So, a little back story to how I found out about this crazy exercise called burpees. I had just found out about obstacle racing in 2016, my sister told me about this race series called Spartan. It was more than just a race, there were mountains and spear throws, that's about all I knew going into it. In October I had just done my first Spartan sprint and had done my first burpees. I sucked at them, I could barely do half the obstacles, and racked up a good chunk of burpees. It took me over 2 1/2 hours to do it and it took me a week to recover. I hated that feeling but jumping over that fire and getting that medal pushed me to get better at running and doing the obstacles. I hated burpees!!!
Fast forward to 2018
I signed up for some crazy races, in particular, Shale Hill, my first 50 mile ultra, Peak Death Race, Spartan "Cryfecta" in Dallas, and Killington Ultra. In training for these events, I signed up for an unofficial 10,000 burpee challenge. I would do 100 burpees a day, for a month straight,. One day I wanted to see how many I could do, I made it up to 600 in March. They taught me a valuable lesson, it doesn't matter how many burpees you do, the next one still sucks. It pushed my endurance and got me ready for some of the hardest events I've ever done.
The Peak Death Race
In all of my preparation, nothing would prepare me for my ultimate burpee challenge, 3,000 burpees in 9 hours. They had to be done in a group and at the same pace. Mentally, the number overwhelmed me, and after 26 hours of tasks, I DNF'd. It was defeating, but I refused to give up on my race season. My very next race, I pushed hard and got my first podium, 1st place in Bonefrog endurance in Buffalo NY, my hometown. A little before my next big race, I wanted to do 1,000 burpees in one day. It was grueling, but I did it.
Spartan Killington Ultra and the Dallas Cryfecta
I did not finish the Killington Ultra (Ultrabeast) in 2017, so I had to finish it in 2018. I had a goal of 13 hours in mind and with a lot more training, I was just a few minutes over 13 hours finishing it. It was the first Spartan race that I finished the Twister and I had the lowest number of burpees on an Ultra course to date (60).
Not many people have heard of the Cryfecta (a Spartan 12hour hurricane heat, Spartan Ultra and the Spartan Hurricane Heat all in the same weekend), it takes speed, grit and strength to finish. There was very little rest in between events, just enough time to refuel and change socks. I believe there were 5 of us that completed all of the events.
When I found the 10,000-20,000 burpee virtual event for 2019, I had to sign up for the 20,000 challenge. It sounds like a big number but if you break it down, to a monthly challenge, it's very obtainable. I want to keep improving and challenging myself, and I want to have the people around me to do the same. At the end of February, I'm back little over 2,000 burpees in, and completed my first 100 miler ever. Set your goals high and keep pushing your limits.