Monday, September 24, 2012

Spartan Beast: all tied up




Saturday I raced the Spartan Beast in Killington, Vermont. I was signed up to compete in both the 1 loop beast and 2 loop ultra...1 loop consisting of 13 miles of rugged (and I mean rugged!) terrain with about 40 obstacles including everything from barbed wire to rope climbs to swimming to carrying a sandbag uphill. I was convinced that this was a runner's race. So, yes once again I fell for Andy and Joe's deceptive persuasion and went in with a runners mentality and some very weak arms.

A mile into the race I cursed the Spartan gods because I knew I was in over my head. I wasn't going to be running any sub-6 min miles out there. I was lucky to be running at all but I was determined to be top 3 in both races. After a few freezing cold mud baths, scaling walls, pulling weighted sleds, and trekking up and down queen Killington, I still managed to be in fighting position. I came into the rope traverse at mile 10 in second or third place. This was the one obstacle we had to complete in order to compete for money and let's be honest, I was there to make some cash. I had met my match. My arms were shattered at this point. I had three attempts to ring that damn cowbell that hung a solid 50 yards away. I have never climbed across a rope in my life and I'm no tight rope walker. I first attempted to scoot my way hanging underneath but my arms could not hold me no matter how much weight I shifted to my legs. Second attempt, I attempted an 'on top the rope' position though quickly realized my balance, in not my most eloquent of words, sucks so I flipped over under the rope again with no strength to get to that cowbell. I gave myself a few minutes before my final attempt and to make me feel even worse I see one of the girls pull out a carabineer, really?! Well, in my third attempt I realized that it ain't no runners race and splashed into the water. I was out. I mean I didn't quit the loop but I was out and as if I didn't feel like enough of a pile of poop already, I was gently reminded that I had 30 burpees. UGH! Then of course, I got stung by a bee and since I was so disappointed and ticked off, I started yelling at the bee like a crazy lady on crack. Low point. Anyways, I succumbed to my fate and walked, trudged the last 3 miles at a very lazy pace. I even missed 2 more easy obstacles because my head was out of it so yes, 60 more burpees.

No second loop for me. Failing the rope transverse pretty much took me out of elite contention so I packed it in and knew I met my match and that I was not trained to race a Spartan race. I am no dummy. What's the quote...fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?! When I race another Spartan, I will be ready and when I'm ready, buckle up.

Well, at the end of the day I came away with completely shattered arms, legs, and confidence. I realize I have been training for speed and not in the slightest bit for strength so I am proud to have held it together for as long as I did. I actually loved the race. I loved getting bloody, bruised, and utterly destroyed in a way no road race ever could hurt me. I will be back to compete at a Spartan race because I absolutely hate failing and am a sucker for challenges but my main goal remains getting under that 2:45 marathon time so back to the roads and track. Somehow I have to manage piecing my body back together for next weekend's Vermont 50k trail race. It might be ugly because I am hurting!

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