Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Conquer the Gauntlet Iowa Race Recap

Image result for conquer the gauntlet

If anyone has been reading my blog recently, not that I've been actually writing that much, you would have read in my post "The Next Challenge" that I am going to be tackling a Spartan Race Beast in Breckenridge, Colorado.  In preparation for this challenge I have changed my eating habits, started working out more and in different ways, and even resurrected Spartan Race's #Spartan30 squat challenge.   I'll write a separate post on some of those changes.  Since I'm doing all of this, and my buddy that I'm doing it with figured we could use some real life training and he talked with his buddy William about the Conquer the Gauntlet series.  We got an opportunity to volunteer and run the race in Iowa on a short notice.  Like REALLY short notice.  The race was this past Saturday August 5th, 2017 and we talked about it (and signed up) just a few days before the race.

I was even able to get Caden (12) registered to run it.  He ran Mud Factor about a month prior which was short of 2 miles and he has ran 5k before.  So, I figured this was going to be a pretty good challenge for him as well.  I confirmed with my buddy and the rest of the crew that would be running with us that they would be okay with him joining.  They were more than enthusiastic to have him join.  Checking out the potential obstacle list I knew there would be some that I would not be comfortable with Caden doing as you need to know how to swim.  Caden is learning, but knowing that the water would not be see through in order to be able to see if he was struggling I was not comfortable with him even attempting some.  Other than these obstacles he at least attempted all of them.  I was so proud as he was able to attempt and basically complete them all.

I'm not going to lie, this course was kind of brutal!  The course was just over 4 miles by my Garmin, but a couple of other competitors mapped just below 4 miles.  So, we'll call it "roughly 4 miles." There was some ups and downs as you go in and out of a creek that runs through the property several times.  Those climbs were muddy at the bottom and loose soil with nothing to grab above there.  None of us (or any other competitor that we saw) was able to complete the pegboard.  There were balance obstacles that we did some pairing on to complete.  Most OC Racers don't train for balance necessarily, so I was the one that was able to fare better in these.  The biggest guy with the "best" balance....HA!  The Cliffhanger is their monkey bar section. They threw a surprise in when you got halfway up the 1st side and the rungs spin! Yeah, that was a shock to my forearms.  My buddy bested the Stairway to Heaven with ease.  The Belly of the Beast was a cargo net that you start atop a platform and climb down the inverted underside of the net to ring a bell.  Once we hit More Cowbell (the rope climb) I was surprisingly able to climb the 1st half of this soaking wet rope.  I tried several times, but don't have the skills yet to climb it.  When we got to the end the Torpedo was a fun water slide to take right before the finish line to get you soaked.  The negative to this, needed to go volunteer a few minutes after racing.  All in all it took Caden 2:27:05 to complete and he did awesome!
Caden posing with Deadpool, Spiderman, and She-Thor. They ran in those costumes!
Afterwards Caden rocked in helping to volunteer.  He walked the entire kids course a few times in order to clean up while we tore down the obstacles.  He helped to tear down and carry things to be loaded.  It was a great experience to share with him and a group of race friends.  I recommend checking out the race series if you want to run, volunteer, or both!  It's a "small business", but the owner is there doing everything himself.  He doesn't just own it.  He was there setting up, running it, tearing down, and loading things up.  You can check out the pics that we got for FREE from the event and photos that we took during the event below.  I still have to download the GoPro footage that I captured.

There are still 2 more weeks in the Resurrected Spartan Race #Spartan30 squat challenge.  Be sure to join and you can post your fun with the challenge!

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

The sun on the rise on our way.
We are sardines!!!
Slack line
Atop the A-frame Cargo Net

Caden tackling the Pegatron!
I swear this is my motto, so it is fitting we found this sign mid-course.
Log carry
Caden starting under the Belly of the Beast.
I actually had enough strength to conquer the Belly of the Beast.
My buddy finishing the Stairway to Heaven.
Conquering the Cliffhanger.
Looking like I was doing good, but I failed.
At the finish!
Caden's Race Results

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

#Spartan30 Squat Challenge (Resurrected)

Does anyone remember the Spartan 30 challenges that Spartan Race used to do?  I certainly do!!  And as I am training to run my 1st Spartan Beast next month in Breckenridge I figured I could use some more "help" and motivation.  I mean, we ALL need motivation from somewhere.  So, why can't I help motivate myself by helping to motivate others!?  So, I re-present to you the #Spartan30 Squat Challenge (Resurrected)!!

