0515 was the time, still 15 minutes earlier than necessary in YHC’s opinion, but more on that later. The least hospitable asphalt in all of A51, the SCMS bus lot, was the place. Back where it all began for me, and the birthplace of the regions youngest AO, SACS. CheeseCurd has created a special thing here, even it would be better at 45 minutes, and made the mistake of asking YHC to Q. So here I was, with sandbag in tow, ready to dish out the downpainment. Little did I know, today was to be a record day setting the high water mark thus far for this young AO at 7. Grizzled veterans and new guys alike arrived just in time to shoulder their bags and head off into the gloom.
-Walk somewhat adroitly down the hill to the track for 4 corners. Corner 1, 5 “baggies” (merkin on top of the bag/ruck, jump up, lift bag/ruck up to a press position, press, return bag/ruck to ground, repeat). Corner 2, 5 Baggies / 5 Squats. Corner 3, 5 Baggies/ 5 Squats / 5 2-count lunges. Corner 4, 5 Baggies/ 5 Squats / 5 2-count lunges / 5 Counter-rotation reverse lunges.
-Walk with purpose back to parking lot for suicide ladder. Starting with 2 each of squats, baggies & counter-rotates (we gotta come up with a better name for this one guys), complete reps and run out 2 parking spots for 10 merkins, run back. Next set 4 of the 3 exercises, run out 4 spots for 10 merkins, run back. Continue through 6, 8, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2.
-Shoulder bags for a jaunt around the bus lot and assume a seated position on the edge of the sidewalk. With bag on knees, stand unassisted from the seated position, using the bag as a lever, return to seated. This move is very challenge as the bag is resistance for your quads and hip flexors, but is also the source of your balance as you move through the movements. We did 25. Flutter press X20 OYO. LBC with bag on Knees X20 OYO
-Shoulder bags, walk back down to the track and lunge walk from start to stands. 50 calf raises. Walk back to the bus lot, 20 H2H in cadence, done.
Ye Ole Moleskinny:
-YHC struggles to find an hour worth of ruck PT to fill a weinke, but I think that mostly has to do with the feeling of antipathy for walking around carrying a sandbag or ruck. I know its walking under load… but its still walking. After years of boot camping and running, it just feels wrong to walk during a workout. I’ll get over it, but in the mean time I’ll continue to bust on CC about this being a 60 minute workout… just what I do. All of that said, today kicked my butt. #workingfromhomemeansPAXcannap
-T-claps to CC’s neighbor Bubblewrap who posted for the very first time at Swole on Monday, and today was his 3rd workout (Hawksnest yesterday). My man hung strong throughout this challenging workout and handled the #40 sandbag quite easily. Next time I’ll bring him a #60. Clearly he’s been bitten by the F3 bug, welcome to the movement.
-Geraldo CRUSHED the ladder exercise. YHC was hard pressed to catch him in the final two sets. Big man is strong, though maybe more than 40 lbs. next time? Just sayin that was too easy for you bro.
-Speaking of crushing, clearly CC was aware his limitation (both mental and the walking boot he is wearing) would keep him off the podium for most of the workout, so we killed the walking segments. By the time we got to the next “station” CC had arrived, had a sip of tea and was waiting impatiently for the party to resume. I gotta say, I was duly impressed with the work done by a man who, for all intents and purposes, should be on IR.
-It was great to work out with Jazz Hands and Brexit, who I’ve met before, but I rarely see given their southerly nature. Its nice to see SOBs venture north of 485 for something other than a running workout. If this keeps up, I may have to post SACs more often, just so I can get to know more of our southern brothers (you know the SOBs who don’t run…)
-Having Dora present was great, the man has been doing ruck work since the Spearhead days, and that probably was why he and Geraldo were able to spend the entire workout talking about things the rest of us had never heard of. I know Goruck is a thing, maybe I should learn more about it one day…
-Give to Give campaign: we all have a little something we can contribute back to the organization which gives us so much every day we post, and on the days we don’t. F3 foundation is how this thing we love so much grows year over year, so pay it forward with whatever you can spare, even if it’s only $5.
-Bloodrive, this Friday, with HH to follow
2020, a year for the history books in a lot of ways, has brought a new flavor of CSAUP to the greatest region(s) in all of F3dom. With larger gatherings of any meaningful size being complete verboten by the talking heads on Capitol Hill, the PAX have had to find other ways to wile out and act the fool. First we had March Madness, a staple of spring for the last few years. Then it was April VAO, urging PAX to be consistent despite lockdown and suspended in-person posting options. Finally we saw the Maycelleration challenge push the PAX to prepare to burst from quarantine with strength and fervor, while also earning bragging rights of 60+ straight days of exertion (90 if you include the perfect records from March Madness).
As YHC considered a fall CSAUP, it became clear that community leadership continues to dissuade large in0-person gatherings. If all of South CLT is unable to attend… well maybe we keep our CSAUP events virtual. To that end, I bring you… drum roll please… the first annual HOLIDAY KNOCKOUT CHALLENGE
This is the playoffs boys, a full summer of sweat and tears culminates in the ultimate knock down, drag out you vs. you vs. them challenge. The playing field is your garage, your living room, your favorite AO, and your nemesis’s front yard. Two and a half months (give or take) of daily effort will crown the King of Consistency, the Sultan of Sweat, the Poobah of Persistence. Accessible and approachable by all PAX, this challenge will tell us once and for all, who is winning 2020???
