Getting my thoughts gathered to blog about an experience like this is always hard. Where do I begin and what do I begin with? Where my thoughts are going right now is on Laura and the boys because they went to South Bend for another family Christmas and are driving back now. She is so tired she is having trouble with driving and I am worried she is too stubborn to pull over and buy an energy drink.
A few of my clients know I do these type of races and always ask why? What is your brain says this is okay? I always reply to the why with “Because I can.” That usually does not satisfy them and they always reply with “We know you can, but what drives you to do this?”
What drives me? What drives you? I bet if you answer that question, our answers will have the same type of answer….maybe its to satisfy a goal, show a family member or friend you did it, or prove to yourself that no matter what you can finish. I am all three of those plus one additional, and in my opinion, the biggest of them all. I do these because I want something to challenge me beyond
anything I can imagine, I want my body and mind to be so far gone that the staff have to hold me down just so I can’t keep going….because I would keep going. I want an honest to goodness DNF……
Why you ask? Because if I am so far gone that my body and mind shut down, I will know two things…..I will know what my limit is and I will know at what threshold I need to work on. Yes, our Corn Fed Spartans team did DNF for the Ultra Beast in Vermont….it counts but we could have kept going…we could have finished it. Them yanking us was the right thing in their eyes because the of curfew, rain, cold, blah blah blah…in our eyes it was our mission to finish at all costs…like the battle in the movie 300 when they were fighting nonstop…someone didn’t look at a watch and say, “Hey guys, its 10PM, let’s call it a night and finish this tomorrow at 8AM.” Getting off track…sorry.
The weather promised to me cold today, and there was no let down there. I took my shoes Laura got me for Christmas, the New Balances because I remembered the few times on the road last year was killer for me because of the trail shoes I had worn. Normally, with trial shoes, I can race the same day as I buy them….done it several times before with no problems. Note to self, roadish shoes can NOT be done that way. Don’t get me wrong, I think I would have been okay except for the fact that the ground was hard as a rock,
slippery just like an ice rink, and the snow was packed in a way that made it very rough on the joints. Sounds like just another Spartan Race, but the 50K version of it. Erik Krantz and I stayed together the whole time and for the first lap (15.6 miles), had a pretty good pace going. Stopping at each aid station, taking the S-Caps, and moving on. The miles were flying by and we were feeling great. We crossed the timing mat at 2:47. The second lap separates the men from the boys, and we both knew our pace would be slower, but what we didn’t know is that Erik’s knee did not want to cooperate. The twing of pain would cause him to stop and walk for a little bit…problem was, his walking was a freaking jog for most. I pride myself on hill running and walking fast and Erik may just take that to another level. With the terrain rough, the conditions cold and snowy, we pushed on, through the pain of his knee and my new shoes pain. It was inevitable that we would finish, but at what time we did not know. I made a lofty goal of around 5 hours. Last year with how the 2nd lap kicked my ass, I completed the race at the 7:34 mark and was trying to take it to another level with my goal time. Obviously, 5 hours went out the window but we were still going to make it in under last year’s time. We skipped the last aid station and Erik asked if I was ready to sprint to the finish…I said I wasn’t but when he started going, so did I. We both had something left in the tank and killed it to the finish at the 6:35 mark. Here is the Garmin Mapping of it. Stats for the finish.
Lana Bowman was there to do the 10 miler as well. Having come off of being sick for the past few months and not training, she cam in with an impressive time of around the 2:30 and really killed it! Great job Lana!!
The lesson? Your body is more capable than you think…give it a chance and it will show you. Shove your mind out of the way and let it wonder as you go for it…fear is a great feeling in ration, but can also make you doubt yourself when too much is added. And always remember, you are powerful, treat it as such.