The past week my adventure partners and I had a “real talk” email check in.
You know the type of email I’m talking about. The “this adventure date is approaching really freaking fast, are we actually doing this? Are we ready to make reservations, book flights, etc? Who is injured? (2 out of 4 of us) Who has utter chaos (good or bad) going on in life outside of training? (4 out of 4)” type of email.
The consensus was, and is, all over the place as far as whether or not we are moving forward with the early April R2R2R attempt. And while certainly not a single person can be blamed for their hesitation due to life/injuries/finances/whatever…it made me realize how much I reaaaaaaaaaaaaallly want to complete the R2R2R this year.
But, time will tell with this one. I have no doubt that if early April doesn’t work out, we’ll get there sometime. And so I’ll just keep pushing forward with the goal of being ready for this…or any…adventure whenever it may pop up.
Because, between you, me, and the rest of the internet…I’m hoping for multiple amazing adventures to randomly “pop up” throughout the course of 2016.
Weeks 5&6 consisted of incredibly consistent strength training, like clock work. Every single day I’m in the gym lifting with Geoff, varying between the following splits: back and shoulders, chest and legs, and biceps/triceps. The latter seems kind of ridiculous to me (I deem more than a few bicep exercises to be for vanity purposes only) but I let Geoff pick the current splits, and I promised not to complain.
Despite being back on the regular and not sporadic weight training routine again, I’m not seeing any physical results. The damn 8 lbs I put on training for One Epic Run…and all of the holiday treats that followed…are still lingering. But like I tell all of my clients: screw the scale, measure your success in added strength/speed/functionality/physical accomplishments. And for that matter, I certainly am: I’m adding weight to my lifts every single week without fail. Yes, I’m the nerd carrying around a notebook recording every single rep. It’s surprisingly motivating.
Cardio has been happening in a “maintenance” type mode. I’d like to work on building endurance back up, but my legs won’t let me (more on that in yesterday’s post). 5 to 6 days a week I’m either running or on some sort of contraption at the gym. We don’t have mountains…or hills…or even bumps in the road, for that matter, here in Myrtle Beach, so things like the stair climber and summit climber are necessary in my training.
Wednesday included speed work day for the running group I coach, in which I challenged everyone to speed AND hill intervals. 15% incline doesn’t feel so bad outside….15% incline while running quickly on the treadmill will make you fear for your life. I’m pretty sure I got dirty looks from each one of my runners when the workout was over.
I apologize to anyone who may have googled “how to train for Grand Canyon R2R2R” and came up with the above jumbled mess of vague workouts. The point is, my life as of late has consisted of: working, working out, writing, eating, sleeping, and more eating. The eating of course is why those 8 pounds won’t budge.
But I digress.
One run this week I decided to put my Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20 to use. Ultimate Direction was kind enough to provide myself and my three fellow adventurers with these packs, as we realized we are going to need something a lot larger than our typical hydration packs for this journey. (I typically run and race with the Nathan Intensity Vest, which I’ve had and used since 2012. I love it so much I’m literally wearing it down to threads).
Test #1 was simply a run with a 1.75 liter bladder, and the added weight of my cell phone. So practically an empty pack. The fit was awesome and the pack didn’t bounce at all. The only issue I had was after just a few minutes, the straps started to chafe my neck. The problem with most unisex packs, for me, is that in order to get them tight enough around my (sadly flat) chest and torso, there is almost always some sort of strap that ends up where it wasn’t originally intended to be. And in this case, the shoulder straps fell across my trapezius/neck.
That said, it’s nothing a little duct tape or Velcro around the straps (to cinch them together and make them stay on my shoulders) wont’ fix. The size of this pack (15-23L) is ideal for carrying all of the stuff that I’ll likely need to have on me for the duration of this adventure.
What stuff? Well that’s what I’m still trying to figure out. I’ll get back to you on that in the next post…