Friday, July 1, 2011

Who's A Chicky SPARTAN!?!?

Ahhh, I have been meaning to get this done. Oh blog, how I have neglected you.... I have been recovering from and anticipating pictures from the Carolinas Super Spartan Race. They were posted the other evening, and much to my chagrin, not too many of my smiley face were found. There were about 12 of me crawling the barbed wire (half were not a positive angle) and I have spent the better part of the last 48 hours debating if it is worth purchasing them at all... Until I can decide (leaning toward no) to buy these shots (bib# 16744), I am going to share other peoples moments of exhibited athleticism (hope you don't mind!!!) from the Spartan Race fb page (and yes, you should go & 'like' them!).

Having said all of that, the event itself - Pretty Friggen AWESOME!

As Heather & I made our way up to Winnsboro, SC (yeah I didn't know where that was either), at o'dark thirty Saturday morning, the nervous energy was just buzzing...or was that because Heather was stenciling our shirts with permanent marker?!?! Anyway, there was some buzz and I did at one point have to open my window! Our best laid out plans for these uber creative shirts didn't exactly go as planned but I really think they turned out so great - and we were even complimented on them a few times during the race!

I really, really, REALLY wanted to have some awesome pictures of me and Heather to show off the race, and our athletic ability (or just sheer will to finish) - that, and at some point of the race, I was fully depleted of energy stores and my memory section of my brain shutdown because I feel like I spent half a day trying to remember what happened when... So Jason Miller (psychoiiimoose) obviously a forward thinker, had avoided this conundrum by strapping himself with a Spartan-Proof video camera - so THANK YOU Jason - you have made my recap just a little easier (and you made it look easier than I remember it WARNING: Explicit Lyrics, so if you are viewing in the office or around rugrats, use the mute button or put on the earmuffs!

As we approached the Starting line, I glanced around... not too many people in this last wave of the day... that's ok, it's not competetive at this point, we just want to finish! Heather, well she is always nervous about races, any race, which is crazy because there's no money at I looked up at this hill, it seemed bigger than a hill really, and there was a line of fire...hmmm... Heather and I were debating as to whether we were going to have to jump over it as we were run uphill. As it turns out yes, that is exactly the expectation - quick lesson in gravity and momentum - this was not Luckily, they had Sparky the fireman up there, hose at the ready, dousing any poor s.o.b. who's shoes caught fire (I actually heard there was a chick whose laces went a blaze and ended up with burns, but that was scuttlebutt and not first hand facts).

After leaping ever so gracefully over the flames, it was into our first water feature (doesn't that sound so homey?) - have I mentioned my distaste for clay dirt? Yeah, it's part of what makes South Carolina, well South Carolina! In I went, and when I came out, I busted my a$$ not once but twice because if you didn't know it, when clay is wet, it's just a tad slippery! Think pottery wheel, the movie Ghost, except we aren't being all romantic doing arts & crafts! After a quick recovery I scampered off into the woods like Bambi's mom dodging the hunter... Have I mentioned the last time I ran trails was like, oh never... I run on roads, with street lights... what have I gotten myself into?

Heather of course was all about the trails, she led the way as I grew dizzy trying to figure out where I was supposed to land my feet... not a 'trail' as I would think of it to be... like mini revines to test your agility and strength of your ITB's... I am not even sure how long that lasted, but I was having flash backs from Ft. Jackson (where I did my Basic in '93) and somehow thought I should have had that canteen belt afterall... I'd like to interject here that I was totally enjoying this experience, even if I was completely out of my element! I said to Heather, 'Maybe I should have worn my trail shoes' (ha I don't OWN trail shoes...never have! WTH was I even talking about?)

My thigh, yikes!
I vaguely remember some walls, and some tires I was supposed to cram my fat A$$ through, and of course Heather contemplating how she might scale a 6ft wall with barbed wire across the top?!?! Ah Heather, this is not Mission Impossible, go under the wall not - I will admit, I was starting to think I just wasn't too good at these obstacles... then redemption! A cargo net!!! YAY! I love the cargo net! Anyone who went to elementary school with me (yeah it's highly unlikely you are reading my blog but whatev) knows 'Open Gym' consisted of some pretty awesome things to do. One being a huge cargo net that went from floor to ceiling, as well as the uneven parallel bars (where I would dream of being a gymnast, a dream crushed early on in my youth, like the 4th grade), a rope climb, a swing rope and the balance beam (see crushed dream above)...but I digress, so I shimmied up that thing like I was a spiderman on uppers, and back down the other side (my nephew, who loves Spiderman, would have been so proud!).

