Sunday, June 17, 2012

Team Wonder Woman

Our Spartan race experience started as Stacie came by in her invisible car & honked her horn so we would know she was there to collect us all. Four of us Chicks & one friend who agreed to tag along for our insanity to take pictures took off to Washougal, WA on Friday night. We laughed and chatted with nerves in full swing all the way to Vancover. Once there we settled into our hotel only to learn that there was a lot of marathon runners checked in for a run the next morning. How  you may wonder did we learn this? Well in between fits of loud laughter as we tried to go to bed there was a soft knock on the door. Four of us girls scrambled to hide because we where still laughing. Finally Bekah stood up & went over to answer the door. It was security who had received a couple of complaints about us being to loud, which only made us all start laughing more! At that point it was 11PM so we all turned out the lights and tried for a good fifteen minutes to stop laughing & fall to sleep. Oh to have been a fly on the wall people in that room with the crazy conversation. I haven't had a sleep over like that in a few years, it was just what we needed.

The marathon runners must have banned together at 4:30AM & decided to pay us back as they opened their doors to let them slam shut. I was asleep on my mat on the floor so I laid there for thirty minutes before I could take it no longer and got up. Thankfully two of the girls where also awake so we decided to make coffee and start our day. We laughed some more as Bekah teased us that the bill that had been slipped under the door had a $25 security fee charged- we where shocked then she let us in that she was joking. We prepared our protein smoothies, peanut butter bagels , & dressed in our outfits in preparation. Then we headed out at 7:15AM to the lobby so a couple of the ladies could grab them a much needed Starbucks. Excitment & nerves had kicked in as we where all set to hit the road for the thirty minute drive to the course.





We all cheered when we finally saw our first sign that led us towards the race course.
At this point we where listening to some fun old school music trying to get us all pumped up & ready to ROCK the run. We where texting Ashley our last Chick who was waiting for us at the race site. Once we parked and arrived full on insanity moment started again. Just when I thought we couldn't laugh any harder it started again as the nerves where really starting to affect us all. We knew we had all trained for five months for this day. But would it be enough? Would all the burpees, pull - ups, trail runs, hills, squats all of it keep us alive on the course? We where ready to find out.

Meet Team Wonder Woman!

From left to right: Stacie 29 year old Chick, Bekah 31 year old Chick, Amanda (me) 39 year old Chick, Ashley 27 year old Chick, & Jaime 35 year old Chick.

We loved our outfits as did everyone we saw. We knew most people would be wearing basic black so we decided a long time ago to make this experience as fun as possible , to stand out for our unique group. We where asked to be in random people's photos from before we even made it into the registration line. It was great! Here are a couple shots people asked if they could have of us all.


Nicest Superman grandpa ever who was there watching his great grandson run.

Random dude who had his friend ask us if he could take our picture .
These where just the first of many photos. We chose to stay together through out the entire run so after almost every obstacle we where asked for pictures from the spartan volunteers or other competitors who had their cameras during the run.

As 10Am approached the sun had risen pretty high & it was already 70 degrees. Which doesn't seem like much but for us PNW ladies it was HOT! Our normal run days 70 is as high as it would be at the end of the race not the beginning. We got in line listened to the MC screamed "We are Spartans" a few " AROOS" later  and OFF we ran then BAM- traffic jam on the first major hill. It was a super steep hill so we all where forced to walk a lot of it but managed to make it up to hit the first mud pit barb wire crawl. As we slide down laughing we soon realized it was  deep water pits that you had to swim through in spots for us shorter ladies then low crawl up gravel muddy hills with out getting the barb wire stuck. Just when you thought you where done you got to the top only to see another slide down with more crawling. We all made it through and ran on to the first set of walls. We took turns hoisting us up and over. Thanks to an amazing Chick who was on a other team who helped me get over the last 12 foot wall to my team so no burpees where involved.

