Did, Done, Dang
I swerved off the usual Fashion, Kicks and Lifestyle topics for the past few days to concetrate on the 2014 Spartan Race at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii. I participated in the longest and most grueling race of the 3 choices entitled the BEAST. Good news is that today is Sunday, the race was Saturday and I’m Alive. I may joke around a bit on streetzblog, but this race was no JOKE!
I did try to prepare, I trained for 7 weeks going from the number 1 incline on the tread mill to number 9. I also ate a bit more tuna fish, chicken and vegetables than usual, and thought I read enough prior to be prepared. I actually didn’t wear my Air Jordans and picked up a pair of Asics Lows with ultra grip especially made for mud. I’m not a fan of running shoes, especially since they aren’t hi-tops. Although mine had a bit of fashion forwardness with the camo outersole. And of course, I bought the Black and Grey version.
I didn’t prepare enough. I was pretty off, this was one of, if not the hardest thing I’ve ever, ever done in my whole entire life. I’m not a 22 year old in the military, I’ve never done a charity walk, I do go to the gym 4x a week, but I really don’t work that hard there. My friend said it would be F-U-N. Thus, i said I’d do it. Do it I did. And glad to say I am here alive and well to write about it.
To make this blog post easier to read, I think I’ll just list the time-line with bullet points. As always keeping things postive, yet there maybe a bit of (spoiler alert) negative in here, but not really negative stuff, just some facts.
- Pre Race Breakfast: I had some coffee, a few sips of water, 1 piece of grilled chicken and a Gatorade goo pack. This was absolutely wrong. Tip 1: I recommend eating carbs for 3 days prior and having a Big breakfast the day of the race with eggs, toast, hash browns, coffee, and gatorade goop. I was starving after the first 20 minutes!
- First 2 hours: This was fun, walking, jogging, hanging with my friend and meeting some really nice, cool, friendly people. Best quote from this portion was from a co-participant named Jamal. He said, You Paid good money to do this. That was early on when it just seemed hard, a bit challenging yet very doable. I actually got really excited when I jumped over some super tall wall and made it without getting hurt.
- Next hour or so: I don’t remember all 25 obstacles but I sure remember this one. Check this out! They give you a BIG bucket, you are told to fill it with sharp grey ROCKS, that takes about 10 minutes to fill up. Then you carry it up a hill then down the hill. My brain thought it was crazy watching the others do it. Come to find out this was what I was best at. Go figure. I left this challenge smiling and psyched.
- Memorization: This was really funny to me. In the middle of all the chaos of surviving the elements, we needed to look on a big poster, find the last 2 digits of our race tattoo number and then memorize the saying next to it. I will remember mine for the rest of my life: Yankee 384-7893. They said that you needed to remember this to tell it to someone later in the race or you needed to do 30 burpees. BTW: No one ever asked us to repeat the number. But good thing is for about a half hour it kept me in a meditative state repeating the number over and over, a nice distraction so that I didn’t notice the pain, hunger and thirst.
- Next segment: We walked up a super slick, brownish-red mud path that was about 1 foot wide. We were going up, the fast people were coming down. This is where it gets funny. I would ask peple if we were almost over the hill. They would say all sorts of things like. Yes, the water is a half mile away, No You have a loooong way to go, and Oh its about 5 miles until you get back here. And the most outrageous comment came frrom a volunteer who said. Oh, just run to the top, the bottom has a nice waterfall with a water station. There was no waterfall and this is the part that really sucked, the guy at the water station, said he was OUT of water! O-U-T of water, Wow, luckily he gave me two sips of his own water bottle. Tip 2: Take complete control of your life and your circumstances. It’s hard to realize how true this is, but you and I are where we are due to what we have done, not what people have done to us. Bring your own water.
- After that water mishap: I am 99% sure I went the wrong way and got lost. My friend dissapeared and so did I. It’s like Vegas-No clocks. I have no idea how long i followed the wrong pack. But it felt like 20 minutes? 45 minutes? whatever it was, not good. I never saw my friend in the race again.
- So: I was Alone, trucking through weeds, mud, then some really awesome cool greyish green fern area appeared that felt just like a King Arthur or Lord of the Rings movie. I actually sat down and enjoyed the view and feeling of being somewhere wonderful. This was my favorite part of the whole day, it was just plain awesomeness.
