At work, we partnered with Spartan to create a training program to prepare runners to tackle the obstacles in these crazy races. (This post is not at all sponsored by Daily Burn or Spartan.)
So naturally, someone at work decided we should run one of these races, too. And you know me, I can’t turn down a race, so I plunked down a big hunk of cash (these things are not cheap) and then kind of forgot about it. I wish I could say I followed our program, but in full disclosure, I totally didn’t.
The race totally snuck up on me and all of a sudden, it was race day. And it was pouring. SWEET. One girl on the team ended up deferring until june, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at that option, too, but everyone else was running, so I was NOT about to bail.
Wtf do you wear in that kind of weather, though? I ended up wearing some knee high compression socks over running tights, and a windbreaker over a long-sleeve, and hoped for the best. I braided my hair to attempt to avoid any snarls in thick, wet hair.
We got there, and I saw one of the final obstacles, monkey bars, and freaked out a bit. I can’t monkey bar, much less in the rain, my brain screamed! What am I doing?
Since I’d hauled ass out to Citi Field, though, I was going to do the damn thing.
I signed what felt like a million waivers, including one that said there was a very real risk of death or serious injury. No, but, really, WTF?!
One of the guys on the team said he had a tradition of having a beer before every one of these races. He’d done four or five and gotten through them, so I took his advice and chugged a Bud Lite, and before I knew it, it was time to start. Side note: our start time was 2:30. I can get behind that kind of start time, especially since we were definitely NOT running in the sun.
And THIS mesh wall was one of our first obstacles. I climbed about two feet up and freaked out, and again went to that negative space — WHAT AM I DOING HERE? How am I going to get through the rest of this race if I can’t do this one?
If you can’t/don’t do an obstacle, you have to do burpees. It’s a good thing I’m that sicko that actually likes burpees, because I did quite a few during this race, including for this obstacle.
After this obstacle, I vowed to take each obstacle as they came and not automatically go to that negative place. There were a total of 20 obstacles, including a spear throw (yes, really), multiple walls to climb/jump over, a rope to climb, a sandbag to lift with a rope, a sandbag to carry up the stairs…
And oh, the stairs. Since this was at a stadium, we climbed no less than one gazillion stairs, and my quads and calves are still feeling it! We ran the stairs in the seats; we ran the stairs between levels; we ran the concourses. I tried to run as hard and strong as I could when we were actually running, since that was my only real strength here.
These look relatively unassuming, no? LIES. These were actually the medium height ones; there were some shorter, some taller. The taller ones I freaked out about the first time, and then accepted help from a kind coworker who literally let me climb him. Once I got over one of those with his assistance, I felt so much more empowered and ready to take on (literally) whatever obstacles came in my way. Right after I got over that one, there was a series of shorter walls to jump over that was SO MUCH FUN.
My watch stopped working at some point, and I didn’t really have a sense of how long things were taking us, or how many obstacles we had left to go, until we got to the hand-release push-ups inside the stadium, and we were told we only had two obstacles left!
Bring. It. On. For those last two obstacles, we ran in the dirt on the field, and although I’m not a Mets fan (I’m a glutton for punishment in other ways…), it was pretty freaking cool to run on the field!
(Yeah, sort of into it.)
We came, we saw, we Spartan-ed. We finished in 1:19, which I have no idea if that’s good or bad, but hey.
And “I could never do one of those crazy obstacle course races without hurting myself” is a lie to myself I totally busted. I walked away with a few bruises and some soreness, but otherwise totally survived this race, in the rain, even!
Total shameless plug that you can try our Daily Burn Spartan program (or any of our other programs!) for 30 days free here.
Have you ever/would ever do a Spartan Race or another obstacle course race?