Tag Archives: Race review

Spartan Beast & Trifecta That Almost Didn’t Happen (Part 1)

Hi loves!

I’ve missed you! I am sure many of you would like to have an explanation as to why I haven’t posted in a while. I won’t go too much in detail, but let’s put it this way: It’s summer and sometimes I feel like I start seeing my blog as a job *which is not*, so I pull back a bit. I like to be excited about my posts and chose not to write instead of posting just to post. That being said, I love you all and you mean more to me than you’ll ever know!

Those who follow me on Instagram know that I’ve been keeping myself very busy lately. I have A LOT to talk about! However, today, I’d like to tell you all about my Spartan Beast *and Trifecta* that almost didn’t happen a week ago… I am sure you’re dying to hear all about it! And, yes, you read it right… IT ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN! And no, I am NOT being a drama queen here. *Pinky swear!*

no drama

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So let’s all go back to Saturday, July 26. My husband and I went over to my brother-in-law for a BBQ. All I was talking about was how nervous I was and if my hubby thinks I should have another piece of bread to load up on carbs. Needless to say, nobody wanted to hear anything about it. *That’s the bitter truth, people! Haha!*

stop-talking

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My heat was scheduled to start at 10 am on Sunday. It took us about 2.5 hours to get to the venue the previous time, so we decided to leave at 6 am. I woke up around 5.15 am to get dressed and walk Bella for as long as possible. *She had to stay in her crate all day long, and I felt horrible about it.* 

It was around 6.15 am when Justin decided to double check the address of the location. *Please, don’t ask! I guess I was too nervous to even think about it!* That’s when I had a mini heart attack… It WAS at a different location and, according to a GPS, it was about a 3-hour drive!!! What also was weird is that it gave us a different name of the town: Gracefield, QC instead of Lac-Sainte-Marie, Qc.

We headed out the doors and went to Tim Horton’s to pick up a bagel cream cheese as a pre-race snack. The trouble started when we got onto the highway: It started raining cats and dogs! At some point, Justin wasn’t able to control the car for how much water was on the road; nevertheless, I tried to keep my composure. It wasn’t long lived… All I can say is CONSTRUCTION all over Montreal. It seemed to appear out of nowhere. We drove there just a day ago. Nothing made sense. We were driving in circles for at least 30 minutes!!! By that time I was freaking out all the way.

this is too much

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Since it was early Sunday morning and the highways were empty, Justin was able to catch up a bit. We were going to be there just-just…

You think this was the worst?! Imagine my horror the moment we saw our friends driving in the opposite direction as we were about 5 minutes away from the location!!! There was a ‘slight’ error on the Spartan Race website. They put ‘rue’ (street) instead of ‘chemin’ (way) in the address. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!! There are pretty much 2 identical addresses in 2 different towns within 20 minutes from each other with the same first three letters/digits of the postal code!!! And the GPS didn’t give us options!!!!

are you f-ing kidding me

At that point, we realized that there was no way we’d make it for the 10 o’clock heat, but we’d be okay for the last one departing at 10.30 am. I tried to keep my nerves under control… It’s definitely heart breaking to even consider that something you’ve been working hard for so long may not happen after all!

When we got to the correct address, there was no signs or a mountain. Thankfully, we saw some random people passing by who were able to guide us as to how to get to our destination. We got to the venue at 10.27 am. I was literally shaking. It was so bad that I had to ask a friend of mine to attach a chip to my shoe, I couldn’t pass a tie wrap through a hole. At least, I was there!!!! 24 kilometers later, I’d be a Trifecta Finisher! It was now all up to me to make it happen…

at the start line

TO BE CONTINUED…

xoxo
Olena

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An Exciting Weekend Adventure: Ottawa Spartan Sprint Recap

Hi guys!

How was your weekend? Did you live it up to the fullest?

If you’ve been following my blog, you most likely know that I ran the Spartan Sprint in Ottawa yesterday. Well, small correction… The race itself was actually held at Edelweiss Valley, a ski mountain and resort located in Wakefield, Quebec, only about 20 minutes north of Ottawa.

Edelweiss Spartan Sprint

Since Montreal is about 250 km away, Justin and I left home around 7.15 am.  We decided to pass by my favorite coffee shop, Tim Horton’s, *you certainly know the story of how it saved my life and therefore became my favorite location, lol!*  to grab a plain bagel and a coffee to fuel for the race.

