In Honor of Army Staff Sgt. Kerry W. Frith

 This training session is dedicated to Army Staff Sgt. Kerry W. Frith who was assigned to the  160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment          ” Night Stalkers” and lost his life in 2002. In my post about pain management I mention bonkering. I saw this cartoon by Susan Lacks and N.C.Winters in the  magazine “Competitor” August 2011 page 34 which really captures some of the feelings of a runner bonkering. It is not a nice place to be. Yesterday I did a 4 mile walk over various terrain with a 35 lb pack and then completed a TRX1 – 5/6 week routine. Will be evaluating whether to move up to the 7/8 week routine next week. Today I did a 4 mile paddle interval workout. For this workout I increased the interval strokes – 3rep/150 strokes /30 stroke rest, 4rep/300 stroke/ 60 stroke rest,  and then 3rep/150 stroke/ 30 stroke rest. Covered the 4 miles in 46 minutes which gave me an average speed of 5.2 MPH. Staff Sgt. Frith’s family included three children. Please consider a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to help provide a college education to his children.

In Honor of Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Daniel

This training session is dedicated to Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Daniel, 16th Special Operations Squadron who was killed in action in Kenya in 1994. Yesterday I rested and my body needed it. All last week guess who would show up on the very last set of exercises. You got it, Peanut ! ( For those that don’t now about Peanut see my post on pain management) Lucky for me he showed up very late in the workout and I was able to push through it. I think a key success factor of any training schedule is the adjustments you make based on what you are feeling.  Example is the change I am making on the Long Slow Distance workout to use time in the seat as the measure versus distance. Since Peanut was showing up last week I am making two  adjustments to help combat him. The first is that the present paddling workout on Monday is pretty intense.  Example -Today I did an 8 mile strength paddle that had an average speed of 5.0 MPH with a time 1 hr 36 minutes. Felt pretty good and Peanut didn’t show his face during the whole workout which is conformation that a rest Sunday was in order. This morning I did a 3.48 mile run in 33 minutes but instead of doing the TRX1 workout I swapped it with the  Lift 1 workout I normally do on Tuesday. The reason for this change is the TRX1 workout is more of a mid to lower body workout whereas the Lift 1 workout is more upper body. By swamping workouts  my upper body will have a chance to rest from today’s paddling workout. I also made a change to the Lift 1 workout where wood chops were the last exercise I have moved them to the first exercise due to the intensity of them. Now if Peanut shows up at the tail end of the workout ,like he did last week, my last exercise (Dips) will not help him as much as the wood chops did. Saturday morning I was feeling a little tired and was slow getting into the boat.  I think about how tired the Daniel family must get trying to deal with life without him and I realize I am not tired at all. Just a little bump in the training schedule.  A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his daughter.

In Honor of Major Robert Lindenau

This training session is dedicated to Major Robert Lindenau who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2008. Yesterday I did an elliptical workout of 3.7 miles – 33 minutes and then completed  Lift 2 weight routine – 12*10*8 rep sets with 30 sec rest between sets. Today I did a 4 hour long distance slow paddle. I try to avoid making these workouts a strength workout due to all the workouts from the week. With that in mind I am always adjusting my course to avoid  fighting the winds, tides, and waves. For most of today I was able to do that but the winds did pickup the last hour of the paddle. Overall it was a good paddle covering 16 miles which gives an average speed of 4 MPH. My original training schedule had the long distance training paddles increasing by a mileage measure. Since the miles covered in any given training session is impacted so much by the weather I am going to change the measure  from distance to time in the boat. As an example, today I went 4 hours so for the next long distance training session I will target 4 and half hours and let the mileage be whatever it is. Today the weather was pretty gloomy and could have been depressing. I think about the gloom Major Lindenau’s family, that included four children, must have experienced when he didn’t come home and realize today was not gloomy at all. It was just a little overcast.  A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his children and bring a bright spot to their lives

