Spartan Super

I am Spartana!I am Spartana!


If I ever had a thing against mud, it’s gone. Fully submerged in mud making my way under a log, with no option but to dive into the stinky stuff or get out and do 30 mud soaked burpees, I can never be ew, mud again. I faced the obstacle I was least looking forward to. Any mud pit after that, bring it on, it’s just mud. For I am Spartan. Mud is just mud. Just don’t swallow any!

This past Sunday I ran what I have been training for all year, the Barcelona Spartan Race Super! 13km run with 25+ obstacles and loved every minute of it. Even the mud. I looked a sight, but so did everyone else. I’ll try to keep the recap short!

I took the coach set on by the organisers to Les Combs a private event management estate in the Pyrenees and got talking to 2 other girls on the bus who were also running solo. I felt a little more at ease that I wasn’t the only solo runner! Most on the coach it was their first race minus one girl who ran the Sprint the day before (she’s working towards the Trifecta. All 3 Spartan Races). The day before was also the Beast, 21km with 35 + obstacles (the elite winner won it 2h16min! I took about 2.5 hours for my course!) and the Sprint, 5km with 15 + obstacles.

Coach ride inMonserrat bus ride inMonserrat bus ride in

Les Combs. It was the perfect day. Chilly start for this city girl, warm later even with sun cream and mud to tan and burn very slightly on her shoulder. Les CombsLes Combs

After checking in at the cloakroom, walking around the festival area, getting changed, popping to the bathroom numerous times it was showtime! The only way into the start line was a wall climb before warming up to Highway to Hell. Everybody was full of smiles, with Spartanos being told if a Spartana needed help on the course (walls) they were to help (The Elite racers aren’t allowed to help other as they run I believe for prize money. They’re also the first race of the day. Less mud for them.). The truth, everybody helped each other, but it was nice to know the guys had been told as I had to ask for help with the wall into the start area as did a few other girls. I made sure I said thank you to whoever helped me with the walls. I don’t think anyone burpeed for not climbing walls.

Bye bye trainers Bye Bye Trainers Bye Bye Trainers

The course was trail, up and down the mountains/hills, some steep slopes, one you had to shuffle down crab style, some ledges to jump down. I bumped into pre run the instructor who gave the training session 2 weeks earlier who advised to walk up the hills, run down them. I ran up as much as possible, but parts were steep and while I’m fine running trails, I’m no sky runner!

The mud they introduced gradually. Baby mud pit to swimming through stinky stuff before over a log, under a log, over a log. Then crawling under barbwire and nets though mud, wading through mud, climbing up mud banks, more rolling in mud! In-between the mud pits were walking logs balance beams, slip 30 burpees, walking logs over mud pits, dragging weights, if they loose contact with ground 30 burpees, log, atlas, sandbag carries, monkey bars, Herculean hoists (thank you to the couple who helped me until the rope was mud free for me to continue. I never got to say it or to those who helped me with the 8ft+ wall. I shouted it, but I don’t think they heard), spear throws, sled dragging, rope climbs, net climbs, wall climbs, tyre pulls, wall traverses and jumping fire or for me embers. Failure to do any, fall, 30 burpees. 65 burpees for me, spear throw and rope climb in a mud bog which 95% of runners burpeed. The 5 were for the atlas carry: carry to a set distance, 5 burpees, return. I would have liked less mud and more net climbs, monkey bars, log carries etc, but it was fun all the same. I don’t think if I hadn’t have worn trial running trainers I wouldn’t have found the mud so easy. Mud and barbed wire obstacles

A: Crawl through mud under barbed wire. Climb out, run up into the mountains.

B: Commando roll under barbed wire into mud pit. Repeat X 2, smile for the camera, run to next obstacle.

Home straight and the infamous fire jump!Home straight Last obstacles

Crossing the finish line, period dressed Spartans placed my medal around my neck. The greatest feeling! I did it! Before moving to get my finisher t-shirt and first part of the trifecta medal, then final photo (I tried to clean the mud off my headband so my number could be seen, but I got it all over my nose and eyebrows instead. Double sight! Plus I didn’t place the band over the tops of my ears, so they stuck out and the mud isn’t good for crows feet. Lines everywhere! Next time! (I’m still waiting for official photos)), then onto the showers. Open mixed showers, rows of hand held cold water showers or the option to be hosed down! I think I spent about 20 minuets getting the mud out. My hair was like a helmet, my bra a mud catcher. I really wanted to take it off, but it was mixed showers so it stayed put and did my best. Some girls did, but nearly everyone kept underwear on and everybody was to busy concentrating getting mud out to look. I didn’t think to take flip flops, I forgot to wash the mud from my ears, but I did take cleansing wipes which removed the mud from my ears 5 mins later.Spartan Super finisher Spartan Super Finisher medal

Only war wounds a few scratches and one swollen ankle. My foot slipped between 2 hay bales scaling down 1 wall which I knew would hurt later. Which it did on the Metro home. Apart from that and an achy right shoulder from the log and sandbag carries, I’m not really sore much. I hurt more after the training session Spartan Race held! I’ve had to scarfice the top I wore. I can’t get the mud smell out. It took about 1 tank of hot water to get the clothes in state for hand washing and their already on their 2nd hand wash soaking before the washing machine. I can’t believe how stubborn the mud is!

