A last minute ruck

I went ahead today to complete a challenge that was cancelled in the early part of October. It was the 12mile time trial ruck.

I expected to do it alone, but decided my boy Gunner would be bored at home so I decided to feed him well, and hydrate him prior to leaving the house.

Beautiful trail day with overcast sky, slight cool wind blowing at my back for the first half of the trip. The colors are what get me moving outside even more this time of the year. I’m a fall baby and it shows. I had conversations With people at certain times this year about training in different temps, and found myself coming back to solidify my stance on the Fall/Winter time of the year where I can train harder and much longer.

Nature changing and preparing itself for darker, cooler, and icier days ahead. Those changes are what I love about this time of the year. Cooler temps means wearing wool tops, and a windbreaker even when it’s in the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. You’re gonna sweat, so wear the proper clothing and just enjoy yourself.

Well, walking with a dog is no big deal really. All you have to consider is time, distance, people and other dogs especially the untrained ones. Other than that it’s great! Speed rucking, and with me loaded down with 50+ pounds on my back, and him on a leash makes it a very interesting day on the trail.

He kept up really well until we saw a Big buck crossing the trail, and all he wanted was to chase it. Umm, nope! We trudged towards mile three where the video below was taken. He’s enjoying life, and loves the outdoors. What dog doesn’t?

Once we got to our turnaround point we sped up just a tad more, from 3.5 pace to 3.9 pace. Man oh man I’m feeling that decision right now. Everything’s aching, swollen, and lost two nails one on each foot, and they’re from the same digit respectively. I’ve lost toe nails from those toes before. No big deal, just get over the fact that your hurting on the ruck march, and suck it up.

You’ll live, and the good thing is that a Hot epsom salt soak helps immensely after such an event. Yes, the nails are off, and before you ask why? This is why – It hurts to walk with nails that have been pulled upward of the nail bed every step you take.

So, I take them off. Simple. Fast. Clean. No more pain, or discomfort. They grow back, and most of the time growing them back isn’t a pretty thing since they don’t grow back perfect.

Well, back at the trail from beginning to end:

Trail – Salt Creek Trail

  • Start – Brookfield Woods
  • Halfway point – Wolf Rd
  • Finish – Brookfield Woods
  • Once complete we walked way slower, had him do his business then back home.
  • Once home, he drank water like he’d never had a drop over a week. Funny, I took a bowl, and water for him to drink out of, but instead he just turned his head in disgust! It made me laugh. Should’ve taken the pic of that. I was just spent.

    We ate lunch at home, 4 eggs, and a bowl of barbacoa taco meat that was left over. Heck, it was gourmet for me!

    Until next time kiddos! Kicking my feet up while he snores! Will need more food also!

    Oh, just might take a dram or two of Rum. Why not? 🥃🤔🤫

    P.S. Hydration is key to seeing something like this through, and so does electrolytes from Cranksports. It helped so much! Get on it people!

    Vacation 10/18, Part 3

    We’re officially en route to Daughter #1. Driving on route 52 that is winding, scenic, oh my the towns we go through where the speed limit goes from 55mph immediately to 25mph without much of a warning at all!

    I was expecting maybe one or two places like that, and as it turns out most all of the twins were like that except maybe one where there were plenty of warnings of reduced speeds ahead. But, that very first one made me laugh because your coming in from a decent downhill angle into town, then a radar is pointed at you telling you of your speed which is fifty feet from a sign that tells you the speed limit is 25mph.

    What was funny is that once you slow down to the required speed limit there is a cop ten feet past the radar with another radar pointed at you also just in case you missed the giant speed read out you just passed. Well, they do need to make revenue for their towns don’t they?

    I liked the entire drive into Dubuque, and once getting into their city limits I really enjoyed the rural setting of a growing city. This city has escaped a lot of fanfare yet it has a nice appeal to people looking to have cafes, restaurants, a busy downtown and growing commerce area. I dig the area and it’s showing promise.

    Once we were in town, Selene (‘Nene), and I strolled inside the Kennedy Mall to do some window shopping and kill some time prior to us heading into our last resting area for the remainder of our vacation. We also had enough time to drive into downtown Dubuque where we ended up going into one of my favorite Java joints called Jitterz. There we met daughter #1. Shared a meal, and it’s funny how in a very short time almost caught up with local events, and happenings in Dubuque.

    once we parted ways we were finally headed to Mainstay Inn and Suites. Nice, cozy place with a kitchenette, microwave, and small underutilized coffee maker with their in house coffee. I brought my own coffee from Guatemala called Café Léon Regiones Blend Especial. I am in Love with this coffee blend. It’s smooth, with small hits of chocolate, and and spices. It is very aromatic. I can drink this all day. Safe to say that I will be ordering sooner than later. The first pound was a gift from my parents that went to Guatemala on their annual trip.

