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Week 4: Don't be Afraid to Get Dirty

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So the Barber Beast on the Bay trial run was this past weekend, and it got me incredibly pumped up for the big day! Unfortunately I had to work, so I couldn't run the shortened three mile test version, but I was there to cover it for WICU/WSEE so I still got a taste of what it will be like. Here's one of the biggest obstacles you'll see on race day. It looked like it was near impossible to make it all the way up yourself using the ropes, so teamwork was key. It was great to see everyone working together and helping out people they'd never event met. Just one of the great things about this event!

This week was a landmark event in my training– my first time in the sand pit!

It's part of Executive Personal Fitness, right out back. Up until this point I'd only heard of it's existence… but after my session I can say I have become very well acquainted with it (sand in the shoes, mouth, shirt, hair). There are a thousand reasons to train on the sand before the race… number one is because running in sand is WAY harder than running on pavement or gravel! I'd never actually run on sand before, except maybe on the beach trying to get to my towel to escape the hot sand.

I started the workout with a warm up of jogging around the sand pit, to get used to the feeling of how the sand moves under my feet. Lisa gave me a good tip to start off: run forward. You want it to be more of a forward glide, rather than picking your knees and feet up really high, because that'll just make you dig into the sand harder, making it more difficult to progress forward and making you exert more energy (and you're going to need all the energy you can get for the next 11 miles).

One of the first sand circuits started with a full out sprint and side to side shuffle (basketball style) to get used to changing position quickly in the sand.

Then I continued the sprint over to a big wooden box, for 15 pushups. It was so much harder than I thought it would be to get through those pushups when I was already fatigued from sprinting, I really felt it in the abs! I did the circuit five times.

Something you might not think you need to get used to for race day is getting dirty. If you're going to run 12 miles, crawl and fall in the sand, you can't let the discomfort get to you. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but after doing burpees, bear crawls and plank walks in the sand, I can say it's gonna take some adjustment. You'll have sand in your shoes from the minute your feet hit the sand, and before long you'll be completely covered. Parts of the course have you going through water, too, so you can bet that sand is gonna stick the rest of the race.

Lisa had me do regular burpees and burpees where I actually laid down in the sand completely (jump up, lay down, stand back up, as fast as you can). I got slow pretty quick… EVERYTHING takes more effort in the sand!

I got a little break from the grit with another new challenge: tire flipping. As Lisa pointed out, it can be very tire- ing hehe.

This is the smallest tire they had at the gym. Lisa claims I will eventually use an even bigger one, but I'm sticking with this guy for now! The key is keeping your back straight, which I wasn't exactly doing here. Squat down, stand straight up, put all your force behind it and push it over. I did this back and forth, about four flips each way, five times. Or was it ten? I can't remember but whatever it was I'm definitely feeling it a day after!

One of our photographers from WICU/WSEE stopped by to get some footage of me struggling/ sweating through the session, so look out for some live action coming your way on the stations of Lilly Broadcasting later this week! I'll post when it's going to be on, and I'll have a link to the video on the blog as well. Get out and hit the sand this week! Good Luck!

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