Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Spartan Race in the Poconos and Wedding Recon

Hi all,

Today was my first day back in Charlotte after almost a week and a half off and I was certainly thrown right back into things! I couldn't wait until work was over to write my post about the Spartan Race!

Let's start from the beginning, Saturday morning we said goodbye to all of our PFEW friends and students. If you don't know what PFEW is, check out this post from the beginning of the week that explains. After we left, we headed to Mifflintown, Pennsylvania to see my friend Lindsey get married at an amazing farm out in the middle of nowhere. It was such a beautiful wedding and so unique to the couple. I couldn't stop thinking about how I can't wait for mine to come around the corner! Her dress was stunning, seriously, look at this.

and look at how adorable these kids are! The suspenders are so cute!

We left the wedding early to head towards the Poconos because we were leaving bright and early on Sunday morning to go and run the Spartan Race. This would be our 2nd Spartan Race, as we ran our 1st one last year at the White Water Center in Charlotte. It's a 5 mile race that is littered with obstacles and a lot of mud. We had so much fun last year that we thought we would try it in another state!
When we got to the race, we realized exactly what we had signed ourselves up for - a course that would be nothing but climbing the face of a mountain. Here is a photo of the course if that helps give perspective, that my dear, dear friends is a 2 mile track straight up a ski slope.

Can't we just go get a coffee instead?
I am not going to lie, I got pretty nervous about this course because while I do put hills into my workout, they aren't hills like this. Also, it was about 90 degrees at 10 in the morning, so needless to say, it was a daunting idea. I did learn from last year and wore more functional clothing, leggings and a 3/4 sleeve shirt to protect my knees and elbows from the rocks, scrapes and bruises.

Before shot
We were off and running in the 12:15 heat and the first obstacle was a grueling hike straight up, people actually dropped out within the first 10 minutes because of the difficulty and everyone was walking, there was no running up this mountain. Then when you finally got into the first clearing, you were handed a 15 pound sandbag (20 for men) and with it on your shoulder, you hiked an 80 degree mountain face for the next 1/2 mile. That was probably the hardest thing that you did through the entire race followed by army crawling under barbed wire, jumping over 8 and 9 foot walls (thanks for the boost Dwayne), swimming, cargo nets, rope climbs and everything in between. If you fail at one of these obstacles, you have to do 30 burpees before you can move on. No easy task but luckily out of all the obstacles we only had to do them 3 times. A lot of that has to do with our teamwork, we cheer each other on, Dwayne gives me a boost to the top of the high walls until I can pull myself over and I solicit people for water when he gets dehydrated.

All in all, it was a grueling race but when we got to the final obstacle and could see the finish line, we grabbed each others hand and jumped over the fire pit, (oh yes, you heard correctly, you jump over fire) and ran through the finish line to get our medals, banana and a much deserves glass of water.

The Muddy After Photo
These races destroy your shoes because you are walking through mud pits and lakes with them on. Luckily, I was in need of new running shoes anyway and so I sent my year old, worn out hot pink Adidas AdiZeros out in a blaze of glory!

I can't wait to go shopping for a new pair!
When you are done, you also get a ticket for a free beer for completing the race so we triumphantly found some shade, ate our bananas, checked our final scores/times and got probably one of the most well deserved beers in race history.

A Coors Light never tasted so good.
 We finished the whole race in about 2 hours and 30 minutes and were in the middle of the pack when it came to results. The winner of the race, did the entire thing in 41 minutes, that's insane!

We went back to the hotel, cleaned up our bumps and bruises, got a well deserved hamburger and passed out to get up early in the morning and come back to Charlotte. We were both really excited to see our puppy again - we missed his little waggy tail while we were gone. He was excited when we picked him up and once we finally got him in the car, he immediately flopped because the happiness was just too much to handle!

Look at that smile!
I was so happy to be home after a week and a half away and now starts the process of unpacking and washing everything. That is going to be started tonight and I am sure that it will be a long process but I also get to talk to my best friend April about my wedding shower in Pittsburgh. So excited! : )