Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On my way to my first Marathon via Spartan.

Here I go again. These are the musings of Tanya Logan, mediocre athlete. Yes mediocre. Way to sell my blog I know. I am not podium material, nor am I at the back of the pack and that’s ok. My return to blogging is to document my journey to my first marathon while passing through Spartan.  I am registered to do the Spartan Ultra Beast (Marathon distance) but I haven't decided for sure if I will do it. I do not work full time but I do get to play soldier one weekend a month with the New York Army National Guard. I am a Level 1 Crossfit Trainer but I am currently not coaching as I wish to be more personally proficient at the sport before coaching others full time.  My training consists of 3 run days and 3 crossfit days. The main gist of my training is M-W-F crossfit. Tuesday short run/hills, Thursday long run, and weekend day shorter run. Using a weekday for long run to accommodate racing season. Yes I could do more, but it would jeopardize my mediocre position in sports and also take away from family time.  I strongly feel that it is important to take time for fitness but it’s also important to find balance. My kids only have one childhood and I want to be there for it.

I’m going to use this blog in a couple of ways. I will try and post every night. This is to share what I’ll be doing the next day, for those local that want to join me on my runs or workouts. I’ll be doing race reviews maybe, i don't know if I can recap very well. I will continue to share my DIY instructions for my fitness and obstacle equipment. If I have time I’ll review some shoes and stuff. I will also be pimping my charitable organizations. The Canadian Mudd Queens have been working really hard to raise funds for the 100k Sears Relay thing with a long name to benefit kids cancer research.  I’ll post our fundraising efforts as we get them in. Below is the link for straight donations.  I will not post about nutrition as I struggle greatly with it myself. Maybe if I get the hang of it someday I will. I will not use this blog to post about cheesy reality shows. Maybe.

June 18th will be Crossfit day. Please feel free to contact me if you are local and want to join!

Monday, February 4, 2013

So much room for activities.

I love being a mom. I like working out. I like obstacle course races. I like to point out the obvious.

I usually post about above mentioned obviousness but I thought I’d go crazy and shake things up. After I pimp this other blog's interview of me: Bada$$ Mom Monday. Now, I will delve a little bit further into what I do when I’m not racing, being a mom, being a wife, cleaning up after a dog, 3 cats, and a snake, working out, or racing.  Yes there is more time in the day for stuff. But not for dusting. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
One of my first obsessions is The Doctor. Say it…Say it…SAY IT!!! I’m going to assume you said Doctor Who. Ahhhhh. Yes Doctor Who. It’s nerdy and delicious. It’s the kinda of marathon I can really sink my teeth into, the Netflix Marathon. I am more than guilty of spending several hours sipping on wine, knitting and watching this show. I really like the newer series but I’ve been known to watch some older ones. 

I made these Ewok hoods for the kids.
What’s that you say, knitting?! Why yes I am a knitter. I’m not a fancy knitter though. I learned how to knit off of You Tube.  So if it’s not on there then I don’t know how it’s done. But seriously what Isn’t on you tube?!

Below is my work in progress. It’s the scarf of the 4th Doctor in Doctor Who. It was 12 Feet long so it’s taking a while to get done. I’m about half way. I would be further but my darling little girl decided to pull my needles out one day and set back about 2 days. I enjoy sewing too although I haven’t done much of that in a while.  I don’t get as much time for my hobbies with my husband deployed, well on a civilian deployment but I’m still saying deployed, and with school.

Tom baker with the scarf.

About half wayt to that -->

School you say?!?! Why yes I’m using this segway again. I am also a student. A late bloomer in the area of academics I suppose. I am obtaining my Associates in Independent Studies with a focus on Health Sciences.  I was a full time student up until this semester. With the husband gone I can’t really make it to class, don’t get me started on daycare, and I only have one class to graduate. I’m taking statistics online in a 7 week condensed class format.  Also while I’m bragging I’m also holding a 4.0 GPA.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spear Pressure

Another great accessory for the Obstacle Course Racer is a spear. Not that I don't love burpees, but this year I'm hoping to skip them and not toss the spear like a girl. What better way to practice then by making my own?!? By make my own I mean ask my husband nicely to make one for me.

This is the You Tube video I used to make mine. But I'm going to post my pictures anyways, cause this is my blog.


Some type of  handle. An old rake or in my case a mop. 
A 12 inch bridge nail (About 70 cents at Home Depot and a confused cashier)
A drill with a 3/8" bit
A sawzall
A hammer.

 Step 1: For me I had to remove the mop head attachment.

 Step 2: Drill a hole  with a 3/8" bit. Make sure to stay straight and go in a few inches. Insert "that's what she said" joke here. Notice the man hands in the pictures. I am probably not legally allowed to handle power tools.

