Don’t Tell the Short Girl Size Doesn’t Matter (but I Spartaned anyways)

Last weekend I finally ran a Spartan sprint at Raymond James Stadium.  Just about time. right?  I had a blast, as expected.  I couldn’t do all of the obstacles, as expected.  But I did hella better running up and down stairs than I thought I would.  Plus I didn’t fall once which is always a major win for me. Of course I did run into a stadium chair twice, leaving my hand looking kind of like I punched someone and a bruise on my leg the size of a saucer.  Not bad for me, I’ll take it.

This wasn’t a mud run at all, though we did go through some mud a couple of times.  So I guess not at all is a bit strong and untrue. Whatever.

It was a stadium run, which I didn’t really think about when I signed up (good thing) but which meant about a thousand miles of running up and down stairs.  Up got a wee bit painful after a while, down I was just terrified I’d trip and fall. Not that I would.

The funniest thing about the race (you know there are funny things about everything) is that just to get to the start line you had to get over a pretty high wall. Of course I needed a boost, but up and over is what matters, not how you get there.

The most FUN thing was they had jump ropes out of that really thick rope that cross fitters use and you had to jump with this huge rubber band around your ankles. And jumping over the fire at the end, but that’s a given.


So why does size matter? Because from the top of the ladder thing I could not reach the (curse word) monkey bars.  Yes, I tried on my tip toes. Anything I had to get over or reach up to was harder than it had to be for me.  However, crawling under the barb wire? Cake. I would not have wanted to be any bigger for that one, or for running between the stadium chairs! I guess it all evens out in the end. At least this run didn’t have the mud / water that some people walked through while I had to swim.  🙂

Here’s the course as they mapped it, but I am pretty certain there was a whole lot more weaving up and down the stairs than this map shows.

SpartanCourse2015So what did I actually think of the race? I would do it again, for sure.  I’d even like to try the longer distance next time. But I will say this run is (fun but) less about having fun than most of the runs I’ve done in the past and more about proving something to yourself. There was nothing fun AT ALL about lugging a huge @$$ jug of water that seriously maybe weighed almost as much as me. I had to stop and set it down a few times. Didn’t really know how much I hated stairs till going up them with that thing.  But I did it and I did it without help.  There is something to be said for completing a task that you are seriously certain you can not do when you start it.

Maybe that’s why they say you’ll know at the finish line.

Spartan Time

So what happened was…

I’ve been wanting to to sign up for a Spartan Sprint for ages.  I’ve read Joe De Sena’s book Spartan UP! (it’s great, go read it), I’ve done giveaways on the blog, and I’ve stalked their web site trying to figure out how the heck those people do all that.  But I haven’t signed up.  Why? Because of that thing where I am not bad ass.  Good reason if you ask me.

I haven’t been running until about a week ago and really the only workouts I’ve done in ages are Tae Kwon Do three days a week. So I signed up for the next Spartan Sprint in Tampa – in 2 weeks.  What? What changed? Absolutely nothing. And nothing was going to change.  Go big or go home, right?

Wish me luck. I am so going to need it.  And also a bit of motivation to get moving and ready.  And I found a great source, Spartan Up! The podcast.  Why is this so great?  A couple of reasons actually.

First of all, since it’s a podcast I can listen to it on Stitcher while I’m running.  If you have an Apple phone you can subscribe on iTunes. It’s hard not to run a little bit faster and a little bit longer while listening to people talking about how it’s done.

Second of all, each episode involves interviewing different people in different fields about different subjects. In other words, it’s not all about the same subject or even about racing in particular. So far I’ve listened to two episodes – Allen Lim Says It’s Ok to Eat Cookies and Angela Duckworth What is Grit and How Do You Learn It? Of course I started with the cookie episode.

Both episodes were really fun and motivating to listen to.  I like running and all but sometimes it’s nice to let your mind go other places while you are running. I found them especially cool because Joe De Sena (founder and CEO of Spartan Race) doesn’t necessarily agree with everything the people being interviewed are saying, and his mystification of how someone who is obviously well disciplined and in excellent shape would consider a croissant and coffee an acceptable breakfast was great. I love hearing two people who are both obviously doing things right talk about how they are taking different paths.

