Written by Jake Vis
When he’s not here at Fleet Feet, you can pretty much always find Jake Vis in a gym or exploring one of Wisconsin’s great parks. Jake is also a strength and endurance coach and is a frequent visitor on podiums at Obstacle Course Races all over the region.
Most of my race seasons consist of Obstacle Course Racing(OCR), trail races and ultra-races. This year has definitely thrown a wrench in the mix with most things being cancelled. So then, here I am left wondering what to do.. On one hand I could call it a layback year and do my own thing and on the other hand, I want to still compete and get better. I say, why not do both!
So, I decided to set some goals: First: To do some exploring of new trails. I did a two-day camping-and-running trip alone at Governor Dodge State Park and ran the entire inner trails system. That was awesome and definitely recommend checking it out if you have not been. My two favorite trails there are Pine Cliff and Lost Canyon. The next place was a three-day, two-night camping and running trip with a friend at Wyalusing State Park. Day One, we hit as many trails as we could which was full of technical trails and good views. Day Two, we went to Yellow River State Forest in Iowa. This place is awesome, filled with an extensive trail network and beautiful overlooks. Day Three, we ran Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. The trails have a good mix of technical to runnable with some of the best views of the Mississippi River. All in all, two great trips, exploring new trails and places.
Moving on to the competitive side of my year, I still wanted to compete and see what I can do for Obstacle Course Racing. I found a virtual race called Battle Miles that offered competitive races to pick from and see how well you could do against people from all over the world. I picked five of their races and ended up taking 3rd, 2nd, and 3 1st place finishes. So even with this weird year we have been in, we can find ways to still do what we want and have fun.
My advice: do not panic, adjust, adapt, have fun and stay positive.