Member Monday: Michael McCue
WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
A buddy's laughter. After suggesting I complete a triathlon with friends for the first time, he scoffed at the idea we could do well. He nearly spit out his beer. That got me and my relay partners going. We trained hard, ate smarter, lost weight, and actually finished ahead of our buddy. Along the way, I discovered I loved endurance sports.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
1. Intrigue. I was intrigued (and terrified) about the idea of Crossfit ever since I saw the games on tv.
2. Belief in coaches. I knew Coach Lea socially. I believed her when she spoke of the performance gains she saw through crossfit. I knew she would work with smart, quality people.
3. Workout Design. In 2015. I was displacing a lot of energy to deal with some personal stuff. Early on. I realized that I was unlikely to design or follow a meaningful, effective plan on my own. Just too fried. I knew I could show up at Kingfield, do the workout under the eye of good coaches, and know that my body was experiencing progressive load and gaining fitness. Alongside that, I followed a running plan that Coach Lea had developed for me. It was perfect.
WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
1. Results. You can read about run times below. Generally, my 3 rep maxes have trended up, my waist and weight have trended down, and I have felt good.
2. People. Every person I have met at Kingfield--young, old, ripped, or round--is genuine and encouraging. I have cheered on and been cheered on by people I don't know. I haven't seen a guy working through roid rage and I haven't seen a prima donna.
3. Fun is welcomed. I've routinely howled at the start of workouts. I've suggested things like laser crossfit, 12 Step crossfit, how long can you hold it wall stand competitions, and hair growing contests. It's all ok.
HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE?
Very positive. In 2015, I outperformed my expectations at the Red White and Boom Half Marathon and my Twin Cities 10 Mile was a PR.
Beyond the times, I generally feel stronger when I race and I find I can run fewer training miles or fewer weekly running days to accomplish the events and finish times I have set my sights on.
As an example, I did a 5k in March. A few weeks prior to the race, I had run some short intervals on a treadmill after my Kingfield workouts. None of the running was sustained; most sessions were less than 20 total minutes of running in a workout. I planned to run at a moderate exertion level just to get a baseline of fitness. Half mile in, I looked down and saw a split pace that was 30 seconds better than I would have hoped for. At the mile mark, I still felt like I was working at a moderate level and I looked down to see I had sped up. At that point, I threw out the race plan. I just wanted to see what I could do. I didn't top out or crash; I built negative splits through the finish line.
DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? SOMETHING YOU TELL YOURSELF WHEN YOU'RE FIGHTING THROUGH A WORKOUT?
Two images pop into my mind in a tough workout.
1. A Wrapped Present. Marathoners speak of HITTING THE WALL--the spot in a race where your muscles are fatigued, your body has used its stored energy, you feel like shit, and you just want to quit. When I trained for my marathon, I thought of that wall as a gift. For me, the whole point was to learn something about myself, about what will I might have or what persistence I might demonstrate or what attitude I might adopt when everything hurts and I want to quit. It was a thing I couldn't get in training--only in the event. It was the reason for doing the event. The moments of suckage at Kingfield feel different than that marathon felt, but they are both gifts. When it's really, really bad, I see an image of a wrapped box.
2. Kyle. He's that buddy from the bar. An incredible friend and athlete. We've been competitive--making complex, time adjusted bets on a variety of races. And, we've been supportive--meeting for weekly junk mileage runs where we catch up about everything. When a workout sucks, I'll see Kyle next to me doing the same awful movements. I have permission to quit once he does. He just never quits.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?
By favorite, you mean the movement you complete and wonder, "How the hell did I just do that?" I don't know the name. It would be the one where we move between a front squat and the finish position of a thruster and back to a squat. Any EMOM OR AMRAP OR CHIPPER with that thing is a trip.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?
Pulled pork, carmelized onion fritatta recipe from PALEOMG.com.
WHAT'S YOUR POWER SONG?
Firework by Katy Perry.
She once lifted a half marathon out of the gutter and turned it into a piece of art.
Thank you Katy. Thank you.