I’m breaking up with Peanut Butter & Deadlifts. I needed a change of scene. As you know (if anyone still reads this) I started this blog as a way to chronicle my life of fitness, food and recovery.
I’ve been wanting something new. Something to use as a source of motivation to others. Motivation for athletic performance. With the Death Race right around the corner and having just done the Peak Ultra marathon I’m really beginning to explore my limits. It’s fun. I’m not into the whole WIAW’s and food posts (although I love reading them) it’s just not my niche. I hope you understand.
If you would like to follow my athletic pursuits, terrible jokes and really get some (hard core) training ideas follow me at:
And please if you’ve been a reader here for crying out loud friend me on facebook and let’s chat. I want to get to know my readers
Officially finished task #1 for the Death Race…
Have yourself published in a News Paper. Without further ado I give you…
Be back soon with some training tips! Have a wonderful day.
Hey! As promised here is the write up of my experience with SERE challenge in Boston last weekend.
15 hours (10pm Friday-1pm Saturday). 20ish miles. 3 teams. 1 class, 003.
Everyone met up before the event started at Ducali for food/drinks. Obviously I went straight for the drinks. Our rally point (RP) was at Paul Revere Park in Charlestown. We made sure everyone had the necessary gear, having to empty our rucks and hold up each items for the instructors viewing. Two of the items on our gear list were a white t-shirt and a sharpie, we were told to take both out at write “S.E.R.E” on the chest and our # on the arms. I was 008, this was determined by where you were standing when they went through, 001-023 (23 people total).
PT time, well the first of it. Squats, presses (with our rucks), push ups, planks, ect. My ruck weight was 45# total, the sand was 22#. I struggled pressing that damn thing above my head, that right there is a weakness I will be working on in the upcoming weeks.
Pressin’ sand bags!
Three people were then chosen to be team captains and then pick who they wanted on their team, picture high school dodge ball style team picking. I was the only girl on my team, the other teams had 2 girls and 3 girls. At first I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to let my team down or hold them behind. Self doubt at it’s finest . After the first “challenge” though I knew I was with the right people.
Challenge #1: At Paul Revere Park.
With A ruck (note, the whole team used mine seeing it weighed the least)
Each member must complete: low crawl to other side of park, lunge back to starting point, run/climb up a slide over on the playground and go down a different slide and then run the perimeter of the park. The low crawl was the worst because the pack doesn’t stay centered and will hit you in the head, but I knew there was much more of that to come. This challenge determined our team weight, aka which “object” our team was left with to carry. We came in 3rd and were left with the lovely SERE storage container. Shit sucked to carry but I can’t complain as I did the least of the carrying…. remember big strong men
After we are given our team weight the class is given lesson number 1. We are taught first aid from some basics to pretty extreme cases.
One of the few times I had that darn team weight!
Our team instructor, John, then gave us the first mission, to collect intel from both Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution. Intel being, who, what, when, where and why.
After visiting both places we then headed to Old North Church where we were allotted a short time to put all intel together and send our team leader, Eric, to be quizzed by instructors. After success of the quiz we were told to low crawl (like real low crawl, not elbows/knees…picture dragging) with our packs across the backside of the Church. It was not fun and drunk people kept proceeding by probably curious as to what the hell we were doing. Upon reaching the other side we are given a 300 piece puzzle. Now I don’t care what other say but putting together a puzzle in the wee morning hours is NOT FUN. Our team placed ourselves in a good spot, underneath an entry way (light and an overhang). We finished the puzzle before the other two teams and had started last, crunch time.
This was my first time really needing to pee so I went off with a team mate and found a nearby playground/small tree. It worked.
My memory gets a little foggy here so bear with me!! We then went off to Christopher Columbus Park to receive another lesson, this one being on surroundings and escaping. We learn how to break free of a zip tie with a shoe lace. Clearly had fun with this one after I got back home! Also, we learned how to build a rope traverse for water crossing, a wireman’s knot and bowline knot. We then had PT from hell from Lynn. She’s a beast. After just that quick PT session I can say with confidence her hour bootcamp would end with me passed out on the floor.
