A Tough, Muddy Weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2012 by raezorcut

The weekend of the 17th and 18th November proved to be one of the toughest Saturday’s and Sunday’s I’ve probably ever had in my 26 years of earth living. Many of you who see what I post on FaceBook will see that I’d been in training for a few months for two of the toughest obstacles courses in the world, Tough Mudder and Spartan Race. While these events self-proclaim they are each the ‘toughest’ and ‘best’ obstacle course on the planet, with Tough Mudders tagline of ‘Probably the toughest Event on the planet’, and Spartan heralding ‘You’ll know at the Finish Line’ and voted Best Obstacle Course 2012 by Outside Magazine – they probably aren’t lying. 

Having already taken part in Tough Mudders Scotland in July 2012, Craig (my good buddy and training partner) and myself kinda knew what to expect from the Saturday. More mud, water, ice, logs, and electricity. But what we didn’t know was the ridiculous extent of all these elements in comparison to Scotland. Training for Scotland consisted of going for 3/5/10 mile runs each week, with some light weight training and decent diet. I say ‘consisted’ – ‘intention’ is probably a better word. We got training in when we could, and got through TM Scotland but felt hell-worthy at the end of it. Shit, that free beer tasted good.

This time round though, was different. We booked onto Spartan first, signing up to the Beast event. Spartan offer 3 versions, the Sprint, Super, and Beast. Naturally not often doing things by halves, we all agreed for the Beast. So, training began. Then an opportunity presented itself to us that probably won’t happen again. One of Craig’s friends won 2 tickets to take part in TM North-West, in November. With a barrage of self-insults at the realisation of the event taking place the day before Spartan, we agreed and laughed all the way to the pain express.

From this point on, laughing aside, our training had to change. There is no way we were getting through that weekend without proper training to prepare for the shit-storm that lay ahead. Craig is naturally fit and toned, and weighing in at just under 11st, is perhaps what you might consider the ideal ‘athletic’ form; born to race. Me on the other hand, I’m a big boy. 16st6, 6’2 and wider than most train seats, I knew I had to push hard to get this ass round both courses in 2 days. 

We continued with the running and weights (kettlebell in my case), but we looked to devise an actual obstacle-integrated workout, to prepare and train for the various obstacles we knew we’d face. We began training in Rockingham Road Park, doing laps of the park incorporating body weight pull ups, dirt-track running, off road, jumping, and sprinting – for 60 minutes. Incorporating exercises that were working the muscles we’d be using on the day meant we could prepare our bodies. It sounds obvious that you need to train and work out for an event like this, but actually training your body by replicating some of the obstacles and motions you would use, had a huge impact on how I got through the weekend. You can download an official training guide for Tough Mudder from their website, which can be done at home with free weights keeping the costs down but training up!

On average we were hitting 12-13 laps and felt pumped afterwards. Mixing this with circuit training at my local martial arts gym, the week before we both felt pumped and ready to take these bad boys on!

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Tough Mudder, Saturday 17th November 2012

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Started off great, actually felt good being back on familiar territory! Got round the first few obstacles no problem, then realised what was harder about this one than Scotland. The water. It was mind-numbingly cold. Cold beyond what cold is considered to be cold. I know, I know “It’s the middle of November, what do you expect?”. Well, to be honest, not this. I think Craig will vouch for the description of the water as ‘killer’. This TM had more water, more mud, and more successful volts hit that ensured I was kissing the mud one more time before the finish line. The cold had a huge impact on our bodies from running for an hour and keeping my muscles warm and stretched, to being submerged in a lake from a 15ft drop. Good for circulation, bad for the cramp!

One thing to research, is what to eat and drink following the first day, to reduce the risk of DOMS (Delayed Muscle Onset Soreness). A friend of mine from Lincoln recommended some water with salt and sugar in to replace the lost minerals immediately, and we’d found that a wheatgrass and water shake was great for our overall feeling. Protein and carbs for the main meal later, and the next morning we were actually pretty ache free and feeling good.