- Next hour or 2 or 3? We walked through not around but through a creek bed. This area had brown water, big huge boulders, little rocks, more gushing water, sillpery slopes and mosquitos. It was here, I wanted to go home, but once you’re in a Spartan Race, there doesn’t seem to be any other way to go except thorough the race. So I did, I personally only received one cut on my hand. But I saw some very nasty wipe-outs. Sure hope no one cracked a skull. There is no one around to help other than the fellow racers. So, yes this was quite scary.
- Finally out of the creek: Found a volunteer who should have had water, he said he was just hanging around and had no water. I had cotton mouth at this point. Was so hungry, so thirsty and feet started to hurt. Tip 3: Bring 5-6 of those gatorade goops with you on the race and if you’re back doesnt hurt too bad, get a hydration pack filled with ice. So in case you are slow like me, you don’t have to rely on the water stations that were out of water.
- The Walk: I walked, I walked, I talked a little to some nice, friendly people and some unfriendly grumps who kept complaining about not having any water. That can be easy to do, but I’ve been working on my mind not to complain, condemn or criticize. When the criticizing thoughts came up about the water I changed my thoughts. The 2 mantras I interchanged were I love my life and Peace, Love and Happiness. This walk went on and on and on. Then we ran into another obstacle. This is where it was fun again. I looked at the tall wall like WTF, How am I going to jump over that very tall massive piece of wood? Well you never know what you can do until you try. I just ran at it grabbed the top and jumped over. Amazing! Tip 4: You never know if you can do something until you try to do it. Just do it, or at least try to do it, you will succeed.
- Water: We finally found some water. A big barrel of ice. I ate this and brought some along. The ice woke me up more than a morning cup of joe. I never knew how much a body really needs water and food. I felt great going back up the muddy hill we had traversed a few hours earlier. With the ice water I was rejuvenated and felt good… well until I ran out.
- Miles: Over the next 20-50 minutes I asked all the volunteers I could find how far is it until the finish? Even though we were moving forward, we all received the exact same similar answers. I remember the answers to a T: About 3.5 miles, 3 and a half miles, a little over 3 miles and less than 3 miles. It became a joke amongst our little group of travelers. Like I said, it’s like Vegas here-No clocks. And no real information, hey maybe that’s what it was like in Sparta? It’s like you’re in the Twilight Zone.
- The Question: With around 3 miles or so to go, the 5 of us were asked a question by someone who I think was a Medic. He asked us If we were seeing any spots? I saw the Ranch spin, I could barely walk, I needed some food, and I was hurting all over. But no spots in my view, so I told him No. The other 4 participants also said No, so we continued on towards the finish line. I guess it’s all good if you aren’t seeing any spots!
- Delirum Walk: After coming down from the hill, we had another super long walk through dirt and grass. My feet felt like pain encased in lead gym shoes. If someone drove by and asked me if I wanted a ride, I would have said Hell Yeah. But, I heard one of my favorite things, music! So I sang along to some Calvin Harris Feels so Good and one of my all time favs, Guns & Roses Welcome to the Jungle. This got me about 20 minutes further towards the finish. YAH! I also bumped into 4 people I’d been seeing here and there thorughout. Was able to chat with them a bit, they were very nice and helped me push through the pains. I also saw another guy with a very hurt knee, who every time I was about give up. He would appear and I’d chat with him long enough to keep us both on track. I think if you don’t talk to fellow racers or have a some sort of spiritual practice, this race would be even tougher. I’m pretty good at postive thinking and mantras so it helped. Tip 5: Stay positive no matter what happens, repeat a mantra or 2 when things get you down. Concentrating on a mantra keeps the monkey mind away and keeps you focused, relaxed and moving towards your goal centered and on track.
- Best Banana Ever: With only 2 miles to go. I thought a medic was going to take me away. Instead his buddy handed me half of a banana and said to finish up the race. He gave the other half to my new friend with the hurt knee. I ate my banana. It was the best tasting banana ever. And it gave me a hope and a real skip and a jump in my stride. Unbelievable, Amazing, Crazy. Food works. Tip 6: in the race and in the real world, pay attention to the trainers and doctors and eat every 3-4 hours, food is really much better energy than Caffeine.
- Obstacle: After the Banana I was able to carry a very heavy rock down the road, then do 5 burpees and return the rock. Thank You very much to the Man with the Banana.
