Posts Tagged ‘XTERRA’


Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records. -William A. Ward

XTERRA on Sunday! I’ll be going on a run later today, but the WOD today is the Crossfit benchmark WOD, “Cindy”!  Some people hate Cindy, but it’s a timed workout against yourself so, really, it’s possible they’re afraid of their scores.

It gets tough in the middle, but you need to know what it feels like to hit a ‘limit’ and learn how to push through it.  So when you get to that  point, “you can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face.”

You got this.

WOD – 10-2-15

Warmup: Jump rope – 5 minutes

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

STRETCH OUT and hydrate!

I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll post my race time on twitter at @theCanaPino

See you Monday!


WOD at

“You are the culmination of your habits.”

I got injured at my last race – the XTERRA in the SanTan mountains. It was my fault for pushing hard. It was double track, but I was in the midst of other people who had the same mindset of going hard around the slower runners. However, just after the first mile I rolled both my ankles and hurt my knee. I stopped for a few minutes and actually considered not continuing the race. I watched as all those runners I had worked so hard to pass, just slowly filter by me. It was a reality check.

I really evaluated my recurring injury and decided to just slowly start walking. In a minute or two, I pick up the pace and it seemed to feel ok.  I kept an easy 11min/mile pace and, again, started catching up to the slower racers. Of course, I picked up the pace for the last mile and ended up finishing the 7k trail in 48:55. That placed me at 88 out 171 racers.

Not the greatest, but considering I didn’t know if I was going to finish or not, I’ll take it.

So… I’ve begun ‘working out’ instead of ‘training’ to get myself back to zero. The difference between ‘working out’ and ‘training’ is the purpose and goals. When you work out, you are trying to continue to improve or maintain your overall health/strength/fitness. When you are training, you have specific goals – to improve a distance/time run, to play the game better, to be able to push harder in the competition you are preparing for sometime in the future. The former is generalized, with the latter being specialized. I just have to keep reminding myself to take it easy.

During Christmas week, I started an 11-mile trail run in the McDowell mountains with my wife. About a mile in, my knee was telling me to slow down. I did, but then tried to pick up the pace again. After having to wait for me several times, and after my wife urged me to turn around, I finally did so after three miles.

I wasn’t ready.

I was checked out by my health professional and a running coach. I’ve found that I’ve definitely hurt my body, and it stems for some funny movement I’ve somehow added to my running gait.

With the adjustments noted, I ran another 8.5-miles at an easy 11mi/min pace and felt better. Running on the flat road was less likely to put my knee at funny angles. Here’s what it looked like:

Not great, but much better than my trail run the week before AND I didn’t hurt…  and at least now I know what was causing my pain.

So, my goal for this month is to continue to forward progress to eventually get back to zero.What Success Really Looks Like

I’m registered for next two XTERRA trail races here in Arizona in two days, and in a month from now, but my work schedule changed and I’ll be on the road for those two days.  😦

I think that was meant to happen. So I’ll take the break and get healthy again. I’ve been invited to four Tough Mudders around North America, in addition to the one here in AZ, and 11 Spartan Races. In other words, there will be plenty of time to race again. I’ll take this time on the road to recuperate and enjoy moving without pain. 🙂

We all have goals. Just know that in order to achieve those goals, we have to take detours. Understand that it’s part of the journey.

If you’re goal is to start getting back to zero, like me, then look for WODs to return this monday.  In the meantime, happy new year and enjoy your weekend!

Here we go!





I love XTERRA Trail Races.  To me, this race feels like a ‘real’ race.  Just looking at the racers in the staging area, you definitely know you are in the company of people who have truly prepared for this event.  They just ‘look’ like proper racers – Even the people who had registered on a whim are people who have long histories of marathons, triathlons, and other trail races.

So, out of 92 males I finished 66th.  Despite my quarter mile sprint through the finish I completed the 8K trail race in 49 minutes and 24 seconds.  A poor showing indeed but, for me, it’s a great time!

