Monday, July 15, 2013

Spartan Sprint!

This weekend I completed my first race ever, The Spartan Sprint! Now I did a few 5Ks in college but those really don't count because my guess is that I was forced into those for community service points for something or other. Plus I know for a fact I was not running. Anyway, my first race. I was looking forward to it for weeks and as I told you in my last post, I felt pretty well prepared for it. I continued preparation on Saturday, by taking a nap during the day, having a delicious bowl of whole wheat pasta and veggies for dinner, and heading to bed at 8:30pm. I didn't stock up on my sleep THAT much, since my wake up time on Sunday was at 4:40am.

I woke up with an adrenaline rush, feeling wide awake. I toasted a gluten free english muffin and topped with PB and banana before heading out the door at 5am.

Ready to go. 

Louis, who is seriously the best, accompanied me on this early morning extravaganza, and drove me to Pennsylvania while I relaxed. We met up with our friends/the team, then arrived to Blue Mountain around 8am, registered, and chatted as our start time approached. We stretched, looked at some of the obstacles and I personally loaded up on gels and sipped water until it was 9:30am.

Here I am doing a quick practice...climbing over the wall, however, for this one you're actually supposed to use those blocks to climb sideways from one side to the other. 
Me and my race partner!
The team getting pumped up.

Strategizing, most likely. 

I didn't really feel too nervous the days before the race, or the morning of, but nerves definitely kicked in as we lined up to begin. I felt slightly ill, but really excited.It was finally our time to go and we began the sprint up the most gigantic mountain ever. A few minutes in, everyone's sprint turned into more of a walk as the slope became more and more impossible to run. We trudged up and up and up, and then soon reached a breaking point where we had to grab sand bags to carry up the rest of the way. I am not really sure how heavy the bags were, but they felt heavy! The guys got bags that were even heavier. During this time Louis, who was a spectator was being taken up the mountain on a ski lift along with one of our friends and I heard him shout down to us...which was fun knowing that he could see us! The entire mountain climb, I tried my best to not look up to see how much further we had left - for one I felt like I'd topple down backwards if I did, and two - I really didn't want to know. I felt like this was the main time where all my running really paid off even though we weren't running. My legs felt strong and though I could tell I was pushing myself to the max, I felt like I could do it. It was amazing once we got to the top, we got quick sips of water, but then had to head down partially with the sandbag. With shaky legs, the downpart wasn't too much easier. Soon we threw out the sand bags and the obstacles began.

We did several different ones, some I could do, some I failed and had to do the 30 burpees. Failed 4 to be exact. We climbed tall nets, went up and down muddy hills using a rope, went over walls (with the help of some guys who didn't mind giving a quick boost to get us started), threw a spear into a stack of hay (obv failed that one), dragged a concrete block by a chain, flipped big tires, did the monkey bars, jumped from log to log, pulled a rope to raise some heavy thing high up then lowered it back down, went up and down muddy hills and pits, went down a slip n slide and swam through the most amazing, magnificantly, cold mud pool (naomi and I were in HEAVEN during that part it felt amazing), crawled through rocky mud underneath barbed wire, climbed sideways across a wood wall, attempted a rope climb - only got up 2 knots but I was so muddy and slippery, and jumped over fire. I am sure I missed a few things but that gives you an idea! During the obstacles Louis got to meet up and watch which was perfect because it ended up being super fun for him. Plus, what a treat to see him along the way!!
The trudge. 
Ran into Louis during this part - note the half smile while I pulled my way up (even though it doesn't look like it's on a was!).
Feeling good.
Finishing up the concrete block pull. I thought this would hurt my hands but somehow it didn't. 
Tossing that bad boy back in the pit. It's not really a pit.
I forget where I was heading off to...maybe the tire flip.
Hello Louis.
Hello water. So happy here cause I was successful at the monkey bars. Those always were my favorite.
This is around when it started getting really fun.
Boys leaving us in the dust.
Got this thing up no problem, but then the sun was blinding me and this lady had to yell to me that I'd reached the top and it was time to lower. 
A bunch happened between these two pics...this was at the very end right before the rope climb. There's barbed wire over my head and it was pretty low. This is where the planks came in handy since I had to lift myself up a bit to avoid scraping my legs completely while staying low. 
Failed the rope climb. Welp! What's a few more burpees. If you could even call them burpees by this point in the race. 
For this I had to pull myself up one side using a rope and then crawl down the rest of the way. 
 And last....the fire jump!! All my years in ballet paid full of grace I am. 
A closeup because I think this is my most magnificent life moment. 

I was so excited to see him and show him my fab medal!
Who knows what I was possibly jabbering about here. 
Our team!
So proud of us. :)
I passed on the post race yogurt cereal snack and went straight for the beer. 
I might have downed it in three minutes.

So, my thoughts? It was the most amazing experience. It was so exhilarating!!! Everyone who participated was so supportive and encouraging. Everyone was willing to help and cheer people on. There was little running, which I kind of wish there was more running, but it was really fun to enjoy the obstacles after making it up that mountain. I could have run through the trails on the way down but I was sure I'd slip and ruin myself for the rest of the race so I pretty much did little skips and hops all the way down. The entire coursed ended up being 4 miles.The last couple things we had to do were crawl under barbed wire in the mud and the rope climb. Then...the fire jump. I can't explain how awesome it felt to jump over that fire pit!! I think I had a smile on my face for the next three hours. I was so happy to have finished and that I loved it!!! It was really, really fun doing it with a team, and especially to have Naomi right there with me the whole time! Also, we finished in 2 hours, which we were happy about since we'd been praying it didn't take us 8. I think the fastest time people completed it was in 40 minutes...but those guys are clearly not human.

I couldn't wait to see Louis at the end and give him a big, muddy hug!!! While he was so super supportive, he was pretty proud and relieved when he saw my face at the end. As you know, I have a million and one fears, and this year one of my goals was to stop being afraid. While this wasn't a terrifying experience by any means, it was definitely something out of the norm for me and the type of thing I never would have imagined myself doing. I'm definitely hooked - all day I've been replaying yesterday through my head...and texting Naomi about when we can do another one of these races. It feels like such an accomplishment and I am so proud that I tried it, and finished, while having so much fun.

Even though we had a big group lunch after, we decided to grill when we got home since we are addicted! Louis whipped up this amazing dinner.

And today? All cleaned up (with the exception of some scrapes and bruises on my knees and arms) and back to being a lady.
Hope your weekends were as fun and exciting as mine....or exactly what you were hoping they'd be. 


  1. I cannot believe you jumping over that fire!! You do look graceful! I just love it! I'm so proud of you for climbing that mountain and doing all of those crazy obsticles! Also, I laughed out loud at that pic of you and Lou at the end. Adorable! xo

    1. Thanks girl!! It was so fun you must try one!