As if registering for one of the most intense race experiences, I dealt with a lot of doubt from those that I would expect to have been encouraging along my journey. When the words "good luck with that" came out of the mouth of my trainer at the time, I felt discouraged at first. That discouragement didn't last long and it quickly turned into motivation. I took matter into my own hands and trained harder than ever.
In late October I completed my first Spartan races by completing the Atlanta Sprint and Super back to back. Crazy? Yes, but it was what I needed to do to make my goal of completing the 2018 Spartan Trifecta a reality. Fast forward to mid-November when I headed about 2 1/2 hours east to Spartanburg, SC with Kurt to complete the 2019 Spartan Carolina Beast.
The two things most stressed to us were (1) follow the course markings (don't simply follow the person in front of you because they might be lost) and (2) Spartans suck at math and even though it says 13ish, it is likely more than that. I won't lie, being strictly a road racer the past few years I am used to certified courses and them measuring out to the correct distance, so the term "ish" after the distance gives my OCD-self a little bit of anxiety.
They did have to make a little bit of tweaking to the course as a result of the cold temperatures. There were some deep water crossings that due to risk of hypothermia, they cut out a small section and rerouted us slightly. Don't worry, all 32 obstacles and miles will still be there.
We were off and our our way! The first half of the obstacles included a lot of upper body including heavy carries, pulling, and high walls. I must say that I kind of impressed myself a bit on some things that I struggled with in Atlanta. While I didn't necessarily complete all of them, I did better than I did at the Sprint and Super a few weeks ago. While I have the strength, I have a mental block that has kept me from success on things such as monkey bars and rings. So what happens if you fail a Spartan obstacle? Burpees...30 of them.
The obstacles were very nicely spread out in my opinion with not too much "dull" time between obstacles and not too obstacle heavy in portions. The aid stations were also very well spaced out for fueling needs.
Having ran 108 half marathons prior to this, I have to say that the miles went by so fast. It actually seemed like the miles and time just ticked right by. Maybe it is because of completing the obstacles along the way rather than just a straight run, but I LOVED it!
I won't lie, towards the end I was getting a little fatigued. With some portions of slight hills that were covered in mud (hello calf burn!) and a few obstacles that burned me out a bit, I felt myself dragging a bit the last two miles or so.
Our last few obstacles were the A-Frame Cargo, rolling mud, dunk wall and fire jump. Thank goodness they put that dunkwall right at the end because it was FREEZING to say the least! I am not sure how functional I would have been if the dunkwall was in the middle of the course and I had a few more miles left to go being that cold. The water crossings and occasional muddy spots were tough enough, the dunk wall would have just been insanely brutal....plus I lost my sunglasses in the dunk wall. Haha.
I cannot wait to take on another Spartan Trifecta (or more) again this year! AROO!