Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Spartan Beast Recap: The Heatwave from Hell

On Saturday Dave, myself and our trainer friend Eric set out on a little road trip to Temecula for the Spartan Beast, a 12+ mile obstacle course through some major hills in Southern California.
Our race time was 11:45, which originally we thought nothing of, until we saw the forecast for the weekend. Over 100° on Saturday. So... essentially we were racing during the peak heat hours of the day.


We all decided a few days earlier to buy 50 oz camelbaks, hats and cooling towels to soak in water and wear around our necks to keep us cool. Lifesaving ideas... literally.
^^ This was where I was emotionally as we waited in traffic to park before the race. I looked at the temperature outside and it was already 101° at 10:30 am. I was a little nervous about racing in that heat!!

As we started the course we all kind of decided that running it was a bad idea... so when we hit the first steep hill (I'd like to call it a cliff, that's how steep it felt), we decided to walk up nice and easy. When we got to the top of that monstrous hill, we knew the heat was already really bad. Racers were dropping left and right from heat exhaustion. A little after mile 1 there was a poor girl struggling to stay conscious as emergency staff tried to tap her face to keep her awake.

The heat was getting serious.

We made it through a few obstacles and took good long breaks at all of the water stations to make sure we were staying hydrated, and also eating gel packs to get carbohydrates and electrolytes back in our bodies. By mile 6 my calfs and legs were beginning to cramp pretty badly, but I knew I could work through it. The water and gel packs were definitely helping.

As we passed mile 7, we walked down a small hill to what looked like a river crossing, where we would cross and hike through another set of hills and obstacles to finish the final 5 miles of the race.... except, there was a man on an ATV blocking the road.

He was turning all the racers around telling us to head to the finish line. They had cancelled the remainder of the race due to the heat. So that is exactly what we did. We headed to the finish line, completing about 7.5 miles of the 12 mile race.

I understand their decision completely and in all honesty it probably should have happened sooner. There were so many athletes looking pale, cramping, puking and collapsing on the course - I felt like we were in a war zone.

The good news: Spartan decided to give all racers another chance to race for free at the same location in January!! So it looks like we have 4 months to train until our second chance race. ALSO - they are offering a special 2-hour workout in Temecula called the Hurricane Heatwave, where we get a custom t-shirt and dog tags.... now that is a company that will do just about ANYTHING to make right of a situation!! Dave and I are actually considering going back down this weekend for the Hurricane Heatwave workout. It sounds too fun to pass up!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Spartan Beast Jitters...

This photo say everything about my emotions today.

Tomorrow I will be running the Spartan Beast Race with Dave, and our trainer friend Eric. I am one crazy girl... entering a 12+ mile obstacle course a month before my wedding, with 2 incredibly athletic boys. Don't get me wrong... I am excited, and I know I will have a blast once I'm in the race and crushing the obstacles (or doing hundreds of burpees)... but the leading up to the race always has me with a belly full of butterflies. 

I still haven't fully figured out what is going on with my ankle... and part of me worries about a potential injury during the race, then another part of me is like "screw it... it's not that bad. Limping across the finish line is still finishing!"

I also worry about not being able to complete an obstacle. This is purely a competitive mindset that I can't seem to shake. Who cares if I can't climb that rope? Who cares if I miss the spear throw or fall off one of the horizontal wall climbs? I'll do burpees and move on. 

But it still makes me nervous. 

I guess I am just anxious to start the race and see where my endurance is at. I did an 8 miler back in January, and did just fine. I am in better shape now than I was then, so there shouldn't be a problem!

I'm so ready! I just want to be at the starting line... oh who am I kidding, I just want to be at the finish line!!! Then I'll just have a 3 miles Sprint race to complete before I earn my trifecta medal!!

Stay tuned.