"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg



Weekly Running Log

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Warrior Dash

Well, I did it!  It is hard for me to grasp the thought that I actually signed up for this.  To know me, you'd know that I don't like to get dirty.  I'm just now getting to where I don't mind sweating when I run!  But there was something I found exciting about running through fire.  Kinda daring and laughing in the face of danger...it IS dangerous to put your body in a position that it is surrounded by fire! 

Doing this with my friends, Deleica and Serina, really made it fun.  Love you girls!!  My shoulders, yes both of them, AND my left elbow have been hurting so much for a couple of months.  I think it started during my marathon training though it wasn't bad enough to cause problems until later. It just hasn't got back to normal...yet.  But since the race they have been hurting me, even at night.  So much so that I have had many sleepless nights, especially the nights just before the Warrior Dash. 

With this in mind, I was not looking forward to this at all!!  I mean, what's the use if you spend all the "Dash" avoiding the cool obstacles and just running the little bit you can with all that mud.  Let's face it, the purpose of the Warrior Dash, as well as other races like this, challenges your entire body and mind and pushes you to your limits as to what you can or cannot do, especially the first time you do it.  I look at this particular one as a military boot camp kinda of thing. 

Well, the butterflies started early...before leaving home at 6:00 a.m.  They came and went the whole trip to Byram.  We met Deleica in the parking lot where we catch the shuttle bus; Serina was a little ways behind, so we got on the bus and went on to the staging area.  When we got off the bus, a terrible smell permeated the air.  It almost smelled like sewage or something really bad.  I asked D if it was like that last year and she said yes.  I said I didn't know if I could do this without a decent breath of fresh air.  Think it was the mud smell.  It wasn't long before I couldn't smell it.  The sad thing is that by the time it was over, I had wallowed in the mud so many times and I KNOW I must have smelled like that odor...Puuuuweeee!!!

We got in line to get our timing chips, shirts and "horns".  Excitement filled me!!  It was now "on".  Deleica brought some cute black and white checkered kerchiefs and purple and yellow ribbons for us to wear in honor of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  I had brought some black eye marker to draw "war paint" on us.  Here's Deleica and I while waiting on Serina.  Don't we look like someone you don't want to mess with??  Check out our "Girls Rule" tattoos!  I love that we both have leggings there were similar...we neither knew this.  It was quite cool/cold that morning so I decided to wear these.  I had mine for at least a year and not worn them yet.  Because they are low waisted, I had to wear running shorts over them...well, I didn't want to show up bottomless from a pit of mud like one man did in the last mud pit...really...LOL


When we found a place close to the Finish Line where Kent would be waiting for us, we unloaded all of our stuff.  It wasn't long before Serina and her family joined us.  She had printed us bibs to wear during the race honoring/in memory of those in the Boston tragedy.  Yep, we are ready to run for Boston! 


We decided to see if we could join an earlier wave so we walked on over to the Start Line.  There seemed to be plenty of room so we went on in this group.  I'm feeling sick again!!!  Do I really want to do this "challenge"??  They had done this last year and this was all new to me.  The unknown "fear" is a killer for me!  I am so not ready.  Didn't get to work my upper body as I had hoped [so it would help me crawl on the ground as well as the obstacles that I would do pulling my body up over walls].  It wasn't long before the whooping and yelling began to get us all hyped up for this "dash".  Then the "warrior fire" shot up high in the air on both sides of our path and off we go!  Now, it's getting exciting again.  We got this!

Mud holes popped up soon into the race.  We were able to go around several to start off with.  We wanted to keep our shoes from getting too slippery at the beginning, knowing that it was inevitable that they eventually would.  It wasn't long before Serina made her debut fall.  I turned around worried that she may be hurt and she was laughing so hard and said she was okay although she said she had hurt her left knee...ugh!  It seemed a mile before we actually got to our first obstacle as we ran and ran and ran.  It got more and more slippery.  While going around one of the mud puddles/holes, my foot slipped and I swung my left arm back around in the air to keep myself from falling and I felt such a sharp pain...the kind I had been experiencing, but worse.  It hurt so bad and I thought this was it.  I hit Serina, but luckily she didn't fall, and it gave me the balance I needed to stay on my feet. 

