Last weekend was a doozy!
On Friday night, we hustled our butts out of work and into the car to try and beat traffic and get to New York City. Hint: it didn’t work out that way. We arrived in NY late and basically went right to bed so we could wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the New York Road Runners’ Queens 10K in the morning.
It was the day before father’s day and my dad was running with us, so I hung back to pace him (to what I knew would be a PR day for him, but I didn’t tell him that at the start line). I really love the NYRR five boroughs series. I missed the AirBnB Brooklyn half this year (and I’m really sad about it), but so far I’ve run every other race in the series. It’s a set of six races designed to give runners the “best of the boroughs” and it includes: the Fred Lebow Half Marathon, the NYC Half Marathon, the Queens 10K, the Bronx 10 Miler, and the Staten Island Half. If you run 4/6 of these races, you qualify for guaranteed entry to the NYC Half in the next year. This year, I lotteried into the NYC Half (and OMG was that an AMAZING experience!). I’m so stoked that we’re going to be back to the Half next year, and running the five boroughs has been a really cool way to experience my city.
The Queens 10K took you around Flushing Meadow park, and gave you some up close and personal views of the old world’s fair site (pretty awesome!). It wasn’t terribly hot on Saturday but it was about 90% humidity, so running conditions were definitely sub-optimal. My dad was a total trouper though and ran a very strong race with a significant PR. It must have been in the air too because Mike also PRed his 10K by about 5 minutes (woo!)
Straight off of this victory, we got ourselves back into the car and drove home to Massachusetts. There, we did some light grocery shopping and heavy lounging because Sunday we had to get up at the crack of dawn to drive out to the Boston Spartan Sprint. The Sprint was in a new location this year (Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland MA). Scuttlebutt on the internet had told me that parking was going to be a bear, so I scurried in and grabbed a VIP parking pass to guarantee parking close to the event. I was the only member of my gym’s team who managed to grab one, so we all stuffed into my car and drove out to Rutland together.
The festival area, I’m told, was smaller than usual but it didn’t feel that way. Actually… it felt awesome. Since it was Sunday, there were fewer people on the course. The course was fast and fun; relatively flat for a Spartan course (I mean, it wasn’t on a ski mountain so that alone should tell you something). This meant we got to actually run a couple of the trails (we usually kind of slog them out since elevations are so intense).
The obstacles were awesome. The tire flip has returned and, unlike my experience in Montreal, this one was legit! 200 lb tires
for the ladies, 400 lb tires for the men. The ladies tire was no big deal for me, but I couldn’t quite get the men’s tire high enough to transition from “pull” to “push.” This gives me my first big goal for next year: flip the men’s tire. I see many many deadlifts in my future.
The only other obstacles where I did burpees were the Twister (I did better on this than when I tried it on my Beast earlier this season, so I’ll take that as a win), and the ring rig (I have some issues transitioning on the Olympic rings. I’ll be discussing training strategies on this one with my coach). Miraculously, I was able to get through Olympus (I did have a spot from Mike, but it was an “honest spot” not a “dude carrying me across the obstacle” kind of situation).
It was again hot and humid, emphasis on the humid. The humidity was a real killer for me and while we didn’t carry water packs (it was a Spint and there were water stations every mile), I am REALLY glad we decided to throw some salt tabs and a packet of honey stinger gummies in our pockets. I definitely needed the salt and the blood sugar before the end of the race and, combined, these prevented a mini heat-induced meltdown around mile four.
The ropes were EXTREMELY slippery, but I was happy that my new modified J hook technique worked wonders. The trick is to wrap the rope around your foot and step on it rather than rely on the friction created between your feet to hold on. My trail shoes have really changed the rope climb game, but I’m ecstatic that I’ve gotten the trick of it now. Rope climbs are one of my strongest movements and I never want to do burpees at that obstacle again.
In brief, we had an epic weekend. This weekend is going to be nearly as epic with a trip to NY in the works to run two races (I’ll be volunteering one to get my +1 credit in). Stay tuned for more adventures of the Mike and Dani!