Would I do more obstacle races? Definitely! Would I go for the trifecta? Yes! In shorts and sports bra. The top I sacrificed, I really wanted to sacrifice it 1/2 way round. It kept being dragged down for me to keep having to tuck it in, only for it to untuck and drag down with the next mud pit. But I know for next time!

Have you ever participate in a Spartan Race or obstacle race? What was your favourite and least favourite obstacle? Have a great week!

Spartan Workout Tour BCN. Spartana In Training.

My triceps are now talking nicely to me. After wall climbs and about a 140 burpees last Saturday we had issues. They’re now allowing me to vinyasa without cutting out the chaturanga into upward dog.

140 burpees?!

As regular readers know, in less than 2 weeks I’m running Reebok’s Spartan Super Race. 13km with 25 plus obstacles. Why? Because I was asked if I wanted to, I’ve always wanted to run an obstacle course and because I have an opportunity to! The team who asked me to join them are now running the Beast, 21km with 30 plus obstacles. That’s too extreme for my first time. I’m skipping the 5km Sprint and running the Super solo!I'm Training For A Spartan Race T-shirt

Spartan España held a free training session last Saturday in Barcelona, the first of their workout tour in Spain. I signed up straight away after receiving the email, not really thinking about what it entailed, more so I wouldn’t delay signing up before places went. It was also a great opportunity to try out the shorts I’ve selected to wear, short cycling shorts. There’s a lot of mud involved. I don’t want any item of clothing that will drag me down, or be liable to drag down! More importantly I wanted pointers and a sense that the training I’ve been doing has been in the right direction. Meet Up

The trainers were a mix of last years elite winners and Spartan’s SGX trainers. Antonio, who devised the workout isn’t only a SGX trainer for this area, but also for some of the American workout tours. In hindsight, I really should have checked out the Spartan training pages online for what expect and how to train for the obstacles (I didn’t realise they had them). I’ve been more or less training in the right direction, but not walking carrying a 22-45 kg Atlas, buckets full of rocks or rope climbing. But hey, I’ve been practicing the 30 forfeit press up burpees for every no go obstacle! The next 2 weeks will be filled with huge amount of visualisation, stalking those pages and last minute exercises!

Over an hour and a half we played a mix of playground games amped up with burpees thrown in, wall climbs (thankfully not brick on the day. Wood with narrow foot holds. Even with one of the trainers knee for a boost running up, I could with help just scale the top. It was 7ft +! Grazed elbows and smiling!), 50 burpee box jumps on a hip high wall. I opted for step ups. The killer, the last exercise, as many press up burpees as possible in 5 minutes. I kicked myself for resting a few seconds longer than I needed. 59, 1 shy of their SGX burpee chart for healthy. 75 for my age category is Spartan Fit. I want to be Spartan Fit, 80 for my age group below! For some reason, I feel as if I’ve got something to prove running it. I’m smaller than most in build, a pale stick insect which I guess, fuels some sort of validation. We all have our hangups!I'm training for a Spartan Race T

Everybody was smiling! Which also put me at ease. I hope they’re all as helpful on the day and not out for themselves. I got talking to 2 girls, 1 who has a similar situation to me running, except her team mates dropped out. She decided to run the Sprint anyway. The other girl, I’m not sure which one she’s running and I wish them both all the best and fun!

Smiling inside. Honest!Smiling Inside

Recovery, the beach and dip. Forever 21 afterwards to even out the girle side. My elbows starting talking cycling there and I couldn’t think why. 140 press ups?

Happy legs running Sunday. Grumpy lower triceps and shoulders, yet okay on the monkey bars, net climbs and muscles ups during 12km. They were easier than I’d anticipated, though had to skip evening yoga chaturangas! All preparation for the day. Bruised yet smiling!Sunday 12km run

Sunday’s a Zoo day. Minus the running, Orangutans would crush most of the obstacles. But they have hand like feet. Which I’ve been advised to get trail shoes for. For grip climbing, easy water sloshing disposal, the terrain. Are we ever fully prepared?!Ultimate Climbers, Organutans, Barcelona Zoo

Obstacle course, just crazy, or stick to trials?!