On the Road to a Triple Trifecta
This year has already been pretty epic for me. Last year, I made the decision to get a Spartan Race Triple Trifecta in 2013. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it means racing the three Spartan distances three times each. So far, I’ve raced four times – two supers and two sprints. I’m not going to do a play-by-play of the races. I couldn’t even if I wanted to because my memory is so horrible. So, I’m just going to highlight some of my high points, low points and some memorable experiences from these races. And hopefully there are more highs than lows!
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUPER SPARTAN 1/27/13 – 8+ miles
Getting away from Salt Lake. Salt Lake City had the worst seasonal pollution on record this winter. We have an inversion layer, where a warm layer of air sits on top of a cold layer of air, trapping all the pollution in the valleys. In January, there were 22 days of unbreathable air. Just walking outside, I felt like my lungs were heavy and I couldn’t take a deep breath. I couldn’t run outside and I hate treadmills, so I just hoped my CrossFit training would be enough!
Staying in Laguna Beach. This was one of my favorite places to go when we lived in California from 1995 to 2004. I really missed it! My husband (Jeff) and I were able to go to some of our favorite restaurants and take a walk on the beach.
Hills! There were a lot of hills in this race. That was a first for me! I’ve done most of my races in Florida where the highest elevation is 345 feet. I thought I did pretty well on the first hill, my pace was good and I was able to run up. That was the only time though. I walked and crawled up the rest of the hills. I got into a rhythm – hike up the hills, then run down the hills and on the flats. But in my head I was cursing myself for not doing more hill training.
The Hobie Hop. This was a new obstacle for me. We had to put an exercise band around our ankles and hop down a trail with straw bales in the way. Not hard, but there was the most annoying volunteer at the obstacle! When I was doing it, there was only Rosa King (nice meeting you btw!) and I at the obstacle and he kept saying over and over “Hop my little bunny rabbits, hop!” I wanted to punch him!
120 burpees! I’m a perfectionist and I hate to fail. I failed the monkey bars (wet), the traverse (wet and muddy), spear throw (my first time throwing one), and the rope climb. The rope climb had defeated me at my two previous Spartan races also. The stupid thing about it though is that I can climb a rope. I can do the j-hook and the s-wrap techniques but those don’t work for a knotted rope. And I didn’t have a knotted rope to practice on. AHH!
The changing tent. Sounds weird, but it’s a great place to chat and meet some great people! Although I met a few, I wish I had introduced myself to more. I thought I recognized several people, but I’m actually very shy and didn’t say anything. Once I got home, I matched up faces with names online so next time!
ARIZONA SPARTAN SPRINT 2/9/13 & 2/10/13 – 3+ miles (ended up being closer to 5!)
Melinda Sorenson and the other Spartan Chicks. Jeff and I picked up my fellow Utah Spartan Chick, Melinda Sorenson, about an hour south of where I live and gave her a ride to the race which was a 12 hour drive. This was my first time meeting her. It was great chatting in the car and hearing all about her training playground at the gravel pit she works at. So nice to get to know someone as crazy as I am! At the race I met many other Spartan Chicks. I joined the Spartan Chicked group on Facebook a couple years ago and the women on there are so inspirational! It’s great to finally meet many of them in person. (DIYS Margaret Schlachter was one of the founders of the group and its now almost 10,000 strong!)
Running past the Hurricane Heat. At the top of the first big hill during the race, I caught up with the Hurricane Heat. As I was bent over, trying to catch my breath (I still need more hill training!), they were cheering me on. I was so grateful for their encouragement! I met someone just today at my local gym named Luis who was in that Hurricane Heat. He recognized me. I must have looked pretty bad to be that memorable.
First time to race twice. I had so much fun the first day, I decided to run the next day. Melinda was up for it, but Jeff wasn’t so he played photographer and took some great pictures. My second race was only 2 seconds slower that the first. With all the variables in an obstacle race I thought that was crazy.
Zero burpees both races! Yup, I conquered the rope and the spear. Once I figured out how to climb the knotted rope, I was like duh! Why couldn’t I have figured this out sooner! The knots actually make it easier. Who would have thunk! And it felt so good to chick (when a girl passes up a guy) lots of guys at the spear throw.
Broken water hoses. Yes, the water wasn’t working at the event when it was time to clean up after the race on Sunday. We had already checked out of our hotel, so Melinda and I just toweled off and drove the 12 hours home caked in mud. After getting home, the temperatures were freezing and I think I left our muddy clothes in the trunk of the car for a week before I could get the courage to take them out and wash them. Then, since I couldn’t hose them off because of the cold, I had to soak them in the tub before washing them. That Arizona mud was nasty!
FLORIDA SUPER SPARTAN 2/24/13 – 8+ miles
Driving to the race on a scooter with Jeff. We stayed in South Beach and parking isn’t easy there so we decided not to rent a car. Instead, we rented a scooter and it was so fun riding on the back of it the 15 miles to the race!
Beating last years time by 10 minutes. This was my 3rd time doing this race. In 2011 this race was pretty easy. They actually had a four-squared Rubik’s Cube. All we had to do was solve one side of it. Believe it or not, most of the 20-somethings didn’t even try and just went straight to burpees. Being a child of the 80’s, I did it in about 10 seconds. Please bring it back Spartan Race! This years race was almost identical to 2012 so it’s a good comparison. Improvement always makes me happy!
Tropical trail run. Oleta State Park is so beautiful and my favorite place to run. A large portion of the trail is through a forest of mangroves and ferns. Gorgeous! I dreaded coming out of the canopy because I knew it would be hot in the open sun. And it was. I started to get overheated and I had to walk some of the race right before the finish line. Hate that!
Zero burpees! I’m starting to get the hang of this.
Meeting some great people. I met Nele Schulze in the forest and I’m so grateful for her pacing me. She’s a great competitor and I love her accent! After the race, I met Rhonda Darling at the rope climb while I was waiting for Jeff to come through. I was so impressed with her. She is such a great person! I met many amazing people. It was also great running into some of my Miami friends and I wish I had been able to spend more time there to meet up with more of you!
Warm weather. It was 82 degrees the day of the race. What better place to be in the middle of winter. I came home with a great tan. Made me kick myself a little for moving away. But it’s more important to live close to family, right?
I’m doing a lot better than I anticipated at these races. I have to give credit to CrossFit Posse for this. I started crossfitting last September and it has dramatically improved my athleticism! I signed up for the elite heats not because I thought I could actually compete with the other elite racers, but because I’m too impatient to wait in line for an obstacle. I’m not a very fast runner, but I can fly through most of the obstacles so I need that advantage. Surprisingly, I’m doing really well! I’m getting inspired to train harder and to actually go out and run (I hate running!). I’m really looking forward to the rest of this year. I’m continually looking for more races to run and I’m looking forward to meeting some more amazing people.