This past weekend I competed in a “Warrior Dash” race alongside Greg, and two of our best friends Don and Jacque. It’s a 3.8 mile race that involves lots of running, several obstacles, and being totally submerged in mud. Awesome.
I trained for it for the last month, and since I’m not a runner, I was a little nervous about the endurance aspect. I felt pretty confident about the obstacles – I’m competitive, I love stuff like that, and figured my 5’1 size would give me an advantage in navigating through the obstacle courses. I can’t remember all of the obstacles and details since it was a bit of a blur, but here is my play-by-play of what was running through my mind as the race went on…
3:30 pm – race begins. Yes! This is awesome! I’m so fired up! I am going to KICK ASS!!!!
3:35 pm – Shit. This running thing is hard. Maybe I should have given up the cabernet the last week before the race. Oh well, too late now. I look over at Jacque, who is sucking wind as much as me. At least we’re in this together.
3:40 pm – Oh thank god. The first obstacle – walking up thin wooden planks and back down again on the other side. I can take a breather. Good thing my balance is decent.
3:50 pm – more running. I am cursing every single person who talks about running like it is the greatest thing in the world. What the hell are they smoking?! I love cardio workouts, but straight-up running sucks. My knees hate me and wish me dead.
4:00 pm – The trail goes into the woods. Thank god, some tree covering to shield the sun. I could do without the tree stumps and roots sticking out of the ground, but I’ll take my chances.
4:05 pm – more obstacles. Holy crap, I am shimmying across a tightrope over a mud-filled river and my shoes are slippery as hell. Oh look – they placed tiny microscopic pieces of masking tape every 3 feet for traction – how nice of them. Good thing there are 40 other people on this thing shaking the shit out of it to help me keep my balance. Oh well – at least I didn’t fall into the mud pit.
4:10 pm – We approach the real mud pit. I can’t believe I thought I passed it already and that I made it out unscathed – silly me. This one gave us no choice but to “swim” through it to get to the other side (and I use the term “swim” loosely.) I’m just gonna put my foot in there and see how deep it is and take my ti — uh oh — someone is sliding and grabbing onto my — what the — wait a minute I think I can still run back and just wait for everyone at the car if I just — UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG this is disgusting. But at least it’s only up to my knees so — yep, there it is. In up to my neck. Gotta get out of this mud pit.
4:14 pm – We are still in the friggin mud pit. I decide that it’s not so bad anymore, we are already in it so what the hell. Jacque and I are laughing our heads off and holding hands trying to get through it. Maybe worse than the mud pit is the fact that now we have to pull ourselves out of it – uphill – trying to gain any kind of traction in this slip-n-slide of mud. Pretend your at the spa, pretend your at the spa. It’s only a mud treatment. You’re skin will feel amazing later on. As I’m fighting up hill grabbing at tree roots, I am bitch-slapped out of my fantasy spa day by a giant spider crossing in front of me. I swear I think I saw him give me the finger.
4:16 pm – We are back up and running. Jac and I are running harder, stomping off the mud as we go. We hit the next obstacle, which is a rock climbing wall. A friggin, rock climbing wall. My shoes, hands, and everything else is so slippery from the mud pit, and there is no harness or anything holding you up if you fall off of this wall. And it’s no small wall. It’s the only obstacle I actually think about bypassing, but before I know it, Jac and I are clamoring up the wall and standing at the very top on a thin plank of wood. How the hell do we get down? Right – use the fire pole. The one that’s slippery steel, caked in mud. I grab on, squeeze my arms and legs around it with all my might and finally my feet touch the bottom. I was squeezing so hard I think I may have peed just a little. But at this point, can I really care?
4:20 pm – more running, but we are in the home stretch. All we have to do are a few more obstacles and we’re there, so it won’t be so bad — wait a minute — I have to swim through a swamp? Didn’t we already go through mud?? Next thing I know we are swimming through (can’t touch the bottom), pulling ourselves out of it onto a plastic barricade, then diving in again, pulling ourselves up – three times total. This. Sucks. I silently thank my hair for being an unruly frizz-bomb that forces me to blow-dry it for 30 minutes at a time – I swear this is where my reserve of upper body strength was pulled from. Laugh it up, but it’s the best arm workout I’ve found to date.
4:23 pm – we run down a mud-soaked hill, around a bend, and — sweet jesus — is that the home stretch I see?? Yes it is!! We pick up the pace and hit up the last three obstacles – climbing over a net, jumping over flames, and lastly, tunneling through a (you guessed it) mud pit ducking underneath several rows of barbed wire – and we finally are at the finish line.
Our goal at the end was just to make it through, and Jac and I stuck together the whole time and were so proud of ourselves when we were done. As we stood there in a pack of other swamp creatures, getting rinsed off by a giant hose, I smiled. I could finally see my skin again, and it was over. WE DID IT!!!!!
At the end, I decided I would totally do it again. Even with all the running, jumping, and mud involved, I’d still take this over mine and Jac’s experience with hot yoga any day – at least you get a medal and a free beer at the end of the warrior dash.