From 10/15/2020 through 10/31/2020 PAX will log daily reps for up to three distinct exercises. The exercise is up to you, the reps are up to you (mostly, more on that later), but whatever your daily average is on 11/01/2020 will be your target for 11/01/2020 through 12/31/2020. There will be several “consistency hacks” throughout the contest which will result in PAX missing the requirement to be “knocked out” and removed from the field. At the end of the year, the PAX who has survived all the cuts AND has the fewest number of days “missed” for ALL THREE exercises, will be awarded the title of 2020 Knockout Champion!!!
-Any PAX who miss any 3 consecutive days OR 8+ days total from 11/1/2020-11/15/2020 will be “cut” on 11/16/2020
-Any PAX who miss any 2 consecutive days OR 6+ days total from 11/15/2020-11/30/2020 will be “cut” on 12/01/2020
-Any PAX who miss any 2 consecutive days OR 4+ days total from 12/01/2020-12/15/2020 will be “cut” on 12/16/2020
-Any PAX who miss ANY DAYS other than 12/25/2020 (free day) from 12/16/2020-12/31/2020 will be “cut”
-In the event of a Tie in the number of TOTAL MISSED DAYS for the remaining PAX on 01/01/2021 will be settled average of all three exercises actual average as a percentage of target. So if your average actual reps are 105%, 110% and 120% respectively, your tie break score would be 111.67%. So, during the entire contest, the number of reps by which you exceed your daily target will be a factor in your final scoring. I strongly suspect several PAX will go perfect 100% for days, so I strongly expect this metric will declare the winner. I know that this could be gamed by sandbagging the first 15 days of the contest to make your target easy… but we would never do that right?
–There are going to be rep minimums as follows:
-Merkins/Dips/Other Arm or Chest focused exercises minimum of 50 daily reps
-Pull-Ups/ Heavy Rows/ High-Pulls or other Shoulder or Back focused exercises are a minimum of 20 daily reps
-LBCs/H2H/Freddy Mercury/American Hammer or other ab focused exercises are a minimum of 80 daily reps
-Air Squats/Lunges/ Other unweighted Leg Focused exercises minimum of 60 daily reps
-Plyometric versions of any of the above (IE explosive merkins, jump squats, sister Mary Katherines) would get a 50% moidfier (so 25 explosive merkins etc.) Additionally, if you want to add flavor to your life, you could sub out dynamic movement for static (ie jump squats for air squats) and use a 2X multiplier for that day. For example, if I did 50 exploding merkins instead of 100 standard merkins, I would record 100 merkins in the sheet effectively matching my target.
-Running is an option, minimum daily mileage is 2 miles. That said you distance runners better pick something you’re NOT good at.
-You have until the end of each consistency hack to enter your reps, but when I open the spreadsheet on the first day of the next wave, if you haven’t recorded it doesn’t count.
-If you’re not sure how many reps your minimum should be, ask the group. Consensus wins.
-You don’t have to do all three exercises, but you should because then you’ll get stronger.
-If you miss your reps for one exercise, but you get your reps on the other two, it still counts as a missed day. YOU MUST HIT YOUR REPS ON ALL EXERCISES FOR A DAY TO COUNT
Remember boys, this is you vs. you vs. everyone else. First and foremost you should be focused on leveraging spirited competition as a way of helping you focus on an area where you want to improve. Can’t do 5 pull-ups in a row? This will fix that. Hate Burpees… well so does everyone else but you could be a sicko and set those as your target (you’ll still hate them, but you’ll be better at them while the hate boils). Everyone who participates wins, except for the guy who does best and he’ll win just a little bit more.
The leaves are turning gold, morning temperatures are in the 40s and 50s, and marathoners are starting their workouts when the first number on the clock is a four… It must be fall in SOB land. During a year of unprecedented events, yet another cataclysmic shift rears its head, Bratwurst has trusted YHC with his baby and handed me the keys to Swift, I promised to be gentle.
Over the next four weeks I’ll be responsible for finding the routines which will provide continued acceleration for our merry band. This year we’ve worked on short line speed (mile time trial prep), mid distance speed (5k-10k prep), and finally speed for the distance (marathon prep). In the month of October, our focus will shift to a more situational capability… the “kick.”
So often at the end of races, an athlete will get passed in the final stretch by another runner who is surging to the finish. The power to hold your place, dig deep and really charge into finish, is kick. This work will absolutely help you get faster overall, but when November comes we should have the tools to find that acceleration at the end of a race, to make that final pass or holding off a charging advisory for those last few meters.
If this sounds intimidating, I’ll share this, much of what we do this month will feel familiar, but with subtle twists. We’ll still head to our usual haunts, there will still be cone demarcated distances through which we shall gleefully charge, dynamic stretching will continue to be a post warm up staple. Bratwurst & Co have already given us such a great toolkit for working on our speed, I hope to add just a little bit of depth to the belt… a finishing hammer if you will.
