Post-Dirty Dash review, a visit from Meniere’s Disease & other adventures

Have you ever typed up your draft and went to delete something from it, but when the backspace key was hit, it magically took you back to the previous page without saving a damn thing?

Yeah, that happened to me after I had typed up a nice detailed review of my performance at the Dirty Dash on 06/20/15.

A bunch of suck right there, kids.

But I’m over that.

So I figured, okay, let’s just get some rest, get back to the grind this week and start working out, then we’ll write the review the following weekend. Good plan, right? Well, it was great until my old nemesis Meniere’s Disease dropped by with his friends Vertigo, Nausea and all the fun kids that come along for the ride.

It had been over four years, from my recollection, since my last violent episode. That Sunday was a whole ‘nother level of suck right there, kids. I wish that on no man or woman. So, that set me back another week as I nursed myself to health. Not to mention, the week that I was nursing myself back to health from the attack was the same week I started a new position within my company. Yep, that’s right, Tom Kenobi has acquired a fourth position in the company I have worked for the last six years. So, that’s a plus, but the week was interesting to say the least.

Since then, I’ve rested my body and began to backtrack my food choices to see where I went wrong to set off an episode. I have done some light walking with Mrs. Kenobi, and I slowly got back into running and body-weight/calisthenics work . I’ve dropped some weight which is nice, I am down to 189.8lbs, dropping roughly 7lbs since the Dirty Dash. I’m curious to see how much muscle mass I will be able to keep from all the lifting I had been doing last year and earlier this year as I try and cut weight.

I switched my running route a bit, as you might recall, I was going over two bridges and up a small hill, then doing a small and intense body weight routine and then finishing my run. The Saturday prior to the Meniere’s episode I had switched the route, and mainly focused on running those bridges. I would take the same route as before but when I got to the bottom of the second bridge, I would continue on for about fifteen yards, cross the street and then run up the opposite sides of the bridges, cross the street again and do the “circle” of both bridges once more and then head back home.

It increased my route by just over a third of a mile, but it definitely added some intensity to the run. For the now, I am no longer doing the bodyweight supersets in the middle of the run, mainly because I’m not running past the park anymore. I have moved those exclusively to the weekdays.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve been able to decrease my run times and I am within approximately 20 seconds of my pre-Dirty Dash times on the prior route. Still having issues with my back, but I am taking it slow, stretching and seeing a chiropractor about every two or three weeks depending on how I feel but it’s getting better.

I have cut back on caffeine, I am down to 8-10oz of cold, black coffee in the mornings, mixed with a scoop of protein and no sugary creamers. Compared to almost 30oz of coffee in the mornings. I have begun to monitor my sodium intake a little more purposefully. For so long, I had monitored, calculated and memorized sodium levels that it became second nature to me. During my seven months with the business side of my company, I was on the road a lot, and though I tried to “hack the matrix” when it came to eating food on the road, my food intake did take on a heavier dosage of processed foods, so I am sure there was some sort of accumulative effect that contributed to my episode. Back in an office again, I am able to take good, veggie filled salads practically every day for lunch with a good 6-8oz portion of protein (steak, chicken & salmon).

So, given the set back and adjustments I have made, I am moving forward and doing well.

Okay..The Dirty Dash. Let’s talk about that for a second.

This year it was an “official” 5k, as compared to the last couple years where it was just under 10k. I thought that the distance change was interesting;  I’d been running just over 5k to prep for the run.

The obstacles were better this year than in prior years. The majority of the obstacles weren’t new, it was more the planning, terrain, placement and execution of the obstacles that made it a better run. The hay bales weren’t strewn about the course like they had been. They created pyramids with them about two to three bales high each which presented a good challenge in climbing them in the midst of running up hills, etc.

As a group activity, I’m not sure if it is successful in the way of actually challenging yourself. Mainly because there are too many people there for the beer chug halfway through the course, I’ve always skipped the beer part. Don’t get me wrong, I love beer, but it’s crappy beer and it’s in the middle of a mud run under the blazing sun… no thanks.

The second detriment to the success of groups is a good majority of them are walking / half-jogging the course “staying together” and insisting on staying together, even on the obstacles, which makes the lines around the obstacles clogged up. Apparently these groups “have to go together” on the obstacles.

It was advantageous for solo runners like myself or teams of two, who can breeze through the lines and not suffer too long of a wait. Now, I am all about a “team” atmosphere and spirit, but I am more of a “leave nobody behind” by going back for someone, or get through the obstacle and wait on the other side out of the way than I am waiting at the beginning of each obstacle and holding up lines.

From what I have heard, the Spartan and Tough Mudders are better for a team kind of event, but it takes a dedication better than what I have seen at the Dash.

This year, the planning of the event as a whole wasn’t the best. The traffic was horrifying to say the least, compared to the years prior. The kids event, The Piglet Plunge, wasn’t planned as well as the prior years either. Compared to the past, they would have the kids go around 1:30-ish, but this year the volunteers and other officials said it was a firm time of around 3pm to 3:30, which means my little ones would have had to wait almost three hours in the relentless sun without much protection. So, we skipped out on that part this year, and they were totally cool with it.

If I do this event next year, it will probably be solo, especially if it is in the same location. I don’t want to drag Mrs. Kenobi and the younglings there to wait in the blazing sun for me. If an actual team does form, I will probably try to make the team into a group of solo runners instead. Of course, I think part of the reason a team has never really formed for me is that I want to train together and not just show up hodge-podging it together, that way we can run the damn course! 

Sounds selfish, but, given my experience and what I am there for, I am not there to make sure we all go down the slip and slide at the same time holding hands. If you fall behind, I will come back for you after I finish the race.

In other news, Mrs. Kenobi has lost over 20lbs in her pursuit of fitness. I am very proud of her! We are going to try our hand at the 5k Color Run in August. She was a bit disappointed that she didn’t do the Dirty Dash, mainly because she didn’t think she would be in the good shape she is now from the training she has been doing and she didn’t know the course would be shorter. Neither did I until about two weeks before the event.

That’s about it for now. I think almost 1500 words is sufficient, especially in this day and age.

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