Me Vs. Spartan, Round 2

Today I officially began training for my first “Summer Fitness Adventure” of 2015:

The Spartan Sprint to be held in Breckenridge, Colorado on June 13th, 2015

What’s a “Summer Fitness Adventure” you may ask? Well, I define it as something that’s out of your everyday comfort zone, a skill that you’d like to acquire or a goal you’d like to accomplish, that has nothing to do with weight loss and has everything to do with doing something you never thought you (or your body) could do.

Why is this important? Because so many of us focus primarily on the goal of losing weight that we forget to celebrate and appreciate the things we can do now that we couldn’t do when we started our fitness journey. 

Personally, I’ve spent the last 13(!) years focused on two primary things: fat loss and muscle gain. As a figure competitor, it didn’t really matter how long I could run, how high I could jump, if I could climb a rope, scale a wall, or throw a spear. All that mattered at the end of the day was how I looked in an itty-bitty bedazzled bikini compared to the other women in itty-bitty bedazzled bikinis standing next to me.

And trust me, after a while, that can really F@$K with your head.

Sure, weight training will make you strong, but it’s a different kind of strong. Training for a look is very different from training for performance. Training for a skill or movement is very different than training an individual body part.

Enter my new fitness challenge. Or, rather, the continuation of a challenge that began about five years ago.

Finding My Love of Mud 

I first got into obstacle racing when I met this guy….

My love, partner in crime, and brother in mud

My love, partner in crime, and brother in mud

James is a super athlete, former military and world-class wrestler, and the founder of Train OC Obstacle Course Fitness and the President of the

Rocky Mountain Mud Runners Club. When we first began dating ,I thought it would be fun to race together in a 10K event called the “Muddy Buddy”. I am SO sad that this event no longer exists, because it was a TON of fun and a great event for beginners.

Anyway, I had a blast and went on to race in the

Warrior Dash the next two years (another great beginner’s event)





The best part of the Warrior Dash..Giant Victory Turkey Legs!

I worked my way up to the Spartan Sprint in 2013. I knew going into the event that it would be my most challenging race to date, and it was. But not for the reasons one might think

Worst Day Ever 

The event was held at Fort Carson Army Base over two days in early May. We were set to race on Sunday. Saturday morning brought clear skies and sunny weather.

Sunday, not so much. This is Colorado after all and the weather can change by the minute, especially in May.

We began the race with a temperature of around 35-40 degrees fahrenheit (around 4 Celsius) and wind. Oh, the wind! Just whipping and relentless.

No filter, folks. That's really what the sky looked like that day

No filter, folks. That’s really what the sky looked like that day

And the first thing they did was put us straight in the mud. I’ll never forget the way my stomach flipped from the shock of the cold. I couldn’t breathe. And then you exit the mud and the wind hits you. I had to stop running and try not to vomit. I couldn’t feel my hands as they were encrusted in frozen mud.

What followed for the next 2 or so hours was nothing short of pure misery. Yes, the course was awesome. The obstacles were awesome. But the weather broke me. I was borderline hypothermic. There are parts of the race I don’t remember. At one point I refused to talk because I was just too focused on putting one foot in front of the other. If James hadn’t been there beside me, I wouldn’t have finished, and I had to skip several obstacles to boot, because at a certain point I just refused to get back in the mud and get soaking wet again. 

I finished the race, but I was angry. I’m still angry.

Pretty sure my face says it all!

Pretty sure my face says it all!

I was angry that I wanted to quit. I was angry about the weather. To this day I refuse to spend money on this race because there’s a very high probability that the weather will be crappy. Some might argue that it makes the event “more authentic”. I’d argue back that I’m just not that hardcore and I don’t care. I believe that events should be challenging, but fun and rewarding. You should feel like you accomplished something significant at the end.

All I did that day was merely survive, and I barely did that.

So, refusing to be defeated, I’m giving it another try.

Spartans never retreat. Spartans never surrender.

Spartan, Round 2 

Over the next six weeks I’m giving my readers the opportunity to follow along on my journey to Spartan redemption. Or, if you’re game, why not race alongside me? Details can be found here.

What makes this race special? A few things: 

1). It’s over my birthday weekend, so I’ll be racing and celebrating with a few days in the mountains

2). The elevation! Talk about a game changer! Although Denver sits at just over 5000 feet above sea level, Breckenridge is at 9600 feet. No joke folks. Walking briskly makes you breathe hard at that elevation, let alone running. The solution? Be in shape, your best aerobic shape possible. Ugh.

At least it should slow everyone else down too.

3). June in the mountains. The weather could still be crappy. It could snow. Or it could be 70 and beautiful. There’s just no way to know.

Here’s the game plan:

Primary Goal:  Finish the damn thing and feel good about it (not angry)

Primary training focus: Running, unfortunately. I’m not a huge fan of running, but it’s what I need to even attempt to enjoy this event. The event distance will be between 3-5 miles, so I’ll be walk/jog/running 30 minutes most days per week for the next six weeks. It’s not a matter of training to cover the distance, as I know I can do that, it’s about compensating for the altitude.

I’ll also be heading up to Red Rocks Amphitheater 1-2 times per week for stair training (and it’s at a little higher elevation) or the Mac Incline. I’ll be tracking my outdoor workouts via Run Keeper, and if you’d like to follow me you can “friend” me there.

Resistance Training: 2-3 times per week I’ll be completing 30 minute “movement based” workouts (think lots of push ups, pull ups, dips, core work, kettle bells, and more running).

Skill Training: I ‘ll be working with Rocky Mountain Mud Runners to work on a few of the skills that I’m not quite proficient at ( in the Spartan Race, if you can’t complete an obstacle, you’re “supposed” to “punish yourself” with 30 burpees. Yeah, we’ll see about that! 😉 Anyway, I’d like the change to practice my rope climb, monkey bars, and spear throw. But mostly I just need to run…

Yes, I can throw a spear!

Yes, I can throw a spear!

Nutrition: First time in a loooong time that I get to eat for performance and not fat loss! But, that doesn’t mean I’ll be going crazy with the calories either. I’ll be eating around what is technically maintenance for me, then adjusting according to how I feel energy and recovery-wise. I’ll be tracking using My Fitness Pal, so you can friend and follow me there too if you like ( my user name is “coachJacquiB”)

Here’s how it breaks down: 

Calories per day: 1700 approximately

Grams carbs per day: 170 (40%)

Grams Protein Per day: 128 (30%)

Grams Fat per day: 57 (30%)

Grams fiber per day: 25

Water: 1 gallon plus (SUPER important!)

Why this macronutrient breakdown? Because I like a little higher fat. It makes me happy.

Supplements: Admittedly I don’t take a ton of supplements, but here’s what’s standard and I’ll be using each day:


Vitamin D

Emergen-C Vitamin C packets


Isatori Eat Smart Protein powder

Isatori Eat Smart protein bars

*Note: Use code “ISAFIT2002” at checkout to receive 10% off Isatori products!*


or Quest Bars

That’s it. If I feel like I need something for recovery I’ll add BCAAs and L-Glutamine, and if I need something for energy I’ll let you guys know what I choose.

We’ll see how it goes! I’ll be sharing updates and workouts with my newsletter subscribers, so if you’re not already receiving my weekly emails, you may register here.

Don’t forget to head over to My Fitness Pal and Run Keeper to follow me there!

And so the journey begins…..

Have you completed a Spartan Race, are you currently training for one or would you like to complete a race one day? If so, post your comments and training advice below!






Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field