4.18.15 - 32 obstacles, 12.5 miles, 4,800 ft elevation
"What goes up, must come down.
What comes down, must go up."
My alarm went off at 3am and we arrived at Mt. Creek about an hour before our start time. The weather was warm and the sun was out, but snow was on the mountain and my stomach was tying up in knots. As 9am loomed, I grabbed a boost from my friend over the entry wall. Not having use of my broken left hand was sure to get interesting.
And then we were off, on a straight upward climb for the first mile. There were a few small walls/hurdles and rolling snow hills in the beginning. Receiving boosts and hooking my arm over walls made climbing them possible. But I also now have massive bruises all over my arm. The elevation was obviously a huge factor in this race, even at the beginning. By mile two I had already shaken off the fact that my cardio training was crap (due to OTS) and I was just going to have to push through. My legs felt amazing, but my breathing was slowing me down up the hills. Then came the vertical cargo net. Hooked my left arm at the elbow and scaled it slowly but surely.
By this time I realized my hand would have to spend the race looped into my camelbak. Letting it hang and swing was causing way too much throbbing and pain. This later became an issue as the terrain got super technical and I was unable to use my left hand to prevent or break a fall. We arrived at the log hop. Great, I thought…well if I fall, I gotta fall right. I got over half way through before coming off. Managed a few one-arm/modified ugly looking burpees before my teammates asked me to stop.
By this point my team was feeling the force of the mountain. We had already climbed to the summit 2-3 times. The one member’s knees were shooting with pain on the downhill. I was slow on the uphill. The terrain was very technical which led to backups on the trails and careful steps as I prayed I didn’t fall onto my hand. Our mile times started getting slower and slower. The sandbag carry was long but not too challenging. We then arrived at the Memory Test station, we’d gotten our codes about 2 hours and a few miles previously. I rattled off India 357-7992 with no issues. At least some of my winter training had paid off. Up to the inverted wall and I decided to pass. It was fairly high and I was growing tired, figured it wasn't worth the risk of falling due to my hand. The tyrolean traverse was also skipped for obvious reasons. Up and down the A frame cargo net with no issues. Did the log flip one handed, easily. Honestly, all the female carry's were way too light.
There was snow and mud up a steep hill with barb wire overhead. For a solid 50 yards(?). Bear crawl was not an option for me. My knees and elbows were frozen, yet sharp rocks still dug into them. I am a slow crawler to begin with; with one arm it was agonizingly slow. I tried a few different positions but felt my calves, hip flexers, hammies and quads wanting to spasm.
Everything was tight, it was freezing, and I kind of wanted to cry. I eventually resorted to rolling up the cold muddy steep mountain. I refused to quit. I reached deep inside, blocked out the pain and rolled like a mad woman. Finishing that barbwire crawl was the highlight of my race. I rested a bit before tackling the final summit climb of the day. My legs were spent and shutting down. I was literally being drug up the hill by my teammate. We reached the top and headed down hill at a decent clip. I still had energy to spend and I was ready to get off this mountain. Skipped the rope swing, jumped the fire and crossed the finish line!
Alive? Check. Hand okay? Check. Success. It was a grueling 7.5 hours on that mountain. There were things I wasn’t happy about, but most of those I was expecting going into the race. The things I’m elated with are keeping a positive attitude and tackling as much as I could. I want to give a huge “AROO” to my teammates, not sure I would have gotten through this one on my own. Also to my fellow Spartans who gave me words of encouragement and lent a hand or shoulder throughout the day. It really meant a lot. I also have mad respect for the athletes I saw on course with disabilities way worse than a broken hand. They are true inspirations. Now I set my sights on the OH Beast in 7 weeks. Time to get my hand healed up and my cardio built back up. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2015 season!