We were about to get going on our way when told the largest member on your team just died and you have to carry them. Hello there, Luke. I did not help in this what so ever because Mr.Luke is about 2.5 of me, that’d be quite the sight. Talk about impressive buddy carries. Mark, Eric and Freddy took on the job. Mark is also a beast. Actually I’m lying, every single person at this event is a beast.
Our next stop? The Granary Cemetery by way of Fanuel Hall. Which by the way I had totally erased from my memory so thank you Paul for your review, without you this write up would be incomplete! Here we had snack time, and I found a nice smelly alley way to pee in. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of strange places I went to the bathroom that night. It’s disturbing.
We then headed over for visit number 1 to Boston Commons. What’s better to do in all that open space than…. somersault race. It was an interesting race in that we had very skilled somersaults and we had people flipping their bodies in directions that didn’t even remotely look like a somersault. Whatever works.
After the infamous somersaulting we headed off to Fenway. Our team split up into groups of 2’s, each group was assigned a different side of the building. The task was to gather as much information as we could. After doing a lap around the building we were asked what the largest sign displayed was? We answered Budweiser. WRONG. Run around the building again, at this point it’s drizzling out but in a way it felt pretty nice. Incase your wondering the correct answer is the Citgo sign.
After the Fenway shenanigans are over we are headed to Corey Hill. This was a fairly long walk. Our instructor had up doing PT for 1 minute every 5 minutes. Lunges, burpees, push ups, side lunges ect. Half way over we took a pit stop at Trader Joe’s, girl had to pee and alley ways are no longer an option seeing it’s daytime. The final part or the walk is uphill, a very long hill. A member of the team is no longer aloud to walk, that member was me. Eric, the leader proceeds to buddy carry me the remainder of the hill. I was thoroughly impressed with his efforts. At Corey Hill we had to low crawl down the hill and do walking lunges back up. After this we took 5 minutes to sit and eat. By eat I mean shovel in the goods.
Once done chow time we are headed off to Leverett Pond. We get there and are told to take off whatever you don’t want getting wet. I strip down to socks, coldgear leggings and my sport bra. Quick PT to warm up our cores and into the pond we go. We have to do 3 divebomber push ups and then get out of the pond. Another quick PT session to warm up: squats (the cure all) and jumping jacks. At this point I just want my clothes back on. I had another pair of leggings in the dry bag in my pack so I changed them and put the rest of my gear back on. I didn’t have another bra and mine was soaked so took that off (remember, daylight out in the open) LOL! Felt way better with it off
Next we are headed back to Boston Commons. Each teammate is tested on their ability to make both knots that we learned earlier in the challenge. The bowline and wireman. After everyone passed we had to build a rope traverse between two trees. We were told one member would have to hook on and go across, but could not hit the ground. No problems and quickly move on.
It was probably around 12 and we are almost done. We are now as a class and will remain that way for the rest of the challenge. On our way we stop to be tested on the teams ability to provide aid for a chest wound. All teams passed. We then are headed back to Old North Church. The instructors have something to show us. We arrive and behind the Church there is a monument with a set of dog tags for the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a very moving sight and definitely had you appreciating everything.
WERE DONE! Our team did not win but it’s not about first place. It’s about team. It’s about keeping going and working together to finish. We all finished. Everyone in the class is given a S.E.R.E Basis dog tag.
What I took away from it:
Having never done a real team challenge it was a new experience for me. With growing up competiting in Jump Rope I was on a team but most of the events were individual. The support from team members was there but we never really had to push past mental struggles as a whole. With SERE lasting 15 hours I know I was struggling a bit to keep going but my team kept me focused.
The biggest thing for me was pain in my back and my team figuring out a way to take my two sand bags out and carry them for me. These guys already had more weight than me and they took mine on. I was and am so thankful for that. It helped me so much and I was definitely slowing down.
Overall I am so happy I had the opportunity to do this challenge. It taught me about team and also basic survival skills. It allowed me to both mentally and physically challenge myself. I was able to pick up on some weaknesses I want to work on now before the Death Race to better prepare myself.
