As of the beginning of August, things had been sort of in free-fall for me for a couple of months. I feel like things have sort of turned around a bit—although the two races I did last month did take a bit out of me. Nevertheless: Here’s my review of my goals from last month.
Weight: Goal was a 7-day average of 253; I didn’t make that, but I did reverse the increases of the past couple of months slightly, with a drop of about a pound and a half.
Success at the Spartan Rope Climb: Being able to climb the rope in the gym didn’t turn out to be the key to success on the course. I wasn’t even able to get up out of the water pit.
Enjoying the Spartan Super: While the start of the Spartan Race was brutal, and the overall race was a bit more grueling than I absolutely needed, I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than Indy. I’ll count this one as a win. And as a bonus, I definitely had a lot of fun at the Badass Dash.
Climbing: Mixed to near-success here. My goal was to complete two of the yellow (easiest) problems in the cave, and to succeed at one green (the next level up) problem. I succeeded at one of the yellow problems, which really shocked me, and I was one hold away on each of the others. Considering I couldn’t get off the starting holds at the start of the month, there was a lot of improvement. The one slightly disappointing thing about climbing: It doesn’t really make a great goal. I only went four times last month, and that’s actually a fairly high number for me. For me, climbing is more of an extra thing—it’s a lot of fun, and it’s really wonderful to learn a new skill, and it’s great to work muscles in a new way, but it will probably never replace my normal workouts. Also, another new climbing gym just opened in Chicago, and I’ve got passes at it and the original one, so unless I develop a clear favorite I’ll be going to both. (I also should try the new outdoor city-owned climbing park before too long.) Which will mean that I won’t have a lot of chances to even identify goals, let alone work towards improving them. So probably no more climbing goals for a long while, which is too bad, because I really do enjoy it.
Monkey Bars: My goal was 40 rungs, but I hardly practiced at all. There’s a bit of defense for this: I usually try to do this at my gym before class starts, but if there’s equipment set up it often blocks the monkey bars, and this seemed to happen most days.
Dad’s Little Book of Rage pictures: Not even close. My goal was 15, and I only did 3. The central conceit of this work is that, due to a fairly cult-like environment in which the author has lived his entire life, there are rather a lot of flagrantly absurd things that he believes quite fervently. Such as that this:
Goals for this month
Weight: A classic, a broken record, whatever. Goal will be a 252 7-day average.
Hills: The races this month exposed just how weak my hill running is. Ironically, it was the mostly flat Badass Dash that proved it: The Spartans were awful, but I assumed they were awful because of the mud and slickness of the hills. But the small amount of hills in the Badass Dash took way too much out of me, so that’s an area that definitely needs to be addressed. And the Bourbon Chase, coming next month, will definitely have some, so I’d best prepare. My goal will be twofold. First, after every class at my gym, run the stairs to the roof (a seven-floor run.) Hopefully I’ll find that I have to do multiple stair runs by the end of the month. Second, once a week, I’ll do a hill workout in place of my normal run. This is surprisingly difficult: The nearest hill taller than I am is about 5 miles from where I live. I did the first one yesterday, and it was awful. I’m not sure if it was because of the heat, or the bike ride there, or the fact that I’m terrible at hills (probably that one) but there’s a lot of work to do.
Burpees: September 26 my gym is doing a 1000-burpee workout. So I’m going to try to not die at that.
5K: My next race is a 5K to benefit the museum where I volunteer. My time last year was 26:24, I think. My goal for this year will be 26:00. I have no idea if that’s feasible or not. It’s technically October 4, but I’ll count it for this month.