Not Doing Burpees is Awesome

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After racing pretty hard yesterday, I wasn’t sure how things would go today.

I got ahead of Claude, Spartan World Champion x2 and Olympic biathlete, on the first climb by running as much as I could – and by narrowly escaping a heart attack.

Good start.

She took back the lead heading down the other side of the mountain, but the terrain was neither steep nor technical, so I was able to stay with her. I saw her cross the balance beam to slack line combo I had failed twice to this point. Instead of slowing and carefully balancing, I took my husband’s advice and ran for the bell with all I had and thumped it with a triumphant “donk”.

Then I danced. Then I kept running.

I set up and launched my spear as I always do. But something different happened.

It went in.

The only two obstacles I’ve failed on this course behind me. Might this be my first race without penalty burpees?

After the hand hold traverse to long monkey bar combo, the course ran through the crowd of spectators before the big cargo and another big climb.

The crowd was absolutely thundering.

And the announcer said I was in first place.

Me?

Whoah. Really? Where’s Claude?

I had no idea she missed the bell on the end of the slack line and was 30 burpees back.

The crawl uphill was horrendous on the open wounds on my knees and hand from the fall yesterday but I managed to get through it.
I swore a bit but not nearly as much as I did when I landed that spear. And I pretty much always swear. I’m from Alberta.

I managed to hold Claude off up the final climb by running as much as I could. She was coming into the atlas carry (carry large stone, 5 burpees, carry back) as I was heading back down the mountain.

It didn’t take her long to overtake me on the technical and steep downhill section under the chair lift into the finish area. That lady flies on the gnarly decents.

But man, who cares… that was the best race ever.

Things I Learned in Sparta Today…

Well I missed the spear AND balance again… just as I did last week.

The good news is that I was actually with the mighty Queen of Sparta, Claude Godbout, until the slack line. Which is crazy awesome. I fell to third, and fought back to second by hauling ass up and down the mountain. After a good fall on some rocks coming into the final cluster of obstacles, third place was hot on my heals.

She was starting her short sandbag carry when I was coming in.

I knew I had enough time to get through everything carefully – but any burpees would cost me. I was sure happy when I got to that fire jump.

A chance to stand beside Claude on the podium is pretty friggin awesome!

AND… I learned some good stuff today.

Be prepared for EVERYTHING. I was dying in the heat last week and wished like crazy I had my hydration vest. This week I needed to run out for some emergency resort-priced arm warmers the night before. Thankfully I packed tights… but I ended up needing to change back to my shorts… so I glad I packed them too. You seriously never know what the weather will do when you race in the mountains. Have everything you might need.

Save your hands. Keep them as dry and clean as possible, but also keep them warm. I knew there wasn’t any water on course so I wore thin cotton gloves between obstacles to block the icy wind. I’d take them off just before rolling into an obstacle and stuff them in my shorts. The side. Stuff them in the side.

Obstacles get harder. The edges were all clean and crisp when I ran in the first wave out last weekend. Not so today… many fell from the traverse wall and wood block traverse. In fact, the finger ledge was totally missing on one of the holds.

Work hard on those hills. I didn’t work nearly as hard as I could have on the hills last weekend. Rest your lungs on the downhill and rest your legs at the finish if you’re going for time.

But never rest your brain. I went to shove my sunglasses into my shorts on the steep rocky bit coming into the rig and the last string of obstacles – and plowed into the ground hard. It stung… and I had to have a good long, curse filled pep talk with myself to get back up.

If you attach your chip to your laces, put in on the foot you don’t step onto for the rope climb. Trying to climb a rope with the hand I just tore the skin off sucked enough but getting the rope caught on my chip extra sucked.