What Have I Been Up To?

Hi my loyal blog readers. I appreciate those that have kept me followed for the last few weeks as I’ve been pretty busy and I thought I’d write a blog post about what I’ve been up to.

Just to put things in perspective, I’m a pretty busy adult these days. I work full time as an IT tech at a school. I’m also a full time parent with my wife for two kids including a beautiful and cute 11 month old baby girl. Also we have our adopted nephew who’s 11 years old and just finishing 6th grade in his schooling. So probably the main reason I choose to wake up early to workout everyday is because the early morning is the most open time for me to use for myself. My whole day goes from working full time to being a parent and husband when I get home. It’s quite a balance, but long ago this is the life that I wanted to build for myself so I’m more then motivated to work hard at it everyday.

My Fitness Training

After finishing the The Work back last month, I started a new program known as Muscle Burns Fat (MBF). I’ve really been loving the work I’ve been doing the last 4 weeks on this program. I’m in month 8 of my fitness training with the Beachbody programs and with MBF I’m seriously seeing my results accelerate. This program focuses on doing a high amount of reps to the point where my arms, legs and abs are getting seriously sore in this program. Megan Davies, the creator of this program, has the right energy to bring you to pump you up every workout. I’m also enjoying the indoor jump rope known as the BOD ropes which allow you to work on your jump roping indoors. I’m currently in the Advanced round of MBF which extends the workouts by about 10 minutes and also adds some more difficulty. Check out this MBF page for more info about this program.

IG Live Workouts Weekly

So I’ve decided to go live at least once a week and show you my full workout so you guys can all see me die and get these reps in. Haha. So far I’ve been having them on Tuesdays and Mondays at 6AM PST. I will try to get some workouts in during more active hours, but for now this is what I can do. I hope everyone gets motivated by my work ethic. I talk during the workout and continue to pass on tips that I’m getting from the Beachbody Super trainers that I’m working with. Hope you guys enjoy and find these IG live workouts helpful.

What are my Goals for 2021?

I’ve been consistent with my fitness training and routine now since April 2020. I’ve successfully been working out at least 3 times a week for over a year now and I’m at my strongest I’ve ever been in my life. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to improve and the protection of having the vaccine allows things to get back to normal, I’m looking ahead on where to test my strength. I’ve joined two virtual 10K races with the Giant Race . In April, I came in 10th place out of 141 entries and in May I came in 9th place out of 181 entries. So I’m really happy with where I’m competing with others. I have a Spartan night time 10K trail run in September that I’m excited for. I’m considering joining the Spartan races with obstacles later this year and go for a Spartan Trifecta, which is a medal earned by completing three types of obstacle races in the Spartan races. In 2022, I plan to join my first Spartan Elite race which is a race only for the competitive that want to really test their skill in a Spartan race. This is what I’ve been training for the last year which is why 2021 is a key year to continue to grow strength in order to really compete effectively. This has been a long term goal of mine and I’m looking to achieve this goal and see how I do.

Thanks for following my blog. I’m sorry I’ve been absent and not as active lately. I will try to get back to adding more useful fitness and lifestyle entries. I wish everyone that follows and reads my blogs the best. I enjoy giving others inspiration. I strive to lift others up through life. Life is not easy for anyone and we all have our personal struggles and hardships that we have to deal with, but I strongly believe that whatever life throws at us is an opportunity to face it and become stronger. Stay well my fitness and running friends and have a great week.