I started in the back of the race pack and had to work my way up the single-track course.  That, by itself, at the beginning was the most energy draining part of the race.  My heart and lungs didn’t really settle down until about mile 3.

Just past the 1-mile marker, I rolled my ankle.  As I’ve mentioned during other races, this is a crazy, unnatural occurrence for me.  I paused, felt the ankle for any ‘looser-than-normal’ areas, then kept going.

At around the 2-mile marker, the vegetation had gotten the better of me and I was forced to deal with my asthma with a few shots of albuterol.  As I started up again, I placed the inhaler into my pocket, but it was never to be seen again.

By mile 3, we were on the back side of the mountain and mile 4 saw the second climb back up to the top.  AllanIsaac-XTERRA-Estrella2013

The field had been separated quite a bit and I actually found myself alone for the first time in the race.  Being able to run without bumping into the person in front of me, or having to worry about trying to pass them, I started feeling  my stride and began to push harder.   As I crested the top, I looked back and saw a younger racer I had passed near the top of the first climb.  He smiled at me with a look that said, “I’m going pass you now”.

So, I slowly began picking up the pace as I descended the last half mile.  At the quarter mile mark, I had passed the last set of people between me and finish line, but could hear the younger racer breathing heavily as he pushed himself to catch up to me.   I could swear he was breathing.chanting, “Got. To. Catch. Up. Got. To. Catch. Up.”

In my head, it was on.

That’s when I began widening my stride paces and worked it up to a full out sprint.

I was pushing so hard, that I was apparently kicking up gravel and flinging it at my nemesis.  I don’t know if it actually was, but it made smile and want to do it more.  So, as I approached the finish line I was cruisin’ and didn’t hear the other racer at all.

I felt good.

He came and found me afterwards and we laughed about the little battle during the last mile.  Turns out, his time was almost a minute more than mine because he, too, started at the back even further behind where I was and had actually passed me at around mile 1 when he saw me bending over to check my ankle.

Needless, to say, it was a good time and I was reminded that, despite all my hard work, I still have a ways to go with my training.  But, despite the poor finish, I definitely learned how hard I can now push my body for a longer period of time and not feel like I’m going to die!  =D

So… with the next event coming up next week – the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, I get to give myself an ‘active-resting’ day tomorrow morning, then hit it hard again on Wednesday and Friday this week!  Yay for me?!

See you tomorrow!


“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved. ”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ok… So after a crazy two-week tour, I arrive home and am reminded that I have a Trail race in a week!

A momentary feeling of anxiety touches me – not because I’m scared of the race, but because this is one of the races I wanted to improve so badly in from my performance last year.

I have been so focused on the upcoming 12-mile Spartan Beast this month and 12 mile Tough Mudder next month, that I forgot about the XTERRA Trail Race!

So… I took a one-week detour from my training path to prepare for the fast 8K run this Sunday.

This week, none of my WODs got posted… that was my fault, but one week out my training plan for the Trail Race was simple – RUN.

So Monday was a 3-mile HIIT run.  Wednesday was a 9-mile straight run.  Today is Dynamic stretching, clean eating (no over-processed foods, carbonation, or ‘junk’ – so… my normal diet, I guess.  =D  ), and hydration.

WOD 10-4-13

Warm up: 5-minute jump rope, followed by a dynamic stretching session.

Main Set: RUN.

With only week week away, the goal is to run at least twice before the race, with enough time to properly recover.

So for this 8K Trail race, I ran 3 miles on Monday, with 9 miles on Wednesday.  Today is a light (as in, SLOOOOW) jog for about 30 minutes, with a 1-2 minute stretching period every 10 minutes, or so.

Cool Down by stretching out while hydrating.


I know this is not my normal WOD post, but like I mentioned earlier this year, I wanted to post the exact workouts I use in preparation for my races.  So, with one week left before the XTERRA Trail race in the Estrella mountains, this is what I did.

