I didn’t coin the term but it’s just so fitting.
If you’ve been following my blog for some time, by now, you may get a slight inkling that I have a hard time sitting still. If you did, congratulations! You’re correct. I am always looking for ways to challenge myself physically, mentally, and emotionally as a whole. As you may remember, if you follow my Instagram, I ran my first race of the summer a few weeks ago, a Bergen County favorite, The Ridgewood Run. Yesterday, I completed my second race of the summer, my 2nd Savage Race, OCR (obstacle course race). I find OCRs enjoyable because they are different from normal running races (not knocking them, I have two more coming up this summer). You get the chance to slow your pace and to challenge yourself, with 25-30 obstacles, over the Savage’s 5.5 miles of terrain (my Garmin clocked it at over six miles but really, who is counting?).
The races I attend are two hours away, in Albrightsville, PA., at Skirmish USA Paintball grounds. This location is so ideal for this event. There is plenty of room, for the event to be completely spaced out, and gives all athletes the chance to do their thing and not have to wait on long lines for obstacles. Considering the thousands of participants, over many wave times, I think the longest I waited was under a minute, with the longest distance, between obstacles, about a mile. Short wait times, if any, is a huge factor, so Thumbs up on this, Savage Race!
This year I did way better than I ever expected. There are a few factors that I can thank for that: First, the conditions. Last year it was about 55 degrees, pouring rain, and freezing. This made for a VERY tough run considering the depth of the mud through the woods (it was easily above my ankle in some areas) slowing my run, to be cautious of foot work, as to not twist my ankle and die. Not to mention, all of the obstacles were extremely slippery. This year it was 85 degrees and perfect. Second, it was my first time doing a race of this nature, I didn’t know what to expect. Third, I wasn’t as fast or as physically and mentally strong I am this year. Last year, I attempted every obstacle and failed at about five. This year, I failed at three and crushed the one that crushed me not once, but three times last year, Colossus.
Colossus has a 60% completion rate and seriously questions your upper body strength (while I am very strong, my UBS is actually lacking) and your life. Like, why am I doing this to myself? Keep in mind, this is the last obstacle so you’re exhausted, wet from the obstacle preceding this one, and there are people who are continuously flopping down the obstacle while you wait for your destiny. Despite everyone cheering you on and wanting to see you win, seeing people fail can kill your confidence. While on line, I mantra’d (I just made that a word, say something) the sht out of myself, repeating over and over again, “I got this. I got this. I got this. I’m an animal. I got this.” I let my two running partners Lee and Rom go before me, knowing I may have needed the help at the end. Sure enough, I took off faster than a suspect on Cops (one of my favorite shows) and attacked the pike without even thinking. I made it all the way up, with my friends grabbing me at the top, to help me up over the ledge. I left a ton of skin on the obstacle, my disappointment from last year, and any self doubt that may have been harboring in me subliminally. Today, I wear my bruises and scabs with pride. That sitty Coors Light tasted amazing.
There were some new obstacles this year that I thought were awesome and challenging due to placement. On The Fence was my favorite of the new obstacles (thanks to watching many Cops episodes, I can climb a fence, while wet, with no problem). The veterans that always test ability were still there in all their glory: Shriveled Richard which is 30,000lbs of an ice bath, to which you have to jump in, go under a wall, and fish yourself out without becoming a cube (sorry to the girl in front of me who was the victim of me saying, “let’s go princess!” – but hey, she did it after that!), Sawtooth, Great Wall (smashed my unmentionables pretty badly but we’re all in tact, thank God), Wheel World, and good old Colossus.
My overall feelings on the Savage (and other big OCRs such as the Spartan, Tough Mudder, and BattleFrog) are these: If you’re competitive against yourself (or others), if you want to challenge your body and mind in a different way, and if you want to have fun, do it. The Savage is a race that is perfectly designed, to stimulate your abilities, while keeping safety in mind (there are lifeguards and safety attendants everywhere), which is huge, since we all know the injuries that can happen in these races. While my advice is always to try every obstacle on the course, if you feel that an obstacle is too risky for you, go around it. There are plenty of other challenging obstacles that can help you earn your medal. If you’re skipping obstacles just because you don’t want to get dirty (there’s mud, deal with it), or you don’t feel like doing them, don’t bother participating in the race. It’s not exactly participating. Like James Harrison and DeAngelo Williams, I am against participation trophies.
I am looking forward the pro photos from this race, until then, here are some non-pro photos from before and after the race. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will catch you all later this week!
Team Rookies and the Vets – three were missing as they were still on the course.
Filthy, tired, bruised, bleeding, smelling like a farm, no makeup, no problem.
And lastly, I needed to replenish the 1900 burned calories, my after meal was from good old Park Wood. It included one more white slice, three more garlic knots, a ton more French Fries and my favorite game: “How many episodes of Criminal Minds can I watch before I pass out on the couch?” I am a complete savage, no pun intended.
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