Sunday, June 4, 2017

Geowoodstock XV, Tour de Fat, Memorial day, Spartan Kids

First, non-Geowoodstock stuff...

Sunday, May 21:
After qualifying for OCR World Championships the previous day (being able to say that will never get old, haha), it was time to start long-term prepping for the October race, and it was time to get serious about the impending Green Beret 24 hour Challenge : Behind Enemy Lines (GBC BEL) that I was going to do in late June.  After taking into account 10 weeks of strength taper, I'd only have a few weeks of training time available.

I did a 40-min body weight strength session, continuing with some of the Deez Nutz WOD exercises.  I did the GBC-relevant exercises in the style of the selection test that they'd be giving, to assess how I'd fare.
  • Sit-ups: 38 in a minute and 70 in 2 minutes but with hands on shoulders instead of head, 40/min with hands behind head, 38/min, 38/min.  The target is 40, hands behind head.
  • Push-ups: 35/min starting really fast then really fading, 27/min, 25/min, 22/min.
  • Flutter Kicks (4-count): 40 + 40 + 35 + 35
  • Plank: 2.5 + 2.5 + 2
  • Squats: 90, with legs not 100% integrity.  100 more with 7lb kettle bell raises in alternating arms. 
  • J-jacks (4-count): 100
  • Assorted dumbell arm exercises
 Monday, May 22:
10 mi in 1:23:15, 8:20 average.  I discovered today that the treadmills at work's gym has a function that lets you change the default 60 min workout timer to up to 120 minutes.  Yay, I'm no longer constrained!  Of course I could've done 2x 60 min sessions, but after stopping, it's hard to get my legs feeling ok starting again.  I celebrated this discovery with the 10 miler.  I was feeling awesome afterwards, and felt like I could handle a long-ish run like this multiple times per week.... not really true, but it felt like it at the time.  It was a little less than 2 weeks out from the Noda 5K, so this was a good time to get in a last long-ish run.

Wednesday, May 24:
Biking session at the gym, covering 13.6 mi in 60 min, after an 11 hr workday.  Celebrated getting a long-awaited task done at last.  Going to the gym has become a post-work treat that I look forward to.  I did some burpees afterwards.  I think it's the first time I've done them since finishing the 10,000 burpee challenge.  I threw in extra pushups in the last 10 reps, about 15 extra total.  Also did a bit of pull-ups, since I'll need that for GBC.  Did 20 and 10 more push-ups after that, too.

My dad was visiting for the long Memorial day weekend.  On Friday, we went to a local park - Latta Plantation.  We hiked the Cattail Trail (0.8 mi), half of the Audobon Trail (~1.2 mi), an unnamed horse trail (1 mi), and parts of the Treasure Tree, Catawba, and Shady Trails (2 mi).  It was by the water and pretty.  Some mosquitos.  Got a geocache while I was there.  I rucked it, to prep for GBC.  I used to go to the gym in my neighborhood and would ruck the 1 / 1.4 / 1.8 mi that it takes to get there and back (with optional side trips for a Pokestop).  I've been going to the gym at work these days, though, so I haven't rucked as much.  I need to start getting my body used to it again.

Saturday was Geowoodstock day in Waynesville, NC, near Asheville.  We wanted to make the most of our day there, but I had also won tickets to Tour de Fat sponsored by New Belgium, back in Charlotte.  So... we left Charlotte at 4am, to go hiking at Purchase Knob Trail, a part of Great Smokey Mountains National Park, before the start of Geowoodstock.  It's a service road up to an education/training center.  It was pretty in its own way, despite being a service road, with a bit of water features, some wildflowers, and nice views from the top.

Once we got back to the car, time for Geowoodstock!  Last year, my dad and I had flown all the way to Denver for my first Geowoodstock (GW14).  At the end of last year's event, they announced that the following year's GW would be within driving distance of me!  Denver's event had been awesome.  Fantastic planning, side-events, and SWAG.  I was curious how this would stack up.

We got there just 15 minutes after opening, perfect.  We registered, found Signal the frog, and signed the log for the event, a VW Beetle.

In the morning, they had the annual picture... so many ardent geocachers!  People traveled here from all over the US, and some even from other countries.  A bunch of crazies together ;)  Over 2K people attended.  Not everyone is even pictured here, since some come later in the day, or were still at the main event area at the time.

We visited vendors, where I got 3 National Park-related geocoins.  There was an exhibit where someone showed off some of their gadget cache designs.  There weren't any geocaches on site like they had last year, but they did had lab caches, which are temporary caches where you get a code word to plug into a website to get credit for a geocache.  They were all gadgety, which was cool.  The funny thing about geocaches at mega events is that there are always lines of people behind the cache, so there's no real "finding" required... so the gadget element gives you a good incentive to stay in line to be able to try it for yourself, even if some of the element of surprise is missing.  It's a good strategy.

I saw the Geocaching Vlogger there, filming for a youtube video:

He does great videos, is really enthusiastic, and spreads the word about geocaching.

We also traded trackables.  You get to pick up as many as you drop off, so thankfully, I still had the Casino chip trackable that I had found in Charleston, SC.  I traded it for a mini cookbook from Hungary!

They had trackables that were put on display for discovery.  They're typically gigantic ones that can really only be traded at events, and not placed in geocaches.

There were also a couple of Geocaching-related games... one where you try to ID mystery containers by sticking your hand in a box, and another where you sort through a bunch of film canisters to look for one that contains a log sheet, rather than a fake sheet.

Our time there ended with lunch, since we wanted to get back to Charlotte.  They had BBQ, which is my favorite.  Fun times at GW15!

Onwards to Charlotte... I did grab a true geocache at a park-and-ride on our way back.

Tour de Fat probably didn't have as many people attend as they had hoped, but it was great.  They had jumbo games, circus acts, live music, and a funny and engaging singer + comedian + host guy that goes by the name of Fire Leopard or Snake.

Sunday, I volunteered for Spartan Race for their kids event at the Jimmie Johnson Fit Fest.  I worked with a crew to build some obstacles and mark the course.  I'm always proud to be able to build anything, since I'm not good at that kind of thing.

That night, the Whitewater Center hosted a memorial day celebration.  They had music and competitions all day, but we didn't make it out there until 8pm.  We did get to watch some music from afar, we people watched, enjoyed the scenery with the water and all of the activities in the area, and then came a nice fireworks show.

The next day, my dad came to volunteer, too.  We directed parking, and then came back to help on the course a little bit.

Those obstacles were no joke, and it was adorable to see little kids, future Spartans, take them on with less fear than their many of their adult counterparts.  

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