Episode 4-346 – Joe De Sena on the Spartan Movement

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-346 – Joe De Sena on the Spartan Movement

41P25EajSML (Audio: link)

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi4346.mp3]

Link epi4346.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks – http://www.marathonbq.com/qualify-for-the-boston-marathon-in-14-weeks/

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-346 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Thank you for listening.  Sometimes I don’t hear from you for a while and I get lonely.  I wonder if anyone is listening.  I thought it might due to a lack of positive feedback.  I grew up in the 70’s and we were all about positive feedback.  That’s why baby boomers are so needy.

The topic of today’s show is Spartan.  I interview Joe De Sena the owner of Spartan Races.  He’s a tightly wrapped dude with one of those clear, focused minds and the work ethic to support it.

In the first section I’m going to talk through my initial impressions of the Spartan race and its training.  I have one coming up in September and I’m starting to worry about my fitness level.  I expressed my concerns about things like not being able to do more than 2 pullups to coach.  He says I’m taking it too seriously and, I quote, “A Kardashian could do that race.”  Except he’s not the one running it!

In the second section I’ll think a bit on our fascination with Sparta and what it says about us.

My training is focused on strength and biking right now.  I gave my Achilles a week off after the trail marathon but not really because I was down on the Cape over the next weekend walking the beach and riding for hours.  It was great to spend some time with myself but I think I may have overdone it.

I tried to do a 1:30 run on the roads when I got back and I ended up walking back the last mile.  It was the heat and my Achilles.  Now I’m giving some more time to heal.  I’m stretching and massaging and rehabbing.  I’m spending time on the bike and working on my core.

It is a good time of year to be taking a break from running.  It’s still super hot and humid.

Speaking of hot and humid I watched the Women’s Olympic Marathon and I though Amy, Shalane and Desi did a really good job of running their plans.  They hung with the best runners in the world and all finished in the top 10.  They inspired me and I’m sure they’ll inspire the next generation of American women.

Buddy the old wonder dog is doing well.  He’s almost all recovered from his lump surgery.  That should make him more comfortable in the short run.  It’s too hot for him.  He hasn’t been running except for what he normally does when we go for walks off-leash in the woods.  This time of year we get a lot of thunderstorms rolling through at nighttime with all the energy in the atmosphere.

Katie brought his crate up to the living room and when it gets really bad we can put him in there so he doesn’t hurt himself.  Thunderstorms make him mental.  He’ll go into the tub in the girl’s bathroom or into one of the closets and start digging.  We cage him up for his own protection.

By the way, I went for the follow up visit with my heart doctor and there’s nothing wrong with me that they can see.  Which is good.  That leads me to conclude that my issues earlier in the summer were due to the heat, jet lag and the case of pneumonia with the course of antibiotics.  Basically my body, mind and soul were out of synch!

Which is why I’m focusing on doing a bit of foundational bio-reengineering this month.

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio

Last week I uploaded an essay on why vacationing is so hard.

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
  • Exclusive Access to Individual Audio Segments from all Shows
    • Intro’s, Outro’s, Section One running tips, Section Two life hacks and Featured Interviews – all available as stand-alone MP3’s you can download and listen to at any time.

For the cost of a pack of Clean and Clear oil absorbing facial wipes, to, you know, remove that extra shine off your brow, you can be a member of the runrunlive support crew.  There is no shipping charge for membership and I just today fixed the bug in the annual membership signup process!

Links are in the show notes and at RunRunLive.com

Become a member

My reengineering project is a 30 day 5AM project.  The anchor of this project is that I’m getting up early every day, as close to 5 AM as I can manage.  The other attributes of it are:

  • No alcohol
  • Work on my nutrition plan to get stronger, rebuild my healthy biome and get leaner.
  • Work on my next book
  • Post a daily accountability video to YouTube to keep the project going.

It’s been going well.  I haven’t hit the 5 AM every day but I’ve been close enough to be within the spirit of the exercise.  I have eliminated alcohol and have been eating clean and focusing on foods that will have a positive impact on my insides.  This weekend I made Kvass, which is a fermented beet juice and pickles using the cucumbers from my garden.  I’m such a home body.

The work on the book has been doing a lot of circling the work and not actually doing the work, but I’m positive.  My creativity tends to come in bursts.  I’ve gotten the videos up each day consistently and you can see them if you’re interested in that sort of thing at my YouTube channel which is Cyktrussell. (Chris yellow king tom – Russell with two esses and two ells…)

I’ve really learned or relearned some valuable lessons from this project.  First thing is that when you’re dealing with a stable system, like your body, even if it is stable in a place you don’t like, you have to be careful with the quantity and magnitude of changes.  Any change you make is going to cause the system to oscillate.

A stable system is stable because it has inertia.  It doesn’t want to change.  A stable system resists change and it has memory.  It’s like a rubber band.  The more you pull the more it resists and it always pulls in an effort to return to the stable state.

