This past weekend I had such an AMAZING TIME!
I completed an 8-mile run with over 20 obstacles at the Super Spartan Race in Miami. Yes this is one of those mud runs that are becoming very popular … but I have to say that this one is FUN and TOUGH.
My first introduction to the mud races was about 5 years ago with Muddy Buddy. You go with a buddy, helmets, a mountain bike and a costume. Well, the costume is optional, but you should have seen all the getups, from Barbie in a box to superman. It was about 6 miles, switching with your partner from running and biking at each obstacle and you finish off at the pit of mud. I LOVED it. This was around the same time I first started getting back into fitness, so it was definitely a challenge. The biking portion helped a ton, because I never was a runner. And to this day I still remember how my lunges felt when I first switched from the bike to running. It didn’t help that it was super humid early morning. If anyone knows Florida humidity, you know the heaviness I’m talking about! But in the end, I was hooked. Even as a beginner I wanted more. And we did it again for our first year anniversary dressed up as a bride a groom.
In the fall of 2011 we signed up for Tough Mudder. But I had a foot injury and I couldn’t participate and was out the $100. Bummer. On top of that everyone who was supposed to run our team either backed out or something came up. So my poor husband ran it by himself … L
So FINALLY this year we were able to do Spartan Race together. And not only was it me and Pablo, but our friends and family. My husband started recruiting months ahead and when it came down to it we had 12 people on our team. And since it was in Miami we thought to make a weekend trip out of it.
Here’s our amazing group (pre-mud, of course!)[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left]
Months before the team would meet twice a week to get in their running. But not this girl L. With a full load of classes every week it was challenging getting in my personal workouts at home. And I was already doing 5x a week of Turbo Kick. And that’s intense cardio. But I KNEW it was important to get my practice in because running has a completely different feeling and involves a different type of endurance than the cross training I do.
And guess what happened? When I finally started running my right outer knee started giving me problems. I did NOT want this to be another Tough Mudder situation. Concerned and feeling a little defeated I started researching and with the help of my new Asics, KT Tape and a Knee Brace, my knee was feeling better with each run. Three days out from the race and I was ready to go!!
We went down to Miami Thursday and hit the beach, relaxed by the pool area of the Freehand Hostel and Hotel, and just spent time together.
Saturday was race day. And we were PUMPED getting ready. Out came the skull bandanas, fake tattoos and hair spray color that complemented my husband’s skull mask, which was the inspiration to our theme.
When we arrived school buses were escorting people from the parking lot to the race zone and we got a sneak peak of some of the obstacles (because unlike Tough Mudder, Spartan doesn’t share what obstacles will be on the course ahead of time). And one was a twin tower of sorts that was connected by a huge cargo net. So you had to climb up to the first tower to then roll on the cargo net to get to the second tower, to then climb down on the other side. Meanwhile you’re having the occasional bus go under. So yes, if you’re following along, a school bus could be going under you while you’re trying to cross from one tower to the other.
Other obstacles included wall climbs, carrying a sandbag, the Herculean Hoist (where athletes must hoist a cement block or heavy bucket off the ground using a pulley system), flipping large tires, bouldering wall climb, vertical rope climb, monkey bars, barbed wire mud crawl that seemed to be around 100 yards, and more. And I’m proud to say I was able to do all obstacles except one (the vertical rope climb where I got up about half way).
I know that my cross training workouts including Turbo, PiYo, Body Beast and Tone & Sculpt definitely helped me not only with my running, but with my overall strength and endurance throughout the entire race, especially with those obstacles. And I know for the next race … it’s on even more!