The Spartan Beast, Was a True BEAST!
Over 5.5 hours of physical and mental challenge, the closest thing for me feeling like I was apart of the Hunger Games. It was 15.3 miles of terrain to cover on the side of Breckenridge Ski Resort and 33 obstacles to tackle, is what went down Aug 27, 2016 in the Spartan Beast, this weekend last year. The name says it all! I had planned this to be my fitness goal for the year of 2016, I started training at the beginning of the summer and continued until the end of August when the Beast took place!
Now looking back on it I would have trained completely different for it. There was SO much elevation change that hiking a lot or running stairs would have been the thing I focused on the most. We had a lot of elevation change throughout the course, which is what made it SO tough. Right out of the starting line we climbed straight up the side of the ski hill, NO switch backs going up but straight up and straight back down and back up. We went up to the summit and to the base 3 times throughout the whole course with obstacles scattered throughout.
During training I focused a lot of the obstacles and being able to perform them, but missed out on the milage and hill climbing. So when it came time to do the obstacles I was able to do them and felt like they were the easiest part of the whole thing. It was a break from conquering the milage on ski hill!
It was also encouraging during the whole race because people would come by and cheer you on and there were people running with different types of flags supporting police, fireman, the American flag, different branches of the armed forces. And every time someone would run by me with a flag it just made you think and pay respect to the flag and what it stands for. Most of the time throughout the race I was running close to the lady pictured above carrying the Thin Blue Line flag!
Mile 8 hit me hard as I was stung 5 times by Ground Hornets on my calf. Truly felt like I was Katniss running in the Hunger Games being chased by Tracker Jackets. As I got stung I worried if I would have a reaction, since I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was little. Worrying that this would end my race if a reaction happened. Luckily, I packed some mug on the stings and continued and finished the race. But from this point on wondering if I could finish kept crossing my mind. This truly was a true test for me mentally and physically, I had 5hrs by myself to have many thoughts, memories, excuses pass through my mind.
At the last point of hitting the summit and looking over the valley on Breckenridge looking on all of God’s creation over the land and knowing He had been with me helping me keep going once I saw the view, and knowing how far my body took me to make it to that point, lit a fire under my butt to get moving again and get to the end. Which was truly all down hill from that point.
Towards the end of the race there were a lot of spectator spots were all along the course and people cheering and encouraging you until the end. At the end half of our group was there cheering me to the finish. I was in tears of joy and pain, as I completed my first Spartan Beast! I couldn’t of been more proud of what I did!
5 Take-a-ways from the Spartan Beast:
- Do more HILL work
- Pace yourself
- Give your body more credit, because it can accomplish a lot
- Keep fueled during course
- Enjoy meeting those running with you, they are inspiring
- BONUS TIP- Run, run, run and did I mention, run some more!