Around this time last year, I decided to push my personal limits in the world of obstacle course racing by shooting for one of the ultimate prizes in the sport: a Spartan Race Trifecta.
Here’s what that means for those who have been living under a rock while in OCR (or just getting to know the sport): Spartan Race has three distances: the 3-5 mile Sprint, the 8-10 Super, and the 12-14 Beast. Complete all three within a calendar year, and you complete the Trifecta.
Well, it’s been a really, really long time since I’ve taken the time to sit down and write a new blog post. For my loyal readers, my apologies. It’s been quite the busy summer. I’ve taken on a new teaching challenge which took up a good chunk of my summer, plus a couple opportunities to travel, and the adoption of a sweet black lab puppy (yes, puppy; four months old when we adopted her), it hasn’t left me much time for writing. But I’ve decided it’s time to get back to it and catch you all up on the happenings of the year, especially as I continue my trek for a Spartan Trifecta.
In my last post, I outlined how my first Spartan Race went, and, as I often do in my posts, I discussed the areas where I fell short and how that affected me through the rest of the course. For this post, I decided to take things in a slightly different direction: I know where things went wrong for me; now I need to work on how to prepare for them so when I take on the Spartan Super (most likely in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in September), I will be ready for it.
This will also be a challenge on its own since I haven’t had time to work out much since I got back from Miami. Not to make excuses, but the month between then and now has been busy. The school year came to an end (for those who don’t know, I’m a teacher), which meant lots of grading, my girlfriend fought off mono, plus I’m preparing to teach a new level of my subject, which means I have lots of professional preparation to focus on this summer as well. But, as long as I create a good routine, I know I’ll be able to get back on that horse quite easily and somehow manage to accomplish everything I hope to.
This past weekend, I ran and completed my first Spartan Race with the goal of getting my Trifecta this year. While I’ve decided to take on the Spartan challenges in order, I’ve learned something very important this weekend: Spartan Race is no joke, and I’ve got a lot of work to do.
I took on the Sprint in Miami, the shortest of the Spartan Race series. This one was approximately 3.2 miles with 22 obstacles standing between me and my Trifecta wedge. I ran at 11am, later in the day than I’d prefer, but that was fine. The weather was nice and there was a constant breeze that kept it from being crazy hot.
One of my big goals for the year is to complete a Spartan Race Trifecta. For those who are unfamiliar with this, here’s a short rundown:
The Trifecta is earned when an athlete completes the three levels of Spartan Race within a calendar year (or from January 1 to December 31). Those three levels are: the Spartan Sprint, which includes 20-23 obstacles over three to five miles; the Spartan Super, which kicks up to 24-29 obstacles over eight to ten miles; and finally, the Spartan Beast, the toughest of the three at ten to twelve miles and packing over 30 obstacles. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, I thought I closed out my From Casual to Competitor series. And then, I somehow pulled out a personal pinnacle: completing three obstacle course races in three straight weekends. After that, I had a conversation with my girlfriend, and I was talking about being a casual obstacle course racer. She then made the very obvious point I’d been missing: “You probably should drop the word ‘casual’ from your vocabulary.”
Edit 2/16/17: Photos are in!
Yesterday, the journey I’ve been chronicling for the last few weeks finally came to fruition: yesterday I ran and completed my first competitive wave at Warrior Dash. A little over a month of training crammed in between long days of work finally finished off with a long morning and a great race. Here are some of the things I got out of my first competitive run:
First off, I’m normally up this early because of work. Even on weekends. But this morning is different. In 24 hours, I’ll be waiting at the starting line of Warrior Dash with the other competitor racers. As I stated in previous posts of this series, I don’t have any crazy expectations. I’m running the competitive wave to push my personal boundaries. I don’t expect to stand at the podium and hold up a check. I don’t expect to be in the top 10 and qualify for the OCR World Championship. I just want to finish in a respectable time. My goal is 45 minutes for the course.
Right now, I’m excited, nervous, and full of anticipation. Keep your eyes peeled for the followup to the race. And find me on Facebook and Twitter!
It’s pretty hard to imagine. In November, I took the chance of registering for Warrior Dash’s competitive wave. That was over three months ago. As of this writing, I am less than a week away from entering the ranks of OCR competitors around the world. With only six days (or five days and 16 hours to go for those who enjoy being technical), this is a good time to reflect on what’s to come from this experience.
The last ten or so days have been quite tricky as I get closer to my first competitive wave. As of this writing, I am 13 days away from my first time taking on real competition, where it’s not just me versus myself and the obstacles; it’s me against myself, the obstacles, and 50 other people who are also out to prove how good they are. While I have already chosen to not focus on being the best there, I still can’t ignore the challenge of racing other athletes. It’s not something I’ve experienced in years, and I don’t count friendly competition of HORSE on a basketball court. My main goal is still put up a respectable time in the competitive wave. And with less than two weeks till then, I’m officially in crunch time.