Monday, August 6, 2018

Welcome to the Orange Mud Dirt Unit!

The Dirt Unit - Orange Mud's Ambassador Program
You read that title correctly! I got an email from Kevin at Orange Mud last night.  He is the Social Media Manager for Orange Mud.  I have used a couple of different water bottles from Orange Mud and I currently am using the Double Barrel HydraQuiver quite regularly.  I'm eyeing the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2.  There are 2: version 1.0 and version 2.0 with some improvements.  We'll see if I get one of them.  If I do get one, I will need to do it soon so that I can break it in.  Why you might ask?  If you didn't read my last post (Time For Changes) then you don't know that I am signed up to do my 1st 50 mile run next month.  I am running The Hawk 50.  This will be my 1st Ultramarathon attempt.  I would want/need to get used to running with it beforehand.

If you have never looked at Orange Mud before, they are worth checking out.  OBVIOUSLY! I use the products, isn't that enough reasoning!?  If not, how about this...the CEO/Founder, Josh Sprague, created the products originally out of his own need to fill his own void.  Once he found that it worked he figured others might want a similar tool in their hydration arsenal.  Thus Orange Mud was born from Josh's destroyed gun holster and the Kansas clay that he runs on so often.  There are are hydration packs for running, biking, SUP, and plain old walking.  They have "The Wrap" (seen at left) that is a towel that velcros around you at events so that you have a towel to change behind or simply keep things clean.  It also can wrap around your car seat to keep it clean like Caden and I did after a mud run. And no fitness company would be complete without some specialty clothing and gear bags.

For all of my friends and family that either want to try the products, or expand their current lineup...I have some good news for you.  You can use the code CECILVFRIENDS to get 15% off!  How is that for awesome!?  You can benefit from me running for Orange Mud!

Me sporting the Double Barrel HydraQuiver
at the Market to Market Relay in Nebraska.
Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time For Changes

Over the course of the past several months our household has been undergoing some changes.  Some good, some bad.  All of them are happening, so we have been working together to deal with them in the ways that we can.  One of the things that we have changed is the addition of a new workout space at home.  If anyone reading this knows me at all then you know that most of the miles I log are on a treadmill.  In the past this was done over lunch a lot at work for what I was calling "RUNCH".  (I borrowed from another runner the term "RUNCH".)  At the end of the Summer to the beginning of Fall I lost my job and this ability was stripped from me.  So, I started using our family membership at the gym we had been members of while searching for a job.  I did find a new position and started just about 2 months after I lost my previous position, but the workout facility is much more limited.  I still have access to treadmills at work, but I have been busy learning things that I haven't utilized the space much.  This is where the addition of this new space comes in.  I am now the proud owner of a treadmill!!! Thanks to my amazing wife!  We searched and found one that we could afford to help us all out.  Now I have the convenience at home and can run a little easier.  It is a good thing because I have something big coming this year.

Ever since I ran the G.O.A.T.z Trail Run and did the 21+ mile run I have not returned to trails for a run.  Now, one might say that the Spartan Race in Breckenridge and other OCR that I have done count.  I am talking about a trail run, not an OCR.  That long run was some time ago.  Now, I have been watching several runs and checking out ones that I want to do....eventually.  One of these is called The Hawk in Kansas.  They have 3 distances at this race: a trail marathon, a 50 mile, and a 100 mile.  My goal race is to complete at least one 100 mile race.  Obviously getting there means that I have to work for it and probably hit some of the shorter runs after it.  In the past I have attempted a road marathon twice and had to drop to the half both times for different reasons each time.  Well, the stars aligned and I trained my butt off for Breckenridge.  Let's see what I can do for a trail race.  I have officially signed up for The Hawk 50 on September 8th, 2018.  It is going to take a lot of work to get ready, but I know that I can make it.

Lately I have been thinking about my life and how my training fits in or should fit in. I know that I will never be an elite and I will likely never have a podium finish or be good enough to qualify for The Boston Marathon or Western States, but that isn't going to stop me from running or exercising to better myself.  I have had and want to continue to have amazing experiences with friends and family; not to mention the creation of new friendships.  So I will continue to do these long runs, OCRs, wacky runs, or other fitness events to help keep me healthy and to make life interesting.

For a while now I have entered different giveaways, winning some and losing most.  However, I still enter because it is always nice to dream.  In this same spirit I have a race ahead of The Hawk 50 that I will be running thanks to GNC and me being a Pro member.  They gave away 5 entries into any Spartan Race in the US for the remainder of 2018 and I happened to be 1 of those 5.  So, I chose the Spartan Busch Stadium Sprint in St Louis, MO after I spoke to a buddy that is going and have a troupe going together.

Spartan Busch Stadium Sprint

As I was looking at hotels Sierra came and asked me what I was doing.  I told her that I was looking hotels for the race and she asked if she could go.  Including a point that she has never got to go to a race with me.  I didn't think that she was serious at first, but it turned out that she was.  I looked and they do have a Spartan Kids race that she can do.  I spoke to my wife, then talked with Sierra about needing to do extra training specifically for it including some straight runs beyond what she does for all star cheer.  She said, "Wait!!! I CAN GO!!! YEAH! Dad, I need a training plan."  I knew that Spartan had a Kids Training Plan that I could easily download and give her as a base and we'd build on that.  Needless to say, she is excited to run her first OCR and go with me.

