Nutrition

Part I:

“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.” – John Ortberg

Intense

In life there comes a point when you just want to know. Or maybe I just want to know. Am I to old? Broken? Battered? Strong enough? Fast enough? Courageous enough? Crazy enough? Or is the ultimate glory of the challenge enough?

So, here is the story. I decided I wanted to do something great: to create a community where exceptional is the standard and not because of the resumes or backgrounds of the people within it, but because of the goals and desires of those people. These are the lions amongst lions. These people separate themselves from the everyday prey. They are the hunters of greatness and, for any number of reasons, they found themselves in the CA. I proudly call them friends, and this is why I do this.

Run the Ridge

Run the Ridge, Team CA

The hunt for greatness lies within all of us. Mine has been clawing out of me for a long time. I just didn’t know how or when it would happen. I started to consider this adventure I call the “Ultra” back in May of this year. I put together my training plan after a winter of getting the gym going, and got to work. I didn’t know if I would get the opportunity to race but figured I damn well be on the pointy end of the spear if the opportunity presented itself.

The “Spartan Ultra Beast” (which is a ridiculously cheesy name, but I’m just a participant), it is a race of unlisted distance somewhere over a marathon, which includes obstacles and happens on a mountain, in this case at Killington Ski Resort. If you have ever been to Killington to ski, you know it is no joke, and running anything past 26 miles is well…intense. So, throw in some obstacles and: well now, apparently we have a challenge. Getting acceptance into the “Ultra” took a full athletic resume and a follow up survey. So either they are limiting their pool of athletes, or they are worried about the pool of athletes surviving to tell the tale.

Tough Mudder BW Start

My brother and me before running the Mt Snow Tough Mudder

(I think there is a moment in every persons life when you just kind of go, hmmm this is a bad idea… I’m in!)

From the Ultra, Application site:

For 2013, we will have two new rules:

1. Each racer may only compete in the Beast, or the Ultra Beast, but not both. It will not be possible to win both events in 2013. You must choose: Beast or Ultra Beast.

2. If you cannot complete all 26+ miles, you will be considered a DNF. You will NOT be considered a Beast Finisher if you’re only able to complete 13+ miles. It’s all or nothing.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready, or you spend more than one hour per year at Bed, Bath and Beyond, please only register for the Beast. The Ultra Beast will be too much for you.

Every Spartan Race is a baptism.
The Ultra Beast is considered an exorcism.

So let’s fast forward a bit. I got accepted to the race via email. Which in my head I went, “HOLY {explicative, explicative, explicative,} I GOT IN!!!!”  Then I went…“HOLY {explicative, explicative, explicative,} I GOT INTO WHAT?!!” I got accepted to run with the “Elites” which either means I am above the average applicant they accept or they were trying to bait an old man who still thinks he’s young to die on the side of a very steep mountain. Either way, I said what all crazy people say… “I’m in!” then smiled, took a deep breath and doubled all of my previously planned mileage I was supposed to do in training for this race.

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Setting a new 1RM PR in 2012. I have since tagged on 150lbs more)

(Excerpt from my acceptance email)

Hi David,

Congratulations! You are among the fifth group of approved racers selected to race the 2013 Spartan Ultra Beast! Based on your recent responses to our Ultra Beast Application process, you have been approved and are eligible for an Open Wave Registration or an Elite Ultra Beast registration. If you think that you’re competitive enough to run with the Elites, this is your chance to prove it.

Apparently, on September 22nd of this year, I will get to stand at the base of a mountain with a group of elites athletes and find out if I really am all that I try to instill in the amazing people I work for.

Post 13.1 Timetrial

Post 13.1 training day time trial. 7:05’s on repeat. Cue the Darth Vader music in my head

Even as I sit here and write this, September is closing in quickly. My fear is turning to fire, and my anticipation is sometimes overwhelming. I care how I do and I am not “just there to finish”, because honestly, sometimes when I hear people say that, it makes my soul throw up a little. You can either do just enough to finish or you can go on the attack.

I choose to attack. If you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, then teach that dog to do those old tricks better. I find myself frequently running with less in my head: empty in thought, just breathing. I’m listening to my steps, counting them, looking deeply into the trails, and looking for the clearest path to fast. Lungs burning, throat on fire. Smiling widely, on the hunt.

Tough Mudder Finish BW

Kid bro and I post running Mudder. Honestly, all I wanted was Gatorade. Not beer.

My training partners are sometimes young and invincible, sometimes they are family, sometimes future Olympians. All of them, though are awesome and just crazy enough to join me even just for a snippet of this quest. It keeps me hungry and leaves me with clear vision. There is never enough to say about great training partners.

You feed their desires and support them and in return you get their support. You only need to ask once and they are in. It is an unspoken agreement that can and will take you further than either party ever thought possible. If they truly have your back they will grind you into dust when you need it, and when necessary, they will pick you up too.

2013-04-21 15.56.30

The crew that decided to run up Buck Mountain with me in May. All smiles too.

Live loud, smile often, cry frequently, and occasionally do something great. I’m working on the great part. Say a few quiet words for me that I don’t die on the side of a mountain, and I can write the part two of this.

Commitment

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