This will be one of probably a few Spartan posts to come over the next few days so brace yourself– they’re all sure to be riveting.

Last night I found out that the last two of my Spartan teammates have decided to back out of the race on Sunday.  Originally, there were five of us total, now there is only me.

All four have very good reasons and I completely respect their decisions.  No hard feelings at all.  In-fact, I wasn’t phased at all until I got a call from my best friend last night who had seen my post on Facebook announcing that I would be racing alone– she was incredibly upset about it. (I just love her!)  She was quite concerned for me because she knows the roll that this race has played in my success.

Anyway, like I said, I wasn’t upset about not having any team-mates until my BF mentioned it and now I’m realizing that I’m actually quite sad.  She is not to blame for my sadness, in-fact I’m glad she brought it to my attention so I can deal with these feelings now instead of on race day when I hope to be so pumped with adrenaline and pure joy that nothing else will matter.

The truth is, when I found out that my teammates had decided not to run I almost felt a sense of relief.  All of them are not only much better runners than me but they are all-around more fit.  I wasn’t worried that they’d be annoyed that I was slowing them down but I was worried that I would feel bad about myself not being able to keep up.  That’s the last thing I want to feel on race day. I have worked so hard for this. This one single race was the catalyst that changed my life– long before I even registered and I don’t want any reason to feel bad about myself on this day.

I first learned about obstacle racing about two years ago when a friend of mine did a Warrior Dash.  When she told me about it I knew it was something I HAD to do…but at the time I weighed 325 pounds and could barely walk across the street much less run four miles AND hoist myself over walls, crawl under barbed wire or climb up a net.  Yet I knew that someday I would.  About six months later I decided to have gastric bypass surgery. Six months after that, after going through all the pre-surgery rigmarole, I had the surgery.  Six months after that I did my first mud run, 3 months after that I signed up for the Spartan Race and realized that if I was going to do this for real, I was going to need to train, that’s when I signed up for Crossfit.  If you’re read my blog regularly and/or follow me on Facebook then you KNOW how Crossfit has influenced my ENTIRE life. That was six months ago.  Today, my life has completely different.

My point?  I am sad.  I am sad that I won’t get to share this very important, somewhat pivotal day with others who have witnessed my journey; I won’t get to reminisce about the highs and lows of race-day with anyone who was actually there for years to come.  I know I won’t be alone on the course. There will be plenty of people to help me when I have difficulty with an obstacle- that is just the nature of Obstacle Course Racers but when I get to the finish line it will just be me and thinking about that makes me sad– seems somewhat anticlimactic.

I can’t expect others to understand what this race represents for me and to be honest I don’t know if I actually want them to.  It’s a place that is deep and somewhat dark, a place that I have mostly kept to myself all these years and the thought of anyone else knowing about that makes me cringe a little.

This is not a plea for anyone to change their mind or come to my rescue, just a little insight about what’s going on in my mind.  I am completing the race no matter what- whether with friends, by myself, with strangers or on a stretcher.  I WILL finish and it WILL be awesome. There is too much joy in my heart, power in my will, success in my journey and desire for the mother fricken medal to keep me from finishing my very first Spartan Race.

Five days.  Just five more days…