Sunday, 11 September 2016

Spartan Military Sprint Fort Bragg NC 2016

Hi from a very sore and bruised me!

After signing up for a Spartan Beast (12 miles) a while ago I got sucked in while reading about the races and thought what if I just want to go ahead and run the Trifecta this year (sprint, super and beast distance). I know, crazy and way ahead of myself as usual. I only had one option for a sprint and super to finish the three before 2017. 
Luckily the sprint option was before the beast, providing a practice run since I've never run an obstacle race and a gauge of what it'd take to finish the beast. Holy moly, it was fun but hard. Now I'm afraid, very afraid of the beast :) 
The race was in Fort Bragg, NC. I've done a half here before so we just drove up for the race and drove back that afternoon. Luckily I left a large window of time to get there because getting to the race site and parking was an unbelievable nightmare. It took us well over an hour to go around a mile down the last road to The Smith Lake Area (race site) and get parked. Then it was hard to find the start itself so I actually missed my 1:15pm wave start and ended up starting at 1:30pm. 
At this stage it was hot (prob why the groupon for the race was 40% off for the afternoon slots). I got my arm marked up, an impressive feat considering how much I was already sweating. Then to get into the start area I had to pull myself over a small wall...hello the race hadn't even started. Just that caused my leg to cramp up as I'd had no time to drink or eat as planned before the race. Now I was seriously shitting myself, ha ha. 
We ran along and before a half mile we had to go over "hurdles" or suspended logs around 4.5 feet high. I somehow managed to get over the first one but whatever way I hurled myself on to the thing I really knocked the breath out of myself. The second one was much better. After that it's a blur of obstacles.
I was running on my own so at times I was bewildered as to how I could do some of the obstacles when practically everyone around me was getting help from a friend. In my case volunteers = the best friend a girl could ask for. One let me step on her leg and then shoulder to get myself up on a 8 foot wall. They were great really encouraging people to try an obstacle even when the runner thought there was no way they could do it.
Until around 3 miles I was doing great and then the heat and sunburn (left the sunscreen in the car in the rush) were forcing me to slow down and walk more. There were three water stops on course all with just water (next time I'll bring salt tabs). I finished in 1.47 right in the middle of the overall standing, women and my age group. Still this was tough and a really fit bunch of people so I'm pretty happy.

I couldn't do:
Gymnastics rings: started with a short rope but couldn't get the height for the rings.
Rope climb: I think this one is about technique...I need to practice so I can use my legs rather than my arms.
Horizontal wall traverse: just couldn't get a grip. I hurt my right hand carrying a giant stone ball early in the race. 
Penalty per missed obstacle = 30 Burpees...owee

Surprised myself by being good at:
Walls: smaller ones and especially the inverted wall. I powered up that when a lot of women were pushed the whole way up. Hung a lot at the top trying to get the momentum to get myself over, but considering I didn't think I could do it at all, I did great. 
Pull and drag: pan filled with a heavy weight..pulled through sand then dragged it back...super quick.
I guessed I'd be good at more endurance type stuff like carrying a bucket of gravel or the pancake carry (pancake shaped heavy bag) and I was..I was passing people on these.
Heights: I hate heights. I was slow on really high obstacles, like cargo nets climbs, to be sure of my footing but other than a bit of fear going over the top I felt fine.
Remembering: I remembered KILO-653-6120 for what seemed like forever....this number was matched to the last two digits of my bib number...no Burpees for me here.

It was 95 when I finished the race. I think considering this I'm really happy with how the race went. Technical practice and some more strength work (judging by my pain- triceps, shoulders and chest) on areas I already know are weaker will really help me. Other than bruises my legs are A-ok.


After the finish I got my medal, trifecta wedge, food and drinks. I chugged every drink I got and then went and bought a giant lemonade. I needed anything other than water!  They had hoses set up to get the mud off and a canvas changing room. So I got into some comfy clothes ASAP. I skipped the free beer since the heat and other liquids had my stomach saying no. I was totally exhausted at this stage but really happy!!








Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Running lately

Hi there!!! I haven't written about running a whole lot lately. As I've mentioned I didn't want to run a whole lot this summer and I haven't. 
I'm working my way through Hal Hidgon's novice one program. It's been a nice step back while the sun blazes outside. I'm up to a long run (if it can be called that) of 7 miles and by the time I go home I'll be just about ready to run a nice slow half marathon . 
The nice thing is that the runs are hard but not mentally they still seem short in my head..if that makes sense to anyone but me. I'm not running super fast but I'm pushing myself regardless. Since I have a spartan race approaching, a lot of my shorter runs I'll break up with some hard leg strength work to get myself used to running on really tired legs. Three days a week are running (2 with strength) then 2 days crosstraining (with strength).

 The gym at my apartment has been a godsend I love having it there. My shorter runs will often be on the treadmill and the longer ones I run as much as I can tolerate (just over half right now) outside and the rest on the treadmill. As it gets a cooler I'll slowly shift the balance back to outdoors.

 I changed my shoes back to PureConnects so some days I have achy shins, but I never got used to the pureflows and they occasionally gave me knee pain which I have zero tolerance for. The extra rest day right now lets me move things around to get better recovery if my shins are bothering me.
None of this is going to leave me crazy fit or ready for any one race but the extra strength work is good and most of all I'm really enjoying working out.