    The first thing we had to do and in order was to get out of our smoke engulfed clothing, and shower. Powerful jets of hot water hit me and it was fan-freaking-tastic! After the shower it was time to unpack everything for this stage of the trip, (yes, different go bags) and it was welcomed treat for clothes that were not smoke infused. Not that I minded the scent of campground fire place, but the looks from the locals, and questions of the retail shop employees showed us that we were in need of a scrub down, and change of attire. It was funny to see their faces, and ask us questions about what we were just up to since we had a very particular scent about us. Hahahahaha.

    Once showered, and changed into clean clothes ‘Nene went to do laundry, while I sort of started to organize my thoughts, and pictures for the blog.

    But, I do love her curls. Yet, she hates them. Kinda hard to see in certain angles, but they’re there. After growing her hair back from treatment (her story and blog post) this hair is naturally curly, and soft. She’s never had curly hair ever in her lifetime. To my amazement it’s pretty darn cute.

    Once you read her story you’ll be in Total amazement of her journey. It’s cool I tell you.

    Now, once we’re finished with the laundry and organizing of pics, and blog write up blah blah blah….. we are off to have a meal with my daughter. We all decided to have a Thai dinner at Pete’s Thai Kitchen. ‘Nene ordered a Basil fried rice, daughter #1 and I ordered the Roasted Duck Curry. Yum! Delicious doesn’t even come close! Well prepared, and good serving size! Jasmine tea to top me off. Thai coffee for D#1, and Pop for ‘Nene.

    We headed back to our room after dinner, and had one of the beers I purchased in St Louis. It was a good ending to our day. Traveling from campgrounds to city wasn’t all that bad, and the beer closed my day fairly well.

    Wanting not to be rushed to do anything the next morning, we grabbed breakfast downstairs in their dinning area. Not bad for a continental breakfast. Your typical, waffles, cereals, milk, yogurt, banana, bagel, juices, and of course tea and coffee. We took what we could eat, and not binge. Have you ever had those moments where everything you ate was good enough to have just double the amount because you’re traveling and it’s justified. I was close, those waffles called to me….. lol.

    Well, once back upstairs there was winding down, storing / uploading pics and videos and as much as I wanted to nap it’s just not in me especially when I wanted to log everything we’ve done so I began to write the posts of our trip. She napped while I got the mea of the data complete. No easy task, unless you count the mini writers block I have encountered from blog two to this one.

    We scheduled a dinner with daughter #1 and her boyfriend at a downtown eatery that’s hot with the business types, and college crowd also. It’s called 1st and Main, and it’s located exactly at First and Main in downtown Dubuque.

    Prior to arriving to our dinner reservation we were pretty hungry early around 3~4pm so we asked where we could have and truly enjoy a Chicago style pizza? We were referred to Marco’s Pizza & BBQ. Wow, we were so impressed we left nothing on the platter to give anyone a sample once we’d finished.

    Now, of course it looks as if I’d eaten all of the pizza alone by those pictures-provided. You would not be so far from the fact since we looked at each other and agreed that given another opportunity o re order it’d be a Large or extra large pizza. That’s how good it was. Sausage, peppers, garlic, spicy sausage, pepperoni, and bacon all over.

    Three hours later we made it our dinner date with daughter #1, and her boyfriend. We were not that hungry (more like she wasn’t ), but I ordered an appetizer of meatballs with a garlic vinaigrette sauce. Wow! This place was just starting to liven up when we arrived around 8pm. Yup, late one for us but well worth the company!

    At this restaurant the good stuff is on the meals they serve from Italian, to bar food. One particular hamburger they sell has peanut butter on it. According to daughter #1 it’s very good, as she licked her fingers… ha! Yes, yes you thought the fried egg was over the top huh? Well, they also have a wide selection of wines, beers, and top shelf liquors/ spirits……🥃🍾. We shared a few good laughs, caught almost up to current events, and work stuff, but sadly we had to go our separate ways.

    Our last day in Dubuque has finally arrived, and I’m bummed. I love spending time with my kids, watching them interact with / in their world makes me very proud of how they’re growing even more in their roles as adults. God has Blessed me very much. We share breakfast together at a Hy-Vee restaurant located within the supermarket itself. Eggs, salmon, waffles, you name it we’re eating it. Lol. It was affordable, and delicious!

    Well, the time has come. Time for our see you laters, but never Goodbyes. We have already checked out of our Inn prior to meeting up with daughter #1, so it’s onto the expressway and ride back east to Chicago. Yes, it’s a short hop back home, and bittersweet. During our ride back home I pondered how it’s be to move to St Louis, or Dubuque to work and live.