Week 1 | Workout 1: Tuesday, 0515 – BCP.
-We’ll warm up to the Bull-Ring
-after dynamic stretching and then run a sequence of 2X200/ 2X400/ 2X600 / 2X800 at ~10k pace. The final 25% of each interval should be at mile race pace or faster (there will be cones marking where to start the “kick”).
-Recovery will continue all the way around the bull ring, back to the start near Sarah’s Y.
-Fast guys will start a second sequence or run additional 800s but all should be able to complete the first 8 sets of intervals.
Optional: Post Workout, at some point during the day, complete the following: 10 single leg hops L then R, 15 Sister Mary Katherines, 10 A-Skips (L then R = 1), 10 Pogo jumps.
Week 1 | Workout 2: OYO
-Run 1 mile warmup
-10 weighted Squats, sprint/stride 100m X 4
-10 weighted lunges (L&R = 1) then sprint/stride 100m X 4
-Run 1 mile w/ last quarter at better than 1 mile race pace
Week 2 | Workout 1: Tuesday 0515 – BCP
-Long Warm-up to the Bull-Ring
-After dynamic stretching we’ll run a series of 200/100/200 intervals. The first 200 will be 5k pace minus 10-20 seconds, hard but not all out. Direct transition into 100 meters of “bounding” which is an exaggerated stride, driving the front knee up while launching forward off the back leg (should feel like a slightly less goofy A skip). Final 200 will be an all out “kick” segment where your putting down as much power as you can. Recovery will be out of the ‘ring, left on Harney, back to the ring via Ballantyne Corporate. We’ll run this route on repeat until 6:05
Optional: Later during the day complete 20 skier hops (10 each leg), 15 low slow jump squats, 20 explosive lunge steps (10 each side)
Week 2 | Workout 2: OYO
-1 Mile Warmup
-20 Air squats followed by 100 meter sprint, repeat X4
-20 Sister Mary Katherines followed by 100 meter sprint, repeat X4
-Run 1 mile with the last .25 at better than mile race pace.
Week 3 | Workout 1: Tuesday 0515 – BCP
-Warm-up from Launch to Rushmore near Ballantyne Commons
-Dynamic Stretching along Rushmore
-Time Based Hill Intervals up Ben Nevis:
-2X1min at 1 mile race pace w/ 20 second KICK then two minutes recovery
-2X90 seconds at 1 mile race pace w/ 30 second KICK then three minutes recover
-2X2min at 5k pace w/ 40 seconds KICK and then 4 minutes recover
-Calisthenic Muscle Recruitment Intervals on Rushmore
-4X 20 JumpSquats and then 100 yd dash along Rushmore, recover around the lot back to the start
-If we have time we’ll do 1 or 2 final hill sprints 3minutes at 5k w/ 1 minute KICK
-Leave for launch point at 0605
Optional: Post work out, repeat week 1 dynamic set
Week 3| Workout 2: OYO
-Run 1 mile warmup
-10 weighted Squats, sprint/stride 100m X 4
-10 weighted lunges (L&R = 1) then sprint/stride 100m X 4
-Run 1 mile w/ last quarter at better than 1 mile race pace
Week 4 | The Whole Shabang!
This is what we’ve spent the last 3 weeks working towards boys, the test, can we “kick it” in the final stretch when it really matters?
-Extended warm up, first to the bull ring and then through a “course preview” of the impact local lap.
-The main event, 3 laps of the impact local segment, with about another 400 meters or so after lap 3 to complete a 5k. Our goal will be to PR our 5ks, with the final 400 meters being in the “kick” range (from the end of lap 3 until the cones). Segment link: https://www.strava.com/segments/24933542
-after finishing we’ll pick up the 6 and then take the long way back to launch.
It’s been a pleasure being the Q for a smaller, more intimate, Swift during the month of October. Thanks to Brat for trusting me with his progeny and I hope you boys will have me back.
Crisp air, late rising sun, growing numbers in the gloom… it must be fall in the the greatest region of all F3. YHC loves the fall, primarily because of the cooler temps for running for obscenely long distances. Speaking of running, I’ve not done much else this year as I continue to my ridiculous crusade to conquer Boston Qualifier… so much so that my arms appear to be nought but strings dangling from my sleeves. Today, thanks to Margo’s pursuit many weeks ago, I had a chance to course correct a bit during my Q at the legendary, but not often visited, AO of Centurion. Here is what happened:
After a thorough and Mermaid-Approved disclaimer, mosey east to the parking lot at 5th 3rd bank and circle up for COP
Imperial Walker X 15 in cadence
Low Slow Squat X 15 in cadence
Mountain Climbers X15 in Cadence
Low Slow Merkins X15 in cadence
Mosey to lot just up the hill to describe the primary activity. Split into teams of three PAX each. Two stations, one on the walkway upstairs, another in the lot. PAX 1 does merkins in the parking lot, PAX 2 runs to the close stairs and runs up them, and around to where PAX 3 is doing jump squats. PAX 3 runs to the lot and commences merkins while PAX 1 runs up stairs to relieve PAX 2 and do jump squats… repeato 3 times.
