spartan race

STFU!

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No, I’m not referring to the more commonly used “shut the f#$% up” when I titled this STFU.  If you’re familiar with the Spartan Race community, you know the real meaning.

STFU = SPARTAN THE F$#% UP!

Spartan Races get top billing in the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) world.  There are different distances, challenging obstacles, burpees for failing obstacles, rough terrain and cash prizes for top finishers.  A good portion of OCR runners ONLY attend Spartan Races now.  It has expanded globally to Canada, Mexico, Australia and Europe.  They hold a world championship event in the fall and hope to one day become an Olympic sport.

Any Spartan Racer can also tell you who founded the race… Joe DeSena.  Do you know who founded Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder?  Probably not.  And you know why that is?  Because Joe ATTENDS races.  He’s accessible, interacting with racers and spectators.  Spartan Races have become more than just a race for OCR enthusiasts.  It’s become a family and Joe is the patriarch.

He can tell you about himself better than I…

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Revisited: One Year of Running

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{NOTE: 12/13/2013} I plan to write a new blog this afternoon, but I wanted to repost this entry from July for anyone who may be a new follower/reader.  I’ve been so focused lately on how far I have to go on my journey that I’m not appreciating enough where I came from.  Here’s my  Flashback Friday, if you will.  Happy reading!

Today is the one year anniversary of my first run.  I have been a runner for one whole freaking year.  Amazing.

Running completely changed my life.  Looking back over the past year, everything I’ve done, all of the things I never imagined I would do… I’m feeling pretty smug after looking through pictures and seeing all I’ve accomplished.  Seriously, is this person me?

Let’s do a recap…

I was never thin, skinny, athletic… I was always the “fat girl,” at least I was in my head.  I was bigger than my classmates, bigger than my boyfriends, bigger than my mom.  Just BIGGER.  I became a mom and for a while, just let myself go.

I watched a lot of TV, sat on the couch knitting, barely went outside and didn’t like exercise.  You guys… I was über boring.

About 4 years ago…

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Oi.  That’s a wake up call.  I was 22.  Do I look 22?  No.  I was mistaken for being in my 30s quite often.  I was probably around 250 pounds?  Not sure.  I really avoided the scale back then.

It was over two years ago that I saw a picture of myself at my mom’s wedding and said ENOUGH!

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One Year of Running

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Today is the one year anniversary of my first run.  I have been a runner for one whole freaking year.  Amazing.

Running completely changed my life.  Looking back over the past year, everything I’ve done, all of the things I never imagined I would do… I’m feeling pretty smug after looking through pictures and seeing all I’ve accomplished.  Seriously, is this person me?

Let’s do a recap…

I was never thin, skinny, athletic… I was always the “fat girl,” at least I was in my head.  I was bigger than my classmates, bigger than my boyfriends, bigger than my mom.  Just BIGGER.  I became a mom and for a while, just let myself go.

I watched a lot of TV, sat on the couch knitting, barely went outside and didn’t like exercise.  You guys… I was über boring.

About 4 years ago…

001

Oi.  That’s a wake up call.  I was 22.  Do I look 22?  No.  I was mistaken for being in my 30s quite often.  I was probably around 250 pounds?  Not sure.  I really avoided the scale back then.

It was over two years ago that I saw a picture of myself at my mom’s wedding and said ENOUGH!

March2011ONLY

I had such a hard time getting dressed that day because nothing fit.  I felt like a busted can of biscuits, as people like to say.

I started eating better (not the best though) and getting more active (not a whole lot), but I lost some weight, about 20 pounds.

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Then I signed up for the Xtreme Muck Ruck, an obstacle course/mud run.  It was totally out of my comfort zone.  Running.  Dirt.  4 miles?!  Not my thing.  But I wanted to push myself to try things I hadn’t done before.

I was talking to a girlfriend about it and how I had to start running.  She wanted to start running as well.  In her living room that night, we made a plan to start the Couch to 5k training program the next morning at 4AM!  It was the only time that worked for both of us.  We chose a 5k that was 3 weeks away and decided to accelerate the program to do it.

So, on that day, July 25, 2012, I became a runner.  I could barely make it 1/4 mile without feeling like death was rushing over me, but I became a runner.

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Three weeks later, I finished my first 5k with a time of 36:21.  On a side note, doing C25K in 3 weeks is not a good idea.  It’s suppose to take 9 weeks.

I was hooked after the first 5k and signed up for another the next week.

Soon after was Xtreme Muck Ruck.

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I completed the 4 mile course in about 1:20:00.  Not fast at all.  But I attempted every obstacle and ran through the Bug Zapper (conductive rope hooked to a car battery, pulsing current!).  AND I enjoyed the mud!

Again, I was hooked and signed up for Warrior Dash the next weekend.

With the new year, I decided I wanted to give triathlons a shot.  (I started working for 3 Disciplines Racing in the spring to get free racing and perks.)

I became a swimmer.

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I had never learned proper swimming techniques, so I signed up for a swim class at the YMCA.

Somewhere in there, I did a polar plunge…

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And I became a cyclist.

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I sold my engagement ring to buy my first road bike (With my husband’s consent, but little did I know things would be changing on the home front soon).

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My first ride.

I also started some weightlifting, which I’ve been enjoying more and more recently.

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End of May back progress.

In April, I asked my husband to move out.  No need for details if you don’t already know, but it was time for us to separate.

May was a difficult month with little gym/workout access and time.  But I was still determined to move forward.  This is part of who I am now.

I returned to Xtreme Muck Ruck in June to take on a greater challenge than the 4 mile course.  They added Club 247.  Complete the 2, 4 and 7 mile course consecutively for a total of 13 miles to be part of it.  ACCEPTED.

That race kicked my ass mentally.  But made it through, including 3 more times through the Bug Zapper.

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If that wasn’t enough, I signed up for my first Tough Mudder the following weekend.

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A 12 miler.  No biggie.

And the following weekend was my first sprint triathlon.

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I considered the triathlon a success when I completed my first open water swim during the race!  I attempted one prior to the race at another lake and failed.  I was so worried about not making it through.

This past weekend, I finished my first Spartan Race.

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In a Spartan Race, you get punished for failed obstacles with 30 burpees.  Legit shit.

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Oh and I ran the race in my sports bra.  First time ever running in only my sports bra.

Also, did I mention that I started eating a paleo based diet?

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Munching on my favorite cashew based paleo waffles.

Paleo has drastically reduced the irritation in my gut (IBS).  It has been a huge help in battling my stress eating and food addictions.

One of the biggest things I have gained this year is confidence.  I feel more beautiful, stronger and more athletic than I ever have in my life.  I never feel like I am enough.  I’m learning to deal with that feeling, because I should be enough.  For myself, for anyone.

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I want to show my boys how to be healthy and fit.  I want to be the best role model I can be for them.

Anything that I think I cannot accomplish today, I now have the mentality that I will probably be able to someday.  I make plans for bigger things.  For pushing harder.  For being better.

Accomplishments from July 25, 2012 to July 25, 2013:

  • Run Total = 370.49 miles
  • Bike Total = 464.8 miles
  • Swim Total = 20, 550 meters
  • 5k Race Total = 13
  • 5k Personal Record from 36:21 to 31:08
  • Obstacle Course Race Total = 6
  • Triathlons = 2
  • Weight Loss Total = 50 pounds (since March of 2011)

Next year… Half Ironman Triathlon, Marathon, Ultramarathon, Skydiving, Spartan Trifecta…

No fucking limits.

P.S. Huge thank you to my supportive family and friends.  I couldn’t be where I am without you.  So very grateful for the people in my life.