Busy Weekend or Look at me trying to be Sporty part 6

Just like The Roots, you’re probably thinking “What happened to parts 1-5?”  Well, let’s just say that I have been doing a lot of runs and obstacle course races.  I have been doing so many that I have not been able to keep up with writing them on the site, but I had to share this experience with you.

This past weekend (Sept. 27-28) I did something that I am proud of doing and it was something that some people thought I was crazy for or was not in shape to do it; I ran a 5K and did a Spartan Race on the same weekend.

Now those of you who regularly read this blog know that I write about trying to be in good shape for my children.  I want to be able to enjoy everyday with them and always have the energy to run around with them at the park or in the house.  I want my kids to see how athletic their dad was and this drive to be in shape has led me to start running more and competing in these obstacle course races.

Since my last post, I have run a few 5Ks, a 10K, a 10 mile race and done a few Warrior Dash races. I have been building myself up to do a more extreme race, so I decided to sign up for the Spartan Race.   I signed up for the Spartan Sprint which was a 4.8 mile race with 15 obstacles. Before I get into the Spartan, let me tell you a little about the 5K I did: the Ditka Dash.

Da Sign

This is the second year that I competed in the Ditka Dash, well, I can’t really say compete, because it’s more of a fun run and you are not timed.  The Ditka Dash was the first 5K that I ran with my wife and she kind of caught the bug after that.  She did another 5K on her own besides this and has signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 5K with me this year.

Crossing the finish line together!

This was the second year of the Dash and it was very crowded.  There were a lot of Ditkas in the crowd along with the real Coach himself who was at the starting line releasing each wave with a “Do the Dash!” or “Bear down!”

Since my wife has asthma we kept our pace a little slow and whenever she needed to walk I would just slow my run to a jog to keep up with her.  We had a great time at the Dash and will do it again next year.  Now on to the Spartan Race.

That smile is hurting my face.
Earlier this year I participated in a Spartan Workout to see if I was “Spartan ready” and I found out I was “Meh ready”.  I was able to get through the workout, but I didn’t complete all the exercises.  I said to my self that if the event was going to come to the Chicagoland area that I would join.
Turns out the only Spartan Race that was available to sign up for was the Spartan Super which is an 8 mile race with 20 obstacles.  I kept hesitating on signing up, that by the time I was going to do it they released news that a Spartan Sprint was going to be held that same weekend.  
Since I was already signed up for the Ditka Dash on Saturday, I decided to sign up for the Spartan Sprint on that Sunday.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I did that, but I had a Groupon that saved me money on the registration and that’s what led to my decision.
I went to the Spartan Race with one of my best friends, his wife and her brother.  On the ride there we were a little nervous and excited at the same time.  I ran for a few weeks prior to the Spartan Race, but that was not enough.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what we did: threw a javelin, dragged a truck tire to one point then pulled it back to the starting point, ran, climbed over and crawled under barriers, carried a (some said) 100 pound ball about 10 yards, dropped said ball and did 5 burpees, picked up that ball and put it back to it’s starting position, ran, hoisted a heavy, heavy bag into the air and then dropped it down carefully, ran, swam, climbed a 20 foot rope, etc, etc.
I kind of had an idea that this race was going to be tough because I was watching the show of it on NBC Sports, but I couldn’t imagine that it was going to be this tough.  We did a lot of walking in between obstacles because we were trying to catch our breath and prepare ourselves for the next one, but as we walked we realized that we were doing it. We were out there running this race and not letting a few burpees slow us down.  Did I mention that there was a 30 burpee penalty for the obstacles that you either failed at or decided to skip?  (note to self: work on my burpees.)
At the end of the race we all felt tired but accomplished.  We had survived and were already talking about running it again next year or at least I was.  Earlier I mentioned that there was a Spartan Super on Saturday. There is also another run called the Spartan Beast. When you finish each race you are given a medal and a third of a medal.  Once you complete all three races you get the trifecta medal.  One year I will get that medal.
We left our mark!

Next year when I run this event, I hope my family will be there to cheer me on. I do not think that my little guy would be able to sit around for 2 hours this year while I run, maybe next year he could.  My little girl saw pictures of the Spartan Junior event that they hold there and said she wants to run it.  I think that would be a lot of fun, running the race and then seeing my little girl run her race, too.

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