Tuesday morning, 6 am. While most people were still nestled snug in their warm beds (where I wanted to be) I was at the track training for my upcoming races. Drought-stricken California was expecting a big storm but the weather site said that it wasn’t expected to reach here until 8am. I figured that I would be near the end of my workout by the time it started raining. I love the rain.
Today my goal was to run 4 miles. I also needed to do my Tough Mudder training which consists of five 10-minute circuits of what was mostly high knees, pull-ups, burpees, and mountain climbers. The circuits don’t really include any cardio or running. Just the exercises one after the other for a given number of minutes each. So, I decided to combine my running regimen with the Tough Mudder training since that’s basically what obstacle course racing is – a bunch of running with obstacles thrown in along the way.
I warmed up with two laps around the track, then I did the first circuit of exercises. It was hard (you thought it would be easy?). Then I did another two laps and did the next circuit. That became my pattern for this workout – half mile jog then 10 minutes of exercises, repeat.
About halfway through my third circuit, it started raining.
I was tired already but I wasn’t going to let a little rain get in the way of my training. “The clock’s always ticking in San Dimas.” Just because it rains today doesn’t mean that the race gets delayed a day. You have to keep training because race day is creeping up and every training day counts. You can’t skip. Just like when Bill and Ted were reminded to wind their watch because time in San Dimas is still moving forward. They needed to get back on time to give their big presentation. Well, I need to get ready for my upcoming races and I need every day I can get. Besides, you have to be ready for whatever might come your way during a race. The first time I did Tough Mudder was on a bright and sunny Southern California Saturday. On Sunday, the very next day, the people doing Tough Mudder were hit with a snowstorm that crept in out of nowhere. Many people dropped out because they weren’t expecting to deal with that type of cold. I bet they were thinking, “I didn’t sign on for this!” So train, rain or shine.
All the exercises today showed me that I am definitely out of shape. I felt heavy and sluggish especially when doing plyometric exercises such as glacier ski jumps (bend down like skiing downhill and jump from side to side as far as you can, as fast as you can). I found pull-ups and dips to be my easiest exercises because I lift weights all the time and movement-wise they’re pretty easy to do. Lifting-wise they’re hard. I weigh 270lbs so pulling up and pushing up requires quite an amount of strength. Today I did a total of about 25 pull-ups (not all in one shot) and about 30 dips (again, not in one shot). It wasn’t easy, but still easier than jumping around or doing mountain climbers.
Boy, do I hate mountain climbers.
When I was taking this picture of the dip\pullup bars, I was thinking of that Mike Tyson quote where he says that “not everyone who you fight is your enemy and not everyone who helps you is your friend.” That sums up my relationship with these bars. They have been hurting me ever since high school, not because they want to destroy me; because they want to make me stronger. “Iron sharpens Iron.” When I was training today and realizing how out of shape I am and how hard all this running and exercising is, I started thinking about how all this is going to make me stronger in the end. Today was my first day doing this workout and it was hard but I knew that there was going to come a day where all this would be pretty easy. Not because the exercises had gotten easier (a pull-up is a pull-up) but because I had become stronger, leaner, and fitter.
I finished my workout, came home, had two scoops of protein, a spoonful of creatine, and took a nice cool shower. Race Day!!!!! I’m coming for you.