In Honor of Army Capt. Daniel Eggers, Special Forces

This training session is dedicated to Army Capt. Daniel Eggers, Special Forces, who lost his life in 2004. Tampa Bay was a nasty girl tonight. Rain, wind, cold, and waves. Bottom line, great training weather for the UFC but not a lot of fun and very tough. The big question was who would show up with the weather being so bad, Peanut or Rocky ? Well Rocky showed up and I got a picture of him for all to see. Not the most handsome guy but tough as nails. Tonight’s interval training was 4.5 miles with a pyramid interval workout – 3 * 90 strokes, 2 * 180 strokes, 1 * 270 strokes , 3* 180 strokes, 5*90 strokes. Rest intervals were 30 strokes, 60 strokes, 90 strokes respectfully. Yesterday’s workout consisted of a 4 mile walk with a 35 lb weight and various inclines (1 hr 6 minutes). After the walk I did a Lift 1 Routine 12*10*8 reps with a 30 sec rest between sets.  Tonight was a tough workout but not as tough as it was for the Eggers family, that included two sons, when he did not come home in 2004.   A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his children.

In Honor of Army Sgt. 1st Class James Ochsner, Special Forces

This training session is dedicated to Army Sgt. 1st Class James Ochsner, 3rd Special Forces Group, who lost his life in 2005. What a great night to paddle. Started out with a beautiful sunset and the water stayed like class for the entire workout. Since the conditions were so nice I was able to paddle 7 miles in 1 hr – 21 minutes with an average speed of 5.18 MPH. For a Kruger that speed is not bad. Wished I could hold that speed for 15 hours. This morning I ran 3.5 miles – 33 minutes and performed a TRX routine 1 – 5 week workout. Everyday I am surprised at the list of items I need to get done before the UFC. I am glad I started early but even with that I feel a little behind. Tonight was a beautiful night and wouldn’t it be nice to give something beautiful to the Ochsner family.  A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his child which would be a beautiful thing.

