Monday, January 5, 2015

M-Cubed for 1.5.2015

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for January Fifth, Two-Thousand Fifteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Tree is down, Christmas decorations stored, but the snowmen and decorations of the winter season remain. So far (knock on wood), it's been a mild winter but a long road still remains up here in the snowbelt of Lake Erie. Still, Spring is coming...

- In case you missed it, Saturday's Frozen Sasquatch 50K race report was posted Saturday night before I hit the sack. Another fantastic West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners event! Results were posted last night and I was 3rd in my age group of men, ages 40-99 and 10th overall. The 25K finishers were over double in number and there were about 30 less 50K finishers as compared to last year. I'm not sure why because the race was sold out. It's possible that the event doesn't limit the number of 25K slots that are sold. Often, races limit the 25K entries to ensure the race truly remains an ultra marathon. I also know a few runners that were registered for the 50K and dropped to the 25K distance.

- So with the conclusion of 2014, we supposedly marked the end of the Afghan war. Believe it? I don't. The Taliban is still on the offensive and we still have sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen in harm's way. Once they get home, they can call it anything they want but until then, we're still in the fight...and we need to bring our men and women home now. Ironically, 2014 was the bloodiest year for Afghan local security forces as they began taking the lead against the insurgents. Since 2001, 3485 international coalition troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan with the U.S. absorbing the majority of those deaths at 2356. For what? That is the subject of great debate...but won't be debated here. Where there was widespread support as we hunted the masterminds of 9/11 to invade, support has greatly decreased over the years.

- On the way home from West Virginia yesterday, we were listening to NPR and I heard this TED talk from September 2013 on the story of David and Goliath. I have heard this story countless times for 30+ years. I was a bit skeptical when the story began...I mean, a Biblical story on NPR?! Well, it was VERY good and I watched the talk again when I got home. I absolutely love when someone tells a story from a long time ago or from a different culture and puts it all in context so we, the watcher/listener/reader can understand it better. It can and does literally change everything. Here it is and I highly recommend it. It's story is so transferable into how we approach everyday life and challenges.

- Week 9 about to wrap up in the world of CrossFit. Today should be quite interesting given I pounded and shredded by quads and hammies just two days ago. Hips are still a bit tender. Did I mention that Monday's are "Back Squat Mondays?!" Still, though, I'm anxious to get back at it. Honestly, I felt pretty darn good when I woke up Sunday morning which is par for the course as far as my recoveries go. Usually, I need a good night's sleep after taking my Hammer Nutrition Recoverite immediately after the finish of the race and then I'm good to go the next day. It's both scary and exciting to start each new week of CrossFit because we really have no flippin' idea what is going to be thrown at us. We were warned last's going to be a tough week.

- A week ago, I wrote an article for Tabata Times which is an online article/journal website mostly for CrossFit. They are scouting writers and I applied to be one...and was accepted. I'm not sure where people will find it but it has gotten just a tad bit of traffic. I also posted it as a blog post just after M-Cubed a week ago so you may have missed it. If so, it's titled "Top 8 Things I've Learned in my 8 Weeks of CrossFit" and you can read it here.

- I'm a sucker for documentaries and over New Year's break, I watched another one on Netflix called A Place at the Table. Excellent and "safe for the whole family." Actually, I'd watch it with everyone including your kids if you have them. It's about hunger in our country and is raw as it goes into the lives of people just trying to get food on the table and how the system is so broken. I especially appreciated the contrast that they made near the end with a single mom living on food stamps and then got a job that disqualified her from food stamps and where she ended up at the end of each week in each situation...that hit home big time.

- "Good morning, Carl!!!" (Carl came up to me after he finished the race on Saturday and introduced himself. He said he was a big "fan" of M-Cubed!) "Great job out there, Carl...recover well!" :)

- We have this large white dry erase board at the CrossFit gym that is reserved for 2015 goals. The idea is that we name our goals that will be vetted by the trainers to make sure they're reasonable and challenging "enough." I drafted up a few and shared them with my trainer and he thought they were good goals with a one year horizon to accomplish. Today, I plan on writing them on the board and are as follows:
  1. 21 kipping pull-ups; What they are
  2. Back squat 250 pounds (I'm at 195 now and I weigh 200-205 pounds.)
  3. 20 unbroken dubs (double-unders); What they are
  4. 5 HSPU (hand stand push ups); What they are
Have some goals for 2015? Be sure to 1) Write them down, and 2) Tell someone! Gotta have that accountability to help keep you moving forward!

- Before I sign off on this first Monday of 2015, I'd like to share just a few photos that were snapped at the race on Saturday and were uploaded last night. Photos courtesy of Todd Bolgrin/Life on Paws Photography.
Mile 8.1 as I began the 2nd giant climb of the day
Just seconds after my 5hr, 50min, 13sec finish at the Frozen Sasquatch 50K
Mindy and me post-finish with our slices of wood...aka: branded finisher awards! One of a kind!
Have a GREAT week, everyone and Happy New Year!

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