Almost a year to the day I did my first Spartan race with Shadow. Before WHAM! there had been a discussion about which races we were going to do together in 2016 to get our trifecta. I had already registered for them (to save some money) so I (wo)manned up and did them anyway. Whether it be to spite him or in spite of him. The DC Spartan Sprint was to be my last race to get my trifecta. I had already done the Super in Texas (and subsequently made myself SUPER sick) and the Beast in Ohio.
Whomever in Spartan Corp who decided that doing a Sprint in southern Maryland in the end of August was a good idea needs to be f-ing fired. At 90+ degrees with 90+% humidity it isn’t a sufferfest it is downright dangerous. I was incredibly lucky that I managed to get an 830 start time because I registered so early. If I hadn’t, I definitely wouldn’t have run it especially after what happened in Austin and with #ESCUT coming up so quickly. I knew I was going to have a hard time breathing to start with just because the air quality was shit. I was NOT about to get sick right before the 50K.
I was supposed to be running with a couple of friends, but due to life circumstances I wound up running it alone (again). I wasn’t thrilled with my situation, but it is what it is. I lined up at 830 and off we went. The minute we stepped foot into the woods I knew that this was going to be a miserable slog. Humid does not even begin to touch how damp and awful it was in the woods.
The only good thing I can say about the course is that 85% of it is set into the woods meaning one thing; shade. The downside is that because we were in the woods and they were cutting their own trails there were lots of 3″ landmines everywhere. These are the little saplings or other weeds that they cut to “make” the trail but they didn’t cut all the way to the ground. This meant for some really tricky going.
What was really interesting about this course was the warning signs that were everywhere saying that if you didn’t have the strength to do the obstacle or don’t feel comfortable don’t do it. I’m fairly confident that it had something to do with the woman who sued after being paralyzed. Anyway…..
As I was picking my way through the course I started to feel worse and worse. Like I want to throw up and was super dizzy kind of worse. I was wearing my hydration pack with Tailwind in it with 70oz of water and I was STILL feeling like crap. You can even see it in the pictures. As MSB put it, “You’ve got crazy eyes.” I’ve seen that look before; the “lights are on but no one is home” at my first half marathon.
After I finished because there was 0 food for me to eat (because everything had gluten in it) I wound up getting this Italian ice type thing. It’s not my normal food, but I needed to get something in me. I was hot and running on fumes. As I later told Sainted Mary I have never EVER felt that bad after a race, well, EVER. As I sat in the car the air conditioner on high waiting for the sugar to hit my brain it finally hit me; I finished.
For the next few days I increased my asthma meds trying to get my lungs to heal and be happy again. Thank God I didn’t stick my face in the grass or push myself too hard pace wise.
Honestly, I can say I have no plans to do another OCR again. If I’m going to suffer in the woods I want it to be running in the mountains not carrying a bucket of rocks in the middle of Ohio (or Maryland, or Texas, you get my point). Spartans don’t give me that same feeling the way that running does. Maybe it’s the fact that I did all of my suffering as a child stacking wood and other manual labor. Who knows. All I know is that I finished. I have my trifecta. All of my medals then promptly got boxed up and send to the kids that I run for. They can have them and play with them. I’m ready to move onto my next challenge and next chapter. Bring on #ECSUT!