 

Spartan Race, Sunday 18th November 2012

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Brands Hatch. Great venue, we were looking forward to seeing what Spartan Beast had to throw at us after the pretty hardcore session on Saturday. Admittedly I was feeling a little dicky that morning, but once we’d been running for half hour I felt fine. After running the length of the entire circuit, it’s then that the off road starts and provides a very different experience than Tough Mudder. Racing through brambles, bushes and thistles, climbing ropes, cargo nets, lifting bricks and log, jumping over fire, spearing hay – it was all very ‘primitive’ in feel. By the 10mile mark, I was feeling extremely dodgy – perhaps dehydration, low sugar levels, I don’t know – all I knew is that I wanted to quit, but made sure I didn’t. The finale of Spartan is pretty cool actually, crawling through an ice tray with barb wire above, then climbing up a steep slippery slope with a rope, fireman slide down the other side and run through hay bales with 2 ‘gladiator’ looking geezers trying to beat you down fiercely with jousting poles. Medal, t-shirt and drink await you on the other side.

Overall, it was hard not to feel a little underwhelmed by Spartan in comparison to TM. Our research told us that Spartan is harder and tougher, so we were expecting an almighty shock to the system. To be honest, it was the other way round. TM was hardcore. The obstacles are impressive, and each one is purpose built within the course, whereas as Spartan utilises nature to provide obstacles – which I guess is the point but treading along a 2 inch wide 20ft long wooden plinth with only the soft grass below, and not a freezing ball-shrinking lake, you can’t help but feel that some of the obstacles in Spartan were, well, pointless. I put my feeling bad toward the end of Spartan just from over-exertion over the weekend, as Craig felt delayed symptoms of this on the Monday. 

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If you’re looking to do one of these immensely fun events, just check out their respective sites and videos to get a taster. Having done TM twice, we’ve agreed we wouldn’t do it again now just because twice is enough for the same event in our eyes, although some of the obstacles do vary between TM events depending on the location. Spartan felt like a tough cross country race with some random obstacles thrown in; Tough Mudder is one massive mammoth obstacle. With TM, if you want to leave an obstacle out, you can; you’re free to walk around it and carry on, but if you can live with yourself for not giving it 100%, then cool. Spartan on the other hand – want to leave out the rope climb, or ice crawl? 30 burpees, no hesitation. All of a sudden, the obstacles seem easy!

We’re now looking at doing an event called Pain & Suffering in June 2012 – once you’ve got the bug you’ll be looking where you can get your next fix!

Check out the photos from Tough Mudder here, and Spartan here – on my FaceBook page.

‘Til next time!

Jamie.

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Time Flies

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2010 by raezorcut

Wow. It’s been eight months since I’ve posted on my own blog. Doesn’t time fly? You may think me to be dead – in which case thanks for contacting me to tell me you miss me. But, as worry began to fill your lives, here I am. I have much to tell, but you won’t be interested in reading a dissertation titled “What did Jamie Rae do in eight months, and why?”. In October, me and Caroline (that’s my girlfriend, that is) went to London on a weekend extravaganza. We drank a lot, walked a lot, saw Chicago on stage, went on the London eye (17 fucking quid!), got a free tequila off a random bloke who I think might have been coming on to me due to his “you look good mate, very good” comment and uncomfortable sparkly eyes. played the original PONG in a museum, got told me and Caroline were made for each other by a peculiar irish psychic, who, after spouting a load of niceties, asked for £2o (we swiftly scarpered), visited Chinatown, saw Despicable Me in IMAX 3D which blew Carolines mind, and many other things that were things which were nice and good. We had planned on going abroad somewhere, but alas, finances prevail and conquer, so we settled with an inland holiday-  and it was great to get away and let my [not very long] hair down.

I recently acquired the entire catalogue of The Raccoons. Personally, it’s my favourite cartoon every created. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, and I love it now. All 5 seasons, and all the specials. So a lot of my time has been spent viewing this 80’s gem. Talking of 80’s gems, Back to the Future was re-released at the cinema, and Caroline had never seen it (yes, I understand the travesty in that statement), so we experienced the classic “When this baby hits 88mph, you’re gonna see some serious shit!”, in full 35mm print glory.