Step 3: Saw off the head of the nail. Again in this case it's best that my husband did it. 

Step 4: Insert cut off end of nail into hole so that it's snug. Tap it a few times with a hammer to make sure it's in there. You can duct tape it if you want to give it a bit more hold. 
Step 5: Hold spear in manly fashion with pride but stand just off camera. This step is optional.

There we have it. Use caution when tossing this spear because it's a spear. Next step is putting an ad on craigslist for some hay bales and play the waiting game...

This game sucks! Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sloshing through the snow

I've decided to put together posts about my at home equipment. One of the biggest challenges as a mother is finding time to make it out to the gym. When you do go, you have to make sure the kids are fed, have pottied, pack a bag with spare clothing for daycare, bundle up the kids, load them in the car, drive to the gym, unload the kids, unbundle them, sign them in, pray to your respective deity that they play nice, and then hit the gym. I'm sure this routine might have just served as a contraceptive for some. To avoid this fun adventure I've made a lot of equipment for home workouts that revolves around getting ready for obstacle course racing. Most of my materials hail from the Home Depot. I'll try and make a post a week to showcase one piece and how to make it. DISCLAIMER: I have by no mean invented any of these things. I pieced my projects together from pictures and examples off the internet. Please excuse my home renovation in progress in the pictures. Without further delay here is the first installment.

The slosh pipe. 

What is a slosh pipe? I don't know if there is an official type of slosh pipe I have only ever seen home made PVC pipe ones like the one I will show here. The water inside the pipe not only adds weight to your workout but since it sloshes around you must work on your balance as well. You can do many things with the pipe. You sling this puppy over your shoulders as pictured above and go run, climb up hills, lunges, etc. Like most of these home equipment things there is a lot of versatility if you put your imagination to work.

10 foot PVC Pipe with a 3 inch diameter .You can go smaller. In retrospect as a 5'4" woman I should have made it 8 feet long but the 3 inch diameter is perfect.
A cap to make a closed end. (pictured below)
The other end can be another cap but i went with an end that screws off so i can adjust water as needed. (pictured below)
PVC Cement (brush should be in the can)
PVC Purple Primer (brush should be in the can)

 This is the PVC Cement and Purple primer cans.
First you make sure both ends of the pipe are clean. Then you apply the purple primer to coat the outside of each pipe end, the inside of the cap and the inside of the other end you selected. This doesn't take long to dry, about a minute. I propped my pipe up on paint cans so the ends were off the ground. Then apply a layer of cement over the areas that you applied purple primer on. Immediately put the caps on and ensure that they are on all the way. Also make sure that they are not slipping off. It shouldn't take long to set, about 2 hours, but I would wait a day before filling it with water. When you add the water put in a touch of bleach so it doesn't get funky. You can put as much water as you want. There you go, easy peasy!

Cap end.
Twist off end.

Finished pipe

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting Commited

Or being committed...

Let's just say comitment.

After the Ultra Beast in September alst year I saw my level of commitment to fitness and health go downwards fast. First it was skip a workout here and there. Then eat a pizza or a fast food meal on the go. Soon enough I was drinking a bottle of wine every night, eating everything in sight and not working out at all. I have excuses yes, stress from full time school, kids, husband losing his job, etc... But no excuse is ever really a good excuse. Life isn't something that should get in the way of your dreams. Life should be the road to your dreams. It's not a new year's resolution but more happenstance that it's the new year and i'm recommitting myself to find that drive I had not so long ago. It's slowly coming back. I need to let go of the fact that I am not where I was 4 months ago and build back up. The two major things I need to focus on is being ready for all the races I want to do and eat healthy.

This year I'm committed to doing a lot of races. To keep me on track I have registered to do the 13 in 13 challenge present by Margaret Schlachter from Dirt in Your Skirt . That is 13 races or events, if you will, in 2013. In April we will receive a medal to commemorate our dedication. I start my 13 in 13 challenge this Saturday with a 5k at Fort Drum presented by BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers). This is a free event and is always a good time. If the weather is warm as it has been I will be running with the kids in the stroller. 

I've been looking at different racing opportunities. Since I have a season pass for Spartan Races that will be the bulk of my Race year. There are, however a few different races that I want to take on. The first is a virtual 5k obstacle race. It's an interesting concept that has come up lately. The idea of racing virtually is that you commit to a race, register and complete it where ever you are between certain dates. I am planning on traveling to the mother land of Canada to complete this with my Canadian Mudd Queens. I am also looking into competing in the spring Tough Mudder in Toronto. I really dont much care to run the Tough Mudder but it seems like it's a right of passage in the world of obstacle racing. When I talk about obstacle racing I am always asked if I've ever done a Tough Mudder, i'd like to say I did and that it was cake compared to Spartan Beasts!  

