That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Warrior Dash recap

OK, now that I'm in a slightly better mood, having vented a little, I will tell everyone about Warrior Dash. It was fun, although a lot of people are like, "OMG THAT WAS SOOOOO AWESOME!!!" about it. Yes, it was awesome and fun, although I found it super frustrating at the same time!! I think going in knowing what to expect would've helped quite a bit. For whatever dumb reason, I was picturing your typical 5k course, with Double Dare-esque obstacles interspersed.

HOLY CRAP, I could not have been more wrong!

Big Daddy Diesel has a really good race report that showcases his experience and explains some of the obstacles more. I also think it's amusing how different parts of the race were for me, due to some different factors:

I hear the trail got more muddy and slippery as the race went on. By 3:00 on Sunday, when we went, the hills were a big muddy mess. Oh yes, the HILLS. They were insane. They make the entire Flying Pig Marathon look pancake flat. The first one was .3 miles long, and STEEP. I ran for a minute and decided to walk that hill. Someone yelled out that all we needed to do was get to the top and it was alllll downhill from there. They were SO wrong. There were tons more uphills, and steep downhills.

And like I said, they were MUDDY. I could barely make it down the first one before I decided to slide down on my butt. This turned out to be my strategy for most of them, and I passed a lot of people that way! However, when I was inching down the hill before adopting that strategy, the husband passed me. I waited a few minutes at the bottom, thinking he was behind me. After a while, I realized he must have either gotten ahead of me or passed out at the top.

For me, most of the trails weren't runnable at all. They were either too steep or too slippery. On one hill, I was pretty much on my knees/butt/face and sliding backwards with every other step, until a nice guy named Chris grabbed my hand and dragged me up the hill. (Wearing old running shoes was definitely a good idea, as they were pretty much ruined, but the downside is that they had very little tread left!)

I was proud of my endurance, though, in that most of the time, when I was able to run, I ran. I passed a lot of very tired looking walkers.

The obstacles....well, let's see. First were some hanging tire swings. They weren't hard, but I was worried about one of them slamming into my owie finger, so I ran with my finger held high above my head, shoving tires away with my other hand.

I saw the sign for the next obstacle before I saw it. The sign said: "Caution: real barbed wire." WTF?? Then I saw walls to scramble under and over. The first one was up to my chest. Arrrgh - I'm kinda short-legged and I don't climb - ever! I surprised myself by scrambling over the walls just fine. The unders weren't bad either, but I did feel some barbed wire scrape across my butt on the way out.

Then we had to get into a small pond and scramble over floating logs. First of all, the water felt awesome. It was soooo hot that day. However, I must dispute BDD's account that the water was "chest deep". In the middle, I couldn't touch the bottom. That freaked me out a little because swimming in water-filled running shoes is HARD. And I was already tired. For a split second I could picture my shoes dragging me down to my death, and I nearly ripped them off, but I realized I could keep moving forward, albeit slowly!

And then the fun of running in water-filled shoes and waterlogged clothes! Oh, and I had cleverly saran wrapped my splint so as not to get it soaked and disgustingly muddy. Great idea in theory, but the saran wrap trapped about a gallon of water, so my left hand weighed a ton!

There was a water stop right after that. I stopped moving to catch my breath and gulp down some water. Most of it missed my mouth.

Next obstacle: stepping through tires and over old cars. Fun. Goofy. Saw a guy trying to slide across a hood like the Dukes of Hazzard or something.

Next one: a tunnel crawl. The look of this one made me a little claustrophobic, but it wasn't bad when I got in it. It was rocky, though. The girls ahead of me tried rolling through, and all I could think was OW!! I had just enough room in there to get up on my feet and do a kind of ducked-down spider crawl, thus avoiding the rocks and allowing me to move pretty quickly. (Here is where the short legs came in really handy!)

Next, horizontal bungee cords to maneuver through. Again, short legs FTW. I laughed at people getting tangled up in them as I was able to easily duck under most of them. That and the tunnel crawl gave me a pang of sympathy for my 6'1" husband!

Cargo net was next. I was a little wary of this, with my gimpy hand and all, but it wasn't a problem. Here is also where I caught up with my husband, but he was faster on this one than I was. I took it slowly. The top was scary - glad I wasn't the only one who thought so, BDD! - but I managed to get down all right.

Right after the cargo net was a series of balance beams. I challenged my inner 6-year-old who used to love this stuff on the playground, and made it through pretty quickly.

Then we trudged through some knee-deep water. which again felt pretty good in the heat. I wanted to run but found it just deep enough that walking was faster.

Run a little more, and then....a climbing wall. I had been dreading this one anyway. Upper body strength is NOT my thing, which is why I generally refrain from climbing things. People were waiting for ropes to be available, and when it was my turn, I realized I couldn't get a good grip in my left hand. I wasn't about to fall on my head trying, so I asked a course monitor if I could skip it, holding up my funky saran-wrap covered splinted hand, and he waved me on.

Next, fire to jump through! They took a picture at this point. I'm sure I look terrified. :) I screamed like a girl - couldn't help it!

And finally, the mud pit. I was soooo tired by this point, and the mud pit was full of rocks, but it was so ridiculous crawling through mud that I had to laugh.

Husband finished in 50 minutes and change. I finished a minute later. Due to the ridiculousness of it all, I'll take it!! It was craziness and a challenge I was soooo not anticipating, but definitely worth trying!!

Oh, and I swore more in that hour than I probably have all year!!! Pretty much every time I fell, or couldn't move without sliding backwards (and that happened a lot) or was on top of something higher than the ground. My knees are covered in scratches and bruises. Well worth the swearing and owies, though!

Finally, here's the huz and I, in all our disgusting, muddy and proud glory:


  1. SO jealous! Can we go next year? Please? Pretty please? I'll bring beer!

  2. They had beer, although it was overpriced budweiser. Bring a decent import, and you're on!!

    (Actually, I'd agree to it even without the beer, but I never turn down beer!!)