Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Short & Sweet Summer Grinder

June 10th

I had a guy coming to the house at 7:00am this morning, so I cooked up a short grinder for the morning...after he left I added on a 30 mile ride.

Hill Repeat/Push-Up Pyramid  (run 40m hill, do 1 push up, repeat with 2 push ups...continue up to 10 and then back down...110 push ups and 21 hill repeats)
Box Jumps (on Pride Rock)
Sand Bag Push Ups/Hill Carries (alternate 10x)
Sledge Hammer Slams/Declined Push Ups
(home-fuel up)
30 mile bike ride


That was it...not the hardest grinder I've ever done, but it hit the spot this morning.  Just for kicks and giggles, we made another video...The Short and Sweet Summer Grinder





Why We Do Hard Things?

May 28th...Ride 10,000.  124 mile ride over the gravel roads of the "Driftless" region throughout northwestern Illinois.  If any one every tells you Illinois is flat, slap them.  And then slap them again for me.  The Ride 10,000 is a 120+ gravel road ride that has, you guessed it, 10,000 feet of elevation.  That's it.  No big deal.  So I got a friend (side not, he is no longer my friend) to saddle up with me and away we went.

Shout out to Stu Garwick, owner of the Freeport Bicycle Company (you should all go there and buy bikes and stuff from this guy), stepped up to keep the Ride 10,000 going.  What took place over the next 11 hours was the hardest bike ride of my life.  It was hot.  It was hilly.  It was long.  And it was early.  Other than that...I wanted to smash my head into a wall.

I had a lot of time in the saddle on the Sunday to contemplate why we do hard things.  After 11 hours I came the conclusion that it's "the hard" that makes us do it.  I thought my realization was brilliant until around mile 95 when it occurred to me that I had heard the whole "it's the hard" that makes us want to do it.  Around mile 105 I come to the conclusion that it was Tom Hanks.  I was right.  So was Tom.  It's the "hard" that makes it great.

That same day, my good friend was knocking out The Murph in roughly :50 mins...with 25 pound weighted vest.  Equally challenging, if not more.  So how does :50 mins of hell compare to 11 hours?  They don't.  They are different.  But it's the "hard" that draws us to do these things.

I slept in on Monday.  That was easy.  And great.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ultimate Suck Training

Last weekend's workout:  The 1/2 Mile Grinder

I found a nice 1/2 mile stretch with rolling hills and set up camp for this 8 mile grind...

1 mile run (easy)
1 mile Ruck (with 50 pounds)
1 mile run (hard)
1 mile tire pull
1 mile run (hard)
1 mile Ruck (with 50 punds) and tire pull
1 mile run (hard)
1 mile Ruck (with 50 pounds and 12 lb sledge hammer) and tire pull...with hammer swings every :30 secs


That was the grinder...


This past weekends workout:  Buckets of Tears 1/2 Marathon

4 mile trail run (w/hills)
1/2 mile bucket carry (50 lbs in each bucket)
3 mile trail run
1/2 mile bucket carry
1/2 mile tire drag
3 mile trail run
1/2 mile tire drag
1/2 mile ruck (w/ 50 lbs)
3 mile trail run in boots
1/2 mile ruck (w/50 lbs)

My tears yesterday...my competitors tears on race day.  OK...that's a lie.  I didn't cry.

Momentum Softshell Pants Review (Salomon)

Awesome Pants

Go ahead and click the link to awesome above...

Momentum Soft-shell Pants by Salomon are, without a doubt the greatest pants I have ever owned. I bought them for winter cross country skiing.  But I wear them for everything legal in the lower 48 states.  Most of the time with my dog.  He doesn't wear any pants.

These pants move with you...and are warm where you need it.  Like the front.  Not only do these pants keep you warm...they feel like 2,000 angels rubbing your legs as you work out.  If that isn't enough...they have zippers up the entire right and left side...but be warned, if you wear them fully unzipped, you will be cold.  This isn't Salomon's fault.

I don't endorse many pants...but these I do.  You won't regret it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Nightmare Before Christmas

New Gear:  First workout in my new Salomon Momentum Soft-shell pants...I seriously don't know what I've been wearing up until now.  Check them out: Awesome Pants

I've been toying with the idea of taking on a 36 hour endurance event called the Ultimate Suck.  One of my best friends tackled this event last year (and once prior) and damn near won it.  36 hours of perseverance mixed with "farm chores"...a perfect storm of endurance and strength.  My winter goal was to see what kind of functional strength I could put on this 165lb frame.  Ok, that was my second goal.  My first was to get back to a 165 lb frame.

