Saturday, March 2, 2013


I am...exhausted. 

Ever since double dare, I have wanted to do an obstacle course.  I mean, really.  Who doesn't want to crawl through a giant pizza, or out of a giant ear, or slide on their belly through some jelly like a penguin to catch the flag.

Marc Summers is totally having a freak out here.
I mean, that's awesome, right?  Based off of this childhood memory, and as a Christmas gift for Shawn, I thought, Yeahhhhh we should totally do one of those.

So the world got together and said, we should make obstacle courses for ADULTS.  Thus the Spartan Race was invented.

Unlike other races, the Spartan Race is a little bit mean.  By a little bit, I mean a whole lotta bit.  In other races, if you can't do an obstacle, well you tried.  Good on ya.  The Spartan Races does not encourage weakness.  No.  If you can't do an obstacle, for whatever the reason, you do 30 burpees.  Side note, Spartans do the push-up variant.

I will admit, had I found this out before I bought him the tickets, I probably would have done something a little more...intro.  I've got a messed up foot right now and a perma messed up knee, so burpees aren't really my friends.  Regardless for the past 6 weeks or so, Shawn and I trained a little bit.  Mostly, once I figured out that I sucked at burpees, I tried to just do a bunch of burpees. 

The race was this morning.  It was about 2 hours away in Wonthaggi, that's down by where the adorable little penguins are.  As we drove down in our rental, we sang and joked and laughed.  "ooooh we should go see the penguins after this!" "Haha, at the end, I'm just going to yell, I AM SPARTA!"  "Y'know that barbed wire part?  I bet I can crawl like a boss"  Ahh, the follies of youth.

When we arrived I got a little bit nervous.  Mostly I was annoyed at this one girl in the bathroom who was trying to fix her hair.  She wanted it to look good.  In doing so, she kept hitting me.  Look, I know I've had short hair for quite some time, but when the heck did putting your hair into a pony tail become a contact sport? Why was the flailing so much?  Also, don't you realize where you are?

That girl aside, we headed into registration.  We got a little plastic bobber to put on our shoes for our race times.  We walked around bit and then decided to head over to the start.

Look at how full of life we are.

And then we were off.  I stayed at the back of the pack because 1) i am not a cardio superstar and 2) well, that's about it.

We jogged for a few minutes and came to our first obstacle.  The barbed wire crawl.  Guess who can't crawl like a boss?  Granted, we were crawling in dirt, it was windy and there were rocks in the ground that were cutting up my arms, but yeah, not a boss at crawling.  I suppose it has to come off of the resume now.  I did figure out since I am low to the ground, that I could basically just crawl on my hands and knees, modified a little bit.  It sure beat scraping up my arms.

We then had an adventure walking through a river of mud and water.  I was hesitant to go into it, (as I didn't want to roll an ankle) so a volunteer shoved me in.  That was charming.
Then we had more jogging.  Here's something I learned,  I don't like trail running.  My ankles cannot handle it.  Or as Shawn said "Thank your dad for your crappy ankles...and knees....and joints...and body."

The next thing we came across were a row of hay bales.  I will tell you, there is nothing worse than a smug volunteer sitting atop the hay bales trying to tell you how to scale them.  "Run at them and jump" first off, is a crappy set of instructions and two WHEN YOU HAVE THE ARMS OF A T-REX it isn't that easy.  We fixed this by me running and shawn shoving me over.  Thrice.  Because one set of hay bales was not enough.

I can't climb a hay bale, bro.
After that there was more "running"  I like to call my form of running, walking.  Eventually after all this "running" we were given sand bags to carry and run through some tires.


There were some small walls to go over.  Shawn helped me over, and through.  (I was able to tackle under myself)

And then things got more fun.  In addition to more "running" there were more lakes to go through filled with muddy water.  These quickly became my favorite, because I could just give my poor feet a break.  But the problem with all the water is obviously you are wet.  And wet hands don't make for an doing anything easily.  Also wet feet and wet socks equal blisters.

We came to an obstacle I was pretty excited about, a balance beam.  I'm rocking the balance beam, nice and slowly, and this dude runs up behind me and knocks me off.  I was like ONE beam from the end.  So I started yelling at him.  I had to do 30 burpees so I felt like he had to too since he knocked me off.  Instead he finished the beam and peed in the bushes.  Cool.

Admission time.  I did 7.  I felt like I had that obstacle in the bad until that bogan (serioulsy he had one tooth) knocked me off.  It's not fair. 

Next came a giant wall.  And thanks for putting that tiny 2X4 on the wall for the ladies.  Shawn wasn't allowed to help me and even on the 2X4 I couldn't reach the top. (re: t-rex arms) Soooooo more burpees it was.  (At least I got some water here.)

