2013 Fenway Spartan Sprint {Recap}

As I have mentioned before, on November 16th I ran the Fenway Spartan Sprint. For anyone who knows me, you know I am not into sports whatsoever, but for some reason I was REALLY excited to run a race IN Fenway, especially since the Red Sox just won the world series there. But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, too. I was actually really nervous. Even when people would tell me I’d be fine because I’m in good shape and I do this stuff all the time, I shrugged it off and was convinced that since I didn’t do CrossFit, I would have a really hard time. Remember how I voiced my concerns about the race and how I was going to go into it with no goals? Well, I am happy and proud to say that I absolutely crushed every possible goal I could have had!

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I finished the race in 51:06, and could’ve finished in probably 46-48 had I not had to wait at some of the challenge stations and at the last wall climb. To say I was shocked and ecstatic about this would be an understatement!

Let’s back up to the beginning, though. Stacey, a blog reader (and now friend!), contacted me to say her team fell through and asked if she could run with mine. I was more than happy about this because I love meeting new people and was happy to have a girl race with me! We got to Fenway with lots of time before our heat so we grabbed our race stuff, checked our bags and did what bloggers do… take selfies 😉

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Not long after, the rest of our group showed up and before we knew it, we were lining up for the race! I was still so nervous, but as soon as we started going, I felt really good. So good, in fact, I grabbed BOTH water jugs at the first challenge… ok, that’s a joke. I didn’t grab both water jugs because I felt good, I was just dumb and didn’t know that women could grab only one. Whoops!

I was really happy when I realized that there was a lot of running; I may not have terrific upper body strength (or so I thought), but my cardio endurance is pretty good, so I definitely gained some time during the running bursts.

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Photo from the Spartan photo page

I can’t remember all of the obstacles/challenges, but here’s a list of what I remember:

  • Water Jug walk up & down the stairs
  • 40 jump ropes with the big battle ropes
  • Cement block carry and burpees
  • Rope climb
  • Weighted rope pull
  • Monkey bars
  • 20 hand release push ups
  • 500M row in 2 minutes
  • Wall climb
  • Javelin throw
  • Cargo net climb
  • LOTS of walls
  • Stair jumps with rubber band around our ankles
  • Sand bags
  • Box jumps
  • LOTS of walls to jump over

And, the kicker, if you couldn’t do a challenge, you had to do 30 burpees. Lucky for me, I only had to do burpees when I missed the rowing (by 12 meters, mind you… so mad!) and the javelin throw, which is pretty much a guaranteed for most people.

I was most nervous about the rope climb, but I flew right up it (the knots did help). Monkey bars were not fun, but jumping over walls was 🙂 Except for the fact my legs looked like this after:

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Other than that, I got excited at the challenges. I loved pushing myself and seeing what my body was capable of doing (I was actually quite surprised with all that my body can do!).

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In true Monique fashion, I was yipping and yelling my way through the course and cheering people on. I got even more excited when I would run into my team members. Paul, Kyle and I were always right around the same area throughout the race and it was awesome seeing their faces and pumping each other up. I know I may sound crazy for saying this, but I had FUN throughout the whole course. Literally. I think I was even smiling through the burpees! The whole race was just so energetic and people were so supportive and encouraging and I WAS RUNNING A RACE IN FENWAY!!!

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(I know my face doesn’t look like I’m having fun, but I was just focused on the stairs and not tripping up them 😉 )

Before I knew it, I was lining up to jump over the last wall and was ready for the home stretch of the race. I smiled as I ran the last bit and tried to really soak everything in.

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After 20 box jumps, we fought our way to the finish.

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Omg was it fun! The best part? Looking up in the crowd and seeing my sister, Amy and Amy’s mom, Christine (Amy’s aunt ran the race in the 8:30am heat and killed it!) waving and cheering me on in the spectator area.

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My whole team did amazingly well!! Dave crushed his time from last year by 13 minutes, Paul came in not far after Dave, Kyle came in a bit after me and Stacey made her 1 hour goal! Our energy levels at the end were so high!

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After we got our stuff and changed, we headed to Boston Beer Works for beers and food. I was ravenous after the race!

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I think we’ve all already pre-registered for the 2014 race. Just like my friend Tim said, I am totally hooked on these races and can’t wait to do more of them!

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After Boston Beer Works, I headed to Jillian’s for a drink, but I didn’t last long. Between a full day of fitness on Friday and giving the race my all, I was absolutely beat!

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I can’t believe it took me so long to run a race like this, but I can guarantee that I’m just getting started. Running this race made me proud. It was proof that my workouts work and that I am stronger than I think I am… and sometimes it’s nice to get that type of reassurance. And as the Spartan’s say, I finished… Can you?

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Questions for you: Have you ever done an obstacle race like this? What would you be most nervous about?

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Wednesday Workout: The “I’m Thankful” Workout

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t post a Thanksgiving workout for you to do, right? I plan on doing this tomorrow morning… hopefully with my sister and maybe my mom! I have to be honest, though, I had such a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do for a workout format for my Thanksgiving workout.

I started off thinking I would do an exercise for each letter in “Thanksgiving”, but I scratched that I idea.

…Next, I drew out a turkey using my hand (remember doing those in elementary school?) and came up with 5 exercises for the fingers (feathers) and cardio moves in the middle, but scratched that.

…Then, I came up with my “I’m thankful” idea and listed out a bunch of moves and gave you options for how you could complete the workout.

…I still wasn’t happy with that so I finally ended up going with the same “I’m thankful” theme, but separated it into different areas: legs, upper body, core and cardio. I think I’m happy with this (I think it will be a good full body workout), but I’m a little bummed I didn’t come up with better/more festive names for the exercises. Had I talked to my friend JP prior to making the workout, I definitely would have used some of his ideas:

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I mean, how awesome are those? The “and finally… a nap” is my favorite part, haha

Anyway! Here is the workout- I hope you like it and I hope it gets you motivated to do it ON Thanksgiving 😉 I’m all about indulging on the delicious foods that come along with Thanksgiving, but I think it’s important to get some physical activity in prior to those indulgences (helps get your metabolism going!).

I'm thankful workout

I think everything is pretty self-explanatory, but if you have questions, let me know. The idea is to work from one part of the body to the next, while throwing in 5 minutes of cardio to get your heart rate pumping!

It felt good to think about exercises that I’m thankful for. I kept it simple because if it wasn’t for these simple exercises, we wouldn’t be able to come up with some crazy versions of them, right?! I am thankful for everything my body allows me to do on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but I tend to get wrapped up in always wanting to be better and to perform better and to be stronger and can get frustrated when I have a bad workout. But, the thing is, I am blessed that I am able to get to the gym almost daily and workout in general, regardless of how hard/easy my workout might be on any given day. I try to be more mindful of this, but it’s not always easy.

Questions for you: What workout move are you most thankful for? What type of exercise are you most thankful for (strength training, Zumba, Kickboxing, Boot Camp, Pilates, Yoga…. )?