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A few days ago, I read that it took last year’s VT Spartan Beast female winner 3:45:xx ish to finish the race. A 12 mile race. Winner. Almost four hours. That gives you an idea of how tough that race was.
The one I’m running will be twice the distance. Twice the obstacles.
When I read the quote from Margaret of “Dirt in your Skirt“, a very experienced Spartan and obstacle course racer, saying that we, the first ever Ultra Beast runners, should “get used to the idea you need to carry everything and it might take 10+ hours to finish” it actually really hit me…
I can’t f*&k around.
(excuse the language. I’ve been told it’s not classy to swear. But if ever there was a time to curse, it’s during a discussion involving a 26+ mile race, fire, barbed wire, mountain slopes, and 10+ hour finish times. F*&k. )
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not any less excited or any more nervous for this race with this new found bit of information. It’s just that *in the past* I have had this tendency of beating around the bush when it comes to structured, disciplined training. I hate to refer to it as lack of discipline, more so a lack of attention span. I run, just not when nor how far the training calendar tells me to. Which is ironic, because I write out training plans for others, and hound them to stick to it. Do as I say, not as I do. But TEN hours = not a really fun time if you show up totally unprepared.
But fear not, my faithful readers. This time, instead of lollygagging around (that word is fun) my crazy focus on this task at hand has me already headed down the opposite path: overkill. Tuesday, I pulled an abdominal muscle doing box jumps. Seriously, who does that? Heather with the apparently weak core, that’s who. There I was, burpeeing, box jumping, and running 1/12th of a mile sprints in all of my “look at me, I’m an Ultra Beast in training” glory at the Y, when all of a sudden during a jump I felt the sharp pain.
Now, I am stubborn, no doubt about it (blame genetics, that’s what I do when my own kids don’t listen), but for once the rational side of my brain kicked in and I thought of the advice that I always give my own clients: “Know the difference between discomfort and pain. Push through discomfort. Push through ‘this sucks’ and ‘I really, really hate this’, but know when to stop when something doesn’t feel right.”
Something seriously didn’t feel right, so I stopped. Later that night at work, during my usual rounds around the fitness center, I jumped up to the pullup bar, as I have a hundred times before to knock out a pullup or two before continuing on the rounds. The second I engaged my core and started to pull up, it was like a knife in the gut.
Don’t worry, the next day I was back to new, but it was a sign, a sign perhaps not from the Spartans from the exercise science gods, that now is the time to put together a plan. You see, my first instinct towards training for the Ultra Beast was to just train LIKE a beast. Anything, everything, whenever I got the chance. Go, go, go, more, more, more. However, I’m now thinking that while crazy training is certainly necessary….progressive crazy training might be the best idea. Structure, with all of those principals of training and exercise they taught me in school, complete with the dreaded….say it with me now….rest days. I hate rest days. I don’t play well with others on rest days. I get painfully cranky and irritable on rest days. Burpees don’t make me uncomfortable, rest days make me uncomfortable.
So here’s the general plan:
1) Run. A lot. Conveniently, I have a 50 miler scheduled for August 18th. This should come in handy.
2) CrossFit. 4x week. (don’t get me started on how I missed 2 days this week due to the “Great Bunk Bed Transition of 2012, that’s for another post)
3) Mountains. Hike, run, scale, whatever. Up and down, up and down, get used to the awesome suckiness of steep grades.
4) More core. The core is weak. WEAK!
5) Swim, once, maybe even twice a week. Because a) I hate swimming and b) the thought of possibly having to swim, with sneakers, and a relatively heavy camel back on, scares me.
|weeee cross-training !|
6) Practice mud runs. Renegade Playground (they are letting us run twice, I hear). LoziLu. HeroRush. Warrior Dash. Spartan Sprints. Whatever I can get my hands on. Mud, obstacles, fire.
7) Find random heavy things to carry around, monkey bars on the playground, and awkward things to climb up and over
8) Rest *shudder*
Sure I’ll come up with a more concrete plan (especially when it comes to building back up the mileage) but this is my starting point, the Lincoln logs to build my beastly cabin. This should get interesting…
So , chime in:
Are you a training plan person? Does having a concrete schedule motivate you? Or do you loathe them and wing it? Somewhere in between? Let’s hear it!