Thank you class 003, you guys are the best. And as for my team, “Team Fu*king Awesome”, you guys are PHENOMENAL. Also a big shout out to the instructors, thank you all for all the hard work you put in to make these events possible!
If you would like to read another review please check out my friend Paul’s
OH, in case you were wondering…. This was our finished
Hello! I know I have promised a S.E.R.E recap, that will be posted later this week as it’s getting long (don’t worry lots of pictures!!!!). It’s in the works. Right now however I wanted to share something with you all in hopes to get a discussion sparked
Sometimes it is hard – AKA Whole9’s approach to explaining their program in a ‘language’ for people dealing with eating disorders.
My take- at first I was slightly appalled at the fact they felt it was necessary to change up the typical tough love approach of their program to something more subtle. After I read the article through a few times, yes a few times, I started to agree with them more and more. In reality, it makes sense.
We (people with ED’s/past experience with them) are an interesting bunch. That’s not a bad thing. We tend to take things to the extreme, especially diet related. When a new diet pops up on our radar we immediately hop on assuming it’s the next best thing. Eating disorder’s aren’t about food, they are about control and reaching that damn lofty expectation of perfection. So obviously if something makes a claim that will help us achieve perfection we typically go all out.
I like how they say “it will be hard.” It’s true. I follow paleo mostly and have for some time now, but I’ve never been able to successfully do the Whole30. Do I feel like a failure? Kind of. Should it be that hard to complete? No. Why is it? Because I obsess over it. I want to do it 100%, no slip ups, macros 40/30/30, minimal fruit, high veggie all that shit. Obsessing is never good, it’s too stressful.
Recently I thought about giving it another shot and I then thought to myself ‘why the f am I actually planning to put myself through this again"?’. ‘What will I gain?’ The answers are habit and nothing positive.
I’ve tried primal, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten free, dairy free… pretty much everything except the Atkins diet, although some may argue paleo is quite similar….. Anyways my point is that I’ve been all over the board with diets, fads, the “next best thing”. I want to be the best. It’s a habit, it’s an addiction. An addiction to trying everything possible to be the best. That isn’t healthy.
I only still do paleo because it’s habit. I don’t feel better. I don’t feel worse either but I can tell you it isn’t helping my goals.
Seeing I am so fitness focused I am able to speak directly to the diets because nutrition is such a huge part of performance. Trying all of the above has fallen short every single time. It’s gotten me absolutely no where.
I don’t call myself recovered. It’s weird to admit that in such a straight up way, but it’s the truth. It’s been 7, almost 8 years since I really developed my eating disorder and although my methods have changed the reasons deeply placed behind them are the same as day 1. So please do me a favor, next time you go to try the next best thing, ask yourself WHY.
Let’s start off with a good ol’ leg workout. As you know I love my deadlifts and wanted to whip some out last night. With SERE tomorrow I decided it’d be a bad plan to go real heavy so here’s to using both deadlifts and squats in the same workout.
Warm up- hip openers, walking lunges, dislocates, inchworm(?)
- 2×15 front squat w/ Oly bar
- Deadlifts 6×8/8/4/4/4/4 @ 115/125/135/135/135/145
Back squat 6×8 @115
Weighted pull ups 6×4/4/2/2/2/2 @ BW+ 10/15/20/20/25/20
- Foam roll/lacrosse ball, hamstrings/hip flexor stretching, child’s pose (really focus on pushing away here to get a back stretch)
Preparing for a competition/event
The ideal way to prepare your body for an event is to train hard the weeks/months leading up to it. Go over the movements, know what your going to be doing like the back of your hand. If you don’t know what you are going to be doing at the event (SERE or the Death Race for example), your best bet is then to train with very complex movements, functional skills and the basics. Running, heavy lifting, plyometrics and outside training for example.
You can’t change your performance the week of the event. Even two weeks prior your performance is pretty much unable to improve. You might learn a new skill but that won’t necessarily increase your performance abilities. The exception to this would be leaning a skill that will improve your movement, for example mastering a double under a week before a crossfit competition. That would be beneficial. But if you sign up for a marathon that is a month away and you have never run over 5 miles, I’m sorry but your probably going to hurt yourself.
