October was a busy month, most of the month was spent training and prepping for my first Spartan Race (EEK)! I was extremely nervous about this race and asked myself and my training partner many times, “what did we get ourselves into?” We made the mistake of checking out the blog dirtymiles.com and made ourselves even more nervous.
Anyway, we trained hard and regularly ran a trail we have loving named ‘the trail of tears’. This trail is a mile long loop, that our local USFS fire and helitac crews have generously given us permission to use, consisting of hills and downhill as well as various stations ranging from monkey bars, pullup station and TRX . We hit the weightroom, and did yoga, even with all that training we were feeling ill prepared for this 8+ mile race.
The race was held in Sacramento on October 25, 2014, the first real rain strom of the season decided to grace us the night before and I was suffering from a terrible cold. The morning of the race I met my team mates and began the 3.5 hour drive to Sac for the race.
Here’s some back ground on the team I ran with; the person that convinced me to participate in this crazy event has completed Tough Mudders, numerous Spartan Races and I learned on the ride down he even completed a 24 hour event by the name of Goruck- if you’ve never heard of that one Google it! It’s INSANE! The second member of the team was the firsts wife, a horse trainer and Executive Director of a local foundation, her training included a 3 mile trail of tears run with me and another member of the team at the end of September. The third member is a Correctional Officer at a local Prison who fully disclosed that he was going into the event as a “weekend warrior”, for those that are unfamiliar with the term, it is essentially one who does not train but shows up for an event nonetheless. The fourth member is a high school senior and soccer player. The fifth member is my training partner,she is a mother of 5, yoga instructor, marathon runner, triathlon finisher and all around AMAZING woman! Needless to say we had a very eclectic group all who brought their own strengths and training to the table.
The ride down was filled with the one and only member of our team who has completed these events telling us stories of things he had encountered in previous races, that me more nervous. We laughed and bonded and vowed to stick together no matter what happened throughout the day.
We arrived late to the venue and missed our start time due to traffic. This made me even more anxious as I’m a Type A personality not to mention the fact that I was still asking myself, “what did I get myself into?”.
We began the race and it was unbelievable! I have never had a motivational speech given to me prior to the start of any event, the Spartan Race was empowering from the beginning. You start by hearing a story and speech about what a spartan is, followed by the buildup and energy that lead you to the start. The energy and attitude of everyone you are surrounded by is positive, supportive and uplifting. We climbed walls (lots of walls), we carried and pulled numerous things (tires, sandbags, 5gal. buckets full of rocks, cinder blocks and I ourselves) up and down hills, we crawled and swam through mud and had to make our way under yards and yards of barb wire. We had to throw spears, carry boulders, climb rope, scale walls and jump over fire. Did I mention that there was running 8+miles?
3 hours and 5 minutes later we crossed the finished line as a team exhausted but energized at the same time!
From the moment I signed up for the Spartan Race to the second I crossed the finish line I was constantly in fear of what would come next in my training and during the race. Upon completing the race the stories and long car ride home began. It’s been a week and every time I see a teammate we discuss the events of that day and the obstacles that stand out to us, and new things we remember not to mention the sharing of the battle scars we have to show for our EPIC day.
For those of you wondering (like my husband) why people sign up for these races and give their hard earned money to play in the mud the answer for me is simple. I have been competing in races and mud runs for years to prove to myself that I can do hard things, that I can push myself past points that I previously never knew I could, to show my strength to myself, to give myself something to train and strive for. The added benefit of doing these events with friends and and as a team is a bonding experience that others cannot understand as well as creating and building those relationships.
To see a recap of our spartan race filmed by a member of the team on his GoPro checkout this link: http://youtu.be/i7Y5RHoWnK0
I know a Spartan Race might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I encourage each of you to step out of your comfort zone and do a race, event or fun run so you can test yourself, but also make some friendships or bonds that you may have never thought possible!
I AM A SPARTAN and I can’t wait to do it again!
Comment and tell me if you have ever completed in any sort of race, tell me what it was and if you are interested in doing a mud run whether it be a spartan, tough mudder or just a fun mud run.