2016 Walter N. Levy Challenge at Norwich University

2016 Walter Levy Challenge at Norwich University

The 2016 Walter N. Levy Challenge at Norwich University was held on October 9. This was my fifth obstacle race of the year and the first time that I’ve ran this course.

The obstacles were (mostly) very simple and included a lot of pull-ups, dips, burpees, sit-ups, box jumps, etc. The most unique part was wearing a flak jacket and carrying a training rifle up Paine Mountain and shooting a paintball gun at a wooden target. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to run their static obstacle course – one very similar to what you find on military bases and boot camp – or do any rope climbs. There were several carries including water/jerry cans, sand bags, and ammunition boxes.

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2016 Killington Spartan Race Beast

2016 Spartan Trifecta

The 2016 Killington Spartan Race Beast was held on September 17. I signed up for the morning heat and was assigned to the 11:15am heat. This was my first Beast race and my third Spartan Race of the year (4th total race ever). This event would complete my 2016 goal of achieving a Spartan Trifecta – completing a Sprint, Super, and Beast in the same calendar year.

I can only describe my performance in this event as humbling. I’ve improved, gotten stronger, ran faster, and completed more obstacles as I’ve ran more races. With steady improvement, I expected to run this event as well (or better) than my previous races. However, my body just wasn’t willing. There’s probably a few reasons why my body wasn’t cooperating with me on that day including having a cold and having done a half-marathon and two CrossFit competitions in the weekends just prior to the Beast.
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My DNA analysis from Athletigen

A few months ago, I was talking to a coach at my gym about the wonders of science in relation to fitness. We started talking about how we’ll eventually be able to test our DNA to figure out which diet/nutrition we should follow and the effect that’ll have on sports and general physical activities. So a few weeks later, I read an article in a fitness magazine (I think it was Runner’s World) about some companies offering DNA analysis relating to physical fitness and nutrition.

I purchased a kit from Athletigen and it arrived in about 2-3 days. I even got a call from customs as the package got delayed a day crossing over the US/Canada border. It seemed to be a standard DNA kit, spit into a tube, break the seal to release some more liquid, shake, reseal, box it, and mail it back. I haven’t done a DNA kit before – I have a very good idea of ancestry and my past, so I’m not (as) concerned or interested in those details. I’m more interested in learning how to live/work/play better in the present and if I can gain some genetics insights paired/confirmed along with what I feel/think works best for me, then maybe I can do more or maybe just do/follow/avoid specific things.

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One Year of CrossFit

One Year of CrossFit

Just over a year ago, I came to the realization that I needed a change. I needed something to release stress, provide both mental and physical challenges, and most importantly something to help me feel better and happier.

My first instinct was to try running… again. So I began sporadically running (aka jogging). It didn’t take long until, I realized that I really, really dislike running. In that first month, I ran up to 3 miles at a time about 4-5 times. Then I started losing the motivation to run.

So I started looking into local gyms, thinking that maybe I’d have better luck there (but I wasn’t hopeful). And to be honest, I disliked “lifting weights” even more than running. Other than chest/bench presses and using the Universal Gym Equipment (that machine with pulleys and dozens of things), I had no experience on how to properly lift weights. So after a fleeting thought about signing up for a gym membership, I remembered CrossFit and looked to see if there was a CrossFit gym nearby. (Back in 2009, I looked into CrossFit when I lived in San Diego, so I was somewhat familiar with the overall concept.)
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2016 St. Albans Raid Half-Marathon

2016 St. Albans Raid Half-Marathon

I signed up for the St. Albans Raid Half-Marathon event a few weeks prior to the race. At the time, I hadn’t ran much (any) since my last half-marathon in April. So the weekend prior to the race, I ran 10 miles and I felt pretty sore afterwards. I was able to hit my target pace of 9 minutes/mile on my practice run, so I was pretty excited and hopeful to get a new personal best at the race.

I had hoped for a finish time of 1:50 which would be 10 minutes faster than my last half-marathon. Having only ran one previous race at that distance, I felt like I had a better grasp for the distance and effort. In my first half-marathon, I did a fast jog for the first several miles and then sped up for the last few miles once I realized that I still had a lot of energy remaining at that point. For this race, I started out strong (actually faster than I expected or wanted to) and even though my pace slipped a few seconds every mile, I was able to get a new personal best of 1:45.
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