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My First Warrior Dash!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sorry for my lack of blog posting here. I post on my blog (which I can't link here because it has ads) several times a week, so if you're not subscribed, check it out! :) My Facebook page, From Fat to Fit, has taken off well, and I've got over 1800 likes, so updating it and my personal blog and answering e-mails takes up a lot of my time. Posting my blogs here is a lot of work when they have a ton of pics, so it's easier to do it at my main blog. Anyways, I've included a few pictures on this post, but if you visit my blog you can see the photos that go with each description. I also have an album of over 40 pics on From Fat to Fit. On to the post!

Well, I have completed my first Warrior Dash, and I had a great time! I am seriously glad I have been doing those Jillian workouts, because without a lot of the upper body strength I've gained, I don't think I'd have been able to do all the obstacles. This is definitely an easier race if you're in shape and used to running, otherwise I can imagine it would be pretty miserable.

Last night my kids spent the night at their grandparents' house, and Jeff worked, so I cleaned the house and then relaxed. I got to bed early and woke up around 8. My wave didn't start till 11:45, so we had plenty of time to get there. It's about an hour away.

I was surprised, because although I was nervous, I wasn't completely terrified like I thought I'd be. I ate some belvita biscuits on the way since I don't like to eat much before races. When we got there, it was a really good set up–no issues with finding a place to park, packet pickup was fast, and the line for the port-o-potties wasn't too bad. We were really early, so we walked over to where a few of the obstacles were, and you could watch people. Jeff said he'd wait there for me and try to get some pics of me at the end of the race.

Once I got in line for my wave, they said they were starting it 15 minutes later, so that was annoying. I just wanted to GO! I hate waiting around, because I am the most impatient person alive. :) It was interesting watching some of the people, who were all with other people. I felt so weird doing it alone, since almost everyone seemed to be with at least one other person if not a big group. This group of young guys were all in what appeared to be really tight boxer briefs with no shirts on. They had some really big packages if you know what I'm saying. I couldn't help but notice since they were stretching right in front of me. LOL Another group of people all wore masks that were big horse heads. I can't even imagine running with a costume or any of that crap on. I saw women with jewelry and makeup and was just thinking, "Really?" One of the horse head people actually ran into me. I think it's fun to dress up for races, but to an extent. You need to be able to see where you're going.

Once we started, I felt good. As the wave starts, they shoot fire up into the sky and you can really feel the heat from it. I felt good running along the dirt path, which goes into the woods. They had it clearly marked with red tape, so there is no way you can get lost. So many people started off full force and were walking within the first 2-3 minutes. I was surprised that for a lot of the race I passed people who you'd look at and think they'd be way ahead of me. Running pays off. It makes you fit!

I knew the terrain was supposed to be rugged, but it was pretty hilly at some spots, and had things like tree roots and big trees and limbs you had to either climb or jump over. There were all sorts of plants, some with prickers that would slap your legs as you ran through the different paths. Not far into the race, before we'd reached the first obstacle, a guy tripped on a root and fell right in front of me, and I almost stepped on him. He was limping after that, and I felt bad for him because he had a hard time keeping up with his friends.

Finally, after what seemed like I was running forever, we got to the first obstacle, which was called Barricade Breakdown. It wasn't too hard. You basically climb over and jump down over these wooden walls and then go under one and then up over some more. I did this one pretty quickly, but my foot sort of got stuck into a space on the wood, and it took me a few seconds to get it out. The guy next to me was asking if I was ok because I didn't move for a second. I guess he thought I was scared to jump down. haha

The next obstacle was Alcatraz, which wasn't really hard, but cold. You walk through water that on me, was waist deep, and it's very gross and slippery (and stunk!), and then in the middle is a barrier with rope you have to climb over and then wade out to the other side. Some spots in the mud were like sinkholes and you'd be walking along and your foot would literally sink in and you were up to your knee in mud. I am glad I tied my shoes on tightly!

Running after you're soaked and covered in mud isn't easy, and like I said before, the course is rocky and uneven, so it's even harder. Still, I felt like I was keeping a pretty good pace. I didn't walk at all until it came time to do an obstacle and I'd slow down.

The next obstacle (I think, it's hard to remember the order when there is so much going on and there are 12 of them) was the Giant Cliffhanger, which is a big tall slanted wall that you use a rope to pull yourself up and then you go down the other side the same way. It wasn't too hard for me, but definitely required decent upper body strength and coordination.

Next was the one I was most worried about, The Great Warrior Wall. It's a wall that is straight up with a rope. There are tiny little ledges you can put your feet on, but they are spaced so far apart that it's hard. So, you really have to be able to pull yourself up and then push off with your foot at the same time to reach the next ledge. I have no idea how I was able to do it, but I did! Once you get to the top, it's easy, because the other side has basically what's like a ladder that you just climb down. I was so proud of myself after climbing that thing and I was just smiling, and a guy waiting for his friend gave me a high five! Many people skipped that obstacle and just ran around it when they saw other people struggling.

I'm trying to remember what was next...The order didn't seem like what I'd read online, and when I went to look at the map when I went to do this post, it's no longer there, and I think it's because they changed what some of them were.

Since I can't remember the order of the next few, I'll just talk about them as I think of what happened.

