Sunday, May 26, 2013

Journey to the Race: Day 70 RACE DAY

I've worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down and I will not let myself down.
-Mia Hamm

Today was the day we've been training for! The Spartan Race! A 5k run with 15(ish) obstacles where if you can't complete and obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. We woke up at 7, left at 8, and got there around 9-930. We had to take a bus to the hill because there were already so many people that we had to park far away. When we got there the number of people was overwhelming; there were thousands of people. We lined up to check in and get our numbers, then got our bibs and time chip set up and checked our bags. By the time we did all of this, we had about 10 minutes until the heat which was stressful. We got to the start line on time, and got pumped up by everyone around us.

And then we were off, running up a very steep hill to the top of the mountain. And before I continue let me say, that everything was mud. Uphill, downhill, everything. Mud and rocks. It was less of a run and more of a trek or hike. At the top we had to lift and lower a weight by rotating a bar above our heads (may sound and look easy but man does it hurt your arms). We then ran back down the muddy, rocky mountain where we came to the bottom obstacles where we had to crawl under barbed wire in mud and rather large rocks. My knees and shins were so sore and bruised, oh my gosh. We then had a shorter mud crawl, then running/climbing through tires on the ground which were full of mud, then climb over a wall. Lauren and I did not master the wall climbing technique until the second wall so the first time over the wall was interesting to say the least.

Then crawl over an ice mound covered in mud (of course) which was extremely cold as I'm sure you can imagine. After freezing our hands, back up the hill we went, this time climbing over big tubes. I expected maybe 5 tubes but they just didn't end, they went about halfway up the mountain. We then had to trek through the muddy forest and more uphill hiking then for the last big hill we had to carry a sandbag up and back down before climbing back up again. Thankfully there was a water station at the top that was greatly appreciated at that point. After the station we had to drag a cinder block on a chain around in the mud before heading to the walls where we had to climb over, then through a window in it (which was so fun). After going back down the very slippery muddy and rocky mountain (and twisting my ankles about 5 times), we came to the hercules lift where you lifted a very heavy block using the rope. This went fairly well except that instead of letting go of the rope as it fell back down, I held on and got rather bad rope burn. Then we came to the coolest obstacle: the fire pit! I took a running start and jumped over, and it was so fun. Next was the cargo net that we had to climb over.

I did not like this one, it was by far my least favorite of the obstacles. The rope swung anytime anyone moved and there were easily 20 people climbing at a time. I got to the top, tried to go down the wrong way and sort of got myself stuck but a nice man behind me helped me get myself situated so I could descend properly. And then the next mentally challenging obstacle: the dark, enclosed tunnel. Not so fun if you don't like enclosed spaces. We managed to get through it and then we had to run back up the mountain again which was not so fun. At the top we once again had to carry a weighted object, this time an ammo box, up and back down that last hill before continuing to walls. The ammo box was heavy so I carried it against my leg to sort of take some of the weight. This turned out to be a bad idea, my right thigh is so unbelievably sore and bruised so don't do that if you do the run. Then we had to go over, through, and then under the walls. Under was probably the worst because there was a hose to create more mud under it, and instead of crawling under I decided to roll which ended up with me being absolutely covered in mud (not that I wasn't before, but it was much worse at this point). And then once again down the slippery slope being careful not to fall. Once at the bottom we came to the javelin where you had to hit a hay target; there was a long line and very few were really able to do it so Lauren and I opted for burpees on this one. And then came the rest of the awful ones all at the end. The 3 giant hay stack things weren't bad at all, but then came the giant collection of monkey bars, rope climb, and rings. Each counted as a separate obstacle and by that point everything was muddy and slippery so they were next to impossible for us and we did burpees for each. And after that came one last big obstacle; you had to use a rope to climb up an incline, then get to the platform at the top where you'll lower yourself down a rope on the other side. This one was fun except I learned it's a lot easier to climb a (non muddy) rope and descend than to descend from a platform. Something about heights maybe. And then came the final challenge, get past the spartans with big padded batons at the end who are allowed to hit you. I ran in a group and only got hit once and water kicked in my face so not too bad but not terribly pleasant either. And then we were done!!! We got our medals, tshirts, took photos and then wondered what to do about our completely covered in mud clothes.

There was a washing station but the water was absolutely freezing so I just washed my hands a bit then decided I'd rather sit in the car in muddy clothes than freeze and get changed. So we walked back to the car, put plastic bags all over our chairs and drove home. We still weren't allowed in the house covered in mud so we were swept with a broom, then had to get any large amounts of mud off before we were allowed in the garage where we had to ditch any muddy clothing before we were allowed in the house. I took the longest showers ever, and I still have dried mud on me, I figure it'll take a couple showers but I've got the worst off. Was kind of shocked by the state of my legs though; my knees are extremely bruised and I have scrapes and cuts all over my shins. Not to mention I'm already sore and will no doubt absolutely ache tomorrow. So the question is, was it worth it? Absolutely. :)

I'll update this with a link to the video whenever I get it made and posted.
**Updated: **

And last but not least, I want to thank the gym for having such an amazing program with incredible trainers. I couldn't have done it without you and you made training so much fun. I'm going to miss our sunday training sessions but hopefully will see you again next year. :)