Breaking in the Pack

Spartan_Jbob overlooks Santa Clarita, CA.Welcome to the AverageOCRunner!  My name is Average_Jbob, and I’ll be your Blog writer for. . .um. . .whatever time of day/night you are reading this!  I live in Santa Clarita, CA. and am (currently) in my early 40’s.  I began running for health reasons back in 2013.  For more of a back story on me, take a look at my About Me page!

I started blogging about running earlier this year on GoRunaMuck (a social site for runners) and was enjoying it so much that I wanted to try my hand at creating my OWN personal site!  I’ll be writing from the perspective of someone who is passionate about running and learning as he goes. . .I’ll be training for various events during the year and letting you know what is working and what isn’t. . .and how the events go of course!  If you care to check out any of my earlier posts (to get a bit of a taste on what I’ve been doing up until now) then simply follow this link to the original site. . .while you’re there check out the forums and stay awhile!  You’ll probably find me there too!  🙂

My 16-year-old son and I. . .5 miles into our 8.75 mile Pack run!

To quickly catch you up (if you haven’t read my past posts). . .I just recently finished the Spartan Super in Asheville, N.C. with my 16-year-old son.  He decided that he wants to go for his 1st ever Spartan TriFecta this year and so far he has now earned 2 out of the 3 pieces needed (Sprint and Super).  We’ll be doing the Beast in Lebec, CA. later this year to finish that off!  Meanwhile, I’m working on my 2nd out of 3 total Spartan TriFectas for 2018 (I currently have finished 2 Sprints, 2 Supers, and 1 Beast) along with completing the Beach Cities Challenge for the 2nd year in a row (I’ve completed 2 of the 3 Half Marathons needed).  I planned my 2018 race schedule in such a way that I’m currently in the last ‘pocket’ of training time that I have left before ALL MY FINAL events happen with basically 2 weeks between each one. . .so once they start there really isn’t enough time between to prep for the next. . .just to get a couple workouts in to stay sharp!  Maybe not the best plan. . .but it will definitely NOT be boring! 

Next up for me is a Spartan Super out in Brooklyn, MI. . .but since everything is going to be back-to-back I’m spending this block of time training for the Beast that I’ll be running with my son 3 events from now!  Since it’s his 1st ever Beast I figured it was high time to get him his very own hydration pack.  It’s a 2.5L Tactical Hydration Pack from Unigear that looks EXACTLY like the one I own, except mine was made by a different company that doesn’t seem to exist anymore!

Anyway, this past saturday we loaded up both packs with water and took them out on a test run. . .mainly to help him get used to running with the pack AND so I could make sure that it was working correctly for him (no leaks, straps tight, doesn’t bounce or chafe, etc.)  It was just above 70°F when we started around 8am on our 8.75 mile run.  I made sure to surprise him with a slight modification to our planned route. . .I had us stop and do 5 burpees at every mile marker AND since our route took us past 2 different parks with pull-up bars (around the 1.25 and 6.25 mile markers) I made sure we stopped to see how long we could hold an active-hang (hanging from the bar while your arms are at 90 degree angles).  I could tell he hadn’t been expecting the ‘twist’ that I added, but I explained that it would simply help him take his pack thru it’s paces SIMILAR to what he would be doing in the Spartan Beast. . .he rose to the occasion and both he and the pack held up well!  I actually like the bladder / valve system on his pack better than the one that came with mine so I might look into replacing mine in the near future. . .the protective cover on mine keeps coming open while I run.

Anyway, once we had about a mile to go I parted ways with him so he could finish the 8.75 he wanted to do and I could take a separate loop to get the 12.5 miles I had written down on my training schedule.  By the time I got back to the house it was 100°F!  Definitely glad that we had our hydration packs with us. . .I think they will become a part of the ‘saturday long run’ routine. . .especially while it’s so hot out!

I’m in week 1 of my newly modified training schedule that will lead me into my next events. . .I don’t count last week since I only did my standard 3 runs (short, medium, and long). . .this week I add Strength Training and Recovery back in.  For the Strength Training I’m trying out a new App called ‘StrongLifts 5×5’. . .again, with my son. . .it should be a fun way to vary up our gym workouts and improve our strength for the upcoming Beast.  For Recovery I’m alternating between a mid-week Yoga Class and Swimming Laps. . .OR just simply taking the day completely off and chilling at home with the family, as I did this week!  I’ve found that sometimes the best recovery is to simply DO NOTHING!  What a concept, huh?  🙂

I’ll wrap this up for now. . .I’m still trying to workout the format of this new Blog so please be patient. . .it takes a lot more work to get the bone-structure all setup than I initially thought, but I’m having fun with the challenge!  I hope you will come back often to check in and see what I’ve been up too. . .and more importantly, I hope that by writing this I can help to show that it’s never too late to get into shape. . .the only thing that’s holding you back, is you!


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