Another tough race out of the way!
The Big Bear Spartan Beast on Saturday, May the 18th, was not as bad as I had heard from others. Sure it was a lot of up and down the mountain, but compared to other Spartans I have done, the steepness was never too killer and the obstacles seemed very tame as well. I completed every obstacle without any major issues, including the spear throw that many struggle with, but I have my own way of throwing, which has helped me through all the other Spartans in the past (two-handed, with the front as your guide and the back as the forward force). However, it was still a Beast, so the distance and energy used was still a major factor in my exhaustion by the end of it all, along with being sick.
I did take it easy on this one, because my chest had been tight all week from being ill, but I made sure to at least run the downhills and straightaways for the most part. It also helped to pace myself with other runners. For a good portion of the race I paced myself with a runner that I simply dubbed “Pacer Girl,” and for that time period, she was a big help. She too planned to trifecta several times this year, so we encouraged one another, but by a certain point my lungs, from being ill, could not keep up so I fell behind. After that, I had to rely on my own strengths, and only really stopped to help others.
At one point, near the end, I did stop quite a bit to help one tough Spartan that reminded me of Steve Rogers, Captain America, before he becomes a super soldier (meaning he was extremely skinny and small). He showed me the value of mental strength, something we often forget about nearing the ends of these bigger races. He was struggling to lift the heavy weights and complete the tougher obstacles, so I stopped and helped him through three or four and then told him, “why don’t you just skip this one, you’ve done more than enough,” which he simply replied to with, “I have to earn this.” I had already seen him fall and get down on himself multiple times, but he pushed through and completed it right after me…if that’s not being tough, then I don’t know what is.
All in all, this was an amazing and exhausting race. It didn’t help that I forgot my sunscreen, that I was ill, and that I forgot my pack with water/racer fuels (don’t worry though, I bought a water pack there, don’t ask me for how much, and at least had water throughout the course). However, I, like many other Spartans still completed the challenge and am ready for the next two coming up in Monterey (Spartan Super & Sprint), and then Terrain Racing in San Jose the following weekend with my OCR racers for our final end of the year team race!
I still think I can work on my upper body strength/weight training, but at least I have my cardio down!
Until the next entry, remember to never give up and push yourselves each and every day!
-Daniel E. Lopez