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2018 Austin Spartan Super (Prep & Post)

3 Jun

The struggle is real.
The struggle is required!

TimShaneAustinSpartan2018This year’s Austin Spartan starts a new chapter, or rather a new book or possibly life era for me.  It was my intention to hang up my OCR gear at the end of 2017 and go out having exceeded my goals in Sparta, Greece .  Then I started to realize I had a whole new perspective from other years. It was less tempting to make unhealthy choices when eating and I embraced the opportunity to push myself.  It became a way of life. I realized how much my journey enhanced my mind, my work, my creativity, my drive and most surprisingly my spirit.

Tim Shane 2018 Spartan Super Sandbag

One of the reasons I thought I would retire is every year the courses get harder and Spartan comes up with new obstacles and challenges as my physical body gets older.  I quickly learned my journey as a Spartan has given me strength, balance, endurance and discipline

Tim Shane Canyon of the Eagles 18

In 2018 my Spartan journey goes beyond the starting line to the finish, but the entire lifestyle leading up to it.  The first is the people. Each race has tales for friends, family, foes, companions, lovers, trainers and life events that all play an important part to each medal, wedge and “Did Not Finish”.  About a month before the race I connected with Stephanie Hengstenberg and we had synergies on many levels. As a “dancer momma” she fit the profile of the artist that built her own success through sales and authentic human connection that I am evolving my profession into, and I fit the profile of the kind of client she was looking to coach.  I shared with her the trial and error of finding the healthy lifestyle for training for a Spartan Race, horse shows and other such adventures and we thought we would explore her coaching me using her ISAgenix system.

TimShaneRaceDayAustin2018

To be transparent I am not selling the ISAgenix system nor did I purchase the products so I would not have the bias of defending my choice, but rather having tried many supplements in my journey opened my cynicism to any shortcuts for such a demanding endeavor as a Spartan Super.  The Austin Super Spartan race is among the only two DNF (Did Not Finish) in my OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) career. A few years ago that I attribute to misjudging my nutrition the night before the race. I treated myself to a nice steak to celebrate the days victory and thought I could use the protein.  This may work for some and maybe it did for me in my younger days. This was still during the struggle when my body was adapting to the extramed. This year I learned my body seemed to go into rest and rebuild mode when I eat beef. I learned this by my muscles seizing up at the very top of the “Stairway to Sparta” obstacle.  Since then I learned never do anything new on Race Day and pay attention to my body’s nutrition leading up to and actually on race day. The role of coach and trainer was open this year and she thought she could put together a custom solution for the little over 2 weeks leading up to the race.

StairwaytoSparta

Stephanie brought her family to the All British Car Day and loaded me up with parts of the ISAgenix system with very clear instructions and a plan.  I explained my strategy for the Super is to cut any excess body and water weight to stay lean yet hydrated for the race. I would need to stay hydrated, flexible and powerful.  She put together a plan that did not include the entire system but some things she thought would help.

RoverABCD2018

TIP– A quick sidebar in case any of my friends in sales and swear by Shakeology, Kyani, Herballife, Nuskin and all the new stuff on the horizon and know I am a hard sell on any one of these nutraceutical or fitness products, but you never know 100% what someone is struggling with (Sometimes we don’t know 100% ourselves) or all the luck and science that goes into timing, but Stephanie got my buy-in on 2 things.  The first is that she believed in me and her product so much she was willing to cover the cost and second she offered a system that would save me time and money between all the supplements and diet hacks I was juggling. A Beach Body rep named Melissa McAllister did something similar in 2012 and really helped me on my way.

Week 1 – ISAGenix

I was off to a good start in the first week which consisted of 2 Shake Days followed by a 2 day cleanse, then picking back up the shake days.  I researched the products and was happy to learn it was a clean and natural solution pretty close to my original plans that made me so successful the year before.  The shakes tasted great and actually saved me time in the mornings and the evenings with my lifestyle and still delivering the protein, carbs and calories that I needed.  I measured immediate weight loss in the first few days and was feeling pretty good. Following the system and he daily check ups for accountability helped me resist the unusually high amount of temptations to falter that week.  Then came the “Cleanse” and that is when things got complicated.

The Cleans for Life drink seemed well enough but I did not have access to the other items that typically go with the cleanse so by lunch I was already “hangry” even with the IsaSnacks.  I am a pretty big guy so I was feeling it in a major way. Stephanie kept encouraging me through until I realized I was losing energy. My rest days can be considered work out days to most and I was getting ready for my first horse show. My dress rehearsal was a disaster so we opted to turn it into a Shake Day until after the race.  Also I was sure that I measured the amounts I was supposed to take and maybe I should have taken a bit more.

Week 2 – ISAGenix Adjusted

WEEK 2 – Most of the other aspects of the system were actually already part of my regime.  For example there is a Natural Accelerator Capsule is pretty similar to my Irwin Naturals Triple Tea Burner combined with my Cool Cayene from Herb Mart.  The Recovery Drink is similar to my FIT AID which is only at Central Market, Amazon or as a sponsor at some Spartan Races. When I total up the time spent tracking down my normal routine, some of the redundancy of some of the supplements and the actual cost, I can appreciate the savings in time and money of getting them all from one system.  

THE 2018 SPARTAN RACE

SpartanStart2018

Of all the Spartan Races I have done I always feel like I could be more prepared.  That being said I felt pretty good about this one. I was up in front on the starting line and I overheard a female voice basically telling a similar story (Did the Ultra Beast last year, thought I was done and somehow right back here) and I turned around and recognized her.  Just as my mind said “Yea she’s late 20’s maybe early 30’s tops and maybe I am the oldest one still being so insane” the emcee gave a shout out to the oldest person in our heat, George at 76 Years Old going for his 5X Trifecta. #NoExcuses is a great #Spartan hastag for 2018.

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I had a good handle on the course as it was a similar layout to 2017 Super and Hurricane Heat with a few additions of my favorite portions of courses past (Granite Cliffs, The Granite Chapel and the legendary green PVC Tube).  The sky had low fast moving clouds strobing the Texas May Sun that caused a cool Zack Snyder effect on the course and I had my custom soundtrack. While there were plenty of water obstacles, the sandbag carry was more of a muddy terrain than the sharp gravel I always dread on the Austin course.  

I was actually about 30 minutes earlier than my projection but made up for it with burpees on the end.  Found a nice balance of improving my time and fitness while enjoying the power, beauty and soul of the terrain each Spartan course is notorious for.  Many of the famous competitors opted for the BIG BEAR race this year both gave me an opportunity to shine but also missed the feeling of sharing the same course with such legends.   I am evolving the #WhyIRace part of my journey.

The Austin Races usually have severe thunderstorms and as I finished the wind was picking up and the dust was blasting the racers and spectators alike.  For the first time I am aware of Spartan cancelled the Sprint due to weather. This was fine because I was looking at the AT&T Stadium as my Trifecta Sprint.  

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RECOVERY & CLEANSE

The Recovery was good.  About 2 days until I was back 100%.  Minimum bruising, no blood, and the recovery drinks from ISAgenix supplemented much of the routine, but still relied on BeetElite and FitAID who was at the finish line this year.  There was a new recovery drink called Armor but their drinks were warm and pulling a can or two of FitAID out of the ice cold barrels was becoming a tradition.

Upon my return I started the ISAGenix Cleanse for life following the instructions to the letter.  It did get me to an all time low as far as weight loss but not sure the lack of energy was worth it.  I will say I am open to continuing to try the system if I can find the right balance for my lifestyle    

20180519-Finish

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