The goal of this challenge is to do 30 squats a day for 30 days.  This is significant for me because I have 30 days starting today before I leave to go run the Colorado Rockies Spartan Beast.  So, I will be doing 30 squats IN ADDITION to any other training that I have scheduled for today.  Even rest days will be included.  We'll consider them to be the "favorite" term of "active rest."  You can read about how I wrangled myself into tackling the Spartan Beast HERE.


If you don't know how to do a proper squat, or want to make sure that you are doing a squat correctly I even dug up the original #Spartan30 Squat Tutorial that Spartan Race shared on YouTube back in 2014 when they 1st ran this challenge!  Now that I've resurrected this challenge, check it out below for your viewing pleasure!

Now that you know how to do a proper squat, you can read a little more about my preparations.

I have been looking for a good trail shoe that would also work well during an OCR (Obstacle Course Race) like a Spartan.  Back in 2013 when I ran the Nebraska Spartan Sprint I was selected to be inov-8's Masked Mudder!  (You can read about that experience HERE! Unfortunately, I think they discontinued the persona in 2015 as I haven't seen any activity suggesting that this is still alive.)  As part of this I wore some inov-8 trail running shoes, the inov-8 Trailroc 255.  I was lucky to find some shoes that I think will help me out.  I introduce my newest (not here yet) addition to my footwear lineup. The inov-8 X-Talon 225!!! Oooh! Aaaah!!! Aren't they pretty!?  Don't forget to look at the picture below to actually see them instead of just reading what I have typed.

And for nostalgia sake, lets take a look at my previous Spartan Race pictures as the inov-8 Masked Mudder!!!


Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Next Challenge

It's always exciting when you win something.  No matter what it is.  Hey, you've won a teddy bear from the crane machine!!  You've won a pack of mints!!!  You've won a new car!!!  Okay, that 3rd one has never happened to me.  However, I did enter into a giveaway for entry into any US Spartan Race over at A Nation of Moms.  Lo and behold, I WON!!!!  I am excited and fearful at the same time.  Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like to go away from my family.  So, I haven't done any events that I couldn't get both to and from in the same day.  (i.e. Lincoln Marathon - Lincoln (x2), Mud Factor - Bellevue, Glow Run - Omaha, Nebraska (Half) Marathon - Omaha, Spartan Race Nebraska - Lincoln, UNO Claussen-Leahy Maverick Run - Omaha, GOATz 21 mile as part of the GOATz 50k - Omaha, Tough Mudder - Kansas, etc.)

So, when I look at the Spartan Race locations I feel like I'm in a forgotten "dead zone" in the country.  The nearest Spartan Race is 8+ hours away.  And if I want to do 2017, you are talking 10+ hours away.  So, you are talking at least a 2 day commitment in order to drive safe and be rested for the event.  I spoke with my buddy about it to see what Spartan Races he is signed up for because he always has one on the horizon.  He said that he has Breckenridge and Dallas.  Breckenridge is August 26th, 2017 and Dallas is October 28th, 2017.  Both are a drive, so I know that we'd be leaving on Friday and would likely come home Sunday/Monday.  This automatically makes me think that I just need to give the code to someone that can use it, but I chat with my awesome wife and she says to figure out which one I'm going to with him and sign up.  So, with her blessing and some pushing from my buddy I am going to sign up for my next Spartan Race.  Now, which one to sign up for?

Road Trip

When I chatted with my buddy about it to see what distance he was doing because each of these locations has the courses for multiple distances.  They have the Sprint, the Beast, and the Ultra Beast.  I have run a Spartan Sprint before and did plenty of burpees, so I figure that I could run that for sure or even a Super.  I figured that worst case he would be running the Beast and I could work my butt off for the next 2 months or 4 months to get ready to try to run with him.  WRONG!!!  He is running the Ultra Beast in Breckenridge and the HH12HR in Dallas.  There is NO WAY I would be ready for an Ultra Beast in 2 months; maybe in 4 months I could possibly grit through it.  And I wouldn't be ready for a HH12HR in 4 months!! I don't think my code would even work for that anyway.  I guess that I should explain why I am freaking out for those that don't know what each of these entails.

