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Good news, the Crusaders survived the 2011 Men’s Health Urbanathlon Chicago.
Congratulations to everyone who finished, especially friends and family of the Crusaders. It was a fun day.
After months of training it all came down to 9.75 miles (in our retellings, it will be 10) and a whole lot of obstacles (of the object and human variety…you know who you are).
To say the very least, it was an experience that neither of us will forget any time soon.
It was at once everything and nothing we expected, and we learned more than a thing or two about ourselves, our fellow competitors, and the laws of physics.
- Running, not as tough as we previously thought. When running is “resting” you’re in okay shape.
- It’s always good to have a game plan. Even when doing something as simple as climbing over a tractor tire (thank you to our fellow female competitors who helped us over).
- Guys make excellent step stools (thank you to all the kind gentlemen who assisted us).
- Chivalry is not dead. Although, we are still questioning its motives.
- Saying you, “busted your shin open while hurtling the police barricades,” sounds really bad out of context.
- Mud is disgusting, but it sure makes you look bad ass.
- Stairs may have a bad wrap, but we’d take a couple of flights over a stadium’s worth of ramps any day.
- Pulling off a motivational speech while hanging from monkey bars takes tact, patience, and arms that you can’t feel anymore.
- Laughter makes even the toughest obstacles easier to climb.
- There’s more than one way to get over an eight foot wall (don’t ask how, just know that we did).
Oh, and one more lesson (learned after the fact):
11. Just because you didn’t know it existed, doesn’t mean it won’t be sore the next day.
On that note, it seems to be just about time for some quiet, stationary reflection. Emphasis on the stationary.
…just for fun:
Same idea…minus the swords, stealing, magic carpet and monkey (it would have been even more fun with a monkey)-
For those questioning the “verb-ness” of the title…clearly you did not swim for Parkway Swim Club, but that’s not what this blog is about.
This blog is about today. Today is a very special day.
It’s here at long last–the Urbanathalon.
I may have mentioned it a few times.
All of the training, traffic dodging, and stair climbing comes down to today.
Right about now (yes, I made the publishing time the same as the race start…clever) the 2WC , along with a few friends, are running, jumping, diving, bobbing, weaving, and hopefully not face-planting.
To my now future self: Please don’t trip. Don’t forget to hydrate. Have fun.
To my now future fellow urbanathaloners (it’s a word now): Same message.
Tomorrow we will of course share all of the blood, sweat, and triumph (hopefully no tears will be involved, or blood for that matter).
For now, sorry, but we’ve got to run, and a few other things…until then…
…this has nothing to do with anything, but it really doesn’t have to:
Every training schedule has its lessons.
Don’t forget to change your shoes out, yes you do need that rest day, no you don’t need that rest day, don’t run on the ice, and yes, it is possible to do too many push-ups…just to name a few.
This twelve week program leading up to the Urbanathalon has been no different.
You may recall I said I was going to tear it up from the beginning, but I learned a lesson early on–make sure to pick on someone your own size–and at some point all of the weeks started to run together.
Now all of a sudden I find myself at the end of week nine…oops I mean ten. Coincidentally those were my exact thoughts as I finished up my run on Saturday morning.
I admit, it’s my own fault. I got cocky about my ability to keep track of three-week intervals. Somewhere between seven and nine I lost track. Next time I’m returning to the calendar.
In the grand scheme of training it’s probably not the worst thing. It may not say much for my counting skills, but I suppose it says nice things about my endurance.
However, it means I only get to enjoy two weeks of tapering, which is just not cool.
Tapering is what makes the training worth it…aside from completing the actual race…of course.
It’s that wonderful point in training when you know that you could run ten miles, but you only have to run six. There’s nothing like it.
Oh well, lesson learned.
Number one rule of training: Know what week you’re on.
Number two is don’t hurt yourself…oh and have fun!
For all of my Urbanathalon blogs you can click here…or the links above should work quite nicely as well.
I’m a little bit late with this one, but as of Saturday afternoon Urbanathalon training reached it’s halfway point.
It’s hard to believe that in less than six weeks we’ll be at race day.
Training’s going smoothly, but I have to say I’m still been a little nervous about the actual event.
This being the crusader’s first Urbanathalon, it’s hard to imagine what the reality of flying over taxi cabs will be like.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the drivers of Chicago for removing that mental roadblock.
I’ve been assured that on race day the car obstacles will in fact be stationary, but where’s the challenge in that?
Just know that you’re complete lack of awareness of people on the sidewalk or legally crossing at the sidewalk has served a higher purpose.
Most people feel safe when they see that little walking, illuminated man waving them across the street. I know better, I know that no yield sign will contain your competitive nature.
You will triumph in the ultimate game of chicken, and no pedestrian will stand in your way.
Fear not, the knowledge that you will undoubtedly win this epic battle of automobile vs. man will not tame your need to beat that stroller to the intersection.
But you are not alone, you have two-wheeled friends too. And I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank the cyclists of the greater Chicago area for their ongoing course in the art of dodging silent, but quickly moving objects.
A good rule of thumb, if you’re going to be sharing the road with the cars, you might also want to share their traffic signals–that includes stop signs.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be sharing the sidewalk with us pedestrians you might consider not running us into the road.
But what am I saying?
Without you and your multi-axled friends my morning runs would simply be getting from point A to B and back again, rather than the lesson in that most primitive and fundamental of human responses: fight or flight… or the often forgotten third option of come to a screeching halt as a car comes careening out of a parking garage.
It’s hard to believe, but we are now officially through four weeks of Urbanathalon training (click here if confused by this sentence…we’ll be here when you get back).
It’s been a different kind of training process. I’ve grown accustomed to training runs and all that, but strength training is a whole new experience.
Did you know there are different kinds of push-ups? I’m not talking about “girly” (which is just insulting) vs. “real” push-ups.
These are full body workout push-ups unto themselves.
Of course, like most things in life, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
So I got used to the new push-ups…and immediately had to start learning a new one (which is even harder).
Despite the shoulder killing push-ups the first third of training has still flown by amazingly fast.
Already another Sunday is upon us (shortly) and that means one thing. Nothing. Sorry I forgot one thing. Absolutely Nothing.
Sunday’s are rest days, and it is a beautiful thing.
Because of our extra Sunday time, we’ve decided to make a bit of a change to our blogging format.
Don’t worry, this is a good thing.
Starting tomorrow, with our promised Summer Movie Wrap-up, every Sunday will be a duel blog day.
That means both of us will be presenting our points of view on a chosen topic. It will be one entry under a to be determined pseudonym and it will be awesome.
The opinions may be the same. They may be different. We are willing to risk the arguments/disagreements (and I assure you, there will be some) for you guys.
So brace yourselves for: Zerephanie…no, wait…Stephazer…Twofer…Zernie…Stephaniezer…I guess we’ll go with
I still like Stephaniezer.