As the event moves closer you want to ensure you are training correctly, getting in mobility work, sleeping properly and eating good nutritious fuel. You don’t want to take too many rest days though, but if your body feels worn out take a day off and ice.
Here is what I’ve done for SERE:
Typical training week:
- 5 strength sessions, 3 plyo/metcon style sessions, 2 endurance based
- Accessory/specifics: 30 minutes core every other day; 50 thrusters every other day (alternate core/thrusters)
- Mobility work 30-60 minutes/day depending on workouts and muscle soreness
- I’m also currently seeing a Chiropractor and PT so that plays a huge component in my mobility/recovery as well
Two weeks prior: Normal training.
One week prior:
- Saturday BB rows @ normal weight/rep count. 1 HR bootcamp
- Sunday off
- Monday boxing,30 minutes core work
- Tuesday power cleans @70ish%, functional movement plyos
- Wednesday legs @ 70ish%
- Thursday off
- Friday SERE challenge
As you can see this past week has been a lighter load, however I am still doing the same movements my body is used to. I haven’t done double sessions but I’m not taking many days off either. Today (Thursday) being the day prior to SERE I am using as my off day to both stretch out and focus. Picture my bum on the couch right now with ice on my knees. Foam roller and lacrosse ball near by
In terms of nutrition make sure you are fueling your body properly. You know what works for you. The best advice I was ever given for this was not WHAT to eat but more HOW. HOW means to keep eating what your body is used to . Don’t play around with your diet a week before. Don’t start eating meat again two weeks prior for more protein and expect to not be in the bathroom come event day. Be smart. Also, make sure to hydrate. Water, water, water not vitamin water.
For what to do on the day itself I am not going into any detail yet. I have some past experience with longer events (jump rope competitions and the Spartan Beast) but I want to wait until after SERE.
I’ll be doing a write up early next week
Have a great weekend and cross your fingers it doesn’t snow in Boston. I’d rather not get hypothermia.
In 6 days it will be Friday March 30th. At approximately 9pm on Friday March 30th myself and many others will be starting the 12 hour challenge known as SERE.
What’s S.E.R.E? It “Focuses on natural and tactical Survival through STRENGTHENING your mind, advancing your ENDURANCE , building self-RELEIANCE and ultimately EVOVLING you in to what we both know you can become.” Source.
I’m doing SERE Boston which is the basic level and will last about 12 hours. 9pm-9am. It will push me physically and mentally to my limits and then break through those set limits. It’s a team challenge meaning the whole group will be broken into teams and led by an instructor. The teams compete against each other to see which one can complete the given assignment first. First team to finish wins.
Honestly though it’s not about winning. It’s about team work. I’ve never done anything this physically or mentally demanding in team form. It is going to be quite the experience and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to join a group of people who are so determined and focused. It’s going to be good for me.
I don’t know what I will be doing in terms of the assignment. I’m not even sure where in Boston it is. They give you a gear list and I’m pretty much all set on that but you can’t really guess from the items on it what will be asked of you. Ready for it?
- 10-12’ blue water rope
- 20% body weight sandbag (waterproofed)
- White t-shirt
- Chem light
- Space blanket
- Black sharpie
- Duct tape
- Extra large trash bag
- 4 zip-lock 1 gallon bags
- Headlamp with red light mode
- Personal ID
- Quitters fee (aka taxi fee incase you can’t finish)
- Personal items you may want/need
Currently the weather outlook…. pretty darn good
My training for this has been nothing special. Just what I’m already doing in preparation for CMC and the Death Race. I did hill sprints up this baby a few nights ago…
8:30pm darkness ruins visibility but it goes up then it’s flat and then goes up steeper. Kicker? there’s a graveyard at the top. Spooks!
The gym has been an oven this past week that the big industrial style garage door leading to the parking lot has been left open (aka allowing me to incorporate both inside and outside really easy)!
40# hill farmer walks
20 sledgehammer slams
15 35# KB swings
30 double rope slams
15 50# thrusters
10 hill suicides to finish
I’m off to ice, shovel in some food and work. Now that’s multitasking. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!!
Inside or outside workouts?
Any upcoming races/events?