Easter 5K & Warrior Dash Recap

“Warriors are not the ones who always win, but the ones that always fight”.

This past Saturday was full of running, obstacles and of course mud! The first race of the day was the Frank Baccus Easter 5K in Monroe. This is one of my favorite races because of the flat course and I really like the Cross pottery awards. The course is on back roads and I always have a good clock time here. I finished in 32:27 and placed second in my age group. A lot of the running family was here at this race which is always a blast! We get to run with a great group of people every weekend. For this race, we had some out of town guest join us. Always nice to meet new people and have them join in on our running addiction.

As soon as this race was over, I rushed home to change in to my obstacle clothes. From there, the RQ Racing gang jumped in the car and headed to Covington for the Warrior Dash 2017 obstacle race. Going in to the race, I knew this one would be easier compared to the grandfather of all obstacle races, the Spartan that we did several weeks back. Knowing this, I was not as nervous/anxious as I was at the Spartan. We started off with some trail running and the first obstacle was climbing over staggered wood planks. Next we crawled under a trench and out to the other side. Nothing to it so far. We did more trail running and I honestly don’t remember a few of the smaller obstacles in between all this. My favorite obstacle was walking across a net and holding on to monkey bar style rings to balance. The goal was to not fall through the net. Again nothing to it. We came up on an obstacle where you had to crawl through a net that was off the ground. I am not one for heights but there was no way to fall through the net so I was good. As I was crawling through the net, I heard a guy on the net beside me say wait until you get to the second tunnel. I was thinking to myself, it looks just like the one I am on. As soon as I went over the bar to the second tunnel, I basically did a belly flop. Using my legs I kicked off and got back up. I was laughing at this point because I could only image what my face looked like when I dropped. Coming in near the finish line was the fire pit. There was a line backed up at the fire because of a little boy. He was so scared to jump over the fire. He kept standing there and after what seemed like a good 15 minutes he jumped over it. I know he was just a kid and scared but I was so pumped up to finish that having to stand there took away the rush. Finally I made it to the last obstacle, the mud pit. The mud is by far my favorite thing about an obstacle race. I grew up playing in the mud and digging holes so I don’t freak out getting a little dirty! I always had a little tomboy in me, I guess it’s why I try to hang with the best of them. This time though, I didn’t get extremely muddy like I wanted for a few reasons but it worked out. I lost my shoes in the process. I wanted that medal so bad I left them on the side. They were old anyway. I am actually running out of old shoes. I guess at some point, I will have to start buying cheap pairs to do these races in. I really enjoyed the Warrior Dash and will certainly do it again next year. I am starting to build upper body strength so maybe by this time next year I will be able to conquer these races a little better and faster.

RQ Racing is headed to Nashville next weekend for the Rock N Roll 5K. Really looking forward to this race and visiting Nashville.  I’m only running one race this coming weekend, because I will be hitting the road for a concert in Alabama. I hope to see all my running family Saturday morning.

Happy Running!

The Day I Became A Spartan

 

March 18, 2017 is the day I set out to prove to myself that I could complete something I always thought I would never do. I became a SPARTAN! Leading up to this day, I was extremely nervous and kept asking what did I get myself in to. This is the Spartan, to me it was not a game, it was a real challenge to test all endurance and strength that I had in me. I almost made the decision not to go a couple of days before the Spartan. I didn’t think I would be able to complete it and I didn’t want to get out there and embarrass myself. Well I got myself to the start line where all the nerves quickly disappeared and I went out there and owned it! The little beast inside of me came out.

The Spartan was held along trails at the Horse Park in Conyers. Our wave time was 2:15 which is the open wave for all participants that are not competing. The Spartan holds waves for the elite athletes in the morning, the competitive athletes right after the elite and then an open wave for all other participants. I was told the course ended up being 5.2 miles with over 20 obstacles.

By the time we arrived at the horse park, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about the obstacles ahead because we were rushing to get to the start line. Once we got started, the first few obstacles we came across were walls that you had to climb over. Thankfully, I had friends there to help push me up so I could get over. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength so I already knew I was going to need a little boost. After the walls, there was a lot of trail running. That was probably my favorite part because I love to hike so jumping over creeks and climbing little mountains excites me. The one obstacle that got me so pumped up was doing the sandbag lift. You have to pull a heavy sandbag to the top and bring it back down slowly without dropping it. I was watching girls all around me drop their bags. If you let it fall to the ground, you had to do burpees. I got mine up and back down without letting go of the rope and dropping it. Next was the barb wire crawl. I started off rolling which was a bad mistake. I almost made myself sick. I knew I couldn’t keep rolling because the dizziness was getting to me so I crawled it. Crawling under the barb wire takes longer but I figured out the process of lowering myself just enough to not get caught in the wire and from there I was smooth sailing. The obstacle that made me extremely nauseous was when we had to pick up a 100 pound ball walk it over to a flag, drop it and do 5 burpees. From there we had to pick the ball back up and bring it back to the starting point and drop it. My least favorite obstacle was the rock bucket carry. I have done this before and did great at it but by the time I got to it Saturday I was tired. It took me awhile to complete this obstacle and as I was coming towards the end I tripped over a root and landed on top of my bucket. It hurt so bad, but I shook it off and kept going because I was determined to finish. Guess what came shortly after the bucket carry. MUD. We had to swim through 3 different pits of mud and on the last pit we had to go under a wall in the muddy water. I’m sure the course monitors got a good laugh out of my friend and I. We went under together and came out screaming that we couldn’t see. We had to stand in the cold water and wait for the film to disappear so we could see again. Talk about a muddy mess and I actually loved every minute of it. Next, we had to carry an 80 pound sandbag over our shoulder and walk through the woods with it. I did awesome at this obstacle and felt like a beast carrying the bag around. Nearing the finish line we had to crawl up a 12 foot cargo net obstacle and back down. I am terrified of heights but the adrenaline of only one more obstacle left between me and the finish line got me over the obstacle. The very last obstacle was a wall that you had to walk up using a rope. I surprised myself by walking up it so easily and was thinking heck yea I got this. However, I wiped out at the top because I slipped. I hung on to the rope for dear life because I didn’t want to slide all the way back down. There happened to be two guys at the top who saw me and grabbed me by the arms and pulled me up. Once I got up, going down was the easiest thing in the entire race.

To get to the finish line, you had to jump over a fire pit. Jumping over the pit was so much fun and I got the biggest rush from it. Crossing the finish line was the best feeling because I worked so hard to get there. The picture below has beast mode written all over it. I completed 5 miles worth of obstacles, swam through mud, lifted heavy objects and crawled my way to becoming a Spartan. The Spartan was the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done. It was the best experience and I am so glad I did it. It made me realize I have more in me then I what I give myself credit for.Who know’s maybe I will be back next year! After all, BEAST MODE has been activated!

Finisher’s picture. I have named myself the Queen Beast.