My First Steps Towards GORUCK

To prepare for the GORUCK Heavy in May, I recently completed the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to get a baseline of my current fitness level. I welcomed 2015 by doing this test at a local high school track in Seattle, alongside Jie’s brother Lex.

The APFT consists of: 1) as many pushups as you can do in 2 minutes 2) as many situps as you can in 2 minutes and 3) a timed 2 mile run. Between each event there is a 2 minute rest.

I must confess that when I first saw this, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard. Sure that’s a long time to be doing pushups and situps but I frequently run much longer than 2 miles. At most, this would take less than 25 minutes and be a good warmup.

Boy, was I wrong! Read more of this post

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GORUCK in May – I Hope I Make It

I know that it has been a few months since my last post. But I hope that a new fitness challenge will get me back to regular updates.

This week, my brother Dan and I signed up for the GORUCK Heavy, a 24 hour, 40+ mile team adventure race that is several notches above the Tough Mudder intensity.

As if the time and distance weren’t difficult enough, you need to carry a 35lb rucksack for the entire race, not too mention enough food, water and extra sets of dry clothing to keep you going. Check out the recommended packing list. Read more of this post

Tough Mudder: NorCal

Jie and I just completed our first Tough Mudder in Diablo Grande, about 90 minutes east of where we live. This completed one of my six goals from this blog's re-launch back in November. So, to commemorate our achievement, I want to give a blow-by-blow on the event, good and bad. Unfortunately, we did not bring a camera and haven't been able to track down pictures that Tough Mudder took.

Tough Mudder is a company that hosts 10-12 mile adventure course events in the US, Europe and Australia/New Zealand. The company bills its events as hard core endurance challenges with innovative obstacles designed by British Special Forces. They are also known for being a marketing powerhouse, intent on bringing these type of adventure races to a broad audience base, who find them more appealing than other endurance events like marathons.

Their events are also promoted as an exercise in teamwork and camaraderie. They are not races because nobody wins and your time isn't tracked. They encourage you to form groups to participate with. In that vein, Jie and I did Tough Mudder with my colleague, Laura, who jumped at the chance to join our Turtle Power team (slow and steady wins the race). On race day, most people were in teams and solo participants were easily able to join up with teams at every obstacle.

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3 Trip Goals

To respond to a frequent question I have gotten about the trip, I am offering up some high level goals that I have pre-departure. I’m sure these will evolve over time and they relate to some of my pre-trip concerns as well.

1. Establish New Routines

The trip is about unplugging from my old daily routine (wake up early, go to the gym, work all day, head home, go to sleep, wash/rinse/repeat) and starting a new one that can change wherever I happen to be.

After several years of being tied to my blackberry, phone and laptop, in an age where up-to-date information is everywhere, I’m looking for something slower and deeper. I want to take advantage of this opportunity to write more extensively, both in journalist my trip but also working on a few creative projects I have always wanted to tackle. This is my chance to hone my voice and try a longer form, more introspective kind of writing.

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