Then we see the first sign:  Obstacle Ahead.  We turned a corner and there it was.  Barbed wire (bw) spread low to the ground for quite a ways...all over a lightly muddy area.  You literally had to crawl on your belly on your elbows and pull yourself through.  There was not enough room to lift yourself up to crawl with your shoulder strength.  We literally "inched" ourselves through until the end.  Seems like it took forever!  I wish I had a picture of what this looks like to share but I don't.  A couple of times the Boston bib on my back and my hair got caught but we finally made it through.  It was tough!!  It was then that I said to myself if the others were anything like this, I would have to bypass all of them.  So, now I am getting worried...

After this obstacle, I honestly don't remember which was next or the order they were in as they began popping up often and your attention was turned to the "challenge" of doing it.  There was a set of 6' walls [or thereabouts] similar to the pic below.  It was here that I realized just how kind people are.  People I did not know would help others get their balance and pull them up and over as well as pushing you from behind to get through tough spots.  I LOVE the comradery found here.  It doesn't look like much but I'm here to tell you that unless you can shinny up a straight wall with ease WITH mud on the tiny half inch ledge you used to get to the top, you can't do it; well let me tell you, it was harder than you think!  And, as I said, it was taller than you, and yet not the tallest we were to encounter soon on this course.  Thankfully, my shoulders did me well here; therefore giving me confidence to go on...with excitement.  Yep...there's more bw even with wall climbing!


Here we are on the trail before the really, really muddy pits.  From the very beginning, they were commenting how much harder it was this year than last year.  Boy, are we in for a fun time!


Again, I do not remember the order these came but I believe it was soon after this that we encountered a deep mud pit...yep, I just "thought" we had gone through some.  Honey, there was a pit waist deep that you had to trod through!  It is here that others would help when they crawled up that slippery slope cause there was NO way a single person could get up alone, and, also, it was a time that you needed help from behind.  Oh yeah, as I started up the slope and kept slipping back, someone took their hands and yelled "go" and gave me a big push on my butt while a girl over me grabbed my hand and pulled me up.  I had to start laughing because I thought this had to look funny.  When I got up and turned around I asked who had helped me and a guy said "I did" and I thanked him wholeheartedly...or I would probably still be there trying to get out.  The pit was probably 6-7 feet deep and with more depth of waist high mud.  It was so much fun!!!

There was a cargo net challenge.  It was different from this picture, but it's all I got, as it was a single net attached at the top and bottom and you crossed side-to-side to get to the other side over a mud pit.  Yes, the ropes were muddy already making it slick and we were the 3rd wave to go off.  I can't imagine starting later in the day.  It must have been horribly slippery.


The next obstacle is called Vicious Valleys.  It looked a lot like this but there was room for a couple of people side by side to walk between; therefore making it harder to get up and over.  You literally had to start all over with your strength to climb over each and every one.  It's tough!  Due to my shoulder, I skipped this one so I wouldn't get injured.  The other two only did two of the five and many skipped it altogether.  Yes, there were five "valleys" at ours with only ropes and a small piece of wood to step on which was not spaced out to reach an average person's height...so you slid down the backside hoping to miss them so you wouldn't get splinters or hurt.  I helped the girls to get up and across two of them. 


And, then there was an obstacle of trenches.  I am chlosterphobic (sp) and when I saw this, I almost panicked.  The picture is "similar" again of what we had.  Trenches were dug into the ground and covered so you could not see in the trench, also, with bw over the top.  You had to bend down on your hands and knees to see in it.  When I looked the only thing I could see was a faint light at the end where you came out.  At first, I thought "no way!"  But I hated to be a sissy and said to myself no one else is chickening out, so I put on my big girl panties, got on my hands and kness and took off.  After a few crawls, I thought I couldn't do this as it felt like the tunnel was closing in on me, then I realized someone was behind me.  I had no choice but to go on ahead.  I focused on the light, disregarded the "things" that were hanging and touching me (of which I could not see), grabbed hold of the muddy ground and never stopped crawling until the end.  This obstacle, though a minor one, was one I am proud to do.  Serina is very chlosterphobic and immediately when she saw it she said 'I don't think I can do this'!  But I am proud of her, too, because we faced our fears and did it anyway. 


I'm only going to share those that I have pictures that were somewhat like the ones we did.  The others won't be discussed...much.  With that said, there was an obstacle that was challenging for me like the trenches.  It was basically a 6" ledge with cross bars for traction about every 6-8".  It crossed over a real messy mud pit.  It went up, then flat and then down, then up and down again.  Another challenge for me: fear of falling and heights!  As we walked up and across a little, there was a wall a little better than waist high that you had to crawl/climb over.  The trick?  Water from several PVC pipes were shooting up hard making it difficult to hold your balance as you cross the wall.  The first thing I thought was "yay, I can clean off my hands and shoes".   The water spouts were on both sides of the walls.  The shock?  It was really cold...brrrrr!  It made you do it fast.  No pic for this one. 

