by Thomas Nastasi
The path we choose in life is filled with obstacles. Without obstacles, everything would be too easy and not worth doing. In 2013, I am signed up for 19 races. Twelve of these are obstacle course races. It will be extremely gratifying to complete and compete to the best of my abilities in each and every race. Mentally and physically I must be prepared. The first step is off-season training.
After Tough Mudder, in October, my shoulder continued to hurt. It seemed like it was getting worse daily. It took two more months of X-rays and MRI's to finally get a Christmas week phone call from my Doctor. “You have evidence of a fractured shoulder that healed, a partially torn bicep, a partially torn labrum, and a separated shoulder,” she calmly stated. I was not so calm. After getting opinions on what to do from another doctor, I chose the nonsurgical approach. Starting in January, I have been slowly getting back into my lifting and workout routine. Weekly, I feel the shoulder getting stronger and more mobile.
I also began to see a sports medicine chiropractor. The best thing to come out of my visits with him is the discovery of KT Tape. This is a waterproof athletic tape designed to work as a brace on your injured areas. This stuff is amazing. Two strips from my shoulder to my mid back help me complete my everyday activities pain free. I am a huge fan. You might remember the Olympic volleyball athletes wearing this all over their shoulders and backs. Do you really think they trained their whole lives for the Olympics to wear some ridiculous looking tape around their body that didn’t aid them?
After 6 weeks of training, I am at about 80%. I train 6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are dedicated to strength training. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are dedicated to cardio. I feel this is a perfect schedule for me to get in shape for the upcoming demanding season. Living in the North East, it is very hard to want to run when it is below freezing. Even though I dress appropriately, it is still a struggle. I still manage to get at least two runs in a week. The other day I do P90x Plyometrics. I cannot wait for better weather and the trails to be snow free.
I have finally found a daily menu that works best for me. This is important because I do not deprive myself of food that I will crave and not allow myself to have. What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for another.
After Workout – Sunwarrior Shake
Mid-Morning Snack – Organic Food Bar “Protein”
Lunch – sensible meal
Dinner – whatever my vegan wife puts in front of me
This works for me incredibly well. Also, my shake is so nutritious that I feel nourished throughout the day because of it. Here is my shake concoction:
Thomas’s Power Shake
- 2 scoops Sunwarrior Warrior Blend (chocolate)
- 1 spoon Sunwarrior Ormus Greens
- 1 spoon Maca Powder
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 tablespoon organic Suma Root powder
- 1 spoon local bee pollen
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon creatine
- 1 spoon of raw honey
- 1/3 frozen banana
- 1 glass of water
- 1/3 cup of ice
I blend this all together and create the shake that powers my day.
I have spent the off-season competing in a few trail races and 5ks. As much as I don’t enjoy running on pavement, I know that it is helping me prepare for the season. It is helpful for me to stay fresh with the process of a race. I also am signed up for two half marathons, NJ and Asbury Park, in April and May. I want to be prepared for long distances because my season ends in Vermont. That will be a 14 mile Spartan Race up Killington Mountain.
My first OCR this year will be an unusual one. It is a Spartan Race at Citi Field, NY Mets Stadium. Spartan Race signed a deal with Reebok earlier this year. Reebok hopes to elevate the sport and you will soon be seeing advertisements everywhere for it. This is growing at an incredible rate. This will be the 2nd ballpark race for Spartan. I am sure it is not like the mountain races, but I want to test the shoulder in a “more for atmosphere” race. These ballpark races are typically more money and come with unique medals, shirts, etc. Basically, it gives people a chance to run through a MLB ballpark and have a good time. How often do you get to do that? They also have one for the Phillies in August. I will be representing Sunwarrior in this race and cannot wait.
June 1st is when my season truly begins. With four races in June, I have to be ready. Every morning I wake up and don’t feel like working out, I think about personal failure at a race. That is all the motivation I need.
If you are interested in signing up for a race or have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all questions you might have and help find the race best for you. They are everywhere throughout the nation. They are a lot of fun and a great time. It is truly an experience you will never forget.
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