WhatIWore: I don’t really even know where to begin to describe the amazing experience I had a couple of weekends ago at my first Spartan Race, but I’ll give it my best shot!
I haven’t run a race in a long time. Like twelve years long. After running track and cross country all through middle and high school, often logging 8 plus miles a day, I was burnt out by the time I graduated. From that point, I’ve played around with different workouts - sometimes yoga or pilates and more recently - bootcamp and strength training - but not a ton of running.
Earlier in the year, my trainer asked me if I’d be interested in running the Spartan Race. I didn’t know what I was signing up for, but I had a Groupon and was flattered to join my gym’s team. Hey! if they think I’m strong enough to do something like that, that works for me.
Fast forward to last weekend. I had NO idea what I was getting into. I heard it was a 5K. I heard that there were obstacles. Keep in mind I have not been doing any sort of running AT ALL, but I thought a 5K on fresh legs shouldn’t be a problem.
Once my team loaded into the car for our two hour drive, the nerves set in. Especially when I heard we’d be swimming a small pond. Everyone else (all guys) brought clothes to throw away after the race because they expected so much mud.
And there was mud. Lots and lots of mud. Hills to slide down, covered in mud. Hills to climb up, slick and covered in mud (and under barbed wire). We ran through creek beds, we sloshed through knee and chest deep water. We did rope climbs, covered in mud. We climbed the monkey bars, which were… you guessed it… covered in mud. The race ended up being 5.1 miles long and included over 15 obstacles. If you couldn’t complete (or chose to pass) any given station, you had to do 30 burpies - which I did on three stations.
But for as wet and muddy and cold it was, it was also one of the best things I’ve ever accomplished. I felt completely fearless jumping into ice cold water or climbing over an 8 foot wall. All of the other Spartan racers were encouraging and helpful and it was clear that everyone was there to have a good time. I raced the last four miles with my team mate Marcio and having a partner made it even more fun. Going in with a positive attitude made for an awesome experience. I did what I could, as best as I could. And when it was too tough, I backed down. I walked when the hills were too steep. I stopped to drink water. I smiled and high fived. I finished as the 97th woman out of 1300. And I can’t wait to do it again next year!
If you wanna see me in action, here’s a video of me on one of the last obstacles (FF to the 30 second mark)!
*All photos thanks to video stills and shots from the fine folks at SpartanRace.com