- 50 slides on the slide board
- 12 lunges
- 15 single leg bridges
- 12 push ups on board
- a couple of body weight chin ups
With only 8 days to go and with what happened on Monday, the exercise intensity decreased somewhat. I also had Tuesday off work, just to recover from the shock. I had a great Nana nap, which I never do, so doing this probably actually helped out with me being able to complete my workout in the evening. I also thought if I had anything serious wrong with me, I would find out during gym class, since no one would let me do anything on Monday night.
After discovering a bruise (nothing major) from were the car hit me, I thought I best get everything checked out to ensure it is in all good working order. So instead of seeing a doctor, I went to see my Osteopath, Ben at Mosiac Health, he has done wonders with my knee and ankle, so thought he would be my best bet on if I had any further injuries that would have prevented me to compete in a couple of weeks. Apart from the bruise, I was extremely lucky to walk away with nothing serious, so I was pretty happy about that.
After a full day of rest on Wednesday, it was back in the gym today. Concentrating on the sprint training, focusing on turns and take off, rather than the sprints. I don't want to de-accellerate the training too much, otherwise I won't really know what to do with myself. I will be focusing more on stretching and rolling in the next week and will probably be reducing the intensity rather than cutting them out. I am not 100% sure exactly what we should or shouldn't be doing that will help prepare us the most for the event, since it is the first time that we have done anything like this. I don't think cutting out exercise completely will help. I guess we will live and learn and hope that we have a better idea IF there is a next one.
Apart from the overall shock of collision, my first thought was as he drove off was to get his number plate, only to discover that it had been removed. So many strangers came out to help and offer assistance, but I was lucky enough to escape unharmed. I was more thankful that I am kinda robust and that doing these obstacles have helped me become that little more durable. As if it was an old person or even a child, the situation could have been a whole lot worse.
I honestly feel truely blessed that I had no serious injuries and I could get up and walk, but it just proves the point that you don't know what's around the corner. We are not superhuman and we have to cherish every moment that we have. Anything could happen at any moment and it is completely out of our control.
With most of our weekends and weekdays starting off nice and early. Saturday 23rd May was no exception with the alarm springing into life at 5.30am, getting ready for another full day of activities. We don't have to be there until 8am, but we always need to ensure that we have had some breakfast and were all fueled up for the days events.
I was planning on doing a full day of exercise this weekend just to test out our endurance for True Grit. So when the post facebook for an Endurance Boot Camp came up, I jumped at the chance to do it. A 6 hour continuous workout session to help raise money for MS (seriously how are could we say no) plus what perfect timing, two weeks out of a 24 hour event.
The day consisted of 6 x 1 hour sessions with a warm up at the start, a variation of exercises groups and training were included for reach session that made each hour interesting and fun.
This is not like any other obstacle course race that we have done,usually its a matter of getting everything ready the night before and packing it in the car, and that's it were off and ready to go. Nope this time a little more preparation is definitely required, especially as I don't think its a matter if we forgot something we can go to the shop and pick it up. This we can do when we get to Sydney, but we definitely cant do this if were on course. If were too cold, well its tough shit and we have to deal with it, or if we haven't got enough food, or not comfortable enough.
There are so many what ifs??? I never really considered how organised we needed to be, and we still wont know if we have done enough until we actually start the event. Some of the lists that people have been posting on the FB page has caused me to go into melt down, they are so excessive (really how much money do these people have?) Compression pants, 4 types of wetsuits, 2 sets of 2XU thermal compression tops and 2 sets of bottoms, wind jacket, wind pants and the list goes on. OK, so we are faces with two problems 1. we dont have much of this stuff, our races have comprised of us getting in and out, back in the car and heading home for a nice hot shower - never had a need to run in a wetsuit or to purchase a full wetsuit (Isnt this one of the reasons why we moved to Australia). We only have shortie!! Problem No 2. I am not the best at camping, I hate the cold so why would I want to give up a nice cosy bed to sleep on a hard surface, so this means we have absolutely zilch camping, cold or wet weather gear.
