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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Review of the Arizona Spartan Race Super and Sprint Weekend 2/25 & 2/26

Chris itHappens and JenniFire

This is race 3 & 4 out of 17 for 2017.
pre race electrolytes a few days before the race, fish eggs in coconut water,
JK those are chia seeds, I just say that to see the reactions on peoples faces. 

First off, I planned this trip when the planets were in alignment in January so it was really the perfect trip. Thank you Universe, literally.

I invited my neighbors to come along and stay at my moms house and visit while they dropped me off at the airport and picked me up from the airport. I offered to drive the 8 hour round trip if they pitched in for gas. That was a go. They had a great time.

Then In Arizona, my buddy picked me up from the airport and let me crash in his spare bedroom. He also raced both days with me. I only met this guy once the month before when I did the Oracle Half Marathon. He is a friend of a friend and as we were parting in January he said if we ever were thinking of coming out we could stay with him. Without missing a beat I said OK I'll see you Feb. 24th for the Spartan Races. The rest is history.

our glasses made it really easy to find each other when we got separated

This was my first double race weekend. Sometime last year I told myself I would never race out of state, I mean really Cali is a huge state with a lot of ground to cover and a lot of races so why go anywhere else? And I told myself I could never race more than twice in a month. But Spartan started offering double race weekends.... And I only raced a 2 mile this month... so yeah I broke all my rules. I'm still alive so I think it's OK.
the first 3 things
I pack on every trip
foam roller
in that order

Day 1. Spartan Sprint.

I had some trouble signing up with my season pass so I signed up late for this one. I was suppose to sign up with a team time between 8:45 and noon but it was sold out before I could sign up so I signed up for the competitive spot and would just run with my buddy and whatever time he got.

On our way to the race there was major traffic and an accident on the freeway so we decided to take the side streets through Mesa. Little did we know there was a marathon going on through Mesa and all the side streets were blocked making it impossible to get to the other side where our race lay. So he went back to another freeway and we finally got there. Started at 10:45 a.m. Its a good thing these races go all day (another thing I like about Spartan).

We could of warmed up more by running and walking around, but after I got my bags checked and we made it to the starting line we just jumped right in. This race was a warm up for tomorrow lol.

The open crowd is a little bit more relaxed than what I'm used to racing (elite or competitive). In the first few minutes people already started walking lol.

Dunk wall- see the space between the wall and water- yes they do that on purpose to keep your hands dry
My buddy had been training his trail running to keep up with me and really for the first part I ate a GU with caffeine and it made me really sick and feeling like I should throw up in the first 2 miles. He paced me and I'm sure questioned my running ability. He could run, but after the weight lifting section I paced him (thank you xfit).

mud pit- I just jumped and ran through this and had mud boogers for the whole weekend lol
My friend was stoked I got all muddy, especially on my face
 I thought about it, I really did. Just stopping to puke on the side of the race and I would feel better. But I pushed through and by the time we got to the bucket brigade I felt better after having all the weight against my stomach.

sand bag carry-  I liked these better than the pancakes- a lot easier to balance on the shoulders. Getting ready for backpacking

The run was pretty much like Oracle- but I though Oracle was harder and colder. It was a pleasant 70 degrees that day at that time and I had to take my shirt off for the majority of the race. Black on black in 70 degree dry Arizona heat, feeling like I was going to puke wasn't something I was really ready for. But I pushed through.
Fire jump

Got bad rope burn on my right middle finger after sliding down way too fast on the rope climb. I complained to my buddy the entire race after that on how bad my finger hurt. That was Saturday and today is Tuesday and its still raw and gooey.

Since we raced in the Open time slot my buddy could help me over walls and through obstacles that required a lot of upper body strength. Thanks bro, you def, saved me some burpees.

It was fun. 4 and 1/2 miles was a great warm up.

Checking my results via text, also I could find my pictures easier by checking race texted checkpoints

Saturday Stats: 1694 overall, 396 female, 75 in age, 1:41:24 overall time and 25:20 min/mile.

Day 2.

Here is where we both raced in the competitive time slot and the course was twice as long. Also my buddy wasn't allowed to help me on obstacles so this is where we really got to know each others strengths and weaknesses. We made it on time and were ready to go. We also had to wear the sweat bands they handed out to show we were in the competitive corral.


We could run. He kept pace in the beginning and even though I wanted to stop, I knew I was going to be left behind so I kept going. We kept an awesome pace, and later people told us we were pacing them.

We can run, but my buddy can't run as well after flipping a 400 pound tire 3 times. He said it took a lot of energy out of him. (This is where my cross fit training came in handy and I recommended he hit the weights) My tire was probably 150 pounds and I only had to flip it twice. I had no problem running after that.

I kept it cleaner in the mud pit second day
The 8 foot wall kinda stopped me for a second. I'm use to walking up the wall on my right side and that side of the wall had a screw sticking out of it and they wouldn't let me go on that side. I went anyway and couldn't get up and over until a woman showed me how to walk up and then put my leg over (I'm always getting good tips at the right time). Thank you lady wearing all blue!


