Well, nearly 2 weeks later I think I’m just about ready to write about this one…
I still have the bruises and found this s very hard event for several reasons. It is very easy to make excuses but what it comes down to is that I hadn’t done enough of the right training for it. The course was hilly (as expected) but completely dry and very unusually there was absolutely NO MUD !! What was lacking in mud was made up for in walls… and not including walls that were part of another obstacle I counted as least 16 of them. This means 16 times that I had to haul myself up and over something. I do not love walls. The smallest of these was about 4ft (easy peasy even for me !) up to about 9ft. Luckily for me these two (yes, there were two of them) were quite close to the finish and after getting up and over them I “only” had the fire jump to get over to finish. I have never been so pleased to see a fire that I need to jump over in my life !
For me part of the problem was that my head was not in the right place for this event. I had been unsure about entering and didn’t feel as “up” for it as I have in previous years. I have had some issues with depression for most of my adult life and this event co-incided with a bad patch for me. In general since I’ve been running I’ve been much better and I think running keeps me sane but I still go through bad patches and this was one of them. Throw in to the mix an unusually hot day with most of the obstacles in full sun and the lack of proper training then you have a receipt for a not very enjoyable event. I’m not good in the heat and it was almost a pleasure to be given two tyres to run uphill with because at least it was in the shade !
One thing I will say for Spartan is that they organise very good events. From the “bling” to the T-shirts, atmosphere and free post-race beer it was excellent. It is also the only event I think I’ve ever been to where I never had to queue for the portals ! They will never be the cheapest events to enter because it takes a lot of time, effort and money to build the courses but they are far better value than Tough Mudder (spectators don’t have to pay !) and there is also plenty of places where any supporters can watch 🙂
So, will I do it again ? At the moment I’m not sure. I feel that I have unfinished business with it but I DO need to train properly for it and that means going to the gym and actually putting some proper effort in rather than my half hearted attempts over the last couple of months. Part of the problem is that I don’t actually really know what I’m doing at the gym so I don’t think I’m working the right areas and for me it is the upper body strength that I really need to work on….. and perhaps to find somewhere I can learn to climb a rope (I have never successfully climbed a rope in my life !)
At the end of the day I didn’t do too badly… I came 951 out of nearly 1500 finishers (not bad as a 49 yr old woman !) and I was the 201st female to cross the line but I do feel I could do better if I put the effort in to training for it. I guess what it really comes down to is do I want to do it ?