Did I happen to mention I participated in a “Spartan Race” in May? I haven’t?! Shame on me.
Well, let me tell you it was WAY out of my comfort zone. I am a creature of habit; I’ve been running on the hard blacktop for years. 9 years as a matter of fact. I’ve completed a couple trail races but not one can even compare to a Spartan Race.
This race was a “sprint” race, it ranged from 3 to 5 miles but our race was closer to 5 miles. I didn’t mind the distance at all because I have ran 5 miles and then some countless times. Have I ever ran 5 miles in pure mud completing over 20 obstacles (and if you fail the obstacles, it’s 30 burpees for you!)? Heck no.
Last year, my husband, Mitchell, completed the race with one of his best friends and I looked on as a spectator because I had a half-marathon to compete in a few weeks and didn’t want to get injured. After watching them complete the race in 2014, I knew I had to give this race a shot in 2015.
Between miles 1-2, I thought I fared pretty well. I completed a few tough obstacles, including the Hercules Hoist (basically you lift a giant sandbag weighing 100 pounds up 30 feet and lower back to the ground with a pulley system). I also made it over inverted walls, and cargo nets. I was on a roll until the muddy “climb up a wall with a rope” obstacle. I fell not once, but twice and then did 30 burpees because I failed to complete the obstacle.
Miles 2-4 were also okay, but probably not my favorite. There was SO MUCH mud. We had to climb up some killer hills and there were more upper body obstacles that I just could not handle. So burpees it was! I also barely missed the spear throw and could not for the life of me get a grip on the climbing wall (I think that had to do with all the mud!).
At the end of the race there was a gravel bucket carry. It seemed so simple, but hurt so bad. Participants would grab a bucket (about 5 gallons) and fill it to a certain line. Once filled, you took that bucket of gravel and carried it about a third of a mile down a muddy hill, made a sharp turn, and walked back up the hill. Once you were on top of the hill, you had to toss the gravel back into the gravel pit. Oh, one last thing – you CAN’T lose any of the gravel! If you lost any at all you had to do it again! Yikes!!!
There was no greater feeling than crossing that finish line. I’ve ran a lot of races in my life, and each finish is so unique and representative of any fears I may have had going into a race. This race made me get over my fears in many, many ways. I had to climb up not one, but TWO cargo nets and I absolutely hate heights! One of my other fears is swimming in cloudy water (I like to see where I’m going!) and I had to complete that, too!
I’m really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. Was I sore the next day? Heck yes. Was I so over the race at some point? Oh yes, my ankles had enough! Would I do it again? Absolutely.
Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone? Completed a Spartan race?
P.S. Read another Indiana race recap by the Spartan staff here. Apparently, it was a very muddy one!