Things didn't get much better from here.  We really felt like the last 1/2 of the course was pretty stacked with hard obstacles one after another with very limited running.  Lots of going through more water, climbing up mud slicked hills with ropes, and at one point, we had to swim through a lake.  A girl who said "i can't swim" decided this was the time to try and learn, freaked out in the middle and had to be pulled out by a lifeguard.  Sadly, in the middle of swimming (many could touch, i was too short) i had a bit of a freakout.  My arms were so tired and heavy, and I'm not a great swimmer to begin with.  I was a bit paniced, until I just decided to turn over and kick with my legs on my back.  Though admittedly, I was a bit miffed at that girl that decided to 'try and swim' when people might actually need the help. 

I was pretty toast, but to shawn's credit, he did stay with me the whole time going at a very slow jog.  he's obviously much more fit than i am, so it was good he was with me. 

We had more crawling under barbed wire, except this time everyone was doing barrel rolls.  I thought, that looks pretty efficient.  Clearly I forgot I have vertigo.  I most certainly almost vomited after that one.  Also it was uphill.  I wonder if the person who designed the course also completed it?

The obstacle I was looking forward to the most (the cargo net) was looming in the future.  But to get up the cargo next there was a slick incline with a rope.  And no, no knots in that rope.  I suggested Shawn go up first and then when I got close, he could grab my arm and pull me up.  That seemed like a really super plan, until I attempted to scale the wall.  I was doing SO GOOD, and then my arms were like "oh hell no" and started to shake.  So like one step from Shawn's reach, I though, Oh hey, Now is a great time to squat down.  Seriously?  I'm not getting up from that.  So I slid back down.  I tried again on a different rope, but it was all wet and now my hands were soaked.  I tried a third time and slid down hard on my hip (yup, sick bruise there).  Someone asked me if I was okay, and I said Yes, I'm just pissed because now I have to do burpees and I really JUST WANT TO CLIMB THE CARGO NET. 


The obstacle after that was the rope climb.  I have never climbed a rope in my life, but I was excited because in the videos they all have knots.  So no.  No knots. And you were climbing up from waist deep water.  Shawn made it 3/4 of the way up, but he slipped down.  Burrrrrppeeeeeees.

We were almost home at that point, another traipse through the water (or more swimming for those vertically challenged) and then a javelin throw (hit the dummy, did not stick) and the monkey bars.  BURPEES.

At the end there's some dudes that hit you with those large type q-tip sticks.  Shawn went first and after he was past them, the jerk pushed him down with when his back was turned!  He skinned up his knee.

I ran through with no problem, because I basically walked up to the guy and was like "dude, hit somebody else".  he gave me a little tap and I collected my medal, my t-shirt, but NOT my cider, because they only had gross toohey's extra dry beer.  A sad day. 

We got our results.  I was 801 out of 821 for women..  I'm gonna take it as a victory that I wasn't last.  2218 out of 2251 overall.

Muddy and tired.

I feel gross.

Where were those two kids full of life?

Dirt mustache.
I also decided this was an excellent time to drink out of a coconut.

Post Race Coconut.
It was a less excellent time when I immediately felt like I was going to vomit.  (and I still do).  We changed out of our clothes, and a man approached me about doing another run.  In the dark.  In the bush.  AND IT'S LIKE YOU'RE IN A WARZONE.  Clearly I look pretty badass with my medal and my towel around my waist.

We drove home, washed our clothes (they have more times to run through) and took the worlds longest shower. (Hair wash count : 3 shampoos).  I think I've still got mud on me.  In fact Shawn just said "there's mud on your knees"  I'm too tired to care.

I will say, everything hurts.  I mean everything.  It hurts when I breathe, I feel sick to my stomach, I can barely walk, I'm covered in cuts, scrapes and bruises, BUT i did complete the race.  And that my friends is a feat in itself.  7km?  I got that.  Climbing up a muddy hill with a rope.   Okay.  Wall?  Yes, with assistance.  But based on my current fitness level, i'm pretty impressed that I was able to complete it at all. 

Will i do another one?  No, probably not at this level.  Shawn said he's like to do one at a "normal" pace and I said "A WHAT?" and he said " pace?" and i said "yes, that's right.  YOUR pace, not a 'normal' pace."  He's already looking at the 14km Spartan in October or the Tough Mudder in September.  I'm glad he had a good time.  And I'm glad I survived


  1. Congratulations! That's a big feat. I keep thinking that maybe in a year or so...I want to sign up to do a Tough Mudder or something, but I am not in good enough shape right now!

    1. this one was brutal. Start with like a Warrior Dash as there's no penalty and people can help you. They frown on it when people are trying to pull you over obstacles in this one. and TRUST me, if i can do something like this with my messed up foot and knee, I think anyone probably can.

  2. Great Post and you're right... everybody at some point of their lives wat to run a nice muddy obstacle course, or any obstacle course for that matter... We always want to test ourselves to see just how well we hold up to a challenge. yOu guys didn't finish last and you had fun... mission accomplished