Brandy Fox - Obstacle Course Racer
Growing up, I was never involved in athletics or organized sports. I spent most of my time working in the theater in high school and college. After graduating I struggled with disordered eating and body issues for several years, whittling myself down to 96lbs at 5'10". I knew something had to change but didn't know where to start. I knew nothing about fitness or nutrition so I started researching. After years of writing workout routines and nutrition plans for myself based on my findings, I had fallen in love with the improvement process. After getting healthy I wanted to test my abilities. In 2015 I signed up for a 5k obstacle race with a friend. I came in 2nd on that race out of 170 racers and I was instantly hooked! It was such a difficult test of strength, endurance, and will. I immediately started looking for my next race. I'm still pretty new to Obstacle Course Racing but with a few races planned this year, I'm aiming to be competitive.
Diet and Training
Currently I'm following a lean bulk where I'm eating in a small surplus to gain strength and size with minimal body fat. I've been doing this for almost a year and have had great success. I've built quite the engine so I currently take in around 3000 calories per day and keep my carbs high. This is such a big change from my disordered days of 600 calories and hours of cardio. My diet is almost exclusively whole food based and I try to keep it as colorful as possible. Looking at food as fuel and medicine can completely change your approach to your diet.
Currently I'm training to earn my Spartan Trifecta this year (2017) as an Elite racer. I strength train six days a week and focus predominantly on compound lifts with some accessory work to round out my physique. I also keep 4 days of short intense cardio in my plan. I am always aiming to push my cardiovascular endurance to the next level for those long races. By varying my training (high rep, low rep, plyometrics, HIIT, etc.) I can slowly progress in several areas and keep my training fun and challenging.
Challenges and Obstacles
Fortunately I haven't dealt with any serious injuries thus far. A few nagging things here and there that have actually made me pay more attention to mobility work and recovery health. The real challenges are actually more mental than physical. Being dedicated to training on the days you don't feel like it, and not surrendering to thoughts of inadequacy or self judgment are the obstacles that we must overcome daily. That is where true character is built.
Experiences and Feelings from a recent contest
Very few times in my life have I experienced the feelings of accomplishment that I had after my first race. I was completely new to OCR. I had no idea how I would measure up against all of the other competitors. People who had done hundreds of races, who raced for a living, who had coaches and special equipment and sponsors. I didn't know what to expect and was terrified of embarrassing myself in front of my friends and family. Standing on the podium in 2nd place, I quickly realized that all of the things I was so worried about didn't matter at all. It didn't matter if I was 1st or 2nd or 160th! I had pushed myself as hard as I could and I FINISHED! I set my sights on something and followed through. At that moment, I knew I would never again let my mind tell me I wasn't good enough to try. To try is to win.
This year, the plan is to complete the Spartan Trifecta. My first race is quickly approaching and I am more excited than ever to get on the course. I KNOW it will be difficult, but I welcome the challenge. As far as strength training, I'm always chasing the next PR and improving my speed and endurance as much as I can. I tend to think of it as honing my super hero skills. Being strong and fast and as well able as I can possible be. It's a constant positive in my life to be a little better today than I was yesterday.