Mosey to the wall for alternating peoples chair and balls to wall. During chair sets we did air presses 1st set, alternating leg lifts 2nd set, leg holds 3rd set.
Head back to the lot for a second set of the grinder using a mary rotation of LBCs, H2H and Box Cutters X10 in the lot, then upstairs we did “step down burpees” which needs a better name. Basically step back with one leg in a deep low lunge, match feet, push up, reverse to standing then flapjack repeato.
After a brief foot race (more on that below the fold) PAX moseyed back to launch point for COT.
Ye Olde Moleskinny:
As promised, detail on the foot race… apparently Benny in his infinite wisdom was jaw jockeying with Mermaid and somehow it became a challenge to a 40 yd out and back speed challenge. Benny has been doing the hard work at PT trying to get his strength and alignment back and feels sprightly… so off they went. It was a close thing, but everyone knows don’t bet against a mermaid in his own back yard, I mean… that IS a thing… isn’t it?
YHC greatly enjoyed an opportunity to to work with a group of PAX not well known to me, I need to get out into parts unknown more frequently. Some very strong PAX hiding out in western a51. Not the least of these is Snuka… I hope I can be half as badass as he is at 59… heck I would settle for being just as badass as he is now, but we cant have all our dreams.
Mermaid’s 10 year old 2.0 joined us for the fun, and kept up gamely for the most part. First time I can recall at Camel-Back being used at a 45 minute bootcamp tho. I desperately wanted to make a hydration joke out of his re-naming at the end of the workout but he was being picky about names so we settled on a fishing related name. Welcome “Chum,” great work today!’
After the workout I had a great conversation with Pre-School, Sable and Huddle House about running workouts, strongly encouraging them to join us south of the border on Tuesday for Swift. Only place I know of where posting will absolutely guarantee you’ll get faster on your feet. Yes, I know its in SOBland, but they’re people too!
Mermaid had a relatively abrupt departure from post COT conversations, but we learned it must have been to get chow for Chum, as they only made it as far as Mickey D’s drive through before we saw them again.
There was an honest to god shovel flag sighting. Centurion keeping the old ways strong, t-claps Margo.
-Blood drive in two weeks, see slack for details or DM mighty-might. I am told spots are filling up but they need “power reds.” Ask Lorax what that means, apparently his accounting knowledge includes blood type vernacular, who knew?
-The new A51 board wants to hear from all PAX regarding their hopes, dreams, and visions of the future… or at least the future of the region. The board is as follows: Nantan-Voodoo, 1st F – Orange Whip, 2nd F – Hoover (obviously), 3rd F – Geraldo, Weasel Shaker – Cheese Curd, CSAUP Q – YHC, COMZ Q Emeritus- Udder
YHC hadn’t been to a bootcamp in while, so when Prohibition requested a substiQ it was a no brainer decision to use this morning as a return to form. I still needed to get a run in today, so Hoover and YHC called back to 2018 and double pre-ran the workout, with Benny joining for the second set of 3 miles. Coming back into the AO YHC found a gathering crowd of PAX and, after a Mermaid appropriate disclaimer, we were off into the misty morning.
Run through the circle of 3 meatheads, because why not. Circle up for COP
Imperial Walker X15
1 Burpee OYO
Low Slow Squat X15
2 Burpees OYO
Low Slow Merkin X15
Mosey to the grassy knoll, 3 burpees OYO and then line up abreast across the the bottom of the hill for elevator merkins and forward/backward bearcrawls on the hill.
Grab some wall for peoples chair and cadence count leg lifts
4 Burpees OYO and then back across the hill for more elevators & fore/back
Mosey to rock pile, find a lifting rock then carry it to the front lot
Triple Lindy suicides as follows. 10 Triple Lindys, run to first island for 5 burpees, run back, carry rock to island, 9 triple Lindys. Repeat for 2 more islands, turn and come back.
Return rock to pile and then mosey to side lot for some forward and reverse lunge walks and then mosey on to the outside of the hotbox. Got to 5, 6 and 7 Burpees OYO in there somewhere.
Outside the hot box, rotate through 2X of Reverse Wall-Tar-Jai, Forward Wall-Tar-Jai, Peoples Chair w/ arm raises
Inside Hot Box, rotate through 2X of Little-Hazes L & R, Dips and Derkins
8 Burpees OYO
True Indian Run (Slooooooow Mosey and FAST sprints) around to the cars. 9 Burpees OYO
10 minutes of Mary with 10X cadence count Mtn. Climbers in-between sets.
10 Burpees OYO
Ye Olde Moleskin:
It was a nice change of pace to get out and work hard on the upper body this morning. Knowing YHC had a half-marathon to run tomorrow, the weinke was over-indexed on upper body. Have a feeling I may regret that tomorrow. Proehl and McGee probably won’t feel a thing however, and somehow thats appropriate.
Plenty of mumble chatter this morning, a lot of it centered around throwing a plastic disk around and calling it sport… not sure how thats a workout but McGee seems to love it so T-claps young man.
Mr. Magoo is a beast, on the heels of McGee and Proehl during the Lindy Suicides. (Kobains for calling the wrong name during Mary at the end… oxygen deprived maybe? Yeah thats it)
Beaver never ceases to impress, I hope I can perform half as well when I am 57 years young.
