-Just One Yesterday – Fall Out Boy
That song came on during the last half of my ride on Saturday and felt enormously fitting for me, well, really just that part of the song.
Saturday was the 30 mile Real Ale Ride. I almost overslept, thankfully the hotel was full of other riders and I woke up, got my stuff together and headed to the brewery. I always feel a little self conscious at these things. Especially since I was on my own. But I did manage to make friends. I walked up 4 hills (including the one made of pure concentrated evil as one rider assessed) I drank some pickle juice because my calves were cramping. (Seriously, for you riders, runner, triathletes, if you have not discovered pickle juice and you’re prone to cramping I recommend checking it out.) So I’m at mile 28.49 according to my GPS (which I’m sure was lying) and right down the street from the brewery when this guy rides up and says, “Hey, it sounds like you’re riding with a flat.” AH HELL. I could hear something but didn’t know what it was. So I unclip, hop off and sure enough. Fucking flat. Well, shit. The car is LITERALLY across the street from where I was, so, I walked the bike over, strapped it back onto the car, put on my flip flops and went to find my new friends. Had a couple lovely brews, had a great BBQ sandwich and then it was time to load up and continue on my journey of torture through the Texas Hill Country.
I drove from Blanco, TX to Marble Falls, TX found my hotel and unloaded, showered and attempted to nap for a couple hours before hunger and a serious headache made me stop watching Big Bang Theory, get dressed and head to Double Horn Brewing for dinner (where I started to encounter SPARTANS). Great anniversary Saison, great grilled chicken sammich. I was almost falling asleep over my plate at the end. Back to the hotel and tried to get to sleep early because I knew Sunday was gonna be rough. And of course, I couldn’t sleep. I was so nervous. Waking every couple of hours and even having a nightmare of being tortured as part of the obstacles.
I woke up bright and early. Had some breakfast (small bagel, a little cream cheese and a banana) and got all my water bottles together because I don’t take dehydration lightly. I don’t know how hot it’ll get or how much water I’ll have access to but I intend to always stay hydrated. I pack the bike back up onto the car, load up the CD player (old school yo) with FOB and Coheed and Cambria and we’re off to the Spartan Race!
After off roading in my Mazda 3 for 50 miles (okay 2, maybe 2) I finally get parked. Get everything together and head to the shuttle pick up so I can find Angela before she heads out with the Elite heat. She’s re-registered to go at 10 with me and her brother but I want to see her off for the Elite Heat. I get my wave time changed (PS – they will move you later but not earlier) and head to the start to find her. I get in a quick hug and a good luck before she takes off. Now, it’s early, and I am literally looking around at all the “fit” people there going…uh…so…where are all the “regular” people. You know, not the ones who drink protein shakes constantly and measure out the Glycemic Index of their foods and the ones that don’t know the calorie to mass ratio of a banana. Those of us who don’t live at the gym or do crossfit like it’s crack (Crossfit is a lot of fun, but it’s weird how it’s almost like a cult). They finally start showing up as the morning progresses (thank goodness!).
Angela finishes…she got lost apparently they hadn’t marked the trail very well at one point and she went straight instead of turning left (she showed us later where) and in the end went an extra 1.5 miles out of the way. YOWZER. So we’re getting ready to line up when finally Scott shows up. He was a little easier to find than I expected but with NO cell service it was impossible to coordinate anything. We got lucky. Anyway, you have to climb over a short wall to get to the freakin’ shoot before you can start. Ah hell. I’m short, I’m big and I’ve got shit for upper body strength. This is gonna suck. They give an awesome motivational speech that ends with you screaming I AM SPARTAN! AROO! AROO! AROO! (Even the kids race does…PRECIOUS). We take off.
The course itself wasn’t too bad, it was a trail, with some definite rocky climbs. I won’t go through all the obstacles, because honestly, I can’t remember all of them. I do remember a few particular ones. The big one being an inverted wall. About a 6 ft wall, inverted towards you. I had 3 people helping me to get up (Including Scott and Angela) but once they had me up to the post where I’m supposed to “just throw my leg over” I can’t move. I’m freakin’ out and I can’t pull myself up. Two guys who made it over the wall came to my rescue and started helping me pull myself up and over. And then I was down and off of it. I almost burst into tears. I looked at that thing as we walked up and thought, NO WAY IN HELL. But I love Angela, because she looks at it and says, okay, here’s what you’re going to do. And we do it. I couldn’t have made it through yesterday without her, without Scott (who was a big help to everyone while he ran the course with us) and without the other Spartans. By the third and second to last obstacles, I just didn’t have anything left in me to climb. I tried the inverted rope climb 3 times before falling and saying to myself, I’ll take the burpees. (If you can’t do an obstacle you get to do 30 burpees…it’s in your best interest to do the damn obstacle) All told I 95 of 105 burpees…15 for an easier version, 30 for missing the spear throw, 30 for the inverted rope climb and 30 for the rope climb. Out of 21 obstacles I wasn’t physically able to complete 2 and I missed the spear throw, that’s a skill thing, not a physical thing.
As Angela said about half way through: “I’ve never worked so hard for a banana.” And it was the best fucking banana I ever had! Anyone can do a Spartan Race. Don’t think you can’t. Everyone helps each other. I wouldn’t have made it through without help. Everyone is AWESOME.
AROO! AROO! AROO!
Yes, that’s me in mud covered purple. You can’t see my red hair, because…mud.
Today I am sore as hell and the bruises look like I’ve been manhandled by security at a Poison concert. I can almost barely walk, but it was worth every minute, every scrape, every bruise, every bump. SO.TOTALLY.WORTH.IT.