A Long 10 Months…

Last year I accomplished a big goal of mine – earning my Spartan Trifecta. For those who aren’t familiar a Spartan Race is an Obstacle Course Race (OCR). The Trifecta consists of three races:

  • Sprint – 3-5 miles
  • Super – 8-10 miles
  • Beast – 12-15 miles

I completed my Beast last year on my 45th birthday. I made a crucial mistake after that race. I didn’t rest and recovery enough. Because of that it set off 10 months of health issues and injuries.

The first few months I dealt with horrible asthma and breathing issues. I finally got checked by an asthma doctor and found out I had really bad allergies to basically everything I’m around daily. She asked me to stop working out because of the stress on my heart from the laborious breathing. Finally, the meds starting working and I was given the okay to workout.

10 days later I fell running a trail and sprained my ankle. As I sat there and cried I felt a lot of frustrations. I wondered just how long it would be before I could workout again. I got myself up, found a stick, and hobbled 1.5 miles back to my car. Six weeks recovery ordered by my physical therapist.

Almost six weeks to the day I was out walking and stepped on a wet rock. And there goes my knee. I knew it was bad.  It was the worst pain I had experienced in a long time. I, again, had to get back to my car. I was worried I would need surgery but thankfully the MRI showed nothing was torn. So off to physical therapy I went. It was slow-going. I felt like it would never get better. It was a month before I could even turn over in bed without pain. I asked them about my upcoming Spartan Sprint – the only one I had registered for this year – and they were confident they could get me there. 2x a week I went and endured the pain. When I would complain the response was, “You’ll thank me when you’re running!” Finally, they gave me the okay to start running. But even that was slow as I kept having pain.

Just two weeks ago, doing a kettle bell swing, my knee hurt tremendously. I stopped, did a different exercise, and more pain. I stopped all workouts.  I almost decided to not run the race. But I was determined. I love goals. And just went ahead with it. I would be racing alone. That doesn’t bother me anymore. I didn’t want anyone holding me back or pushing me too hard.

Now all of these things are physical issues. But through the past ten months I had personal set backs as well. I won’t go into deep details but I was in a lot of personal pain. Anxiety. Depression. And, at times, wondering if anyone cared at all. I was ready to quietly exit people’s lives knowing they wouldn’t miss me. And then came the realization that someone important in my life had some mental issues that caused them to hurt me repeatedly. I had to cut them out to save myself. Cutting someone out of your life isn’t easy. Especially when they are the one you rely on to encourage you, support you, and you do the same for them. But when they aren’t capable of being that way without causing you pain you have to make the hard decisions. As I look back over the past 10 months, as much physical pain I endured, this was worse.  I never shared how close I was to just wanting to die.

Yesterday I drove to the race. I wasn’t nervous. I had a plan: to walk the race. I figured I would take it easy. As the race started I jogged. And I felt good. I walked up the hills. I ran down the ones I could. I ran when it was flat. I made it through all the non-grip strength obstacles. And I did modified burpees. And I finished faster than I ever have. When I crossed that line I felt amazing. I knew that I could put the past 10 months behind me and have a fresh, new start. I feel like I can move forward with my fitness and get back to where I was last year.

One of the ideas promoted by Spartan Race is that the body is stronger than we think. And that if we can train our minds to get past the immediate pain or uncomfortabless we can do amazing things. I tested that yesterday and it was true. As I trudged up the hill holding the bucket, breathing harder than ever, my mind took over and I didn’t stop. I made it to the dumping of the rocks and it felt like I dumped the past 10 months with it. It can be done.

So now I push forward and start a new story!


About Jennifer G

Nature lover. Being outside keeps me sane and balanced.

Posted on September 10, 2017, in Spartan Race and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Way to go on the finish and on your PR! Great job being smart about racing while still pushing yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your health issues including the mental ones. It hurts me to know you were so close to slowly fading away. I would’ve missed you. I mean that. I myself was in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient this year, so I know how that feels to be that hopeless. I’m happy to hear that you’re recovering and hit such an amazing goal. You are inspiring to me and have helped me learn things about myself through blogs and emails. I wish you were close by!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Alissa, my dear friend… the things we hide. No one knew and I certainly didn’t know about you. It is so hard to talk about for fear of shame. And I think you’re the only person to even read that part. But yes, I am. And I think you are too (I hope – it seems that way vía FB). I am always here. And we always say that but it is true. I wish you were close too. Although for some weekend we aren’t that far. 😊


  4. Nice story about perseverance coupled with a good reminder to slow down after the big competition!


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