The Spartan Race: Testing My Progress One Year Later

I started my fitness journey back on June 2013 and I wanted to see how far I’d come a year from then. Yes I lost 31 pounds in 90 days, but if I kept working out and this was a lifestyle change; where would I be a year from then. A co-worker of mine in conversation one day brought up that she was doing a Tough Mudder and when I looked it up, man did it look crazy. But I was like you know what, I want to do it with you. Ultimately she did it and I chickened out lol. I wasn’t ready. When that race took place I was maybe only 4-5 months into the fitness journey. But I did want to do something like that, so I searched online and found the Spartan Race. After looking over the site and the obstacles I knew this was the one. I’m a big Spartan fan, and knew this would be the way I would mark my one year anniversary of fitness. I wanted that Spartan medallion.

I spoke to my trainer about this, and he mentioned that he did a Spartan race before as well, and said well let’s get a group and do it together. So I signed up early to lock in that commitment to do it and we got to work. During the lead up to the race, we altered my workouts some and focused on things that would increase my stamina and endurance. The Spartan race is no joke. You see all the obstacles but what you may not realize is that it is a lot of up and down hill jogging/running throughout. I was going to do a Spartan Sprint which it says is a 4 mile course (mine actually ended up being 4.5 miles). This would include a lot of jogging/running up steep hills and then back down between obstacles. I would need to prep for this. So for the first few months we increased the amount of time I would jog/run on the treadmill to build up. I start on the treadmill with a 5.0 speed with either no incline or an incline of 3.0. My trainer had set for me a speed of 6.0, but yea that was too much for me. I would need to work my way up.

Over the next few months I gradually worked my way up to 5.8 (never hit that 6.0) and between the treadmill I was working on upper body stuff. Various exercises my trainer had me working on. Various kind of pushups, pull-ups, and etc. It was around the same time I started really walking more as a general rule instead of trying to hop on mass transit. I figured if I increased the amount I walked, I could increase some of my stamina for just having to be active for a sustained period. This lead right up to June 7th 2014. I was not as ready as I could be for the Spartan Race. I went in not knowing exactly what obstacles would be before me this day.

We had a 11:15am start time. Right off the back, there was this wall I had to jump over to get into the starting pit. Talk about some challenges from the beginning. After a warrior’s chant we was off. I’m not even going to lie, the first huge hill up looked like okay this isn’t too bad. But by time we got to the top I was like ohhh man! We hiked uphill until we got into a wooded area and still it kept going up through trees and rocks. As the day progressed, it was a lot of jogging (sometime walking…) uphill and downhill. The obstacles wasn’t as bad as I though it was going to be. As you move through the obstacles, any one you aren’t able to completed, you have to do 30 burpees in its place (This is a Burpee). Out of all the obstacles on this course, I had to only do 3 sets of Burpees. This was on the Rope climb, the Spear Throw, and when scaling across a wall sideways. Every other obstacles I was able to handle. Honestly the obstacles weren’t the hard part to me. The tough part was all the hill action, those seem forever going and brutal when you start to get tired.

I completed the Spartan Race is about 3 hours from my start time. I earned my medallion, had a banana, protein shake, and a celebratory beer. I had completed the Spartan Race! It was a great test of strength, endurance, and most important will power. You have to push yourself to keep going, and I was able to keep pushing further! I urge anyone to create a challenge like this on an annual basis. Challenge yourself and see if the working out you are doing it helping you move up to new levels. I’ll be doing another Spartan Race in June 2015, and if your interested come join me!

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