29th November 2018 I signed up for my 1st Spartan Sprint, a 5k race with 22 – 24 obstacles. After signing up I pulled some videos up on YouTube and instantly regretted my decision!
Panic, fear, self doubt and amusement at myself followed. What was I thinking??
Anyway, not to waste the $100 I’d paid to run I pushed the feelings aside and decided instead to give it my best go. Training and learning were now my focus for the 11 weeks or so I had before the race. (Minus 3 weeks when I was in England)
I ended up in a Spartan because a few of my Flagler YMCA instructors that regularly run the races set up a team to give us newbies the opportunity to train and run with support. My bestie was signing up for it, so seemed a fun challenge to take on together.
I’ve been a member at Flagler YMCA for 2 years now, steadily increasing the classes and programmes that I attend.
I was attending around 5/6 classes a week at the Y already and my first goal was to increase that to 7/8. This meant some days doing 2.5 hours of classes to work on my stamina. The race would take a minimum 2 hours to complete as a team and I wanted to be sure I’d get through it.
Whilst in England I did some outdoor running. To my surprise I could actually do 5k in the rain, wind and over hills! This was a great confidence booster because before I started at the Y I could get about 100 metres before needing to walk.
So my cardio and stamina were getting there but I needed technique.
The Y team attended a local gym with a Spartan obstacle set up for training sessions.
I managed to attend twice. The training was great and without it I would have struggled with many of the obstacles! However the pain the following day was horrid and I got some pretty immense bruises from rope climbing. Made me pretty nervous for the pain and suffering during the actual race 😂
We also have monkey bars set up at the Y that I tried to go on each day I was there. Still have the calluses a month later.
As the day got closer the support and encouragement within the team pushed us all along happily to the start line. We were going to have fun firstly and if we managed to complete a few obstacles along the way even better.
February 24th 1pm. After jumping over a wall just to get to the start line the rain begins. Ice cold sideways rain as we are sent off for our race. Jumping hay bales to run up and over slippy mud hills, reaching the monkey bars as the 1st big obstacle. The 1 obstacle I’m really sad I failed after training so hard but the rain meant I couldn’t grip the bar to move even just 1 rung.
Throughout the race I had successes – the rope being my big 1 but also failures. I ran through mud up to my thighs, climbed walls, went head first under muddy water, threw a spear, slid down a huge mud hill under barbed wire and jumped over fire. I also had the time of my life!
We worked as a team helping each other over obstacles and giving encouragement when having to face our fears or the going got tough.
Towards the end of the race I saw my family waiting for me at the finish line. The motivation I needed to get there. To show my children mummy could do whatever she put her mind to. To show them having a fit & healthy lifestyle is fun and to show my hubby I can do mud races too 😉
I’ve definitely got the Spartan bug now and can’t wait to do my next race in 2020!