I find with the month of September so many things in my life either start or come to a head and almost a breaking point. It starts with the great thing of getting back into routine, kids go back to school and the dreaded fall soccer starts up. I also have two Spartans that show up this month and tons of life things as well. I find it hard to juggle everything and after getting thru this month I can't be everything to everyone either. This month I don't have many alone days... OK they are almost non existent. It's a month of change and things coming or going. Just making it thru it relatively and close to sane is a miracle. My life struggles like everyone seemed to be taking the forefront of my life as things with my divorce were going along (FINALLY) but also finding out who my friends were and are not. Deciding what is important to me and what I need to let go of. During my hard races I have moments of clarity and can easily process stuff that I can make smart rational decisions that I can't seem to do anywhere else at times. Basically anytime I am on a mountain top I can or at a place I feel at home in. Those moments of struggling physically going up a mountain and being able to zone out helps what keep me going and as I do those moments or ah-ha moments happen. Things that I was in denial about suddenly seem clearer. It's so strange and I can't seem to find the words to explain it better. Not sure if any of you have those moments especially during a race.
OK enough of that serious talk and onto some race recaps. So race #1 this month was the Spartan Super in Red Deer AB. This is the first time I raced there as last year I was doing my Olympic Triathlon in beautiful Banff AB. I had also signed up for the Red Deer Hurricane Heat since I thought the first time I did the hurricane heat it wasn't torture enough I though I would go again. Well soccer messed my life up again and Ty had a soccer game moved to that same night. Anyways long story he played soccer and I went to Red Deer without him. Once I got to the hotel room I was starting to feel ill as the time went on. I ended up deciding to make the smart choice and not go to the hurricane heat and sleep instead as the race Saturday was more important. My Parents were awesome in driving Ty up after his soccer game and going back home. Saturday was the race and I was feeling a bit better in the morning... not my usual excited self. I was just feeling off. Anyways plugged away with my group and we were moving at a pretty great pace... helped each other over the obstacles and had lots of laughs along the way. Ended up having a ton of fun and felt better by the end. Sunday my Son did his youth Spartan Race. He LOVED it! I love how Western Canada has added this to their races for the 11-13 age category. It was awesome. They do the sprint course but they have yellow signs along the way that say to do this obstacle and some of the elite athletes run with them and help them along the way. Was a great experience overall. Just at the end it could have gone better as my son fell off the vertical cargo climb and sprained his ankle and the volunteer there said he was done. My friend Marcy ran over and helped him finish and had the best epic fire jump pic! He ended up getting his medal and shirt and was so proud of himself. He understands why I do these races now. We survived the weekend!!
Race #2 was the Spartan Beast at Sun Peaks Ski Resort in Kamloops BC. I was excited to see how I would tackle this mountain again. Last year I ran 23.46km in 5 1/2hrs and wanted to stay the same or do better. This year it was 26km, 34 obstacles and over 5000 ft in elevation gained. Well I ended up staying with a group to help them as much as I could.. it wasn't working well for me and my body was having issues with the cold and starting to seize up on me. The group we started with went down to a small group of 3. I felt bad for having to leave but this is after all a race and I needed to keep moving. We were plugging away and had made up some time by keeping our pace up. But then one of our three got injured and blew her knees out. It really sucks that Brandi blew out both of her knees because I could tell she wanted it as much as me and Yvonne. We ended up working away to get her down and had an awesome guy come along and give us a hand. We stopped and left her at a spot so we could send help up to her and get her to the medic tent. Now we were down to just the 2 of us. (there is a song about that isn't there. lol) Yvonne and I had a very short time to complete the last 6 to 8 km (unsure at that point) and 9 obstacles. Literally we had maybe 2hrs from the point we dropped Brandi off to finish before the time cut off. When we got halfway up the last brutal climb we found out that we had 1.5hrs to complete 4km. We made it to the top and sprinted down the mountain completing obstacles and carrying crap so fast. We dug deep deep down and found our inner warrior and fought to the bitter end. Guess what.... we bloody did it and had 5min to spare. I it so cool and amazing that when the time counts I can dig deep inside me and pull it off. I wasn't going to let my Double Trifecta dreams crumble when I was healthy and feeling strong. I will never be that close to not finishing when I know deep down inside me I could have finished at-least 3hrs before then. I had no injuries, my body felt strong and even my asthma was sort of behaving. I had no excuses other then I was trying to be nice to help the others. When we finished they ran out of Beast medals so had another disappointment. We will get it mailed so I guess that's ok but won't be the same.
So in looking back I have a few things that I learned... yes some hard lessons as well. I won't be staying to help the others if they can't go close to my pace. I will gladly help at an obstacle but I won't be slowing my pace down so drastically.... remember it is after all a race. I have been training all year to reach my double trifecta goal and I won't come that close again to almost losing it. I also won't be made to feel guilty for carrying on without them either. I know it totally sucks to have to be pulled from the mountain but a cut off is a cut off and it's due to the wildlife and everyone's safety. No other reasons and it's not because you did or didn't do something, it's be cause you couldn't keep up and finish on time plain and simple. I have heard some of the complaining and people need to be accountable for their actions it's not the races fault... it was a hard course so starting it with an injury was brutal. But as an injured person how can you live with yourself knowing you stopped a healthy person that could have finished the race so much earlier and you held them back and they lost their dream and the goals they were working so hard on all year?? Is it really fair to be pissed and upset at that person? Personally I don't think so. I am disappointed in myself because I stayed longer then I should have to help those that needed it. I want a do-over and give it another try. So with that in my head I am going to do the Canadian trifecta again and see how fast I can do these races next year. Oh and of course will be heading to Montana again as I love that course. I am going to do more fun ones, some trail ones and start mastering these Spartans.
I can't wait until I head to Seattle to tackle the Spartan Super on Oct. 17th because I am going there to give it all I have and see what I can pull off. With knowing now what I can do in Sun Peaks my brain can't hold me back anymore. I can push myself harder and do it safely.... Now I just need to start mastering some of these obstacles and I can race alone if I want. After all, year after year is all about improving my times and getting better. I found my inner beast and I am going to hold onto that fire and bring it out in my workouts and my races.
So on that note I leave with some of my favorite race pics.
Until next time...
Red Deer Spartan Super Pics
Sun Peaks Spartan Beast Pics
I am a single mom with one son that has been living with asthma since I was 2yrs old. I also almost died three times due to severe asthma attacks! I don't let my asthma stop me from accomplishing new goals and living life to the fullest.
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