Monday, September 17, 2012

Road to the BEAST

Five more days to the toughest race and challenge of my life - the Spartan BEAST - a 13+ mile race up and down Killington - described as a race from hell. I never in my life thought that I would ever be doing anything like this. Up until May of 2011 I had never run in a race before. In fact, I hated running and did all I could to avoid it. Even in high school when I was forced to run 2 miles before wrestling practice I would completely dog it. So...After a night hanging with some friends last April, and after a few or more adult beverages, I was peer-pressured into registering for a 5k Mud-run. I trained for a few weeks by adding some runs into my normal workouts. I think the most I ran in training for this race was a 1.5 miles at the most. It was nerve wracking having this event hanging over my head, but I completed it with my wife (who has always loved running) and some good friends. After finishing this 3 mile and change race I felt great and I wanted more - I was hooked. We registered for a Spartan Race at Blue Mountain the next month. The race looked challenging and Gretchen and I decided to register in the earliest heat so we could get on the course early. Neither of us realized that we were in the "elite" heat of the race. Amazingly, Gretchen took first place and won a bad ass sword and the respect of a lot of people. I was and still am so proud of her accomplishment. I finished about 15 minutes after she did and again felt great. The carnival-like atmosphere and the excitement of that race was unlike anything I'd ever done or experienced - I loved it.

I decided to up my running mileage and we registered for a couple more races. They were all great, but didn't really compare to the Spartan Race.This year we did the Tough Mudder, the PA Spartan Sprint (our kids even ran in the kids race), the Virginia Spartan Super, the NJ Spartan Super....all leading up to this. The BEAST where after finishing we will get the coveted Spartan trifecta medal. I'm nervous, excited, and anxious. I've been training hard - hitting the gym 5 days a week and running every 2-3 days all year and eating clean, but this will be the big test. Gretchen and I will be driving up to Killington this Friday morning for the early morning start on Saturday. Killington is actually where we went 11 years ago after our October 2000 wedding for a snowboarding honeymoon. This will be a bit different.