Friday, March 17, 2017

OCR Buddy? What the heck is that?

It’s race season, and if you are like me then you have begun scouring social media posts, checked a million team websites, and have attempted to search all the races in your area using an online search engine.  These tasks are already a pain in the rear if you do them while sitting at a computer, but with technology these days, most of us do this on our phones while screaming at the connection speed, cringing at non-mobile compatible websites, and squinting trying to read fine print.  These intense searching efforts are done with the hopes that you wouldn’t miss the one Obstacle Course Race that just happens to be in your backyard, your friend’s area, or another place you wouldn’t mind travelling to.   It seems that every year, despite these rigorous efforts, you and I both know what happens…you always miss one. 

Change the Filters For
Your Search
You miss the OCR that just happens to be in your backyard which everyone “assumed” you would be at, and by the time you find out about it, registration prices are through the roof or you already have a commitment for that weekend you can’t get out of.  Often times I have found myself online for hours looking at races, how far away they were, who was going, how many were going, and were there any promo codes.  There are an abundance of OCR companies, teams, and websites available however searching for races can become a daunting task.  Self admittedly, I have also been the victim of
“double booking” because I had forgot to put a race I registered for (sometimes over a year ago) in my calendar, and then registered for another race the same day which in turn becomes a “who wants to buy my extra registration” nightmare.  This has been a problem plagued by racers for years.  Whether or not you race the occasional OCR, or are a weekend warrior like myself.  I recently learned that I was not alone in this yearly agitation and someone else in the OCR community was experiencing the same angst.  This someone else, was Russ Blatt who created a mobile friendly app called OCR Buddy.  Russ has been an avid obstacle course racer since 2013 and shared the same frustrations as the normal racer.  When I asked him why he created this app he told me it was because he became tired of going to website, to website, to find races.  He kept thinking to himself there has got to be a better way!  Russ Blatt decided to act on his frustrations and became the owner, founder, and creator of OCR Buddy. 

So all this talk about OCR Buddy, what in the world is it?

EASY
OCR Buddy is an app you can download onto your phone which is a user friendly Obstacle Course Racing calendar.  It allows you to connect with your friends, find races around the world, and provides you with promo codes if there is one available.  Amazing, right!?  This little tiny app on my phone has now become my go to in planning races.  Not only can I easily access it, but if I know a race is happening and don’t see it, I can add it!  That’s right, Russ has made this app super user friendly.  You don’t have to be a genius to use it, or have your 8 year old show you how it’s done.  I’ve used race calendar apps in the past and they have either frozen on me, only included a few races
here or there, or were so frustrating I instantly deleted them.  OCR Buddy is not like that at all.  The process has been simplified and I not only can easily access my local Florida races, but it has races all around the globe!  All I have to do is change a filter and BAM, I can see what race is happening in Ireland. 

Race Listing
OCR Buddy is a must have for us Obstacle Course Racers.  I promise it will make your life so much more easier.  I also may add that it’s $1.99 to purchase.  That’s less than a cup of coffee these days.  You can also feel good about the purchase because 20% of profits are going back to charities that assist veterans, and those who are fighting cancer.  What better way than to spend $2.00?

Learn more about OCR Buddy at http://ocrbuddy.com/

Visit OCR Buddy on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/OCRBuddy

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Little Bit of TMI – We All Have Our Struggles




I wanted to share with you a little bit about my personal struggles.  Not to gross anyone out, and certainly not to divulge any type of medical condition, but to express to everyone an internal struggle that has been going on with me over the course of the last 6 months.  After talking with my doctor and speaking with my husband I made the decision to end a 20 year relationship with birth control.  I began when I was a young teenager, not because I was sexually active, but because I had horrific monthly visits from Aunt Flow.  Aunt Flow was so terrible, that 20 years ago the only way the doctor could assure me, and my mother, she would be controlled was with a tiny pill I took every day of my life.  For 20+ years this little pill controlled my hormones, my body, and my brain.  I know it sounds dramatic, but for those of you who have had problems of the same nature, this is a common occurrence.  

Six months ago, I decided to stop.  I stopped for personal reasons, and I stopped because honestly, I was in great shape, and I wanted to control my body myself.  Ideally I wanted to improve my eating, improve my workouts, and begin a more “natural” way to regulating what I needed to regulate.  In no other words to describe it, the last six months for me have been an internal hell.  Everything I wanted to accomplish by stopping this pill, turned against me and backfired in my face.  Not only did things become irregular, my thoughts, and my mood changed.  I no longer had the fire in me to wake up at 4:00am for my regular morning workouts.  I snapped and yelled at my husband over ridiculous things.  I cried at not only Hallmark movies, but commercials when the bear ran out of toilet paper and I was sad for him.  In the course of these six months, I did successfully complete several endurance events that I had previously registered for as a goal to finish.  Did I train appropriately for them?  Nope, not in my opinion, but I did them, and I finished.  However, I can tell you I wasn’t myself when I completed the RAGNAR Ultra, Skydive Ultra 50K, and the Masters of All Terrain Ruck Division.  I can tell you that throughout all these races, weekends, and weekdays the internal light inside me was dim.  I felt tired.  Not “I need to sleep for 20 hours tired and feel better” but a “I could lay in bed and do nothing for 6 days tired.”  After once again consoling with my doctor, and having blood work done, I can assure myself that what I went through was and is normal given the longevity of the medicine I was on, but starting from scratch again sucks.  As a last minute decision I decided to run the Best Damn Race half marathon this weekend in Orlando, FL.  I personally wanted to see where I was at, where I needed to go, and what I needed to focus my training on by running this race.  I finished the race in 2 hours and 24 minutes.  The first 10 miles were great, and then I slowed down the last 3.  I was fighting fatigue, knee pain, back pain, and ankle pain pretty bad but the one thing I didn’t do was stop.  

Surround Yourself With People Who Love You
I am fortunate enough that over the course of the last 6 months I haven’t gained any significant excess weight which I couldn’t get off by completing an Advocare 24 Day Challenge cycle, but have suffered severely in the muscle gain progress.  My squat weight has gone down, my dead lift weight is non-existent and let’s not even talk about that bench press.  The past few weeks I have been feeling a little more like my old self as each day passes.  I am finally waking up out of the horrible hormonal fog I was in for so long and my body is beginning to naturally regulate itself.  

With this new awakening I know I’ve got to start training all over again.  But I’m going to do it, I’m going to fight, and I’m going to get back to where I was.  I am thankful for a wonderful husband, and amazing friends who support me throughout all my craziness and different moods.  The moral of my story is to share with you a little bit of my life so that if you know of someone suffering the same, or yourself, or see someone you love act a little different, you can help.  Let them know they are not alone.  We can come back together, and we will be stronger than before.