Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hay Bale Hell

Hay Bale Hell – February 12, 2012

I have continued this blog so that I can remember the fun and pain of getting ready for my second attempt at Death Race. My good friend Bill Benoit, whom I have been through Ironman and many triathlons with, has decided, for whatever twisted reason, to join me in the training. I have been doing triathlon training during the week, with Death Race training taking place on Sundays, 4-5 hour long sessions at this point. We have decided to take turns creating the workouts, leaving the other person in the blind as to what to expect much like Andy and Joe do to us in Vermont. This week is Bill’s turn.

Big Task Ahead
Bill Tries The Superman Approach
Gravity Sucks - Won't Be Trying That Again
 I was told to be at his dad’s farm in Brookeville at 7am with a posthole digger, knife and calculator. A cold front had come in the night before and it was 4 degree wind chill when we started. There was an inch or so of snow on the ground and it was windy. Our workout began with a 3-4 mile hike through the Tridelphia Reservoir. It was cold, but very pretty. Soon we came to a field that his family hunted geese on and we went to one of the blinds. Bill pulled out two sealed envelopes that his girlfriend had prepared. We were to memorize a list of 5 romantic gestures that should be considered for Valentines (which was in a few days). After gagging on the sappiness of the list, I set out to memorize it. We exchanged envelopes in order to be tested later and set out again. I went to take a drink of water from my camelback, only to find that it frozen. Could be problem later.

This time we came to a field that had large 6’ round hay bales in it. Bill said that he did not know how many there were, but that we were going up and over every single one. I walked up to the first one not quite sure how to approach this task. After several failed attempts that resulting in landing on my ass, I managed to get up and over. This was going to take a long time. There was snow on top of most of them, and when there wasn’t snow, there was goose crap. Lovely. We got into a rhythm and were moving along fairly well. After a while though, my gloves were wet and my hands were beginning to be very painful from the cold. We got to what appeared to be the last one in the field (50 in all). Feeling good about the accomplishment, I looked around and spotted one more up on a slope to the left. Not being one to leave anything undone, we trudged up there to finish this part of the workout only to find another section of the field filled with hay bales. My heart sank with gloom for a moment. This is just the kind of mind games we will face in Vermont. After a few more hours, the total count was 91 bales of hay.

Bill pointed us towards a wooded area where we began reciting our lists from earlier. The rule was 50 pushups for every wrong answer. I got all of mine correct (I had been going over them in my head as we did the hay bales). Bill got two wrong (sorry Irene, hope you had a good V Day anyways) – 100 push up. Before he started them, he handed me a can of soup and some matches. My task was to cook the soup. Feeling extremely confident (I’ve been an outdoorsman all my life, an Eagle Scout and have been through survival training) and looking forward to warming up, I set about to light a fire. I failed miserably. I could not get a fire started to save my life. Embarrassed and with my tail between my legs, we set off to leave the field. I was glad to be rid of hay bales.

We hiked over to a large pile of logs. No Death Race workout is complete without carrying logs so we each picked out logs that looked to weigh around 50 lbs. We retraced our path back to his dad’s farm feeling good overall about the workout, but hungry for chicken soup.

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