Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013 Thoughts and Montage

My second season of OCR has officially come to a close. A quick trip to Texas to see TeamTx members and get my Trifecta would cost about $600. I have a work commitment the morning of the Artic Dash. And, most importantly, my sprained ankle needs to heal. Thus, it's time to give my race shoes one last hose down for the year.

Even though it was a very frustrating season being plagued with a foot injury and shin splints, it was also very rewarding. Despite sub-par training and running, I performed better in almost all of my races. Back in January, I laid out my goals for the 2013 season. I had two:
  1. Top 10 Female finish for any local OCR's I race. 
  2. Top 20 Elite Female finish for IN Spartan Sprint in April.
I am very proud to say that I accomplished Goal 1 with 8th being my lowest place. Goal 2 did not happen. Due to struggles with my foot, I didn't even line up with the Elites. Instead I walked/ran the race with my bestfriend, Andrea, and fellow teammate Gina. And it was a fantastic time. Yeah, I was heartbroken and of course frustrated, but there is always 2014. And there will be a 2014. And more importantly, Goal 2 is on for 2014 and very achievable.

Now for the fun part (at least for me). If this were an end of season sport's banquet, it would be time to pull down the screen, dim the lights, and cue Queen's, "We are the Champions" (Please hit play before continuing for your viewing pleasure).

Pre-Spartan Sprint IN
Everyone's first Spartan with the exception of me and my Brother, Boogie


Oh, the dreaded barbed wire crawl at IN. It may have been dramatically shorter than 2012's, but definitely wetter and uphill. Lessons learned: 1. Don't stop to take a break. The man working the hose has no mercy. 2. Andrea has a fantastic butt. I had the pleasure of literally pushing it up the mud hills.

I was forced to a walk during this race due to my foot. It was frustrating and I held back tears during this race. I also found that I still do not like ice water.

Road Trip to Marseilles for the MW Super. I literally decided to race that week and Andrea was best friend enough to join me. Being out with a busted foot she was a loyal SAG. Monumental moments include: discovering Chicago is an hour behind us; finding my foot no longer hurt when I ran; getting up and over the inverted wall followed by singing, "Damn it feels good to be a gangster"; getting over the slippery wall after the fight of my life with the assistance of an amazing racer, then to get 3/4 of the way up the rope; feeling pure sadness looking up at the trees when I found out there was only 1 mile left of the race; meeting with TeamTx member Jesica and other Texan OCR's at a Mexican restaurant that evening (note: Texans should not visit Mexican restaurants in the MW. They will be disappointed); sharing the reasons why we ran our first Spartan and why we still run them; swearing I would retire from OCR once I got up a rope during a race; checking out the strip club in the mobile home in Peru, IL from the parking lot.


Hands down, best moment ever. Well, shortly before the best moment of my 2013 OCR season at the Mud Ninja. This is a picture right before Ulrike and I became friends. At the right of this photo you can see how the traverse is built into a mound. This mound drops into the biggest mud pit ever. The biggest mud pit ever is where I met my fellow BAMF, Ulrike. We both struggled around this pit trying to find a way to claw our way out of it. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life in this pit. We strategized and bitched together. It was awesome. We finally found climbing pockets on the right side and clamored out. I ended up finishing the race before Ulrike, but I waited at the finish line for her. Best decision ever. I respected her as an athlete and wanted to cheer her on as she finished. I had to meet this girl. As soon as she finished, there was no shutting us up or separating us. We spent hours chatting, laughing, struggling to go to the Port-a-Potties in our flip flops through the mud. We raced a total of 5 races together this year (the first being the Survival race when we didn't know each other but she was on my hip the entire time being a PITA). I can't wait to race with this Chica in 2014. World be warned.

