Monday, May 14, 2012

If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe. Latin Proverb

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 297 & 298:

It's been a weekend worthy of my newly acquired Spartan status, BlogLand.

Saturday brought the most gorgeous day we've had here in VT in quite sometime. Like, we're talking 75 and sunny, with little puffy white clouds, and a slight breeze. Like, only in the movies, perfect.

Which seemed like a GREAT day for "Bring a Friend to WOD" day at my CrossFit gym. My gym was doing an Open House sort of thing at their outdoor "FitPark" (playground for adults!), that would be fun for anyone that wandered in. So, I brought my Tuesday Sprint ladies, to check out the craziness that is CrossFit.

After a warmup, we were divided into two teams and were explained the WOD of the day:
Part 1: Each team had an equally sized pile of heavy, cumbersome things of various materials. Examples: One big tire, one little tire, 40# log, 25# log, assorted rocks, sandbags, buckets of sand, filled to various weights, a sled to pull, etc.
The Task: As a team, in 10 minutes, we were to move as much weight as possible through an obstacle course, to the end point. The "obstacles" consisted of a chest high log to get stuff over, a rope crawl to push things under, a balance beam, low hurdles, etc. All the "stuff" had to complete the obstacles, as well as the humans. Otherwise 10 burpee penalty. 10 Burpee penalty if you screwed up an obstacle, too (fell off balance beam, stood up in ropes, etc.). 

Alright. That seems simple enough? We had a 10 person team and we were ready to roll! Highlights included trying to navigate a wobbly balance beam while trying to roll a 2-300 pound tire along beside you, or carrying multiple odd shaped objects at once - like a rock (or two) and a sandbag.
Very fun.
Our team had a strategy and we beasted through these 10 minutes, edging out the other team by moving 30# more than them. WAHA.

On to Part 2:

Our sweaty, panting teams reconvened to hear the task for Part 2. I should've seen this coming. Now that we'd moved all that weight, the task was to - as fast as possible - move it back through the other team's course (which extended the path), get it all there before the other team got theirs all there, and THEN be able to recite all 10 of the first presidents, in order (yes, we were given a paper with a list). First team to complete the move, then list the president's, wins.

So much fun. We had techniques now for moving objects. For instance, being one of the burlier ladies on my team, I found that one of my strengths lay in helping to move the rocks. They were trying to roll them under the ropes... where I could move them much faster by literally tossing them through most of the obstacle, to a person at the other end. I guess all those rock-walks up the mountain paid off!

I will say, though, the highlight of the WOD was the After Party, where we got to try something I've never done before - a slackline. basically, this is a wide webbing, that you balance on... much like a balance beam, but with more give. WAY trickier than one would anticipate, but great for balance and the little stabilizer muscles in your legs, etc. Very fun. Added to which, our teacher for the slack line was our gym's lone representative at Spartan Race's Ultra Beast this year. Yep, a marathon distance obstacle course. Too cool.

We rounded out an excellent dirty, sweaty morning, by trying out some Vibram FiveFinger shoes, a they had set up shop to do demos through the open house. I was skeptical, but convinced to try a pair. They even let me take them for a run around the park.
I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the shoe, as I'm still madly in love with my Inov8's, but it certainly debunked a lot of preconceived notions I had about them. They are, in fact, quite comfortable and easy to run in. You "feel" the ground without getting torn up by it.
Interesting. I can see why people like them. It was kind of liberating to be able to use my toes to "grip" the uneven surfaces, as I ran.

On to Day 298:

Sunday brought in another lovely day, one that I was scheduled for a long run. I admit, I wasn't really feeling it. I admit, BlogLand, I still don't particularly "enjoy" running. I see the function of it, I like getting better at it, and I know how it's helping me.... but I'm never going to be one of those people that's like, Man, I'm having a bad day, I need a run. I DO like to lift heavy things in those circumstances... but taking off to "enjoy nature" through a run is not my idea of a great time.

Regardless, it was long run day. After some major mental prodding, I got my Spandex on, and decided to challenge myself a little differently, to keep things interesting. Instead of running a flat 6 miles or so, I'd do the Pond Loop... which is just about 5 miles, but crazy hilly.
At the last minute, I was able to rope in a buddy (THANK GOD!! It makes a run so much more bearable!), and we got down to work.

There is nothing like a steep hill right out of the gate to get your heart pumping, and set the tone for the rest of the run.

I'm proud of us though, a steady 5 miles, with just a couple of short walk breaks at the top of some really evil hills, and smiles the whole time. WOOT!

This week is big, BlogLand. I've got a local 5K coming up, where I'm hoping to blow my last 5K PR out of the water, and earn some crazy bragging rights at work. It's so funny to think about doing just a straight 5K road race now. After Spartan Race, the 10k's that I've done, a 5K is going to actually be FUN, as I know I can succeed.

Added to which, next Sunday, I'll be doing a little Mud Run in Massachusetts, because this obstacle course racing stuff is crazy addictive. hehe

With that, it's time for sleep. I'm already up way too late, and I *WILL* get to 6am CrossFit tomorrow mornig. I will!

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