Spartan Races

Dave and I are only a week and a few days away from our biggest race weekend of the year. The Hawaii Trifecta weekend. A 13 mile Beast on Saturday, then an 8 mile Super and a 3 mile Sprint on Sunday. This is going to be intense. Training has kind of taken over our lives and I haven’t really been able to focus on much else during this time – which explains why I’ve been MIA here. Hoping that will change soon.

Part of me feels so incredibly ready for this race, like I’ve been ready since the middle of July when we raced the AT&T Spartan Stadium Sprint and I felt absolutely amazing through the entire race and only missed 2 obstacles. (once again, damn that spear throw)
20150721203343 2015072119573920150721200339 20150721200543 20150721200605{Because a post is no fun to read without some photos, here are some photos from the AT&T Stadium Sprint, which was one of the funnest races I’ve run to date}

Despite all our training and confidence, there is also a part of me that doesn’t feel 100% ready. I am still struggling with some health issues that have really inhibited my running, and I haven’t been running the trails the way I should. I’ve substituted the absence of my running capability with spinning and other cardio methods that will at least up my endurance – but my hill-climbing muscles are going to be put to the ultimate test in Hawaii and I’m afraid they won’t be able to perform how I want them to. AKA – I’m terrified of cramping up on the race.

Other than those concerns, mentally I think we are both ready, and won’t have an issue with finishing. We’ve progressed up to a few three-a-day workouts focusing on strength, cardio, then skills – and have been training in the heat of summer that California has been offering us. The humidity and heat combo down here in SoCal has been no joke, but we took full advantage of it and trained in it to get ready for the same kind of weather in Hawaii. It’s been exhausting but really beneficial. I am ready to take on this epic challenge…. and then relax for a week on the beach. YESSSSSSSSS.

My goals for these 3 races are mainly to FINISH. As I continue to race these Spartan races, I do want to improve my times, and improve my performance on the obstacles, but I’ve never done three tough races over the course of two days, especially in a climate like this, so Dave and I have made a game plan to pace ourselves and focus on completing the courses safely and efficiently. No need to push ourselves beyond reasonable measures. Hydration, completing obstacles safely, and pacing ourselves is the goal. We have more races in the Fall where we can focus on faster completion times, and possibly competing in the Elite division.

It’s hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by. Seriously how is it already August? One more week of intense training, then a taper week… then the race is here. Here we go.

 

Saturday was the 2015 Monterey Super. My friends and I all headed up to Monterey Friday night, and woke up bright and early Saturday morning to catch the shuttle to the race venue.
We got there incredibly early, which was fine since we had plenty of time to stretch, warm up and watch some of the first Elite men and women cross the finish line. It was really inspiring. Someday I will be brave enough to enter an elite wave.
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After stretching we checked in our bags and headed to the starting line.

This past weekend Dave, myself and our good friend Eric drove down to Temecula to complete our 2014 Trifecta. Back in September we attempted this race during an insane heat wave, and had to race in extremely dangerous conditions – 107° heat out in the hills of Southern California with no shade in sight. Long story short, they ended up cutting the race short at the 8 mile marker and turning everyone around toward the finish line, so we weren’t able to complete the race. Because of this, they offered a complimentary do-over race in January, which we gladly registered for.

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Last weekend, we finally completed our 2014 Trifecta and our first ever 12+ mile Spartan Beast.IMG_4511 2014 Spartan Beast Finishers
Oh the glory of fitting all the pieces from my race medals in this medal case. I’m pretty proud of this hard-earned treasure.

ABOUT THE RACE: In a nutshell, it was grueling, challenging, and extremely difficult at times. But I was in much better endurance shape this time around than I was back in September. I had trained a lot more on hill running, and strength training, so I was able to complete almost all of the 38 obstacles on the course. I only had to do 60 burpees total for failing to complete 2 obstacles; the spear throw and the rope climb. (Someday I will defeat you, rope climb!!!)

MY biggest hurdle for these races is my calves cramping up around mile 6, and dealing with that for the entire second half of the race. I found that bringing a 50 oz camel bak, and also stuffing it with individual packets of almond butter were my saving grace. That almond butter provided good fats for energy and enough salt to keep my cramping calves manageable. I am definitely bringing almond butter on future races. Best decision ever.

They boys were a little jealous at the end of the race because I was the only one with a Spartan battle scar. I was wearing shorts during the race, and one the second to last obstacle, we slid down this giant hill into mud, and well, I hit a big rock that was hiding under the mud, which gave me a pretty good scrape and bruise on my right leg. This photo really doesn’t do it justice.
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It’s been 3 days since the race and the bruise looks pretty gnarly. I’ll be glad when this thing is healed, because it ain’t pretty and it doesn’t feel great either. Sure its cool to have battle scars after the race, but when you go back to normal life, the scab/bruise just gets in the way. HAHA

Dave and I are really looking forward to completing another Trifecta in 2015! This one was amazingly fun, and I can’t wait to see how we improve for our upcoming races this year!