I hope you find it useful.

See you Monday!


I finished the 9K XTERRA Trail Race – Black Canyon – in 58:23!

I was forced to keep it slow at the beginning because of the crowds, but after two miles it was decidedly less crowded.  At the bottom of the canyon was the first of two Aid stations.  Almost everyone I saw in front of me stopped to take in some water or Gatorade.  I didn’t need it, so I didn’t stop.  This is where I got to pick up the pace.

The river crossings weren’t that bad.  My feet definitely got wet, but it was only water – much preferred over thick mud, like at the obstacle races.  I actually think the large river rocks, sand piles, and loose gravel made for more of a challenge.

The second of two Aid stations was perfectly placed as we climbed up out of the river bed and began the ascent.  I knew what was coming, so I stopped for water.  I looked ahead, took a deep breath, then headed up the last 1.5 miles up the side of the canyon.  The trail was a little wider, so it made passing people a bit easier.

As I rounded the fin quarter mile, I entered the parking lot to finish line.  As soon as I saw the ‘Muscle Milk’ finish line, I sprinted.  The three people behind me in the picture actually passed me going up the hill, but since they had pushed so hard, they had nothing left at the end.

I passed them quite easily.   🙂

58:23 for my first 9K Trail Race.  Not the best, but definitely a good starting point.  I’m hooked!

I wore my nike+ so got to record my race profile.  Of course, I forgot to turn it off at the last .3 miles, so it recorded 5.8 miles, but I was trying to catch my breath and hydrate.  At any rate, here it is!

Find out what I did to prep for the race in book, due in April (yes, it was delayed again) – “Mud Running?!”

See you tomorrow!


XTERRA - McDowell 2013

Well…  I completed my first trail run!

I may now have found a new addiction.  🙂

7K terrain course in 43:23.3.  Good for 55th place.  🙂

I think that’s not a bad starting point for me.  I know I can improve from there, so I’m happy.

The atmosphere at this race was completely different than at an obstacle race.  Unlike at a ‘mud run’, everyone here had put in some training time.  So, instead of nervousness for the course, there was excitement.

I was excited.

This was a new experience for me and I was loving it.

The trail was challenging, but I didn’t think it was too bad at all.  Of course the uneven surfaces that varied from packed dirt to loose rock and/or sand to large rocks provided a good challenge and made you watch your footing.

The day was made even better when I found that two of my competitive running gurus were there to race as well!  Sloan and Isaac King are twin brothers who have given me quite a bit of tips, tricks, and inspiration for races.  Much of the advice in my upcoming book, “Mud Running?!” comes from them, which was received through their experiences and time training with even more experienced athletes and coaches.

So, even though I didn’t keep up with Sloan, I didn’t finish too far behind him.  Isaac was running the 15-miler, so wasn’t in the same race.

Looking back, it felt good to be around other like-minded people.  For once, I wasn’t ‘the freak’ who trained insanely.  I was ‘just another runner’ who had put in his training time and was now ready to go.  Like I wrote in my ‘About Me’ page, “I’m good at what I do, but not THAT good. In room full of average people, I’ll stick out, but in room full of real talent, I wouldn’t even get noticed.”

Talking to several of the runners afterwards, I was in awe.  I could only hope to ever even have the type of time they had to train for their races.  It was very humbling, but positive at the same time.  I felt I did pretty well considering that I only trained about a 10th of what they did – just more perspective for me to consider before I tear myself to pieces after a weak training session.

At any rate, it was good to see that the effect my WODs have been positive.  They have really improved my cardio and pulmonary limits since my race in Sacramento last year.

So… here’s to another awesome race completed! See you tomorrow morning for an ‘Active Recovery’ WOD.  Wednesday will again be the Crossfit Benchmark ‘Barbara’, so get ready.

We got this!