One Month At A Time

The Road to Spartan

I am becoming more mindful that the Spartan race will be here before I know it.

That’s August 24. It feels real to me, but the fear of the thing hasn’t really set in. I expect it will.

I’ve signed on for “the beast,” which is supposed to be 13 miles long, but I’ve been told is closer to 15. The people I’ve spoken with tell me that first hill isn’t so much a run as a climb up a wall.

I need to think about getting enough salt before and during the race. Several people have told me about cramping in the hot, August sun.

I should probably pack a snack or two. It’s going to be a long day.

Where’s the juice box?

At the moment, I have a little over 130 days to prepare –and yes, it feels like I’ve made some strides in that direction. I can comfortably run three miles.

This is me after three miles. Also, is it just me but does the Capitol dome kind of make you think of a super villain lair or the Death Star in “Return of the Jedi?”


This weekend, if all goes well and nothing comes up, I will try to push my comfort level with that a bit further.

Thanks to CrossFit WV, I can now also climb a rope, something that worried me about the Spartan Race.

I couldn’t climb a rope when I was in high school, but now, I’m not great at it, but I can get to the top of a rope. I can do it more than once. It’s progress.

I can haz rope burn?

The main thing that concerns me now is keeping track of the information. I’m operating on a pretty basic level. I measure off the mileage I run with my car. When I swim, I keep track of the distance by pretending to keep count (I am the worst about that).

I have a Misfit Shine 2 fitness tracker. I bought it a couple of years ago, when I made my first run toward the Spartan Race –that would be the year when I didn’t do much of anything until the very last minute.

It is supposed to keep track of my distance, exertion and sleep, but the information I’m getting is suspect. Unless my car’s odometer is wrong, my three mile runs are actually four. It doesn’t always get when I’m really pushing myself and I have no idea whether the sleep calculator is working right.

The device, which I used to wear like a watch, is kind of flimsy and while I think I got the thing originally because I could wear it and swim, it doesn’t have any of the features of a basic digital watch. There’s no timer. You can sort of get the time, if the face of the tracker is lined up correctly.

I’ve tried wearing both the tracker and a watch, but that looks silly and then the other day, the watch band just snapped.

So, I’ve reached out to a couple of fitness tracker companies, including the people who make Misfit, to see if any of them might want to send me one of their devices to try.

This would let me share some of my progress in a meaningful way –and I guess prove that I’m doing what I say I’m doing? I suppose I could still fake the data, put the thing on my dog and have her run around the yard.

I don’t know if it will work out, but it started me thinking that I should spend some time looking into all the gear that goes into training and getting in shape. People use all kinds of stuff. They try supplements, space age clothes and get fancy shoes. Maybe I should try some of these, too.

Probably, not the shoes… but I’m going to reach out to a few companies and see if I can get them to send me samples. Maybe this stuff helps. Maybe it makes getting in shape easier. Maybe it makes you better, faster, stronger.

Sadly, I don’t think Six Million Dollars would even cover the dental and the hair implants now.

It beats me.

I don’t know if anybody will bite, but the worst that can happen is they can just ignore me.