Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Race Recap Spartan Run!

This past weekend I learned how difficult and rewarding it really is to be a mom and an athlete. I'm not a professional athlete, but I dedicate enough time and energy to my fitness that I feel like an athlete. Before we moved to Chicago, I signed up to run the Chicago Spartan Race. Back then, my plan was to run the Super Spartan and I even managed to get my cousin in on the action. Fast forward to last week and being superwoman by working full-time, being a mom, and training for a marathon, I kind of forgot about the Spartan Race. Me forgetting means, I forgot to tell Alex so that he could make sure he wasn't scheduled to work. What happens? He's scheduled to work the weekend and there's no getting around that. Saturday's Super Spartan was not going to happen as I had no one to watch the girls. Thankfully, there was a Spartan Sprint scheduled for Sunday and I did have someone who could watch the girls that day. Lots of scrambling and emails leading up to Sunday, but I was able to get myself signed up and was able to run without worrying too much about my girls because they were at the best place possible: my cousin's house with lots of toys and even more snacks.

My cousin was able to switch his date too and we were both able to experience Spartan for the first time together. This would be my 9th mud run and my cousin's first so I was really hoping he would love these runs as much as I do (I need a mud run partner). Complete success! The Spartan Race did an amazing job at putting Sunday's event together. Checking in was easy and so was trying to change your time to earlier waves. The people were great and their course was stocked with volunteers. This is the first mud run I have ever done where volunteers were at the showing station looking out for open showers for the runners. The trails were no joke and I wish I had a watch so that I could have recorded the level of upness.

As expected, the running was the easiest part for me, even with those trails. I am proud to see that I have gotten stronger with my upper body. The mud was something else; this was definitely the thickest and most slippery mud I have even experienced. The obstacles were as expected with lots of climbing, but there was no way to prepare for that mud. As horrible as the obstacle was, crossing the mud mounds and ditches filled with water between the mounds, was probably my favorite obstacle. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at myself or worked so hard to get myself out of mud.

Spartan Race hits you with the obstacles in the last 1/4 mile: rock climbing wall where you can't touch the floor, climbing up a slanted wall, straight rope climb, swim, wall climb, another slanted wall climb, and jumping over fire. When we first got to the race we watched people climb that last wall and we wondered what must have happened over those 4+ miles to make the runners look so worn and tired. Now I knew.

As soon as we finished, I felt so accomplished. I love doing these events because I feel like a complete badass. I feel strong and, really, just incredibly proud of myself for going outside of my comfort zone and trying something new. I was especially happy I did this event because I felt I deserved a good physical challenge after the mentally challenging week I had before the race. This race reminded me so much of how I felt after my first mud run that it has me dreaming of accomplishing the Spartan Trifecta (Sprint, Super, and Beast) next year. I also got to try Pumpkin beer, so that helped with my elation.

What I liked:

  • The camaraderie: I crossed the monkey bars on my cousin's shoulders. 
  • The course was definitely challenging with those hilly trails. 
  • The obstacles were challenging. Holy cow, were some of them hard. The hardest one for me was carrying a 65-lb stone. 
  • Free beer!
  • Cool medal. 
  • Easy packet pickup. 
  • Lively crowd. 
  • You could get your time as soon as you finished. 
  • Finish line obstacles were perfectly set up for spectating. 
What I didn't like:
  • I'm cheap so I didn't like paying $10 for parking and $5 for bag check. 
  • I liked the shirt, I just didn't like how big it fit me. 
  • Burpees, ouch! (I'm just being a baby)
Next official race is THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!!! I'm so over marathon training so October 12th can't get here soon enough.

For more on my running and training for the Chicago Marathon, follow me on Facebook and Instagram @thecookierunner 

1 comment:

Jillian m said...

I love your blog! So glad you made the race!