Friday, March 28, 2014

Your Top Excuses On Our "BS Meter"

     Chances are good that if you’re here, you’ve signed up for the Beast. That’s awesome, and really, we’re so proud of you. But have you taken the next step? We have trainers and fitness gurus coming in and giving you training tips, and we’re quickly gaining steam until September 6. Next week will mark five months until we run on the beach! That’s sick, right? It’s not as sick as you will be if you don’t start training. If you’re thinking “Yeah, but I have a good reason for not training yet,” we’ve got you covered. We’re whipping out our BS meter to debunk some of these excuses. We’ll take the SANDY B**CHES route (who claim their team name is actually Sandy Beaches), and say that “BS” stands for “Beast Silliness.” The higher the rating out of 10, the more your excuse doesn’t hold water. Let’s get started.

     Excuse 1: Exercise is boring.
This isn't scenery. Get outside.
     BS Meter: 7/10. If you just run on a treadmill and stare at a blank wall, of course it’s going to be boring. But with the weather warming up, there’s no reason you can’t be outside running. If you don’t want to run, play some sports. Or roller blade. Dance. Bike. Swim. Do something that’s going to push you while you’re having fun. Exercise is boring is no excuse. Frankly, your excuses are boring. Let’s see what’s next…

     Excuse 2: I’ve tried exercising before and I didn’t like it.
There's a small story about broccoli. Read it!
     BS Meter: 5/10. Let me tell you the story of a little Beast. When I – er, my friend – was just a young Beast, I – he – tried broccoli. Beasts aren’t supposed to like broccoli, right? We’re supposed to like violence and gore, not green vegetables. So this little beast didn’t like broccoli. But when I grew up to be a bigger beast, I tried broccoli again and I loved it! Now everything I do involves the color green. I help the Barber National Institute, whose colors are green, and I show up at the Barber Beast on the Bay because its color is green. I owe it all to broccoli.
Don’t believe my story? That’s because that story was a pile of garbage and so is your excuse.

     Excuse 3: I’m too tired.
     BS Meter: 6/10. Long hours, early mornings, not enough coffee. Whatever the reason, you’re feeling tired and you don’t want to do anything. What’s going to happen if you feel that way on September 6? Nothing good, that’s for sure. There are many ways to gain energy. Pre-workouts are one, though I don’t recommend those. I recommend just sucking it up and getting started. Even getting a light workout going will give you more energy to do something more challenging, and you’ll even have energy to spare for after you’re done working out.

     Excuse 4: I don’t feel like it.
     BS Meter: 9/10. Did you feel like waking up early to go to work? Did you feel like working? Did you feel like doing anything but lying in your nice, warm bed? Maybe, maybe not, but you still got up and were productive today. Make working out something fun that you “have” to do. If it’s a part of your routine, it will be easy to, as Nike says, “Just do it.”
You're not Bruno Mars. Even if "Today [you] don't feel like doing anything," you should still do it.

     Excuse 5: I don’t have time.
     BS Meter: 10/10. If you’re married, think back to when you were dating. If you’re single, think back to last week. Have you ever said or heard “I just don’t have time for a boyfriend/girlfriend right now.” Do you know what that really meant? It likely meant “I’m just not interested in you so I’m making something up.” You’re treating exercise like that person you weren’t interested in. “Oh, I’m sorry, treadmill. I just don’t have time for you. It’s not you; it’s me.” Really? That’s what we’re going with? People make time for the things they want. If you want to succeed on September 6 bad enough, you’ll make the time needed to cross the finish line.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome to the BOX -- the 3 RING BOX

We're Jennifer and Chad from 3 RING BOX.

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Are you already preparing for the Beast on the Bay 2014? Have you marked your calendars for September 6 as the day you cash in on your decision to try? We are here to help you plan, train, and execute your goal in beating the Beast. Let us introduce ourselves: We are Chad and Jennifer Silber of 3 RING BOX, located on 8348 Edinboro Road, Erie, PA 16509. Over the next several months, we will be sharing our thoughts about  everything from gear, nutrition/hydration, physical prep and even how to conquer certain obstacles in the most safe/efficient manner possible. So stay tuned each week and if you want the most effective training in order to get you ready to take on the Beast.

