Thursday, September 13, 2012

I am a Spartan (aka the most difficult event I have EVER accomplished)

This past weekend I did a Spartan Race. A super spartan race to be exact. It is a mud run type obstacle course. Only this was in an actual mountain and Spartan races are considered the hardest events in the whole mud racing world. It puts Tough Mudder to shame apparently.

Going into the race, it was supposed to be 8 miles long. I knew it would be difficult but I felt prepared. I was running up to 7 miles at a clip so I felt confident. I was hoping to finish around 2 hours. We get there and I knew this wasn't going to be like the other races. You are going up the mountain almost the entire time. 3000 feet elevations. There was no running, it was way too steep for that. My anxiety kicked in. I was freaking out. Then the worse news, the race was actually 11 miles long!! I was not prepared for that distance!!!

I got to meet the owner of Spartan Races right beforehand. One of the girls from the gym is actually really good friends with him. As soon as I shake his hand, he says "You know your gonna get hurt right?". W T F. Even on the papers when we get our bibs it says, there is a very real possibility you will die today.....

I shake it off. Figure he's just trying to scare me. We all line up and start to get fired up about the race. Then it begins. And you start literally running up the mountain. For about a mile. Maybe longer. I started running but soon me and everyone else was walking. I was already hurting but then I found out that this is just the first of many inclines we will be doing that day.

The first 3 miles I felt good, I was killing the obstacles and even with the inclines I felt fine. Then all hell broke loose. It got insanely hard. We were going back down the mountain. Which is just as hard as going up hill. It kills your knees and hips. We go to this cliff where we are supposed to jump from 24 feet into a pool. I get there and looked down and decided to skip it. I was way too scared. It was the first obstacle of the day I wouldn't be able to complete. Which meant I had to do 30 burpees. Oh yeah, with this race any obstacle you can't complete you have a penalty and have to do burpees. Awesome.

After the cliff jump there was the highest incline we would be doing. It was at least 2 miles and at some points was crazy steep. It took forever and I was starting to hurt really badly. We do that and then do some obstacles including flipping tires and carrying a sandbag up a quarter mile hill and back down. And then it was back to climbing the mountain. We get to what I think is the top, and was sadly mistaken. There is a huge cliffs that I have to climb up.

That was just the beginning. The top you see in the picture? Well it's lying to you. It just keeps on going!!! This was the most difficult part of the race. It never ended. I got to what I thought would be the top and saw how much more there was to go and I lost it. I completely broke down and started to cry hysterically. I was in so much pain and this was the most mentally difficult thing I have ever done. There were people scattered all over just laying there not being able to move anymore. It wasn't just me. Everyone was hurting. I was crying so badly and finally the nicest man came over to me and helped me up the rest of the way.

He never left me and if it wasn't for him. I would probably still be on the mountain. When we finally actually got to the top, we still had another 4 miles to go. It really just never wanted to end. I started to get upset again, but I just kept on pushing. Thankfully one of my gym friends was with me almost the entire time. If it wasn't for her I would have quit. I know it.

Finally after more horrible obstacles we were in the mile stretch. That's when the obstacles really started to pile up. I was completely delirious at this point. I was mentally broken. And then the final obstacle was a barb wire that you had to crawl/roll under for almost a quarter mile. And it was mostly rocks and mud. It took what felt like forever and it hurt so bad. I pushed through though. I was so close I could taste it.

I saw the finish line. There were two guys there with those giant qtip thingys that you can beat people with? Ready to pummel me. I walked right up to them, and screamed NO! I think they knew I was serious cause they stepped aside and let me pass. I crossed the finish line, saw my trainer smile and I started to cry again. I actually finished.

It took me 4 and half hours but I completed it. Only 1/3 of the people that day actually finished it. That says a lot about how difficult this actually was. It really took a toll on me though. Not only was I crazy sore, but mentally I was out of it. For days. I never wanted to work out again, I felt broken. No one can truly understand what I went through that day, besides the people that were there. I am finally starting to feel back to normal again and starting to grasp at what exactly I accomplished. I not only was able to finish, but I finished in the top 50% overall and 30% in my age group.

As difficult as it was, it really showed me how much I am capable of. Even when I was breaking down, quiting never even crossed my mind. I pushed through and finished it. I am no quitter and I know that better now than I have ever before!

Here is my gym crew before hand. All smiles and ready to go!
Me and my trainer after the race. Exhausted but happy to have finished.

I really am crazy, because I went out that night. I think I was on a high still because I went crazy that night. But paid dearly for it the next day! I couldn't move. I was so out of it, I felt like I was drunk. But this was a weekend I will never ever forget!


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

and this is good for you?

erin - heart in ireland said...

WOW! Congrats on finishing! I don't think I would have been able to!

That is some great perseverance!