Yes, yesterday Dave and I went out and did the Warrior Dash. As I mentioned in a post, I signed up in a moment of go-for-it-ness, when I was feeling really determined to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I normally wouldn’t. Come yesterday, I was scared, very scared.
I had my 5K clinic run in the morning, and Dave had a wedding rehearsal, so we got going around 11:30 am. It’s about 1:15 drive tops, so that should get us there in plenty of time for our 2:30pm wave start right? uhhh, no. Apparently every single person from the city was headed to cottage country for vacation. I’ve heard the last week of July is a popular one for vacation, but this was ridiculous. It took us 2 and half hours to get there, no time for any proper food, we had planned to do a Tim Horton’s pit stop on the way, but the amount of driving time we needed, and the ridiculous lines at all of the stops didn’t allow for it. Let’s just say chocolate and chips are not great pre-race fuel, but you do what you gotta do. I was pretty annoyed and grumpy by the time we got there, with traffic so bad we arrived at 2pm and still had to park, shuttle to the event, pick up race kits, check bags, go to the bathroom, etc. etc. I was not a happy person.
However, luckily the shuttle buses were running like clockwork, and the lines for kit pick up, bag check and bathrooms were short. We got everything in place and ourselves to the start line with 3 minutes to spare. No time to pay attention to nerves I suppose. Here’s a lovely before shot of us, next to the after shot:
So, 3, 2, 1, we were off. The first mile really didn’t have many obstacles, a couple of mud pits to slog through, where many a shoe were lost, and the pit almost ate my leg, but 3 good pulls and I got it back. Mile 2 saw more hill climbs and a few obstacles. We had to hoist ourselves over some walls, maneuver our way through some tangles bungees, crawl through some trenches, crawled under barbed wire, and balance ourselves across some beams. All of these obstacles were fairly easy, until I got to the end of the balance beam one. climbing up and balancing my way across was easy, but when I reached the other side and had to run down the 8 inch wide plank to the ground, I became paralyzed with fear. See, I have a bit of a thing with heights. I was really only about 8-10 feet in the air, but all could picture was my mud covered foot slipping off this smooth plank and me tumbling like a brick straight to the ground. I stood at the top for what felt like forever until someone was immediately behind me and I had no choice but to go. I apologized for holding her up then silently counted to 3 in my head and went for it. I ran down that plank probably faster than I ran any other part of the race, just waiting for the moment it was over. And it was, 3 seconds later it was over, I survived, I didn’t fall, I ruled basically.
The last mile was probably the toughest, I think it had the most, and the biggest hill climbs, and the most obstacles, and it was mostly all out in the direct sun. I was feeling it. Honestly, the toughest part of the whole race wasn’t the obstacles or the running alone, but the hills. The Ontario Warrior dash is held at a ski hill and I’m pretty sure we climbed that thing the equivalent of at least 3 times. Hills have never been my strength in running, and certainly not ski hills. Even the downhills were hard, as some parts were quite steep. So much easier on a snowboard!
Anyways, the last mile had some things we had to climb, again, a little shaky at the top for me, but I just hung on for dear life and kept repeating something I heard one of the volunteers say earlier in the day, “At least no one has been hurt yet today.” That had to count for something right?
We climbed a cargo net, we climbed a slanted wall with a rope, we walked across a rope, slogged through mud while ducking under barbed wire and ran through fire.
In the end, there was nothing to fear, but fear itself, or something like that. I was quite proud of myself though, mostly for just giv’n er on the obstacles that involved heights. I knew those would be my weakest part, and while it took me a little longer than others, I went for it and pushed through. Yay me.
Post race, Dave and I got hosed down my some firefighters, changed our clothes and grabbed a beer and a giant turkey leg. We had a great time, and it’s something I’m really glad I’ve experienced. I’m not entirely sure if I would rush out to do it again, maybe a different course, without so much uphill! Then again, come next year I’ll forget all the struggles, and only remember the good, so feel free to direct me to this paragraph on my blog when I mention it next year.
We also checked Dave’s shoes in the pile of muddied shoes before leaving. Mine cleaned up decently, and I wanted to hang on to them because they are the only “old” running shoes I have left after donating 3 pairs at a race earlier this year. The pile of shoes was quite the sight.
My time wasn’t great, not that I was really doing this race for time, but I came in at 1h. I thought I would do a little better than that, but I suppose that was based on nothing really. There was lots of waiting at money of the obstacles, so I suppose the times aren’t really reflective of much.
So here we are again, post-race warriors! Now go out and sign up for one. It’s an experience you have to try!!