A Spartan Sprint is 3-5 miles with 20-23 intense obstacles.  I've ran one of these before and got my butt handed to me in the form of fatigue and burpees!  A Spartan Super is a 8-10 mile course with 24-29 draining obstacles.  I figure I could prepare relatively well for this since I've ran a Sprint and a 10+ mile Tough Mudder course before.  The Spartan Beast is 12-14 miles with 30-35 obstacles spread in this half marathon course.  I will have to work my tail off for this, but I think that I can manage and grit through this.  The Spartan Ultra Beast is a double Beast! So, you are doing a marathon with 60-70 obstacles kicking your butt the whole way.  They estimate this one to take 7+ hours for the fastest finishers. Oh, and there is a cutoff!! I would not likely finish this by cutoff.  It would be a miracle if I did.  The HH12HR is a different "beast" all on its own!!!  It's an in-between for the Hurricane Heat (HH) and the Agoge; both of which I want to do some day.  The HH12HR is a 12 hour event in which you work as a team with the other participants to complete "challenges" and emphasizes "The Warrior's Ethos."  Given more time to prepare I could be ready for some of these challenges, but not now.

So, what choice do I make?  Sprint/Beast in Breckenridge, or Sprint/Beast in Dallas.  I fear going to do it in Breckenridge because when I went there for my amazing honeymoon I got altitude sickness and was not well the 1st 36 hours we were there.  So much that we visited an oxygen bar to help.  Yeah, that is actually a thing and has me Googling "altitude sickness prevention!!"  So, you can see how that would be a concern.  And it is the one that is only 2 months away.  On the flip side, I would LOVE to revisit Breckenridge and I think I can work hard enough the next couple of months to be somewhat ready.  And with my buddy doing the Ultra Beast there is a chance that he would be starting his 2nd lap when it is time for me to run, so I'd be able to run with him and I'd probably volunteer when he was running and I wasn't.  Dallas is 4 months away, so I'd be able to have twice as much time for training.  And I've never been outside of the DFW Airport, so I don't consider that I've ever actually "been to" Texas.  The temps should be around 70, so I don't have to worry about heat/cold for this one, but since my buddy is doing the HH12HR I wouldn't have any chance of running with him and would be "alone" for most of my time there.

Spartan Registration Confirmation
Now, as the image I posted on Dreadmill Drummer HERE that you see above suggests I have already chosen that I will be running the Beast (Lord help me) in one of the locations as I have already weighed out the options that I've described above.  I'm going to the Beast in Breckenridge, Colorado!!  Time to train my tail off and work on that grip.  I even chatted with Hunter McIntyre about how to prepare and he shared how to strengthen my grip.  Now to put together a plan and go for it! I'm already working my hydration more than I have in the past.  Being a Nuunbassador I have the Nuun Hydration hookup to help me out with that!  And out of odd inspiration last Monday I started watching my foods and nutrition more closely than before.  I also did meal prep for all of my daytime meals and snacks (minus dinner).  I suppose that God already knew that this would be coming and gave me the "push" before I even knew.

Colorado Rockies Beast

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Runner that doesn't run

Ever wonder what you call a runner that doesn't run?  No, not because of injury or doctors orders either.  I think we should be called "none-ers" because we are getting "none" runs in. I have been so lazy for so long. Anderson​ I haven't wrote anything on Dreadmill Drummer in so long either. I have let myself go for so long that I've basically let myself get back to the weight that I was at prior to starting any kind of regular fitness routine.


Yup, I called it right out there. We all have excuses that we like to tell. Would you like my list? I was being facetious as you are getting them if you are reading this.
1) I have had feet pains.
2) I have had knee pains.
3) I have been at cheer for my kids 5+ nights a week.


1) Part of my feet pains are because I am still not stretching as often as I should. Another part is because of my weight.
2) See Argument #1. Also, I have braces to help with any issues and KT Tape.
3) I could do it before anyone gets up like I used to or at work. Oh, and my kids haven't been going that much lately.


What it really boils down to is that I have been lazy and allowing myself to make too many excuses. I have too much in my life to allow myself to be this lazy and I need to fan the flames and pick up some steam again.