Thursday evening and the weatherman was actually right…the sleet started coming down. NOOOOOOOOO!!!! My teammates were in the car and headed my way to pick me up for the Florida Super Spartan.
Yes, that is correct, we were driving to Miami to run the race and then coming right back. When you tell people this, they look at you like you are crazy, insane and stupid…I look back at them with a huge grin on my face and say, no, you don’t understand, I am going with my Corn Fed Spartans — the trip is half the fun! Thankfully, my team made it safely to my house and only about an hour off the proposed “agenda” time of arrival — and away we drove — thru snow, sleet and freezing rain — CORN FED was Miami bound!!
There are so many stories and silly things that happened in that 22 hour drive from Indy — it could probably be its own novel. I have never laughed so hard (my abs even hurt the next day) It can be summed up with laughter, Twizzlers, laughter, check-ins, laughter, travel plazas, laughter, gargantuan gummy bears, laughter, beef / Turkey jerky, laughter, games, laughter, surprise packages with secret codes, laughter and a Corn Hat.
We were so excited to find the hotel and finally be at our destination at 7pm! Quick showers and off to get a great dinner with a few more members of our team. A few crazy pictures (think planking in front of the Cheetah Club and hand stands in the parking lot), a quick trip to the pool to hang out for about 20 minutes, and it was time to sleep in a BED — pretty nice after being in a car for that many hours!! Candie set her phone alarm for 6 am and we would meet everybody in the lobby at 7….
…I hear harps….it was the most gentle alarm awakening ever (although Candie will tell you it scared the crap out of her — and it was her alarm haha!)…I was tired, but then I remembered — IT WAS RACE DAY!! And for a Corn Fed Spartan, that is synonymous with Christmas Morning!!
As we headed to the venue, I was about to bubble over with excitement! We pull in and see the festival area and people start yelling out “CORN FED” (yeah, we are a pretty big deal). I felt like I was home. We did our normal pre-race activities — packet pickup, bibs on, timing chip on, marker up, potty (where we first met Team Chasin Bacon) and finally meet up with the team for a photo op. We also had rubber bracelets with our team name on them — we loaded up a bunch on our arms to pass out on the course.
Once we found all of our Teammates, we headed to the starting coral. It felt as if the second we got there it was time to start…we start running…as we pass across the start line, we hear the announcer say something like we have CORN FED here!! woohoo — gotta love the shout out (yeah, we are a pretty big deal).
As it seems to always happen…we start off running and immediately are not all together. I tried to stay with the bulk of the group and then felt guilty and slowed down to look for the rest of our group, I stopped, I looked back, I asked where everybody was. I hate for us to not all be together! I finally just settled in and stayed where I was…but have to admit that I felt so guilty we were not ALL together.
We went over, under, over, under….run (aka slow jog)…helped a few people get over some walls…about the time it felt like it was getting too hot out, we came to a water obstacle…ahhhhhhh!
This course was absolutely beautiful…I enjoyed every minute of running thru the trails — up and over boards, over beds of pine needles, thru palms and pines…It was soft and fun and the run was relatively flat with a lot of little up and down humps. At one point, Team Chasin Bacon ran past us…I yelled Chassssssssinnnnnn Baaaaaccccccccooooonnnnn…..They yelled back CORN FED!! (yeah, we are a pretty big deal).
We got to the monkey bars and my hands were super slippery from putting on sunscreen. I put them in the dirt and rubbed it in until I felt I had a better grip. I got up and felt pretty strong. I stayed focused and took it slow one bar at a time. I could hear a guy yelling “you got this”. I sensed people dropping to the left of me — FOCUS — I WILL DO THIS — I could see the end, and next thing I knew, I was there. I have done Monkey Bars before, but I have never done the Spartan Monkey Bars, and they are a little different from any others I have done. I was pretty fired up!!
There were a lot of walls on the course, mud hills and water pits, very high cargo net, we pulled a concrete block (mine was Bubba and I introduced him to the next person before passing him off), we carried the sandbags (I took the girl one only because it was pink), we carried concrete and did 5 burpees, we hoisted concrete, we filled water buckets…when we hit the 7 mile marker, I remember telling everyone I was sad that we were already that far because I was not ready for this to end. I was in my happy place with my Corn Fed family and I was not ready for it to be over!