Aside from getting everything in place for RedScar projects, working tirelessly in the entertainment biz, storyboarding freelance, and trying to stop myself from entering a cryogenic state (this house is freezing during these winter times – single glazing FTW), there’s not much else to tell. I have started painting again, a long lost love of mine. I’ll try and keep this more regular now, because I know the millions (2 or 3) of you in cyberspace following me can’t wait ’til next time.

Ciao for now,
JR

Straight Talking Guy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by raezorcut

I’m not talking about me. Although if your arse does actually look big in that dress, I will not hesitate to tell you. What are friends for, right? I’m talking about Andy Gibney. Martial artist, therapist, and living legend  guest speaker. Well, he is a bit of legend, I’m just being mean. The promotional-documentary I’ve been tirelessly working on is now well underway post-production. To those who are computer literate, I’m trawling through 55GB of HD footage, equating to just under 5 hours of stuff, now being narrowed down to a mere 20 minutes. I’ve put a lot of love and effort into this project – which will be RedScar’s first documentary – and choosing the right material is hard. Removing a scene and/or shot that you love, is referred to as ‘killing your babies’, in which case I’ll be guilty of performing mass genocide on hundred’s of little ones (shots from the film, not kids, before you frantically dial 999).

23rd May, 2010, NEC Birmingham. This is where the first public screening of Andy Gibney: Straight Talking Guy’ will be shown, at The Martial Arts Show (www.themartialartsshow.com). Every year martial arts practitioners, enthusiasts, masters, and an array of guests and exhibitions conjoin at the NEC for a martial arts extravanganza. Andy has a 40 minute slot with which we have to premiere the film. Suffice to say, I am full of excite. NEC FTW.

The event is on FaceBook – click here.

In other news, I…oh, wait. Actually, I have no other news. I’m still working, still filming, and still managing to stay alive. Ah, I did lose my passport actually, which really pissed me off. New one on it’s way for a wallet-lightening £87.

Read the RedScar blog instead. Much more interesting to be fair. Take care now, bye bye then.

JR

Singin’ In The Rain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by raezorcut

This is my favourite video of the month. It’s old, but it’s fucking brilliant. After watching ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ again recently – an awesome musical – I remembered Mint Royale remixed it, and THEN remembered the video for the song was shite. But the VW GOLF advert is suPERB. So check it out. They used green screen and masks and all sorts of clever shit to do it. And I will be watching as part of my daily mantra.

March: Mother’s Day, Movies & Marathons

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by raezorcut

I didn’t realise how quickly the weeks had passed until I noticed I hadn’t blogged in nearly a month. So now I will entertain you all with my stories of the last 25 days. The end of February brought the inevitable ‘meet Caroline’s parents’ occasion, on which it was her Mum’s birthday. So we went to a lovely rub (restaurant-pub), for a bit of a knees up. Of course, I can never blog without writing about a foodstuff, eating, or anything culinary related – so I’m going to tell you what I had. STEAK. With roast potatoes, veg, and a big ol’ Yorkshire pud. Man, that shit was good. And a Tiramisu for dessert. Bingo.

The 3rd of March saw the first of many film shoots for RedScar’s first promotional-docu ‘Andy Gibney: Much More Than A Motivational Speaker’. We shot at the Best Western Hotel in Corby, with Martin on Steadicam, Russ on Crane, Dan on handheld, and me on Boom Mic. The shoot went extremely well until 20 minutes in when I thought my arms were going to literally rip at the seams. Anyone who has held a microphone on a fully extended boom pole before, will know that 15-20 minutes is more than enough. So I dropped it to a more manageable level, and continued sweating like a dyslexic on Countdown. 10th March was another date we shot Andy (with a Canon XH1 – that’s a camera, not a gun).

On the 11th I saw ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in 3D. My friends and I agreed that, although it was good, and the performances were great – the plot kind of ambled along; there was no definite story arc. Yeah, the climax was she had to accept her fate to destroy the dragon, but up until that point, Alice aimlessly skulked around not doing much. On a visual note, in 3D, it was fantastic. Rich in colour and detail, Burtons idea of Wonderland is perhaps the most extravagant and outrageous you could imagine. Although if it was reality, and a big blue Cheshire cat appeared in front of me that had a smile from his ears to his arsehole, I would run for my life.