Biological/mental systems are not digital. You can’t just expect to insert a stimulus and to leap to a different state.  When you insert a stimuli the system won’t change digitally or even linearly.  It will wobble as the opposing forces push and pull.  The more things you try to change the more random the wobbling feels.

In my project I was trying to change sleep patterns and nutrition and my coffee intake and my alcohol consumption all at the same time.  In the first 10 days my system wobbled.  There were days that I was starving.  There were days where I was so tired I couldn’t think or function.  There were days when I felt depressed and defeated.

When you want to make changes in anything.  When you want to innovate in your life.  You have to be prepared to suffer through an adjustment period.

I have shared with you before the metaphor that says all projects follow a U-shaped curve.  When you first start the project it’s all unicorns and rainbows and enthusiasm.  When you get to the middle of the project it turns into an endless-seeming, hopeless, slog of work.  As you get closer to the finish it becomes hopeful again.

Another useful metaphor I heard recently is to picture yourself standing on a mountain top.  You have climbed successfully to the top of this mountain but now you want to innovate or improve to a new state.  Picture that new state as another, higher mountain top that you can see across the valley.  You know how to get there.

You have to go down into the valley and work your way to climb up the other side to get to this new peak.  That’s what innovation is like.

Identify that next peak.  Keep the vision of that new and next peak in your mind’s eye, even as, especially when, you lose sight of it in the tangled underbrush of the valley.

On with the show.

spartanFitSection one –

The Spartan Race and Training for it – http://runrunlive.com/spartan-fit

Voices of reason – the conversation

Joe De Sena

Spartan Fit!: 30 Days. Transform Your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit.

http://www.spartan.com/en/media/spartan-fit/authorAbout Joe De Sena

JoeDeSenaJoe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, is also a living legend in endurance and adventure racing circles — he completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, raced the 140.6 miles of Lake Placid Ironman, and finished a 100-mile trail run in Vermont, all within one week.

In 2014, De Sena authored Spartan Up!, A New York Times Bestseller, that changed countless lives and revealed the secrets to developing the resourcefulness and mental determination needed to become a true Spartan.

marcusSection two

About Spartans and Stoics – http://runrunlive.com/what-is-all-this-spartan-talk-anyhow

Outro

Well my friends you have carried, climbed and crawled through a mud pit to the end of Episode 4-346 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

I have a knock knock joke you can tell your kids.  Ready?

Knock knock…

Who’d there?

Old Lady

Old Lady who?

Hey, I didn’t know you could yodel!

One of the great cultural advantages to being at my stage of life is that I can tell Dad jokes.

Next up for me is the Wapack trail race.  Have you signed up yet?  Even though I’m rehabbing my Achilles right now I am looking forward to Wapack. It’s my favorite kind of trail race.  It’s long enough to be interesting at 18 miles but not long enough to worry about.  It’s technical enough to be interesting with lots of single path and roots and rocks and mountains but that same technical nature keeps you from getting too serious.  And, it’s nice and small with good people.

I’ll just try to get in under 4 hours and use the Spartan core strength I’m developing to manage it.

The weekend after is the Spartan race.  I haven’t figured out the logistics for that yet.  Then in October I signed up for the Portland Marathon.  And in December the 4th Annual Groton Marathon if we can pull it off.

I’m staying busy.  Life has its seasons.

One thing I’m wondering about is the Boston Marathon.  After training well and not getting my time last year I honestly don’t know if I want to or deserve to run it in 2017.  I do still believe I can run a qualifying time.  It’s a question of when to fit that into my life.  I’m certainly not going to run a qualifying time before September when the times are due.

I jump an age group in 2018.  I’d like to have at least 20 Bostons but I’d like to earn them.  I don’t know.  I truly do not know.  It’s probably time for a change.

A bit of learning I can give you kids, and I’ll write more on this at some point is about how you age athletically.  When you look at the literature you see the ability of an athlete tailing off in a nice shallow straight curve.  It shows athletes slowly losing their abilities, measured in finishing times, as they age. The curve drops a couple percentage points at a time.

In my experience that is not how it works.  Like everything else in the human experience this process is non-linear, it is unpredictable and it is specific to the individual.  What I’ve found is that I have lost my speed in chunks, mostly as the result of injuries.  The line is more like a series of waves.  Where after 50 or so each subsequent wave crests a bit lower than the last one.

The real question is not the performance line.  The real question is the fulfillment line, the challenge line and the happiness line.  The tricky task at hand is how to continue to, as our friend Peter says, “Run with joy” as the performance line trends down and the waves of aging break relentlessly against the breakwaters of youth.

The answer I think is to remember to be grateful.  Grateful for the victories, grateful for challenges and grateful for the chance to get up today and breathe the deep humid air of this good earth.

Take a deep breath right now, my friends. That is life in your lungs.

Celebrate.

And I’ll see you out there.

 

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks – http://www.marathonbq.com/qualify-for-the-boston-marathon-in-14-weeks/

Http://www.marathonbq.com

http://runrunlive.com/my-books

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field