Then there was the water challenge.  I was dreading this one.  Since I knew I wanted to do the WD this year, I learned how to swim last summer and was hoping this would prepare me for this part.  Last year, they had to swim across an area dodging logs that would pop up and hit you.  But this turned out great.  You could walk across and still do the challenge...which was crossing over a series of buoys covered with cargo nets.  The depth was just below chest high which made it a challenge to stay on your feet.  Once you crossed over the first one you think you're okay...until you realize you have cargo nets to deal with UNDER water.  It helped you cross over the buoys BUT...it was so easy to get tangled up in them as you got over the buoy and down the side AND across to the other section.  Yep, they lined the bottom of the pond with 'em.  The first one was fine, then in the second one I got tangled up right after I got over the buoy.  I thought I would never get loose.  There's nothing to reach out and grab and you just flopped around until you could get your balance and step out of the net...only to step into another opening in the net.  It was really fun though.  Yeah, it was time for a Warrior Yell!!  With hands raised and loud voices, we head out of the water onto the next obstacle.


The last wall was the hugest thing ever!  It was about 20' high and most everyone went around.  Few females were able to do it.  Kent said he only saw a couple that could do it.  To begin with, you had to jump up over your head to grab hold of one of the ropes.  The wall was slick and you had to take a running jump WITH help by someone to push you up.  THEN, as if that wasn't enough, in order for you to get up and over, you "walked" up the wall and down the other side.  This sounds easy, but try to put your feet under your body while defying gravity AND pulling your weight 20', climb over the wall without falling, and slowly down the other side.  I would guess that this was the hardest obstacle on the course!  Deleica made it over...finally...I'm SO proud of her!!  She did a GREAT job!  Serina tried and tried but it was so muddy she couldn't get a good grip to get feet underneath her.  She and I ended up going around that one.


When we got to the Wall, we were nearing the end.  The crowds were cheering the ones in front of us and we had two more obstacles to do in front of everyone but it was more exciting have lots and lots of cheerleaders!  We have arrived to the part of the course I've wanted to do since I heard about a warrior dash...jumping through fire!! I could hardly wait.  One, two, three...here goes:


And, now for the last obstacle...the granddaddy of all mud pits!  Here we go again with the bw and this pit was deep!  At least, you could crawl on your knees.  The challenge was the deep mud.  You could feel what you thought was the bottom...BUT...once you put your hand down you'd sink about a foot!  Sucking mud can be your enemy but when it coats your clothes it makes you heavy and hard to drag yourself across a long area.  There were places through the pit that you had to turn your head and put it in the water to get under the bw; therefore getting mud on your neck and face...and, of course, your hair.  Here all three of us are in the pit:


Just out of the mud pit with our cups of water...and a Warrior Growl!!!  Yep, WE ARE WARRIORS!




We couldn't find showers like they had last year and noticed that everyone was "cleaning up" in the pond.  Yep...another somewhat cleaner mud pit!!  Sooooo...here we go.  As I began to step into the water, my foot slipped out from under me and I hit the ground hard!  I have no idea why, but I didn't then nor later feel hurt...what a blessing!! 


I was experiencing a high like I never had before!!  This was an amazing day with amazing friends!!!  I couldn't bare to think to have done this without them.  For those that might be interested in doing something like this, let me suggest a couple of things you need to do to prepare.  Work on your upper body strength and core work every day; yes, every day!  You will need the latter to help you keep upright and on your feet while you slide in the mud!  And, finally here is my medal and race bib.  I LOVE my medal and don't plan to clean it!  After all, it is a mud race.  Our time was not bad at all...we got in 1 hour and 13 minutes.  Woo-hoo...we made it!


Thanks, Deleica and Serina, for giving me one dirty memory!  I thought I would never get clean...including the three dirt clogs in my hair!  I cleaned off as much as I could outside before getting in my wonderful, hot shower!  Now that we're rested from this challenge, girls, let's go

Run 4 It

1 comment:

Mindy Bobe said...

WOW! That looks intense and super fun!!!! Glad you didn't get hurt and so happy you had a blast!!! Hope all traces of the mud are gone now. My friend did this race and had mud seeping out of her pores for about a week lol!

