This week, the staff hosted the inaugural Duo Dash. I partnered up with my friend and colleague, Rob, to participate yesterday.
Here is a picture of Rob and me just prior to beginning the Duo Dash. Little did we know what was to come next!
- 1000 meter row
- 1-mile treadmill run
- 100 medicine ball squat overhead throws
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 TRX rows
- 100 push-ups (to toes)
- 100 squat jumps
- 500 jump rope jumps
The row and the treadmill could either be done entirely by one person, or split in half. All remaining obstacles could be split up between the two partners however we wished, but only one of us could be exercising at a time.
A few weeks ago, Rob and I went to the gym to compile a strategy that maximized each other's strengths. For example, I'm terrible at rowing and Rob has much more rowing experience than me, so we decided he would do the entire row. I'm comfortable with sit-ups but could use some work with push-ups. Comparatively, Rob is the other way around - so we planned accordingly. We also decided we would do several rotations in each obstacle to ensure intermittent rest periods.
This is what the strategy looked like:
This is what the strategy looked like:
On event day, the fitness staff was on hand to monitor/time our progress, count all of our reps for us, and guide us through the transitions. I also asked them to take photos. Thank you to Heather and Stefanie for all the action shots!
I was nervous but it was time to get to work. Rob got started on the rowing machine:
While he was tearing it up on the rowing, I was permitted to do a simultaneous warm up jog on the treadmill. As soon as he finished, my run would begin to "count." When he approached the end, I began speeding up my pace. I started out at an 8-minute mile pace. It felt too easy for a half-mile semi-sprint, so I quickly began upping the speed more and more while trying not to go too fast too early. I finished at a 6-minute pace.
As I was approaching the end of my half-mile distance, Rob jumped onto the treadmill next to me and got himself going in preparation for taking over. Here is a picture of me finishing (gulping water) and him starting:
After that, the pre-planned strategy pretty much went out the window. Rob and I took turns on each obstacle where we each simply pushed ourselves to the max reps we could, then communicated at what point we wanted the other to take over. It was a game of give or take because the more reps one of us could handle at once, the more the other person could rest - but at the same time pacing was important to avoid too much overexertion.
Here's a snapshot of me doing the medicine ball throw while Rob was recovering:
This is an action shot of us "changing the guards" during the sit-up sequence:
Heather and Stefanie didn't get any photos during the TRX row or push-ups, which is probably a good thing. In my opinion, those two were the hardest of all the day's obstacles, especially when done consecutively. Rob and I had planned to do sets ranging anywhere from 15-35 reps of both. We ended up getting so fatigued that towards the ends of each, we could only manage sets of 5-10 before having to switch.
For me, the push-ups were the hardest and worst obstacle. My arms and chest were both screaming bloody murder, and my form was disastrous. During my rest intervals, I had no energy to do anything but lay face-down on the ground and contemplate dying.
I was happy to move on to the jump squats. In comparison to all the arm work, I didn't think the squats were too bad. It was nice to use a different set of muscles. Even so, the squats still took a lot of effort, especially at that point in the challenge.
When it came to jump rope time, I really didn't think I could do it. I have never more seriously thought about throwing in the towel and quitting right there. If it wasn't for Rob, I think I would have quit. 500 jumps sounded completely insurmountable.
At that point, Rob and I didn't bother verbally communicating estimated transitions anymore. It all became based on visual cues. When one person stopped, the other person would start. I spent each of my rest intervals hunched over with my hands on my knees, gasping for breath. I was grateful that Rob took on a higher load of jumps than I did. His work enabled me to actually pick up a little bit of speed during my final couple of jump sets.
It was an ENORMOUS relief once we finished. See how relieved?
|This looks like it could have been staged, but I assure you it wasn't!|
Here's our official post-challenge finisher photo:
Don't let my smile fool you. At that moment, and for several minutes afterwards, my body was giving me warning signals of potentially forthcoming vomit. I couldn't even make it to the locker room before the nausea made me sit down. When I got to the locker room, I had to sit on a bench for a few more minutes to let the nausea pass. Needless to say, it was a fun rest of the day in the office afterwards, LOL!
As I type this the next day, I am sore all over. My neck hurts, my back hurts, my arms hurt, my quads hurt, you name it and it hurts. Before event day, Rob and I had talked about doing a practice run of the Duo Dash. I told him yesterday that I'm glad we hadn't - otherwise I wouldn't have wanted to do it again!
As they say...
As they say...
And to all of those other partner teams who are competing in the Duo Dash yet today, my sincere thoughts and prayers go out to you. ;-)