I'm also recommitting to eating well. I desperately want my children to have good nutritional habits. I think, as an adult, poor heating habits is one of the most difficult things I face on a daily basis. It seems to me that those brought up eating well aren't faced with the daily struggle of what and when to eat.  It's normal to them to  just eat what is needed and not crave a whole box of twinkies because it's Tuesday. I want that for my children. I want healthy choices to be second nature. I am recommitting to lead by example and give them that. 

And there we have it. I will work out and reach my racing goal and I will fuel my body properly to attain this.

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013: Family, Race and Routines.

We are family:
2013 is lining up to be another crazy one. If you know me then you know I thrive on pressure. The biggest news is that my husband has accepted a job in Iraq for a year. He is no longer a service member and will be going to serve as a civilian. While this will be difficult on the family it will also be a great benefit. It will also make it difficult to race as much as I want since. I will have to bring the kids with me and have someone to watch them. I will make it work! My son will be turning 4 this May and therefor be able to compete in the Kids Spartan Races! He is so excited, maybe just as much as I am. His Grand-Maman bought him real racing shoes and he's been practicing his running! The family that races together stays together I suppose. Did I mention that I am also pursuing my Associates degree? I am only one math class shy of my degree which I am taking online this semester. If I can get an "A" in this class I will be graduating in May on the President's list with a 4.0 GPA. Between all that, races and training I think I have plenty to keep me motivated this year.

The winner!

I posted my potential list of races here. These are pending I can work out the logistics to attend. What will make it easier is that I won a free season pass for the US Spartan Races! How does one do that? It was part of a team pumpkin carving contest at Halloween. Not only did I get a pass but I got passes for 3 other very deserving people. I will be trying to squeeze in local races and I have been toying around with the idea of running a marathon at the end of the year.

The workouts:
My plan so far is to focus more on strength training. One of my biggest challenges at races was my lack of upper body strength. I have a tractor tire, a rope and sand bags at home that I will use to supplement my workouts. My formal plan is as follows and I quote...

Monday: Triceps, back and some abs
Tuesday: Smaller run (or cardio)
Wednesday: Biceps, chest and some abs
Thursday: Smaller run (or cardio)
Friday Shoulders, some legs and lots of abs
Saturday or Sunday will be longer run or intense cardio. The other day will be rest.  As much as I love winter running, it wont always be possible with the jogging stroller.

 I have a membership at my local YMCA which provides free child care, an essential for a fit momma!

And there we have it. I don't know if it will work, or if i'll be in one piece by the end of the year but I will give it my best shot. I will keep blogging but I'm not sure at what frequency. I'm not sure where my blogging niche is and if it's of interest at all to anyone. Again, something that only time can tell.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Workout: There and Back Again.

Pre Workout
 30 degrees, high wind advisory and uncleaned sidewalks. If this is the recipe for a great run then I don't know what is. I had the brilliant idea to run the YMCA to do my workout today in those conditions.I must imagine that running in the snow is like running on a beach. I must because thinking i'm actually running in the snow is depressing. The snowy sidewalks provided great resistance and the piled up snow from plows on the street corners were perfect hurdles. I managed to run the 3 miles to the Y and only face plant in a snow bank once.So yeah, success!
Tough Girl there at the Gym

Here is my token tough girl at the gym picture. I was told on Facebook that not only must I announce my workouts in my status  to make them count, but also i must take a picture in the mirror with the weights. There goes one thing off my bucket list. I'm not going to go into detail with how I blasted my shoulders but needless to say it was great. It's crazy how fast you can fall out of shape and lose the bug. I think i've been sitting on my butt since Thanksgiving. Coincidentally that's the time my husband became unemployed. I don't want to say that it's his fault but it's his fault right?! Apparently we like to eat and be merry when we are together. Like I've said time and again, there is no use crying over spilled milk. I've put on 15lbs and lost my umph. But, eh... I am putting that aside and will focus on racing again.  I won a Spartan season pass and I really want to make it count this year. My goal is that by the end of the race season I will be able to actually place well in my races. It wont be easy. I am in my graduating semester at school and my husband is leaving for Afghanistan in February (tentatively). It will be a challenge with a 2 and 3 year old but I have plenty of support to make it happen. Hopefully i'll find my waist line while hubby is gone. So here I go again on my own...

Back again.

Back home again after 3 miles of beach like snow obstacle running. If Spartan Races ever happened in the snow i think I'd own it. My workout plans are to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I will run or do cardio Tuesday and Thursday. One weekend day will be for a long run or what ever I can squeeze in. Here's to a great 2013!