Waking up this morning, I attempted to bend my knees and it just didn’t work. I tried to roll over but I could still feel the uncomfortableness of gravel on my elbows. The cuts and scrapes from barbed wire still showing their ugly face on my knees and back, I flipped out of bed, careful not to bend my legs. I shuffled my way to the kitchen and pieced together my trifecta medal. In that moment it was all worth it.
Wintergreen was far more difficult than I gave it credit for. I figured going into it that there was no way this could compare to the New Jersey beast. I was wrong. It felt like the elevation game was comparable but squeezed in to four less miles. From the starting line, we went over some walls. It felt good, lots of energy and ready to rock. Then….straight up the mountain. Then partway down and back up again. Then partway down and back up again. Then down and back up again, oh and this time carry a sandbag. Then back down and up again, now carry a log. Then go back up and back down. Now carry a bucket full of rocks. Whatever you do, don’t put it on your shoulders! I was surprised the amount of people that took one look at the bucket brigade and said screw this, I’d rather do burpees. My stubborn self wouldn’t allow me to skip it, even though sound strategy said to do so. The constant ups and downs absolutely killed my legs. I had cramps in my calves, quads, hamstrings, and lower back. I even had a cramp on the side of my neck. At one point, I came up to the 8 foot wall, which felt like 9 at least, and eyed it up. I jumped up and immediately had a cramp the size of a golf ball in my calf. I hung there helplessly with one draped over the wall and the other trying to massage out a cramp in midair. To the guy who saw me struggling and helped me over, if you’re reading this, thank you. Cramp city visited me again on the rings towards the end. One swing and my hamstring tightened up like a cheapskates wallet. I swung back and almost took out the next two people in line. If you guys are reading this, I’m sorry about that. Then it was time for the barbed wire crawl. Or as I like to call it, the “lets all cramp together” obstacle. The barbed wire was crazy low and the mud was so slippery that it was hard to crawl forward without sliding back down. I somehow managed to do the rope climb by utilizing my whole upper body and as little lower body as I could. I hopped the fire and with tearful eyes of pain, accepted the blue medal, the last piece to my trifecta. All in all, this race was incredibly difficult. The hills alone made this race one of the most difficult races I’ve done. I’ll be remembering it with every step I take today, and most likely tomorrow.
My daughter also got her second Spartan medal in the Spartan kids race. She killed it. This course was better for her than New Jersey. It was much more flat, utilized the woods and even had a spear throw!!! She hit it too!!! The most awesome part of that, she threw it with her left hand! I am left-handed, the only one in my family that is so that’s definitely something she got from me. She was so proud! There is nothing like running a race with your kid. In a day and age where kids would rather be inside playing video games, my daughter and I are outside running a Spartan race. It was a very proud moment for me.
Yesterday was a day that I will remember for a long time. Not just because I’m going to be sore for a long time, but because I worked hard to accomplish something I never thought I could. There have been many times I felt like giving up, yesterday included, but I didn’t. I pushed on. To anyone out there that has goals, go for it. Don’t let anything stand in your way. Go for it with all your heart. You will be surprised at what you’re capable of. For me, I wanted a trifecta. Yesterday I did it. No one can take away the hard work I put in to get there. No matter what your goal is, whether it be to run a 5k, a marathon, or a Spartan trifecta, go for it! Work hard. You can do it. I believe in you. AROO!