Monday, September 29, 2008

Sloppy Hogs - Midwest Monster Race report

Another race....more poison ivy. Seems to be the surest bet around these days.

The Sloppy Hogs participated in yet another adventure race: The Midwest Monster. The Monster is a great annual race held in Quincy, IL, each September. It funds the Quincy Regional Crimestoppers program. And this was the third time Brian and I participated. This was, however, the first time we registered as a 2-person team rather than a 4-person co-ed team. We also made the trip down to Quincy with two other Chicagoland teams, the "Fat Kidz" and the "Kettlebell Mafia" both who train out of a local gym, CrossFit Tri-Cities.

The exact course and components are kept a secret until race day. It proved to be 39+ miles of biking, 10+ miles of running/trekking, 2 miles of carrying a 40lb sandbag (each), kayaking around a lake, running through a flooded creek for 1.5 miles, navigating a dense forest, and a variety of agility and strength obstacles. Each of the disciplines was broken up to no more than 5 miles of running or 6-8 miles of biking at a stretch.

Yet again I ran out of water and food. It's a painful lesson I'm forced to learn again each year. One of these days I'll actually remember to pack enough food and water in my CamelBak backpack to last. So with the mild dehydration, the physical exertion, and realization of how far we were from the next transition point (with our staged food and water)...I did what anyone would do: turn into a whiny bitch.

Brian kicked some major butt while getting us through the LandNav portion of the race. His compass reading and pace count was right-on for each of the orienteering points we had to locate in the forest. He also dished out a statement early in race that kept me going strong, "If it were easy, everyone would be doing it." That motivated me into digging deep for those extra bursts of energy.

The mountain biking was probably the most challenging. A lot of the late-race off-road course was on a sandy river bank...totally unmountable. Also, I couldn't believe how many fallen trees were across the trails. These were mostly trees that I would normally jump or ride over. But late in the race, I did not have the power or coordination to time any jumps or techniques....other than the old standby: get off and carry the bike over or through the obstacle. My odometer said 39-point-something miles, but that didn't account for all the distance I carried that bike on my shoulder!!

After 9 hours and 48 minutes of non-stop action, we crossed the finish line. As always, it was a great race. It keeps getting better each year. Well, except for that damn poison ivy I seem to find my way into!

This was my last endurance event for the season, so I get to alter my training schedule a tad. My plans are to:
  • finish the 100 Day Burpee Challenge,
  • add more functional weightlifting and gymnastics sessions through Oct 12th,
  • more stair workouts,
  • limit the distance running and mountain biking,
  • do shorter, more intense interval and sprint runs,
  • and wait for the October 13th start of the now-famous 30-day Prison Workout.

That seems like a pretty solid plan for the rest of Fall 2008. That will bring me into the cold months....any ideas? You know I'm already thinking of skyscraper stair races....

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