Tag Archive for warrior dash

Warrior Dash Promo Winners

Congratulations to Alyn Day and Jack Finley on winning autographed copies of Lie with the Dead as part of my St Jude Warrior promotion! Thanks, Alyn and Jack, for supporting my run and the children of St Jude.

Dig.

Lie with the Dead

While the drawing is over, I’m still taking donations until the day of the race and would greatly appreciate the extra support. Simply visit my St Jude Warrior page for more information.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Fight Pediatric Cancer & You Might Win a Book

I ran the Warrior Dash as a St Jude Warrior in 2012, and I’m doing it again this summer.

My biscuits are burnin’!

Any Warrior Dash participant who raises $300 for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital is eligible for extra privileges including gear check, lunch, and showers. With your help, I was able to take advantage of those privileges in 2012, and I’m hoping to do so again this year.

As an incentive, I’ll be giving away an autographed trade paperback copy of Lie with the Dead. Anyone who donates $5 or more through my St Jude Warrior page will be eligible for the drawing. If we beat the $300 goal by April 15th, I will give away two copies.

The drawing will be held on April 16th.

For more information on St Jude, or to donate, please visit my St Jude Warrior page.

Thank you for supporting the cause, and good luck!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Fare Thee Well, Fitbit

I’m one of the lucky winners of the Fitbit Force skin rash lottery.

Taken on Sunday, 2/23

I’m far from the only one reporting a problem, and now Fitbit has issued a recall on their Force devices. The company first blamed a nickel allergy, and they’re still using that as their main explanation. However, they’re acknowledging it may also be a glue used to bind the Force device to the wristband. This makes a lot more sense, as this rash feels more like a chemical burn than a rash. I’ve still got the burn/rash today (Monday), yet I haven’t worn the device since Wednesday evening. I notified Fitbit and they immediately issued me a refund and a shipping label to return the device.

Here’s the thing: I liked this device. While in many respects it is a glorified pedometer, and using RunKeeper and GPS on my phone is probably more effective when I get back to running, I liked the addition of a display and the ability to track activity all day. I also liked that it does sleep tracking and has a silent alarm. I had yet to really put it to the test in karate classes, but it seemed to be pretty good at figuring out when I was active versus just moving around on day-to-day tasks.

My personal feeling is their manufacturer used cheap materials. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the worst parts of the burns are beneath the two joins between the underside of the device and the strap. With luck, it will be something they’ll be able to straighten out soon.

Will I purchase another Force if that’s the case? Honestly, I’m not sure. I thought about downgrading to Fitbit’s Flex, but I hate the idea of a single-purpose device. There are also new competitors coming, like Atlas Wearables, who make devices capable of tracking more data (heart rate would be terrific) and which are waterproof (ideal for when I run the Warrior Dash this summer).

My only other concern? Dragging a sword across it in iaijutsu class or snagging it during judo work and partner drills. I can worry about that when a new device is in hand, though.

In the meantime, farewell, Fitbit. It was nice while it lasted.

Update 3/6/14:

It’s been two weeks now, and the photo below is what the wound (I think it’s fair to call it that) looks like now.

They’re turning me into a lizard!

Tasty, huh? It doesn’t itch near as much, and it’s mostly just crusty, dry skin as it heals. It’s cracked in a few spots, though, so I try to keep it clean and I put unscented moisturizer on it.

Fitbit still maintains it’s skin irritation or an allergic reaction. I don’t buy it, but hey, I’m not a doctor.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Warrior Unleashed

I survived the Warrior Dash!

Mike Medal

Mud has never tasted so good

I’ve never been a runner, but I have been running more in an effort to burn off a little of the extra padding I’m carrying around and to complement my weight lifting and karate training. I’ve never run in a race before, so many thought it odd I’d choose one with obstacles.

May as well make it interesting, right?

43268 Reporting for Battle

The before photo, aka “Poor bastard doesn’t know what he’s in for.”

Some friends of mine had run the Warrior Dash before, and they all had a blast, so I turned around and talked a few coworkers into running the Dash as well. We couldn’t all hit the same start times, but I did run with two of my coworkers.

We set out with an easy pace. Steve and Beth had run half marathons before, but they were content to hang back with me for the Dash. Our only goal going in: finish the thing. We had heard mixed stories about the obstacles, and we saw no point in burning out before we got to the last of them.

My Biscuits Are Burning!

“My biscuits are burnin’!”

The obstacles presented a mix of climbing, crawling, jumping, and lots of mud. We had to crawl under barbed wire and across cargo nets. We had to go up mud-slicked climbing walls and down fire poles and slides. We had to crawl, trudge, or swim through creeks and mud pits.

And yes, we jumped over fire.

The obstacles were not as difficult as I expected, and I’m happy to say I went through all of them, no cheats or bypasses. I never stopped, either, with the exception of bottlenecks entering an obstacle or lining up to grab a quick drink of water (they had three water stations to keep competitors hydrated during the hot day). We never stopped to catch our breath or to take a break.

