So you’d think a marathon would be enough for the month of November, but alas, I am insane and can’t say no to a free race!
Let’s travel back in time.
To, oh, May I think it was? I’m not sure. Time is a mystery to me. All I know for sure is it was many, many months ago. I (as I very often do) conned some of my friends into running a FREE 5k with me. At the end of this FREE 5k there was also free beer. Great, right? Win-win-win-win all around. Well, joke was on Kyler and Conor because it turns out I had to work the night of the 5k so I bailed on them (Sorry, guys, you’re great). They, being very brave souls, soldiered on without me and crushed the 5k.
At this 5k there was a lovely start up company called RaceMenu. They are a local Boston company and they do things like time events, online registration, etc. etc. They’re good people. Anywho! At this free 5k they had a sweet deal which was this: $20 for a ticket to Red Sox game. Along with that ticket you got to go to a pre-game party with free beer AND BURRITOS. AND. AND. A free entry to the Fenway Park Spartan Race. Which was an obstacle course type race held within Fenway itself. Pretty cool! Kyler and Conor hooked me (and Joe) up with this deal and we merrily attended a Red Sox game.
Before I continue I should tell you that Joe is a very smart man. Smarter than I’ll ever be. Joe “neglected” to register for his free spot in the Spartan Race. If only I had the foresight to do the same, but I’m getting ahead of myself….
Fast forward a few months. I register for the Santa Barbara Marathon (COMPLETELY forgetting about this Spartan Race). Kyler cheerfully reminds me of Spartan Race. I am horrified at the thought of it, but shove it into the back of my mind.
Oh, then today happens. Exactly one week after the marathon I’m on the train and heading to Fenway park with Kyler. Conor (again smarter than both of us) opted out.
One good thing about this race is it rekindled my friendship with an effing delightful fart spewin’ lady named Julia. We used to work together at a coffee shop a few years back and got along really well, but after I quit we never saw each other. As luck would have it we were in the SAME WAVE in this race. Julia does MMA Martial Arts crap (I actually got a groupon to start doing it with her) so she’s already strong and mighty. I just have running legs. Lifting crap? Nope. Not even for a second.
We line up to start. And guess what we have to do first? 10 Burpees. Okay. 10 Burpees. I can do that. Kinda. So I do. The whole beginning of the race is crawling under long rubbery bands. Only it’s on these ramps (through the seating of fenway park). And these ramps are made of death cement that stab your hands. Yayyy!!! I, being very resourceful, pulled up my sleeves to cover my hands and I was able to make it through. Julia got ahead quickly. Kyler and Julia’s boyfriend, Eric, and I stuck together for the first chunk, but after we were done with that they told me to go ahead. So I did.
The bits where were just had to run were awesome. Turns out training for a marathon helps with your endurance! I caught up with Julia at the first obstacle which was (I believe) picking up a big hunk of cement, carrying it, then doing TEN MORE BURPEES. Fuck you, spartan race.
Actually, everything was kind of a blur. The entire race I was right behind Julia and it was a blast! I knew I could look forward to catching up to her at the obstacle stops. Here’s a breakdown of what I remember:
– Rowing Machine. You had to row 500m in 2 minutes or else do THIRTY BURPEES. What the hell?! I WAS SO close. I had 30m left when the machine said “SORRY YOU GOT THE BURPEES”. Dicks. To be fair. I half assed those goddamn burpees
– Climb a rope: I rocked at this. I don’t know why. Probably because there were knots in the rope.
– Carrying jugs of water: I also rocked at this, but that’s because I’m a girl and we only had to do one jug instead of two. So it kind of felt like cheating.
– Running up stairs (this happened a lot) and through seating: These were my favorite parts because, y’know, just running
– 20 Hand Release Push ups: turns out these are easier than normal pushups. Thank god. Because I was starting to feel the burpees here.
– Jumping over various walls/rolling under walls: These were fun and I always thought “WHEEE!”
– Javelin: We had to throw a Javelin in a haystack or do THIRTY BURPEES. You better fucking believe I got the Javelin in the haystack.
– Throw a ball in a bucket: This sounds lame. Because it was. I missed and had to do THIRTY BURPEES. I half assed some more here. I probably did like 22. I’m bad at counting.
– Carry a Sandbag: Do you know how many sandbags I had to move when I was in a touring production of twelfth night? At least a billion. this was kind of a break from everything else, honestly! Because I just walked.
– Jump Rope: This was not your Mom’s jump rope. This was a giant effin rope that was much heavier. We had to do 50. It blew and took me a long time to muscle through.
– Pull a concrete block up via rope pulley system: Hard. But I did it.
– During the last stretch of the race you had to do 30 burpees no matter what. Umm. You’re just getting LAZY SPARTAN RACE. Burpees do not equal obstacles. Sorry.
– 10 Box Jumps: Honestly, Didn’t mind these after ALL THE BURPEES.
– At the end of the race they had people wielding giant foam things that they beat you with. I welcomed the gentle beatings with open arms.
In all honestly? The race wouldn’t have been that hard if it wasn’t for all of the burpees!!! All of the obstacles I was able to handle..for the most part. The burpees just made me mad! And, like I said, felt like a lazy way to make it difficult. Overall, though? I had a blast. I love climbing things! I was really worried I was going to hurt myself, but thankfully I didn’t (as far as I can tell).
We all finished the race in one piece and now we are officially warriors! You’ll notice that Kyler hates his life in this photo:
Part of me feels like these Spartan Races are just a big old money suck. You spend 100+ dollars to participate and nothing comes with it! You still have to pay 5 dollars for bag check (we’re cheapos so we shoved 4 people’s worth of stuff into two bags) and there’s no free beer (COME ON).
On the other hand we did get to race through Fenway Park, and climbing up and down things was a lot of fun. I have no regrets about doing it since I got the entry for free. There are lots of coupon codes/discounted entries out there if you can find them so if you don’t pay full price I think it’s definitely worth it!
Next up? Getting ready for marathon # 2. I took the 3 days after Santa Barbara off. Wednesday I did Yoga and ran 4 miles (very, very slowly). Thursday I ran 4 miles again (slightly less slow). Friday I did yoga. Today was the Spartan Race. Tomorrow I’m planning on doing an easy long(ish) run. Maybe 10 – 13 miles? We’ll see how I feel. I want to get one twenty miler in next weekend before the marathon and try to practice how I want to run the race (…ideally negative split..). I’m kind of making this crap up as a go along. My only goal is to prevent injury. So that means backing off if I have to and yoga, yoga, yoga.