Although I’m doing a lot of regular old run-of-the-mill running, I’m still a Spartan at heart. I can’t wait for the next time I get to roll in the mud and slice my butt on some barbed wire. The Spartan Race blog recently released a list of You Know You’re a Spartan Racer when… statements with the stipulation that a Spartan will say yes to at least 5. Let’s see which ones apply to yours truly.
1) You take a backpack to the grocery store in order to fill it with shopping. “Hiking” back counts, because you’re carrying 40lbs of canned corn. I haven’t done this in a long time, but I have absolutely used my ruck in such applications.
2) You’re at an airport and are bored. You look around and make sure no one is looking as you do some elevated push-ups with your feet on the seat behind you. Not at an airport, but I do push-ups off the side of my lab bench/chair and squats while waiting for machines/computers to boot up.
3) Your car is blocked in by another at the parking lot and the shopping cart corral is in the way. You suddenly consider this a cool obstacle to climb over. Totally did this after my very first Spartan Race. There was a cart and the corral in my way. As much as I was still in pain from the mountain, I totally jumped the corral.
4) You take stairs at the office block 3 at a time and call them elevated lunges. Single steps are for weenies.
5) You go to Home Depot for a lightbulb and somehow end up in building materials staring longingly at the sand bags. Mostly, the hubs does this.. As far as I’m concerned, trying to find a single light bulb in the expanse of Home Depot is an obstacle unto itself.
6) Whilst jogging, you look for puddles to run through instead of avoiding them. Holy cow does this piss off regular runners next to you. I did this at a 5K through an orchard. I tried not to splash the mud-phobes (Borborosophobia is the fear of mud puddles if anyone else is as curious as I just was) but it doesn’t always work. I’ve only avoided a puddle once at it was because it was mostly frozen and I didn’t really want to rip my ankle open on sharp ice and then plunge it into mystery water.
8) On a nice drive to the country, you don’t see nature or beautiful landscapes, you see somewhere where they could set up a Super because you need one for your Trifecta. Anytime I see a mountain with a tree-less streak, I pretty much assume that Spartan Race will eventually plop a Herculean Hoist on it.
11) For women – you have more trail shoes than “smart/dress” shoes. Pretty much yeah. And even my ‘nice’ shoes have a little bit of mud on them cuz I can’t quite help myself.
14) You suddenly compete with shoppers in terms of how much you can carry in a hand basket. “Can I get you a cart?” the bag boy asks. Really dude? If I carried it all the way up to the register, do you really think I need you to get me a cart to get to my car. Bugger off. I’m training.
15) Driving on the freeway, you see a tire on the shoulder and wish you could stop to get it. Just to have it. “For training”. Yep.
16) You analyze the way your kids play on monkey bars and tell them they’re doing it wrong. Not on the monkey bars, but I analyze his running gait. He’s got perfect form for right now. I hope he keeps it up.
17) You have a well-drilled technique for changing out of wet and muddy clothes into dry ones. It’s a fine art, really. I have a changing tent, but sometimes it’s way too much of a pain in the ass to set up. Changing in parking lots is just normal now.
18) Trucks transporting huge agricultural tires makes you think about that time at that race when… that rope broke on the uphill tire drag and the tire went rolling down the ski slope and we all had to go chasing after it hoping that it wasn’t going to land on anybody running under the cliff! Wasn’t my tire, but it happened just as I was walking away from mine.
19) You can talk about trail running shoes to your friend all evening while your spouses’ eyes glaze over and you don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. I’m lucky that my spouse is also obsessed. The rest of the world wonders why I can’t just wear my running shoes.
21) You always consult the Spartan Race event schedule before you plan minor things like weddings and christenings. I carry my race schedule around with me at all times for just this reason. Which reminds me, I need to go over my race calendar with my mother for the annual Which-Races-Will-You-Watch-the-Kid-For-and-Which-Do-I-Have-to-Ask-My-Mother-In-Law-To-Take planning session.
22) Your everyday t-shirts are worn rotation of; finishers shirt, Hurricane Heat shirt, event-specific shirt, “I’m In Training For” shirt, and back to the beginning. More of my shirts are race tees than anything else. At least of third of my race tees are Spartan Race tees. And while on the topic, Spartan Race really needs to work on making different tees for the different levels. I have multiples of each year’s shirt. It would be pretty damned awesome to have at least the different color logo for each distance.
So that’s 16 out of 22. And one of the one’s I missed was specifically for men.