I’m breaking a rut by doing what I think I can’t

For the longest time, running seemed hard to me. Each progression in distance, each cut in my time felt like a challenge. I loved the thrill of doing things that had sounded impossible just weeks before.

Once I got used to running, that thrill was gone. I admit it: I got bored with trying to beat a time by 5 seconds at a time, with adding a mile to my normal runs when I knew I could run a half marathon without really trying. My times got stagnant, and I started slacking.

In the past month or so, something inside me woke up. I realized my boredom and the resulting slack in my development were holding me back from being my best self. I wanted to find something that made me feel like a beginner, and I wanted to live up to expectations of myself.

Enter Spartan training.

I know, I know. I’ve done a Spartan Race before. Thing is, I know I can do a lot better if I train, and I want to do a trifecta anyway. So, I’ve chosen to accept my own challenge and get to training for three races between now and the end of 2015. And I probably will have to do them alone (unless you’d like to join me… think about it!).

First real test: 300s

I started lifting weights consistently again in early March, and I did the 30-day lunges challenge. Then, I took on the 30-day burpees challenge. I’ve been rebuilding my strength slowly and making sure not to injure myself.

Today, though, I took on a challenge that made me nervous the way a 4-mile run once did. Apparently, it’s called a “300s workout.”

I did this 10 times in a row:

  • quarter-mile run
  • 30 burpees
  • 30 lunges
  • 1-minute rest

The running part didn’t bother me so much, even though the runner in me refused to let me slack off and knew I had to shoot for 2-minute quarters. But the idea of adding my two least-favorite exercises, burpees AND lunges, at the end of every quarter felt downright terrifying.

And that’s what I wanted.

Instead of going to a track (which probably would’ve been easier), I decided to run through my neighborhood and use my GPS watch to keep track of my distance. The first two rounds were pretty easy, or so I told myself. But by the end of round 3, I was thrilled that my route had taken me to a park equipped with working water fountains. I finished my 7 rounds after that at the park, running around flatter surfaces like soccer fields and using the relative flat spaces to do the rest of the circuit.

The workout was hard — really hard. And you know what? I loved it. I plan to repeat it at least twice a week for the next month, to see how much faster I can get and how many more “real” burpees I can do instead of up-down versions.

Training for a Spartan Race (or 3)

A year ago, I ran my first-ever Spartan Race. It was a life-changing experience. Training for the race forced me to commit to my own strength and flexibility, and I haven’t found that level of inspiration since.

Now, after struggling to recover my fitness equilibrium for the last 6+ months, I’ve decided to commit myself to a Spartan Trifecta. What better to get my body into shape than to prepare for three times the effort I put in last year, especially when I know how hard the obstacles were last time?

So, get ready to hear about burpees, nutrition, running, monkey bars. And get ready to hear about how my brother and my Sherpa from last year might be joining in the training of our lives. I’ll be checking in more regularly to keep myself accountable and hopefully help the people around me be more accountable, too.