We ran on up a lot of hilly trails staying together as much as possible in pairs switching off the lead to avoid wearing ourselves out. As we hit the bucket pulley & sandbag carry we ran through easily chicking A LOT of guys! This we had trained for & it paid off big time. The first true challenge hit when we had to pull the 50llbs cinder block up hill on a chain. We all lifted our blocks & started pulling. Trying to go backwards, forwards, then I settled on a one arm pull that worked. Dragged it back down the hill chucked it in the bin & took off. Next was a hill up where the volunteers swore it was the last hill so we sighed a little relief. Yeah that was much to early to be thinking " we got this". We came around the corner & hit the tire flip which was cake for all five of us!



As you can tell we where all business at this point and super muddy.


This is what happened when we realized we all Flipped those tires like they where light weight pancakes.


This really sums it up for our day. We where all smiles even after obstacles that hurt . We loved every muddy minute!

Next we moved on to the rope climb which I had been dreading. I had practiced & still never made it to the top . Off we all go into the watery mud pit.


Pretty sure right here Bekah & I are thinking " WOW that sure is high, but here we GO!".
Well here Jaime & Stacie go... AROO!!



Jaime celebrating her first successful rope climb- AROO!! Stacie followed right behind her WAY to GO Chicks!

Mean while I had headed over to burpee it out as I fell when my feet slipped on knot number three. But I was Okay with that as I had made it higher then I thought I could.


Soon I was joined by Ashley & Bekah where well all finished our burpees . Thankfully Jaime & Stacie came over to help wrap them up so we could move on to the dreaded spear throw. This is one thing we had no way to practice for & the volunteer was screaming about burpees with push ups & a jump Ugggg was not the word we all used as we headed over. At this point our arms where tired so the thought of any more burpees was not very appealing. We took our time aimed then threw our spears. Mine looked to stick & I jumped as it then popped back off, grrr. None of us got our silly spear to stick so it was thirty more burpees for all of us chicks with push ups and jumps at the end. Yeah to say that ate up a lot of our time is about right we where smoked after wards. we looked ahead & there was the climbing wall. We had practiced only once before the run.


Yes chicks we know we had our hands on top & that was cheating. But the practice wall was to little to really do correctly. Now when we where in our race no hands where placed on top of the wall at all.


I was looking at that wall after just finishing sixty burpees from the rope & spear toss like I wanted to cry. But NO WAY was I not crossing that wall!
 





Off I go with Stacie on the wall and Jaime leading the way for me. Jaime jumped up I watched her until she got to the middle & off I went where I helped her with encouraging motivation hang on as she hit the bell! Next it was me & I was surprised of what fast work I made of the wall to stretch & hit the bell! I looked around & all five of us Wonder Woman had crossed the walls- NO BURPEES!! Next we take off running to come to a dead stop at the bottom of a 300 meter straight up rocky , muddy hill climb from hell folks. We all discussed just taking the burpees until we where told that if you skip the obstacle you must complete 200 Burpees. Let me repeat that incase you missed it 200 BURPEES!!
Yeah we all said No FREAKING WAY!! We watched the course for a minute mapped out our plan & off we went!

This is not my picture of the now famous " Hill crawl from Hell"  as our photographer could not get to us there. But this gives you a small idea of why my legs & elbows will take days to recover.


