Spartan Strong

On March 8, 2014 my husband and I ran our first Spartan “Sprint” just outside of Atlanta, GA. My awesome soldier thought that this would be a great way to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and we planned it a few months out. Unfortunately I did not really “train” and I sprained my left ankle just over 3 weeks before the race. I also would find out a short time later that I had undiagnosed Asthma. 4.5 Miles and 20+ obstacles later we finished, but it took us (me) just over 4 hours. I wanted to cry tears of joy for finishing and tears of sorrow that I was so unbelievably out of shape so I vowed to myself that I would NEVER feel that way again. As we left the after party I was thinking that it was a great experience, but I wasn’t sure i’d ever put myself through that again. I most definitely would not have finished if it hadn’t been for my husband’s help and cheerleading! At the time, I thought the Sprint was difficult. Boy, was I wrong!

By the end of the weekend though…something inside me snapped. I thought, if all of these people can earn the Trifecta medal (including wounded warriors) what makes me think that i’m any different?? If they can do it, so can I! Thus, my trifecta training commenced! For those who may not know, Spartan Racing Series has three different levels: Sprint (3-5 miles), Super (8-9 miles), and Beast (12+ miles). When you complete all three within one calendar year, you are awarded the coveted Trifecta Medal!

My sister introduced me to an amazing weight loss/health program called Omnitrition and I started almost immediately after the race and lost almost 20 lbs of fat in 3 weeks. Even with all of my training, I’ve put on a ton of muscle and stayed at the exact same weight as when I finished. Losing a good 20+ lbs of fat does wonders for your athleticism!

On August 16th, Ryan and I ran the Rugged Maniac back at the same spot that we first ran the Super in March. Even though this was “only a 5K” it had more obstacles (25) and I was nervous to see if I really was improved. We finished in just under 1 hr. 15 minutes and that was with a little waiting/helping at a few obstacles. I cut my time in fourths!!! Ryan kept telling everyone how proud he was of me and I felt great!!! Minus the bruises and scrapes, I recovered so much quicker than I had before.

The next weekend we drove to Virginia for the infamous Wintergreen Spartan Super. This one is part of the “Devil’s Trifecta” and is the hardest Super in the Spartan Race series. I was extremely nervous so I trained my tail off…and still managed to underestimate the level of difficulty. This was not a race, but an exorcism! I was really disappointed in my time on the race and was really down on myself…even though I had improved so much since March. I’m realizing that each race is designed to break you and teach you something else about yourself.

We have the Beast coming up on October 25th and i’m going to crush it!! I’m determined to beat my Super time with my Beast time and have a blast doing so! By the end of October, we’ll finally be a part of the 2014 Trifecta Tribe…and it will have only taken us 7 total months from our first race. 🙂

~SPARTAN Melissa AROO!

The Spartan Sprint in March...I was so out of shape!
The Spartan Sprint in March…I was so out of shape!
Rugged Maniac: Feeling so much better!
Rugged Maniac: Feeling so much better!
This race felt so much better!
This race felt so much better!
Life is too short to not kiss in the mud :)
Life is too short to not kiss in the mud 🙂

4th of July/Post-deployment Vacation

My amazing husband knows how much the 4th of July means to me (and to him) so he tried very hard to get me home to celebrate with my side of my family. Being from Maine, 4th of July is big in my family and we always have a huge cookout at my parents’ camp complete with lobstah, brisket and sometimes clams. When we were engaged he was deployed and last year we were PCS-ing to GA and never got the opportunity. It was very hard for us to not be home with everyone and he definitely made up for it this year! With his current unit they deploy pretty frequently so he volunteered for an early deployment in order to get home in time for celebrating America’s birthday with me. How special it was for us this year to celebrate America’s independence with him freshly home safe from war!

Within 24 hours of Ryan coming home from deployment, we were packing up the car and driving straight to Maine (22-24 hour drive). (Did I mention how much he loves me?) We couldn’t fly because it is the Army and the second you try to book something, plans will change. However, he was blessed with good leadership that allowed him to leave so quick after a deployment. As always, even a long and traffic filled road trip is a blast and filled with so many memories!

We got to see most of our family members while we were in Maine and definitely hit up some sightseeing. My parents have a camp on Loon Pond in Maine and I always wanted to move back home after my Dad retired from the Army. Sadly I never got the chance, but Ryan has fallen in love with New England as well and even claims it as his home (who wouldn’t??) Since his Dad’s side of the family is from Conn, it counts, right?

Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents' camp.
Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents’ camp.

4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents.  Ogunquit, ME
4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents. Ogunquit, ME

Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma
Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma

Now THIS is a barbeque...New England style! <3
Now THIS is a barbeque…New England style! ❤

While at home we also got to tour Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox game…and a little bit of a thunderstorm/tornado watch. Hey, we always keep it interesting! Touring Fenway has always been a dream of mine and it was so cool seeing the stadium from every view possible and from behind the scenes. 🙂 Also, Cask 'n Flagon has the BEST Fish 'n Chips this side of Ireland! 😉

RED SOX!!!!

Bunker Hill...but first, a selfie
Bunker Hill…but first, a selfie

Best of all we got a lot of history lessons/sightseeing in as well. We visited Concord, MA and the Minute Man monument and even caught sight of the actual lantern used in the Old North Church during Paul Revere’s ride. We climbed Bunker Hill in Boston since he’s never gotten to do that part of the Freedom Trail. Unfortunately the USS Constitution was closed (yet, again!) so we still haven’t been able to see that! Lastly we visited a few of my favorite lighthouses in Maine! I may be biased, but I have lived and visited many places in the US and the world…Maine is the most beautiful: hands down! I will say from the pictures, Michigan may run a close second 😉

Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME
Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME

Sleep Hollow Cemetery...so many brilliant minds are buried there
Sleep Hollow Cemetery…so many brilliant minds are buried there

Old North Bridge in Concord, MA
Old North Bridge in Concord, MA

With everything that Ryan ends up missing out on with his job, I am so thankful that we got this much needed time with family. It was so great having my hero home to celebrate Independence Day and New England is most beautiful in the Summer. 🙂

~A very happy, Melissa Grim