Speaking of youth, Proehl got some life lessons from McGee during several segments of the workout, or at least McGee believed he was dropping truth bombs. YHC hear more than a little echo of Al Bundy in some of the stories however. What glory days?
Today was a smoker, but all of the PAX stuck gamely to the program, with only a few minor refuseniks during the hour, and nobody skipped the Burpees which was impressive.
YHC had to talk a little smack during the first rotation on the Indian run, effort on the sprints was much improved thereafter… But why does Curd refuse to run single file??? Nonconformist.
-Blood drive: Sign up else MM will take it from you unwillingly at your house… word to the wise. Details available on Slack
-Makeshift Marathon happening in November, see Run channel on slack for details. Proceeds will go to a good cause, sign up today!
-A51 Board turnover: Voodoo in the role of Nantan, OrangeWhip is 1st F, Hoover 2nd F, Geraldo 3rd F, CheeseCurd Weasel Shaker, YHC is CSAUP Q, Udder continues his COMZ Q role. See your boardmembers with ideas for how we continue to make our region great!
A pleasure as always to lead
Another year, another BRR… Most of you reading this have participated in the granddaddy of all relay races at least once (I mean, if you haven’t are you even truly considered F3?). Once a glorious tradition among the PAX of South CLT, in recent years this CSAUP has dwindled in popularity. In part this is likely due to burnout as the “core” PAX of most teams had run it 3-4 times. Other PAX have moved on to different goals (Boston Marathon, Ultra’s, Orange Theory Splat Points, underwater basket weaving world records). One team, however, continues to run strong as a geriatric derby horse desperately working to avoid the glue factory. Up ‘N Over may not be the fastest team at BRR, we certainly aren’t the best looking, but by god we have staying power!
As the glorious contender entered its 7th (8th?) year, something was a little… different. The team was coming off its first year “sub-30” and seemed to have a solid core of strong runners looking to return to Grayson Highlands to achieve even greater mediocrity. Sure there were questions, would Turkey Leg ever admit he was actually “on the team?” Would Joker realize his dream of a celibacy pledge? Would Udder figure out that midriff baring shirts are intended for late 90s Brittany Spears only, never ever for beer loving weekend warrior dads with a penchant for profuse perspiration??? We would find answers for these and more!
Then the great equalizer of 2020 flipped the game board and our well laid plans were scattered asunder like so many checkers. Covid pushes Boston marathon to September, and there goes our itinerant substitute Turkey Leg. City of Charlotte creates a thinly veiled excuse to poach the greatest Chief off Staff the energy sector has ever known prompting Joker to succumb to his Plantar Fascia. Sprockets stood fast on the fact there is only one time during the show during which we dance, and bowed out after his rookie year. Thus 9 became 6 and the annual dance continued.
You see, Up ‘N Over has a time honored recruitment tradition as injury or burnout has had us replacing 1-3 team members every year. Thus the hype machine was un-crated and off we went. We had an early success in replacing the speed of Sprockets with an equally spry but younger rookie known as GrassHopper. Then Alf stepped out of the shadows of retirement to assume “some short legs,” which prompts many altitude reference jokes. Finally, in the 11th hour, in our time of need, the greatest BRR veteran of them all, the great Slim Fast himself stepped into the ring to anchor the team and we were 9 again!
During the same time as our media blitzkreig, COVID-19 was ravaging the nation one news report at a time. Races were dropping like flies as race directors succumbed to the pressures of local governments, relatively reasonable fear of become “cluster” events, and a healthy dose of celebrity fear mongering. We all watched for e-mails from the great Ken of Blue Ridge Endurance, but the crazy man kept up with the craziness and soldiered on. Throughout the summer we received update of shifting legs, reducing the field, health guidances and general safety precautions, but the race soldiered on. Voodoo kept the team focused on our goals and held numerous calls so we were all in the loop and comfortable with the dynamics. We settled on a 3 van format, committed to pre-race quarantine and accepted we would have to wear masks/gaiters around other runners on and off the course.
The race weekend was, actually, much like race weekends from years before. Granted, only 56 teams on the course made it feel smaller, but somehow more intimate as well. F3 showed up incredibly well, probably half the teams sported the moniker. The fast guys still passed us like we were standing still. Udder still lost what few marbles he possesses shortly after the sun dipped below the range. The biggest change was the shortened, or missing, legs as we were forbidden from running on the blue ridge parkway. 11, 12, 35 and 36 were all impacted, with 35 being completely eradicated as a result. We had to shuttle runners between a couple of EZs as a result and several runners had significantly shortened mileage.
As the dust settled at the end of the race, we had completed the trip from Grayson Higlands to Asheville yet again. We had come together as a team. We had survived torrential downpours, hellish climbs, malfunctioning equipment, and toxic fumes unleashed upon unwitting team mates. This race was special, it was a once in a lifetime experience. For YHC it was such an important event, to have something even a little normal in this time of significant change and uncertainty. We answered the call of the mountain yet again, and again we emerged the stronger for it. This CSAUP will continue to be a fixture on my fall calendar, until Up ‘N Over ceases to exist, or they kick my annoying posterior out once and for all.
