Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Upcoming race: GORUCK Challenge.

On my computer desk is a stack of paper; spreadsheets, printed out calenders and scribbled notes of how I want to spend my weekends between now and the end of 2012.  A schedule of A, B & C races that if I sign up for just half of them, takes me around the country in my first ever planned travel racing season. I'll be able to not only enjoy other locales in this great country but see old friends and meet newer online friends, face to face. 

One problem. I promised Mistress that I wouldn't sign up for any races until I found a new job. We are both a little tired of me staying home after selling the business. Personally, I really miss the energy and investment of hard work. But looking for my next career move is proving to be harder than expected. During this process I have gone from seeing this addendum to our Training Contract* as a stick, to now using it as a carrot. The sooner I know what what I'll be doing and have a schedule for doing it, the sooner I can map out my racing. 

*If you have never heard of our famous Training Contract, I have provided a short explanation at the end of this post.  

Seeing that I have devoted almost every day of the last several weeks to finding a new career, Mistress came to me last night with a Performance Bonus. I could sign up for one race. I immediately rushed to the computer and signed up for the Phoenix GORUCK CHALLENGE

Unlike an obstacle race, triathlon or road running race, GORUCK is event that takes a small group of people, two or three dozen per 'class', and over the next 10+ hours and 15+ miles, in an overnight setting in a major metropolitan city, throws you into a collective suffer fest based on military conditioning and intense functional training. It is obstinately to test the strength of their company gear (use of a GORUCK pack is mandatory) but really its a test of your own personal ability to work with others to accomplish a mission while battling your own mental and physical demons to go farther than you think you're possible of doing. 

GORUCK presents a unique challenge in fitness and endurance pursuits and is creating a base of raving fans. It was the one race in 2012 I did not want to miss. I am ecstatic I got the opportunity to participate in my States first GORUCK challenge, thanks to my wife for the Bonus, and you can bet there are more of these on my list of potential 2012 events. 

It's not enough to exist. I am going to live. 

Training Contract: Before training for my first Ironman, Mistress and I spent several weeks developing a contract between us on training allocation versus family life. It was a very heated debate that ranged from how many hours a week I would train to how many days I had to forego morning workouts so she could wake up with me next to her (because that was important to her), she demanded penalties for not completing simple chores she needed done around the house, (loss of training time), I was able to include she could not roll her eyes or have a bad attitude when I told her I would be gone 6-8 hours on a weekend to train, I had to inform her of my training at least a week ahead of time so she could not double book me for a social engagement, (I did this by turning our large bathroom mirror into a dry erase board w/ my entire week of upcoming training, with projected start time, duration, location and partners). It was very much as if a professional athlete was signing a contract with a sports team. If I met certain performance measures as an athlete or husband/father, I was awarded Performance Bonuses, usually something like new gear or guys night out. We both fought for me to succeed at my goal but create the balance she needed to run the house. It worked so well we have managed a version of a Training Contract every year since, though we have built enough trust in each other that its much less formal a document. 

go·ruck noun [verb go + verb ruck] ruck is a noun short for rucksack (aka backpack), it’s also a verb: to ruck is to move with a rucksack, and implies action, energy, and purpose.


Friday, September 23, 2011

I hate my scale

I've have avoided writing a new blog post because I hate my scale. How do these two things even come close to comparing to each other?  I have no idea. They just do.  My psychosis is such that my self-esteem is based in large part on what the scale says. Somehow this doesn’t affect my generally optimistic disposition during the day, but it also hasn’t seemed to affect what I put in my mouth between 8pm and midnight each night.

I dread the scale. When I see it each morning it makes me anxious. I can’t get out of the bathroom fast enough and I scold myself for not having the courage to face any poor eating or exercise trends I have developed. Thankfully this daily affliction only lasts as long as it takes for me eat breakfast because there isn’t a chance in hell I will stand on a scale with more than a cup of coffee in my stomach.  The thought is banished from my mind until the next morning.

Doesn’t everyone have a ritual when they get on the scale?  No?  Just me then, okay. (AWKward) The ritual is always the same. As I stand on the scale, in my head, I round up my weight to the next ten pound increment. So even if I put on a few pounds it’s still less than what I just thought I weighed in my head just a second ago. If everything has gone according to plan I have lost weight or maintained weight. In my reality it is never good to put on weight. 

When I am on a training and nutrition tear (and happy with how my body feels), I’ll get on the scale fairly often, maybe twice a week because I know the numbers are trending down. If I think those numbers are going up or my clothes are feeling tighter, I’ll avoid it until I have strung together a few days of solid nutrition and exercise to hedge my results.

Today I fought my demons and stepped on the scale. I haven’t stood on it since the day I left for the iron distance triathlon I did at the end of July. I really felt due to the lack of iron distance training, that in the last five weeks I’ve put on weight. I haven’t. I’ve maintained my weight from taper week.  I’m gobsmacked because Lord knows I’ve significantly increased my peanut M&M and beer consumption.  

I’ll take today as a good sign. Like most everyone I feel better about myself when I weigh less, even if it’s just five or ten pounds.  So I’ll take the positive from this morning and start making some changes to my nutrition for the better, which really means cutting out the unconscious eating between 9pm and midnight.

It is not enough to exist, I am going to live.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Training resumes.

Few things rank higher on the Suck scale than the summer flu. For the last week, it seems months, this thing hammered my body. Today with only mildly throbbing temples thanks to some early morning sinus stuffage, I plan on getting back to a training routine.  

Some people get sick and they lose a bunch of weight. These are the same people that when they stop working out also lose weight. I have never been that guy and I cannot stand the whining of people in that category. I don't think I put on much if any weight with this illness but I feel heavy and fat. Bulbous, flop sweat, have to buy two seats on a SouthWest airlines fat. Like I have a layer of water under my skin that makes me thicker all over. I am sure some time running, riding, burpees and carrying a heavy rucksack of sand this week will whip me back into shape fast enough. 

Now, hold on, hold on. I probably could have started working out over the weekend but purposefully took at least one extra day off and probably two. I realize I have tendency to train hard into a illness, so I like to take an extra day where I feel normal again without any sweating (exercise or illness induced), sinus pain, nose blowing, coughing, throat tickling, tired feeling. As I ease into the week, I'll be working on simple stuff and then ramping back up to full speed. 

It's not enough to exist. I am going to live.