My Mum came over from Leicester on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Being the ever loving and appreciative son, I decided I would save my money this year, and buy her something awesome next year. Honest. So to tide her over until then, I bought a 12p fake flower from Wilkinsons as a good will gesture. She loved it of course, and I cannot wait to see her reaction next year when she sees what I have bought her (….). I joke, I am not that much of a bastard, I have bought her a belated gift. For last year.

The following week saw more filming. This time it was shot at Andy’s martial arts club, shooting the students sweating their sins on each other, punchbags, focus mitts, and some weaponry and shoot-fighting thrown in. This will be the more crunchy side of the promo-docu, showcasing more of where Andy came from, to get to where he is today. Andy’s a funny bloke. He is very sharp and quick witted, and has no qualms about telling you what he thinks about something. His style of speaking at events is considered by many to be off the wall and controversial – but this is why I believe he is getting hired more and more – he speaks what other people only think. One or two more shoots left and Dan and I will have around 8 hours of footage to be sifting through when we start editing.

On other film related things – the US film ‘The Summoning’ is moving along really well. I’ve been putting together a new showreel, and editing all of my storyboards for the production into more presentable artworks. I’m also midway through storyboarding short film ‘Spring Rolls’ for a production company in London. It feels brilliant to be back in the creative mould again, writing, drawing, and editing. Hopefully soon, I can add directing to that list when Dan and I begin shooting the short films we have penned under RedScar, this Summer.

This week I caught up with Eddie Izzard Marathon Man on BBC iPlayer. And jeez, what a bloke. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to go to iPlayer now and watch all 3 episodes. For Sport Relief, Izzard ran 44 marathons in as many days. What a fucking achievement, for a bloke who has barely run in his entire 47 years of existence, and who had only 6 weeks of training. I find it inspiring that someone who has had to endure snide remarks over the years for being a transvestite, now finds it within himself to run 26.2 miles a day, with1 day rest out of 7, for 44 days, for charity. An outstanding achievement and it certainly makes me think of what I do to push myself, and in comparison, at the moment, nowhere near that level. Perhaps a change is in order…

So, as well as working my regular job, this has been my last few weeks. Massively interesting of course. The best thing though, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is the fact we now have the PS3 connected to the internet, so I can now whip some little gobshite in China on Guitar Hero. BING.

‘Til next time…

PBJ FTW

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by raezorcut

This week I encountered one of my favourite things of all time. It is known in America as the Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich – or PBJ if you are cool and hip. It was absolutely the most amazingest thing, and was suggested by my girlfriend Caroline. I always used to think the sandwich contained actual jelly actually. Y’know, the flappy soft stuff in cubes made by those wonderful folks at Rowntrees (who also produce Fruit Pastilles – little factoid for ya there).

So, I get the bread. I get the peanut butter. And the jelly, I mean jam. Blackcurrant jam. And off to work I go. Masses amounts of PB and a luxurious spread of J. I feel the video below represents my feelings towards this new found phenomenon rather well.

Since eating the first PBJ sandwich I have not partaken in any further nutty/fruity/bready activities. But – I absolutely will be for the rest of my life. Every day. For breakfast. And for lunch. For dinner. For supper, and a drip will feed me the liquidised remnants throughout my sleep. I shall dream but not of fluffy rabbits and all things wise and wonderful, but of nuts. And jam.

Fuck the workout routine – PBJ is here to stay.

Cadbury’s Creme Egg for Dummies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by raezorcut

My housemate just presented me with a Cadbury’s Creme Egg. And upon unravelling the decorative foil I decided to take note of how I eat mine, so you may follow and discover the true meaning of the egg.

1. Hold the bottom third of the egg with thumb, index, and middle finger – firm but gentle.

2. Bite the very top off the egg, leaving an entry hole approximately the size of a 1p coin.

3. Suck out whatever innards you can, before biting the right half of the egg off whole.

4. Chew.

5. Using your tongue, remove all traces of yolk leaving half a chocolate shell.

6. Place the remainder in your mouth and in approximately 6-7 chews, it will be gone.


This is my guide. Follow it, and you will have the most brilliantest eggsperience of your entire life.