As the marathon looms before me, edging ever closer and becoming ever larger, I’m finding it hard to focus on any other aspect of my training. I can’t focus on upcoming triathlon training and can’t wrap my head around creating Death Race specific workouts.
Have you noticed the absence of blogs? That’s because there has been an absence of training. Ricky and I did some maintenance work on our arms Monday and then went for a 3 mile jog. Thursday we rowed. That’s been it for me this week. It’s a taper week, right? I’ve never really been any good at tapering but I figure almost no work equals lots of rest and recovery for my legs before I put them through the meat grinder.
But even though I have no full workouts to share, there are some small things that are coming into the works to help us prepare:
To increase my grip strength, I have placed one of those hand-squeezy-thingys in my car. I do about 10 reps per hand, then switch and repeat. At red lights, I stretch my thumbs because apparently thumb flexibility has a lot to do with grip strength.
To practice my wood-chopping skills, I’m going to start mimicing the motion using a sledgehammer and a giant tire at the Boot Camp gym. I figure 30-60 minutes after Personal Training twice a week should get me sufficiently proficient. And, yes, I did consciously choose to do this after Ricky has decimated my arms because as he points out, we need to get used to training when we are tired. Just an demonstration of his seriousness: after coming in at an impressive 1 hour and 42 minutes in the Tallahassee Half Marathon on Sunday, Ricky needed another workout and ran for another hour later that night.
To prepare for water sports, after my main set of laps, I will be practicing shallow water retrieval. Reading about previous races has given me a little insight into the minds of these madmen and they seem to like to make the racers dive into cold ponds (depth of about 7 ft) to search for baggies of stuff (pennies, legos…). Since I still have a serious fear of drowning (traithloning has forced me to face a lot of my water fears), hopefully I will become comfortable holding my breath for lengths of time while feeling around for a tiny little bag that I cannot see. I am contemplating doing some retrieving blindfolded because one previous Death Racer said that by the time he got to the pond, all the dirt had been stirred up by other racers and it was difficult to see.
To condition himself for some hardcore mental toughness, Ricky (in some serious Gulag style) is employing his roommate to pick random times of the day, mask him, tie him up and beat him with a weapon of his own design:
If I understand correctly, this is an umbrella handle reinforced with wire hangers, Gorilla glue and plastic piping, all wrapped up in a nice little denim package. That’s the definition of hardcore and how a true Death Racer should roll.