I KNOWWWWW! How could I leave you hanging like that?! Well, I just did! *It was done with love lol!*
If you missed the first part, here it is: Spartan Beast & Trifecta That Almost Didn’t Happen (Part 1)
That’s me at the start line. Worried, ecstatic and everything in between. Understandably so! The furthest distance I’d ever run before was 16.8 km and there were NO mountains! This being said, I had my water and gels, AND a friend to run with. Joe ran with me the previous two races too *read more on Spartan Sprint – here, and on Spartan Super – here*; however, we ran at our own pace. This time around, we decided to stick together: Running such a long race is more of a mental game than anything, and we knew that we would need to be there for each other emotionally.
I didn’t have much time to stretch, even though the start was pushed to 10.40 am, but at least I was able to calm down after a whirlwind of an adventure of us getting to the race. I was calm and composed. The plan was to go at a steady pace up hill and speed up on trails as well as while going downhill. I had 6 Gu’s with me, but I was shooting to take one every 5-6 kilometers or so.
The race started out with a gentle hill, but that didn’t last for too long. I considerably slowed my pace, and I was glad I did. The hill was getting really steep. At times, I even had to grab on to trees and their roots to climb huge rocks. It was FUN! Unfortunately, I started getting cramps in my glutes, so I would stop every now and then to massage them a bit.
I am really grateful that my friend was really understanding. I knew, however, that once I got to the flat or downhill path I’d be able to fly, and that thought definitely kept me going. In addition, the weather was overcast, so I didn’t have to worry about the heat.
This race was definitely the most challenging at 24 kilometers long. This time around there was much more mud on slopes, more heavy weight lifting, lots of crawling under the barbed wire be it on a flat surface, incline or in water.There was a fair share of people who were feeling sick, throwing up and unable to walk anymore, which was a good reminder that it’s good to have ambitious goals, but it’s important that they are manageable too. That being said, there was a lot of inspiration all over the place! People constantly making sure that everyone is okay, offering their help to those in need, a lot of cheering and smiles. However, I never imagined I would see anything like this.
I actually saw these guys while running down a very slippery and muddy hill. I was barely able to keep balance on my own when I noticed one of the guys bringing down the wheelchair and another carrying his friend on his back. I even teared up a bit for how great witnessing something like this was!
I forgot about any pain I was experiencing right that moment!
Some of the obstacles I enjoy the most are the rope climb…
Monkey barrel roll *I really have no clue how to call those! It was the first time I ever did it, and I LOVED the challenge!!!*…
*That’s me sweating there on the far right with a red Camelbak! Haha!*
Oh, and monkey bars, of course!
*As you can see it on my face, it’s a piece of cake haha!*
I would be lying if I said I was able to avoid all burpees!
I slipped on the traverse wall…
And I didn’t even attempt completing this challenge and went straight for burpees. *The finish line was about 100 meters away and I had sever lower back pain.*
*Can you see through those rings how excited I was? NOT! Haha!*
As I mentioned before, there were a lot of obstacles that included lifting heavy objects. I was really surprised that most of the times girls had to lift the same weight as guys. Even though I completed all of them, I was really struggling, especially when the weight was distributed unevenly. Definitely something I have to work on!
The second half of the race was mostly run on trails which felt AH-mazing!!! There was also a lot of walking, crawling, swimming in water which was very refreshing and welcome.
And guess what? I actually have a decent jumping over the fire picture this time around!!! The fire was so high that I totally thought that it was gonna be one of those pictures again.
*Aren’t you proud of me?! I, personally, can’t believe I was even able to jump so high after the longest race of my life so far, forget about the face and shape! LOL!*
Want to know another fun fact? I almost broke down crying when the girl was putting the medal around my neck. I was happy, I was overwhelmed, I was tired! To make things even better, my hubby decided to take his coat and turn away as I was running the final stretch, so it took me probably 15-20 minutes to find him. *Mind you, I could barely walk, and and my brain was fried and I couldn’t recall what he was wearing.* And he, poor thing, was still waiting for me at the slippery wall! *I actually was able to see him when I zoomed in on the picture above, looking away, waiting for me to arrive. Haha!*
Anyhow, once I found him, I was a happy trooper again!
Do I have any regrets? Of course! I am definitely saddened *and ecstatic at the same time* that the Spartan Trifecta is complete. Now I need to find another worthy and exciting challenge to complete and train for. Also… Ummm… I regret not taking a granola bar with me, my stomach was definitely unhappy from not eating anything but gels from 7 am till about 5 pm!!! Haha!
Have you ever been upset about completing your goal? What are your favorite obstacles? Any near missed big races?