The bagel definitely hit the spot; however, I never finished my coffee. I was too excited to drink it because:

  • my hubby was running the race with me,
  • after completing the Sprint, I have only a Spartan Beast to finish in order to get the Trifecta medal *= 2/3 done*,
  • oh, and my toenail came off the day before, so I didn’t have to worry about it getting inflamed again!!!

When we got to the parking lot, we were surprised to find out there was a shuttle bus that would take us to the venue. It was unexpected, but I enjoyed a short 5-minute drive since everyone inside was so hyper and ready to embark on the adventure. It was contagious!

eager to start

Initially, we were registered for 12 pm. However, our friends and us decided to run at 11 am to avoid the heat as much as possible. *It was an extremely hot and humid day!* We quickly checked-in, dropped off our bags and located the rest of the group. 30 minutes later we were ready to run.

I love the hype at the start line. All participants are  asked the question ‘Who am I?’ They joyfully shout back ‘I am a Spartan!’  and then scream off the top of their lungs ‘Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!’

Right off the back, this creates a tight bond among everyone and readiness to overcome whatever is thrown our way. However, this can also be tricky. I learned it the hard way at the Montreal Super Spartan Race. I started sprinting up the hill from the get go; not even 5 minutes into it, my lungs were on fire. It probably took me a good half an hour to recover afterwards.

This time around, I decided to control my excitement, and I am very glad I did so. The first hill was extremely steep, but I was able to keep up a fast walking pace without stopping.

steep hill

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There was much more mud compared to my previous race. A lot of people tried to avoid it, but I embraced it. It definitely helps to avoid crowds on either side of it. This also meant a pretty dirty barb wire crawl, but I couldn’t help but laugh at it! The truth is, I’ll take rolling in cool mud over being under the merciless sun. But… lots of mud made for a hard rope climb. Gosh… how slippery it was! At some point I wasn’t even sure if I’ll be able to reach the darn bell because I kept slipping down. After weighing my options, I chose kicking the bell over doing burpees! *It didn’t take long to figure this out either. Hehe!*

slippery rope climb

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*The image above is NOT from my race, but you get the idea!*

Needless to mention my upper body was shot and I wasn’t able to complete the traverse wall. ‘A mistake was worth 30 burpees. I was very much like that guy in the picture below: MISERABLE! Lol!’

traverse wall

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There were other obstacles too, such as a Hercules hoist, sandbag carry, heavy object carry, etc., but the one obstacle I can’t seem to tame is the spear throw. Hopefully, it’ll stick in the hay stack the next time!

What I found extremely challenging during this race is the heat. At some point, there was no shade for a long stretch and I felt pretty light-headed. Thankfully, I had a Camelbak and Gu with me. Also, there were these giant fans *in 2 different locations* that blew an enormous amount of water mist as we were trying to walk through a pretty deep mud patch. The mist was very dense and I could barely see. But it was definitely a blessing in disguise, it was so refreshing!!! *On a side note, I was wearing contact lenses and this mist caused me to see mini rainbows, which made me think I was hallucinating. Later on I found out I wasn’t alone. Fewh!* 

not-sure-if-seeing-things-or-eat-this-brownie-meme

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After the second mile, the race was really really enjoyable! It was mostly downhill too *duh!*, and there was pleasant breeze blowing. A variety of wall jumps, hay bale jumps, net climb, fire jump, slippery wall, and a rope descent flew by, and the next thing I knew I was done!

Finish line

The only thing I really regret is that Justin got a little behind and we couldn’t do a fire jump holding each others hands. *There is usually a photographer who takes pictures of participants.* But I made it up by having this picture taken.

Spartan couple

*Aren’t we an adorable Spartan couple?*

We walked around a little bit to see different vendors on site and got some free Oikos yogurt. Finally, after having everyone of our group finish the race, we went to take a ‘shower’ that was more of a hose down *But, hey! I’m not complaining!*. While standing in line, I OBVIOUSLY took a picture with this beautiful backdrop. *I’m NOT referring to the garbage bins. LOL!*

Spartan Sprint check

It was a wonderful adventure and I am already looking forward to the Spartan Beast, which will take place at the same location in 4 weeks. Woop Woop! Beast mode is ON!!!

Did you have any races this weekend? What are your biggest fears during a race?

xoxo
Olena

 

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