Our clothes that we use are usually cold gym clothes that I dont really care about getting torn and ripped, and of course more that happy to throw away after. Now i have to think about layering, whilst running - what happens if I get too hot or too cold?? Seriously the swear words that are coming out at the moment are really not good. The only good thing would be that there is no harm in being over prepared (again this comes down to money), I didnt really anticipate the overall cost when signing up to this, yes we could borrow items - but then what happens if we ruin them. We are better off ruining our own stuff then someone elses, then that moves onto the other debate - if you go expenses (then chances are they are going to get ruined), obstacle runs are definitely not designed to keep your clothes in tact by the end of it.
So the panic buying has started, I bought a cheap tent form Kmart ($45) which is bloody fantastic, and a sleeping bag (only one as since the plan was that one of us would be on the course at any given time then we should only need one). I also bought some gels, as we need to test these out at some point before the event. We were going to wait until we got to Sydney to buy, but then had another panic moment that included (what happens if they sell out), best to just getting shopping and not panicking about picking up a tent, but now just realised I bought the wrong one, I was meant to get one with a front section too to we can leave tubs and stuff outside if its raining. This is what happens when you start panic buying. Also bought the weirdest thermal pants from Katmandu, honestly it made perfect sense to me at the time, now I not sure what was the overall intention (its not like we will wear them running around).
Our spare room is turning into its own Enduro equipment room, which now looking at it (thinks we will be paying for some extra luggage along the way). I will update a shopping / equipment list (and then will make a review of what was needed after the event). I have bought a full length wetsuit, so feel a little better about that, we really are not going to know until we get there.
We were hoping for the ideal scenario to go out and run in a wetsuit which would be raining and a little bit colder, but if we kept waiting we would never get out there. So it was a little chilly, nothing too bad though, this was a great time to test the shorties.
So looking like two people that didn't really know how to dress for a run, and got mixed up and put on a wetsuit instead of compressions. We headed to Albert Park for a 5 kms run, to start with the chest felt a little constrictive. However the overall run was actually quite comfortable, the rubbing noise that you noticed when walking wasn't that noticeable, and the overall movement got easier. It did start to get quite warm relatively quickly, but we would need to consider that we would be stopping and starting when we get to obstacles, as well as crossing water (yes the thought did cross our mind to actually get into Albert Park Lake, but we didn't want to come down with anything so close to the event).
The wetsuit was comfortable and I didn't find any hidden sore spots that could potentially cause me some annoyance, Dave found a few chaffing spots that we now know that we need to remember. I also had a pair of 2XU shorts on underneath which I think helped. I didn't wear a rash vest and just a sports bar, as I thought I would be a little too hot with this on too. I thought it could be something I added on at a later stage, however it was also surprising how much heat it trapped, because as soon as you took it off, you cooled down really quickly. To take it off just to add additional layers may not be a great ideas. This is something else worth noting, if you want to stay warm, the only issue was really going to the toilet, but that is another dilemma that we will think about on the night.
In typical Melbourne style the weather is supposed to get worse during the week, so we can test out the full wetsuit in the rain before the event.
It was great to be back at TheCompound, after winning a silent auction from The Good Friday Heavy Haulers Session, again we found ourselves in a great opportunity to train and practice on a course all by ourselves. Initially we thought that it would be an hour or so of just having a play and practice on some obstacles that we were 100% confident with, and of course with True Grit being just 3 weeks away it was a great opportunity for us (mainly me) to build on areas that were my weakest.
If you haven't had the opportunity yet to get down to the Mornington Pennisula and book yourself into The Compound. if you want some help and improve on areas, there is definitely something new to learn that well help on race day. Just spending a few hours there has taught us so much, and having the opportunity to learn and practice has given us more confidence in some of the obstacles for True Grit in a few weeks.
