Since I have completed the marathon, I really haven't trained a whole lot. For the 3-4 weeks after I really didn't do much. I realized I was simply burned out both mentally and physically from training. That marathon certainly took a lot out of this old sprinter.
I started hitting the workouts pretty hard again about 2 weeks ago. Even though my hip and shoulder are bothering me, I'm doing as much as I can with obvious modifications. I started doing banded deadlifts, which is a nice way to add some intensity into a deadlift workout. It's definitely a different feel and you definitely cannot do nearly as much weight as you are used to but it's a hell of a way to fry your back and hammies. In addition to this, I have gotten reacquainted with my love for mud runs.
Last year I participated in my first Warrior Dash with my friend Liza. This race, not so much of a race but more of run with a lot of dirt involved, is roughly a 5k and they throw in obstacles such as a rope climb, cargo nets, running through a creek, jumping over fire, running through tires, and final jaunt in a giant mud bath that's about 100 feet long. It's a lot of fun and it's generally not very competitive. Most of the people running it wear costumes and there's a lot of camaraderie going on. I guess you could make it competitive if you ran up near the front in the first wave of the day.
Then later in the year I took a trip to Virginia Beach and ran the Mud Run there. That was 5 miles, mostly on sand, with about 3 or 4 mud pits. This was an insanely hard run due to the introduction of sand. This land lubber from Kentucky really doesn't get a whole lot of running in sand. Needless to say, my 22 year old nephew made me eat my words when we beat me by 4 minutes (I hate you Brandon!). But the run was extremely challenging and even more fun.
Last weekend I headed back up to Chicago and did the Warrior Dash again, this time with my buddy Justin and his roommate Linda. Once again, this race proved to be not so much of a race but a run with an absolute ton of fun thrown in. This year the run didn't have as much mud thrown in but it seemed like it was a little bit longer and had a couple of more obstacles. The worst of which for me was the stupid horizontal cargo nets. I felt like a 2 legged monkey trying to get through this thing. I kept overextending myself and almost fell threw a few times. Justin flew right threw like the ninja he is. Fortunately for me he's a slow runner so we made a good team. Most of the obstacles are fairly tame with the exception of that. While it's not crazy difficult, it is a whole lot of fun as they also have music littered throughout the course so you aren't bored with your own thoughts very often. The final obstacle is a 100 foot mud pit. This year's was a whole lot deeper at the beginning than last year. I jumped in feet first this year and got absolutely stuck. For the life of me I could not get my feet removed. I had to have Justin pull me out so I could finish up the rest of the 100 feet. So after completing this, I went to the "shower". I remembered this as a horrible experience from last year and this year was no different. It's basically a guy standing on a platform about 15 feet in the air spraying a fire hose on everyone. This really doesn't accomplish a whole lot. Needless to say I did not get all that clean and wound up driving the 5 hours home with caked on mud from my knees down and from my elbow to my shoulders. Nice.
This run solidified my desire to run the Tough Mudder in Indiana in November. I am absolutely stoked to do that. That consists of 12 miles with even more intense miles. Now this one will be all about survival. I can't wait. For more information on either of these runs, be sure to check out www.warriordash.com and www.toughmudder.com.