Last weekend, we competed as a team in the Civilian Military Combine (CMC) on the USS Intrepid. For those who are not familiar with the CMC, it’s an obstacle race that supports Operation Homefront and the Heroes of Tomorrow. While it’s similar to a Tough Mudder or a Spartan Race, there’s one additional element that is unique to the CMC,
Hell The Pit. But before we go into the details of the race, we want to introduce Team Sparta.
Our team was made up of 12 awesome athletes, evenly split between ladies and gents. We all love to train, and we also love flexing.
Ok, back to the Pit. The Pit is a workout that you complete before the obstacle course. For this event, the Pit was a 7 minute AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) of:
7 Push-press (45lbs, girls/75lbs, boys)
7 KB swings (26lbs, girls/40lbs, boys)
7 Box-jump over burpees (20” box, universal)
I’m pretty sure our faces say it all.
After 7 minutes of the Pit, it would be nice to lay down and take a little rest, right?. WRONG. You have 90 seconds to recover or grab a sip of water (if you can swallow in between gasps), before you’re “released” into the obstacle course.
Because the event was held on the Intrepid, the obstacle course was a half mile sprint, which consisted of a sled push, sandbag and water bucket carries, crawling through nets and lots and lots of climbing.
We were one of the only teams not from a Crossfit box, and we came in 18th out of 48. Not too shabby!
We were pretty happy with our individual results as well 🙂
|Kayte||144 reps||9:05||5/188 females (and first in her age group!)|
|Julia||142 reps||10:20||10/188 females|
And even happier to be finished!
The atmosphere on the Intrepid was incredible. Despite the freezing temperatures (ok, maybe it wasn’t that cold but it was on the water and some of us may not have worn enough clothing…), everyone was amped to be participating in such an exciting event. The judges were all super supportive as well, cheering on each and every athlete and encouraging them to get out every last rep. And it was cool to see people of various athletic backgrounds in all different stages of their training come together and give it a go. Really goes to show that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it!
Since we each approached the race slightly differently, we thought we’d also give you a recap of the event from our individual perspectives…
I was a little apprehensive about this race. For the last 2 months, I haven’t been training for power or working on upper body strength because of the pinched nerve in my neck. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to participate until the doctor gave me the “OK” 1 week before. On the Monday before CMC, I decided that I should go for a test run of “The Pit” in a closed environment. I got through the whole 7 minutes at a moderate pace and didn’t feel any additional pain, so I made the decision to go for it! My goal was to just get through the day without hurting myself.
The morning of, I was a little anxious, but as Team Sparta started to gather at the gym, I began to get more and more pumped! We all seemed to feed off of each other’s energy, which is the great thing about doing these events with other like-minded, positive athleteswho inspire you.
Although I hadn’t trained for this specific event, staying active and doing what I was able while injured, along with a solid base of power and strength that I have from years of training, allowed me to be able to complete the course at a competitive level. The course involved a lot of climbing, and I’m pretty much a monkey with my gymnastics background, so I really felt comfortable with the obstacles.
Despite being able to get through the corse without serious preparation, I really felt the effects of it afterwards. My shoulders were so sore and I couldn’t lift my arms up until Wednesday without being reminded of the CMC on Saturday!
Signing up for the CMC was an easy decision for me. I sort of have a hard time saying no to any type of physical challenge. Plus, a couple of my teammates did the CMC in Brooklyn last September and wouldn’t shut up about how awesome it was, so I knew there was no chance I was missing out on this one.
As someone who always likes to be thoroughly prepared, upon signing up I immediately visited the CMC website and watched the Pit instructional videos, so that I would know exactly what each element entailed (no way was I going to get a “no rep!”). I practiced the Pit once a week for about a month, and even though I knew exactly what to expect the day of, my stomach was still doing somersaults as we waited for the countdown to begin. There really is no other feeling like pre-race nerves!
My performance during the actual event was pretty much on par with my performance in practice. But it felt SO much harder. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t properly warmed up, or if I was just having a bad day, but by the time I was on round 3, I wanted to lay on the ground in the middle of my burpees and not get back up. Luckily, the screaming judges and rowdy crowd were enough to push me through, and the 7 minutes of torture finally ended.
Even though I know my score was definitely above average, I was slightly disappointed because I had been hoping to do a little more with adrenaline kicking in and all. But, at least I know a couple of things that I’m going to do differently in my training next time: use heavier weight and practice lateral box jumps (that part really threw me for a loop). I’ll also be incorporating more running and climbing stairs with sandbags and medicine balls in preparation for a longer, more rugged obstacle course.
It was a pretty amazing day all around, and we could not be more proud of our team’s performance. Check out more pics of Team Sparta in action here.
Oh, and the day obviously would not have been complete without a few post-race beverages.
So what’s next? Several members of Team Sparta have decided to sign up for the another CMC in Camelback, PA on May 18th. Follow our workouts on Instagram (@average2athlete) to see how we’re preparing, and let us know if you’ll be there too!
Now, time to start training…
Kayte & Julia