… so, we trudge and we trudge — we take a few breaks along the hillside, sitting on our sandbags — and we trudge some more.
This was, by far, the longest portion of the race for everyone around me. I saw veteran racers sitting down, wiping the sweat off of their brows and catching their breaths; I saw Trifecta Tribe members, experienced at the dreaded Spartan Beast, struggling to get up the hill (I keep saying “hill”, but this is actually a mountain… nonetheless… )
But, we made it. Only to realize that we still had to carry those things BACK DOWN the mountainside. Ah, well. I’m in it now. We’re about 2 miles into the race, so almost halfway — no chance I’m quitting. It’s not my style. I don’t quit.
Up, down, through the woods, over and through the river (actually, just a 5-6′ deep, muddy, murky pond). Back up the hill, and I finally reach my first set of burpees.
I hate the balance logs.
Yup, I failed on this obstacle. The balance logs. So, it was 30 *very long* burpees for me. I lost a good 7-8 mins on these — I wasn’t ready for doing burpees. I knew better. I really knew better. But, I just was too exhausted, and had too short a time before this race to actually dedicate to real training. I spent 4 weeks with Hate Mentality Training, which was awesome and absolutely helped, but crashing out 30 burpees after 4+ miles of mountain trekking & obstacles was tough. I did it, but it was tough.
After that, it was a short downhill run to the 8′ wall, which I leapt up & over without thinking — just did it. Then, the dreaded traverse wall — piece of cake. Got across it in a few short seconds, rang the bell & moved on downhill. It was then I faced my worst nightmare: the Rope Climb.
For those who don’t know, the Rope Climb is about a 20-25′ climb up a wet rope (after jumping into a waist-deep pool of muddy water) and ringing a bell. For me, I struggle with upper-body strength. Pull-ups, rope climbing, those sorts of things are a challenge. The good news is the ropes are knotted, so I can use my legs to take “breaks” as I go up. The bad news is: my legs are WIPED OUT. This was a mental challenge as much as a physical.
But, I’ve come this far with only one set of burpees. I. WILL. COMPLETE. THIS.
Up I go. <> I did it. Rope Climb has been decimated. Now, to go under the low, barbed-wire crawl, up the Slippery Wall, over the Fire Jump, and through the Gladiator Gauntlet. That’s nothing! I got this! AROO! AROO! AROO!
I get pumped up, smash through the remaining obstacles mindlessly, and finish up the race with a time of 1:30:47 — good enough for 37th in my age group. Top 1% overall.
Now, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to laugh, cry, pray, give thanks, scream, growl, bite someone, kiss someone, punch someone, kill someone or all of the above. It’s primal, that finish. There’s no other descriptor than that.
I’m ready to go again…