Amie “Live Wire” Booth has been profiled by Dirt in Your Skirt in the past. She is an endurance athlete who often tests the limits between sane and insane in some of her endeavors. Earlier this spring she choose to take on the new option at BattleFrog called BFX.
Basically, she ran the BattleFrog course for 8-hours straight on Saturday, winning for women. When most people would be happy and call it a day – once was not enough for Booth who challenged herself and the perception of what a woman can do, by taking on BFX again on Sunday and winning again. Here is her story in her own words.
What made you choose to run the BFX two days in a row?
As an athlete, I tend to lean toward OCR endurance. Races like World’s Toughest Mudder, Toughest Extreme, even Fuego Y Agua (without traditional obstacles, but obstacles nonetheless) have always been appealing. So, needless to say I was very excited that BattleFrog wanted to cater to the “extreme endurance” minded athletes, and as an athlete my goal is to try different races to keep me on my toes. In addition, I thought it would serve as good training for the events I listed. As Houston was going to be the last of the two day weekends for BattleFrog, it was a now or never decision, and one that would let me also set out to accomplish something no one had attempted to do before.
How many miles did you complete?
The race directors, including the mastermind of this particular course, Chris “Beard” Acord, put on an extremely challenging course, for grip strength especially, one that left several female elites out there for 8 hours! Since it was my goal to complete as many obstacles as possible, and give an attempt for each 5 times before taking a penalty, I completed just 15 miles each day, for a total of 30 (including those 165 obstacles and 150 penalty 8-counts). This was completely humbling, and one of the hardest courses I have done, so I was not able to accomplish the number of laps predicted. It’s good to be humbled!
Did you think you could win both days?
Honestly, no. I experienced an injury during FYA that kept me from running as much as I would like, and I had done a 206 mile road relay the weekend before. I knew I could give it my all, and really pushed myself on Saturday, only backing off when I realized the other competition had dropped. After that, I decided I could save energy for Sunday. It was really about going out for fun and experiencing the course.
What was the toughest obstacle?
In my opinion, the “Aerial Assault”, with the delta ladder climb (upside down) to the telephone pole with the rock climbing holds. The obstacle was not difficult as far as strength, but grip. I am not a fan of gloves, but may decide to use them in the future for this obstacle. I will say that was the most difficult on grip, and the cause of a lot of cuts and tears on the hands. I had to decide it would be the obstacle I would take the penalties on, even giving myself a few extra, after the many attempts.
How did you mentally get through the second day?
When I woke up, it was a chore to get out of bed. I always find it surprising that it is easier to go 24 hours straight through, than to take a good sleep and do it again, which can be mentally challenging. I was actually 30 minutes late, which gave me the determination to step it up a bit. That prevented any negativity creeping into my thoughts. While out on the course, the mental strength came through the people I got to run with throughout the day. It is good to hear things like, “how are you smiling this much?” Or, “shouldn’t you look like you are suffering?” I actually missed fewer obstacles, doing fewer penalties, and finished over 30 minutes faster than the first day! It did help to have some friendly competition out there as well.
What was the toughest moment mentally?
Having to choose between completing an obstacle and taking a penalty, as that was a difficult blow to the mind and ego. You find yourself thinking, wait, I am stronger than this, and this doesn’t feel right. I think that comes from working with BattleFrog and having it ingrained in you as an elite runner that you cannot fail an obstacle. On the other hand, it makes you very honest in your running, and gives you the strength to try as well as do those penalties the correct way. You don’t want to feel like you are cheating yourself.
How did you fuel yourself during the event?
This event was the hardest for me to fuel in a long time, and I found myself at a calorie deficit, but manageable. I found myself eating quickly at the bag drop, a mixture of Epic bars (lamb & mint), Roots Hummus and potato chips (for sodium and potassium), Ginger People chews (peanut blend), blueberries/raspberries and Kill Cliff bars. For hydration, I had Beet Elite prior to the race start both days, and once again during the middle of the race. In between, I used both Honey Badger performance energy, as well as Honey Badger hydration.
How do you prep for a race like that?
Grip strengthening and upper body were KEY for the Houston course, and for all the BattleFrog courses. I cannot stress that enough, and I suggest a serious pull-up regimen. Running is important, especially intervals accompanied by body weight exercises that allow you to target obstacle specific muscle groups. Then, of course WRECK BAGS and jerry can carry exercises. BattleFrog Xtreme does NOT allow penalties on these two obstacles, no exceptions. I prepare with 45 lb (per hand) carries in either jerry cans or using kettle bells, and I incorporate hill work and long easy jogs with my 50# Wreck Bag.
Training though, is not enough. I stress often that gear can make a difference. I wear Athletics8 compression gear and found inov8 trail rock 255 to be better than inov8 mud claws on the obstacles presented. After lots of races over the past few years, I also found it helpful to use a product called RapidForce tape for my shoulders and knee. My secondary blog for BFX will list gear reviews in reference to the course for those that are interested.
How did you recover from a weekend like Xtreme?
This course left me more bruised, sore, and cut/scraped than I had been in a long time, exacerbated by a lovely plane ride back the next day. However, I am a firm believer in active recovery. You have to keep moving. A good Epsom salt bath and a light body weight workout the next day can do wonders. Additionally, it is very important to eat well after the race. Your body needs to replenish what you spent, and eating essential fats and proteins in addition to carbohydrates and glycogen replacement sugars is the way to keep that alarm reaction of the muscles from being prolonged.