It's funny when you start having ITB issues and you have to start retraining your running style and technique, no one taught you to run, you just did it, and at no point until injury occurs do you realise that you were doing wrong. The same principals also apply to obstacles, apart from monkey bars, there are not many obstacles that you find yourself in an unique situation where you can practice before you get on course. Some may have been lucky enough to be taught a rope climb or traverse or how to practice jumping over walls, but not all of us. The only time and opportunity we get a chance to do it, is when we're actually on course on race day.
After exposing pretty much ever weakness I had, we got taught the correct technique on a few areas including locking your feet during a rope climb, moving quickly on the rope traverse, visulising the step on the wall. Also other tips such licking your fingers to enable a better grip during the wall traverse, understanding the spear throw.
Don't get me wrong it was not an easy session, and the bruises I have now shows what you put your body though. Plus Allyson and Clem just made everything look so easy, graceful and effortless. Both Dave and I still have a long way to go to reach their standard but at the end of the day we will still keep going and trying.
Now I need to conquer my biggest obstacle which would be my head and self doubt.
At any given opportunity, try and squeeze in a HIIT session, there are so many benefits including:
My biggest struggle are hill climbs, starting on a 15% incline at 12.5km and reducing every minute (I could not do the full 3 minutes, and this is something I building up too). Your lungs burn, your oxygen levels start to deplete and your legs start to get really heavy, and for some weird reason 1minute is a really really really long time. You are trying to think of anything else but that full minute, including breathing.
Shuttles runs seem easier compared to the incline climbs, although still taxing, there seems to be more opportunity to have a chance to breath... So a few shuttle sprints were included, bear crawls, hangs, tyre flips with two burpees.
This mornings sessions also included shuttle sprints (and with a lot of comparisons, I still need to work on my turns - this is what is slowing me down, rather than a graceful turn, I stomp to the line and then turn, which really isnt that graceful).
I have really written that much this week in relation to my training schedule, I have still be incorporating the knee and ankle exercises, as my first priority is to try and minimse any possibility of injury especially so close to the event. So this week there has been a lot core stability work and strengthening. Just by incompassing a Swiss ball can make a normal workout 20 times harder, you need to engage and work on all muscle facets. Switching on the core to assist in the stabilisation of the ball.
I did switch on the camera to take some video footage (but completely missed the shots, so hopefully I can explain some of the maneuvers conducted). I may need to do another training session and get the video correct ;)
Ball Pikes (NB these are not the correct terminology)
Lying on the ball face down, head up and chest touching the ground. Your legs are straight and toes pointed upwards, with your core on the ball. Moving the ball towards you into a pike position, core is stabilised and posture is correct.
Side bum bounce??
With your legs on the balls, and tucked in towards your chest. Hands a placed underneath the shoulders. Then rotate position from side to side, almost a touch/bounce from one side to the next.
Its getting a little harder with the terms, and I hope your imagination are working in overdrive. Lying on your back on the floor, with your feet on the ball, hips are up. Then comes the hard part, with one leg raised, bring the ball inwards, the raised leg of course is moving towards your head and the ball is moving closer to you.
Push up on ball
Easy huh?? Wrong, you really need to focus since the ball is not static, engaging the core is vital, your arms and shoulders start to burn with this one.
I am not sure if its good news that I am doing these with an instructor, there is no room to cheat ;( But getting the right technique is vital, I wouldnt recommend doing this without having someone go through them with you first. Investing in a Swiss ball can improve your overall stability even is you are keeping the exercises you do them a simple as possible, just by including some crunches and side obliques, if you want to give it a go, click here to go to the website that contains a variety of different exercise options from beginner to advanced (with pictures).
I am always so overwhelmed with the sponsors that we receive, apart from our own personal journey and possibly having a few screws lose may have assisted in the fact that we signed up for a 24 hour obstacle run, but having the support from our family and friends, whom have the belief in us that we can actually due this, as well as raise funds for the Heart Foundation.