My Spartan Race A Year Ago Inspired Me To Train Harder

    The Spartans were fierce and courageous warriors who faced adversity like they were born for it.  One year ago today I did the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever experienced.  I did my first Spartan race at Oracle Park in San Francisco in November of 2019. I completely got hooked on doing these races and soon after scheduled my next race in February 2020.  The Spartan race consists of a race course that has 20-30 obstacles to complete in order to continue on with your race. The obstacles are fun physical challenges such as a wall climb, rope climb, monkey bars, bucket carry, barbed wire crawl, and a spear throw because we all know Spartan warriors threw some bad ass spears to take down their enemies. In my point of view a Spartan race is a playground for adults that want to physically challenge themselves while running a 5K,10K, or a 22K. The one that I did in November 2019 is called a Stadion which is a Spartan race set at a professional stadium, which is normally home to a professional sports team. After doing this race and experiencing the challenge of taking on a Spartan race, I knew I wanted to do more. So I set myself up to do the longer race called the ‘Super; in February.  Little did I know I would be challenging myself physically like no other.
    I woke up on a beautiful Saturday morning and ate a solid breakfast. I prepared everything I would need to survive the grueling Spartan challenge I had for myself today. I had my shoes, my under armor runner hat, hydration pack, and my running pants ready to go. My wife and nephew also came with me for the trip as we decided to also make a it a family day trip. I felt the butterflies before this race.  I had never ever even run more then 6 miles before doing this race and today’s Super Spartan race was going to have me run 7.5 miles while being challenged to complete 25 obstacles on my way to the finish line.  So we made the drive out towards the middle of California in Diablo Grande. When we got there, I realized that the morning routine and preparation had gotten me there pretty close to the start of the race.  I was force to abandon my wife and nephew in order to get to the race before I ran too late. So I pretty much warmed up by running to the race event from where we parked. My heart was racing and thoughts of the imminent challenge before me started to set into my reality. The race festivities were a blur as I had a lot of adrenaline going by the time I reached the event. Luckily I still made it with my group of racers with 10 minutes to spare. I looked around and saw many other Spartan racers like me about to take on this challenge. I did the age group race so the racers around me weren’t completely competitive. I saw a couple who liked they were ready to go on a mild hike and then some people were dressed up in costumes to my amusement. There were some competitive racers too, but a good all around crowd of racers overall. Just before I knew it the race started and I was off.  I got into a good running pace and started out nice. The butterflies and anxious feelings went away now that I was able to start moving. I felt good starting and keeping up with the racers at the beginning of the pack.  The first obstacle came real quick and it was a simple mud ditch that I had to go down and come back up. Unfortunately it wasn’t as simple as I thought. When I finished the obstacle, my heart completely dropped.  I had lost my wedding ring and it was nowhere in sight.
    I’m sure you’re thinking what an idiot I could be to be wearing my wedding ring for this race. I can be careless at times. I’m only human. So I had a choice either to keep going or to stop racing and dig through the dirt. Of course I chose the latter and went back to find my wedding ring my wife got me. As I went the opposite direction towards other racers feeling super embarrassed, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I made it to the dirt obstacle and started my search.  I digged through the dirt in desperation as I retraced my steps while dodging out of the way of other racers. Other racers were asking if I’m okay and once telling them what I was looking for, they made an “oof” expression and continued on their way. I felt helpless and hopeless as I searched for my ring. The negative self talk made its way into my mind and heavily criticized how careless I was not to take it off before the race. I almost gave up, but somehow some way I managed to find it at the bottom of the dirt hill in the first obstacle.  I scooped it up quickly and put it in my hydration pack pocket. I zipped it up tight and finally after 15 minutes of searching for my ring, I was ready to continue racing.
    Finally lets talk about the race. After the first obstacle I ran for a bit and the course took us into the hills of the Diablo Grande where the course steered us towards an uphill that was the steepest hill I ever faced. My negative self talk still hung around to guilt me and told me that this hill is my punishment for almost losing my wedding ring. My self talk can be a real ass sometimes. Haha. I took on this hill and pushed harder to get up to the top. It seemed like it took forever, but eventually I made it up and stared at a beautiful view of the Spartan race festivities. The downhill was a nice recovery. This was just the first mile of the course so they really kick your ass to start these races.
    I proceeded to charge forward and continue the race. I did wall jumps, and uphill bucket carry’s. I attempted the monkey bars and other similar upper body obstacles, but I was not able to complete them. If you aren’t able to complete an obstacle, you have to do 25 burpees before proceeding. I did them and kept going. My body was not ready for this race at all. Just before halfway through the race, I honestly felt like I was a lifeless zombie just moving without being too present. It got harder to focus as the race went on. As the race went on, I just focused on not stopping. “Don’t stop. Keep going,” is what I kept telling myself. I took water breaks at the stands they had during the race course. However I didn’t take more then 5 minutes as I wanted to finish this race. It would take me 2 hours and 21 minutes to finally reach the finish line where I exhaustedly made my way over seeing my nephew and wife waving for me at the finish line. You can check out the video here. What a race this was. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t train enough or condition enough to take on this race, but I did get inspired to push myself to be a stronger runner from this point on.  I also want to go for being a Spartan Elite someday and really build strength on doing those upper body obstacles.  After training hard for the last year since this race, I can honestly say I would do this Super Spartan race in way less time then 2 hours and 21 minutes. I’m a stronger runner now after running 483 miles in 2020 (See my 2020 running journey blog post) and with the Beachbody programs I’ve been grinding through since October 2020, I’ve gained a lot of muscle strength since then. I’ll be ready to take on Spartan races with a vengeance when this Covid-19 pandemic ends. Until then I’ll continue to train hard for when its time to go race as a Spartan again.