Our first experiences were quite a shock.
Our background with obstacle racing/extreme racing started in 2011 when we signed up for a Tough Mudder in Attica, Indiana. We are both competitive by nature, as we are both former collegiate athletes. We’re also, in more ways than one, just nuts! That year we ran the Ruckus in Washington County, PA in order to get a taste of what obstacle racing was all about. As we anticipated, after the Ruckus, we were hooked and ready for the Mudder in November. What we did not anticipate was going from 90+ degree weather at the Ruckus to 30 degree weather at the Mudder…SHOCKER!!! So to date we have ran a total of 6 Tough Mudders, World’s Toughest Mudder (24 hours, 50 miles & 198 obstacles), Ruckus, Mud on the Mountatin, Warrior Dash, and OilCreek 50K.

Always give 100% -- even in ice!
The training and prep for each consists of running, strength training and body weight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, burpees, hand-stand push-ups, air squats, etc.) The key is being comfortable in your own body and being able to be consistently active for 3-4 hours. The training aspect is key, and we have a great place to do that at 3 RING BOX. Also, the way a person eats will reflect how they do in the challenge. It’s like the old adage says: Garbage in/garbage out, and it applies here 100%. Carbs, carbs, and carbs. Energy is the key for these events and depleting oneself of the energy needed will only result in the demise of the individual. The training will offset the carb intake, so a person doesn’t need to worry about gaining weight. If the training is adhered to and given 100% effort, you will not only become stronger, but also achieve the desired results. 
We are excited about this year’s Beast on the Bay. It will be bigger and better and more challenging all around. We are thrilled to be part of the focus group for the obstacle course and to offer the necessary training ground at 3 RING BOX. The fence rider or someone not sure about taking part needs to consider doing something they never thought they could do. Sign up and print your confirmation and put it on your bathroom mirror, or your refrigerator, or on your computer at work -- wherever you will see it, you’ll see it all day and every day until September 6. Then get out and start training -- do something that you never thought you could do, that your family and friends also thought you would never do, and go and prove them wrong. The feeling you will have when you cross that finish line compares to no other. 
If you're on the fence about participating, just take the leap. You'll be glad you did.
 For the rookie -- and we all were one at one point in time -- do not ignore the training. Don’t come in cold turkey and think that 10 miles and 25 obstacles is going to be a cake walk. Yeah, you may be able to do it, but your recovery will be longer and your chance for injury will be higher. Do yourself a favor and get yourself training at a place where you will be able to practice on obstacles, get stronger, and increase your overall endurance and motor – here’s a plug for 3 RING BOX.
In the end, everyone will feel something different at the finish. For me, it’s about watching those on the team, especially the rookies, cross the finish line and then come up to me and ask when the next race is. There is an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that is only felt by those who take the chance and try. You can’t replicate the feeling. It’s like no other. 
 Until next time,
Chad and Jennifer, 3 RING BOX

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Price is Right: New Pricing System Rewards Earliness

Here’s a joke for you: Two men walk into a bar. It’s a busy night, and there’s only one table left. One man calls ahead for the table and gets there before the second man. The second man walks in late and asks for the table. They give the table to the second man who came in late. You might be asking yourself, “Where’s the joke?” And the answer to that is there’s nothing funny about rewarding those who come in late. And, for that matter, there’s nothing funny about a man having to enjoy a beverage while sitting on a dirty bar floor. The only joke is that the man who came in late got the table, am I right? What a disgrace!

Why did no one laugh? Hello? Is this thing on?

So I’m not a comedian. I’ll stick to my day job of being a mascot for the Barber Beast on the Bay, I know. The point is that we want to reward those who are registering early for the Beast on the Bay. In the same way a participant who crosses the finish lines runs through a ribbon and is rewarded with cheers, we rewarded our first registrants with the Early Bird discount of 50% off the full price of Barber Beast registration.

While the percentage off will never be higher than what the Early Bird registration offered, we do have a tiered monthly system that will continue to reward those who sign up early. From now until March 31, registration for the Beast will be 40% off the original price. After that, the schedule is as follows:

  • 35% off - during April
  • 30% off - during May
  • 25% off - during June
  • 20% off - during July
  • Regular price beginning Aug. 1 through Sept. 4
  • Late registration $150 on Sept. 5 & 6
This is how we feel about it, and we're sure you'll feel that way, too!

That means no more wondering if the price you got is the best one that’s going to be available (because it is). That means no waiting for sporadic promotions based on holidays, sunny days, or the-Beast-is-bored days. What you see is what you get, and the sooner you see it, the better deal you’ll get.

If you or someone you know hasn’t signed up yet, now would be the time to do it! If you have signed up, take advantage of some of the offerings we have. On our Facebook page, we’re offering free signage and graphics that you can use to tag yourself in, recruit members, or smack talk other teams with. We offer a community of 1,600 people to talk and trade training tips with. What are you waiting for? The Price is Right, so come on down!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Talking with Eric Ellis, Obstacle Course Extraordinaire

Ellis (right) enjoying the Beast.