So go listen to the podcast, go get  motivated, and go sign up for something that you are totally not ready for.  Then get ready!  🙂

Check out Spartan Race – From Home (and a giveaway!)

Have you run a Spartan Race yet?  If not are you trying to decide whether you’d like to?  Well, here’s your chance to see exactly what the races are like – from your own living room.  Kind of feels like cheating, but in this case it’ll work.

They’re televising races about once a month, leading up to the Spartan World Championship airing November 16th, which is being run is being run in Killington, VT. September 20th. That sounds like an excuse to have some friends over to get psyched up for running your own Spartan! (I don’t know if televising is really a word, but if turducken is in the dictionary then in my opinion anything goes)

Here’s the schedule of televised events:

Reebok Spartan Race Television Schedule: (All times ET)
DATE                            RACE LOCATION     NETWORK     TIME

Tues., August 19           Palmerton, Pa.            NBCSN         9 p.m.
Sat., September 13       Washougal, Wash.     NBCSN         2 p.m.
Tues., September 23     Amesbury, Mass.       NBCSN        10 p.m.
Sat., October 25            Wintergreen, Va.        NBCSN         12:30 p.m.
Sun., November 16        Killington, Vt.              NBC              3 p.m.

I’m not much of a TV person, I don’t even have cable, but I’d love to watch these races!

I have to say, there is a whole lot going on in the Spartan world right about now.  On top of televising races and the Spartan World Championship in Vermont they are putting together a Spartan Race Cruise in March.  Yes, I said cruise.  You go out and race on Saturday, and then Sunday they provide you with entertainment, food, drink and celebration. Talk about an after race party!

They’ve put together a giveaway for 2 for the Spartan Cruise including airfare and the cruise out of Miami (US residents only). Enter for a chance to win here, I did!

Has all of that got you ready to run a race yourself?  Well as luck has it I was given an entry to give to a reader for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental US., all you have to do to win is enter here: a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest goes through Thursday morning, I’ll email the winner the code Friday, the 29th.

If you don’t win or if you need a ticket for a friend, use the code SPARTANBLOGGER for 10% off any race.

Disclosure: I have received a free race entry in exchange for posting a giveaway.

So here’s an interesting question for any experienced OCR fans out there. How do you prepare for things like climbing a rope or scaling a wall if you don’t have a rope hanging around anywhere or a wall to practice climbing? Somehow I don’t think burpees will prepare a person for such things…



Get Ready to be a Spartan!

You know I love obstacle and mud runs. But am I ready for the Reebok Spartan Race?  Mmm, probably not.  But it’s been added to my to-do in 2014 list!

Not sure what a Spartan Race is all about? It’s about finding out just how far you can push yourself – and about smiling as you cross the finish line. Well, that’s my goal anyway.

How about you, are you ready?

If you’re in or around Tampa, Florida here’s a great way to test yourself if you aren’t sure or to help prepare yourself if you plan on running it. Doing anything this Saturday morning? How about doing a Reebok Spartan Workout with the #1 MMA Welterweight Contender Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks?  It’s free to the first 300 people to register!  You can register here.

Johny Hendricks for Spartan

I’m tempted to go just so that if they do it again I can see how much I can improve between now and then!

If you ARE in Tampa, here’s another cool thing.  February 15th we’re going to have “the most unique Spartan event” –  the Special Ops Spartan Sprint Medal which includes a special finishers medal unique to this race!

Tampa Special Ops race

Whether you’re in Florida or not, here’s a chance to win your way into any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental US. The people at Reebok Spartan Race would like to give you a code for a free race entry or you can go here to get a code for 15% off a registration!  If you aren’t sure if there is a race coming to your area you can check here.

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment letting me know if the Spartan Race will help motivate you to reach your goals for 2014. You get an additional entry for liking Spartan Race’s Facebook page and leaving me a comment letting me know that you did so below, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave them a message letting them know that Kinda Zennish sent you!

A random winner will be chose Monday the 13th and announced here Tuesday.  Good luck!