    It’s way cheaper, and communities are good. One down south, of course is very urban, with the infrastructure getting better, and it’s warm. All the while the Northern one is more rural and it’s tech businesses are growing very quickly, so this is very promising for this quiet town.

    The jury is out, and so are the resumes. We took a short stop to grab a needed break, bathroom included and snacks. She took an ice cream cone, while I had M&Ms that were coffee flavored! Oh, let’s not forget the skeleton Cheetos she elected to eat only after putting together the skeleton first.

    Once back in Chicago near O’Hare, I bailed and took an earlier exit so that I can cut through the city streets to get home faster rather than sitting in traffic more, or longer than needed. Waiting for a light to change, being Friday rush hour traffic ‘Nene noticed something on the side of the road in the Forest preserve. Immediately she pulled out her camera and took video, and pics of a few deer eating near the curb.

    Well, we made it home in record time! I really did not miss the stupid drivers, and rude people. Truly, this trip reinforced to me how people differ in different places that really are not that far from each other. It’s an eye opener. Not surprised though. It’s something you deal with daily so you’ll you begin to ignore it because it’s so commonplace. Manners are out, and the me me me is in.

    Not my idea of being neighborly, but I won’t change myself or lose any peace due to someone else though.

    Once we walked into our apartment with some of our belongings we were welcomed properly by my lil’ boy Gunner!

    I have tried plenty of times to get some of the videos from my GoPro to edit, but it just crashes. I’ll continue to find a way to make a video of this trip that we documented on these three posts, so possibly in the near future we’ll be able to find a way to make them , and share them with you all.

    Until next time kiddos!

    If you know, you know

    Today the picture for this post sums it up very well about today’s WOD. Warm up was geared towards mobility, and general dynamic range of motion except the flexor stretch.

    Working to make sure the unmarked soccer field route, and the requirements for the skills to be performed were understood we donned our rucks. So much dew on the field, and freshly mowed lawn/field. How fresh? Grass clippings everywhere – Fresh!

    During the run, shoes began to get bogged with water, yay fun! Get on your belly and beat your face! Push-ups 50 times with the ruck. Not too shabby, except that I noticed a very particular scent of you know what where I was laying down and beating my face. To my surprise Weber stated that on his side the grass around him smelled like Chinese food.

    I told him that may be the place where the last cook was taken out for bad Yelp reviews! Lol. Once you’re finished smelling the grass temporarily you look around and think, it’s not that bad….. pssst! I’ve got news for you, this dew is gonna be your friend. An intimate friend at that.

    As we stood up we were somewhat cooled off a bit by the dampness, but a tad out of breath. Ruck swings for 50. Ever swing a ruck with weight in it, and it begins to slide inside so when your swing ends at the top the load falls within, and pulls you harder downward so you try your hardest Not to fall on your face every single time? Oh, I do miss my kb on those moments.

    Balancing act done! After much swearing, and trying to figure out what’s next as you’re a little dizzy right about now. Did I mention the weight shifts inside the ruck? Oh, let’s cover the shoulder to shoulder. You have a ruck, shifting weight, wet hands, and if you’re wearing gloves like most of us did you’re GOING TO BE CHALLENGED!

    Made it! Now, for the shoulder to shoulder for 50. Would you like to know what a rucksack beside the head feels like? Experience, and future reference box checked off for this one. Good thing I have a tough nugget otherwise that thud, then ringing went away fairly quick – with some expletives to boot. All under my breath, I didn’t want to anyone to be distracted. Hey, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Okay, I said to myself the tough one is finally out of the way since this Russian twist with ruck stuff for 50 I’ll be sitting down, and I will finally catch my breath. I was almost overjoyed until I did the first ten. WTF!! No break, no slack and that bastard of a ruck was now a little damp to the point of discoloration from the dew. Still shifting weight also! Oh yeah! Game face on, and no audibles! F&$)%! Breathes were now short controlled gasps! I did laugh cynically because I programmed this and every WOD we do. I freaking LOVE IT!

    Great, finished working on the Russian-twist movement! Wooo! I get to stand up! Yay, I forgot what was next so I walk over to the white board to read – ‘flutter kicks‘! I almost cried with joy! Laying down and holding my ruck! Wait, that little bugger has it in for me and it may decide to slip – off my hands and crush my head before I finish! Going fast G?! Hell yeah!

    Stood up and now I’m ready to kill the rest of the workout! Oh, crap! Now up – ‘OH Lunge walk’!

    Did I forget that this was a wet, and cumbersome ruck now! The little fucker will not win! Hauled it over head and took the first lunge step. As I proceeded forward it wanted to stay right where we started! Yep, it begun to fall backwards. Oh, yes you are correct…..shifting weight, wet ruck, wet gloves, and shoulders that are getting smoked!