There are a number of reasons why we are doing this including I hope that we can actually say that we did it and we did it together. Another experience that we can share together and amongst others. I love how people are following us upon this journey so far, and before we know it will be here.
The reason why we choose the heart foundation is because we know so many people that have been affected in one way or another by heart disease, from strokes, angina, high blood pressure and heart attacks caused by so many different variants including general health, obesity and unfortunately just pure bad luck (and its in the genes).
All the money raised helps go to research on cures and prevention, assisting in stroke research and recovery plus so much more.
The day that we have to do 24 hours in approaching quicker than we want too, with less than 4 weeks to go we need to increase the gears a notch or two. Continuing to do my rehabilitation exercises is still an important facet with my training and development, and this is still incorporated in my training schedule. Minimising the possible risk of injury from lack of stretching and care, is something that I really don't want to happen, and think would be more frustrating since I would know I could have done something to prevent it.
Some time is take to roll out my quads, hamstrings and calves, and then with a band I do three sets of the following:
The next part of my rehabilitation program is my ankle, mainly trying to prevent any future possibilities of rolling my ankle, and minimising weakness especially on unstable surfaces. Doing single leg instability exercises are helping, as well as stretching the ankle. There is still a little tightness when I stretch it out, but this is gradually subsiding. My ankle has definitely been a long and gruelling process to try and get better. Continuing each of the exercises will help me preform better during the 24 hours, and of course during my 'break' I will be continuing to roll out and stretch.
Its not ever day that you find you have the opportunity to test out Tough Mudders newest obstacles, for us this was a great honour, as our obstacle racing obsession started with Tough Mudder so it was great to be a part of it. The newest obstacles have already been launched in America, so we had already seen some You Tube footage and were getting set to prepare ourselves for the worst, especially the new Arctic Enema (submerging yourself in Ice) and Cry Baby (a tear gas chamber).
The purpose of the day was to test the obstacles and provide some feedback on how they can make it better, or what works and what doesn't. However in true Tough Mudder style we still got wetter, muddier and worked harder on a 2.5km course then we do any other mud run.
With most Tough Mudder obstacles they are designed to test your skills, mental strength, physical abilities, team work and sheer determination to get you through to the end. One of the best things about it, is that you have to help each other, you would have to be super human to get through this course on your own, and having the help from fellow TMs is a great bonding experience, people from all walks of life are helping you complete your own mental game to get through to the end, even with a short 2.5km course, everyone still pulled together to help each to get through it. This is one of the reasons why we got hooked, the fact that strangers help each other, you are all in it together, there is no turning back you just have to keep moving forward and get to the finish line together.
This was only a short course with a small selection of obstacles to test, which included:
Kiss of Mud 2.0
Arctic Enema 2.0
Funky Monkey 2.0
Hold ur Wood
Tough Mudder back to Melbourne in October at its newest location Broadford and from the looks of things there will be some mountains to climb with one of the hills 29% gradient - which is going to hurt. 21kms of mud, sweat and tears - all I can say is BRING IT ON TM...
How much do you actually push yourself during training? I understand that everyone is different, but do you ever wonder if you could have done more or tried harder? Even when you are doing what you can, you cant actually feel your legs anymore as they feel like lead weights or you struggle to breath, when do you actually stop? How much recover time should you give yourself. When you stop is it truly because you cant go on anymore, I know these maybe strange questions but I do wonder if things can be done better.
I think we all know by now, by biggest weakness has to be food, exercise isnt easy but I do work hard at it. Coming second last week just got me thinking, the leading women Janet Smith was about 30 minutes a head of me, that means that she was running probably on average about 14km an hour through sand, as well as completing the obstacles which of course would slow anyone down, so she was running a lot faster than that. Based on this, I had to ask myself, could I have gone harder/faster, the answer is YES I could but I dont think I could go that fast. I know I need to improve on my overall obstacle training, building some confidence and completing them quickly and efficiently, rather than run, stop, think about it and then do. I just need to DO!
