My First Hashing Run

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2nd Annual Beach Cruiser Sprint Triathlon reminder!!!  We need a final head count of participants and volunteers by Saturday!  It’s a super fun event, and perfect for those who have never done one before.  DO IT!!

Mobility/Warm up:
PVC Pipe rack stretch, 1 minute
Olympic Wall Squat, 2 minutes
Triceps mash, 1 minute per arm
Banded Hip mobility, 1 minute per leg

Front Squat
2 x 5 80%,  2 x 3 85%,  2 x 2 90%,  2 x 1 90%, 2 minutes rest between rounds.

Notes:  Keep the chest and elbows up the entire rep and be aggressive.  Make your elbows the first thing visibly to rise out of the bottom.  Heavy front squats are a great test of overall strength, midline stability, upper back postural positioning, and are a great warm up for what is to follow . . .

21-15-9 reps of
Thrusters, 95/65
Pull ups

Notes:  If you can do 3 thrusters at the prescribed weight or 2 to 3 consecutive pull ups, you will not scale the workout!  Even if this means you get cutoff at the time cap!  We will spend time discussing strategies.

Cool Down:
10 Wall extensions, slow!
Active bar hang, 30 seconds cumulative
Quad on wall, 30 seconds per leg



Mr. Buckner and Dutch.

Bring your guts and resolve today people.  You are doing Fran!


Some time ago Eric Brach had established himself as one of our top runners, and I’m always looking for ways to get better at running.  I was amazed when he told me, or I heard from another, that he did this thing called Hashing:  A group of people get together, run and drink beer.  Upon hearing that, I thought, No way.  Because I’m a lightweight.  As in, one beer and I’m gone.  I couldn’t imagine running and drinking at the same time.  So I cast it away, out of my mind, convinced I would never try it. 

Fast forward to several weeks ago.  I was high off completing my first Sprint Tri.  High off the confounding effects training for the Tri had visited on my CrossFit performance.  It was a given I was at Track Night once a week, and doing the Saturday morning trail runs with Track Master Frank.  Every week, without fail, it was thus.  But this past Saturday your great PCF staff was away at Outlaw Camp, and I was at the box during my precious Trail Run time!  I had given Track Master and Mary my word I was going to do a 6 mile run with them, which was supposed to be my first 6 mile run in I don’t know how long. And no way was I going to run 6 miles by myself. 

As Fate would have it, Eric hit me up earlier in the week and made a great case for Hashing and why I should do it and gee, Zeb wouldn’t you like to join us for one this Saturday afternoon?  I forgot what he actually said to make me go.  Maybe the time it started (3pm) was perfect for me, maybe because I knew if I didn’t do it I would not get a run in at all and I didn’t want to break that habit.  Maybe because he told me the Hashers enjoy a camaraderie and rapport that very closely mimics our own, that it was fun, that I didn’t have to drink if I didn’t want to.  Whatever it was, I committed, and next thing I know I’m standing with him, Remy, and a crowd of fun, loud, raunchy people from all walks of life somewhere outside Dodger Stadium near Chinatown. 

I got my lectures on what different chalk signs on the ground mean, how Hashing started with British soldiers during World War 1 and exists in underground pockets all around the world now, and what phrases to use (read: scream) if you ever get lost during runs.  What the fuck am I doing here?  What the fuck did I get myself into?  I just needed an excuse to run, and people to do it with. 

Imagine a loud, fun, colorful, dirty minded group of people who love each others’ company and are down for almost anything.  CrossFitters?  Yes but not this time.  DROMing in the corner by myself and still taking in my surroundings, the head hasher guy yelled, ‘Two beer stops!!”, then the crowd roared.  “One jello shot stop!”  Another roar.  “One bar stop!”  Thunderous applause.  I had to assume that meant we will run until we hit a beer stop, repeat, run until we get jello shots, then run to our final stop at a bar.  Before I knew it we were off.  I tried to keep a slower, steady pace, looking for chalk marks on the ground.  Arrows that told us crazy people where exactly to go.  We ran under a bridge, and you wouldn’t believe the kind of furniture that’s kept there, and in surprisingly good shape.  Arrow on the ground pointed us to a dead freaking end.  We ran back, up and over the bridge, and right to a park.  The hashers were yelling across the street to each other now, still looking for arrows and signs.  They decided on a park, a park with a lot of steep hills.  I let them yell it out while I tried to keep up and maintain POSE.  I spotted Eric and tried to stay with him.  We cut through and UP(!) switchbacks in the park, quadrupedal climbing.  Up and up we went.  Until I saw the rainbow of people laughing and drinking and talking.  Our first beer stop.  I was sweating and breathing hard and happy.  I accepted a water bottle and drank gratefully.  I respectfully declined an offer of beer from Eric, then after a few minutes, graciously accepted it.  At this point I remembered I had also taken a swig at the start line, after telling myself I wouldn’t . . . 