    Lunges are an ordeal, and not for he faint of heart! So do them often. I tell you from experience they are the building blocks to power, strength, stamina, speed, and balance. Let’s not forget the benefits also of great aesthetics! However I will never overlook the obvious – Sore as a horse kicking you on your ass – sore!

    But, I like them, so we do them….. I did not take a popularity vote after they saw the workout – so there!

    Short, very short of breath and now I’m going on my belly! First thought was – I’m going to be much cooler, and I will catch my breath. All I have to do is push my ruck from a prone position for half of a soccer field! Why? It’s the Low-crawl ruck push.

    I saw everyone else having a great time, so much so that some walked around, kneeled down, and catching glances all around I honestly thought the crew was just getting ready to cheer me on! Nah! I was a bit delirious since they too were sucking wind, possibly cursing my name also. Heck, I had to do mental health check during he lunges!

    Smoked the shoulder. Grass in my shorts, mouth, nose, ears, bag, gloves, and the ruck – it’s getting heavier because it’s very very wet. I squeezed the bag, and it let out a resounding slushy sound. Not good for me since I had only moved half the distance required to finish the low crawl ruck push. Ugh! Head down, suck it up, and let it burn!

    I Passed the goal post! Now I switched to the high crawl/plank ruck drag half the soccer field. It ended where the low crawl began. My hips, shoulder, abs…you get the idea. They were not happy, and neither was the crew. However each of them felt, they all had laughed, yelled, cursed, laughed some more and we as a whole were much better for this because we came with a can do attitude! Cheered, and encouraged each other during this event.

    Come to a workout like this knowing that the unknown is here for you to tackle takes a certain confidence, inner strength, and perseverance that not many possess. Many can try it, not many will stay. You have the physical portion of these movements that are superseded by the mental game.

    You can tell who will come and tackle, and ultimately come back and become a permanent part of what we term ‘The Crew’.

    Everyone is welcome. You will grown in so many ways. Just remember to challenge your inner self, and battle those demons. They have nothing on you! We can prove it, and are more than willing to show you how! One day, and one workout at a time.

    Hope to see you here!

    Mi A Gi

    Magister Nosce!

    Mean and Lean….

    Throwing down this morning with The RuFF crew – Selene, Eric, Weber, and I took on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scheduled for Today (180612). We (‘Nene and I) had a brutal WOD yesterday so we were pretty sore going into this event.

    Glutes were on fire, hamstrings were taught and the warm up was deliberately focused on releasing those tight areas to make this event as successful as possible for everyone involved.

    For the push ups, Selene completed all of her push ups as Rx! Yes, this was a tough one for her and we were challenged to get through with minimum amount of rest to get those numbers.

    Sit ups made the tight flexors even tighter. Abs fatigued quickly for me, and the resting and lacing of fingers behind the neck was a challenge for a couple of us performing them in that manner. We focus a lot on the midline strength and stability with many exercises focusing on different ranges of motion, sets, and reps to make sure we are able to keep the spine healthy. We’re going to add these sit ups in the future for variety.

    Oh, the Run! We ran a two miles for the WOD yesterday so ‘Nene, and I were feeling it even more at the start of the 2 miler. Weber led from underneath the Cermak bridge on Gardner Rd with a decent pace to the Roosevelt bridge one mile turn around point.

    Supporting ourselves during everything we do helps morale, and keeps us in the game. Once I reached the 1.75 mile mark I had to surge to finish with a decent time. Lungs, calves, quads burning at the end I was happy to finish my last mile with a 7:44.6 compared to my first mile of 8:33.8.

    We had a great time, and it will be scheduled again. So, hope to see you out there.

    APFT totals

    Mi A Gi 2 mile

    First experiences

    As the morning of April 2nd came to be I had a chance to see a dream come to fruition. Starting my own fitness business in the woods of Westchester, IL. It is as scary, and nerve wracking as it sounds but you have to jump in both feet hitting the ground and start running no matter what.

    Fear really isn’t the first the that crossed my mind that morning only what if the hill isn’t what I envisioned it to be. No one described it to me at all. I’ve only seen it driving past it and over it heading home for two years. With the seasons gone by I never really contemplated working outside for quite some time.

    The one thing other than my expectation was what if no one wants to do this (exercise) outside in the real elements. I mean, it’s just cold enough to freeze water outside within minutes and it’s freaking April!!!!! Really, come on man! I expected way more from the weather than the hills/forest!

    Regardless, day one was a hit! Our little band of movers and shakers came out and sucked it up with arms opened wide along with their lungs! Yes, we do have fun while we workout and at tines have to crack jokes to see it through. You must learn to get out of your head to get through these uncomfortable situations and stick with the program no matter what.

    Mi A Gi