Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Raffles are awesome!

Well I woke up to great news today - I won a prize in Anne's raffle to raise money for lung cancer!

More specifically, I won an entry into a Spartan race. I'm sure everyone knows what they are, so I'll skip the tl;dr and go straight to -

I am EXCITED! Those always looked like fun, but I've never been brave enough to really commit to it. They look intense and crazy, too. Even, dare I say, a bit intimidating! But thanks to Anne, I'm out of excuses, because it would be a waste not to do one now, right?

(Logic, right?)

At a glance, it looks like there are two relatively close to me - the Super Spartan in Chicago on 9/27, and the Spartan Sprint in Milwaukee on 11/1. The Super is an 8-9 mile obstacle course, the Sprint is a 5k essentially.

Normally, I'm gung ho for the toughest challenge, but the super will fall the week after my 20 miler and 2 weeks before the marathon.

I'm eager to challenge myself and -really- excited, but I think opting for the super is a bigger bite than I can really handle while marathon training too! Not to disrespect the sprint distance - I have no doubt it will be both mentally and physically challenging - but I think it's definitely more up my ally this year. Who knows - maybe with one under my belt I'll try the super next year! Plus, this will give me something to look forward to after the marathon, and if my last half is an indication of post race blues, I'll probably need that!

If you've ever done a Spartan race, what did you do to train?


  1. Glad to hear I can push you out of your comfort zone a little (you know, because doing your first marathon at around the same time isn't enough!).

    I was talking to a gal at my gym who was training for the Tough Mudder, which I think is somewhat similar. She said she just ran a few days a week and then took cross-training/strength classes a couple days a week. If classes aren't an option, maybe you can find some at-home strength workouts? I think there's an On-Demand channel full of them, and there's tons of good circuits on Pinterest.

    1. Hah! True. This will be the year I step out, apparently!

      I really needed to make strength training more of a priority anyway - here's reallllly good incentive to actually follow through on that!

  2. Congrats on winning! I did the Spartan Sprint last year. You are smart not to do one two weeks before your marathon. The 8-9 mile one will probably take 2-3 hours (the 5K took me one hour). And take it out of you.

    I liked the Spartan Sprint cause it was inside Miller Park and I thought it was super cool to see the stadium. Here are some things you need to work on:

    1. Monkey bars - you have to go across them. If you can't, 30 burpees.
    2. Agility/balance - you will be running over taught ropes (between lines above the ground) and don't want to fall. You will also be running all over the staidum, up and down steps, and don't want to fall.
    3. Strength - you need to carry weighted sacks up and down stairs, pull weighted buckets, climb a rope, carrying heavy crap all over
    4. pushups
    5. throwing a spear
    6. Wall climbing (vertical and horizontal - a partner can help you for vertical)
    7. BURPEES

    For each thing you can't do, you have to do 30 burpees. So get comfortable with those. I would recommend strength classes, and practicing the things you specifically have to do - monkey bars, rope climbing, burpees, wall climbing, etc. My multisport club is really in to these and we have groups that do practice workouts to get them ready for Spartan :)

    1. Yeah that's what I figured. Any other year I'd do it but this year - as much fun as it will be - the marathon is the priority!

      Ooooh thank you for all the tips! Carry heavy stuff I got, but throwing a spear?! Wow I think I will have to just wing that one! Burpees. Okay...time to add those to my workout every week, apparently! I have a feeling this will open me to a whole new level of sore..

      Yeah it's exciting! I don't think I've ever been in Miller Park before!

  3. OMG!!! I'm so excited for you!!!! And maybe a little jealous! I hope someone will be there taking pictures!!

    1. I am so excited! It looks scary and fun and intimidating and crazy and fun!

      There'll be a race photographer at least - spectating is free at Milwaukee so maybe my husband can snag some pics!

  4. Congrats on winning this in a raffle! It definitely sounds like it will be a challenge but I look forward to reading about your experience.

  5. Woo Hoo!! Sounds like fun!! Can't wait to hear all about it!!

    1. I think I am more nervous about it than I am the marathon!