Just after Ironman Lake Tahoe I started tinkering with the idea of doing the Spartan Super Race in Sacramento but I quickly realized that what I actually wanted was a break. After spending well over a year in triathlon training with no real break I was more than ready to hang up my bike, tuck away my swim gear and bring the run miles way down. I figured after a 1-2 weeks I would be anxious to jump back in but that was not the case. Not only was my body enjoying the lazy days, I was enjoying how many extra hours I had in my day. Needless to say the 1-2 weeks turned into a lot more and that is OK!
Because of this I tossed away the idea of doing the Spartan event…that is until about two weeks before when I decided I was going to do it anyway and just have fun!
With the race on Sunday I figured Friday night around 10:30pm was a good time to finally do a little recon work to see what I was getting myself in for. And after doing some goggling and searching here is the most important thing I learned:
The race was actually Saturday…as in tomorrow…as in race morning is less than 7 hours away!!
So recon work was done and mad packing and prep began. Starting the event in panic mode if definitely the best way to set yourself up for success, right?!
About the race:
9.1 miles; 29 obstacles, very hilly off-road (no trails)
Walls: The places where I could pull myself up just enough to smash my tatas into my rib cage at the top of the wall while I tried to figure out of to swing myself over.
Bucket of Rocks: Only fill to the holes not the top. I learned this at the top of the hill when the Spartan worker congratulated me on nice full bucket. At this point I tried to offer my extra rocks to others but oddly enough I got no takers!
Barbed Wire: The places where bad words were used. I am fairly certain I still have gravel embedded in my knee caps.
Monkey Bars: The things that I thought were so easy and fun as a kid. I also blame my lack of success here on my quads and calves…great for cycling bad for rings and monkey bars! #uselessweight
Rope: Did I mention that I have been spending the last 3 weeks learning to paddle board and have to tape my hands because of the blisters? I only ask because my blisters didn’t play well with the rope! But in all fairness I wouldn’t have made it to the bell anyway, but it is much more fun to blame the blisters!
Spear Throw: Of course I couldn’t do this but I do consider it a success that I got in the vicinity of the hay bale without spearing a person. My throwing is so bad that when I went to the State Fair with my brother the carnival worker wouldn’t give me anymore darts to throw because I broke the Paula Abdul square mirror instead of the balloons.
Burpees: What I was actually doing- Jumping in the air and playing in the dirt.
Obstacles that I liked: Carry the 20 pound sand bag up the hill, the traverse wall, the weight on the pulley, the log hopping, dragging the sled-like thing through the dirt, maybe a few others.
Overall Assessment: It was hard! Long before mile 9.1 I realized that the 10-12 miles a week I have been running wasn’t enough. By mile 8 I was done. I started to look at the remaining obstacles with hate in my eyes and by the last wall I mentally was over it. I asked the Spartan worker what my options were and she said basically none – you have to get over it or you’re DQed. So I made it, over ran to the last 2 obstacles and to the finish line to get 31st overall out of 1751 women and 3rd in my AG.
Post-race take-away: Great atmosphere and fun vibe but it would definitely be more fun to be in shape before embarking on a 2+ hr race!