Monday, August 21, 2017

Down to the Wire

I only have a few days prior to running the Spartan Race Beast in Breckenridge, CO.  I'm UBER excited, but also UBER scared.  I have questions running through my head: Did I train right? Did I run enough? Have I done enough upper body or core strengthening? Will I get altitude sickness and not be able to perform? Will I get hurt? Will I DNF for any reason? Can I handle the 13+ miles at elevation?

Even though these questions keep running through my head I keep shaking them out and telling myself that no matter what, I will endure.  I'll call on the Spartan grit to make it through.  Sure, given some of my weaknesses I will probably end up doing about 300 burpees for failed obstacle penalties, but it will be water under the bridge when I jump that fire and cross the finish line to earn my Beast medal.  I think that last time I ran that I looked pretty good, but it has been a while so the fears keep creeping in.

I mean, I was able to complete the Wall Traverse at my first Spartan event.  Granted, it was "only" a Spartan Sprint.  I have specifically been working lately on grip strength to help with this type of obstacle this time.  I don't think I'm much stronger upper body-wise and in my core though.  In fact, I am afraid that I am weaker.  No matter, I will do my best on every obstacle and I will do the burpees if needed.

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Conquer the Gauntlet Iowa Race Recap

Image result for conquer the gauntlet

If anyone has been reading my blog recently, not that I've been actually writing that much, you would have read in my post "The Next Challenge" that I am going to be tackling a Spartan Race Beast in Breckenridge, Colorado.  In preparation for this challenge I have changed my eating habits, started working out more and in different ways, and even resurrected Spartan Race's #Spartan30 squat challenge.   I'll write a separate post on some of those changes.  Since I'm doing all of this, and my buddy that I'm doing it with figured we could use some real life training and he talked with his buddy William about the Conquer the Gauntlet series.  We got an opportunity to volunteer and run the race in Iowa on a short notice.  Like REALLY short notice.  The race was this past Saturday August 5th, 2017 and we talked about it (and signed up) just a few days before the race.

I was even able to get Caden (12) registered to run it.  He ran Mud Factor about a month prior which was short of 2 miles and he has ran 5k before.  So, I figured this was going to be a pretty good challenge for him as well.  I confirmed with my buddy and the rest of the crew that would be running with us that they would be okay with him joining.  They were more than enthusiastic to have him join.  Checking out the potential obstacle list I knew there would be some that I would not be comfortable with Caden doing as you need to know how to swim.  Caden is learning, but knowing that the water would not be see through in order to be able to see if he was struggling I was not comfortable with him even attempting some.  Other than these obstacles he at least attempted all of them.  I was so proud as he was able to attempt and basically complete them all.

I'm not going to lie, this course was kind of brutal!  The course was just over 4 miles by my Garmin, but a couple of other competitors mapped just below 4 miles.  So, we'll call it "roughly 4 miles." There was some ups and downs as you go in and out of a creek that runs through the property several times.  Those climbs were muddy at the bottom and loose soil with nothing to grab above there.  None of us (or any other competitor that we saw) was able to complete the pegboard.  There were balance obstacles that we did some pairing on to complete.  Most OC Racers don't train for balance necessarily, so I was the one that was able to fare better in these.  The biggest guy with the "best" balance....HA!  The Cliffhanger is their monkey bar section. They threw a surprise in when you got halfway up the 1st side and the rungs spin! Yeah, that was a shock to my forearms.  My buddy bested the Stairway to Heaven with ease.  The Belly of the Beast was a cargo net that you start atop a platform and climb down the inverted underside of the net to ring a bell.  Once we hit More Cowbell (the rope climb) I was surprisingly able to climb the 1st half of this soaking wet rope.  I tried several times, but don't have the skills yet to climb it.  When we got to the end the Torpedo was a fun water slide to take right before the finish line to get you soaked.  The negative to this, needed to go volunteer a few minutes after racing.  All in all it took Caden 2:27:05 to complete and he did awesome!
Caden posing with Deadpool, Spiderman, and She-Thor. They ran in those costumes!
Afterwards Caden rocked in helping to volunteer.  He walked the entire kids course a few times in order to clean up while we tore down the obstacles.  He helped to tear down and carry things to be loaded.  It was a great experience to share with him and a group of race friends.  I recommend checking out the race series if you want to run, volunteer, or both!  It's a "small business", but the owner is there doing everything himself.  He doesn't just own it.  He was there setting up, running it, tearing down, and loading things up.  You can check out the pics that we got for FREE from the event and photos that we took during the event below.  I still have to download the GoPro footage that I captured.

There are still 2 more weeks in the Resurrected Spartan Race #Spartan30 squat challenge.  Be sure to join and you can post your fun with the challenge!

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

The sun on the rise on our way.
We are sardines!!!
Slack line
Atop the A-frame Cargo Net

Caden tackling the Pegatron!
I swear this is my motto, so it is fitting we found this sign mid-course.
Log carry
Caden starting under the Belly of the Beast.
I actually had enough strength to conquer the Belly of the Beast.
My buddy finishing the Stairway to Heaven.
Conquering the Cliffhanger.
Looking like I was doing good, but I failed.
At the finish!
Caden's Race Results