I raced the Mud Ninja because it was $27. Turns out it was an awesome race. Amazing obstacles and terrain. I completed all of the obstacles, including their tougher than Spartan Traverse wall, with the exception of the Ninja Warrior style spring board cargo net contraption. We'll blame that on my fear of taking a leap of faith. I acknowledge that fear and also know that it is responsible for my inability to conquer the Sternum checker at MGG. Any who, I had no idea that the top 15 of each gender won a Ninja Sword. And a real one at that. This pic, "What? Its a legit Ninja Sword." This sword has split Lemons over a bottle of wine and it was also the weapon of choice when I thought I was going to get robbed (turns out it was my neighbor dropping off a card and bottle of wine the night before my Series 7 exam).

Not OCR, but an Epic wipe out during my first time Surfing off the back of a boat.

Placing 2nd to the OCR champion Amelia Boone at the inaugural MGG. That's about it. Full recap can be found here. This moment was truly monumental. A game changer. I unfortunately sprained an ankle a few weeks later but the fire is still burning brightly. 

Not OCR but still awesome. Double Hula Hooping BKB for the WEBN fireworks.


More Cowbell = Get your ass up the rope. Done. I had my brother make me this shirt for the 2nd MGG race on Nov 2nd. I was deteremined to ring that damn cowbell during the race. I failed the first race and the first training session. I got up it the second training session after several tries and after channeling the RAS section of my brain (Google it). During the Nov 2 race, first time. I developed a rope climbing mantra at one of my training sesh'es at GoNative, "Loop, Push, Grab." Worked like a charm. I also decided to go back on my word and not retire from OCR.

This is the Weaver and luckily this picture is shot from a more flattering angle. I included this picture because despite my sprained ankle I still rocked the obstacles at MGG, Nov 2, that I failed at the first MGG. I got up the rope, across the Weaver, across the Monkey Bars, across the Polish Traverse. My time was much slower, but my strength and determination really shined through. I really look forward to being at the top of my game for their first 2014 race.

Not only are these ladies Sexy Beasts, but they are strong, crazy, determined, and so much fun. From left to right, meet my new fav OCR ladies, Grace, Ulrike, Bianca, and Me. I always look forward to these faces when its race day. Bianca and I share a certain determination when it comes to walls and ropes. We conquered the walls at Mudocalypse and rung the cowbell at MGG Nov 2.

The Crazy Mudder Muckers. I literally finally figured out what the team name alluded to after Mudocalypse. Before that I just thought it was an annoyingly long team name. Apparently I was the last to that party. Now I'm proud to call myself a CMM. In fact I've always been a CMM just Lone Wolf style. I've now found a pack that drinks from the same pitcher of Kool-Aid whom I look forward to seeing through out the year. We're a weird bunch. Quite frankly. But that's the OCR community in general. We're very tight and very hyper for a couple of hours following a race. We stick together like glue. We're friends with folks on Facebook that we've never met in person but trust them more than some of our own blood. We trust and respect one another because we know and understand the Hell we put ourselves through just to fight through 3-5 miles of woods and obstacles. We stayed glue to FB for a weekend searching frantically for updates on WTM, the Death Race, the Ultra Beast, and no one else knows what the hell we're talking about. We will have viewing parties on Dec 7th. Our hero's won't be found in Sports Illustrated or People. Our heroes are likely people who have a story similar to ours. Our heroes are lost souls who found their calling in becoming human again through the sport of OCR. We are people who cannot simply walk down the road. No, we walk down the road with logs or a tire someone tossed. We carry CamelBak's during races so we can hand out Gu Pak's and salt pills to racers that are struggling. We are who we are or who we are becoming. Most OCR athletes can tell you an incredible story about how the sport has transformed them. I know I can. Its a powerful hobby. Its a powerful passion. My family will joke that when my brother decided we're doing a Spartan race he created a monster. I like to think he forced me down the road I was meant for. I am forever grateful for this sport. I cannot wait for April when I get to race again. In the mean time, you'll find me diligently training so I can have opportunity to race with these admirable folks again. These folks who I call family. These folks who post all sorts of dirty pictures of themselves on the internet. These folks who understand the determination it takes to get through one of these races.

1 comment:

  1. LOve your "More Cowbell" shirt and love this post and LOVE your determination and dedication!!! but more importantly, I'm glad you didn't use your ninja sword on me lol!!