Thursday, May 28, 2015

Olympic Peninsula long weekend

The Trailblazer group I hike with on Thursday's are going to Stimpson Reserve for a 4 mile hike. I posted about our group hiking there last year. You can read about that trip HERE. I've been running & doing burpees there alot for my Spartan Training and felt like I wanted a change for my outing today. 
I may go for a long run instead.
I've been away from the Trailblazers for a few weeks now, due to my Montana Spartan Sprint race trip, Cousin reunion and Memorial long weekend travels.
I'll be looking forward to hiking with them again, but hopefully on a trail I haven't been on for awhile.
 My parents and my brother and his wife live in Sequim and it was nice to get out and enjoy the area with them. I thought I'd share some of the moments of our fun on the Olympic Peninsula.
We enjoyed a 10 mile bike ride along a section of the Olympic Discovery trail.

We got in some hikes to a few trails that were new to me.
Marymere & Madison fall, and Hurricane Hill. You can read about Marymere falls & Hurricane Hill in this article by Exotic Hikes (7 family friendly trails).

Marymere falls near Lake Crescent.

We then did the short hike to Madison falls.

While we in the area we drove up to see the  Elwha dam removal viewpoint. I was happy that this river has been set free & in my lifetime. 

Here is a time lapse video of the dam removal, it's short only about 4 1/2 minutes. If you'd like to watch it.

Our last hike was to be Hurricane Hill, The trailhead is a short drive just beyond the Hurricane Ridge visitors center

In the photo below, Hurricane Hill is just behind us.

Below is a panorama picture of the top of the "hill".

panorama - click to enlarge
The 2 photos below were my favorite photos of my husband on our trip.

Hiking in the high country made me anticipate our Trailblazer hikes this summer,

but today I shall run free in the lowlands of Whatcom county, hee hee.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Montana Sprint race results 2015

I was surprisingly calm for the start of my first Spartan race, I knew I had trained for it and I was intrigued to see if I was up to it.
My cousin Eva and her daughter Shelby came to cheer us on. Between my husband and Eva (who were relegated to the Spectator area) and my son in law Brion on the course with us, we ended up with quite a few photos from the day. Other course photos were compiled from Spartan Facebook page.
 I was happy to be with my daughter and granddaughter for Mother's day.
Our before picture -

The familyjo's team, finished in 3 hours, 26 min.'s & 23 seconds. We placed 197th out of 343 teams!

Getting ready
Before we started the race, we had to climb a wall, yikes it took a few people to boost me up from behind to get over it.

They sent groups of 250 out every 15 minutes. My son in law Brion and my daughter Melissa had each done their "beast" the day before and were running with us today so they could get two pieces of their trifecta in one weekend. CRAZY! They both said the course was very hilly, their course was almost 15 miles. Ours would be considerable less.
After a Spartan peptalk at the start we were off! 

We climbed over the log obstacles, then headed to the log with chain handle carry and the rope climb. I was able to do the log obstacles with a boost.

We then had an O-U-T, over, under, through, series obstacle.
Below is the under section.

 I was able to complete the log carry. It had chains for handles, but had decided before I came that I would bypass the ropeclimb, so I headed to the burpee area while everyone else went to the rope climb. My granddaughter made it up the rope woohoo!

We also had monkey bars to do, I couldn't even reach them so they said it was allowable for my son in law to give me a shoulder ride if I grabbed every ring. Done! In the photo below you can see how my granddaughter is riding on my daughter's shoulders.

Up the trail to the cliff rope climb, I really enjoyed it! I'm behind the person on the very far left in the corner sun glare part of the photo below.

On to the shoulder log carry in the photo below (courtesy Spartan Facebook).

After that up the hill we went again to my favorite obstacle and then two of the hardest.
The view was amazing from up here.

I love the photo below of my granddaughter climbing up the obstacle.

Then the 8 foot wall and the 10 foot wall. I obviously needed help with these, but got over it. I did say I can't do this while I was climbing the 10 foot wall and as I was fighting to get up and over I said out loud "no more I cant's, I CAN do this" and with that I dropped over to the other side. 
An epic moment for me.
The photo below courtesy Spartan Facebook. 

Then it was down, down, down - no switchbacks to the next obstacle. We climbed up the straps and then the steps down the red ladder pole on the other side. The photo below courtesy Spartan Facebook.

Atlas time, we were to pick up the ball and carry it to the flag across from us and back.