2016 Races

  • 10/15/16...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/16...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 03/19/16...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/13/16...St. Pat's Leprechaun 5k
  • 03/05/16...Bay to Breakfast 12k...1st trail race
  • 02/20/16...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/13/16...Double Bridge 15k

2016 Goals

  • Run 1,000 miles-Done
  • Bike 300 miles
  • Half Marathon-Done
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Push through the hard times-Done
  • Cut back on refined sugar

2015 Races

  • 12/19/15...Make It To The Line 4 Miler
  • 11/21/15...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/14/15...Oyster 5k
  • 10/10/15...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/15...PHind a Cure-W/D
  • 05/02/15...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 04/18/15...Zydeco 5k - W/D
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Remember the Fallen 5k
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Boston Strong 5k
  • 04/11/15...Magnolia 5k
  • 03/28/15...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/07/15...Circle K 5k
  • 03/01/15...Gulf Coast Lulu's 10k
  • 02/28/15...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/07/15...Double Bridge 15k

2015 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Overlook past failures
  • Push through the hard times/things

2014 Races

  • 12/06/14...St. Jude's Half Marathon
  • 08/16/14...Pinky 5k Virtual
  • 08/15/14...Howl @ the Moon 10k Virtual
  • 02/15/14...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/01/14...Double Bridge 15k

2014 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • 700 Running Miles
  • Strengthen my Upper Body
  • Recuperate, Recover, Renew
  • Get active in WW
  • Eat Fruit Daily
  • Start Clean Eating
  • Begin Eliminating Sugar from Diet

2013 Races

11-30-13...Stennis 5k
11-23-13...Turkey Trot 5k
11-08-13...Run For The Kids Virtual Half [St. Jude's]
10-12-13...Shrimp Festival 5k
09-22-13...Talladega Half
07-04-13...Wesson 2 Miles
06-29-13...Emz Liverpalooza 5k
05-18-13...Pursuit of Fun 5k
04-20-13..Warrior Dash
04-07-13...Gulf Coast Half-Pensacola
03-23-13...Azalea Trail 10k
03-10-13...Leprechaun 5k
02-24-13...NOLA Marathon
02-02-13...Double Bridge 15k-Pensacola
01-13-13....Gulf Coast Half-Lulu's

2013 Goals

  • 3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
  • 1 Marathon-Done
  • 1000 Running Miles-No, due to RC Tendonitis & Broken Shoulder
  • Eat fruit daily-A little aggressive but better
  • Maintain weight in 130's-Did NOT happen!

2012 Races

12-08-12...FloraBama Jingle Bell 5k
11-24-12...Jingle Bell 10k
11-17-12...Turkey Trot 5k
10-27-12...Jazz Half
10-20-12...OS Rotary 5k
10-13-12...Race for Grace 5k
09-29-12...5k For Katlyn
07-04-12...Wesson 2 Mile
04-15-12...Gulf Coast Half...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
04-14-12...Diversity Dash 5k
03-24-12...Azalea Trail 10k
03-03-12...MS50 20k...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
02-25-12...Kids Need Heroes 5k
02-11-12...Sweetheart 5k
02-04-12..Double Bridge 15k
01-14-12...Pensacola Half



2012 Goals

  • 1 Full Marathon-Marine Corp filled up
  • 3 Half Marathons-2 Down-Sick had to drop 2
  • 20 Miles-Wkly Mileage-Bronchitis kept me from this
  • Cross Training 2x Week-Poor Commitment
  • Weekly Weights W/O-Again Poor Commitment

2011 Races

  • 11-26-11...Kaiser Half
  • 11-19-11...Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-11-11...Thumbs Up for Bill 5k
  • 11-05-11...Senior Bowl 10k
  • 10-22-11...Running the Streets 5k
  • 10-15-11...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 10-08-11...Mullet Run 5k
  • 09-24-11...Waiting for a Cure 8k
  • 09-05-11...Labor Your Legs 5k
  • 07-04-11...Wesson 2 Miles
  • 06-04-11...Bay Fest 5k
  • 05-14-11...Stargazer 5k
  • 04-30-11...Fiesta 5 Flags 5k
  • 04-16-11...St. Benedict's 5k
  • 04-10-11...Gulf Coast Half
  • 03-26-11...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03-19-11...St. Patrick's 5k
  • 03-05-11...Eco 5k
  • 02-13-11...Mardi Gras Marathon

Secrets to Running a 5k

Here is an excellent site for those who have thought about running a 5k race but just hadn't made that move yet. There's tips, directions and even a section on what to wear. If you have never run a race, you are missing out on a lot of fun. You will have support from most everyone you meet. Now for the site...click here to change your life and get started!

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