Spartan Sprint – 2015 Killington

2015 Spartan Sprint
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A few weeks ago, I participated in my first Spartan Race. The Spartan Sprint was held at Killington Mountain Ski Resort and was described as a 3+ mile obstacle course with 15+ obstacles.

Before talking about my experience, I’ll give a brief overview of my physical fitness. Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve ran a handful of times and never worked out. I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym or running, so with the exception of high school cross-country & track and my years in the Marine Corps, I only had a few years of running.

That is until a few months ago when I joined my local Crossfit gym. I read about Crossfit last year and wanted to join, but it was one of those things that I never got around to doing. So with about 2-3 months worth of Crossfit training and a dozen or more ~3 mile runs on the bike path, I made a last minute decision to register for the Spartan Sprint. (I registered on Thursday and ran on Sunday.)

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Heart-rate comparisons with Fitbit monitor

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Recently, I purchased a Fitbit – mostly because I love having a GPS when I run to track distance and pace. One of the other benefits is that it’s bluetooth enabled, so I don’t have to worry about sync’ing the data to my computer like my ancient GPS.

I’ve found the heart rate monitor pretty interesting. Here’s a few snapshots of my weekly exercises.

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Summer of Change


Well, it’s summer, so I’ve decided to change some things. First, I restarted running again. I was running about 3 times a week before I joined Crossfit. My run pace is still more of a fast jog pace than actually running. I’d love to get my average 3 mile pace under/around 8 minutes/mile – which isn’t very fast but fast enough for me. Right now, my best is an abysmal 9:22 min/mile for a 3 mile course.

ShoesNext, as mentioned above, I joined Crossfit. I’m doing this 3 or 4 days a week and running on the alternate days about 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a lot of weight lifting, which I’ve always avoided. I realized that I’ve lost most of the upper body strength which I used to have, so doing pull ups, which used to be very easy, is now more of a challenge than I expected. I’m enjoying the variety of exercises and movements and it makes working out non-boring which is a good thing – because I get bored of working out really fast.

I’ve purchased a camera. It’s not too fancy of a camera, but it’s fun. It’s an introductory level DSLR and the kit came with a few lens adapters and an additional lens. It’s been pretty fun to just walk around the yard and take photographs. I’ve captured a lot of local insects, wildlife, and birds and I’ve attempted to identify each of the species. You can check out the photos in my Instagram account.

Acoustic GuitarLastly, I also purchased an acoustic guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn, so I’m also in the process of scheduling some lessons. I’m not expecting much, but if I can learn how to play a few songs, then it’ll be fun to practice during the winter.

Vermont Pub & Brewery

Part 8 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

To most, the Vermont Pub & Brewery is the heart of the Vermont craft beer establishment. The founder established the brew pub after lobbying the Vermont legislature for three years in an effort legalize brewpubs. He also wrote several books and articles on brewing. His brew pub became a place where he could experiment with different concepts in small batches that help kick start and energize the craft beer business in Vermont.

I’ve visited the brewpub a couple times before, but that was before I knew about the Vermont Brewery Challenge, so I decided to stop by, have a beer, and get my Vermont Brewer’s Passport Card stamped.

A few days before my visit, the first batch of beer brewed exclusively with Vermont raised hops (part of the University of Vermont’s All Vermont-Grains and Hops Project). The first beer was a Rye IPA and I was looking forward to trying it out, but when I arrived they informed me that it sold out within two days and that the next batch will be arriving soon, so I ordered a Bombay Grab IPA.
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Switchback Brewing Company

Part 7 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

The Switchback Ale was another of my first Vermont beers. One thing that’s nice about taking the Vermont Brewery Challenge is that it gives you a better understanding of both the local aspect of the breweries and the beer itself while allowing you to taste a few beers that you might have already had before.

The Switchback Brewing Company building looks like a big warehouse. There’s a tiny parking lot and the entrance to the retail store and tasting area is on the side of the building and obscured from the street. Follow the small signs that say “Main Office” to find the entrance. The warehouse area and parking lot felt a bit strange, since most breweries have the office/store facing the parking lot with bigger signs indicating you’re at the right place.
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