I’ve included an assortment of discordant observations below, and encourage my fellow UNOs to sound off in the comments below with their own observations and thoughts:
-Rookie BRR participant Grasshopper CRUSHED the gnarly 6 spot which includes the indomitable “Nipple” climb on leg 33 AND the 10.5 mile climb around the base of grandfather. His runs included over 3k of climb, the most of the relay, and ran those legs well enough to be in the top 5 finishers of the weekend on each.
-Hoover continues to impress with his ability to carry his Yeti-like frame around the mountains with remarkable strength and consistency. It was remarked more than once, if he was of similar frame and size of the 115 pound youngsters who set course records out there, he would beat them handily with his fearsome abilities.
-Alf performed incredibly well, despite not having much time to train up as he committed to the race less than a month out. He ran all but one of his legs sub 8:00/mile (and the one he missed the mark on was 8:01/mile). Yes he had “only” 14 miles in the 7 spot, but every mile on BRR is hard fought and this was a job very well done.
-Slim Fast is not only an incredible runner, but an encyclopedia of BRR. He knows the course like the back of his well traveled hand and shared that knowledge freely throughout the race. It was an awesome experience to have him part of the 2020 vintage of UNO
-VooDoo continues to impress as he took his running abilities to the next level to dominate the challenging 4 spot, including leg 31 which is, in my opinion, the gnarliest leg on BRR.
-For the first time in 5 runnings of BRR, rain was a MAJOR factor in the race. At times the rain was limiting visibility to just a few feet. Blinkies shorted out, shoes were full of moisture, showers were not even considered. Overnight runs are usually a nightmare of tired and exhausted runners shuffling about in the inky blackness past surly dogs and scary abandoned buildings. This year, the lonesomeness was exacerbated by few runners on the course and the INSANE AMOUNT OF WATER EVERYWHERE…. rough
-The Trail of Tears may not look too bad on paper, only ~300 feet of climb on a 9 mile run, but good lord it challenged YHC. After 2 miles of descent the climb was unrelenting for over 6 miles of constant low grade hill. The darkness makes the hills feel eternal and you’re left with just your internal narrative to keep you from losing your grip. Having run 31, 33, grandfather and several other “named” routes on the course, I firmly support the notoriety of this storied leg.
-For YHC, the BRR was even more important this year than in years past. For various reasons which we’ll not get into during this ‘blast, I really needed to get away from life for a while. For 20+ hours, I was able to turn off everything else and focus on the run, on my teammates, on the spirit of competition and wonder. I am so incredibly grateful for those hours, and for the men who supported me through them. BRR is the best worst experience of my year every year and I highly recommend it to the veterans and uninitiated alike. As they say “all other races are just a warmup.”
Every junky has his favorite fix, and gear heads are no different. You have your garage gym warriors, making mini cross fit boxes next to their minivans and storage shelves. Then there are your bell-heads, prizing swings and get-ups as men among boys. Then there are the chosen few, the non-conformists, the bag-men. Lugging hundreds of pounds of granulated silicate encased in canvas causes eyes to light, synapses to fire and muscles to burn with anticipation. These warrior elite are at home in parking lots, beaches, forests and streams. Akin to Ruckers, but with less attachment, they walk a different path and are the better for it, these are there stories…
Shoulder bag (or ruck) and run/shuffle around the exterior of the bus lot to get the muscles firing then circle up under the basketball goals.
3 movements x20: Alternating side merkins (1 hand on bag), 2 hand bag swing, Overhead Press
WOD 1: Once acclimated to these movements complete ladder 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2 of all three movements in series.
Shoulder bags, lunge walk to the 2nd basketball goal, reverse lunge back
WOD 2: Hang Clean to Press X10, 30 lateral bag jump overs, Hang Squat Clean X10, 1 minute rest – 4 sets
Shoulder up the bags and walk to benches, Little Hazes, calf raises, step ups, calf raises
Walk to field behind basketball goals and reverse bear crawl across the field pulling bag, then forward pulling bag.
WOD 3: Strict Curl to Press X10, Lateral Jump Burpees X10 – 5 sets
PAX started to fall out (including YHC) during WOD 3 so we called it and went for a stroll down around the track and back.
Ye Skinny Moleskin:
T-Claps to Curd for leveraging his new found power… ahem… responsibility to bring back this much loved format. The re-birth of the art of the kettlebell in A51 is a good thing, but the fact Swole killed T&M was a real bummer. That said, as YHC shared several times during today’s workout, an hour is a bit much for constant bag work. I am championing a short format starting at 0530, mainly so I don’t have to set my alarm for 0415 on Wednesdays.
Proehl is a beast, yes he is 19, but thats just the facts.
There isn’t a rock song from the 70s or 80s which Geraldo doesn’t have a story about it seems as he provided quite the commentary on YHC’s impromptu playlist. Don’t play the music too loud though, there are people sleeping nearby it seems.
CheeseCurd was ‘curd squeaking’ quite a bit by the end of the 3rd WOD, must have done something right…Unless I don’t get invited back.
The newly minted A51 board was well represented this morning, with 3 of the 6 members attending T&M.