We started running again, happily looking for the next beer stop.  We were ass deep in the middle of a park in the middle of LA, with views and vistas which I’ve never seen, and it was beautiful all around.  The hashers were yelling across trees and hills, chalk signs leading us this way and that.  It was exhilarating and addicting.  We were hugging thin trail lines overlooking the freeway, where the 5 and 110 merge.  I forced the image into my memory, but something in my brain wasn’t working right.  It was scattering.  The image was exploding in my head.  Why?  Anyway there was a mural of hieroglyphic symbols, like the ones on LOST.   Who would put them there?  I turned and saw the LA skyline, the suns rays breaking through, like a souvenir card.  I’m so glad I’m here, doing this.  I almost didn’t show.  Why is my head getting so hot? 

We went down the hill and through a maze of trails, fences, narrow as hell runways that went under and through the freeways.  I followed the arrows and it led me to a hole in the fence, just big enough for a person to fit through.  I clambered through it and ran the other direction when I noticed people were climbing over it.  Smart mother fuckers.  Cars going 60 to 80 mph were zooming right past us now, not 10 to 20 feet away from us.  We found another hilly spot and kept going up and up and up.  Eric and I ran for what seemed like forever, through an isolated trail in the park, just us and the trees.  He noticed a person that was obviously playing Ultimate Frisbee (obvious to him actually)  We had lost all the other hashers now, looking and looking and running and looking some more.  We found an arrow that told us we had gone the Wrong Way!  We heard yells and screams from others, and looked and we had to hump another hill.  More hills.  More quadrupedal climbing.  My job as a CrossFit Coach, insofar as I see it, requires me to have full and unfettered access to my entire brain, at all times.  I’m always absorbing and analyzing and storing and processing and recalling, and I know when it’s flowing well and when it’s not.  Goddammit, why can’t my brain function right now?  Why is my heart beating so fast?  Before we know it we’re at the second beer stop, in an actual and enormous family park.  Eric offers me a taste of Pilsner (I think) and it was chilled and cold and one of the greatest and best things I’ve ever drank.  My mind at this point, was not right.  I glared greedily at the can, trying to commit it to memory but knowing it wouldn’t work.  Fuck.  ‘It’s delicious,’ I told Eric, then I took another swig, and another.  We started running again for the jello shot stop.

We were in the middle of a city now.  Or rather, if a city and a park had a kid, I couldn’t tell.  There were trees and buildings.  We went up more switchbacks and hills, through a downed barbed wire fence.  I said a silent thank you to whoever brought down the fence.  Because I could barely walk up it, barely following Eric.  My vibrams were so good to me.  The Komodo sport model had 4mm plating at the bottom, almost twice as thick as the older KSOs.  Did you know that?  Over the hill were the jello shots.  Hmmm, haven’t had jello in ages.  Damn, that’s strong.  Can’t be good for me, these jello things.  People were loopy and happy and making jokes and laughing.  I was happy too, and laughed with them.  It was such a conspicuous spot, on the side of the hill, the jello shot stop, but damned if the views weren’t breathtaking.  Then we were off down the hill, weaving in and out of steep terrain, looking for the bar. 

I perceived it at last, and too late.  It couldn’t be.  That’s why my brain wasn’t working.  I’m used to having razor sharp focus at all times. I depend on it.  Now, if I tried to keep a single train of thought, the train would burst into pieces and fall like confetti.  My body was tingly and warm and sweaty as hell.  I’m not drunk.  I’m not drunk.  I want cake.  Chocolate cake.  Lean and pull the foot.  Just lean and pull, like Frank told you to.  I want cake.  I love cake.  Chocolate, multi layered cake.  Just had some for my birthday, it was so good.  Why don’t I want ice cream?  I usually do.  POSE and fall.  Dr. Romanov said all your muscular efforts are only to recreate POSE over and over again.  The soul of POSE is the fall.  You must fall.  I’m not drunk.  I can’t be.  “How you doing, Zeb?  Pretty fun huh?,”  “Eric, I’m drunk.”  He laughed and told me it’s easier because you don’t care.  I would have agreed if I could focus. 

We ran through Chinatown and to the bar where I headed straight for the water.  I heard Remy tell Eric it was 5.9 miles we just ran and somewhere in the back of my mind, I was happy.  I have not run that distance since high school.  I hung out and sobered up and met people.  This is the first time I’ve been out of my CrossFit world and into another wholly different social gathering in years.  It felt like I was traveling again.  We ran another half mile maybe back to the cars, where food and treats and beer was given.  Then they had some singing and dancing and hashing rituals, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tons of fun and it is definitely something I would do again.  Looking back, despite the craziness and merry drinking and partying, I was impressed as hell at how organized the whole affair was.  I was impressed at how well thought out the trail was, and where we were supposed to run, and where we weren’t supposed to run, and the spectacular views of the city and unknown, unspoken corners of LA I would never have discovered but for this care-free, fun loving, almost nomadic group of people.  Moreover, they have created and perpetuated a culture that can recreate this experience over and over for members old and new alike, and across the world.  We had ‘hashers’ from other countries who came here just to hash, then they would move on to another far away land to find more hashers.  Thank you Eric and Remy for introducing me to hashing and welcoming me into your world. 

I know some of you participated in the last Hashing run at the box a few months ago, or are curious about it.  Post thoughts, and Fran times!, to comments.


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