- Spear Throw: This is one of the last 3 obstacles. Here you are given a spear and told to throw it into the hay and make it stick. The boss man at this was the strictest of the day. He wouldn’t let any of us leave until we did it. Which sounded outrageous but turned out to be pretty cool. 18 throws later and a special technique, I made it. It gave me a great big smile and the energy needed to go up and over some big wood structure, then jump over a fire and under the beeping timers table. All Done. I started at 8:20 a.m and finished at about 5:15 p.m. At the finish I ate 4 bananas, had some ice water, coconut juice, received a nice shirt in my favorite color and a third of a Flo-Green medal. Whew! Now it’s back to shopping, finding fun fashion and some more stories on KIcks.
Will I do this again? I don’t know. The pain today is pretty excruciating. And like I said at the beginning of this post, I truly am glad to be alive. No joking around. My heart was pounding hard, it was a bit dangerous out there, but I have a huge feeling of great accomplishment. Tip 7: I was able to do this race and survive. If you put your mind to any project you may think up, it’s all possible. And I suspect it will be much easier to accomplish some of my dreams much quicker and easier after a grueling race like this. I also suspect things I thought were big deals at work will seem much smaller after completing a race like this.
Glad to say, I’ll see you on the CITY Streetz this week. Have a Great Week!
Spartan Race tips I’ve Learned to share with You
With just 6 hours before i need to wake up for my first Spartan Race and just 9 hours from the race itself. I figured I’d let you know some tips I learned before the first day of racing..or for me walking, jumping, and getting very muddy.
- Sign Up Early: In Hawaii that would be to sign up in April. Cost is only $119 compared to $230 the week of the race. So, about 5-6 months prior to your race is a good time to sign up.
- Sign up for the correct Race: It’s so crazy confusing. There are basically 3 races all with their own name, number of miles and number of obstacles. I just signed up with my friend and come to find out we are doing ALL three! Here’s a little snipet of how confusing it can be: Sprint, Super, Beast, Trifecta, Spartan Race, Saturday, Sunday, Challenge, Individual, Tribe even Ultimate Spartan Trifecta Challenge is all one big word. I think I have it figured out what it all means today, but it took me a few weeks to finally realize the lingo.
- Set a Budget: You’ll need some supplies from a place like Sports Authority. Some things include: Cushioned socks, special kicks with grip that let the water out easily, sport sun tan spray, light shorts-I’m wearing some Jordan’s one day and some old surf shorts another, man made material T’s-I may try one of these Sunday, for Saturday, I’ll be Rockin’ a Grey, Orange and Silver Streetzblog shirt, a hat, some sunglasses, carbo gel, knee protectors, arm sleeves, protein or carb bars, tight medium length sports underwear and maybe even a couple other things I have yet to learn about. You can buy em’ all or just some. I suggest choosing a dollar amount prior to shopping, then buying what you absolutely think you may need. You can always come back Saturday night and get some more of this slightly ill fashionable garb.
- Train and Rest: Upper body strength, Endurance and legs seem to be most important. And 3 days before, take it easy, jacuzzi it up a bit and relax.
- Sleep: Yep, probably not the best tip is to write a blog a few hours before a race like this. For me, it takes me out of my head and relaxes my mind. Keeping me focused on entertaining and helping you and not thinking of my aching knee or how in the outrageous world am I gonna’ wake up at 5 a.m. I can stay awake until 5 a.m easily. Waking up then, Wow!
See you on the Streetz of the Kualoa Ranch ..where they filmed Jurassic Park and close to where they filmed Fantasy Island on the island of Oahu, Then at the Arts in Motion Car show at Aloha Stadium, and back to the Spartan Race for day two on Sunday. I’ll let you know if I find some new tips on Saturday. Have a nice weekend!
BTW: I hear Michael Phelps is in town this weekend. Either he’s filming a spot or promoting the Aquasphere brand or both. Hope to bump into him…Hey maybe he’ll be one of the celebs at the Spartan Race, now that would be fun!
THE PARTY IS ON!
Michael Jordan is just days away from turning the Big 5-0 Check out Sportscenter now thru Sunday they are doing some pretty fun specials on him. Upcoming are his Kicks and Gear, Yesterday they talked about the Celtics game where they say he scored 63 points but my video at my house which I can’t find right now, says he scored 72 labeled in permanent black sharpie. Something I think I’ll never figure out..hehe.
