Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ft. Bragg Spartan Sprint Recap

April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs host Tuesdays on the Run. This week they're talking about what they won't run without.  While I do have a pretty good list for it, I'm going to tell you instead about a run I did "naked"!

On September 19, I did my first Spartan Race.  I became a Spartan that day, and it truly changed my life.  

Here are my biggest takeaways: 
1. I can do more than I thought, physically and mentally.
2. I can now approach the world by replacing "I can't" with "Maybe not today, but I can get there eventually."
3. I know I don't have nearly as much to be afraid of.

It was a Sprint at Ft. Bragg.  It's not technically on base, but it's Ft. Bragg property.  Start and finish on a beach lake in a recreational area they have.  

We got there an hour and a half early, like the instructions said to.  Paid our $10, parked, and walked to check in.  It was about a half mile from where we parked to the check in.  I'm definitely glad we had my Jeep! We were parked essentially in sand with sticks and roots and whatnot sticking out of it.  Checked in and got my packet.  I decided not to wear my headband because I wanted to save it.  You get that, a wristband with your start time that they cut off when you get your t-shirt, a timing chip and plastic wristband to wear it on, a free beer wristband, and a discount code for registering for another race (or off apparel at the store online, I don't remember).  The festival area was on the beach.  The Marine Corps had a station set up with a push-up/pull-up contest, Navy Federal Credit Union had a booth, Spartan SGX did with a mini rope climb and a few other things set up for spectators to do, there was a merchandise booth (I got a hat), medical tent, beer, and I think some food you could buy.

Before my start we watched people on the rope climb, slip wall, and fire jump (the only obstacles you could see from the finish line) while I freaked out.  We also got to watch Team OEW walking to the start line, which was absolutely amazing.

Finally it was my start time.  You have to jump over a wall to get to the start line.  I think it was 6'.  And I needed help for it.  And let me tell you, that definitely put me into panic mode!  From there it was no turning back onto my 5.5 mile journey.  And what a journey it was.  Here's what we knew ahead of time for obstacles: Over Parachute Under Walls, Moats, O-U-T, Classified, 6' 7' 8' Walls, Hurdles A, Hurdles B, Monkey Bars, Atlas Carry, Inverted Wall, Classified, long stretch of running, Plate Drag, Classified, Big Cargo, Water Drudge, Sandbag Duck Carry, Z-Walls, Classified, Spear Throw, Classified, Bombs Over Barbed Wire, Clif Multi-Bar, Rope Climb, Slip Wall, Fire Jump, Finish!  The classified obstacles in order were: Hay Bales, Vertical Cargo, Ammo Can Carry, Bucket Brigade, Hercules Hoist.  This is not my video, but you can see a video of all the obstacles here.

Here are the obstacles I couldn't complete: 6' 7' 8' Foot Walls, Monkey Bars, Inverted Wall, Z-Walls, Spear Throw, Multi-Bar, Rope Climb, Slip Wall.  I attempted everything except the tall walls.  There were a lot of obstacles I got help on, too, but I did complete them.  I'm going to be completely honest right here and now - I did not do all of my burpees.  But I still fully consider myself both a finisher and a Spartan for this reason: I left everything I had on that course.  I could barely even stand up straight or see straight by the time I was done.  I physically had nothing left in my and I felt it was better and more beneficial for me to keep going through the race.

Now I know what I need to train more for next time (burpees, upper body strength, grip strength).  But I'm definitely doing another race, and my main goal now is to start embracing the Spartan lifestyle as much as I can! Now, please enjoy some pictures! Professional ones are first, then ones from me/my boyfriend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TotR: Tracking Devices

April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs host Tuesdays on the Run.  Today we're talking about tracking devices!

I have three main ones that I use.

Everday, I use my Fitbit.  I previously had the Flex and now have the Charge HR.  I love the accountability it can make me have, especially when I'm in a challenge with other Fitbit users! It really makes my competitive side come out and can push me to get more steps.  I will admit I rarely get to 10k unless I have a race and work in the same day, or a race that's a 10k or longer.  Sometimes I get scared when it buzzes at me!  My only complaint is that the HR monitor doesn't show nearly the burn/HR it should, but I know it's not entirely accurate and use it more for overall daily burn.

When I run, I use my Garmin Forerunner 220. I had the 10 before, but wanted a fancier device.  Mostly I wanted to eliminate the need for both a GPS device and HR monitor.  This was at a time I was very involved with calories in vs. out and had my Fitbit Flex.  I love the HR monitor because I can see if I'm pushing too hard.  I also love that it vibrates for my run:walk interval, which the 10 didn't.  Sometimes at races there are other people using the Galloway method and I need to know which beeps are mine!

The last device, which I don't use as much anymore, is my Polar FT4 HR Monitor watch.  Like I said, I used to be very involved with calories.  Sometimes if I'm going to be in an intense cardio session in the gym I'll want to know how many calories I burn, etc.  This one is mostly getting put on the back burner for now but I do love it! It's super lightweight and gives good data.

What devices are your favorite?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Update: Sept. 7-13

In order to start workout out more and have an actual weekly update, I'll start posting them on Mondays!  They're a fairly uneventful day for me so I think it's a good time to do it.

Monday, Sept 7: Went to the gym and did a Crush60 workout.  Started over since we hadn't done any in a while.  It was chest day and involved bench presses, multiple kinds of dumbbell presses, push ups, etc. 

Tuesday Sept 8: Tuesdays are my super busy days so I don't really forsee any workouts, honestly.  I student teach from 7 am to around 4 pm, depending on when the staff meeting gets out.  Then I have class from 6-8:45 pm.  It's a busy day!

Wednesday Sept 9: Got in a 3 mile run.  Almost had negative splits, but at least my last mile was my fastest!  Then back day for Crush60 day 2.  Deadlifts, pulldowns, rows, etc.

Thursday Sept 10: Boyfriend's little brother's birthday at a hibachi grill, Miyabi's.  No exercise.  I probably would have thrown up if I tried after dinner, and we picked him up from school and wouldn't be able to bring him to the gym before dinner.

Friday Sept 11: Better Booty/Leg Day.  Worst idea ever before a run.  Oh well! Multiple kinds of deadlifts and tons of hamstring curls!

Saturday Sept 12: 5k.  Tunnels to Towers.  It's a super intense race for me.  There's at least a third of a mile that has Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts lined up, each one wearing a picture of a firefighter that gave his life on 9/11.  This is the third year I've done the race and every year I cry.  Then work.  15k+ steps!

Sunday Sept 13:  Super tired from work and the race the day before.  Started to work on homework for the following week.  No physical activity.

Did you do anything fun this week?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Five: Fall Races

MarCourtney, and Cynthia host Friday Five and today we get to talk about fall races!

I don't have a lot of big ones coming up, but a lot I'm excited about!

1. I just raced a XC Kickoff 5k.  It was all on grass and that was definitely a new experience for me! Ok so technically it's still summer, not fall, but it's totally fine. 

2. Run for Jane 5k tomorrow! It's going to be super hot and humid but I think it will be a really pretty course.  I've done this 10k before but when it was at a very different location.

3. Tunnels to Towers 5k on September 12.  The meaning behind this race is super intense, and this will be my third year running it.  If you've never heard of it you can read about it here.

4. Ft. Bragg Spartan Sprint on September 19! I'm absolutely TERRIFIED about this but excited too! I'm totally undertrained and I don't know how many obstacles I'll be able to do but we'll see what happens.

5. Rock and Roll Savannah on November 7. Maybe this is winter, not fall, but again it's fine ;) If I can get my butt in gear with training, I think I might be able to PR this race!

Do you have any exciting races coming up?