Storming Normandy wasn't hard, but it hurt. You have to crawl on the ground under barbed wire, and that's not too hard to do, but the ground was rocky and it was scraping my knees up pretty badly. I just toughed it out and got my ass out of there as fast as I could. :) It's one of the easier ones, despite the scrapes I got. I should wear knee pads or something next time.

Trenches wasn't hard either, but again, you're in frickin nasty, cold water that goes down into a trench. Since I am not very tall, I was able to crouch down and walk bent over, and I didn't have to crawl through it.

Throughout the run on the trail, you'd come to areas that are all muddy and slippery, and you'd have to be careful not to fall. Sometimes your foot would sink way down and almost get stuck. It was kind of freaky to step into a huge hole, and then have to regain your composure to run again.

I saw Jeff on the sidelines waiting to take a photo at Pitfall, one of the obstacles I was most nervous about. You climb up a wooden ladder type structure onto a platform, and then have to walk across a board to the other side (there is water below if you fall) and then climb down. I don't know why I was so nervous, because I walked right across and it wasn't hard at all. The boards weren't as narrow as I thought they'd be, and I have pretty good balance.

My least favorite obstacle, and THE hardest, in my opinion, was Mud Mounds, which wasn't on the list of obstacles when I checked out the site map. You go into water, and then there is a HUGE hill of slippery mud that's very hard to climb out of. I got over first one after only slipping a little, but the 2nd one was hard. I kept slipping and random dudes would just start grabbing me and trying to help. One guy only made it worse and I ended up slipping all the way back down, but then I was able to get up. There was just nowhere to put your feet a lot of the time and get any traction. The very last mound (it's more than a mound, it's taller than a person!) I kept slipping and mud and water splashed all up in my face. It was so gross, and my glasses got mud all over them. Then this guy basically grabbed my ass and shoved me up. LOL I think a lot of the men feel like they have to help the women. I didn't mind the help, but I know I could have done it on my own.

Running after this was so hard. I was caked in mud and my shoes were squishing and my glasses were dirty. A guy actually let me use his shirt (the top of his sleeve was clean) to wipe them off, but it only made it worse.

When I came around a corner, I could see Jeff again. I ran over to him to give him my glasses since I couldn't see a darn thing, and I knew I was near the end. I can see up close without them, so I knew I'd be ok. This was right before I had to do Hard Rain. You climb up over a wooden structure where water is spraying on you. This obstacle was pretty easy, but I just wanted to be careful so I didn't slip.

After that was Cargo Climb, which were just big nets you had to climb up and over. It was pretty easy, but it took some time since it was moving all around from other people being on it.

Right after Cargo Climb was the fire they call The Great Warrior Roast. From photos the flames seemed really high, and I was nervous about having to jump over it, but it was easy. You just run and jump over two things of fire, and then you're at the end. In the picture, it looks like I am just stepping over it, but I guess it's just how it came out, because I ran and jumped!

They save this one for last, and you get completely disgusting. It's called Muddy Mayhem, and there is water you have to crawl through since there is barbed wire above you, but instead of crawling (since my knees were on fire from all the scrapes I got) I kind of let my legs float and used my hands to pull myself across, if that makes sense. Then there is another mound of mud at the very end, and I was slipping and the very end is the only time I fell on my butt, right after getting out of that thing. Again, I had guys grabbing me, wanting to help. I had my rear end grabbed by more men today than I think I have my whole life. LOL It wasn't in a perverted way, so it was ok. :) Then, it's done! You trudge your way across and get your medal.

I was so filthy and couldn't wait to hose off. Jeff said he lost my glasses, and I started to freak out. It's the only pair I have (besides prescription sunglasses) and he went to go look for them. I went over to wash off, the but the little hoses they had were a joke! Barely any water came out of them and I was still just as gross. A nice lady was even helping me (she was alone also) but we were just gross. I found Jeff, and he'd found my glasses, thank goodness. Then I plopped down to try and get my shoes off, which were practically glued to my feet. I'd double knotted them and it was so hard to get them undone. About that time, our neighbor walked over, and I hadn't known he was going to be there. He actually ran the course twice! He helped me get my shoe untied and then I went over again to the hoses when I saw they had a dude with a fire hose spraying everyone. He passed it across several times, and after being doused about 5 times, I was a bit cleaner.

I tried to dry off a bit, and then I went to turn in my shoe chip to get the free beer. I don't drink beer, but I thought, "It's free. I'll try it." Usually I hate beer, but I don't know if it was because I was thirsty or what, but I drank about half of it, and then didn't want anymore. It wasn't bad, but not something I wanted. I got a pretzel too because I was starving.

We decided to leave shortly after. It wasn't a particularly warm day today...I'd say upper 60s or low 70s and overcast, so I was feeling chilled from being wet. There was a breeze too. The water in those obstacles is cold, but I guess you don't think about it too much because you're busy doing them and then running. I changed in the parking lot while Jeff held up a towel and I felt a little better, but I was still dirty and felt like I smelled like a dog's butt. :)

I am really glad I did this! It certainly wasn't easy, but I did better than I thought I would. I ended up finishing in 53:09. My legs are very scraped up along my shins and knees, and under my right knee I have a sore knot that is probably going to look disgusting tomorrow. I'm very proud of myself for completing all the obstacles. I feel like a bad$$. haha

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