Yesterday I completed The Biggest Loser Walk/ Run Off Road Challenge with my crazy friends , Melissa, Christel, Kristina, Jeannie and Lindsay. We were the Misfit Mud Honeys!
It is 3.4 miles of the Spartan Race with the obstacles optional. In the Spartan Race if you do not complete an obstacle, you have a 30 burpee penalty.
It was a day full of emotions and it all started from when I stepped onto the turf.
Walking in to the area, it was Spartan City – at least that is what I will call it going forward. Spartan stuff everywhere, contestants all over with their medals, covered in mud, gearing up for the run. Ahead of us this giant hill, which I have seen before, plenty of times , except people were riding snow tubes down it. Obstacles galore on the hills, people running all over them.
Oh shit. This is really happening and I am really going to do this.
We find our Biggest Loser Tent and seriously , there is about 10-20 people there. I am like.. ” What?” I totally expected more people to be there for this particular run. My husband had made us T Shirts at work. We march in there with our t shirts and are promptly told we need to wear our Biggest Loser shirts. More to come on that…
We change, we check our bags and start getting ready. Then, Tara Costa , former contestant on the Biggest Loser, gave us a pep talk. It was really great and inspiring. Also there from the Biggest Loser was Matt Hooper from season 15. Then she tells us that our Biggest Loser shirts are our ” Get out of jail free card” meaning if we did not have them on and could not do an obstacle, the refs would make us do the burpees. So, I was VERY glad to have the shirt! Plus it was moisture wicking which came in extremely handy. They also pointed out some volunteers that would be joining us along the way. Doing the race with us. Plus it meant we would have a dry shirt to put on after since we were not wearing the shirts we went in. Standing there in this tiny group surrounded by such amazingly fit people, I felt like we were the ” red headed step children” of the Spartan Race. Going into it, I knew the race was on the Spartan Course, I did not realize that we were going the same time as the Spartan Racers. That was really intimidating. I was embarrassed. I felt like these folks were going to be pissed that this fat ass is in their way. Here I am chubby butt and all going to try this course that these crazy athletes are doing. What the hell was I thinking? Yes, I am way more fit than I have ever been, and yes, I can walk this, and yes, I can do what ever obstacles I want, but what the hell am I doing?
My shirt – after a few washes
Too late now….
We headed together as a group to the start point. The announcer ( totally forget his name) said some really great stuff about how he was on a weight loss journey and it brought him to where he is, and he understands what we are doing . I had my friends by my side. No turning back now.
And we are off! Running up this fococka hill! Ready to die within the first 2 minutes….. lol. Let me tell you, there was mud all over this thing. And it started at the top of that hill. And balls to the wall, I dove in. First thing, I am covered up to my neck in mud cause I lost my footing. I got out of that and there is another little hill. Covered in mud and the marks from where everyone has slipped down it trying to get up. And who was there to help me and lend a hand? Tara Costa. Tiny little thing, and strong as shit. So, I am covered all over in mud, my sunglasses too. My hands . Oh my God, my hands. I hate having dirty hands, so I was freaking out on the inside. No turning back.
I am going to try to remember the obstacles in order, and I tried to find a map for reference, but I couldn’t so, here goes…
There was big mud trenches to get through, and again, dived right in, almost swam through them. Then a log bridge to go over, thank goodness there was one with 2 logs together. That was Easy Peasy. There was a set of 3 walls, 1 to go over, 1 to go under and 1 to go through. I tried the over. And my awesome buddy Kristina, offered her leg to boost me, but I didn’t want to break her. And The Biggest Loser Volunteers were right there with us, giving us tips and trying to help us. So, 2st obstacle, fail, but I climbed under the 2nd and went through the 3rd! Okay, now I am in the shit! No going back! There was alot of hilly terrain, it felt like we just kept going up and down hills. My legs were and still are on fire.
As the race went on, I had to keep ” pulling over” to catch my breath. I am truly shocked at how many Spartan Racers said ” Good job!” ” keep going!” ” You got this!” The stigma I had at the beginning, completely gone. It was just like class, everyone helping each other, everyone pushing each other along and cheering each other along. It goes to show what a great community it is.
There was a sand bag carry. The guy giving out the sand bags said to me and Melissa when he saw our shirts that we didn’t have to do it, and we were like, no, we are going do it. We run with 55 lbs sand bags in class, so the 35 lbs bag they gave us was nothing….Until I had to come back up the hill. Took me forever and a day, But I did it. It felt so good to throw that bag down, especially when the guy tried to get me to not do it.
