"The timorous may stay at home."
~ Murphy v. Steeplechase Amusement Co., 250 N.Y. 479, 483 (N.Y. 1929)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Injured Reserve

I hate it when cliches are true: one moment, you feel like you are on top of the world, and the next - things coming crashing down. And you sit and struggle with "why me" and kick and scream and fight, thinking timing is never fair.

Such is my life right now. I've been mum on this subject as of late, laying low on social media, hoping/thinking things would resolve, ashamed to admit what I hate to admit to myself: I'm hurt.

As someone who has been fortunately injury-free for a long time, it's been devastating. Compound that with my calf injury pre-Spartan World Championships, I've been hesitant to let people know about the injury for fear of what other people think (I'll call it "FOWOPT." Deal with it). But you can only go so hard for so long until something has to give. And it gave, at a horrible time (admittedly, there is never a "good" time).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Year Later: Spartan Race Championships

If there is one thing I learned from the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships this past weekend, it's that you can EASILY get rope burn through clothing.

Tyrolean Traverse
Photo credit: Scott Keneally

Ok, I might have learned more. But that was, by far, the most painful lesson. Tegaderm is now my friend.

It's been a year since the first Spartan Championships, and it was undeniable how things have changed. It was evident not only from the caliber of athletes that showed up this year, but even the feel and mood surrounding the race with the cameras and press and hoopla. While I laughed and joked with other racers and tried to appear calm, I'm pretty awful at hiding my nerves.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Push for Legitimacy

At my grandma's 90th birthday party following the Pacific Northwest Spartan Sprint, I found myself
in a conversation with a family friend, who I hadn't seen in years, trying to explain the race I had just run that morning. Granted, I'm not known for being able to express coherently when speaking (yes yes, and I'm an attorney...bla bla bla), but I found myself saying things like this:

"So it's a trail race, typically pretty hilly, and you have a few dozen obstacles on the way - climbing over walls, crawling under barb wire, dragging tires, etc."

His response: "So kind of like steeplechase?"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Death Race Truths*

 *for me. (like I would proclaim universal truths. pshaw)

(1) The Death Race isn't fair

Andy and Joe should really keep a running tally of the number of times racers complain "but this isn't FAIR." Newsflash, buttercup: NOTHING about the DR is fair. In fact, it's designed to be completely and totally unfair, in every manner possible.

Easy wood to chop. Not pictured: young birch.
Not easy to chop.
Sometimes you win with this unfairness, sometimes you lose. If Joe and Andy know your name, then sometimes you are screwed. Other times, it can work in your favor. I happened to have a number of "unfair" things that happened to me this race, and some of them were favorable. For example, my rock group - Group 8, got a SWEET section of the trail. Long, but gently sloping. We had smaller stones, and we had to carry them downhill, not up. In fact, a lot of our section was landscaping, and not heavy grunt work. I heard others were complaining about how easy we had it. Yes, it sucked that your section, Group 1 or 9 or whatever, was that much harder, and yes, it's totally unfair. But it was beyond your control, and it was beyond my control. So you take these "gifts" when you get them, and realize that it may come back and bite you in the ass later. (such as, when I got stuck chopping green birch logs. Awful. Absolutely awful.) Or, as another example, Joe didn't make me carry a massive rock over Bloodroot. He could have, but he didn't. Was that unfair? Perhaps. But would I have quit had he give me one? No.

Because that's where you put the nail in your DNF coffin -when you let the "unfairness" of the race get into your head and you mentally take yourself out of it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 Summer Death Race By the Numbers

(for comparison, refer back here)
Wood chopped: less than usual
Participants registered: 390
Participants that started the race: 206
Finishers: 41
Finishers that received all 8 chips as of 6am Monday morning ("first wave finishers"): 21
Female finishers: 4

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

World's Toughest Mudder 2013: and it won't change a thing?

Found this the other day
cleaning out my office. I should
really clean my office more often.

World's Toughest Mudder registration went live two weeks ago, and judging from the Facebook and social media reaction, you would have thought TMHQ had punched a baby. 

"NO qualification process?!?" seemed to be the resounding outcry. Hundreds (read, in reality: dozens) of
affronted people, worried that the race wouldn't be "elite" enough, or that the out-of-shape masses would crowd Raceway Park in New Jersey, leaving the finishers to step over frozen bodies littered around the course after 24 hours. I skimmed the new changes, and the only thing that came to mind was "meh".

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Trouble with Chicking

As I passed a group of guys at the sandbag carry during the Indiana Spartan Sprint this past weekend, I heard "Are you kidding? She's passing us. A girl. Fuuuuuuuuuck."

Yay me, right? Woo women! Go chicks! How empowering and badass and wonderful!

So why did it feel so horrible? And why did it bother me throughout the race, and still bothers me, almost a week later?

Because "chicking" shouldn't be a big deal.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Meels on Wheels

During P.E. class in fifth grade, we timed our 100m dash in the parking lot of good ol' Palisades School.

I finished last in my class of 30.

Dead last.

Which I couldn't understand. I was an athletic kid. I played club level traveling soccer and ASA softball. I ran the hell out of the soccer field for 90 minutes at a time; I was the all-star pitcher on our champion little league team.

But for the life of me, I could not sprint. I was sloooooooow.*

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Walking a Tightrope

A conversation that happened with a couple in my apartment building the other day:

Man: "Excuse me, but I have to ask, are you a trainer? My wife and I always see you in work out gear, and you are in great shape."

Me: "ha, no - I'm an attorney."

Man [unnecessarily flummoxed]: "Really? Oh, we were going to ask you to train us."

My reaction to this was initially to be flattered, but then I though, HOLD UP - does that mean that I always look like a slob in warm ups and headbands? This thought was then followed by "shit, maybe I missed my calling."

Monday, February 4, 2013

The First DNF

Two years ago, the letters "DNF" meant nothing to me. Nor did the letters "DNS." Despite running some road races, I'd never really heard the terms thrown around. I'd never known the stigma attached to them, or the feelings that come with it.

And I continued to not know, until this weekend.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coming Back as a Veteran

The racing season hasn't exactly started off with a bang. After missing the Spartan SoCal due to weather and air traffic control (thanks Philly!), I'm now faced with an unpleasantly cold Winter Death Race.

Well, that's what I signed up for, right? Fair point. Last year the Winter Death Race was held a month later--beginning of March, and it was a particularly balmy weekend (need I remind you of the sports bra burpee pics? No. Thank God. Because I can't get over those either). I went in scared out of my mind, with no idea what to expect.