I had a blast this weekend in Monterey, CA!
I was super nervous about this race and had a rest day after teaching a boot camp class last Saturday morning at the gym (Seriously I had one weekend I didn't race and used it reading about becoming a better athlete). So I sat down and read through an entire book called the Champions Mind and got my head on straight to go into this grueling race. At the end of the day it isn't a matter of physical exertion- the body adapts very easily; it's a matter of building up your mind (the mind is an amazing animal in itself to tame). Getting into the right head space and breaking down the race into mini segments and nailing each one of them will make you get through it with flying colors.
This also applies to life.
So I got my head back and decided to sign up for a Spartan SGX class the day before the race. They only had 20 spots but they were still open and I signed up. Then I rearranged my clients and classes so I could head out of town for 4 days.
Had 3 clients back to back Thursday morning at the gym. Then Headed straight down to the Bay Area- 4 1/2 hours- no pee breaks or nothing! Took my mom out to dinner and missed the traffic and then went straight to Monterey where I am staying with my uncle as I write this. (High speed Internet and electricity are a real luxury!!!)
So FRIDAY- I was at Toro Park in Salinas and was PUMPED to have a full day on the course practicing obstacles. Spear throw, bucket brigade, rope climb, walls, Hoist, tire flip, twister, multi rig, Olympus and z-wall. By the end of it I was (for the first time) Spartan-ed out. I am officially Sparatan Obstacle Specialist certified and am definitely thinking about the two other classes they offer to become an official spartan coach.
Went back to my uncles, slept and woke up ready and excited for race day!
The parking was very confusing... I ended up parking at the event after traveling all the way to Salinas after following a sign that said *Parking 8 miles* I doubled back and got a space at the event before the CHP showed up and stopped people from parking where I was parked.
AND I WAS EARLY! My start time was at 7:45 a.m. and I had my bags checked at 7:28 a.m. and my friends wanted to start at 8:30 a.m. so I had plenty of time to watch the elite men and women start and the two competitive times start as well. I saw people from the class I attended as well as some star athletes. It was awesome. I was calm and collected when I finally found my friends and we jumped into the corral.
|this is me thinking about doing a front flip... then thinking about it too much and walked over.|
SOOOO RUNNING SUCKS. Running straight up hill for miles on end sucks even more. What I learned during my course training is that these races are 90% trail running 10% obstacles. I'm seriously thinking about taking next year off from obstacle course racing and ONLY doing trail runs to get better at racing in general. And building an obstacle race in my dads back yard- (already have the 6 ft wall up!) to keep up with the practice of grip strength and spear throw.
I DID MAKE THE OLYMPUS for the first time. I would stand on the hay bale and start crying on for the last 5 races (seriously!) because I knew I couldn't make it and it would suck and take up all my arm energy and even though I attempt every obstacle, I just couldn't get this one. Until today. Today I nailed it. I used my visualization technique I learned in my book I read last weekend and my technique my coach taught me in the class and I nailed it!!! I rang that bell!!! Then I let everyone in yelling distance know I did it- made the volunteer give me a double high five and kept running.
The bucket brigade was brutal! It was the first time I had to stop and rest in my entire history of 9 races. I learned how to rest the bucket on your leg and not set it down because setting it down and picking it up multiple times is what is taxing on your body.
|As you can see I wear 2 wrist bands on my arms. I was asked if I was doing the race twice. NO thank anyway. I wear 2 wrist bands as elbow protection when I do army crawls under brabed wire.|
Missed the spear throw after about an hour of instruction with some top coaches. It just takes practice but I got my technique down!!!
Everything after that was easy for me. Sand bag carry seemed light after my home made asphalt bag of 25# in contractor bags and an army bag (I'm not the best obstacle builder or maker and everything I attempt to copy from the course is a lot harder to complete than the race)- and I ran all the way down and walked quickly all the way up!
|ok so even though I failed this obstacle I still walked it out and imagined myself going through the obstacle as my new friend screamed at me to complete my burpees and hurry up to the finish line.|
Monkey Bars were slippery and I took some time on them. I had to visualize myself as a kid on the monkey bars in my back yard where I grew up and told myself failure was not an option! I made it! Z-wall was great too!
I felt confident going over walls and cargo nets ( I still haven't attempted the front flip!) Hurdles were up hill (Thank you for the tree that fell in the trail at Richardson Grove- a lot harder than the hurdles but trained me right for that obstacle!). They put 8 obstacles at the end that were intense- rolling mud- nailed- slip wall (I did eat it in Arizona on this one and I become very present every time I do it now). The hoist, tire flip and A frame were great until I got to the twister. I tried a new technique I learned in class and nope- it didn't work. They took out the balls in the multi rig which was great and boosted my confidence but no- didn't make that either.
Overall it was a great race and I made it out alive. 8.5 miles, 28 obstacles in 2 hours 53 minutes
My warrior pak knee pads were awesome! They gave me confidence to jump up to walls, hit my knees on the walls and climb up! Also crawling was a lot easier too.
Need more practice on uphill trail running, spear throw and grip strength!
CONFESSION: The guy who taught the Spartan Class this weekend had sO MUCH PASSION FOR THE SPORT! and GOT PAID TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO DO OBSTACLES. I secretly hope that one day that will be me.
Double Confession: At the class this weekend I questioned why I was in Humboldt training and not in the Bay Area training at the obstacle race gyms down there. I mean I can Personal Train and teach yoga anywhere really. But as I drove home and saw more trees than people and went into the gym I realized that I belong in Humboldt and I will do whatever it takes to make my training work.