If you want to be successful you need a goal. At least that’s what they say isn’t it? And up until a week ago, I was goalless. Without a goal one cannot have purpose and definitely not structure in life or day for that matter, whether we are talking about health, finance, fitness or business.
So it was time for a goal, a fitness goal, like training for some kind of event. And not just a goal where I could give a half hearted effort in training and limp my way through the event. It was time for something big.
It has been over a year since I had an emergency c-section that literally tore me apart and I have just started to feel like I could really train again, really push myself. The surgery was a little more complicated than expected (or as you can expect during an emergency c-section) as I also had a large tumor on my right ovary the doctors discovered and had to remove.
Although obstacle races have always intrigued me, I’ve just brushed them off as a muddy trend that I felt would see it’s decline sooner rather than later. But man was I wrong. Not only have all types of obstacle runs popped up across the country but according to a book I just read about the topic, they have overtaken the nations most participated in sport of triathlon by MILLIONS!
Not to mention that the runs have gotten super competitive with big purse money and sponsorships supporting these new professional obstacle racing athletes. There is even talk of making obstacle racing an official Olympic event.
Now whether or not this happens, the sport has definitely caught my attention. I think I could get into something that I have basically been doing my entire life.
The typical obstacle race involves anywhere from 3-26 miles of running in addition to conquering a variety of obstacles that you must make it over, under and through.
The running part I’ve definitely got down. I dabbled in cross country in high school (code for I was definitely not the slowest one on the team, but not far from it) and fell in love with trail running while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder. I would literally get lost on the beautiful and endless trails up there for hours.
However, what interests me are the unique obstacles along the course.
Scaling up 10 foot walls? Check! Climbing trees is second nature to me, heck, I started a club in Denver years ago where climbing trees was one of our main activities. Wading through cold water? Check! I don’t mind the cold; my husband and I used to camp out in the middle of the winter and we boast a night at -17 degrees. So although I have never been particularly athletic and I am definitely not fast, obstacle racing may be the sport I was born for.
Now it is time to put my theory to test. On a whim somehow signed myself up for not one, but three obstacle racing events (in the elite category) in 2015 with the possibility of more on the horizon.
So…..time to start training! It will not be easy and has not been easy so far. My biggest obstacle? Time! Yes, years ago as a young personal trainer I admit I was guilty of rolling my eyes when my older clients would complain that they just did not have time to workout. “How could they not have time?” I thought condescendingly. “I bet they get home and plop themselves on the couch most nights, I mean how hard can it really be to work and have 2 kids at home?”
Well, let’s just say that nothing could have prepared me for it. Sure, people tried to warn me: ‘Having kids will be the hardest thing you ever do” but I ignored them.
We will still live our same spontaneous, adventurous lifestyle, I thought. We’ll go right back to backpacking and climbing 14ers every weekend, you will see.
After I had my first son Wyatt, I set some big goals for myself. I did 75 miles of the M.S. 150 only 6 weeks after giving birth and ran the Imogene Pass trail run (17 miles up and over a 13000 foot pass) 5 months postpartum. Call me crazy because looking back I don’t know how I did it.
Baby #2 was the game changer. As I transitioned to running my own company full time from home, the time I had for personal fitness whittled down to an hour here and there sluggishly pushing the double jogging stroller to the playground and back.
However, after months of fitting in a workout here and there and letting those damned postpartum hormones get to me I had the epiphany that the only thing that would make me feel better would be to find the time somewhere to do what I have been forsaking: to get outside and get active!
I realized that I was making those same excuses to myself that my clients made to me all those years back and that maybe my perceived limitations could be my greatest training advantage!
I am going to try to log as many hours and miles pushing, pulling and training for these events WITH my kids! Hey, if I’m going to be with them most of the day I might as well make the best use of my time and set a good example for them in the process.
I did a little research and found that there are no mileage records for pushing kids in a double jogging stroller so I figured why not be the person to set the first one!
Plus this will be a great way to make sure I get in shape for all those obstacle races I signed up for.
I’d like to challenge you to join me as I bike, run and sweat my way to playgrounds and parks all across the Denver metro area. I will stop for playtime at the park for the kids and training time for me. This means lots of trips across the monkey bars, dips from park benches, pullups from tree branches and tons and tons of really slow miles up really big hills.
I will be posting my training schedule/locations and workout recaps so you can feel free to join me with your kiddos too, try the workouts on your own or just follow my progress and laugh at my hiccups along the way. I’ve already had a couple like the time I took the boys on a long ride and forgot diapers, yeah, let’s just say that was messy.
Winter is going to be tricky and although Colorado has some temperate days (I will get the boys outside in the stroller as long it is above 30 degrees, not snowing or windy) I will be planning and posting some great indoor workouts incorporating the kiddos.
- To compete in the elite category in a minimum of 3 obstacle races, training for these events with my kids as much as possible
- To get in the Guiness Book of world records for most miles ran in a 30 day period pushing my 2 kids in a jogging stroller (110lbs total weight). I am shooting for 50 miles in March and then 100 miles in April. This will be equivalent to pushing the boys 5 miles a day, 5 days a week for 1 month.
- To “climb Mount Everest” with my boys: I am going to try to accumulate 29,029 feet (elevation of Everest) of pushing/pulling/carrying my kids in May. This is equivalent to about 970 feet of climbing a day. Good thing Colorado is hilly!
- Here is the big one: To run a race in all 50 states pushing the boys in the double jogging stroller by September 2016 (when our oldest, Wyatt goes to Kindergarten).
So make sure to follow the blog and send some positive vibes my way because this is going to be one crazy journey. I can’t wait to get started!!
– Lauren Jones
RWK founder and proud mom of 2 silly boys