We would run in between obstacles and then come to a walk just before them to catch our breath so we could nail the obstacle and move on. Walk into a obstacle out of breath and you could literally choke and land in the burpee zone.


They had a new obstacle I never tried before called the twist, where the hand holds actually twist as you go across them. We both failed and later my buddy said try to go down in sideways instead of straight on. Will do next time.

Most of the obstacles were the same until the end where we failed miserably. He got across the hand hold (the one he really helped me with the day before) and I got farther than I have ever gotten and dropped. Looking to buy rock climbing holds on Amazon to work on this one.

 Then the monkey bars turned into a incline bar then rings then the Fucking baseball hold (my next purchase to practice on) and rope hold... I'll just stop here- we both failed on that. Also looked them up on Amazon- worth the investment.

We missed the spear throw. And I have been practicing. I even brought my hay bale down to the community center and made a target. both days were too far to the left or they would of made it. getting closer!
the target turned into an eye lol

Dunk tank then up an incline wall with rope with I was doing fine on until I missed the hold at the top and slid the whole way down. I will only do that once. Just like missing the box jump. You only make that mistake once.

Fire jump and finish.

Then I checked into the first aid station with my bloody knees. They were cool. I wish they had some warm water so something to keep me warm since I was completely wet and it was very windy and slightly raining. After a while one of the aids gave me her jacket and then I got a blanket. They were also fascinated by my rock tape- yeah it was a lifesaver and really helped me through the course.

If you get injured during a race please go to the aid tent. You pay $14 insurance for every Spartan race because If you get hurt And you file a claim They will cover your medical bills. Please be smart about this. If you cramp up during a race or get injured during a race, they will take you off the course and heal you at the aid tent but you can't go back out there and race.

I finished my race and then went to the aid tent but I hurt myself on the 2nd to last obstacle.

Safety first, race second.

rock tape! Spartan Race approved-
wrapped my toes because my big toe was rubbing on my shoes, my second toe nail fell off
wrapped my knees to help crawling on rocks - buying OCR knee pads for the race year
wrapped my finger for rope burn and my palm for blisters

my friend ripped some off my finger for himself during the last part.
Sunday stats:  293 overall, 49 in gender, 7 in age, 2:41:33 time and 20:11 min/mile

8.5 miles with obstacles.


Hoping to do better in my 30s than my 20s.

After I napped and we watched Spartan YouTube videos for a couple hours.

I'm not sure if I like going out of town for the races or the on grid electricity and high speed wifi.... Both are very enjoyable. We watched the elite racer YouTube videos and got a few tips.

#1. IF a dunk wall is before a spear throw they won't put water all the way up to the wall so you can go in slowly and not get your hands wet. This will help nail the spear throw. THANK YOU!

#2. One athlete trains in a hybrid cross fit style. Weight lifting with running and taking 2 long runs a week with hills (10-13 miles). (This will be my new training style :))

#3. You can do a front flip on the cargo obstacles. Hold on tight.

#4. Bucket brigade -Spartan recommends interlacing fingers in front, where elite racers grab one wrist and hold in front- great tip. My fingers slipped a few times.

#5. To get up a wall for women, jump and grab on to the top of the wall. walk the feet up and then over. No need for a muscle up.

I'm sore, I hyper extended my ankle and I'm tired. Also my hands hurt from all the rope burns.

Just tape it up and get back out there tiger!

March Race Schedule is
 Foggy Bottoms in Ferndale, Ca March 12th at Noon 4 miles.

Then Another Spartan weekend in Vegas (actually racing in Littlefield, Az) March 18th and 19th and 

then My Personal Training test March 25th and 

Backpacking through the Grand Canyon the Last week of March with my Arizona Spartan Racer friend Chris ( we both agreed a 20+ mile backpacking trip would be easier than this Spartan Race weekend lol)
our attempt at making H's with our hands for Havasupai training. 

Last thing I have to say about Spartan OCR racing for the weekend;

My neighbor who was riding up with me from SFO said how it was so hard to measure your progress with OCR's because they are always changing up the courses all the time and you don't know what obstacles are going to be there so you can't really train for them.


Unlike street runs, which are a good baseline measurement and are predictable and easy to train for, OCR races specifically change it up and Spartan races will give you the map but they always have a few obstacles that they won't publish on the map.


Don't get me wrong, I will always love a good street run- it's a whole different animal. But the OCR's I really feel challenged in all aspects of my physical, mental and spiritual being (yes I do pray before some obstacles). And When I feel challenged is when I CHANGE. 

This is the high I'm looking for. 
To become a new person though each race. 
And I feel like I grow so much after every Spartan. 

It's the only race I finished where I'm training by throwing a spear instead of JUST hill running. 
I'm also practicing climbing and jumping. 

It's more than just a race. It's ultimate endurance and strength training which for anyone with Drive is the ultimate test to keep testing until.....

I Cant finish this sentence. I guess until I want to challenge another part of myself. 

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