This weekend ended up being a pretty fun one all around. Late Friday morning my dad and I packed up some things and we began what would end up being the drive from hell, up to New York City. On a good day, driving from MD to NYC takes about 4.5 hours. But this time around it took us a wonderfully pleasant 9 hours! Brutal! And to top things off, we were planning on meeting up with my brother and heading out to the Red Sox/Yankees game, but, the damn thing got rained out!
Oh well. We had a tasty dinner and chatted each other up while hanging out in Times Square (not something we generally do in NYC, but my did got a hotel there…crazy, and also highly entertaining). I ended up headed off to sleep around 1am, just to get up again at 3am to pack up a bag and head out to Staten Island for the Spartan Race. I was initially scheduled to run the race at 1pm, but opted to try out a special heat they were offering called the “Hurricane Heat”. It was something they did for their last race because of Hurricane Irene, and had such a fun time they thought it would be cool to offer it as a regular event for their races. It had plenty of kinks, but I think the whole plan was really to just get a ton of people together to run through the course before the actual race started, just to make sure everything was in order. I personally chose to do this so that I’d have the rest of the day to spend with my dad and bro, and also be able to meet the founders of the race and network a little.
Well, my honest opinion was that it was both good and bad. The bad part was my own fault because I could feel my competitive side kept creeping in. This heat really had nothing to do with racing, more to do with just getting though the thing as a huge group. Bright and early at 5:30am we all split into groups of around 20 people and get our warm up in. We quickly got to the understanding the creator of this race was a little nutso. Our warm up included a couple rounds of 30 burpees, 30 push ups, 30 jumping jacks, 30 hops, 30 squat jumps and on, and on, and on. We then limped over to the start, and with happy, excited shrieks and yells we all took off! About 20 feet later we were met with our first surprise: about 25 yards of knee-deep, icy cold water! If that warm up didn’t wake everyone up, this sure as hell did!
We made our way to the beach, over a few walls/hurdles, had ourselves another 60+ burpees and jumping jacks…ugh…then back around through the woods to our first REAL obstacle: 50 meters or so of a mud crawl, under legit barbed wire. I found the trick to get through this was to stiffen up the whole body and just slide through the crazy deep mud and water. I totally got sliced up a couple times from the wire, but that’s the fun of it all! After people got through the mud, we all hung to re-group, and, did a crap-load more burpees!
Just to make the post a little easier, I would guesstimate that I got in well over 200 burpees on the day…
Things went slowly but smoothly through the woods and over a few more obstacles for the next hour or so until we got to the three high walls, the water and fire, and the super high cargo net. A few of our group blasted through them all, then waited at the end for the group. This was when I younger guy and myself saw a girl who was in our group but was waaay behind beginning to approach the first wall. We decide to head back and help her through the mess. It was fun to get through the obstacles again, and also fun to be able to hang back and help out a good collection of people get over those walls! Then it was off to the woods for a long stretch of trail running. The younger guy and myself hung back with this girl through the trials until we got to our creek/river portion and to the one portion of the course that actually got my heart racing a little. A 30-meter tunnel under a road that we all had to crawl through. It was dark, tiny, insanely muddy and the fact that we heard there were tons of rats in there the day before made it a little gross…
After we got through that fun, the younger guy and I decided it was high time to see if we could catch up with the group. So, we sprinted! About 10 minutes later we got to the front of the whole ordeal and I took off with about 4 other dudes to just keep on moving through the rest of the course. While it was an absolute blast to get rolling at a faster pace, being up in the front forced us to wait for the rest of the group at each obstacle. Generally not a problem at all, expect that we had to do burpees and jumping jacks until the whole group got together! Yeah, maybe it was more along the lines of 300+…
Anyways, there was plenty of mud, water, sand, and trails. I would say that if you are a good trail runner, you’d probably tear these things up. I personally feel as though I’d do somewhat well competing in one of these things, and if they made the challenges longer lasting (like running a long portion of the race with cinder blocks rather than just a little sprint with them) I would fair even better. But, in my honest opinion, I think the obstacles were a little too quick and easy enough to really hinder a good runner from winning these things on a regular basis. But, then again, I didn’t actually do the race, and it could be set up a little differently for them! In the end, I had a blast, met a few really awesome people, got nasty muddy and scraped up in the great outdoors, and was back in the city with the fam by 10:30am. Not too bad! I will totally be doing a few more of these races at some point over the next few years as they are right up my alley! And, I hope to go ahead and get that Death Race under my belt at some point!