This F3 thing is the gift which keeps on giving, and I am supremely grateful for the ability to get out into the gloom with my brothers each and every day, and for being able to take a break from running to build some strength.
As I sit down to write this ‘blast, my mind and heart are absolutely churning. There are so many thoughts and feelings competing for my attention, but more on that after the break:
The Thang: May started, much as April ended. We were all still under stay at home orders, we were all complying in our own ways, and F3 was still officially “closed”. The PAX responded incredibly well to the April challenge, and provided many opinions on how to improve the competition should we do it again…. so we did. Here is how the challenge worked
TL/DR? PAX got points for working out long, at high intensity, and consistently. The intent was to give the PAX a level playing field so they could work the way that made sense for them despite their passion (bells, running, rucking etc…). As before the challenge was intended to give men an opportunity to simulate some of the competitive spirit which keep our workouts “spicy” and engaging.
A few stats regarding outcomes of the challenge:
Ye Skinny Moleskin:
After April, I really wasn’t expecting a huge response to the May episode, man was I wrong! What an impressive push from a group of truly exemplary athletes…
Coming into 2020, I was a complete mess. My health, nutrition and mental outlook were probably the worst they’ve been in a couple years. Today, as I write this, I am in the best shape of my adult life. I’d hazard a guess that COVID body has a completely different meaning in the F3 Nation than it does anywhere else. I won’t say the challenges were solely responsible for that, but I believe they were a factor. Not only is my body fitness in an amazing place, so are my emotional and spiritual fitness.
The isolation introduced to us by the pandemic created a quiet space for me to think. At first, that was NOT a good thing, but once I got done climbing the walls from social withdrawal, it become a place of comfort. I was able to look inside, and outside, of myself to better understand where I wanted my place in the world to be. As I have exited isolation and started to reenter the world, I am better grounded in how I want to show up. I’d love to talk to any and all of you about where I landed if you’d like, but that is NOT why I am writing today, so lets move on…
A titled the ‘blast with one of my favorite sayings. The story goes this was a blessing, and curse, in ancient China. “May you live in interesting times” refers to the diversion of life, but also the challenges which can crop up as well. My, we are living in interesting times! My heart is saddened by the state of the world today. Never have I looked at our environment and seen so many chasms blocking our path to solidarity. People are sad, they’re confused, they’re hurt, and they’re afraid. I include myself among those people. The world is in need of leaders who put the betterment of their communities and the world at large ahead of their own agendas or aspirations. The world is aching for a banner to rally behind and for the truth and unity that banner represents.
I will not claim to know what banner to which we should rally, but I know for myself I pray create an environment of compassion, of grace, of tolerance, and of understanding to support those whom I come in contact with in my every day life. Maybe that will be enough to help them find some answers, and move forward in their own healing and growth.
For each of you reading this (and for those who are not) I offer a simple prayer. May God place upon your heart an ounce of his wisdom, a measure of his grace, a sliver of his love, and a landslide of his serenity so you may represent him and his love to those in your worlds. In a world in turmoil, may you be a steady light in the storm so those around you might find a way to safe harbor.
I love each and every one of you, for the man you inspire me to be, and for the examples you provide regarding where I can grow each and every day.
How do I start this one, how do I describe what we just experienced in what may go down as the longest April in any of our lives? I guess I start at the beginning and work my way through it.
As March was drawing to a close and I realized I was staring down the barrel of a long and gloomless month, I knew I needed to find motivation in a new way. You see, I suck at motivating myself. So many alarm clocks have been set with good intentions, but then snoozed and turned off from deep within the grasp of the almighty fartsack. If it weren’t for the accountability of the HC and the merciless support of the PAX to whom said commitments were given, a chronic sad clown still would I be.
So I thought about what things drive the PAX. Mumblechatter, competition, achievement, and fellowship. Leveraging my somewhat more than mediocre excel skills to build a challenge to bring us into contact with each other, to give us a motivating factor to get out of bed each day, or find space in our afternoons to find a beat down, that was the easy part. I was certain I’d find a few PAX who would lean in and participate and hopefully that would be enough to do the hard part… show up.
I never counted on 30 PAX to jump on the bandwagon, and never in my WILDEST dreams did I think we’d have 8 PAX go a perfect 30 for 30. Had you told me on 4/1 I would workout every day in April I would have laughed at you, but look who is laughing now.
Here is the fun part, the PAX got into the competition. We saw streaks building day over day, until one day Wingman shared he had worked out for #fourteen straight days for the first time in his life. Fredo was coming off of 30 straight days of #marchmadness and was keeping things 100% as well. Hoover and Brexit came into this thing with a vengeance and by the end of the first week were miles ahead of the pack. Then ThinMint, Geraldo and Hightide started to put distance between them and the rest. For the rest of the month we saw those leads build, with a few of us (gypsy, YHC, Unplugged, Voodoo) making cameos, only to be erased by the steadfast grid of these warriors of the OYO.
Then, for YHC at least, it go more fun when PAX started suggesting how we should update the format for “next month.” Here we are, two weeks into a 30 day competition and already folks are lining up for another month of challenge. Not only that, but the suggestions were coming from everywhere… so cool, and so Voodoo and I started working on the May challenge before we even knew how the April challenge would end.