Sierra's 1st training run with me.
In support of my needs to train (or practice) I am happy to be a Nuun Ambassador (otherwise known as a Nuunbassador) for a 3rd year in a row.  I have been using the products to help with hydration for several years. As of my training for the Spartan Beast last year I started using their Nuun Performance line to help with other needs.  It has the electrolytes that I need to stay hydrated, but it also incorporates carbohydrates to help support your energy needs.  I just ordered some Orange Mango as I have been using the Blueberry Strawberry.  My worry is that my stomach will react to the orange part, but I will see as I train for The Hawk and whatever comes my way this year.  Tiny chance I'll also sign up for the Hitchcock Hundred's 50 mile.  Very tiny chance!

Honey Stinger HiveTo help support me even further I was honored and welcomed into the Honey Stinger Hive as a Honey Stinger Ambassador for 2018.  Not something that said too much about in the past, but I have used the Waffles quite a bit. They are very yummy!  I also have used the Chews, but those have become my race gummy bears when I need that something sweet during a run.  I have used the gels once or twice, but have bought a small stock for now to get me going and to find my favorite flavors.  There is a Mango Orange that might pair well with the Orange Mango Nuun Performance.  I haven't tried that combo just yet.



And for a bit of entertainment.  There is a musician/dad/runner named David Rosales.  I found him recently on the Ultrarunner Podcast (URP) and he has this amazing song that incorporates his running and being a family man into one awesome song.  So, for your viewing and listening pleasure...."Good to Be Alive" by David Rosales.

Friday, September 8, 2017

It's My Birthday....Tomorrow

13 days ago I was in Breckenridge, CO to tackle the Spartan Race Beast.  It was an awesome time and I still need to post my pictures and about my weekend trip.  Upon returning my wife asked me a question. "Now that you finished the Beast, what is your next goal?"  I didn't really have an answer for her.  I still have the want to finish a marathon.  I've attempted the Lincoln Marathon twice and had to revert to just finishing the half marathon.  The 1st time I was way under prepared. It was seriously my own fault that I wasn't ready.  The 2nd time I was more prepared, but didn't account enough for hydration, nutrition, and the temps and cramped out to walk the last 4 miles of the 13.1.  After both of those "mistakes" I wasn't sure that I'd ever get the want or confidence to attempt another.  You'd think I'd be okay since I have ran 21+ miles for a trail run, but in hindsight I was probably under prepared for that and didn't give it my all as well.

Leading up to the Beast I was listening to the Spartan Up Podcast and I listened to almost 150 episodes in the 3 weeks prior to listen all of them before I went.  I was also listening to the Obstacle Dominator Podcast and just finished the last few of those.  I also listened to all of the Orange Mud Adventure Channel Podcast from beginning to end...and more now.  And I have also started listening to the Ultrarunner Podcast as of yesterday.  I've had that one on my subscription list, but hadn't pulled the trigger yet.

Where am I going with all of this?  Well, I finally found the answer to my wife's question.  I should have trained and ran The Hawk Hundred tomorrow as the race falls LITERALLY on my birthday this year.  Okay, I probably wouldn't have been ready for the 100 miler, but with enough grit I could have possibly been ready for the 50 miler.  I certainly could have been ready for the trail marathon.  Next year I intend to work so that I can sign up for at least The Hawk trail marathon if not jump straight to the 50 miles.  I have been pushing the past couple of months on my speed and speeds that were hard for me before are a more natural speed now.  So, I need to work on this more along with my endurance.  I need to go for longer runs to increase my overall mileage.  This includes hitting up more trails to work on my trail running experience to help me get ready.  If I do the trail marathon next year, then the following I want to be ready for the 50 miler.  And then the next year do the 100 miler.  Now, if I can find enough time and energy to work for the 50 next year that obviously puts more pressure on me to move my timeline for the 100 up a year as well.

July 3rd this year I started meal prepping for all of my snacks and meals prior to leaving work every day.  I also have been drinking up to a gallon of water before I leave work to make sure I am well hydrated.  Aiding in the hydration I have naturally been using Nuun Hydration as I am a 2nd year Nuunbassador (Nuun Ambassador).  A couple of days after I started my meal prep I won the entry into any Spartan Race and talked with my buddy Pedro and signed up for Breckenridge after planning some quick logistics with him.  In honing my nutrition and all of my work at training I have lost over 10% of my body weight in just 2 months.  I started at 261 lbs. and am now down to 234 lbs as of yesterday morning!  I couldn't have done any of this without my wife's support.  She has helped me in gathering my foods each week and is behind me in my goals.  We are now working together and I am doing some meal prep for her as well to help her achieve some of her goals.

So, please wish me luck as I am making some long term fitness goals and what I hope to achieve before I turn 40.  Yeah, I said that.  I'm now creeping towards that number.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Down to the Wire


I only have a few days prior to running the Spartan Race Beast in Breckenridge, CO.  I'm UBER excited, but also UBER scared.  I have questions running through my head: Did I train right? Did I run enough? Have I done enough upper body or core strengthening? Will I get altitude sickness and not be able to perform? Will I get hurt? Will I DNF for any reason? Can I handle the 13+ miles at elevation?



Even though these questions keep running through my head I keep shaking them out and telling myself that no matter what, I will endure.  I'll call on the Spartan grit to make it through.  Sure, given some of my weaknesses I will probably end up doing about 300 burpees for failed obstacle penalties, but it will be water under the bridge when I jump that fire and cross the finish line to earn my Beast medal.  I think that last time I ran that I looked pretty good, but it has been a while so the fears keep creeping in.


I mean, I was able to complete the Wall Traverse at my first Spartan event.  Granted, it was "only" a Spartan Sprint.  I have specifically been working lately on grip strength to help with this type of obstacle this time.  I don't think I'm much stronger upper body-wise and in my core though.  In fact, I am afraid that I am weaker.  No matter, I will do my best on every obstacle and I will do the burpees if needed.

Until next time, keep those beats coming!