And Check out this dope Vid from TED done by Lemon Anderson. It’s entitled ” Please Don’t Take My Air Jordans”, My mom would never let me wear mines when I went to downtown Chicagoland back in the 80’s. We only wore our canvas Cons down there. I like the Video, rhymin’, vibe, gestures etc. Nice job Lemon! What do you think? I also wonder what Kicks are going to drop on MJ’s BDay? Anyone Know? Maybe a secret Quickstrike? Hope I’m in Foot Locker when that happens!
(Updated blog post-Feb 11, 2013)
I received a text the other day from a bigger Snearkerhead than myself and they said that they think the Big Shoe will be the AJ1. Maybe in that Black and Flo Green colorway?
And Hypebeast recently reported that the Air Jodan 111 Black Electric Green will release on February 16 and they also think that there will be a Black Electric Green AJ1!
For even more Black/Flow Green Kicks starting with the AJ1 thru the AJXX8, check out this great site to see the 28 Days of Flight. Each day they show us a New Black and Green Shoe, finalizing in the brand new Jordan XX8. Which you can see right now below:
Jordan Turns 50 on February 17-Same Day as the NBA-All Star Game..Hmmm..
The Nike Air Jordan 111 also turned 25 with the February 6 release of the AJ111 Retro 88 with the iconic Nike air on the heel. Picture below:
On February 17 ESPN’s Sportcenter will debut the full list of MJ’s 50 Greatest Moments. And NBATV has a special New interview with MJ on All Star Weekend. Let the Jordan Frenzy get even bigger. Hope he shows up at the NBA All-Star game this year!
Looks like D. Rose is getting pretty healthy. From the looks of this VID, He should be playing before Christmas. Last I heard he wouldn’t be back until April 2013.
At Christmas time I’m debating between seeing the Knicks play the Brooklyn Nets or the Chicago Bulls in NYC. Right now, I’m swaying towards the Nets-should be more celebs in the house. But if Derrick Rose is back, I’d for sure rather see the Bulls vs The Knicks. Does anyone know when he is due back on the court?
After watching all of those Ill fitting Khaki pants and the numerous versions of white pants in the Opening Ceremony; I figured I’d look for something that I would wear. And this is what I found-The Nike 21st century Windrunner V Reflective Olympic Jacket, I first saw it on Michael Phelps after he won his silver medal, then again when he won his gold and I last saw it on the Gold winning Female Gymnastics team. It was here that it started to grow on me and it was here where I saw it do it’s magic. As the lights in the arena changed, the colors on the jacket also changed from silver to blue to a crazy pink haze that actually glowed! That’s when I decided I needed one of these HOT Jackets.
So, Just like quick strike Jordans that are hard to find, this turned out to be just as hard to get. I checked the usauniversal.com site-even sent them a message that so far has not been returned 27 hours later. I did get that stupid “Oh we got your question request and will get back to you soon message” Soon! soon is not 27 going on 28 hours now. Next, I checked the usual suspects like the fanatics site, Olympic gear, Nike.com, google etc. And I couldn’t find it for sale anywhere.
The place I did find it at was on the livethecounterculture.com site. It was here that I found the video you can see above and it was here that I learned that it’s a jacket only made for the winners of many of the Summer Olympic Sports.
If I do find a knock-off or a possible sale of this item, I will let you know. For now, the only way to get one is if you know one of the American Olympians who win Gold, Silver or Bronze. Hey BTW did you see the American Women’s team Kicks? They all had on nice Bright Flourescent green Nikes-they didn’t match the red, white and blue vibe and may have at moments matched the jacket, but the real big deal here is Adidas payed a lot of money to be the shoe sponsor and those bright green shoes sure blew away any Adidas I’ve (not) seen so far in the games or the commercials. its like that year Red Bull stole the show from Mountain Dew at the Winter X games. Everytime a snowboarder won-he drank a Red Bull or on occasion a Monster Energy Drink right on camera during the winning interviews. Didnt see any Mountain Dew sippin’ that year! Just a few banners here and there.
August 1 6:50pm Update on the jackets. I just noticed that NBCUniversal got back to me on “Where can I buy one of those nice Grey jackets like they wear on the Olympics?” The answer is they dont sell them. But they suggest that if you would like one, you can hit up their product development department and it may be available for purchase in the near future. Here is the link