So, how DID it end you ask? Much as it began really, Hoover and Brexit put everyone deeply in their rearview, and made epic pushes with 2 a days in the final week. Geraldo and HighTide kept showing up and the rest of us watched them draw away, despite our best efforts. I cannot be more proud of these guys…
Here are some stats:
Days Worked Out: 669
Average Days Worked Out:22
PAX w/ 30 days worked: 8
Total minutes under power:43,803 (thats 30 days all in)
Average minutes under power: 1460 (thats just over a day)
Congratulations to these warriors for their strength, grit and downright badassery… very impressive.
What. A. Month. I have to say the most impressive performance has to go to Brexit who offered a very moving anecdote around his acceleration in the month of April. After his accident, the challenge presented him with the motivation he needed to get into “the best shape of his life.” just….wow.
I can share for me, I’ve never worked out 10 days in a row nonetheless 30 straight. I’ve never felt the need I guess, but wow this challenge lit my fire. Mission achieved I guess. But I never expected something I did as a project for me, to be so impactful for others. To all the PAX who said thank you to me for doing it, I turn that around and say thank you to each of you. Thank you for helping push me, thank you for playing along with the game, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you all just a little in your own journey through the darkness of OYO.
The “Udder Commit” is becoming synonymous with well intended absence, and RockZero was not in any way impervious to the nippled one’s lack of consistency. The story told to me was Geraldo saying “remember you have Q this weekend” and Udder saying “awwww crap…” Thankfully, after driving Mr. Daisey for years, YHC is well acclimated to these shenanigans and thusly able to adapt on the fly. Truth be told, YHC wanted a January Q slot anyways so this was quite serendipitous, but don’t tell Udder, it will ruin the joke. To make the long story longer, despite my numerous injuries, I fell on the sword of volunteerism and accepted the mantle of Grand Poobah for the greatest AO in all of southland.
7 Strong PAX gathered thusly under the lightening sky to see about gaining some strength and giving hell to a porpoise. Following a creative yet nonetheless Mermaid approved disclaimer, the weinke proceeded to unwind….
Mosey down from the cars, around the corner, back up the drag strip and then around into the first parking lot for…
IW X20 IC
Low Slow Squat X20 IC
Low Slow Merkin X20 IC
Mosey to the grassy knoll courtyard for a series of exercises in various orders but summarily described as a combination of peoples leg lifts, merkins, bear crawls, lunge walks, reverse lunge walks and a hole helluva lot of plank. This took approximately 20 minutes. The PAX particularly hated “legs up the wall” crunches and the plank exercise YHC fondly refers to “knee boxes.”
Mosey across the lot towards the hotbox to retrieve 2 previously stashed 60 lbs. sandbags (insert mumble chatter regarding surprise that Flipper brought coupons) for various pulls, lifts, and throws interspersed with more planking and air chair.
Mosey to hotbox wall for peoples chair and 40 lbs. slam balls for “pass the heavy object” including overhead presses and slams. Work in some balls to the walls and call me in the morning.
Mosey into the hotbox for Little Hazes, shoulder taps and some elevator merkins.
Pick up the coupons and share the pain as we moseyed back to the cars. Circle up for some ‘Merican Hammers and done!
YE OLDE MOLESKIN:
YHC is always grateful for an opportunity to lead the PAX of A51, especially at this venue. This week I am doubly grateful for the patience and understanding these 6 men had for my low mileage bootcamp absurdly focused on core and lower body. Seems with a bumb leg and a bumb shoulder, YHC forgot how to Q anything else?
Hopper took the disclaimer to heart and modified aggressively, as did YHCs favorite Chicagoan. That being said, somebody needs to show his jumpiness proper air squat form, pretty sure it doesn’t involve a 90 degree bend from the waist…
Donkey Kong showed up with very strong verbal fitness, spouting nearly belligerent mumble chatter any time he could get his breath under control. Also, he continues to posses the most uncannily fluid bearcrawl YHC has ever seen (sorry Dear Abby.)
Geraldo and Ductwork did as they always do, strong silent types no longer need apply as the job is amply filled. Geraldo even completed his “peoples burpees” with nary a complaint.
OT, where to start, the man is a rock of sarcastic wit. Also, he has a sore hamstring. Just ask him. He’ll tell you. At least 20 times a workout. Seriously…
At the end of all of this silliness, I do want to share something a bit more serious. This time of year is a struggle for all of us (well the human PAX anyways). The weather is crappy, the temperatures are often on the down right cold side, the days are unreasonably short. So many excuses to stay in the fartsack. So many socially acceptable reasons not to post. As I shared with the PAX during COT, don’t let the excuses win. Find a PAX to hold you accountable. Make a commitment, and keep it. If you’re one of those inhuman PAX who works out consistently even within the arctic circle, be an accountability partner and offer your shield lock to those who are less consistent. And when somebody Udder Commits to you, be tolerant and understanding, but roast him mercilessly in your back blast so he knows he is on notice, and then invite him to commit again, and again, and again.
Men, I love what F3 means to me, and what it means to each of you. I see the power in my life each and every day, and its because of the support and friendship of the PAX who make this amazing family what it is. I love you guys, and I am not afraid to say it.