How I Feel about the SoCal Spartan Sprint being Postponed

After completing the Spartan Beast in Temecula on Saturday 9/13, I was ready to complete the Spartan Sprint the next day.  I had been training hard and was feeling good about leaving the shortest distance race for last.  On our way to the hotel room to freshen up after the Beast, we met up with our teammates who had driven from Las Vegas to Temecula to complete the Sprint with us on Sunday.  We were all excited and ready to run together the next day and then that night we received this email:

The disappointment I felt from reading that email is beyond words.  Reading it now makes me ill.  I was so ready to have my trifecta medal.  I planned an entire trip around it.  Like I wrote in my blog post before I left, I sacrificed so much to be there and to come back incomplete was just a huge let down.  I've seen images of Spartan racers running in the rain and in the snow, I never imaged they would cancel a race because it was too hot, especially because they have this posted on their website:

I honestly believe Spartan Race did their due diligence before & during the race.  We received emails from Spartan before the race with warnings about the heat and giving straight-forward advice on how to prepare for it.  I heeded the warnings.  I prepared.  I hydrated the week before the race.  I took electrolytes, a hydration pack, and waterproof sunblock.  My husband wore a wide rimmed hat and carried a hydration pack too as a spectator.  He carried coconut water for us, too.   Was it hot? Yes.  But, in my opinion, it was bearable with preparation.  Those who didn't prepare paid the consequences.  They weren't able to complete the race, they became sick or injured.  Do I feel for them?  Of course I do.  I do not wish anyone pain or defeat.  I know it was tough, but the Spartan races, especially the Beast, are designed to be tough, right?  

Obviously, I wish they hadn't postponed the race until January.  The goal of a trifecta is to race all 3 distances within a calendar year.  Running the Sprint in January isn't an option.  I've worked too hard for this to not complete it now.  I'm working on getting to run the Spartan Sprint in Malibu in December.  But I'm still sad.  Not only am I sad for myself, I am sad for my teammates who traveled 5 hours to be there and left empty handed.  I'm sad for the friends I made along the course of the Beast, who like me were prepared to come back the next day and earn that Trifecta medal.  I'm sad for the folks I met while training at Camp Rhino who were all excited and worked so hard to complete their first obstacle race.  

We haven't heard anything else from Spartan except that we've been automatically registered to a new Sprint event they've added for January 18, 2015 at the same location, Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA.  This will be the weekend before their already scheduled events the following weekend there.  The email was sent Sept. 14 and said more details to follow, but we haven't received any new info yet.  I'll assume they will accommodate transfers without charging transfer fees as they must know not everyone will be available that date.  I'm waiting anxiously to see what other, if any, compensation they provide their athletes.  In the meantime, I'll keep training! 

- Has a race you've registered for and trained for been canceled before?  I'd love to hear how you dealt with it and how the event company handled it!  

One piece missing...will I get to complete my trifecta in 2014?!? 

One piece missing...will I get to complete my trifecta in 2014?!? 


SoCal Spartan Beast Recap | Race 12 of 14 for 2014

I've been thinking a lot about how to handle this blog post.  I decided I'll share my thoughts and comments strictly about this race and my experience on Saturday without letting my thoughts and frustrations about the canceled Spartan Sprint on Sunday get in the way.  In case you missed it, Spartan Race canceled the Spartan Sprint in Temecula, CA on Sunday, Sept 14 due to extreme heat.  I'll keep my comments and thoughts about that in a separate blog post tomorrow.  Believe me, I have lots to say about it!  But for today, I want to focus on my experience running the SoCal Beast on Saturday.

We took our time heading out of Vegas on Friday morning and ended up in some major 2 hour delay traffic jam on our way to Temecula.  Once we finally arrived at our hotel, we pretty much went straight to bed after setting out my clothes and gear for the next day.  Of course, I hardly slept.  I was too anxious to sleep, so I tossed and turned a lot until it was finally time to get ready to go.  I had my coffee and ate my go to pre-race breakfast of a banana and half a bagel thin with almond butter.  Once we got to Veil Resort we parked and made our way to the registration area.  Everything went very smoothly and we had no problems checking in and getting ready.  I met up with my friend, Eve, who ran alongside me the whole time.  By the way you must follow her on instagram!  Here's the link to her profile:  http://instagram.com/ninjaeve  Sidenote:  Eve will be participating in World's Toughest Mudder this November and I can't wait to be there supporting my girl!!! 

