Weather – mid-40s with an ominous 5-mph breeze and low humidity. Perfect.
Pre-Run — YHC, Bing, Ripken and FNG Excalibur were down for what turned-out to be a 6-mile pre-run. The pax circled-back to the parking lot to snag any would-be 3-miles, but all others chose a bit more of the shartsack. So, run we did. As usual, great fellowship in the form of wise-cracks, funny stories, serious stuff and everything in-between.
Upon return to the tower parking lot, the pax were great in number. 15 to be exact. There was a feeling of near celebration — laughing, smiling, and eagerness. But that would all change. YHC grabbed my personal bin of F3 goodies to quickly setup for the ensuing slaughter-fest — oh, and sledgehammer — then it all began.
Welcome — Promptly at 0515, YHC recited the 5 core principles mantra, gave the disclaimer and off we went for a quick, one-lap mosey that included lateral slides, high knees, carrioke, and nur. We grabbed our drinks and to the tower base we went for one extended Circle of Pain.
The Thang (extended CoP): YHC gave a quick summary of the reason for this particular beatdown. I failed to Boston Qualify in Sunday’s Spring Hill Marathon by 3-minutes and 18-seconds. The Boston Standard for my age-group is 3-hours, 20-minutes. Last year, the standard was 3-hours, 25-minutes, but the Boston Marathon leadership took 5-minutes away this year because too many people were qualifying under the old standard causing many who qualifying to not be allowed to register for the Boston Marathon. Yes, that would suck worse than missing the time standard. Anyway, today’s beatdown was to be a personal healing from the trauma induced by YHC’s BQ Fail. In particular, several numbers continue to “ring” in my head: 26, 385, 198 and 5.
- 26 — a marathon is 26.2 miles, of which 4 of those miles were brutal to YHC. My endurance needs to increase, so 26 echoes in my brain.
- 385 — the “.2” of the marathon is exactly 385 yards. Pre-marathon, YHC pictured finishing the 385-yards of the marathon in sort of a celebratory fashion. Instead, the final steps of the marathon were a veritable death march.
- 198 — the number of seconds YHC missed a Boston Qualifying marathon time. That translates to about 500 strides over a ~37,000 stride event. That hurts.
- 5 — at the turned (mid-point, 13.1-miles) of the marathon, YHC was surprised to find a roughly 5-mph headwind! This took a physical and psychological toll, making a challenging event even more difficult. In the end, YHC’s fitness was not enough to pull-out a BQ.
All of the above in mind, the BQ Fail — Marathon Mania beatdown was designed to get YHC (and any pax crazy enough to follow-along) a chance to revisit these issues for spiritual healing. To replay to bad day and get more fit, stronger, and better positioned to never BQ Fail again.
YHC described the sledgehammer’s purpose — a symbol of smashing goals. The sledgehammer will join me on all future Q’s until a BQ. I asked the pax to visualize smashing their goals, whatever they are, when it’s their turn to handle the sledge during Marathon Mania.
Marathon Mania involved a simulated marathon — 26 exercises back-to-back with no breaks. Each exercise represented 1-mile of a marathon. The goal was to pace the workout in such a way so as to not stop during the “marathon.” Each exercise required the pax to pass the sledge and then incorporate it into that particular exercise. The creativity was on point and the pax embraced YHC’s new friend. At exactly halfway (13.1-miles) and at the finish (26.2-miles), everyone took off for the cones “over yonder” for a 385-yard psuedo-dash. FNG, Excalibur, led the way for each dash and showed the pax he’s the lead dog when it comes to the 5k. Upon returning from the dash, pax planked-up until the 6 appeared.
The 26-miles were as follows:
- Moroccan Nightclubs
- Calf Raises
- Walk-out Merkins (standing straight-up, bend from waist touching hands to the ground “walk” with hands to a merkin position, do a merkin and “walk” back)
- Overhead Claps
- Leg Lifts
- Shoulder Taps
- Air Squats
- Freddy Mercury’s
- Plank Runs (Plank while running in place — contrary to popular belief, these are not Mt Climbers!)
- Hillbilly Walkers
- Lateral Slides
- American Hammers
- Peter Parkers (this sucked)
- Tuck Jumps
- Travel Taps (Plank position, move hands and feet to one side, move back to original position, shoulder tap)
- Travel Merkins (same as travel taps, but finish with a Merkin)
- Mule Kicks (on all fours, knees off the ground, kick both feet into the air)
- Power Jacks (squat, touching hands to the ground then explode-up with hands high above head)
- Captain Thors
- Body Builders (Burpee with a plank jack thrown in the sequence)
After the marathon and 385-yard dash, YHC originally planned to do 198 lunges, but time was getting short and one key challenge had to get bumped-up the priority list. The 5-mph headwind was to be addressed with 5 tower jailbreaks. So in unison, pax took-off for the tower and the suffering soared to otherworldly levels. All pax pushed their limits. Breathing, puffing and near merlot spilling double-overs were seen. This was the perfect finish to BQ Fail — Marathon Mania. FNG, Excalibur, put the pax to shame as he led the way to tower’s top on the final climb.
With the marathon behind, the 385-yards revisited, and the tower conquered, the pax settled in for count-a-rama and name-o-rama with tower-top vistas and a much-needed cold breeze to get us all back to normal heart rates.
Moleskin — We all have goals. They may be to get a better job, be a better husband or father, give up something causing you to live less than your best life. Goals are just that, goals. It may take longer to reach them than originally envisioned. That’s not the end of the world. The key is to use the missed target as motivation to get better, dig deeper and ultimately crush the goal one day. The only way we can’t reach our goal is to quit. According to Jesus, believer’s are not quitters — we are MORE THAN conquerors (Romans 8:36) and we finish the race set before us with endurance (Hebrews 12:1). We can only lose if we quit. Jesus fills the gap from where we are now to His goal for our future selves. In the end, we win.
- Races coming up (Superhero 5k, Feb 16 at NBP, Sarasota Half Marathon, Triathlon Super Bowl Sunday)
- Double Deuce’s friend going in for MCL surgery
- Praise for how God is using F3 to reach people
Peace Out –I’m thankful for the chance to lead and thanks for helping get some BQ Fail marathon PTSD healing!
“To do what others can not, be willing to do what others will not.”