Untamed, unfiltered, and unafraid.

I rested Friday. I was also at the RDU airport at 4 am to exchange tickets (long story) for flight to Charlotte and then to Asheville. I then spent the better part of the afternoon traipsing through downtown Asheville as Jeff attended his conference. I love Asheville!

Jeff and I then went to the lovely home of my BFF, Brian, and his awesome betrothed, Danielle. We went for a short walk around their property and then enjoyed an amazing meal at Jordan Street Cafe. ‘Twas my first cheat meal since the Challenge started.


Jeff and I attempted to visit a local CrossFit whilst visiting Asheville. Unfortunately, all of the boxes are preparing for the “Beer City Throwdown” and either didn’t respond to request to visit or stated that programming was specifically in preparation for event.

That’s okay, as it’s a beautiful, cool day and I very much wanted to go for a trail run. My BFF suggested running at Bent Creek. Jeff reminded me that this is where I ran the Shut In trail race a number of years ago. It appears that his memory is better than mine. Anyone surprised by that revelation?

We parked at the NC Arboretum. I informed Jeff that I’d run an hour as he went for a hike. It was a crisp 52 degrees and, as can be expected, my hands remained cold for the duration of the run. That, however, was the only negative thing about the run! I wore my new New Balance trail shoes, and I very much like them.

I took it very easy at the start of the run, as my calves were a little sore from the jumping/running workout I did 2 days ago. In addition, the first 1.5 miles was uphill, gaining over 760 feet in elevation. I was enjoying the scenery until I saw a sign that read “Bear Sightings in this Area.” (Jeff hiked the trail and captured the picture.) Having just seen “The Revenant,” this set me a bit on edge. Danielle had also shared a story of her encounter with a mother bear and cubs.

There were very few runners or bikers on the trail this morning. I did encounter a slow biker during the uphill and I startled her when I yelled, “Runner back!” Yup, I passed her. She did eventually pass me during the next downhill.

The scenery was peaceful and serene, and I often found myself smiling. Yes, I was running at a brisk pace but I nonetheless took the opportunity to enjoy the scenery.

I was upset when 30 minutes had passed, as I wanted to enjoy the run for as long as I could. Yes, I contemplated running farther but knew that Jeff would worry if I returned later than anticipated.

I could’ve run farther, as I know what a strong downhill runner I am. I ran the course backwards 6:30 faster! I was flying (not literally) during the last mile. I felt wonderful!

We returned to our hotel, showered, and then went on a VIP (Very Important Paul) tour of the Sierra Nevada brewing company. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon! My new favorite beer is the Kellerweis. The slogan is “Untamed, unfiltered, and unafraid.” That’s an excellent description of me (as long as we don’t include bears, vampires, or mannequins in the list of things that I’m unafraid of).


We breakfasted in Asheville (my final cheat meal until our vacation in Yosemite) and then returned home. I was itching to get in a long run. We had a late breakfast and then I headed to my new favorite local trail, Harris Park. I intended to run out and back 50 minutes for a total of 1:40. Things don’t always go as planned.

According to Garmin Forerunner I ran 10.42 miles. Peninsula trail is estimated at just under 5 miles, and I ran an additional mile +, running to the entrance and back. In other words, I ran the Peninsula trail clockwise and counterclockwise, with a jaunt to the park entrance and back.

I treated today like a race day, i.e., I ran fast. I really pushed the pace for the last 30 minutes, breathing every other step for all downhills and then transitioning to a breath every 3rd step for flat and uphill portions.

My unreliable splits: 9:18, 9:18, 9:13, 9:30, 9:38, 8:06, 8:14, 9:00, 9:20, 8:39, 3:29 (.42 miles). Uhm, I was running at a consistent pace. The 8:06 and 8:14 miles were not under tree cover.


A: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
5-min AMRAP
5 ring dips
5 bent over rows (135)
B: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
5-min AMRAP
25 lateral bar hops

There is NO rest between A & B

I completed conditioning, skipping strength (as I knew I’d be running afterwards), at start of 9:30 session,

This was fun! And then not so fun. I was able to complete ring dips! But HSPUs were a struggle.

A: 10 rounds + 3 reps
B: 3 rounds

Harris Park Trail Run with Newbies

I invited Darren, Jaclyn, and Jennifer to join me for a trail run at Harris Lake, and we met at 11. I gave explicit directions so that they wouldn’t get lost. Uhm, either my directions weren’t clear (highly unlikely) or the Js didn’t listen (very likely). I ran about 4.6 mi in about 37 min (about an 8 mpm pace). I immediately ran the course in the opposite direction (counter clockwise) to ensure that no one got lost. The first person I saw was Darren. I thought, “Good for him! He passed Jaclyn!” I kept running but didn’t see Jaclyn. Or Jennifer. I’d occasionally stop and yell their names. I ran 1 mile and then turned around and ran to the start/finish — only to see Jaclyn standing there. She had gotten lost but eventually found her way back. She did confess to running through the woods and off trail. We waited a long time for Jennifer to return. Ha!

Jaclyn, Paul, Jennifer, & Darren (L to R)


Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

10-min AMRAP
– 15 wall ball shots (14 & 10)
– 30 KB swings (53)
– double unders

This is the 4th WOD of the Championship Challenge. I completed Level III for male masters+.

This was perhaps the most challenging WOD to date, and it was all because of the damn kettle bell swings.

Wendy was my judge. And she had a difficult time counting my double unders. 😉

I completed the 1st round in unbroken reps. I completed the 2nd and 3rd round of wall ball shots in unbroken reps, the KB swings in reps of 15, 9, & 6 (3nd round) and reps of 10 and it-is-all-a-blur reps the 3rd round. I muddled my way through the 2nd and 3rd round of double unders, gasping to catch my breath.

Score = 2 rounds + 15 wall ball shots, 30 KB swings, & 31 dus

With the exception of our recent trip to Asheville, I’ve eaten strictly Paleo. Yay! I miss beer. Boo.

I’m having Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) surgery the week before Thanksgiving. I want to get this over with as soon as possible, but too much is planned for the remainder of October.

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