There were a few obstacles that are all blurred together, some water, climbing over what looked like an abandoned beaver dam, some log hopping which seriously, I have the agility and balance of a hippo so 30 burpees for me... oh the crevis in the A$$ crack of the earth, affectionately named "NAM", it smelt like a crack and the chick behind me said, "If you feel anything slither by you let me know!", haha NOT, if it's by me I'm getting the hell on & I suggest you do the same! Anyway, for a split second I thought, where is my M-16? I should be carrying it over my head...

That delightful pit of thigh high waste water led to the concrete block pully thing. Dude said to me, "Over here Lil' Bit!" - Really? I guess that's what you get when you stretch to make 5'3... I diligently hoisted the cinder block up and slowly released it down as per his request and he said, "Now 24 more!" - I looked at him like, ok, and he quickly realized I was there to do what I was told (another flash back to Basic) and then said, "No, just once" - Come on! Don't mess with me man! I want to say we had the tire carry next (not any ordinary carry) - I scooped up a tire and proceeded downhill into the woods, where I yelled to Heather, "You know if we are going downhill, we will have to go back up!" - indeed... climbing over downed limbs and dodging mini ditches with a tire on my shoulder...midway through, I switched sides...Upon completion, another wall - this time it looked like it was at least 8ft tall... have I mentioned I'm just a "Lil Bit"? As I recollect all of these moments, I quickly realize why I am so friggen bruised!

I truly am unsure of how things all went down, I'd have to re-watch the video to get the order correct, honestly, I am so far behind in posting this, I urge you just to watch the video... The barbed wire crawl was brutal, it was long and the wire - low...very low... I have a big bubble butt & this volunteer kept yelling 'Keep your butt down!' - I am thinking.. "REALLY? Have you seen what I'm working with???" This crawl (reminiscent of a night fire low crawl without the long sleeves and in broad daylight, oh and voluntary?!?!) was seemingly never ending. It became painfully apparent that I had to switch strategies (see elbow pic for explanation) - I moved from the arm over arm to the back scootch to the side roll... incentive... water at the end of it...thank god!

So you know how I may have mentioned previously my lack of skill on a particular obstacle? Well, yeah, this one cost me 30 burpees... I am really determined to be able to conquer my fear of Monkey Bars, so that next time I am faced with this, I am ready to rock them... I mean in all my 35+ years I have never, and I mean NEVER been able to string together more than 3 rungs consecutively. It really is the bain of my existence... I have developed an unhealthy discord for this playground apparatus... maybe I need training... or perhaps therapy?

I do have to say, there was a sludge pit that was hell to try to get out of, the ropes were full of slippery clay mud and I did get some assistance from a fellow spartan, which you will find is a theme, we want everyone to finish! I was relieved after what felt like us going in circles in the woods, to come upon a long swim, the water (albeit brown like my baby girls morning diaper, and smelt similar too!) was chilly... I could have just hung out and relaxed, floating around on my back as if at some point a cabana boy was going to bring me a frosty beverage... but SNAP! back to reality! The life guard asked me if I wanted to switch shoes, cute flipper ;)

After that was the rope line, I have ZERO upper body strength left (and lets not get crazy or delusional thinking I had a whole lot to begin with) and quickly realized I was not making it across this water, DROP... 30 more burpees - thank you very much! We were then instructed to pick up a sand bag (40lbs), carry it to the bottom of the hill, climb the hill and then jump into the water (which we were told was 15 ft deep)... I was trying to do a cannon ball but unfortunately, it didn't happen. This is where the picture of me would be awesome but I really am too cheap to buy it! Anyway, I wish I had the disposable camera as Heather sashayed by the girl who then instructed us to go ahead and courteously return our sandbag to the top of the hill...seriously!

Honestly, I am not sure what was after that... more trails? maybe... I know there were more walls, and these sizable mounds of dirt which had become a trap of slick mud (yay last wave!) - maybe like 5 or 6 in a row... I kept slipping and I could feel my knee getting so sore as it repeatedly slammed back into the earth, I mean I delivered 2 babies without painkillers, so it wasn't enough to make me stop - but it was just a tad uncomfortable... I just knew it was going to be a b!tch come Sunday. After I got my sorry butt through that, there were 2 more walls followed by what was left of the once substantially awesome fire jump... Next was the javelin throw, I had to get it to stick into the haystack spartan... yeah, 30 more burpees! As if my knee hadn't seen enough punishment, the soapy wall! Well at least I believe that was what they were squirting on it.. 