Mental Toughness – (2) Pain Management

In my post “In Honor of Army Sgt. First Class David Metzger”, I talked about the mental toughness of Watertribers. In that post I stated that there were fours areas of mental toughness I am attempting to address in my training. I want to again state that I am not a psychologist and the thoughts I am sharing are strictly from my prospective. Dr. Nick Hall, who is an accomplished Watertriber in his own right, has probably done the most work in studying the mental side of Watertibers     . The four areas of mental toughness that I have targeted are: (1) Fear management, (2) Pain management, (3) Decision making while fatigue and (4) Resiliency. In my post ” In Honor of  Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Theodore Fitzhenry” I addressed (1) Fear management. In this post I am exploring (2) Pain management. All the athletic events I have done have had some element of pain management. My pain management for short events, like those lasting less than                   15 minutes, is more along the path of “suck it up because it will be over shortly”. I call the mental voice for this my Rambo voice. Pain really doesn’t have a mental voice here because it doesn’t have enough time to wake any up. What is 15 minutes right?  Now I will say that I do feel that time doesn’t move at the same pace all the time. A 15 minute period when I am having fun sure moves a lot faster than a 15 minute period when I am in a lot of pain. As I look at events that go up to 90 minutes I would have to say my pain management is kind of the same mentally as in the shorter events. My Rambo voice is there in force “Suck it up, deal with it, this will be over shortly, be a man”. But in events up to 90 minutes good old pain has enough time to wake up my Peanut voice, ( those that are familiar with Jeff Dunham know who I am talking about) ) and starts to argue with Rambo. Peanut says things like ” this really really hurts, hey 90 minutes is very long time, I don’t feel so well, this suuuuuccccckks, lets just slow down, better yet lets just stop”. In the end my Rambo voice usually wins. A mental battle but not a long one. In events that are 90 minutes or less my body usually doesn’t experience any physical distress due to lack of fuel.  Over 90 minutes pain has time to wake up another voice that kind of joins in with Peanut but is a pretty grumpy voice that I call my Archie Bunker voice. Archie says things like ” You never told me I had to keep the house warm for longer than 90 minutes. I only had enough cut fire wood to warm the house for 90 minutes and now you want me to go out, chop a tree down and cut fire wood to keep the house warm for how long !  Hey stuff it Rambo !” Along with this I am dealing with Peanut ” this suuuuccckks, this is not fun, lets just stop”. This period, where my body is switching from using the stored fuel in my muscles to breaking down fat, is never a great time for me. The voice that emerges to counter Archie is Yoda . Yoda says things like “concentrate, keep your focus, this will pass, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, use the FORCE ( I don’t really hear that but it sure sounds good) . Pain management during this phase does consist of a lot of mental focus, knowing that this phase will pass and to keep pushing through. I normally get quiet during this phase and best to be left alone. Since I don’t have a team-mate and in this race rarely do you see a fellow contestant except at major checkpoints I usually am alone. Lucky for everyone involved. Once I get through the transition Rambo, Peanut, and Archie go take a rest and Yoda hangs around. After sometime has passed I have a fourth mental voice that enters that I call a Spock. Spock is the most logical of all the mental voices I deal with. Spock seems to come from a neutral place. Spock says things like ” here is a pain,  how bad is it and can it be minimized, can that pain be ignored, is that pain a sign that we are losing the fuel supply to fuel consumption battle, yes you are tired but have you seen the green flying monkeys yet, if not you probably can keep going” Now I will say that if I do not pay attention and start to lose the fuel supply to fuel consumption battle, Archie and Peanut come back with a revenge. In endurance sports it is call bonkering and you can bonker physically, mentally or both which is a terrible place to be. I don’t have a voice for that I just call it the “black hole”. Most long duration endurance events that I have participated in were over that same day that they start. Pain management was isolated to that particular day. In these events I only had to deal with Rambo, Peanut, Archie,Yoda and Spock once.  Watertribe events are a different animal in that they are multi day events where I end up having to deal with Rambo, Peanut, Archie, Yoda and Spoke everyday. On top of that I am waking up with the aches and pains of the previous day and this magnifies Peanut’s whining and he starts the minute I wake up. I also have found that good old Rambo is nowhere to be found and Yoda is a little sleepy and slow. So how am I training for the UFC and learning to deal with all these mental voices. First lets take Rambo and Peanut. The workout schedule that I am on really is designed to stress my body in various areas, be it long distance, strength, and intervals. During each of these workouts I consistently try to put Rambo in his place and look for Peanut to show up. If it is a good workout Peanut will show up but each time it takes longer and longer and each time I overcome his whining. In fact the more I find that I deal with Peanut the less I pay attention to him and it just becomes a dull irritation to completing the workout.  Dealing with Archy is a little different issue. I am using the same tactic of dealing with Peanut, that of having workouts that force my body to go through the transition and conditioning my body to learn how to make the fuel transition better. This helps with my Yoda voice. But, there is another element ,that of ensuring that I have the right fueling system and right fuel products to make this transition as easy as possible. Sometimes I feel like I am putting my body through a chemistry experiment. Practice makes perfect and the frustrating part is what works for one person may not work for me. Lots of trail and error and a few opportunities to spend time in the “black hole”. It is not a nice place to spend time. Dealing with Spock is complex and a daily assessment. I have tried to put together a training plan that has me dealing with some soreness and pain when I wake up. This is what I have dealt with on both ECs and fully expect the same with the UFC. There is a balancing act between pushing to have pain but not pushing so far that I fall victim to an injury due to over training. Thus my point of it being a balancing act. If I decide that I am too sore to workout and I am wrong, then I am not training my Spock voice. If I decide that I am not too sore to workout and I am wrong, I could injure myself. This would set my training back or worse could prevent me from doing the event. So the bottom line is that I have tried to structure my training plan to stress the different pain trigger points. This way I am mentally  learning how to deal with it in training so I will be better prepared to deal with it during the event. In athletic events we incur the pain on ourselves. For special operations warrior families who have lost loved ones pain came and took up a long-term residence. Please consider a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to help reduce the pain for the families of our Special Operations Warriors.

