Tuesday, July 19, 2016

First OCR of 2016

.....Better late than never, but it didn't come and go without incident unfortunately. 

Well I got my first taste of the Spartan Elite field at the Minnesota Sprint this past weekend and boy do I have a lot to say about this experience.
Apex Predator Attacking

First of all, I am not sure where people stand on this, but I do my best to plan out my nutritional needs so I don't bonk at the end and timing of ingestion is crucial and it's relation to start time so imagine my discomfort when the race was delayed some 45 minutes cause the EMS crew wasn't there yet......I can understand the importance of that crew and I would come to need their assistance after it was all said and done, but we'll get back to that later, but DUDE!!!!!! you're messing with my program here and I was restless to say the least.

Secondly, If you clicked the box that says "elite" you should certainly be expected to compete like one or start at the back of field. Now I learned my lesson as well as it is my fault that I didn't make my way around to start at the front or second row, but if your intent from the front is to get your picture on the local newspaper or walk the starting hill, get to the back there are people really looking to accomplish something out there.
No Double Sandbag :)

Once we finally got started I wasted a lot of energy passing the herds of walkers in the "elite" field, but I would come to find out that this would not matter, not in the least based upon my finish. My goal was to make that chase pack hoping to keep tabs on the leaders and pick up on their lines and techniques but the start fiasco ruined that so I grinded it through the mud pits, over/under/through, monkey bars, and the 6 and 7 foot walls blah blah blah a lot of obstacles between the first and 24th.

The first of my issues would begin at the z wall where I got much further this time but still did my burpees...all of them...and good form. Thought for sure I made a decent push towards the top 10 if not for sure the top 20, but lost a few spots there for sure as I kept hearing that bell as I did my penalty burpees. I would gain some of that back on the trail, but then the wheels came off starting with the 8' walls. Came down the hill doing my thing, minding my own business and take a run at the wall, grab the top and begin to pull up to get my leg over, but somewhere in that process I rotated my left shoulder funny and felt a pop and then numbness before I could swing the leg over and bailed off the wall. I reacted by popping it back to where it belonged but the damage was done. I did a 2nd attempt at the wall and actually made it without any issue as well as the 8 footer that came later on, soooooo I continued on and did some good work on the Herc Hoist, Sandbag carry, hurdles, some more walls of varying nature all up until the multi-rig where I had issue #3 for the day and the 2nd dislocation of the same shoulder (for those keeping track of this at home that's two of them on the same shoulder eeeeek) swinging from the baseball to the next device which I believe was a vertical short length of a wooden dowel or something. This time it took a little bit longer to get it back in but did so and went straight into more burpees in which I think I was up to 65 at this point including the atlas carry. The weakest portion of the day was definitely the bucket carry lots of stops on the way up and down, just favored the weak arm too much and at that point it was very much in my head what has just occurred not once but twice now on this 5 mile course I was definitely not strong here as I would see in the results the top 30 had now passed me by and even more would go by after a good but not good enough spear throw that gave me 30 more burpees to think about whether or not this rope climb was going to happen or not. So I have every expectation that I will be finishing up this race failing my last obstacle, but as luck would have it, this did not affect my shoulder and as a bonus I decide to no leg the rope climb up as a way to spite my misfortunes of the day. I would jump the fire, get my fitaid, medal, finisher shirt and some snacks and proceed to the medical tent in which I would teach them how I wanted my shoulder wrapped in Ice.

Results....Well not horrible considering, but a far cry from what I was trying to accomplish 44th overall in the Elite Field, but way too much time back from the leader and not easy to make up over a course that carried around 1400 feet of elevation gain in just over 5 miles.

Here's the key takeaways. ONE! If you really think you can race up front start there or you wont see the leaders until after they already rinsed off post race. TWO! (and this is a big one) Warmup for your event....if you plan on climbing, pulling, pushing, etc warmup by doing the same. I truly believe if I had done some pushups, pullups, and dips before the race this would not have happened. THREE! I can do this, I knew where I was in the field after the initial start log jam going up the hill, I know where I was strong and weak which were things I really didn't know from last years race.
I had a great time with some great friends and even met a couple of new friends and teammates Josh Rundquist and Kevin A. Hill. Congrats to Strength & Speed Dev Team on your results and resolve. Congrats to my roadtrip team of Dani Whiting for taking 2nd in competitive female overall with a time placing her 10 if she ran elite female and Talyn Jones for going competitive for a first time Spartan Racer placing 13th overall in competitive female....must be their coach lol.

I will be back this year just not sure what race, but this is far from over. I have a lot of business to take care of in OCR and I'm just getting started. Congrats to all the racers OCR and non. Rest up and get ready for the next one.

Always Fun To Race With Good Friends

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