After a week in Alaska spent heavily medicated on Nyquil, Sudafed and white wine, I returned home and remembered I had signed up for the EPIC series race happening just 2 days after we got back. I returned to the gym in attempts to regain strength that was surely lost after a week of sinus infection and “vacationing” with kids.
Just before leaving for Alaska I attended a class up north at the OCR gym that was geared specifically for the upcoming EPIC race here in San Diego. The EPIC series is a little different in that there is no mud and the running track is a bit shorter at just 2 miles. Awesome for me because I still hate running… not so awesome? Each lap around the track you’re carrying something heavy and awkward. Why would I ever choose to carry a keg on my shoulders unless I’m stealing it and running away from a frat party? Other heavy items include something called a slosh pipe (a long PVC pipe filled with water, making it both heavy and difficult to balance), 2 water jugs, and a long flag pole which was less heavy and more just weird. I felt very Scottish Highlander running off to battle with my clan’s flag during the first of the awkward laps around the track.
There were 30 obstacles and because I signed on to race competitively I had to complete all the blue level obstacles or mid-level and the men had to complete all black or most difficult. My husband and kids were there to cheer me on that misty Saturyday morning. The grass was super damp making the laps challenging and the water definitely made the box jumps even sketchier. The hardest part of this race was an obstacle called Atlas Stones. A concrete ball weighing 85 lbs that you pick up off the wet ground and toss over your shoulder…10 fucking times. And worse yet, later in the course just as you’re about dead from exhaustion they put more of those stones out and this time you “toss” them over your shoulder 15 TIMES!!!! I practiced this at the OCR gym on a 90 lb ball and barely got it over my shoulder just once. Somehow in this race I was able to do it 25 times, though each and every time I pissed myself and the photos captured clearly show my not so pretty birthing face.
Actually every single photo of me at this race I look tired as hell, angry as hell, or completely strained or confused. Looking back I’m wondering if I even had any fun? I kind of can’t believe I didn’t get a hernia or prolapse with the amount of strain it took to do this over and over. The climbing walls and ropes and even carrying heavy stuff seemed a little easier than what we had practiced in the gym and for that I was thankful. I love when your practice and preparation is harder than the real thing but my god I’m still stuck on those Atlas Stones. I had a bruise on my thigh and shoulder for about a week from that maneuver.
I finished in just under 42 minutes and I was pretty stoked with that though the top females finished in around 28 minutes. Frankly I was just pretty stoked to be done with it. I was thoroughly exhausted but hearing my little girl shout “Yay Mommy! Yay Mommy! Yay Mommy!” from the sidelines was so encouraging.
After the competitive and open races there were the EPIC strength and endurance battles, a kind of strong man competition stuff where they pull trucks and lift those Atlas Stones over 6 foot tall walls! Not my cup of tea, I felt badass enough with just the race under my belt and also I was beginning to smell like a homeless guy with all the sweat, dead grass, dirt, and urine soaking into my clothes so we headed home to add to my growing collection of race day T-shirts and trophies.