Leisurely Swim

Just a leisurely afternoon swim

My only regret, in fact, is not pushing the running stretches a little harder. There were several hills on the course, not counting the obstacles, and again, I didn’t want to wear myself out and be unable to tackle one of the obstacles. As it turned out, it wouldn’t have been an issue, with the possible exception of one known as the Giant Cliffhanger.

The photos on the website didn’t do this one justice. There’s no bypass around this one, no easy way up. Competitors have to climb a muddy slope, already torn to bits by the several thousand people who climbed it before, using a rope which is wet and caked with mud. Wooden planks lined the top, offering a small foothold every four feet or so, but then the rope ends and we really had to claw our way over the top edge. I managed to leap from foothold to foothold without tumbling back down and taking out the dozen or so people behind me.

Victory Beer

Miller never tasted so good.

They clocked my final time at 1:05:20.40. Less than stellar, but my normal mile pace is on the slow side, so throw in obstacles and less running and it’s not surprising. It’s also far from the end of the pack, so I’m content with that time, if not happy with it. I’m just thrilled to say I finished it.

We had a great time on the Dash. I did tweak my ankle in one of the creaks, but no break or sprain so I’m good. My weight lifting training helped get me over the obstacles, and my only sore spots have been the stabilizer muscles around my ankles. Next year leading up to the Dash, I think I’ll do some more field and trail running to get used to the slopes and uneven surfaces.

And yes, there will be a next year. I was sold before the end of the Dash. If they were taking signups for next year, I’d have registered on the spot.

Now I have a time to beat, too.

They Were Blue

Time to retire these Nikes. They were blue and silver/gray before the race.

St Jude Children’s Research Hospital reported they had a great weekend. 18,911 competitors ran the course, raising $272,073. And that was just the Illinois event! Another Warrior Dash went down simultaneously in Pennsylvania.

Thanks again to those of you who sponsored my run. I’m glad I could bring in even a little bit, and having access to the St Jude tent turned out to be a great benefit.

I donated my shoes to GreenSneakers at the end of the race, too. I retired this pair from the running track a year or so ago and only use them when lifting, so I was happy to throw them onto the pile. If GreenSneakers can clean them up and send them overseas, then more power to them.

All in all we had a great day. My wife hung out with Steve’s family, and though they couldn’t see us running until the very end of the Dash, they enjoyed watching people in costume and listening to the live bands. Just a fun course, a great atmosphere, and a good excuse to get outside and stay active.

If it sounds at all like your kind of thing, then I highly recommend you keep an eye on the Warrior Dash website to see when they’ll be nearby. You won’t regret it!

For more photos, click on over to my Warrior Dash Flickr set.

Bonus video! This must have been shot on Saturday before the storms rolled through and mucked everything up.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash is coming up in just over three weeks! Strangely enough, I’m more looking forward to it than I am nervous about it. I feel no pressure for time, I just want to finish the damned thing.

Training has been going well, though, and I’m confident I’ll make it. My lifting program has been going great, and I’m at the point on the track that I can put in a full 5K with more running than walking. I’ve not cut much weight, but my pants fit better so I must be doing something right.

Shureido Self Portrait

Bring it on.

I’m also trying to raise some funds for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The Warrior Dash is a big partner with St Jude, and I decided as long as I’ll be running in the Dash anyway, I may as well make it worthwhile for more than just myself.

St Jude offers a tremendous service to children with chronic illnesses, including the daughters of two of my co-workers. If anyone out there would like to help with a donation, I’d greatly appreciate it. Just click over to My St Jude Event page and it’ll help you through the rest. They recommend a $25.00 minimum donation, but donors can choose any amount. Every little bit counts!

I’m running at 1pm on Father’s Day, June 17th. I plan to have the Wife shoot some photos and maybe some video of me slogging through the mud or some of the obstacles. 12 obstacles in three miles? I can do this!

I just hope they don’t have to drag me across the finish line on a stretcher.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

FINALLY 5K!

For the first time, I did a full 5K this evening. Hell yeah!

For the first time, I feel like I can actually finish this crazy Warrior Dash thing.

I’m not going to pretend it was a record-setting pace or a particularly outstanding run, only that for me it’s a milestone. My first lap or two I started to worry I didn’t wait long enough after dinner, as I’d started off better during my last run on Wednesday. However, by the end I kept telling myself “just one more lap” and decided I’d keep doing so until I knew I’d put three miles under my feet. Even better, while  my calves did start to lock up, by the end of the run they’d loosened back up and I had no problems.

Now I’m going to celebrate by doing the weight lifting workout I missed last night: arms and shoulders.

