This month started off pretty well! Training was going good, cross training was in full swing and then around mid-month I re-aggravated my left calf doing a sandbag track session with my good friend Steve Hammond who is the mastermind of the Spartan Race course designs. My calves have been bothering me off and on for the past 3+ years and unfortunately it happened again 2 weeks before the first Spartan race of the year. I laid off the running for 10 days while still cross training on my Zike (stepper on wheels) and getting the left calf healthy. Stupidly, since my right calf was feeling good, I neglected it and it came back to bite me.
Drove down to Carlsbad with our oldest son Layton who is 8 so we could go to LEGOLAND and the beach during our trip to Lake Elsinore to race. My wife Shelley and youngest son Finley weren’t able to go due to not being able to get time off work. Got to the race venue at Lake Elsinore at 6am and met up with my good friend Ian Deyerle (who was on the Spartan Pro team last year and who also won the Spartan Team Challenge on NBC last year), his wife Parma and their 5 year old daughter Lily. Layton and Lily love hanging out and racing together! This race was a Super distance…meaning a race between 8-10 miles with roughly 25 obstacles.
The race started off great with a ¾ mile straight flat run to spread things out. Due to all the rain SoCal received, the course was extremely wet! Approx. 1 ½ miles of thigh high water running made up for the very flat venue. Sometime during the water running I tripped and went head first but caught myself with my right hand. Little did I know at the time, I sliced my right thumb open and it wouldn’t stop bleeding.
I was in 3rd place roughly half way through and that’s when my right calf went south. My left calf felt fine since I had taken care of it but ignoring my right one because it was fine was a mistake. This slowed me down tremendously and I couldn’t keep the pace anymore. Got through all the obstacles just fine including the new ones… the Twister and the Bender. Near the end of the race they put in a 400lb tire to flip. It was a very flat tire on a hard dirt surface so you couldn’t get your hands under it. You had to grip the tread and lift it high enough to get under it. I was able to do the first flip but tweaked my lower back just enough that I couldn’t grip it right to get it off the ground. So that resulted in a 30 burpee penalty. The burpees actually helped my hand stop bleeding due to the dirt being jammed in the cut. I should’ve just taken the penalty to begin with. Next up was the spear throw and I nailed it! On to the rope climb and the hoist which was not a problem and then to finish things off was the rolling mud into the dunk wall.
Overall I placed 11th… not too bad but it’s my worst finish in a race outside of the World Championships. I’ve got some things to work on but that’s the reason I came to this event. To see where I was and what I can improve on…I just need to get my calves healthy and I’ll be fine! Unfortunately my right calf was so sore and the cut on my hand wouldn’t close up, I couldn’t run the Sprint the next day. Time to get after it and get things right for the Las Vegas Super and Sprint in March.