Showing posts with label August Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label August Challenge. Show all posts

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Ordered a PVS 14 which I am pretty psyched about. Also finished my August Challenge to run 50 miles. I did some reading and hit the weights both of which where cool.

Also did some initial testing of the Sawyer Water filter and I am pretty happy with it. Also I have been using my EDC Benchmade Griptillian, Ontario RAT 3 and Buck 119 Special to do all manner of household tasks. The Benchmade and RAT 3 have done great, proving they deserve their places.

The Buck 119 Special not quite so much. I kind of envisioned it's role as a large food processing knife with a secondary role as a defensive knife. Kind of filling a traditional long hunter type large knife role if you will. The clip point is a bit too far off center for food processing at least to me. The ergonomics are great for cutting but what exactly I am not sure. As a largeish camp type knife I would prefer a Ka-Bar hands down.

I will relegate this knife to some sort of backup piece in a kit or alternate location. A replacement for it's role is something I will look at down the road. Then again the whole thing might be pointless. I have done a lot of outdoors stuff carrying a medium (3.5-4.5 in) knife and a hatchet without finding reasonable tasks I couldn't complete. I am not sure a larger knife is needed except maybe for a dedicated base camp type kit (which I am planning to put together). The Jeff White French Trade Knife reviewed by Alexander Wolfe looks kind of neat. Then again and I am not sure why I didn't think of this before, one of the Cold Steel Longhunter knifes I picked up for a next to nothing might be the ticket. Also free/ already in inventory is a good solution as I am trying not to buy new stuff these days without a good reason.

Anyway that is what has been going on here. What have you done to prepare this week?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Challenge Completion Thoughts

Well the August Challenge is pretty much done. I met the run goal. The weight goal I will call a partial completion as I was down 2 pounds at last look but haven't had a scale since. I have learned a few things this month.

[As a disclaimer I am not a physical or in any way by education or certification qualified to give legitimate exercise or fitness advice. Also for background I am a healthy 20 something guy. I have been running on a regular basis for years though with not always with a particularly organized plan. I probably doubled my mileage this month which nobody advises. That is not necessarily advisable or reasonable.]

The first week or two where I went from a long time of averaging probably 6 miles to 10 or 12 were rough. I adapted quickly and my running capacity and recovery times have improved immensely. What used to be the long run of the week after which I would take a day or two off is now an easy run I can do 2-3 days in a row. Also the increased stamina has really helped me recover on the run after a hill or whatnot and after I need to run faster for whatever reason.

I have heard that you should not add more than 10% distance to a long run (from the last recent, like 2-3 weeks recent, long run) or in total distance a week. Not going to say that is wrong. I ignored that advice in terms of long run distance once and messed my right knee up pretty good. That being said I broke the advice on total distance and it seemed to work OK for me. I did listen to my body on a day to day basis and when a day off was needed I took it.

So this month was a success if not a total one. The next logical question is, what about next month?

Well I am going to keep 50 miles as my goal. I would increase it a bit but as we will do some traveling and I am on leave holding what I've got is a pretty solid goal. I do want to keep working on long runs and do a 10 mile run after some logical progression of 7, 8 and 9 milers.

I need to bring back speed work. It kind of dropped off this month and needs to come back. I want to add it in once a week either by doing sprints or fartleick (sp) type stuff. Speed work is important because actual combat and emergencies require short spurts of full speed and sometimes long term cardio.

John Mosby would probably criticize last month's plan for being seriously lacking in time under a ruck. He would be right. Excuses aside I think I rucked once last month. Not too worried about it because rucking has always come easy to me. I can just grab it and go. However that is not the right answer and while I may be acceptably capable of rucking without training on it I will do better with training.

My broad plan for next month is to do 2 runs and 1 ruck a week. I am thinking a long run, speed work and a ruck that probably is the same distance as the run. If I hit the distances I would like to hit 50 miles will be easy. Anyway that is the goal. We will see what happens.

August Challenge 50 Miles Complete

Did the last 6 miles this morning which rounds out an even 50. I am probably down about 3 pounds but my waist is definitely an inch or two smaller as measured by my pants and belt. Good times.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

4 More Down Just 6 To Go

Ran an easy 4 miles this morning. Between being a bit sore from Sunday's run and a delightful but heavy dinner of steak, veggies and taters (not doing that before a run day again) I was dragging this morning but still got it done. The plan is to lift tomorrow and do 7 on Thursday which gives me Friday as a contingency.