In Honor of Air Force Tech. Sgt Arden Smith

This training session is dedicated to Air Force Tech Sgt. Arden Smith, who was assigned to the 102nd Rescue Squadron and lost his life during a rescue mission in 1991. Today was supposed to be a long slow easy paddle. It was long 3 hour and 10 minutes.  It was slow, average speed was 3.8 MPH versus a planned 4.0 MPH.  I did go 12 miles, but it was not easy. The winds were blowing pretty good and it made Tampa Bay kind of lumpy. I really didn’t want, and my workout plan didn’t call for, a hard workout today due to the workouts I had completed during the week. I just paddled a comfortable pace and let the speed be what it would be. I think this is one of the slowest long distance workout speeds I have logged since June. I am still messing around with the GeoHero camera and have not figured out how to join the videos. Thus the reason for three separate videos. Tomorrow I plan on posting my prospective on pain management for Watertribe events and how I am training for it. For Air Force Tech. Sgt. Arden Smith’s  family, that included a daughter, pain was when he was no longer there for them. A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his kid.  Please consider a donation to reduce the challenge the Smith family has been given.

In Honor of Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Samuel Foster

This training session is dedicated to Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Samuel Foster who lost his life in 1998.  Today I had a another conflict come up for my morning workout so I ended up doing a workout in the afternoon.  Since this week was the start of a new 12 week workout schedule instead of running on Friday I am doing an elliptical workout. The other change is that I will now be paddling four times a week versus three. The elliptical workout was  33 minutes – 4 miles – random terrain. In addition to the elliptical work out I completed Lift 2 routine – 12*10*8 reps with a 30 sec rest.  So what exactly is lift routine 1 and lift routine 2 ?

Lift 1                                                Lift 2

Lat Pull Down                                 Bent Over Row
Military Press                                  One Arm Cable Press Down
Seated Cable Row                         One Arm Dumbbell Row
Upright Row                                   Situps (25lb/35lb/45lb)
Wood Chops                                  Pull Ups
Dips                                                Torso Twist

For Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Samuel Foster’s family, that includes a son and a daughter, hard is dealing with life’s challenges without your father.  A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his kids.  Please consider a donation to reduce the challenge the Foster family has been given.

In Honor of Army Ranger Michael McNulty

This training session is dedicated to Army Ranger Michael McNulty who lost his life in Iraq in 2005. On double workout days I normally do a workout in the morning and a workout in the evening.  Today I had a conflict come up for my morning workout so I ended up doing both workouts in the evening. In both Everglades Challenges my next day plan always ended up having to be modified due to something. The fact that I had to adjust my training plan today is really good mental training for the UFC.  I ended up biking 13 miles – 33 minutes – HR 125-135. Did a TRX workout routine 2 – 5 week schedule with a 30 sec rest between sets. Then I did an easy 6 mile paddle – 1 hour 22 minutes – 4.4 MPH. Tampa Bay was very clam tonight. I guess over the past two days she worked out all her grumpiness. I find that when I am paddling at night I get a little zoned out and that was no different tonight. I was just paddling along when all of a sudden out of my right eye I caught the sight of bright light, 90 degrees to my starboard side, very low to the water, and coming right at me. After caching my breath I realized it was “Jungle Jim” . Another Watertriber who has turned in some very fast times completing the Everglades Challenge. He was paddling home from work at MacDill AFB. Kind of nice to have someone to talk to paddling home. This night paddle got a little boring and lonely.  For Army Ranger Michael McNulty’s family, that included a son, loneliness  was when he was no longer there for them. A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his kid.  Please consider a donation to reduce the challenge the McNulty family has been given.