This weekend, we went to the Spartan Sprint. I had been nervous and worried about the race for a while, so I was pretty happy to be there and finally doing the thing. It was a nice day – around 60 degrees – and overcast. The sunscreen I conscientiously brought was not needed.
Will and I were supposed to travel with a couple of our friends who canceled last minute, so it was just the two of us en route, but at the hotel prior to the race we met up with our fellow Crossfit Simple teammates. A lot of people from Crossfit had turned out for the race so it was great to see so many friendly faces. We all started together since we were on the same team, and after the first mud pit, I didn’t see any of them again until that night at our next hotel.
The fit mud pit happens right away, i figured instead of skirting around it, I would just embrace the idea that this is a mud run, and get muddy. I don’t like mud, and I like being muddy, so I figured the best approach was to just deal with being muddy from the get go. This was really a good idea on my part, unfortunately, it was also when a glop of mud went into my right eye.
Getting mud OUT of your eye, when your hands, shirt, and pretty much your everything was muddy proved challenging. Will – who had promised to stick with me for the entirety of the run, even if it became a walk – used a non muddy portion of his shoulder to get some of the mud out of my eye. However, I spent a good ten minutes trying to blink mud out of my eye. Will called me Blinky for a while “You doing ok there, Blinky?” Eventually, he comes over – and this may gross out readers who are not part cat – grabs my head, and licks the corner of my eye.
Me: Did you just LICK my EYE?
Will: There was a glob of it in the corner of your eye.
Will: You aren’t blinking as much (Will spits a few times). Gritty.
Me: I do seem to be able to see out of this eye now…
After that the first few obstacles were pretty easy, go under this thing, go over that thing, go down a hill, go up a hill. That type of thing.
My first injury came at the tall wall. In the center, there was a triangular piece of wood the jutted out a bit. I used this piece of wood to trying to help get over the wall, slipped, and smashed my right leg into the wedges pointy end. That hurt, but with help from Will I made it over the wall.
Will was simply amazing for this race. There wasn’t an obstacle he couldn’t handle. If you cannot do an obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. I did 155 burpees, Will only had to do 35 burpees. There was a javelin throw and if you don’t managed to get the javelin stuck in the hay bale, then you have to do the burpees. You get one try. The extra 5 burpees came from one of the obstacles. You lift a round thing of concrete, walk a ways, drop the concrete, do 5 burpees, pick up the heavy thing and then walk back. I’d done about 120 burpees by this point so I was pretty unhappy with the idea of doing even 5 more, but I did them and we moved on.
The hilly terrain was close to traumatic at points. It was so muddy that there were hills you basically had to just crawl up. Will would find a stick for some of these places, jabbed the stick into the mud to pull upwards, then grab my hand, and pull me upwards. He was serious about helping me and the course was rough enough that I had no problem with pride getting in the way of me being ridiculously grateful for the help. I needed it, so I took it.
My second injury came when we reached the cargo netting obstacle. You climb up cargo netting and when you reach the top of the platform, you walk across using the cargo netting, then go back down the same way. When I reached the top platform and pulled myself up, I put down my knee and a nail was jutting out, so right below my knee I have a puncture bruise – it didn’t pierce the flesh but really hurt like the Dickens at the time of the injury and for the rest of the day. My poor right side really took a beating.
At the second water station at 3.25, I cried. I had warned Will before the race that I might reach a point of tired, hungry, and frustrated and I would cry and not to worry about it. I know me, I will cry, get over it, and move on. Will had us rest for a while at this water station and let me cry about how I was NOT doing another ^&%$#*@ hill. Then we went and did so many more hills it was stupid and somewhat mean spirited.
There was a muddy hilly that you had to belly crawl up as there was barbed wire covering it. This hill went on for a long time. People helped each other through rough spots, and I had a blast with it, although I did have to worry about slipping backwards – as did everyone else. When I was about 3/4′s of the way up the hill, I noticed Will sitting and pulling people up. I kept trying to catch his eye and I crawled up, but it was until I was on his level that he finally saw me.
Me: Are you done and now just pulling people for fun?
Will: I am looking for you in case you need my help!
Me: Oh. Here I am!
Will: You don’t seem to need my help.
Then we both went back to pretending we were mud snakes slithering up the hill.
We reached a 7 foot wall and Will, who I knew was great but had no idea was AMAZING and AWE-inspiring, looked at the wall, backed up, and ran full out at the wall, launched himself up like freaking superman, got a grip on the top of the wall and simultaneously threw his foot over, then he was on the other side. The volunteers and spectators here were impressed, so I know it was not just me. One of them actually said, “Did you just see that guy?!” The volunteer running the thing started telling people to tackle the wall the way Will did it. It was impressive as all get out!
We finally made it through to the end. Will help me over the last obstacle. I failed in my first attempt and was resigned to more burpees, but Will just devised a different plan of attack for the obstacle then said, “See? You didn’t even need my help!” Which is not true as without his revised plan I would not have tried a second time. I jumped over the fire, got hit with a foam thing wielded by volunteers and then I was done. I got my t-shirt, and my medal, as did Will. I have never been so thrilled to eat a banana or drink water in my life.
We are going next year. Will wants us to get all signed up as early as possible. The earlier you sign up the cheaper it is, so I am board with it. Before next year’s race, I need to lose MINIMUM of 30 pounds, but hope for 50 (a pound a week is a safe amount to lose and not unrealistic unless I try to eat moronically). I also need to really work on my trail running. I am worried about twisting an ankle with roots and mud and rocks, but I think this race was trail running for the majority of the thing. It took us 4 hours and 7 minutes to finish the Spartan Sprint – which was about what we expected. Next year both Will and our trainer think we can cut that time in half. Honestly, if Will hadn’t been helping me through it, he probably would have had a time of 2 hours or less.