I was thinking out loud and BSing with my NCO counterpart (who is a runner but a little guy so rucks are rough on him) about next months goals. I tentatively plan to keep the same mileage goal. Since I will be on leave about the best case scenario is holding what I have. Do however plan on continuing to increase the distance of the longer runs. I would like to do a 10 miler by the end of next month, using proper progression towards the goal to ensure safety. Additionally I would like to ruck at least once a week, probably the distance of my long run. Not rucking regularly has been this month's weak spot for sure. If I toss in a short speed or recovery type run into the mix mileage will not be a problem.

Since I will be on vacation having a bit of flexibility is important and I am trying to be aggressive but realistic with my goals. In the past I have been somewhere between bad and terrible about exercising while on leave. However I am getting older so taking breaks and just bouncing right back doesn't work as well as it used to. Also showing up to a new place (in comparison to where you have been) in mediocre shape is never a good way to start things out.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I ran a lot this week. Something like 15 or 16 miles. Also hit the gym once. Lifting once a week seems to be how things often come out for me. I am going to experiment with it some but doing 2 big lifts (mil press and deadlift (I work cleans in here sometimes) or Bench and Squat) once a week might be the ticket for me. Especially since I am more interested in endurance these days anyway.

Pulled the trigger on the PMAG order. 10 of those wonderful magazines will no longer suffer the fate of being owned by somebody other than me. This pretty much rounds me out for AR mags. Really I was fine before just a bit lighter on PMAGs than I wanted to be.

After taking everybody's advice into consideration I made a decision about what to get for gun stuff/ gear this month. I realized that a Hill People Gear kit bag is probably the best option out there to carry while running which is a good thing. In the past I have either not bothered or stuck a pistol in the big pouch of my camelback which probably isn't the best option. Also I saw a video of a one of the Evans Brothers from HPG running with a kit bag 'docked' to a camelback. This option appeals to me because it would be sufficient for a long trail run or a light hike. Also more to the point it would let me do what I want to do for no additional cost (aside from the kit bag). Down the road a runners harness and a tarahumara would be great but that is about another 200 bones I don't want to spend right now. Even if I had another $200 (I wanted) to spend on camping/ outdoor gear it would go to a Mountain Serape anyway.

I went with the full sized kit bag instead of the runners kit bag. I can always just load it light (G 19, spare mag, keys wallet, small knife, lighter) for runs but want to be able to have my personal survival kit but with the substitution of a small fixed blade knife, as well as headlamp and maybe a GPS in the outdoors which the runners kit bag probably wouldn't support. Also picked up the running stabilizer strap which is basically an elastic band.

My remaining cash will go towards a Safariland holster for the Glock. Likely this will be purchased in a couple weeks or a month. I thought about getting a leather OWB holster (I do have an OWB kydez holster anyway) but they don't really conceal well anyway and it would be another holster I don't use often. Also a Safariland, probably the 1.5 inch drop model, would do anything a leather belt holster could but not visa versa.

We are a little bit closer to getting out of here which is cool. Most of my time and energy has been put towards getting out of here, walking around and doing stuff with the kid and running.
Also we decided to put more money into food storage albeit at the expense of PM's. All in all not a bad week.

6 More Down And 10 To Go

After a couple lazy days I got a spark of motivation and ran 6 miles today. That leaves me 10 to go between now and the 31st which is Friday. Planning on doing a longish (for me as I am not a marathoner (yet) or an ultra guy like Max) 7 mile run which will eat up most of the distance. Definitely back on glide path.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August Challenge IPR

Ran 5 miles on Wednesday and 1 yesterday leaving me with 15 to go.

As to weight when I looked last I was down 2 pounds. Now we do not have a scale anymore.

Got to find the motivation to do a long run today or tomorrrow but otherwise everything is more or less on track.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I ran 3 miles this morning leaving me with 21 left to go for the month. My NCO counterpart nicely told me that I am about 5 days behind being on glide path. That being said needing to do 2.1 miles a day or 2.6 if I don't run on the weekend (which my record on is pretty bad) is pretty manageable.

Picked up a spare filter for the Katadyn filter. The whole intentional purchase plan lead to making a purchase that has been languishing on the list for a couple years now. This is a good thing. 