We round the corner, and we are back in the festival area and there in front of me is the rope climb. I have never been able to do the rope climb. One of my goals for 2013 is to master the rope climb. I just stood and stared at it — there were people dropping left and right. I wanted this so badly!! I could not figure out how to do the J-Hook, so I decided to just grip the bottom of my shoes on the knots and my hands on the next knot and pull myself up. I was on the first knot — and honestly, that is the furthest I had ever gotten! I think that empowered me a little, so I grabbed for the next knot. I stayed focused on only the next knot I was looking for and didn’t pay attention to anything else. Next thing I knew, I was close to the top and had run out of knots for my hands. I was trying to figure out my grip and my feet got loose. I felt as though I was dangling and couldn’t find the knot. I immediately put one foot under the rope and anchored the other foot on top of the rope and foot. This move alone gave me a moment to rest my arms, take a deep breath, and re-focus on that bell. It was right there — so close! I got a good grip with my hands and got my feet on the last knot. I made the final push up, and slapped my hand across that bell with so much enthusiasm — I DID IT!!!!!!! (yeah, I am a pretty big deal). I took it super slow on the way down and actually looked around at the spectators, the other athletes on the ropes, the whole scene and view — just priceless — this is one memory that will stay with me for a long time to come.
When I finished, I had a celebration….all by myself. Where was my team? I was jumping around like a fool in front of the spectators and high-fiving myself lol!! My teammates were behind me still working on the rope. No one had their cameras out — NOOOOOO!! I really hope Spartan Race got my rope climb picture!!
The traverse wall was next, and I was shaking from excitement from the rope climb. I tried my best, but fell off with about 3 blocks to go. Next time traverse wall…next time! I knocked out my 30 burpees, and as I did so, I realized that if I could have made that wall, I would have made it thru with “0” penalty burpees. So close.
Mud pit barbed wire crawl…or roll. I rolled until I was dizzy and only stopped to pose for the camera (yes, I am a camera ho). My pigtails were slapping me in the face and covering it with mud…when I finished the roll, I laid in the mud for a minute so the dizziness would go away. OH NO….all that was left was the gladiator pit 😦 This is the first time I decided to aggressively go after the gladiators. I am not kidding when I say that I acted like a bull — I put fingers above my head, put my head down and kicked one foot like a bull about to charge……I ran straight at the first gladiator that was talkin smack….then headed directly at the 2nd gladiator who hit me as I hit him with full force… The 3rd gladiator was only going for a tap, but I ran full on right at him and slammed my arms directly into his jousting baton and shoved it out-of-the-way (In my mind, this whole scene was incredibly badass, and looked like something out of a movie in slow motion for dramatic effect….in reality, I probably look ridiculous with pigtails, a muddy face and a huge goofy grin) — I was finished. I got my medal, shirt, banana, water…..Found my team.
We got in the ocean to wash off and then hit the after party. It wasn’t long before we had to climb back into the car. We went to eat before leaving Miami. Almost every customer in the restaurant had Spartan Medals on! Who was at the table next to ours? Team Chasin Bacon!! lol!! Candie and I even gave our first autographs 🙂 (yeah, we are a pretty big deal)
It is always so fun for me to hear everyone’s journey thru the course. We all had private moments that were ours alone…whether it was getting over a wall for the first time, making it across the monkey bars, up the rope, or helping someone who needs help complete an obstacle. It’s these little moments that keep us going and what initially brought us all together. We handed out a lot of the rubber Corn Fed bracelets (close to 100) and it is really cool that these people are now finding our group, our family, on Facebook. The stories coming out about how we helped so many people out on the course are amazing. It was fun to be out there and every where we went we heard people yelling CORN FED. If we yelled it out, someone would yell it back. If someone else yelled CORN FED, we yelled it back.
To top it off, when we were driving back home and going thru the toll booth, we heard one of the toll takers from the furthest booth yell, “COOOOOOOOORN FEEEEEEEEEEEED” — we all just looked at each other for a minute and then started laughing (yeah, we are a pretty big deal).