Spartan Ultra Beast

I MADE IT!!!!

“I’m on the top of the world, looking down on creation”

 -The Carpenters

(You know you just sang that in your head)

ACCEPTED!!!

Last night I dreamed that got into the Ultra Beast.  This morning I got an email from the Spartan Race people :

Jenny,

We like tough women and you seem to be in the ranks.  We applaud you for taking care of yourself, getting out of an abusive relationship and moving forward with your life.  We’d like you to meet our Ultra Beast.
Congratulations, your Spartan Ultra Beast application has been reviewed and you are being invited to register for the World’s First Marathon Distance Obstacle race to take place on September 22, 2012.  You are a part of obstacle racing history.  There is NO other event of this type anywhere in the world.  The field will be limited to a small, extreme group of athletes and you are part of a select few invited to take part. 
– Spartan Race HQ

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! I immediately called G-Dawg because he is clearly the only other person crazy enough to get as excited about the torture ahead of us as I am (and because Adam was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him).  As you might expect, we were like two little kids jumping up and down at Christmas. WE HAVE SO MUCH TRAINING TO DO!!!!  I know I should be terrified, and I will probably hate myself the whole way through it, but I know I can do it.  I am ready to make some history. 🙂

As far as my continued rest, I coped this morning by cleaning the entire house (including washing the windows) and vacuuming my car.  The fact that it is completely GORGEOUS out is not helping my urge to run, but spending some time gardening made me feel like I was still getting to enjoy the weather.

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I Just Did Something Crazy…

“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

James Cook

Ladies and Gentle,

I have done something completely insane, but before I get into details I figured I catch you up on my most current fitness failings. 😉

BUILDING SUSPENSE PEOPLE!!!

So lately my left knee has been bugging me a bit.  It’s always the same spot- where I twisted it snowboarding a few years back.  I’ve had an MRI which was normal and got the green light to go balls-to-the-wall with my fitness craziness.  Anyway, I think with all the extra time and intervals on the new month of Insanity that there’s a good possibility I’m doing something to irritate it when I’m bouncing all fatigued (it’s more like thundering when I’m tired actually- case in point).

Given the knee issue, I have really been trying to back off the Insanity a little this week. That’s why I was really excited to do some upper body lifting this weekend.  Last night I ended up meeting the guys at the gym for some “light lifting”.  I don’t remember much of what we did other than the pull-ups.  Since I am still pull-up challenged at the moment, I had G-dawg as an assist. He had me do 3 sets of 3 while he spotted.  On the second set my shoulder popped and was feeling weak, but I managed to finish.  G-dawg insisted he was barely even touching me, and that I had improved dramatically from the last time we did them.  Since my shoulder was acting up though, we did the last set with a rope so my elbows were close together.  It definitely seemed a bit easier, but I didn’t appreciate having to come up twice each time to the right and left. lol

Unfortunately, my minimal assistance pull-up victory was short lived because this morning when we lifted again I totally flaked at bench.  My shoulder wasn’t feeling right and I just couldn’t get anywhere with my left arm.  Instead of using to two 10 lb plates on each side, I was down to 10 lb on each and struggling.  It was a little frustrating, but I was still able to get some decent lifting in by using lighter weights and changing my grip.  Adam and G-Dawg told me that I need to learn to focus more on my chest muscles when benching and stop relying on my shoulders, but it’s a little hard to do when your chest is female and not ripped with pecs- just saying. It’s a work in progress. 😉

Dead lifting makes me feel like a bad ass!

Although I love them both, working out with two former marines is not always great for my ego.  Today it definitely got to me a little that they make it look so easy and effortless while I was injured and feeling like a total wimp.  When I lift (with the exception dead lift) my arms and weights seem to go everywhere and everything feels awkward (I’m sure it’s worse in my head than it actually looks, and the boys assure me it’s normal when you’re starting out). lol  Then I look at the two of them and they are blasting out their reps with WAY HEAVIER weight (duh! I know, they’re boys).

It just sucks that I have spent the past year busting my ass while they both slacked and now they make the slightest effort and completely leave me in the dust.  I get that they have muscle memory in their favor and I’m building from scratch, but SERIOUSLY- they could struggle a little just for my sanity?  (Or add back extensions to every workout so I can at least demolish them at something, that’s a fair compromise- right?)

Anyway, at least I’m am getting somewhere with my pull-ups! Plus, taking a break from Insanity will give me a chance to get some running in- which I really need to be doing with another half marathon and Tough Mudder coming up in a month!  The vibrams should definitely help build my stabilizers in my legs, and I really need to get used to running in them again now that the weather is nicer.

As for the craziness- first, I don’t think I officially announced that I signed up for the Pike’s Peak Ascent– 13.1 miles of STRAIGHT UP- AT ALTITUDE.  Should be a good time! Adam and G-Dawg will be there, so at least I won’t be suffering alone.  Of course, the best part is the excuse to vacation in Colorado (one of my favorite places on earth!).  Interesting Factoid- the color for the race is purple because it was the first marathon officially run by a woman. How could I not do it knowing that !?! Girl power! (Plus I made a deal with myself that I would do it if I qualified, and I’ve qualified with 3 separate races times now.)

Second- and even more crazy– I sent my “running resume” to the officials of the Spartan Race to apply for a spot in the Spartan Ultra Beast.  For anyone living under a rock who is unfamilar with the Spartan Races- it’s a series of varying length of obstacle races ranging from roughly 5K to the Death Race which spans up to 48hrs.  Unlike the Tough Mudder, there are penalties for failing to complete the obstacles (lots of burpees!) and it’s designed to be as mentally demanding as physical.  The Ultra Beast is the first marathon length race- YES MARATHON, YES I HAVE LOST MY MIND.

Here’s the thing though- I have only been back at running a little over a year, and I’ve only been doing boot camp since October.  In that span of time I have become SO MUCH STRONGER physically and mentally than I ever thought possible.  I seriously doubted whether I could finish the Tough Mudder and the Marathon, but I finished both.  I used to doubt I’d be able to finish pretty much EVERY boot camp workout- now it’s never even a thought.  If you had told me a year ago that I would manage even one of the races or workouts I finished- I would have never believed it.  If I could go from a 10K to a marathon in 6 months, then there’s no reason I can’t go from running a marathon and 13 mile Tough Mudder at altitude to a marathon length obstacle course.  I’m stronger, I’m tougher, and I have a better training program and support system.  I know in my heart I can do it! (so of course I’m scared to death!)

What have you done to scare yourself lately? Step out of your comfort zone!

As an added bonus- when I do run it (if I don’t make it, I’ll do the Spartan Beast which is half the distance) I am totally getting their Spartan Chicked Gear!  What would a woman not do in the name of awesome fashion?  It will also be pretty awesome to possibly meet some of the other amazing women I’ve been reading about (even before I ever thought I could complete an obstacle race) that are a part of their “chicked” movement. 😉