Here we are all smiling after it was over. Well, Nic and I are smiling; Norah was very concerned about the amount of mud on her father. But take note of Nic with that big ol' grin on his face, because there is a picture of me coming up after I ran a Spartan race and it is strikingly different.
No really, I didn't even stand up for my "after" picture. These guys think they're so tough. Turds.
The thing is, I've always thought that I was so tough too--at least compared to most women. So when I told Nic that the race looked kind of fun and that I kind of felt left out and maybe I'll run one with you next time and he told me that would be cool but could I really run a Spartan race? because I'm kind of a wussy...I nearly lost my mind. In fact, I did lose my mind. Because I thought for sure I could run any stupid race I wanted to and HOW DARE HE think that I'm a wussy, let alone say it to my face. I'll show him!
And that is how I ended up running the Virginia Super Spartan.
Eight miles, 20-something obstacles. No problem, right? I was most worried about my upper-body strength. You see, if you fail on an obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees, so the extent of my training involved push-ups and such. I already go to a spin class at work twice a week and I can run, whatever, so again: thought I would be fine.
We made a trip of it. Nic's brothers haven't traveled much, so we spent a day at the mall in D.C. Look at me--so naive.
The night before the race we stuffed our faces with amazing BBQ. That is a $20 beef short rib Nic is about to demolish.
Here's our "before." So very, very naive. I got an email from the race a few days before saying that it would take some people seven or eight hours to finish. Nic assured me that it would not. Wanna know how long it took me? Six. Six hours. Six hours for eight miles.
What I didn't factor in was the location of the race. It was at the Wintergreen ski resort and basically followed the black diamond ski slopes. The first two miles were straight up the mountain. And it was in those two miles that I realized how completely and utterly over my head I was. Like, I didn't know if I could do it. And if the straight up wasn't enough, then you went straight back down, but how about go down a waterfall thing and then go straight back up again. And then if that wasn't enough, go straight back up again, but carry a giant log on your shoulder for a mile this time. It makes me feel better to note here that some people were dry-heaving or throwing up at this point.
Here's the race map that lists the obstacles:
Here's us at the sand bag carry. This is probably somewhere between mile two and three. Notice the look on Nic's face and then look at mine.
Now, you may want to check out for a second, because it's about to get real up in here. Remember how I stuffed my face with BBQ the night before? You guys, at this point, not only did I think that I wasn't going to survive, I also thought that I was going to poop myself on the trail in the process. There was not a port-a-potty until MILE SIX. Nic actually found a discarded roll of toilet paper and carried it for me just in case I had to make a mad dash for the bushes. That's true love.
At one point, Nic's brother Cory told me that he would carry me up the mountain. I'm not exactly sure what I said to him, but it had something to do with how I would roll my cold, dead corpse down the stupid mountain before I would ever let him touch me. You guys, I was in a dark, dark place.
Here's Nic on the mile-long log carry. How dare he look so not tired!
Here we are at the finish. The finish! And while no one had to carry me, I did allow them to lift me over the 8-foot walls, and Justin ended up with my Camelbak. Oh, and the burpees I earned for not being able to do some of the obstacles, I allowed them to be split up between my team mates.
The "after" photo that I imagined was one of me proudly wearing my medal. You know, with a look on my face like, "Ha, I showed Nic. I'm no wussy!"
Here's the reality:
To put a little more perspective into how evil this course was, think of this: The Utah race was 13 miles. It took Nic three and a half hours to finish. This race was eight miles, and without me holding him back, it took Nic four and a half hours to finish. It took him an EXTRA HOUR to go five FEWER miles. Some people took over ten hours; some people didn't finish.
Now that I'm not climbing that cursed mountain, I'm so glad I did it. Nic and I have never done anything like that together before--and although I wanted to gouge his eyes out when he tried to tell me to push myself harder, I couldn't ask for a better team mate.
Nic also told me that I'm the toughest girl he knows in real life but am still a wussy compared to him. And you know what? I'll totally good with that.