Evidence of insanity — I’m running a Spartan Super

As a friend of mine at work has told me, I had a moment of temporary insanity when I registered to run a Spartan Super in July.

For those of you unaware of what a Spartan Super is, it’s an 8-10 mile obstacle course with up to 30 obstacles peppering the course. These obstacles range in difficulty from throwing a javelin into a bale of hay to walking

Push-up burpee in action.

with a bucket full of gravel for half a mile. What happens if you can’t complete an obstacle? I’m glad you asked: you’re required to “pay a fine” of 30 push-up burpees (one of these beauties). ————————->

Similar to signing myself up for a half marathon last year, I knew that if I really wanted to take fitness and health seriously this year, I needed to force myself into training. Last year’s half marathon wrecked my knees, so I’ve been looking for challenges that would require running that my body is already comfortable with doing (so as to not further injure my herniated disc) and would require me to be all-around stronger to complete. My son loves the TV show American Ninja Warrior and for the last year I’ve been watching it with him and investigating obstacle courses. Yes, I have to admit that watching this show made me want to be an “American ninja” for my son. And so, when I saw the Spartan race, researched what it involved and what level of fitness I’d need to be in to do it, I was all in!

To prepare, I’ve been part of a fat loss challenge at my gym since the end of January. It’s meant strict nutrition, and HIIT training 5-6 times per week. I’ve seen my strength explode, but had little change in my weight. Even though I’ve lost 2% body fat, I’ve gained some of it back in muscle (which is not bad, certainly). There’s about 20 days left in the challenge. Once that’s over, I’ll continue my HIIT classes 3 times a week and mix in Spartan specific training and running the other three days per week to prepare.

So far this has all been a lot of fun. I’ve been so surprised to see how strong I can really be when I push myself. I’ll be sure to post progress pics once I have them (yes, I do have before pics).