Thursday, November 17, 2016

Duo Dash

The awesome staff at my workplace's fitness facility is always coming up with creative new ways to challenge us. For example, I did my first-ever indoor triathlon and ninja warrior competition based on their event planning.

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!
The Duo Dash was a timed competition where we had to complete the following 8 obstacles in the listed order:
  1. 1000 meter row
  2. 1-mile treadmill run
  3. 100 medicine ball squat overhead throws
  4. 100 sit-ups
  5. 100 TRX rows
  6. 100 push-ups (to toes)
  7. 100 squat jumps
  8. 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:
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...
Many thanks to Rob for being my Duo Dash partner! This was truly a fitness challenge for the ages. Whew!!!

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. ;-)

--
I am belatedly linking up with Annmarie, Nicole, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

18 comments:

  1. Congrats on finishing and not tossing your cookies afterwards. I know I would have probably been teetering on the edge of nausea if I had done all the things you did! I like how you said that your pre-planned strategy soon went out the window after the first discipline. Isn't that always the case in timed events? Hope you feel better soon! :)

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    1. Thank you, Pete! Indeed, I think the biggest accomplishment of the day was NOT vomiting afterwards, LOL. You are absolutely right, if all of these timed events went according to plan, we'd all be elite Olympic athletes, yes? It's all about how we adapt on the fly. =D

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  2. OMG that's crazy! How long did it take you guys to complete! You guys looked totally exhausted! But dare I say... It "Looks" fun! lol

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    1. Our final finishing time was 29:40 and I know we at least didn't come in last place, LOL. Exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe it! In retrospect, the pictures do make it look fun, right? But you better believe I would never do something like that again, ever. =D

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  3. Woooo! That sounds INTENSE! I'm pretty impressed you guys tried to come up with a plan but not surprised you had to throw it out the window. 100 (or 500!) of anything is A LOT. Especially when you're being timed. I'm interested in hearing the final results of the winning team!

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    1. Thanks Erin! This challenge was way more intense than I had anticipated! As I mentioned before, you would have loved it. =) Yes - psychologically it was so killer to have 500 jump ropes to do as our last obstacle. 500!!! That number alone made me want to vomit, haha. We finished in 29:40 and I just learned the winning team clocked in at 26:05. Dang, that is fast!!!

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  4. As much as I hate nausea (and vomiting), I want to work where you work. How fun to get to do something like this! Great job!

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    1. I think we all hate nausea and vomiting. =) Indeed, we are very blessed to have such an awesome fitness center and even more awesome staff. Thank you so much, Wendy!

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  5. You guys look like the after pic of most marathoners - just happy it's over. Lol! Nice work getting it done!

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    1. Post-marathoners is a great comparison! You nailed it - I couldn't have been happier and more relieved just to be done with it! Thank you, Natalie!

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  6. I would've gladly done the pushups over the squat jumps. There are some exercises I won't do.

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    1. You must really hate squat jumps, eh?

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  7. My god Emily! I got tired just reading this! wowzers! Congratulations on completing it! you rock!

    I hope you got some good food and beverages after! because it sounds like you needed some water!

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    1. Thank you so much, Ana!!! Oh yes, I drank a ton of water afterwards. As the timing would have it, my team had to attend a townhall meeting with a reception afterwards, and I took out the appetizers without a second glance. =D

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  8. That is SO cool that your corporate fitness center organized something like that! If ours ever has, I certainly haven't heard about it (though I also don't belong to the gym, so maybe there are events all the time that I don't know about!). Regardless, this sounds SO intense! Just looking over the requirements I was like, "There's absolutely no way I could do this," haha. Props to you for getting it done! I'm very impressed!

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    1. Thank you so much, Bethany! With your marathon training and your other gym membership, it sounds like you've got plenty of fitness options to keep you going!!! Admittedly I didn't take the obstacle list very seriously when I first saw it - but then when it came time to actually complete everything, I realized how much I had underestimated the level of difficulty. Thanks again!!! =)

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  9. This is so cool! And I think it's great you guys came up with a plan, even though you couldn't use it 100% - it still shows you well you communicated, especially since it was non verbal toward the end!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I bet if you had competed in this challenge, you would have crushed it! This would have been right up your alley. =)

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