So, the rest of the day was spent wandering the city with my dad and brother and doing our thing! It was fun, except fro when we thought it would be a good idea to get Captain America to watch at our hotel room…bad movie…
If you’ve never gone out to do one of these crazy races, I highly recommend checking one of them out. There’s the Warrior Dash, there’s the Tough Mudder, the Spartan Race series, the Urbanathalon, the Muddy Buddy and so on! There are so many of these things out there that it’s super easy to sign up and have some fun. In fact, there’s a really cool one coming up in a few weeks out in Northern California called Into The Wild! Yeah, you should totally go check that awesome thing out stat!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Ok, so this weekend I traveled up to upstate NY with Lindsey and her brother to run one of those Warrior Dashes. Turned out to be a damn fun time, and got me brainstorming so many different things. First off, what a perfect concept! It's easy enough that anyone can do it, but tough enough so that you can't just sprint right through without getting a little challenged. I mean, just traversing through muddy water is enough of a curve ball to slow you down a little! I opted to hang with Lindsey and her brother and had such a fun time sloshing through the mud and navigating all the crazy obstacles they had in store for us. I was amazed at the fact that we signed up for a 2:30pm on Sunday heat, and it was packed from registration to end! And that's closing in on the end of the second day of heats! What a successful concept these people have come up with.
While some of the elitist competitors out there might not enjoy the laid-back feel of the whole event, I can't really see any real negatives on the whole thing. It saw people of all ages and fitness levels. I mean, it was not all that off to see mostly out of shape goofballs out there just wanting to play around with everyone. And in my mind, there is nothing but AWESOME things to say about an even that inspires anyone and EVERYONE to get outside and run around!
We got ourselves all checked in, in the craziness and hoards of people dressed up in all sorts of entertaining get-up. We then walked on up to the start line, through even more craziness and got to waiting for our heat to get going. About a mile of straight up the mountain (they are generally held at ski resorts) across the ridge and back down, that was the course. And for the obstacles we had three different water traps, a slip n' slide, walls, tires in all forms of tricky ways, old cars and trucks to climb over and plenty of rope, cargo nets and boards to climb all over. Needless to say, they were not really easy per say, in fact, a couple of them were actually pretty damn hard. They were just perfectly tough!
And to top it all off, a massive turkey leg to feast on afterwards! Can't really think of too much else better than that!
Back in the DC area now, ready to train hard and revamp the nutrition plan to see what else I can learn! Oh, and the Fitness Survival Challenge in less than a week away!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Alright, so, a lot of you are wondering what the hell my Facebook post was all about the other day, and I am sitting here right now with all sorts of things I want to write about. But I guess I'll have to start a to do list for most of them seeing how this week was meant to be spent mostly away from the computer for myself and Lindsey. But, I feel like I need to keep people informed with the crazy things that happen to me, and this last one was up there with one of the craziest/scariest things I have ever experienced.
Late Saturday night I was able to sneak out to start my drive up to Albany, NY where I was going to meet up with Lindsey to start our vacation. The excitement was that she wasn't expecting me until late Sunday night! Was going to be a HUGE surprise for her too wake up and find me there. Well the surprise ended up being a bit different when I called her at 4am from a diner in Kingston, NY and told her what had happened.
About 60 miles out from Albany, I was cruising along iced coffee by my side, singing along to some classic rock when out of the blew I felt a massive thump and the steering wheel began to go crazy in my hand. The car swerved to the left, then screeched to the right as I tried desperately to regain control. The car careened off the highway into the gravel along the side, and as I continued to try to control the wheel, I felt the car pop off the ground. From there I just went to protect-the-body mode. The car flipped to its side, then on to its roof and just skidded across the highway, slowly crunching closer and closer to my head. No joke, it was like one of those movies where the thing about to kill you stops just centimeters from you; the car came to a stop with my head literally touching the asphalt through the sunroof. I was curled up in the tightest ball I could possible get into.
I hoisted myself up, unbuckled my seat-belt and lowered myself t the ground before climbing out of the wreckage. After contemplating headed back in to fond my phone, I saw lights approaching from down the highway of other drivers, and opted to just walk away in case someone didn't see the portion sticking out into the road and clip it, causing even more damage. At that point I was able to take a good look at myself to see if I was ok. Somehow, and I am still a bit shocked by this, I was 100% fine, not a scratch anywhere. The car was crushed, I had stuff literally smash through the windows and fond their way about 50 yards off the highway, and I was totally fine. No matter what you believe in, something pretty special has to happen for a person to survive that sort of thing. And not just survive, but to not get injured at all. Writing this down write now is actually sending chills down my spine that I am just sitting here with nothing physically wrong with me. Crazy.
The rest of the morning was a bit crazy, but as of now, Lindsey and I are in Portsmouth, NH and the goal is to workout, eat well, and relax as much as humanly possible, so that is what we will do. While I may post up a little something sometime this week, expect to not have any serious post up until next week. Just know that despite the insanity of what I went through early Sunday morning, I am all good, so no worries there. I just feel so beyond badly that ruined such a good car and put any stress on my family. But, I feel lucky and blessed as hell to have been able to not only live through that, but to be completely fine.
Hope everyone had an awesome 4th, and please take the time to make sure you enjoy your week!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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