After two months of training, I have SUCCESSFULLY finished my first Spartan Race. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband and kids, and my friends who raced with me. Words of encouragement, positive energy, teamwork, and perseverance is what I took away from this experience. I also learned how strong I actually am.
I have several stories to share, and one of them could be considered TMI so read at your own risk!
The first obstacle: Monkey Bars
The bars were spread so wide and I wasn’t prepared for the distance. I stepped up the stool for the short folks and still had to jump up to reach the first bar. I misjudged the distance and slipped and fell… and my left side hit the outside of the stool. I wasn’t hurt but my pride was. I moved quickly to the burpee area and did my 30, and while I pressed and jumped, all I could think of how to train to conquer those bars for my next race. I AM going to ring that bell at the next race. Where can I train? I rejoined my team, and they gave me tips for next time. Since I’m so short I need to attack with momentum and swing from one bar to the next. Whew, that’s gonna be fun, and I’m not being sarcastic.
Spartan High: Climbing
When I was training, my topmost concern was my upper body and grip strength so I focused on those. I practiced on an adjustable grip thingy at work, I did a lot of long dead hangs, and double and single farmer carries for half a mile. I also worked hard to complete pull-ups. Believe it or not, I could hardly do three jumping pull-ups and now I can do 15 with a controlled lower! The exercises paid off! I can climb and grip and conquered all of the climbing obstacles, after I got a lift from my friends JC and Mike that is. Hahah. But I was able to lift myself!
Best Moment: The Bender
First off, let me describe this obstacle. Well, ObstacleNinja.com does it better than I could. “The bender is a metal ladder inclined toward you, with the first bar located above your head. Your goal is to climb over and to the other side, without using the support structure or straps.” The first rung was high enough that I had to jump to reach it. My first attempt was unsuccessful. I wasn’t able to do a pull-up to left myself to the second rung. I got off and let my friends, Sandy and Monica, show me how they do it. The jumped up and lifted their legs through the first rung and hung by their knees. Then they used their abs and pulled themselves up the inverted ladder. When they got to the top, they were strong and tall enough to reach the lower rung and pull themselves over the top.
I took their cue but I remembered my gymnastics and took a running start, jumped up, grabbed the rung and swung my feet up through the first and second rung. Boom, I’m up! But I got stuck at the top. I couldn’t reach over the top rung to pull myself over like my friends did, and I started to doubt myself. I called out and said that I wasn’t comfortable and thought of coming down. Then came the words of encouragement and tips from my friends, and a clear voice came out. “Get your leg over and lock your foot on that lower rung!” I looked down and it was a lady all dressed up in a Santa outfit complete with a hat. She smiled at me, and I did what she said. I swung my left leg over the top and pulled hard so that I could fit my foot and leg through the next lower rung. I positioned my foot on the lower rung to act as an anchor and pulled myself over. The solution was so obvious but my self-doubt and fear or heights clouded my thinking. I quickly climbed down and jumped up and down. I hugged and thanked everyone especially that Santa lady. That was my proudest moment!
My TMI Story: Being a lady makes things interesting sometimes
Mother Nature visited me a week early. I got my period the night before the race and had to make an emergency stop at the 24-hour CVS. I bought the ultra tampons because my flow was heavy. I packed tampons in my after-race bag, and I packed three of them in a ziplock bag and carry those in my race belt. I thought I was covered. I was wrong. My flow was so heavy that I bled through a tampon in less than two hours. I went through my stash in no time and continued to bleed all over the place. I wished I wore solid black bottoms, but I had shiny striped black and gray leggings. You could see the red down my inner thighs and I’m sure peeps could see when I tackled the barbed wire fences that were scattered all throughout the course. Yeah, I left my DNA on every obstacle. I made sure to wipe after myself. My team knew about it and that made it easy on me. They still gave me lifts when I needed it. I made sure not to sit on them. Could you imagine if I did? GROSS!!! Despite having a really heavy flow and a pounding headache, I raced well and my energy didn’t end and I was proud of myself. Next time I’ll pack an obscene amount of tampons and wear solid black! I apologize to anyone to followed me on the obstacles!
Focus: Training begins for Jacksonville
I’m crazy I guess but my eyes are already focused on the Jacksonville race in February and I’ve got some scores to settle. Monkey bars, Twister, and anything else similar to monkey bars will be my beeotch. Atlas carry defeated me as well. I couldn’t even roll and lift that concrete ball! I will wear shorts on race day to keep me from slipping off the ropes. I will also work on a pull-up from a dead hang. I can do it half way but I need to get high enough to swing my legs on bars and platforms.
I am very proud of myself. I trained hard and it paid off. I failed some obstacles, but Yoda said that failure is the most important lesson we can get. I have great stories to share as well. My first showing was great and now I have experience for Jacksonville and I can’t wait.