Also did some looking at which tools and equipment fit into each of our systems. So many ways that can go. I have got some thinking and maybe tweaking to do.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Also remember that our giveaway of a copy of Stacey's Quest will run for only 2 more days.  Hurry up and enter today!

Friday, August 17, 2012

4 More Down and 24 More Left

Did a nice easy 4 miler this morning. Hope to knock out 4 more this weekend pushing kiddo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4 More Down and 28 to Go.

I ran 4 miles this morning which according to my memory leaves 28 to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

7 More Down And 32 Left

Thursday we rucked 5 miles and today I ran 2 with kiddo in the jogging stroller. It takes some effort but this seems solidly doable. I am going to try to get a few longer runs in over the coming weeks.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Solo Stove, Rat 3 Knife and Why the M16/M4/AR Platform is Awesome

When it rains it pours and today it definitely poured.

I am pleased to announce our newest advertiser Solo Stove. I haven't gotten a chance to handle one yet but if their videos are any indicator it is a really cool piece of kit. Might just take most of the benefits of a camp stove AND most of the benefits of cooking over a fire and combine them in a compact package. Can't wait to get my hands on one.

An Ontario Rat-3 showed up in our mailbox today. The Rat 3 cuts and handles well in addition to being pretty darn light.  The sheath is very nice and well thought out. Between it's light weight and quality sheath you can easily forget it is on your belt. A brief initial impressions review will follow shortly but suffice to say I am quite impressed. The Rat-3 may well be the best small belt knife/ camp and field knife I have handled to date.

John Mosby has been cranking out awesome posts:
Tricks of the Trade and Tricks of the Trade II are worth reading and absorbing. While not a super duper cool SOF guy I have been around the block a couple times and still definitely got some stuff out of it. I suspect you will also.

His post: The M16/AR15/M4: Why it's the choice of professionals everywhere is worth reading and I will briefly discuss it. In no particular order:

-So much of the argument about .223 lethality (though JM makes a very compelling case that argument is junk) is really about full metal jacketed ammunition. Soldiers are required to use FMJ ammunition but civilians are not. If you like the platform but aren't thrilled with the bullets then get better ones. Modern soft point and hollow point .223 ammunition are a whole different ball game.

-As to reliability I think that any case of the AR platform being "maintenance intensive" or unreliable if not in pristine condition is seriously overstated. It is my belief that an AR could be kept going almost indefinitely by simply wiping out the inside of the upper receiver/ chamber and (assembled) bolt carrier group with a rag,  running a bore snake through the barrel and re oiling the gun. I have not empirically tested this theory but if anybody wants to donate a whole bunch of .223 ammo for me to test this theory I will provide the rifle, rag, bore snake and oil.

-To me the modularity of the platform is another significant bonus. You can have a unregulated legal short barreled rifle pistol, a defensive carbine and a solid varmit/ precision rifle that have total commonality in parts, ammunition and magazines. That kind of modularity and potential for a simple logistical footprint  is aweful handy.

The good folks at TEOTWAWKI Blog did a nice post on Blanket Rolls. This is a good technique to have in your brain housing group in case you find yourself (or a friend) needing to travel with less than the ideal gear setup.

I also ran 2 miles today leaving me with 44 more to go. Darn that is a long way. 

Thank goodness it is Friday. I got off work early which meant I could hit the gym and still get home at a very reasonable time. We went for a long walk and took kiddo to play with a ball in a big field. He really liked that and generally gets great joy out of being outside. We have been going out for a walk or to play every day after dinner which has been quite enjoyable. Hopefully we can have a yard at our next place.

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August Challenge Fun

Two more miles down today leaving me with 46 to go. I should knock out 2-3 more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Challenge

Challenge #1: Run/Ruck 50 miles

Challenge #2: Lose 5 pounds

Anybody with me?

No need to do both. Choose whichever challenge(s) fit your situation and goals. Look, I am not a doctor or in any way qualified to give medical or fitness advice. I am just a guy doing what he as learned in the way that works for him. It should go without saying that if you ran 0 miles last month do start running but don't be an idiot and try to do 50 miles as you will probably break something. Do couch to 5k instead.

No real logic behind either of these challenges. I had planned to run 40 but 50 seems like a nice round number. Also I want to lose a few more pounds, maybe as much as 10 but 5 is good for a month. As of earlier this week I weighed 188 pounds so that will be the start point with 183 as the goal. This morning I ran 2 miles so just 48 to go.
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