Is there actually a right balance, trying to push your body to more than what is capable of, but without actually causing injury. At the time it feels great, you can go harder and longer, but what are the long term affects on you muscles, bones and joints.
I also wonder if we had this when we were younger, what path we would have taken, could we have been fitter and stronger. Being in your 30's is not quite the same as being in your 20's, but if I was doing the same thing then as what I am doing now, I wonder what the result would have been. But there is no point thinking of that, there is nothing I can do to change my age, I just have to keep moving forward and to get better. There are so many people out there that just inspire me in what they can do, all for different reasons, I am blessed to have come across these people and grateful to have everyone in my life. At the end of the day, neither Dave nor I could have done this without the support we have received from family and old/new friends.
To get us a bit more comfortable with what we are about to embark on for 24 hours, we signed up for True Grit in Adelaide. At least this way we would have a good idea on what the obstacles will be, and how grueling the whole thing will be.
The good news is, that we both found that we should be able to complete the course without any troubles (I will probably struggle with the high wall, however if I can find a way to climb up, I should be alright). It was an absolutely magnificent day, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was electric, the location was just beautiful in amongst the vineyard of oranges and watermelons. This is has to be one of my favourite locations, some of the track seems long especially running through the vineyards, but it was well worth the trip.
There is that panic moment at the start of every event that we do, the toilet and I get very equated before any event as the nerves and adrenalin kick in, the self doubt rears its ugly head and more often then not you wonder why you are doing these events, until that first bell, whistle, horn or flame goes. The beating heart starts to get to a normal pace and now all you can think about is that moment in time. As adrenalin moves around your body and breathing is a struggle, you contemplate that you must actually be quite unfit if you cant even breath at this stage of event until you come to the realisation, its not the fact your are unfit or incapable, its the adrenalin pumping.
It always catches you by surprise, when you find that all of a sudden you are in a situation that you really dont like and a moment of panic passes through your body. This was the point when we went through the tunnel, that was filled with water (but not enough to get completely submerged), so you think you have enough room to swim through and still breath. Nope, completely wrong! Most definitely had no room to breath and it was at this point when you have that panic moment - weird really as it came from no where. Just another thing to work on before the event in a month!!
Do you ever question the fact when you become another year older, if what your doing is the right thing? When is it you become too old to participate in these obstacle runs? Are we just hanging onto some weird notation that we are actually younger then we are? These are probably some of the questions that we ask ourselves when start approaching closer to 40 then 30.
Of course, age is just a number and if you feel great, then why not participate and do something that is good for you, so what if it takes you a little longer to recover or the wear and tear on your body is more now then it would have been 10 - 15 years ago, or the fact the you bruise a little easier now, but I would have to say that we are both probably healthier and fitter now then we have been in a very long time. We can just enjoy Dave becoming another year older and of course enjoy what the future has for us.
Happy birthday Dave, I know birthday are not as exciting as they were when we were younger, maybe a trip to the gym will help ;)
I know I have been a little slack on the posts this past week, but this does not mean that I have not been doing anything, in fact there has been some good gym sessions, a couple of running sets and not forgetting True Grit, even squeezed in a gym session before the flight on Friday.
I will post all the fun and games of True Grit in a different post, but first I thought I would just let you know what I did do during my gym sessions last week.
Met Con - Thurs Eve Sess
To top it off another set of shuttle sprints with 10 burpees twice (to be honest I did ask for it)
Met Con - Fri Am Sess
Warm up with ski erg and rowers
These are probably the major events during the week, but throw in some knee and ankle rehabilitation exercises as well as some treadmill runs and I think I should have it covered.
Keeping you posted on the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) journey. Letting you know about courses, events and general health and fitness.