The finale, the one thing I was sooo looking forward to was taking on the pugil boys... protecting Heather from the brutality (this was one thing she was most concerned about) - well they must have been tired or uninterested... we made our way through with very little contact...

While the Carolinas Super Spartan was by far the most insane physical and mental challenge I have paid to do, there were a few things I'd like to mention... 

1. The last wave kinda got screwed out of the big finish fire... it was smoldering ash, which was kinda lame for me - I didn't have the opportunity to jump over the flames in the down hill direction, so that was a little bit of a bummer.

2.  The "pugil boys" as I call them, at the end, well they were well over their job by the time we got there... I was really hoping for a battle, but instead I got a little love tap - sorry boys I'm married... Even though I have had 2 people comment (one being my husband) on the picture of the pugilists, specifically referencing the pugil boy on the right... To the best of my knowledge, that is part of his Spartan skirt and NOT what it may appear to be to those with ill minds.

What I would like to see are some insane Spartan chicks at the finish (like Zena, Warrior Princess!) who aren't afraid to take another chick down... Somehow I think these boys were just too afraid to hurt the girls (which is crazy because I'd put you on your ass, without hesitation, in about a millisecond!)

3. Some how the Carolina Super Spartan got lost amongst all the coverage of the Death Race, which I understand, those are true competitors, taking physical and mental will to levels I can not even begin to understand... but the Spartan Sprint in NY was all the buzz on FB & Twitter... and well Carolinas, sadly was not. I'm not an attention wh@re by any means, but really - I think the event was a little lost in the shadows of the Death Race. (that's my opinion - still got nothing but love for the Spartan Race Peeps!)

So as I bring this to a close, I was already trying to plot and scheme my way to the Beast in Vermont, but it doesn't look like anything close to that is going to be feasible... Airfare is too expensive, a road trip is highly unlikely... and well with all that I try to make happen in my 'normal' life (haha yeah it's normal to me) - adding more races to my schedule may just cause Stephen to disown me...not really but seriously, I love him for being so supportive and understanding because I didn't become this insane until after the "I do's" were done, but hey isn't that how it goes?

Like me on FB!
Well it took me almost a week to crank this out, although I have been writing it in my head almost as I was doing it.. and definitely post-race, while enjoying my #9 from Taco Bell (yes, I am aware that Taco Bell isn't the healthiest choice but seriously, I'm a Spartan now & if you weren't keeping track - I did 120 burpees!!!) - I think I may even had a few dreams of writing this... I hope I did it justice!

It's now 10pm on a Friday night, race gun goes off at 7am tomorrow morning... Independence 8k, and I am about 90% sure this will not be a PR setter... I could only walk/jog until Wednesday and only did one day of actual running... But who knows, maybe I'll surprise myself with all these rest days!!! 


  1. That is amazing, Love the recap! I've seen that pic of you with the pugil boys and must say, I didn't notice it until you pointed it out! LOL!! Love it! You guys are awesome!

  2. Thank you! It was a blast!!! Getting a group together for next year - you in?

  3. SO fun! My husband and I ran a mud/obstacle race a few months back (Hell Run).I LOVED it

  4. This looks like the coolest race EVER!! I've wanted to do a mud run for quite some time. First up - achieve my half marathon in October. Maybe the mud run will be my big challenge after that!

    Stopping by from voiceboks to say hello. :)


  5. Great article! brings back so many memories of our "Honeymoon". Yep, we are the couple that ran the Spartan Carolinas as our honeymoon. Question for you , do you know how to get in touch with Jason Miller (psychoiiimoose) ?..WE shot with same Go Pro cam and want to post our vid, but we've been having trouble. Be Well. Peace, Tom and Mickey PS. I posted this as anonymous as we only have facebook

  6. Tom & Mickey, You can subscribe or friend him on his youtube account. I had tried to find him on facebook so I could link him but I had no luck... Congrats by the way! Aroo!

  7. Oh, wow, this looks like an episode from 'Survivor'. Hope you at least had tons of fun. Glad to connect with you on voiceBoks.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Español para Niños (Spanish for Kids)

  8. great recap of the event, sorry you all did not get the fire at the end - I was in the first wave and at the Finish as i was going up those dirt hills followed by water just before the fire i thought "this dirt is so hard to get up, i cant imagine how hard it will be when its just a muddy bank!" -