Spartan Sprint DC

I have come to the realization that I possess more of a competitive nature than I admit to.  I wanted to run this past weekend’s Spartan race with my team, but I also wanted to run it alone, because I wanted to be able to just flat out go for it.  Not that I was expecting to get a podium spot or anywhere close, but I wanted to push myself to do the best I could.  I seem to always want to have the proverbial rabbit to chase, which may be why I run faster when I’m with others and not so much when I run alone. Self discovery!

The race was good though. Very tough. More hilly terrain than I was expecting but I was able to at least jog half of the 4.6 miles of the course. The obstacles were spaced out well, though the beginning, they came fast and furious. The O-U-T, 7′ wall, incline wall, Tire pull, barbed wire crawl, big cargo net and herculean hoist all one right after the other in quick succession. And the mud! Hah! In the morning heat I ran, the mud was the consistency of melted ice cream. Soupy and thick. Later in the day when I volunteered, it was like thick glue, the water having been “carried” down the course progressively throughout the day by the participants.

I felt like I ran out of fuel during the race, and I wonder if I simply screwed up on my pre-race breakfast. On other races I had a peanut butter sandwich and two or three hard-boiled eggs, but this time I made a smoothie with banana, chia seeds and protein powder,etc and it filled me up to the point where I didn’t want to eat anything else. So by the time the actual race time came around, I was operating on a smoothie that I’d had three hours previous, a single egg and two bites of a peanut butter sandwich. Oh, and a couple energy gummies as well, woo hoo!  Last time I make the mistake of not eating solid, genuine food before a race. Live and learn.

I enjoyed the race very much, and would definitely do it again. So many new OCR people though, I don’t think they knew what they were in for. Granted, I’ve only done 5 or 6 OCRs and three Spartans, but there were folks who should’ve started with something easier like Warrior Dash. Spartan race requires some genuine prowess.

Volunteering was definitely interesting. I was assigned to the cargo net, shepherding folks down the correct direction and making sure everyone was alright as they progressed. I had a couple folks go down with injuries which was unfortunate for them but I think they were alright in the long run. Helped disassemble the barbed-wire and the 7′ & 8′ obstacles with several other volunteers including this really cute curly-haired girl..who I thought was teenager at first, but apparently she’s closer to my age, though I never asked.  In any case, it was very long day and I was happy to roll into a Five Guys on the way home and get a burger. There was a hole in my stomach after running around all afternoon as well as the race in the morning.

Good weekend all around! Got some new battle damage on my legs and a wicked sunburn from standing in the sun all afternoon. (WTF, sunscreen, SPF 30 my ass) WINTERGREEN is next!

Spartan Battlefrog

Hey folks!

 

This past weekend, I participated in a fairly new race. I think the series is only maybe two years old and from the way it seems to me, they’re off to a great start. Battlefrog! (http://battlefrogseries.com/)

It’s a race inspired and designed by US Navy SEALs, based on some of the training and obstacles that those hardcore sailors have to endure.  There are three race distances designed for different age groups; 1miler for younger kids, a 5k for teens and some adults and 15k for the more veteran adult racers or those who want a good challenge.

I have to say that this was one of the best races I’ve done. I haven’t done very many, but I rank it higher than the Tough Mudder, which to me, is more of an “experience” and after party rather than a competitive event. Maybe I say that because I enjoy the actual competitive nature of the race event and don’t look as much for the social aspects after the race is done with. That’s the introvert in me.

In any case, as I said, I was duly impressed with the Battlefrog race, which was held on the grounds of a Motocross track North West of Martinsburg, WV.  Much of the race though did not limit itself to the track itself and meandered through the woods and terrain on the outskirts of the property.  Plenty of tough, rocky terrain that required that you paid attention to where you stepped. A lot of loose rocks that could turn your ankle quite easily.  Good, steep hills inside and outside of the woods to keep your balance on its toes.

The obstacles had a good mix of standard fare such as scaling vertical walls, or inclined walls, etc.  But there were also terrain-based obstacles such as wading through mucky ponds that could easily have sucked a shoe right off your foot. One of the more unique obstacles was the “Tsunami” in which you run up a 1/4 pipe about 30 feet tall and grab a rope to haul yourself up onto a platform.  After the platform, there is a water slide that is fast and fun. I have to admit that sometimes those gravity based obstacles, even something as innocuous as a water slide, gets my heart racing. I don’t much like the sensation of falling.

There was actually a rope climb that I could accomplish too! It was only about 10 feet, so it wasn’t much, but I was able to at least practice the foot braking technique that I’ve wanted to try to figure out so I can do the real ones at Spartan races more easily. (No Burpees!)  There were several large a-frame obstacles in which you ascended and descended a cargo net or a frame-only structure; both of those were fun for their height, though that freaked others out who don’t like heights.  There were a couple weighted carry-type obstacles also, with jerry cans and sandbags on good steep hills.

Overall, I was happy with the event and would do another Battlefrog race in a heartbeat. Very fun and challenging. I hope they get on their feet a little more to attract more racers in the future and grow. There honestly were not a whole lot of racers, but for a race that is relatively in its infancy, I think they took it in stride well and the organizers still put on a great event.

Thanks also to my Capital Punishment team mates for a fun time and for helping each other.

And now this weekend is the Spartan Sprint in Southern Maryland!! I’m running early and then volunteering in the afternoon. It’s going to be a long day, but oh well, it will be fun. Aroo!

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Completely unrelated to racing, I finished my landscaping project, (well sort of). I finished putting down the edging stones and river rock on my front walk area complete with some new azaleas.  Big ones that should grow well hopefully with some luck. I’m going to replace the little “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” plant that is quite sad to look at, even though it’s hanging in there. Barely. I’ll try to be careful and replant it in the back somewhere and maybe it will have better luck back there.

Thoughts on me.

Hello! Some of you know me/have met me or what have you. Those that have met me could probably tell you that I’m rather quiet in social situations; an introvert that doesn’t always like small talk. Not unfriendly in the least, just quiet. My friends like me for my quirkiness and dry humor and being ridiculously knowledgeable about all sorts of topics. Among folks I’ve known longer in small groups, I’m perfectly fine chatting and talking at length about this or that.

That all being said, I am terrible at chatting up women. I can see a girl I’m attracted to while I’m out or whatever, and even if I do end up saying hi if our paths cross, I can never seem to follow up. I feel like I’m held back by some force that is likely simple shyness. I’m perfectly content by myself, but I’d like (obviously) to find someone to date. It isn’t as if I haven’t had gfs in the past. My longest relationship was three years. But one thing or another didn’t work out, as they do. It’s been more than a year than I’ve gone on more than one date with someone. In all honesty, It’s been since last August since I even went on what I’d call a date.

I’m also a bit emotionally “neutral” as my ranges of emotion don’t go up or down very much. I don’t get super excited about stuff that much, and likewise don’t often get sad. Sometimes I feel like that comes off as me being stoic or disinterested in things or people, and it really isn’t. That’s just how my brain works. I’m not free of affectations, I smile, laugh and have genuine facial expressions when responding to conversations or scenes on a TV show, etc… I simply don’t react much.

I don’t like to burden folks with the ‘pouring out a little of my soul’ but sometimes one needs to seek advice to keep from over-thinking and getting down in the dumps as I tend to do sometimes.

So besides the typical “Go out and talk to people” type advice, what is there for me to do to change things? I don’t meet people at work because I work with just my boss in an office and most of my time outside of work is spent at home in the evenings while I occasionally go play pub trivia with some friends. I obviously also do my races and reenactments but I don’t often meet new people for much the same reasons as I stated above.

Just feeling a bit lost.