I tried to keep my pace in check. It's hard when your brain is in motion with all the noise: I'm at pace with the slowest girl! I can't move any faster! The lead girls are going to be too far to catch up to!

For the first quarter mile, I tried to keep a comparable pace behind the first three girls, hoping that I could pick up speed at some point. But I was whining: This hurts. I don't like this. I give up. I'm going to quit.

And then I catch up to the third girl. I want to say "great job!" but I have no strength except to keep running to speak to her. I think she is in the same boat as she says nothing to me either.

Slowly, I take on girl #2. I forget who was who but I think it was Jenian, a running pal who is in much better running shape than I am. Again, we say nothing to each other but I silently tell her GREAT JOB and think that she will pass me again at some point.

Girl #1 is miss sprinter...the one that constantly states she is not fast but in a fricking sprint, beats the hell out of me. I know that she IS competitive and that she would pass me even if it took every bit out of her so I hope that I can do something by taking advantage of my own adrenaline and get a big gap between us.

Then I pass the one guy and he, too, is very competitive and the rest of the run for me is sheer hell. One: because all I hear now are footsteps behind me, trying to beat me and Two: my brain telling me to just stop, walk, and give up. If I had a jacket on, I would use that as an excuse to stop and walk: take off the jacket and wrap it around me. It's a ploy I've used many times!

But I didn't. Even when I heard a PA system go off at a nearby school that there were tornado warnings - I almost gave up then and just walk off the entire course.

But I kept going, crying through the pain, vowing to never race again in my entire life, thinking about Tim telling me I give up too easily, knowing $Bill would be proud (since he knows I haven't been running regularly) and I came in first girl.

It felt good because I beat out at least two other girls that are not beatable, so victory tasted even better because the only way to beat them was to push hard.

If that wasn't enough, I am also partaking in Boot Camp with the same competitors from the biathlon.

That training is no joke. Domino makes us hold planks during roll call and decides to have pleasantries while slowly taking roll call. It's enough to make a person like me really pissed off at him.

Last week was a great day, especially for those of us signed up for the Gladiator 5K: we did an obstacle course after the "last man 'standing' holding planks", and a nearly 1.5 mile run.

We started with 20 tricep dips, run down to the softball field and crawl under the cargo net...jumping jacks over two ladders on the ground, then crawl under a teeny-tiny bar, with a second teenier-tinier bar. Next was running to a section that we then had to do crab kicks across the field, then two more bars to crawl under, to end with a dash down the field, UP A STEEP HILL, and ten pushups...then do the whole thing over again.

Fuck me running that shit was hard. I was caked in dirt. My teeth had dirt. My nose, my eyes, my scalp.

I got three rounds in and my faster friends, including the two girls that I beat in the biathlon, got FOUR rounds. I wasn't the fastest but I also wasn't the slowest, as most everyone else only did two rounds.

And when all was said and done, we still had to do pull ups and I managed to do three quarter inch pull ups that made me very proud of myself.

The Gladiator 5K is just a couple weeks away and it will be my first obstacle course-type race. The obstacles could include the following:
* Gladiator Bars – Make your way across the gladiator bars while you’re suspended in the air.

* Walls - This part of the course is littered with walls varying in height; make your way over them however you can.

* Cargo Net - Three sets of cargo nets at 8’, 10’, and 14 feet one after another are quite the climb.

* Ab Crawl - You guessed it, get down on your stomach to crawl thru more than 80 feet of cammo-nets.

* Tire Valley – You’ve never seen tires quite like this. Make your way up, around, and through a never-ending valley of tires.

* Tunnel Crawl – Crawl your way through a series of dark, damp tunnels.

* Battle Walls – Without using your hands, high step your way over each post.

* Balance Beams – Balance is a must on the downhill balance logs. Don’t miss a step or it’s back to the beginning.

* Rope Bridge – Hold on tight while you crawl upside down along 29 feet of rope.

* Glory Wall – Getting over the 8 ft Glory Wall is a great accomplishment, so get your biceps ready!

* Monkey Bars – Make your way across the hardest monkey bars you’ve ever seen, while you are suspended in the air.

* Fence Jumps – Jump and slide your way through a series of wooden fences. All of your body strength will be required on this obstacle.

* Mud Pit – The race is finished off with a giant mud pit that must be crossed in order to finish.

My team consists of me, Tim, $Bill and AudreyPodrey. It's going to be fun.

1 comment:

  1. Great job in the Biathlon race! I'm excited about our Gladiator 5K although i am a bit nervous too. I hope i can do all the obstacles! Most apprehensive about the walls and the monkey bars. The monkey bars remind me of pull ups. I used to be great at monkey bars. Like, when i was 9.