I just finished my second Spartan race in my series of 3 in 2017, I'll soon have the final piece to the trifecta medal, but I've got to continue my training for The Beast in November. Before I dive into that, I am looking back at what I accomplished. I was driving home with some teammates and they were talking about how they did on the race, which obstacles they achieved, how fast they ran, how easy it was thanks to some crazy expensive fitness classes they take.
I sat there and got discouraged comparing my time to theirs, and thinking I should've done better and THEN ….. I realized I am NOT them. I did not finish the race in 3 hours, nope I was an hour slower. I did not climb the rope successfully again, I decided to skip it as I had sliced the palm of my hand open earlier in the race. When we talked about the race, our times, results etc. I felt judged. "Oh, you didn't get that obstacle?!? Oh the tire flip was SO easy for me. I'm not sore, if you are sore then you need to do more of A, B & C." I've trained for seven months, not the same way as them, but I trained. I don't have an extra $100-300 each month to pay people to help me train, but I was able to easily do obstacles not everyone else could. I didn't run the whole time because we had a teammate injured on the course. I stuck with him and we enjoyed the race, injuries and all. Can you imagine climbing a mountain for 4 hours with two tweaked knees?!? I can't, and I would love a teammate to stick with me to get through. I thought team was about encouraging one another, pushing each other to excel, not judging. I realize now that this race is about me and MY progress.
There is not I in team, ever heard that? Well in this case I realize on my team, you're on your own. You pat yourself on the back, set you own goals, slay those goals, appreciate what your body JUST accomplished and work towards more progress. I may have been slow, but I wasn't looking to break a leg or ankles on a mountain 2 miles from medics. I am strong because the obstacles were less fatiguing than last time. 29 obstacles in 8.2+ miles climbing 2,900 ft elevation for 4 hours, not a walk in the park. I did that! That is something amazing and I should be thankful for my healthy mobile body! I also was able to carry the concrete atlas ball, climb 8 foot walls, take everything this course threw at me and keep going. I also stopped at the top of this amazing mountain to appreciate the view of the mountain and that I literally climbed from bottom to top in difficult terrain! I may not have done it exactly like everyone else, but I finished. I may not have climbed the rope, but I was able to get across a few rings and obstacles others couldn't. So I'm going to compare myself to MYSELF and take pride in the strengths I do have now. I going to remember I accomplished something I thought was impossible three months ago, it wasn't a breeze, but I felt good and enjoyed the damn view from the top. I talked to one of the top athletes on our team and he struggled a bit towards the end with muscles cramping. He asked me about my obstacles and I said I was proud of myself because I was able to accomplish 4 swinging rings this time due to being stronger and how he trained me prior to the course as a teammate. I said I may not have completed the whole obstacle, but I crossed those three rings, that's progress and I'm all about progress. My progress, nobody else's. So for now I'm enjoying my medal, remembering the course and what it taught me mentally and physically, and focusing on my progress and the goals I have for myself for the next race. 14+ miles plus obstacles in November, "The Beast" spartan run.
If you considering doing a race, you must TRAIN! Unless you are already a cross fitter, but training will make the race more enjoyable. Also the strangers on this race that literally cheer you on, offer a hand, lift you up, pick you up etc. is amazing. Strangers cheer on strangers and help one another. It's truly inspiring. How did I get here: 5-6 training sessions per week, HIIT is my new goal to add. Lots of strength training mixed with cardio has been my focus, but time to step up and push myself with more mileage and a RedZone class or Orange theory. The training has been tiring, frustrating but the results are clear when I look in the mirror or succeed at a new strength task. Best purchases for the race were my under armor heat gear compression pants, adidas tank with wicking technology and my innov8 shoes. Innov8 get you through mud water, over gravel and don't hold water and create added weight. The UnderArmour compression pants don't hold water and can drain quickly to keep you moving comfortably. They also protected my knees from cuts and held to up really well through mud, gravel and climbing walls. Best part, when the black climbing walls had scorching surfaces, I was covered.