It may look like the barb wire is high but there where sections that you had to lay flat down and pull with only your arms to get under that wire. I got hung up only twice on this crawl. We had an amazing volunteer dressed as a Spartan in his kilt on my side of the crawl. He talked us through a lot of sections as well as asked a dude in a not so polite way to move out of this 39 year old moms way because I was cruising along! That's right folks four of us girls where chicking the dudes right & left on this crawl. All those planks & awful bear crawls paid off! As we got to the top we had lost Bekah when suddenly she appeared about 25 feet from the top. Our awesome Spartan loved us & let us walk down the side to talk her through the last section. We where able to put our feet down in 2 foot sections as she pulled herself up & planted so she didn't slide back down. She MADE IT to the top & Team Wonder Woman got a ton of cheers from chicks & dudes alike for our strong show of team support. Then OFF we ran to the monkey bars. Going into this race I had never conquered the money bars even though I've been practicing daily for months. I stepped up & took off. The bars where much further apart then what we expected but I cruised along to the middle before I dropped. I was pretty happy with that as it was further then I had done before. Ashley our resident monkey bar queen speed through at lightening fast speed. Bekah & I where the only ones left to burpee it out. Our awesome team split up the sixty burpees and off we went to the cargo net which I smoked through & I think someone said it was forty feet high. Then we saw the soaped up wall climb. This gave me fits at the Gladiator last fall. I had watched every youtube video available & took pointers from fellow chicks on making it over this wall. I attacked that wall in a wide low squat & flew right up it! I was pretty impressed with how quickly we all got over that last wall because exhaustion had set in at this point. 



Shaking hands, my knee was almost toast, & we where all seriously needing water. We all looked forward & it was the fire! I was not sure I could jump at that point but we all cheered because we knew that meant we where at our last obstacle! Off we went as a team & jumped that fire!



Jaime went first- look at that form!
Stacie followed her then Ashley, Bekah , & I brought up the rear.  There was no way for us to all go across side by side as we he had hoped. But We so didn't care!



If you can't tell I did an awesome hurkey over that fire wall! You can sort of tell the height by my feet not being on the ground yet.
Then we headed into the home stretch with Jaime in the lead of course. We finished just the way we started as a team.





We where met with a lot of cheering, Zico coconut water, bananas, our coveted Spartan Medals, & our t-shirts. We where so shaky and tired but all smiles!


 We where so excited that no one got seriously injured & we all worked together as a team to make it through the course.



 My I LIVED pose!


 My amazing trainer for the past four years has helped me get my fitness back in check. Love her & I would have never made it on this course with out her help & tips along the way during training.



Ashley's Finisher Pose & also my AMAZING workout partner.
 


Stacie's Wonder Woman Pose


Bekah's I ROCK Pose


Jaime's Finisher Pose

Our photographer Kim said she believes we finished in the 1 hour 41 minute time range- YAY!! We had hoped to keep it under 2 hours. 

After a much needed cold shower we headed to our car to try to change & somewhat clean up.

After a lot more laughter over all our awesome cuts, abrasion, bruises & mud in places that would make some squeamish we where ready for some real food.


We headed back to eat & cheer on other Spartans as they crossed the finish line. I finally understand what they say when they say " you know at the finish". I knew we all had just completed the hardest 4.2 mile obstacle race I had ever done. I new it took all five of us laughing , high-fiving, cheering each other on to make it through that course. I knew that without the training and long hours of hard work for the past five  months there was no way I would have finished that course. I knew that I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to go on and complete a super in the future which is 8+ miles . But most of all I just felt proud. Proud of us all for not stopping even when we where exhausted and my knee gave way after the fire jump. Not letting any of the girls quit or get discouraged when the thought showed on their faces. It was an experience of a lifetime & one that I can honestly say today I can't wait to repeat again in 2013. I already talked with Paul and I see a road trip to Montana in my future- AROOO!!

We soon headed to the car to start our trip home. We where all finally exhausted and ready to leave. We decided one last stop at Vodoo doughnuts in Portland was in order. We wanted to surprise our kids and husbands with some yummy treats for Fathers Day.


It was a GREAT RACE ladies & I am honored to have completed it with you five. A special shout out & thanks to Kim our photographer of the day as well as Josh , Ashley's husband. He has some awesome video of us jumping the fire. I 'll post it later once it's posted on Facebook. I can't wait until next time we run together thank goodness it's in 14 days!

If your still with me here is an AWESOME video recap set to music.

video

1 comment:

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T a real girl power! Keep it up.