Meet Eric Ellis. His middle name is Xtreme, with an “X.” Eric Ellis once fought Superman. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants. He ran last year’s Barber Beast in three seconds, and that’s only because he tripped at the starting line.

OK, so none of these facts are true. But the North East native has the attitude and experience that can help you as you’re training for the Beast. Ellis has seen many different courses, and he has the insight and know-how to help. He has also been instrumental in helping make the Beast better and badder, which is why I took the time out of my busy beastly schedule to talk with him.

Beast: What's your background in races similar to the Barber Beast on the Bay? How many have you participated in, finished, etc.?

Ellis: I have been racing since 2000. I saw a 5k race registration driving through Girard one day and I just decided to stop and sign up and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I’ve always been an athlete and I do a lot of CrossFit, so racing and doing these kinds of events just seemed natural to me.  I’ve done Tough Mudder, Three Mile Isle, 5ks, half marathons, marathons and triathlons. 

Beast: What kind of preparation do you personally put into each one? In terms of hours spent, diet changes, changes in exercise, etc.?

Ellis: Depends on the event. For the Beast I’ll get my body ready for different kinds of terrain, so I’ll run at Frontier Park and Asbury Woods, I’ll hit the beach and run in the sand, and I’ll go to 3 Ring Box to use their obstacles so my body is prepared for the different aspects of the course.  I try and live a certain lifestyle incorporating healthy eating and exercise into my life every day, so I really just have to step it up a bit to prepare for a specific event. 
 I’ll also think about what I want to have on the course in terms of nutrition.  Whatever you are going to eat on the course, train with it so your body is used to it.  Otherwise I’ve seen friends get sick while doing a race because their bodies couldn’t handle something new.

Beast: Could you tell me about your best experience on a course and your worst experience on one?

Ellis: Best Experience: I completed half Iron Man in less than 6 1/2 hours. It was something I really wanted to accomplish.  I set a goal and just worked for it.  I also set a personal record at the 2013 Presque Isle Marathon.  That was a big deal too.
Worst Experience: 5k race. I was in the best shape of my life, really conditioned for it and I wanted to complete in 20 minutes or less. I ran it in 20:04.  That was devastating.

Beast: Let's talk last year's Barber Beast on the Bay. What were your thoughts on it, both good and bad?

Ellis: I loved it. It was competitive.  To run in the sand that long, you need to be really strong-willed to accomplish that.  I wish the obstacles were a little more challenging, but I liked the running, I loved the challenge of doing all the obstacles, running the distance, tackling the hill at the end.  I think we all gave some pretty good feedback on the survey, so I hope we will see some more challenging obstacles this year.

Beast: What are your thoughts on this year's Barber Beast on the Bay from what you know so far? If you were trying to convince someone who was on the fence about it, what would you personally say to them?

Ellis: A great team of people has been assembled to take the survey results and our experiences from doing these kinds of events can help transform this into an even better event.  Hopefully you will see better obstacles, less sand.   It’s going to be switched up…our own Erie Tough Mudder without the mud in most cases.  It’s in our backyard, supporting a great local organization, so try it.  Then you can expand your horizons by doing other events, but this will be well worth the price of admission to come do the Beast. 

Beast: For those first timers out there who have decided to take on the Beast -- what tips do you have? What are the essential things to do and what shouldn't they do as they get ready to prepare?

Ellis: Start training now by running on different terrains, and do sit ups and pushups getting your body used to the movements you will use on the course.  Challenge yourself to get better each time you train.  Don’t go crazy lifting heavy weights because you won’t be doing that. You will be climbing, crawling and running, so be ready for that.  Stay injury free by stretching and building gradually on your training -- gradually increasing distance and endurance.

Beast: Do you have any exercise/diet/apparel/fitness tips?

Ellis: Eat clean. No junk food. Give your body time to get healthy.  Proteins, clean carbs, clean sugars.
80% of feeling good is diet; the other 20% is exercise.  You will perform better if you are putting good things in your body. 

Beast: You put all that hard work into getting ready for something, and then you participate in it. For you and for everyone else, what is it going to feel like crossing that finish line come September 6?

Ellis: A sense of accomplishment. You get out what you put in. The harder you train, the better you feel about what you’ve done.  But no matter what, just the fact that you tried, you have succeeded so you can’t be discouraged by your time or if you didn’t do an obstacle.  You did something for yourself.