Fresh off my Jamaican excursion I returned Stateside to participate in the mother of obstacle course races…The Spartan Race. My intention was to workout during vacation so that I maintain my stamina but my days were so jammed packed with activities that I did not have time to go to the gym at my resort. I only managed to fit in one burpee session before breakfast one morning. After I left Jamaica I only had 2 days until race day. I spent the first day in the gym trying to power through a 2 hour workout with my teammate. Bare struggle as I was still in ‘vacay mode.’ The following day was much needed R&R before the race and getting int
o the right mental mindset.
Sure you can watch YouTube videos of the race to familiarize yourself on challenges but nothing quite prepares you for experiencing it firsthand. You just can’t prepare yourself for how your body will react to challenges unless of course you scaled walls, and did a barb wire crawls during your months of training.
I decided to partake in the Spartan Race to fulfill my goal of pushing myself physically outside of my comfort zone. I am sooo not one of those gym is my life type of girls so this race was a huge undertaking for me. Throughout the 4 mile Spartan Sprint entrants must complete a series of obstacles, if you are unable to complete it the penalty is 30 burpees.
Months leading up to training I knew which obstacles I would have to do burpees for. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses when attempting obstacles is crucial in this race. I’ve always heard that my race site, Tuxedo Ridge, was super difficult because it was all uphill. They aint neverrrrr told a lie. Almost bused my ass multiple times throughout the course.
The morning of the race I had a very unorthodox breakfast… iHop. Granted I ate strawberries, and granola bars before the drive to Tuxedo Ridge but I felt like that wasn’t enough. I needed like real food to fuel me because I anticipated that it would take me at least two and a half hour to complete the race as a newbie team.
Let me just say that I salute anyone who did this race as individual. I can’t picture doing this race without the help of three of my amazing team members. There are some elements where my teammates and I avoided the penalty because we were able to help each other through the obstacles. Then there were elements like the UPHILL barb wire crawl where you’re completely on your own. Sure you’ll hear the supportive voice of your team members cheering you on, but it’s up to you to crawl/roll yourself uphill while your skin is being chaffed against the wire and rocks,your hair is snagged against the wire, you will feel dizzy from rolling, and you might get a little nauseous from the smell of the mud but the feeling of accomplishment of enduring that crawl is indescribable.
By the last mile I was so over the race. Jogging up hill then downhill got old real quick. Your legs start to feel heavy at that point I’m just like let me be done and somebody pleaseeee get me a sandwich.
When I ran across the finish line I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was so proud of myself, my team, it was just a sobering feeling. At the end I truly felt unstoppable. My goal for next year’s race is to decrease my time, then move on to Spartan Beast or maybe even Tough Mudder. Baby Steps. If you’re an anti-gym person like I once was I encourage you to give it a try. You’ll be quite surprised to see what you are capable of. Let’s face it as much as the race tests your physical endurance it’s also a test of your mental willpower. The girl who once hated the gym is now addicted to obstacle course racing who would have thought!