So I've been mixing in a lot of lifting (5x5 Strong Lifts plan...really focusing on increasing deadlifts and squats right now) with my ultra running/training and biking...and really ramping up my "rucks".  I am not worrying about my swimming right now.  Well, I'm worrying...but I'm still not swimming.  Every other weekend I throw down a "gauntlet-esque" workout.  I called my Dec. 24th workout THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS...it went like this:

3 mile 40lb ruck
2 mile run
4 x hill repeats
recovery jog
2 x 800m repeats
1 mile jog

100 squats
100 deadlifts
100 push ups
50 pull up

It was cold.  It was snowy.  It was dark.  I had my dog.  We decided to make a video...here is the Nightmare in 1 min and 38 seconds.
As always...thanks to my peeps at Nuun for the bubbles in my water.  
You make water worth drinking...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

40 on 40

I turned 40 yesterday.  I decided to go for a long run...40 miles gives you a little time to think.  So here are a few random thoughts from a guy who has been on the Earth for four decades and a day and has enjoyed his stay considerably.


1.  I don't know shit.
     I really don't.  None of us do.  I've read things like "the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know"...I like to think of it more along the lines of "we're all dumb, some of us are just less dumb than others."  If you think you know everything, smack yourself a couple of times.  

For example:  "I can't feel my face when I'm with you"...what does that even mean?  I got nothing.  


2. Don't take yourself too seriously.  No one else does.
    I've learned this one from looking at old race photos.  Every one tries to take such bad ass race photos...and then one day you realize that you're just wearing spandex and playing games with a thousand other people wearing spandex.


3. Life's not fair...but it's still good.


4. Don't be afraid to suck.
    Think of all the people you know that you think are "good at everything"...they aren't really.  They are just willing to try pretty much anything.  


5.  Find someone. 
     You don't have to get married...but find someone special.  Guy, girl, black, white, purple, Muslim, republican, socialist, doesn't matter.  The investment will return ten-fold.  Find someone; share the adventure.


6.  Eat well.  
     This is debatable, until you think about the wording.  Eat.  Well.  Enjoy.  

PS: And don't eat anything you can't pronounce.  Except quinoa.  Eat the hell out of that.


7. Whatever you decide to be...be a good one.
    I think Lincoln said that...but he also said "Never trust anything you read on the internet"...so sometimes I don't know what to believe.  Point is...if you're going to be make donuts for a living...be the best god damn donut maker you can be. (Unless you're going to be a Hitler.  Be a bad Hitler.)


8. Be a good friend...the world needs lots of those.


9.  We don't know everything.
     This is different than number 1.  This is perspective.  And the fact of the matter is, you rarely (if ever) have enough information to make a truly informed decision regarding other people.  So don't assume that you do.  Don't live life on the default setting that you are the center of the universe and that you know, with absolute certainty, everything.  Don't believe me...go watch This Is Water 



I'll stop there because 9 is a perfect square.  So I ran 40 miles...much of it through the first dark hours of being 40 and that's what I thought about.  It was pretty dark running through the woods and it made me think of the quote my dad sent me the day before my birthday.  "When we stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back."  He commented that it was indeed a deep thought and left me to consider it.  Running through the woods that night with only my head lamp it was really quiet dark and lonely.  At times, it really looked like I was staring into "nothingness"...as the sun came up the next morning, the trees, hills, and animals emerged, and I realized that all that "nothingness" was staring back at me as well.  

40 is just a number...and I decided to run over the hills instead of "be" over the hill.  #carpediem 

Thanks to my wife for letting me do yet another stupid thing.  Thanks to my girls for looking at me like I'm pretty cool.  Thanks to my dog for being my wingman.  Thanks to all my friends and family who are really the ones who taught me all the things I wrote above.  And thanks to Tailwind and Nuun for fueling the night.  And my Salomon friends for loving my feet like they do.









Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trucker Hats and Beards

Public Service Announcement:  Salomon S-Labs Sense 5s feel like slippers.  Seriously.

I've decided that while training is great...it's often a bit overrated.  Indeed, the most overlooked aspect of properly preparing for an ultra is trucker hats and beards.

I've taken a slightly different approach to my training for the Ice Age 50 (May 14th)...and I'm listening a lot more to my body.  In fact, my training has boiled down to these principles:

1. Get in "a few" run in the week with ONE QUALITY run and ONE HILLY run.
2. Strength train like a boss.
3. Make your weekend runs epic.

Everything else is just details.  Except trucker hats and beards.  Those are non-negotiable.

Last weekend I knocked out 2 hours on Sat and 4 hours on Sunday...I called it the HAF (Hilly as F*%#) Back-to-Back.  LOTS of climbing and LOTS of persistence.  In fact, #RelentlessForwardProgress is now my new ultra motto.  Figure out the big stuff...let the details take care of themselves...and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.  Just like Rocky said, trail running "ain't about how hard your can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."  And trucker hats and beards.