This is part two of my Ragnar Washington DC race report – if you haven’t read part one, you should click on this right now to head over there and read that first.
When we left off, we were pulling into Exchange #12 for our first break of the event. The exchange was at a high school, and I have never seen so many white vans in one place in my life. People everywhere. The school had a spaghetti dinner they were selling as a fundraiser, and access to showers, as well, so there were some nice amenities. There was also a big shady area back behind their tennis courts where everybody was taking sleeping bags to go lie down … a sea of runners, in repose. Continue reading “RR# 26, continued: Ragnar Washington DC – Part 2”
OK – it is time.
Let’s talk about Ragnar.
So … last Thanksgiving I ran a 10k (still stands as my 10k PR, ahem) with my sister-in-law and very good friends who’s house we were crashing in the DC area. Great morning, great race, really had a good time. During the drive, somebody mentioned a Ragnar, and it turned out that none of the runners in the van had ever run a Ragnar … except me. A sister had, but other than that no direct experience. And everybody just casually said what a great idea it would be to do one of those things one day, and wouldn’t that be fun?
Yeah – I tend to be the type that actively tries to move things from talking to doing. Especially at that time, I was reading a book that really had me thinking hard about the choices I was making and what I wanted to do with my time and energy. So the week after Thanksgiving, after stewing on the idea for a few days, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen if somebody didn’t take the ball and run with it … so I sent an email out and volunteered to be captain. By the second week of December, we were signed up for Ragnar Washington DC, to be run in late September, from Cumberland, Maryland, to Washington, DC. Continue reading “RR #26: Ragnar Washington DC – Part 1”
On April 18, 2016, one year ago today, I attended my first Couch-to-Crossfit class – and it began. Three weeks later, on May 9, I walked into my first regular Crossfit class. 6am, Monday morning, Celebration Crossfit. I didn’t know anybody. I couldn’t do most of the movements. I weighed about 315 pounds – I was enormous. And I was scared to death.
Holy shit, was I scared to death. Continue reading “An Anniversary”
Friend, fellow Crossfitter, and super-talented photographer Guillermo Cummings took a picture of me doing 17.3 on Friday that I still don’t quite have a handle on. He posted it across his social media last night, and shortly thereafter:
Continue reading “And then this happened:”
A couple of days ago the owner and head coach at my Crossfit box emailed and asked if they could use my before and now pictures for a post in their social media. I agreed – I don’t like my fat picture, but, as I told him, if I didn’t want it out there I shouldn’t have put it out there. I offered to take a current “now” picture, so I did that this morning and sent the pictures over. The post below is the one they made on Instagram – they also posted this on Facebook.
I never dreamed I’d be the guy getting air time on a Crossfit gym’s social media, but it is happening. I kind of don’t even know what to think – it feels surreal. The best part has been the comments, both from my peers at the box as well as complete strangers. The universal positivity and happy-for-me-ness is very gratifying. Crossfit is a group effort, and I feel that more now than ever. It makes a difference knowing all of those people are really rooting for me. Continue reading “So … this happened:”
When I registered for the Celebration Half Marathon, I actually viewed it as more of a training run than a goal race. I’m registered for the Gasparilla Half Marathon in late February, and I had registered so early that I believed I could get in a “practice” half marathon and still have time to recover for a real push at Gasparilla. Also – I live in Celebration. It felt like if I were going to be doing a 12 or 13 mile training run in town, I might as well get a medal for it. All indications are that the race is very well run and very runner friendly … so I signed up.
Training went well. I’ve clearly gotten faster, which I attribute largely to endurance gained with Crossfit. My taper was very non-traditional – two weeks before the race I ran most of the actual course, about 12.25 miles by the time I was done. And then I didn’t go for another formal run for those two weeks. I went to Crossfit 6 days a week, and that often included running, but at no time did I go out for a run. For dinner on Saturday night I made a chicken barley soup and homemade bread to carb up, and called it a taper. My prior half marathon PR was 2:36 flat – my stated goal going into this was a PR, my secondary but really no-brainer goal was under 2:30, my stretch goal was under 2:25, and in my wildest dreams I hoped to get under 2:20. Continue reading “Race Report #23: Celebration Half Marathon”
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Wednesday morning at the gym (still can’t call it a box), and we had our normal 6am crew. We show up, we work hard, we go about the rest of our day. The coach this week is JC, who also does all of the programming, and can be beasty – he’s a great coach, and he pushes hard and expects maximum effort. So we did the WOD, which this day included lots of power cleans and an interesting front rack carry that was harder than it had any right to be is going to have me sore for days. We got done about 10 minutes early, so he had us cool down with a bunch of band pull-aparts, and then I started gathering my stuff to go.
At this point, two of the guys get on the floor and start doing situps. I’m sure the look on my face was interesting – “what fresh hell is this?” When I asked, they said that they wanted to get in 100 situps, so that’s what they were doing.
Well, hell. Now I’VE got do situps or I feel like a lazy bum. So I get down and start doing situps. And then an extraordinary thing happened.
The whole class started doing situps. Nobody left. The 7am class had to start their warmups while dodging us, because we were all doing situps. We could have left, but we didn’t – there was work still to do.
From now on, when somebody asks me how I’ve been successful at my weight loss and health journey –even if somebody asks me how I’ve been successful in my career or anything else in life – my answer is going to be that I upped my average. We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, and my average has gone way, way up since I started Crossfit. So here’s a question – do the people around you push your average up or bring it down?
I did something this morning that would have befuddled me from a year or two ago. I participated in a Crossfit competition. This was Celebration Crossfit’s Thanksgiving Throwdown – my partner, Winston, and I squared off against five other teams, and we had zero shot of winning anything. We were there for the workout and the fun.
And it was fun. I particularly enjoyed the farmer’s carry – that’s one of my favorites. We finished tied for last place. Our team, Hurricane Bernabe, did not embarrass itself. And I got a Saturday workout and a t-shirt out of the deal. Good times! Continue reading “Thanksgiving Throwdown”
The 6am crew at Celebration Crossfit showed up for our Halloween WOD – pictures were taken, yadda yadda.
I’m a shadow of my former self. More than anything, what strikes me is that I don’t look like the fat guy in this picture. I am the fat guy in this one, but I don’t look like it.
These people – they make it fun. 50 pounds to go, and I’m not sure I can do it without them.