Then the sand bag carry. The photo below courtesy Spartan Facebook.

We came to a traverse wall that was similar to a rock wall except with wood holds. My legs had decided to cramp up pretty badly by this point from all of the steep downhill, so I did 10 burpees with one leg, my wonderful team mates each did some of my burpees for me to give me my required 30 penalty burpees. 
 When we had walked in to the venue we walked under this bridge - turns out it's an obstacle.

If you notice there are wood steps on the approach and straps across the top. As my right leg was cramping, I figured out a scooting method that kept me from using my leg. My husband stood below and took pictures of us!

I wasn't afraid to go over the bridge but I was glad to be off of it.

Through some mud and time to fill our buckets with gravel and head up & down the hill.


I found stumps to rest my bucket on, that seemed to help alot.

Yep I'm getting tired, I really tried to push the fluids, gels and gu's I had brought to keep my cramps down. I had run out of water and thankfully my husband added some water to my hydration pack with some that he had with him,

I was getting ready to do the Hercules hoist. The photo below courtesy Spartan Facebook.

I don't have a photo of me doing it, but here is an awesome one of my daughter doing it.
We were supposed to raise our weighted bags by pulling the rope which was on a pulley, then when the weight was at the top we were supposed to lower it back to the ground in a controlled manner. I was very pleased that I was able to do this one. My daughter is the one laying flat on the ground with her foot on the fence, this is the same technique that I used when I did it.

Time for the barbwire crawl, I had hoped to crawl through it, but my legs were letting me know that wouldn't be a great idea so I did what most everyone else was doing roll roll roll, yes I got dizzy and yes I threw up.... sorry, I know too much information ;-)

It was estimated that we rolled between 125 and 150 yards. Whew... then into an under plywood cover belly crawl. We are under the plywood sheets in the photo below that the people are standing on. I thought I'd have difficulty being in such a tight, dark space but it really wasn't too bad. 

Every once in a while I even thought I was having fun ;-)

On to the Cargo net climb.

We went back down to where the under-cover belly crawl was and crossed the platform for our dunk, very refreshing.


Some more mud then on to the Spear throw.

I missed my target and did some burpees while my legs tried to cramp some more and the rest of our team did what was left of my 30 penalty burpees once again.

The next obstacle proved to be my most challenging of the day - the slick wall.
I knew how to walk up it with the rope, to stay back over my feet, but when I got to the top and got ready to reach over so I could put my leg over sure enough my feet slip right out from under me. My son in law who was a constant source of help and encouragement came right up beside me so I wouldn't go down anymore and my daughter locked herself in to give me support from the other side, but try as we might I had no strength left to help. I was a blubbering mess & was ready to quit when a wonderful young lady who had been watching from below climbed up too and grabbed my leg and hoisted my leg up and over. This very obstacle gave me the best idea of what a Spartan race is all about, helping each other when they feel no hope is left. All the while the person at the loudspeaker was saying "no Spartan is left behind".
 Good grief did I ever cry over that one.

The girl in the yellow said she was watching us and trying to figure out how to help.

Sure enough she figured it out, I'm very grateful to her and to my daughter and son in law for staying with me so I could overcome this obstacle.

 Two more obstacles... on to the finishing stretch -

The next obstacle was the rig - good grief! 
I knew that there was no way I could do the rig, but I wanted to hold my head up high when I finished so I set out to do all of my 30 penalty burpees by myself even if I cramped up. 
The photo below shows my son in law (he is the one with the blue bandanna on his head) conquering the rig, he was able to complete it both days!

I successfully completed my 30 penalty burpees,  I was determined to finish this thing without anymore help!

Time to fire jump!

and just like before, I was blubbering awesome daughter was quick to give me a victory hug.

Here's the after race photo of the 3 generations, now Spartan Women!!

I learned alot about myself during that race, I learned I can do more than I think I can & just when I think it's all over & I'm ready to quit, I just need to hang in there (sometimes literally) and relief and success are just a step or handhold away. 
A good life lesson.
I am forever in debt of my familyjo's teamamtes, they all took their turn at making sure I could get through every obstacle. It was truly the most epic thing I have ever attempted and completed in my life. 

This is clearly what I did on Sunday -

My results - 

24 obstacles:
Endomondo stats -
Total miles run/walk - 6.61 miles
Minimum altitude - 3122
Maximum altitude - 3954
Total ascent - 1857 feet
Total descent - 1791