Also, a reminder: my Warrior Dash run is also an attempt to raise some cash for the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m a little over halfway to my goal of a mere $250. If you would like to help out, please click on over to my fundraising page. Thanks!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Warrior Dash and St Jude

The Warrior Dash is 3.5 months away, and training is moving along. A friend and fellow competitor found this video, which gives us a taste of what we’re in for:

Bring it!

The obstacles look like fun. I’m more worried about all the running, but as I said, training’s moving along. I’m debating whether to follow a program like Couch to 5K again or  to just start running 5K every time I go out and work to improve my time. I’m leaning toward the latter just so I don’t end up missing a few days and blowing the whole thing.

At the same time, I’m going to help raise money for the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and I’m hoping you can help me. The Warrior Dash supports St Jude, which provides a tremendous service to the families of children with cancer and terminal illnesses. I can’t always support them monetarily, so I thought this would be a great way to make up for it.

St Jude makes it easy by providing runners with a personalized event page with a donate button. You don’t have to send me a thing; the donations all go directly to St Jude and you will receive a receipt. I would also appreciate it if folks would help spread the word by sharing the following link:

www.mystjudeevent.org/oliveri

Or feel free to send them here, as my mug will be in the right-hand column with the appropriate links through the race weekend.

Thanks for checking it out, and I’m looking forward to providing several photos of my friends and I slogging through the mud in the Warrior Dash!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Brain Dump

Feeling hyper at the moment. Things are moving through my head at a million miles an hour. I’m going to exorcise some of it here so I can get some work done.

* * *

Part of my jaw still hurts from last week’s wisdom tooth extraction. More accurately, some of my teeth still hurt. So far I’m told this is normal and to stay on the ibuprofen regimen. I half wonder if these teeth are adjusting themselves now that the sideways bastard in the back has been ripped out.

Also, the insides of my cheeks look like I tried to eat a paper shredder. I suspect the reason I never got to see the dentist the day of surgery is he called in sick, and they brought in a substitute.

Edward Scissorhands

"AaaaaaaAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!"

* * *

Looks like I’m running the Warrior Dash this year. I’ve been telling myself I should run a 5K sometime, so hey, why not run one with rope bridges, rappelling, fire, barbed wire, and mud pits? I must be insane.

Some of my karate classmates have run it in previous years, and now I have coworkers who may do it, too. We’re going to have a planning meeting Monday, narrow down a time slot, and then I’ll sign up and make it official.

I started running again last weekend. Tonight, I ran after weight lifting. My cardio is back in the shitter after what little running I did last fall, but hopefully not for long.

And all of it—the running and the weight lifting—is to improve my karate. I don’t want to look like this guy in my gi:

"Wa-taaahh!"

I will also need the cardio for my black belt test when it comes. It’s an all-day and, on some occasions, all-night affair at my dojo. You can’t cram for fitness.

* * *

Hell, I just want to be healthier in general. Cut a few pounds, look better, feel better. I know too many people with health problems who accept it as part of life. Cholesterol’s high? Eh, they have a pill for that.

I hate that little pill. It’s a crutch. I’m better than that. I may not be able to fight heredity, but I can minimize the damage.

Now I enjoy lifting weights almost as much as I enjoy karate. I’m getting addicted to the pump and the burn. Unlike running.

Fuck running.

Sometimes running feels like my mortal enemy. I do it anyway. Every time RunKeeper tells me I set a distance record, it’s like I just kicked running in the balls.

* * *

Tonight I lifted, stretched, and then went for a run. Could have been trouble because the Wife doesn’t know CPR.

It got me up to level 14 on Fitocracy. Anyone wants to connect on Fitocracy (or RunKeeper, for that matter) is welcome. Geeking out on those sites by tracking everything helps keep me motivated.

* * *

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu athletes are the latest to cross over into music.

The first song I learned of in Jiu-Jitsu Magazine is “Jiu Jitsu” by Eddie Bravo and his band Smoke Serpent. I can take or leave the rap, but I dig the guitar track. Good song overall. I bought it and my kids will dig it, too. Has a Linkin Park vibe, if that’s your thing.

The other song… ugh. Let’s just say Ralek Gracie should stick to jiu-jitsu. Extra negative points for the lyric about broccoli.

Incidentally, Jiu-Jitsu Magazine is pretty good. I only know a little judo, but I still appreciate the articles on nutrition, workouts, and warm-ups, and there are some good technical hints I’ve been able to use. I’m stockpiling the breakdowns of specific techniques for when I start hitting judo class on a regular basis. I just wish they’d hire a copy editor who knows what paragraph breaks are.

* * *

The outline for The Pack Book 3 is coming together. Book 2, Lie with the Dead is still with my editor.

Book 1, Winter Kill, is cheap on Kindle and Nook. Or you can get a dead tree edition. Make with the clicky. You’ll dig it. I promise.

TPWK Limited Edition Cover

Horror or crime? Flip a coin.

More work coming soon. Things are in motion, but nothing to announce just yet.

* * *

That should about do it.

I’m going to go be productive now.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.