Star Wars First Order Challenge (10K + Half Marathon)

It finally happened. The Star Wars Dark Side First Order Challenge (10K + Half Marathon) race finally was here. This is the race that got me motivated for over a year and seemed imposible and crazy. Me? A Half Marathon?? And a 10K before that??? That’s gotta be crazy. Yet, we signed up and got on it.

There were so many things I wasn’t ready for, but I’m taking this as a learning opportunity to be better the next time as I start looking at the other crazy challenges I have planned for the rest of the year).

Tired. I was very freaking tired during the challenge. The night before traveling I practically didn’t sleep (2, 3 hours maybe) as I was working late at night and getting ready to fly. Then the flight on Friday morning, getting the stuff, walking around, going to bed late and tired from the travel only to wake up at 3am (2am my time) to do the 10K, go to Animal Kingdom, walk a crap ton, go to bed again late, wake up again at 3am (did I said it was 2am my time zone?), do the Half Marathon, then crash. It was just to fucking much. Definitely if I ever do this again I’ll need to plan better my time around the parks and get some rest at some point. I was getting 2-3 hours of sleep (maybe 4) before and during the challenge and that really really burned me out. In ideal conditions (being at home and sleeping more than 4-5 hours) I definitely think I could have had a less miserable experience come running time, but then again, that’s why we train and adjust. Lesson learned: get some sleep!!

The weather. The last 6 months basically I’ve been training in the frozen tundra that I like to call home. I never thought about Florida humid weather which wasn’t so bad when you think about it (Dam 2 Dam 2017 weather was worse) but I wasn’t ready for it and it took me by surprise. Lesson learned: seriously think about the weather for race day when traveling. Also hidrate properly days before the challenge and during the challenge.

Have running gear and fueling stuff at hand. I forgot my pace band at home, I forgot my earphones at the hotel for the Half, I didn’t took my pre-workout for the Half (I missed my energy kick!). Not cool. Not cool.

Recovery. Thank goodness my wife insisted me to book a massage on Sunday after the Half. Also, ice bath and epsom salt baths for the win. That totally helped me up to get back on my feet (literally) on Sunday night.

The mental breakdown (or hitting the wall). Since I was doing the Half with no music I had a lot of time to think and chat with myself. Not a very good idea. Specially after that mile 6 when my body started to complain and I hit my wall. Something about having my parents there didn’t help at all. I know it’s stupid but having them there got me messed up. Wanting to “prove” and “show” them what I was capable of and then greatly under perform (based on my expectations) really really bummed me out. But then again it’s all mental, they were proud as heck of me for doing this, my wife was proud of me for even waking up in the middle of the night, my daughter was happy and proud to see her daddy run. Me however I was feeling like shit, for not doing what I wanted, what I was going after. But hey, if Shalane Flanagan can fail then so can I. At some point I remembered what my original goal for this race was: do not get swept by the balloon ladies and finish in one piece. And I did that!! Anyway, learn to deal with expectations and don’t feel like shit when things don’t go my way.

The race. The races were pretty cool and even though all the stuff that I mentioned above happened I really liked them and would definitely consider doing something like this again. Good vibes, cool costumes, didn’t stop for pictures, the cast members were encouraging and running through the parks is a really cool experience. Also cool medals!

What’s next? The month is almost over and I’m a few miles away from completing my April goal. Do a few recovery runs during the week and go back to bootcamp. Prepare for Dam 2 Dam on June 2nd and start adding miles and training for the big races coming up at the end of the year.

Caesar over and out.

{ Add a Comment }

Bentonville Half Marathon 2018

Oh boy, where to begin? Last Saturday I did my second ever Half Marathon at the Bentonville Half Marathon in Bentonville Arkansas. Bentonville gave me a lot a few years ago, and I also wanted to test myself before the Star Wars Challenge in 2 weeks.

My goal was to beat my previous time (3:05:45) and to finish below the 3 hour mark. The one thing I was worried about before race day was the hills of the course.

Those last 3 miles seemed like a killer (they were) but nonetheless I decided to go for it.

The second thing I was worried about (and this happened on race day) was the weather. Arkansas is one of those states that is not prepared for winter conditions like Iowa. And of course, on Saturday it was snowing, icy and cold.

Crew said the race was good to go, and so we started. There were some icy patches here and there but it was not as bad as it could have been.

The final hill was indeed a killer one, definitely walked it out as my legs were killing me by then and adding the incline was not helping at all.

Managed to finish the race in 2:55:47. 10 full minutes below my previous one back in October. I felt great for doing this, yet a little crappy because had I done all my training I would have crushed it more.

What’s next? I took off Sunday to rest and to drive back to Iowa. Not sure about tonight, my legs still hurt a little and I’m really tired but I need to keep up the momentum as we get closer to Disney.

{ Add a Comment }

March 2018 Stats

Third month down, I feel like I aimed a bit too high but it was good in general. I did not meet my goals, and I don’t feel bad about it. As I’ve been doing my PN coaching with Mel I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about myself and my goals and how I really need to take it one step at a time. I did run some more compared to last month and I also got some pounds down, could have been more but I messed up the final 2 weeks of the month and well, it didn’t end as planned.

Anyway, here are my March stats…

  • -2.5 pounds down. No change in muscle mass.
  • 45.03 miles (8.29 more than what I did last month).
  • 9 strength training sessions (My back is killing me!!).

Goals for April

  • Continue to catch up on my miles for my goal of 500 miles by the end of 2018 (I’m almost back on track!).
  • Not mess up after my rest day.
  • Lose more weight and gain some muscle (I’m really tired of yo-yoing and would like to steadily hit 220 and below).
  • Drop of the soda on weekdays instead of every day.
  • 64 oz of water on weekdays with Nuun, plain, or something added instead of every day.
  • Go back to track my foods and be aware of my eatings.
  • Bentonville Half Marathon and Dark Side Challenge!