There was one where you dragged a concrete block by a chain, I could do that. There was one where you dragged a giant tire towards you , then pulled it back out. Could do that. I could not do the monkey bars. There was this great Biggest Loser Volunteer Ben, who was with us a lot during the race, trying to help me and even suggest I climb on his shoulders, bless his heart. But, no. It wasn’t even straight across monkey bars, they were up and down, fuck that.
All of the various walls I could not do. Kinda stunk, but I was more afraid of falling off the wall and getting hurt so I chickened out. I mean, I fell, I fell all over the place. I fell in spots that were muddy, not muddy, paths, everywhere, I fell. Me and the ground became good friends. But I kept getting up and moving.
There was one part through the woods and it was thick dark mud. So, everyone was going along the outside of it where it wasn’t as mucky. Someone started yelling out ” Artreau!” From the Neverending Story… I couldn’t resist and I threw out an ” Artex, you’re sinking!” It was great. I love shit like that.
I got to the rope swing and I wanted to do it so bad, so I stepped up and freaked out. Ben tried helping me. I was just scared of smashing into the other platform and killing myself. I tried it though. I was close, but I guess I let go to early, and into the water I went. But, hey, I tried it.
From there it was the worst one for me. You had to fill a bucket with rocks and carry it up the hill and down the hill. You could not put it on your shoulder either. My God, it was horrible. I was exhausted. It was heavy. I basically went 10 steps and put it down. Picked it back up and went 10 steps. Took me a while and my back was screaming. At one point when I had it down , this chick came over from the spectator area and she says to me ” You got this. You are doing great. Pickup the bucket and keep moving. You can do this!” Don’t know who she was , but thank you! The greatest feeling was dumping those fucking rocks back into the bin.
From there it was a sand bag pulley lifting thing. That was no prob.
Then it was up and over this giant apparatus that you went under to start the race. It was like a giant ladder on each side and you crossed the top. But the top was open, almost like someone nailed down some pallets and you had to make sure you watched your step.
Onto some barbed wire to crawl under up a hill, then another wall which i skipped. More hills. Steep hills. Then it was a rope climb. In water. Cha, no way for me. But Kristina killed it. She is so inspiring! Then it was some sort of side wall climbing on tiny pieces of wood thing that I skipped too. We tried the javelin toss type thing . I got really close. Melissa and Christel nailed it. Then there was the field of barbed wire that you roll under. Surprisingly, I was able to make it through 3 of the 5 sets of them. I started getting really dizzy and did not want to chance anything. But I was shocked as shit I could do that much as it was.
After the barbed wire roll it was jump into a muddy /watery pit and go under the wall. yes, under the gross water, under the wall. I wasn’t going to do it. But I was so crusty from the mud from the rest of the day, I figured what the hell and Christel and I did it together. Up another little hill, mud covered. It was slippery. Cause not only are you slippery but everyone who came before you is slippery.. I get to the top and bam, on my ass. Some nice guy grabbed my hand and helped my down the slippery hill .
Last but not least – the fire jump! I jumped over that fire and we went down the hill to the finish. It was an amazing feeling. There was a Biggest Loser person there to give us our medals. So proud!
2.5 hours later – 6 of us went in and 6 of us went out.
There were so many times that I was going to give up. So many, and seeing all the people taken out by medics on golf carts did not help . I just figured if I kept moving, eventually it would end. I cannot believe I did it. Any part of it.
If I can do any part of this, then anyone can. The Biggest Loser Walk/ Run Off Road Challenge is great for those of us who want to take it to the next level, but can’t quite do it yet. ” Spartan Race on Training Wheels” they told us in our pep talk. And they were right. I highly recommend this if you are thinking of doing any obstacle race. It gives you a taste of it. The Biggest Loser volunteers were so great through out the whole thing, right there with water if we needed it and tips. Matt and Tara popped up here and there too. We even ran into Matt at the hose off shower station at the end. Real great people. they took lots of pictures of us along the route, can’t wait to see them. I will definitely post them!
I got home and walked in and first thing my daughter says is home much I stink. And boy did I. The mud was horrible. That was by far the greatest shower ever. I still have mud in places. I think another 20 showers and I will be clear.
If I really sit and think about it, I get so emotional. Especially after this year not being my best fitness wise. This has totally got me pumped to keep on the path. I definitely will do another one. They have one in Boston in November at Fenway Park. At least there won’t be as much mud, they can’t have all that mud inside Fenway. I am thinking about it. And now, the actual Spartan Race is a goal. Now I know what I need to work on and what I need to do to complete it. It may be 3-4 years, but its a goal for sure.
No matter where you started, no matter where you are , we are all on this journey. Different places, different times, different paths, but WE ARE DOING IT.
AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS FAR BETTER THAN SITTING ON THE COUCH WISHING.