Friday, March 29, 2013

Fear: Obstacle Course Races...Me? Really?

I blogged back in February about finishing the Spartan Sprint in Arizona. How hard it was, how much I hurt for most of the next week, yet guess what I'm doing? Next weekend I have the Super Spartan in Nevada, a 7-8 mile obstacle course with 20+ obstacles. Then at the beginning of May I have to Military Spartan Sprint in Colorado...about 3.5 miles with about 15 obstacles, but the  majority of these obstacles are designed by U.S. Special Forces!! I can only imagine what they have in mind. At the end of June I have the Spartan Beast, a race at 12-13 miles and 25+ obstacles. I'm volunteering for 2 days at the Colorado race so that I can get a free entry to both the Super and Beast.
But that's not all! I just registered for the Tough Mudder in Tahoe at the end of September. Now this one I know involves electrocution, an ice bath of huge magnitude, jumping off a 15-20 foot high (perfectly good) platform into what I hope is a deep enough man made pool of muddy water. Joy. Now, did I happen to mention that I have a little bit of a fear of heights and a strong underlying phobia of deep water and drowning? I don't know where the height thing came from, but when I was about 5 years old I almost drowned, or at least perceived it as such, during a private swim lesson. I continued to take swimming lessons throughout my childhood and actually did learn to swim but I still don't feel extremely comfortable in water where I can't touch the bottom. I've been taking lessons from a friend for the past few weeks and have gotten most of my form down but my flutter kicks are extremely weak. I can't even get the full length of the pool using a kickboard. It's so frustrating!
Anyway, I digress. I had never considered doing obstacle course races (OCRs). My son had mentioned that one of his good college friends was trying to get a team together for Arizona but was having a difficult time getting people to join. At some point she just stopped trying. So I got in touch with her, a young, local friend of mine and my son and we formed a small team for the race "Team Endorphin." I did the race and finished in what I thought was a terrible time, but I found out just a week or two ago that there were girls much younger than me at the same race that took over four hours to finish the course. That made me feel a bit better considering that I finished in under 3 hours.                                        


 My friend mentioned the Trifecta medal, for doing one race of each of the first three levels like I have planned, within one calendar year, so being the bling addict that I am I decided to go for the Trifecta and thus all the Spartan races. The Military Spartan Sprint has it's own separate medal with a barbed wire look to it that I had to have it so I'm doing that as well. The things I do for the bling!! lol!
Am I afraid of these races...more than you will ever know. Why do I insist on doing them? Well, my life has been fairly safe except for the multiple times that I have tried to take it myself. I feel like I've lost the adventurer that was me in my youth. Maybe it was getting married so young (had just turned 19) or having kids so early (when I was barely 21) or maybe it was because I was constantly in school working on multiple degrees and then working full time. I don't know what happened, but I don't have the spontaneity that used to define me. So now, just 6 months from my 49th birthday I'm doing things that I "shoulda, coulda" done when I was in my 20's and early 30's except for the fact that these types of races didn't exist as far as I know. I can't say that I'll be the oldest ones out there, but I'll definitely feel that way when the fit 20 and 30 year olds go flying by me finishing in times that I could only dream of. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and approaching life with the following mantra:


  1. It is so awesome that you are tackling these obstacle course races! I went as a spectator to watch my boyfriend do Tough Mudder a couple weeks ago and was so inspired by the diverse age range out there.

    As one older gentleman was coming up to Mt. Everest he yelled out "here comes Grandpa!" He them leapt up the wall and made it to the top on his first try - a feat many younger participants could not do! So incredible!

    Everyone who gets out there for these type of races are so inspiring to me! Good luck to you on all of the ones you have planned - you are awesome!

  2. Thanks for your comment and well wishes, Kristina! I still haven't made up my mind if I'm just plain crazy or if it's just the stubborn part in me saying that it would be better to try and fail rather than not try at all. We'll see what happens next weekend...I'll surely be blogging about it if I survive! lol!