WOW! I mean, just wow. Yesterday was the Spartan Race and I don’t think that I could actually write about it yesterday because I don’t think I was able to understand what it really was until it was able to settle a bit. Yesterday, I don’t think that I understood that magnitude of what I did, of what my team did. Particularly because we didn’t have our rankings… but even without those I don’t think I would have understood it.
First, let me tell you about this race. The team drove in three separate cars and met at the race. The race was at Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center in Tuxedo, NY.
#Teamfly consisted of: Danielle, Ryan, Jesse, Susannah, Alix, Justin, Chris and myself. Who, from here on out will be named BAC (Bad Ass Crew). Honarary members & the greatest supporters EVER were Farrah (Jesse’s wife) and Ben & Lillie (my fam… Also, Lillie KILLED the kid’s spartan race. SO PROUD).
We were all pretty amped when we got to the mountain. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. There were racing heats that had been going for over an hour already, so when we got to the race site we could see other racers going. The very first thing you saw when you walked in was the ropes challenge. It was DEFINITELY getting me excited… and nervous. But, mostly excited.
We sort of all stood around bullshitting, waiting for the announcer to call out the 11:15 heat. Talked to Lillie about her race and how I knew she would be amazing and then… we heard the call. 11:15 Spartans, it’s time!
We were basically corralled like cattle all waiting for the take off. We were in the way back of the heat, the eight of us READY TO GO. BOOM! It was time. We started jogging lightly and headed down a small hill and then there was our first obstacle of sorts. We had mini hills we had to climb and jump into a pool of mud while people shot us with fire hoses. There were 3-4 hills/mud pools and the water felt awesome. What a great way to start, get dirty right away, get a tough spray of water and GO!
For me, the first mile was by far the toughest. There were almost no obstacles. Now, I want you to imagine a steep ski mountain – not the ski slopes, but the woods off slope. Now imagine yourself climbing up the slope, but instead of it being nice and slope like, it is incredibly rocky and woodsy. Oh yeah, it also completely monsooned the entire day before. So, the course was pretty much an incredible slippery, muddy, rocky pile of awesome. It is interesting, when you choose to do one of these races, you focus so much on how it is an obstacle race, I think you tend to forget that it is still a race. When I thought about it, in my mind the obstacles took up the race and the rest was just getting to and from the obstacles… that is NOT the right way to look at this. HA! You stop, do an obstacle and it takes up zero space… what takes up the four miles? Oh! The the four miles of land… the running/walking to each obstacle. It is still a race and the basis is still getting to each obstacle by running/walking to it. So, the first mile I expected obstacles up the wazoo… I got a mile of almost straight rock climbing, muddy path running and panting my ass off. It was TOUGH.
The team split up and formed mini-teams. My mini was Ryan and Alix and thank God for them. I truly don’t think I would have been able to do the race without their support, smiles and amazing energy. They probably took a good 20-25 minutes off their time just by running with me and I am so appreciative, grateful and, a little guilt ridden.
The first obstacles were small hurdles and a few walls. As I assumed, the walls and I didn’t get along. Pulling up almost 200lbs is NOT easy and was NOT something I was capable of doing. But, Ryan really helped me get over those walls (a lot of people got over with a little hoist from a friend)… I think Ryan may owe me dinner with where his hands
were, but I think it can easily be excused with what we were doing 😀
I would have to say that the obstacles that had to do with brute strength – tractor pull (pulling a heavy rock by chain up and down a hill), the log carry (self explanatory), tire drag (pulling tire up a hill via rope) and pulley pull (lifting a heavy weight via pulley and rope to the top of the rope and then slowly letting it down until it hit the top without dropping) & sand bag carry – were decently easy for me.
The really difficult ones were the rope climb, all of the walls, the monkey bars and the trail in general were certainly the most difficult.
Other obstacles like the vertical cargo (rope net wall) were fine and I was surprised how easily I was able to do the slip wall climb (where you pull yourself up the wall via rope). Then came the barbed wire crawl. This was EFFING LONG. I’m pretty sure it went up what would have been the mountain’s bunny slope. Basically, you crawl LOW under barbed wire, yeah, you go especially low when you hit the berms (bumps) in the course because the ground goes up but the wire doesn’t. It was really rocky and pebbly and LONG. Oh, and then they decided to turn on the fire hoses while we were going.
Last but not least, we jumped over the fire, ran past the Gladiator Pit where guys pretend to try to knock you down and then CROSS. THAT. FINISH. LINE. I finished last on my team, but who gives a shit, because did you see the first two words in this sentence??? I FINISHED! I am a SPARTAN!
I mean this is a tough race! Period. I don’t care if you’re a top athlete or just a group of weekend warriors, this is a true test of athleticism and I did it. We got our standings today. At first, all that I saw was that I was 2,735 with a time of 2:15:43 and I kind of felt defeated. Then I realized that one year ago I was panting running less than a 1/4 mile and the thought of doing anything for more than an hour would floor me. And then, again, I realized that there were 4,432 people in the race which means I finished in the 62% percentile and, for my first race and being where I am in shape-wise, I can handle that number. I’m just excited to see where I get next year.
I do have to say that I could not be more proud and inspired by my team mates. The excitement pre-race, to me, showed the incredible heart, love and determination this group has. It didn’t matter where we were in the race, it didn’t matter where we finished, we were a team through and through.
Post race we went to the Devine residence and they had an amazing feast waiting for us… and a pool and hot tub! It was the perfect end to the perfect day.
A bit after I got home, I got a text from Danielle that simply said “So proud of you!” It meant the world and that was exactly how I felt. Just so proud. So proud of my team, so proud of each and every racer and truly proud of myself. I normally brush things like this off, I normally say “yeah, that’s cool” and change the subject, but now I realize why. I might be tough on myself and only give myself credit here and there because quite often I just feel like some of my accomplishments are a normal part of my journey, I also feel like true hard work is what you congratulate. And, for yesterday, I congratulate myself. I give myself a congrats not only for yesterday, but for all the days leading up to it that I blew off as any other day and any other workout because it was those day by day workouts at Flywheel, As One, Body Space Fitness and a few other places that let me be able to even compete and that feels awesome… and is important to remember.
I AM A SPARTAN.
PS MY VERY PROUDEST MOMENT:
PPS I REALLY need to give a shout out to someone who inspires me constantly. A true athlete and a true friend. Danielle Devine is a constant source of inspiration to me. Working out with her at As One, taking her class at Fly. She is what being an athlete is all about. Danielle finished 215th overall with a time of 1:20:57. There are no words I can say except I am utterly in awe and honored to have someone so awesome and inspirational in my world.