On with the race, I won't give you a play by play of every obstacle, but I will say that this was a brutal course.  6.2 of the 12 mile course was all uphill.  These hills, although I'd like to call them mountains, were no joke.  The first half of the course went by pretty quickly and I felt great about completing every obstacle up to that point.  Just like for the Spartan Super, the bucket carry was by far the toughest obstacle for me.  My calf cramped up towards the end of the obstacle and thank goodness I'd read an article about mustard helping with leg cramps and had some mustard packets in my hydration pack.  About 2-3 minutes after taking it, I felt ok enough to finish the obstacle and my calf didn't cramp up again afterwards.  I will always carry mustard packets with me on a race from now on!  

Thanks to this random dude for the boost!

Thanks to this random dude for the boost!

For the second half of the race, the temperature started to creep up and we could see so many people that just weren't prepared for the heat.  Both Eve and I had our water backpacks and although the water was already warm after a few hours, it was still helping us keep hydrated.  We'd also put electrolyte tablets in our water before the race and I had my Island Boost packets too.  The race had plenty of water stations and one of the last stations also had gatorade and salt packets for dehydrated runners.  Even with all the warnings and emails from Spartan Race about preparing for the heat, some athletes just weren't prepared for the 100+ temps and many were not able to complete the race.  So many runners weren't carrying water and guys were running with no shirts, even after being warned of the extremely high temperatures and given clear instructions on what to do to prepare for it.   Spartan also ended up shortening the race by several miles for those with later start times.  Like I said, Eve and I had prepared before and during the race and we finished strong.   Eve got her 2X Trifecta medal and I was on my way to getting my first Trifecta. Of course, I couldn't have done it without her help throughout the race and literally pulling, pushing, and carrying me over some of those obstacles.  Big thanks to a few other racers who took the time to help me up a few walls and of course a massive thanks to my hubby for all his support before and after the race and for taking these awesome photos.  Thanks also to my friends and family for all their encouragement! 

Sadly, things didn't turn out as planned and the Spartan Sprint on Sunday got postponed until January.  But, at the time, we had no idea that was going to happen.  I was totally ready to take on the Sprint on Sunday with my hubby and 4 other friends that had traveled from Vegas to run it together.  Like I said, be sure to come back tomorrow for my thoughts about their decision and what we ended up doing since we couldn't race.  

As for the Beast, it definitely lived up to it's name and I can't wait to do it again! 



Fitness Friday | Spartan Trifecta

The day is finally here!  We are heading out for Temecula, CA this morning and tomorrow I will be running the Spartan Beast and Sunday, the Spartan Sprint.  Add in the Spartan Super I completed in April and I'll have myself a Spartan Trifecta!  Woohoo!!

That is of course, if I survive this weekend.  I love that feeling after a race, you know the one where you feel amazing and awesome!  Your body is sore and bruised but you still manage to walk a little taller.  You're on a major high from completing something completely terrifying.  It's such a feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line.  Not too many things in life compare.  

But, that feeling before a race....the self doubt, the anxiety, the nervousness!  The feelings of maybe I could have done more, maybe I shouldn't have had that ice cream a few weeks ago.  Maybe I should have ran more during my training.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  Then come the what ifs.  What if I cramp up during the race? What if I hurt myself?  What if I don't finish? Well, it's just enough to drive a girl crazy (and quite possibly her husband too!) Ahhh!! Yup, these thoughts are all running through my head right now.  

Friends ask me if I'm ready and I just shrug, give a weak smile and say, "We'll see!"  Because, well, the truth is, we'll see!  I've trained hard.  I've given it my all.  I've been to tons of boot camps, practice obstacle races, elevation trainings  at Camp Rhino.  I've sacrificed sleeping in on the weekends.  I've sacrificed evenings with my family.  I've sacrificed time with friends.  I've passed on dessert I couldn't tell you how many times.  I've been so sore that it's been difficult going up the stairs.  I've gotten bruised and scraped.  All for what?  For a medal.  For bragging rights.  For that feeling after a race.  For me.  For my kiddos who believe in me.  For everyone who supports me.  I do it because it scares me.  I do it because it pushes me to try harder.  I do it because I can.  Because I never dreamed I could.  

Spartan Up!  - Aroo