Training Day

Perhaps the most boring YouTube video to date but I wanted to play around with Google Earth in preparation of documenting the Turkey Burn AR.  This is the GPS timestamp of our training brick on Google Earth.

While Super Stu was out doing his 4th Tough Mudder, the rest of Team Disoriented had our first training brick in over 3 weeks.  You see, the old man blew out his Achilles tendon and hasn’t been able to run since.  It was good to get back out and be active again.  We started at 4:40PM and since it gets dark really early now, we started off canoeing because honestly canoeing up a creek in the dark kinda freaks me out.  We went 1/2 mile up Rocky Creek against the current before turning around and heading across open water to Rocky Bayou bridge.  I like to mix creek paddling with open water paddling because going against current up a narrow creek  helps us work on control of the canoe.  The first time we went up Rocky Creek we ran into at least four overhanging trees.  And do you know what likes to live in overhanging trees, big ass spiders.  Each time we ran into a tree, 3 or 4 spiders would drop into the canoe as we worked on dislodging ourselves.  Ever try dancing in a canoe to get away from big ass spiders?  It’s not easy.  Needless to say, we quickly became much better at avoiding overhanging trees.  The trip to and from the bridge was uneventful as we’ve become much better at paddling a straight line.  The first few times out we zigged and zagged across the bayou.  Using our new kayak paddles instead of canoe paddles has really made a difference in control as well as speed.

Once we finished the canoe section, we grabbed our bikes and headed to Rocky Bayou State Park to ride the trails.  I wanted to ride them at night so that we could test out our new bike lights.  Night trail riding is a lot of fun and we only crashed once.  Once we finished the trails, we were hoping to do another 10 miles of street riding but it was really dark and we don’t have tail lights yet, so we wisely cut the ride short.  Back at the transition area, we dropped off the bikes and completed the night with a 5 mile run.  In the end, not having done much in the last 3 weeks, I would say it went okay.   But, I’m a little nervous about being in condition for the 12-hour Turkey Burn AR in 27 days.

Good Reads

Even though you have already found the best adventure racing blog ever, yeah I mean this one.  You may be craving a little more information on Adventure Racing.  Below are three books that I highly recommend you check out:

Ian Adamson is an Adventure Racing legend who has competed in just about every major adventure race held.  His book, “Runners’ World Guide to Adventure Racing” is a good introduction to the sport.  While it is not a “How-to” book and may be short on specifics that leave the reader wishing for more, Ian’s passion and excitement for the sport comes across.  I recommend reading this book first if your looking for inspiration or something to make you want to get off the couch and go train.  Amazon has this for the Kindle and I think it’s worth the 10 bucks.

Ok, let’s say you’re already pumped about doing an Adventure Race but you want specifics like what to wear, how to train, what to eat, gear to pack, etc.  Then Liz Caldwell and Barry Siff have the book for you.  “Adventure Racing, The Ultimate Guide” is more of a how-to style book giving good advice from two of the best racers out there.  Well, probably not out there anymore since the book was published in 2001.  Regardless, the information is still pertinent today.  The book is out of print but I picked up an autographed copy for $0.32 + shipping.  Yep, that baby is going to be a collectible one day…probably even double my money.

Now, you’re psyched for your first race, you got the how-to manual and know what to eat, what to wear, and how to train but then you realize, oh crap I can’t use a GPS or my super smart phone to get from point A to point B.  I must learn the ancient art of orienteering.  Well take a look at book #3 my friend, “Wilderness Navigation“.  This book tells you everything you need to know about wilderness navigation (it’s even in the title).  How to read a map, how to use a compass, and other useful tidbits are in here.  But let me tell you what I really liked, in the back there are maps with questions where you can test your newly acquired skill. It’s a great way to find out if you really understood what the book was telling you, or faking it like you did in high school.  I recommend getting it in paperback rather than Kindle format so you can make notes and write on the maps.

There you go, three good books to lead you on your way to dominating your first adventure race.  And if that isn’t enough, you can download and check out free editions of Adventure World Magazine, the official magazine of the United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA).  If you have any recommendations for Adventure Racing books, magazines, or blogs please post them in the comment section.

Pensacola Marathon

Pcola

It all started with Stu wanting to do a Tough Mudder and me absolutely refusing.  In fact, I think my exact words were, “No way in hell.” Then, he had to go and tell my wife about it and she, of course, thought it would be super cool.  So, there was no way I could refuse and retain my Man Card.

A Tough Mudder is typically 10-12 miles with 20-25 obstacles and since I had never ran more than 3 miles at once, I was in desperate need of training.  Ana had already completed a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon, plus she does P90x and Insanity on a regular basis, so she was good to go.  The only thing I do on a regular basis is drink beer.  The next thing I know, Ana has me on a training plan.  We used an abbreviated plan from the book she used for her marathons, “Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon” and trained for a 1/2 marathon.

About 2 weeks prior to the Tough Mudder, we had a long run day that was supposed to be 12 miles.  Ana calls me at work and says that since we have to run 12 miles, maybe there’s a 1/2 marathon going on nearby and we can just do it.  Come to find out, the Pensacola Marathon was going on that weekend and all of us signed up.  My goal was to complete it in under 2 hours, which I thought was respectable.  Ana and I came across at a corrected time of 01:55:20 or 8min 43sec per mile.

Pensacola Blue Angels Marathon

Stu came in slightly behind with a very respectable 02:08:01, that we blame on the chili con carne from the previous night 😉 The event was a blast, though I doubt I’ll ever run a 1/2 marathon again.