Tuesday, April 3

Obstacle Racing Updates

So last month I posted THIS the beginning of my obstacle racing adventures.  Well here is the next installment . . .
Every year I try to do a new years resolution and really stick to it.  In 2009 I chose to visit a new country in Europe once a month for less than $100 - I managed 13 in total (India being the only non European one).  In 2010 it was to travel around the world, check out this blog for details on that 6 month adventure in the southern hemisphere.  Sadly in 2011 I didn't make a resolution, but thanks to experiences during that year it was obvious to me what my 2012 resolution would be . . . run as many Spartan Races as possible.  My obsession with Spartan racing started last winter.  My best friend had signed up to do the  New England Spartan Sprint (5K) race while I was in Rwanda.  I was bummed to miss it, but looking forward to hearing all about it upon my return.  Well to everyone's surprise hurricane Irene was threatening to hit the course on Sunday morning, so Spartan Race had their first ever Hurricane Heat race and it turned out to be a huge success.  My best friend spoke about it for weeks on end and also about all the wonderful people she'd met while participating.  Next thing I knew she was travelling all the way to Chicago with "total strangers" to run in yet another Hurricane Heat with lots of the same people she'd met at her first Spartan Race.  About a month later, she told me this same group, Storm Chasers, were getting together for a dinner in New Hampshire and would I like to join them.  I was dying to meet these people, so I took her up on the offer.  What an interesting group of people - all different background, all walks of life, all different ages, genders, shapes and sizes, but all with one common love, obstacle racing and more specifically Spartan Races!  I vividly recall one member of the group's comment to me as we were leaving, "So we'll see you in Texas, Sara." I smiled and said, "we shall see" thinking in my head, this kid is crazy.  I've only just started racing and the race a few weeks later in Texas was a Super (8+ miles).
The next morning while at work I found myself constantly wondering, could I manage 8 miles?  Was in worth all the money to fly from MA to TX to run 8 miles in mud and potentially die?  Obviously slightly delusional from the late night out, I sent an email to the "crazy kid" to find out more details, what time was their flight, where were they staying, did they have room for me in the hotel and rental car, etc.  By 2pm that afternoon I had registered for the race, booked a flight, confirmed hotel and rental car.
In the coming weeks I attempted to train for the race, but never ran more than 2 miles and did not do anything differently at the gym - cause to be honest, I was still in denial of the fact that I'd just signed up for such a LONG race!
I will not regale you with the details of all 8+ miles of hills, mud, sandbags, walls, water, mud, water, hills, hay bales, and mud, but I will share these photos again, cause I do love them!  Here are all of us who ran together on Saturday morning:
And here I am just before mile 3, swimming across 75 meters of 52degree water:
What started out as a dare a year ago  - April 2011 "you could never do a race like this" turned into a minor obsession!  Here we are again in Arizona - yet again another Super (8+ miles) this past February about to crawl up the soapy wall:
And then again in March in Georgia - loving the bared wire crawl:
happy to have finally done a Spartan Sprint (5K)!
So my family always asks which races have you done so far and what's your next race, here is the run down:
Spartan Super in Arizona - Saturday February 11th (DONE!)
Spartan Sprint in Georgia - Saturday March 10th (DONE!)
Tortoise & Hare 10K road race in MA with some other Spartan Chicks - Saturday April 7th
Spartan Sprint in Colorado - Saturday May 5th
Spartan Sprint in New York - Saturday June 2nd (with Team in Training!)
Spartan Super in Montreal, Canada - Saturday June 9th
Spartan Sprint in Pennsylvania - Saturday July 14th
Spartan Sprint in New England - Saturday August 11th
Spartan Super in Mid Atlantic - Saturday August 25th (hopefully)
Spartan Super in New Jersey - Saturday September 8th
Spartan Beast (12+ miles on Killington Mountain) in Vermont - Saturday September 22nd
and if I don't die at the VT Beast, I'm going to make a valiant effort to make it to Glen Rose, Texas yet again this year to end my 2012 new years resolution with a Spartan Beast race!

Now I know many of you are thinking what is wrong with her?  As I've said before and I'll probably end up saying it again and again - it's addicting - as Spartan Race says, "you'll know at the finish line" and honestly, until you've crossed a finish line at any one of these races wether it is 3 miles or 12 miles, you will never fully understand until you're at the finish line!  My other favorite motto which I learned at the Hurricane Heat race (more of a team work effort than race per say) when heading to the finish line, "If you can't run, walk.  If you can't walk, crawl.  If you can't crawl, we will carry you."

It is hard for me to express in words what obstacle racing, specifically Spartan Race has done for me - I am every thankful to them for making such an obsession possible :)

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