105.83 miles overall during the year, 394.17 miles to go.

{ Add a Comment }

Thursday Night…

Tonight I decided not to go for a run or a workout. After having a big dinner and getting stressed out due to family stuff I decided not to go for a run or a workout and instead went out to drink.

As I was sitting at the bar hearing drunk people sing karaoke while trying to watch one of the baseball games I kept thinking about me and my stuff. I think I’m getting to the point where going out for a drink doesn’t work for me anymore and I’d rather go to the gym or out for a run. I feel like I want to go for a drink out of habit and that feels weird.

Anyway, just wanted to let it out, month is almost over.

{ Add a Comment }

New Challenges Ahead

I’m 37 miles in this month so far. I have now passed my February miles (by one or two so far) and I’m 26ish miles of catching up with my original goal of 500 miles in 2018. Feeling pretty excited and happy about it. I don’t think I can get those 26 miles by the end of the month but I will definitely try to get it as close as possible.

Yesterday was a rest day and I got a good use out of it. Took Coco out for a 1 mile walk, did some meal prep for the rest of the week and got a good night sleep. My legs aren’t as sore as I thought they were going to be and I’m feeling all right.

I signed up for a Nutrition Coaching certification. Yes. I did that. Out of all the things I said I would never do or saw me doing this was waaaay at the bottom of the list. I should get my books in about a week, and I’m actually excited for this. It will be cool to see what I can learn and pass along.

Bentonville is right around the corner. I’m excited for this one. My goal is to finish under 3 hours. What worries me is the stupid hill they have near the end. Not a fan of hills.

{ Add a Comment }

8 miles later…

8 miles tonight. Right on pace for my Half Marathon goal in a week and a half. Garmin and phone almost died and kept bugging me about low battery but made it through the whole thing. Also got my 50K Nike badge for the month of March! Time for a well deserved rest. #nightrun #running #toodamntired #tomorrowsgonnahurt

{ Add a Comment }

Tuesday Thoughts…

Today is Tuesday, I’m at work and my mind is racing and trying to do like 34,634 things at the same time (I counted). I got 2 miles last night at the treadmill at the gym instead of the 8 I originally planned to do. The fact that I stayed at home with the wife watching Santa Clarita Diet while the daughter went to sleep didn’t really help.

But anyway, I’m in a good mood today, I’m also tired but I’m in a good mood. I realize that the month is almost over and I have not really achieved all the goals I wanted to do AND THAT IS OK. I had a good start the first 2 weeks and then I crashed and burned, however I think that documenting all of this has really helped me look at my weak points and come up with a better strategy. Tomorrow (or the day after) I’m planning to get a new inBody read and see how my body weight and muscle is going. I don’t have a lot of expectations but I need to get a reading and see where I’m at. Something that I have learned and I’m starting to work on is to go smaller on my goals and avoid the all or nothing mentality. I mean yes, I do want to achieve my goals and we train not to fail, but it is also OK to fail and I need to learn that.

Wife is encouraging me to take a nutrition certification and honestly, I don’t think that’s such a horrible idea. I love the irony of thinking about ME doing one of those certifications, she really believes in me and thinks I can pull it off. I’ll think about it and see how it goes, it feels like a great idea except for the fact that we need to pay up front.

Weather is sort of kind of starting to pick up, we are no longer having freezing temperatures and there’s still some snow here and there but it seems to be improving. If all goes well I’m really going to aim for a long night run and catch up on some more miles.

Goals for the night:

  • Go out for a 6-8 mile workout and think about Bentonville.
  • STOP caring about pace and enjoy the night.
  • Try to leave the house early so I won’t get home at the wee hours of the night.

{ Add a Comment }

All it takes is one day.

One day. One day is all it takes for me to derail and fall off the wagon. Pretty much since the 15th I messed up most of my progress. It all started one night after work when I was stressed and pissed. Didn’t took my breakfast or lunch, drank alcohol at night and started to skip on my workouts.

Kind of got back in track, then the week started again and it was a bad week. A very bad week. I missed work outs, I ate pizza and got back to drink soda, it was shit. Stressed at work, social events, weather, etc.

Thinking about it and looking back I can see that pattern. I can see the pattern of missing one day and then just derailing for a few days. I need to learn to just let it go, skip a day, and then move on. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to mess it up, and that something that I struggle with. The whole all or nothing mentality.

In other news, one week to finish March, I got 27 out of 64 miles I planned to do this month. I believe if I put my mind to it I can get really close to my goal this month, and it will help me train for Bentonville which is right around the corner!!

{ Add a Comment }

Week 2

It’s the middle of the month and it’s time for check in. I want to say that up until… Monday? I was having a really good week. Was down by about 3 pounds, doing my exercises (running streak is totally off by the way), staying away from soda… then Tuesday and Wednesday came. I’ve been really stressed at work lately and it made me realize how fragile and stress related are my eating habits.

I started to mess up my lunch, and that lead to mess up my breakfast, and so on and on. I still haven’t craved to a breakfast pizza with a Diet Coke and beers at night but maaaan I’m really tempted.

Workout related I’m sticking to my plan and going at it. Started doing Precision Nutrition with Mel and it has helped me out a bit to stay accountable.

I haven’t been at the Inbody yet, hopefully on Friday I’ll be able to stop by and get some measurements to see where I’m at.

Signed up for the Dam to Dam race in June. It will be an almost Half Marathon race and I’m looking forward to do it. I did the 5K version last year and i think it was my best 5K that i remember. Also Bentonville is right around the corner. Haven’t signed up yet but we are already making plans!

{ Add a Comment }