Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Conquering the Beast!

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 I took on the Spartan Beast obstacle course race in Sun Peaks, B.C. This race was the last requirement to complete my goal of attaining my trifecta in 2014. The weather was beautiful and I was especially thankful for that considering the previous year they were running in snow.

We arrived at the host hotel and event site on Friday. I picked up a flu bug earlier and wasn’t feeling the best so as soon as we checked into the hotel I went to bed hoping that I would feel much better in the morning. Luckily, although my cold was still present, I did in fact feel energetic and in good spirits for the event.

After picking up my pre-race package, having a carb and protein filled breakfast and stretching I lined up with the others for the 9am heat. Next the customary chanting of “I am Spartan, AROO!!” and we are off.  First obstacle, the Over, Under, Threw and then onward to the continuous climb up the mountain for what seems like forever before any other obstacles at all. The climb is challenging to say the least and I am left wondering how I could have trained differently to make it easier. Uphill hiking, maybe? Although everyone started out in a run I see no one running now and we are all simply hiking up the mountain. Eventually we come to the log carry and then almost immediately thereafter the Hercules hoist. Good, I think to myself, some obstacles to break up the climb. No such luck however. We are on the climb again. A couple more obstacles where spectators can watch, my husband is there to cheer me on and lift my spirits, a water station and we are climbing again. This climb much like the start seems never ending and by now everything is hurting. Calves, butt, hamstrings, quads……B U R N I N G!!!

Finally I make it to “The top of the World” as it’s called and everyone including myself is thinking ok downhill from here. Argh…the downhill only lasts for a short time and we are going up again. Many short downs plus several climbs later and finally I can see the finish line, hear the cheers and am headed down the home stretch.

I can honestly say that the obstacles were the easy part of this race. I was terrified of the covered trench obstacle, being that I am claustrophobic, but with a pep talk from a couple of people near me, I took it on and was happy that I did. I honestly didn’t have the energy for burpees. A little over 14 miles (almost entirely uphill) and 27 obstacles concluded the race. I did have to complete burpees for a couple of obstacles……Always at the spear throw and the rope climb at the end.

This race is by far one of the toughest things I have ever taken on both mentally and physically. There were a couple of moments throughout the race that I wanted to cry, especially at the bucket brigade- it was such a long trek with that bucket full of sand, but I didn’t cry, several of us let out a few choice curse words instead. I jumped the fire after 4:58:40 with a sense of relief, got both my medals, grabbed some water, hugged my husband and then the tears came. Silly? Maybe, but it was an emotional, tough journey.

I am very happy to have taken on this challenge. I achieved my trifecta goal and once again have proven to myself that I am not a quitter but most importantly that I can certainly do anything that I set my mind too.

A huge thank you to my husband for cheering me on, giving me a pep talk before, during and after the race, for telling me how proud he was of me, for my trifecta sweater and simply for the awesome support and encouragement.  

He is intrigued by the beast so it looks like we will be conquering this one together in 2015.
Until next time,

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