It may look like I'm going slow but I'm just getting started.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Warrior Dash Report (Finally!)

Everyone knows that the most important part of any adventure race is...the costume choice. Duh. Did you really think I would say preparation or training? Fortunately for me (and my husband, since he was going to have to wear a tutu), the royal wedding provided plenty of inspiration for race day. Specifically this:

So seizing the opportunity to incorporate pop culture of the moment into my own look, I came up with:


And my husband just went as Braveheart because that was easy. After all, you wouldn't expect me to actually start the hat project until at least 9:00 the night before. So we had our costumes and our attitudes and we were signed up for the first wave. My only regret about the whole day was not forcing my way into getting a picture with Sione from The Biggest Loser. Because seriously, that's the only show I watch on a regular basis because my life is sad.

They finally fired up the fire cannons (technical term) and we were off. The first part of the course was really, really long. And quite boring. Imagine running around a farm. A desert farm. (Not deSSert farm, but that would be awesome). I didn't bring my Garmin because 1. mud and 2. this was the only thing I've ever signed up for that was supposed to  be "fun." I don't know how long we ran before the first obstacle. Could have been a mile. Could have been a half marathon. But as soon as the first obstacle came and went, there was a lot more walking (from the people around us, OK and me too). The first thing was an over/under (insert your own inappropriate joke here because I just don't have the time or will). We went over a little wall and then under a beam with barbed wire attached. The easiest way under was crawling. Finally I was getting what I paid for!

The next obstacle was made up of high dirt mounds. I approached with a running start and looked ever so graceful going up and over in my princess hat. And then we came to the junkyard. I have not had a tetanus shot in recent memory so sincerely hoped I did not gash my leg on rusted metal. I think my definition of junkyard and the WD definition are two separate things. I was thinking Sanford and Son but they were more "impound lot." Needless to say I did not require stitches or a DipTet (bonus if you caught the Raising Arizona reference).

I look like I'm getting my shimmy on.

We continued walk/running along the course and desperately yearning for a drink of water. This is the desert Warrior Dash. Perhaps water at mile 1 would be nice. We probably did some other forgettable obstacles but since it's been so long I can't remember. Anything over 2 hours days is iffy for me. The next obstacle I remember is the hay bale climby thing (because we have pictures).

Look at me and my "muscles"
Hay climbing done we continued on to the cargo net climb. It may surprise you to know I have absolutely no upper body strength (especially in light of the muscles I seem to be sporting on the above picture). I was a little intimidated by the climb but I heard people behind me talking about strategies so I just blindly followed their suggestions. And I'm pleased to say it worked. When I got to the top I was all Womanly Roaring and such (not literally) but then I figured out I had to go up and over. I spent a short amount of time imagining what would happen if I fell. I came to the conclusion that it would hurt. So I decided to avoid that at all costs. I played it safe, as evidenced by the following pictures:

So jauntily approaching the top

So clinging on to the top for dear life

Obviously I made it down the other side. I would have high fived the people around me but they were oblivious to my awesomeness. Because can I just remind you that I did this whole thing with a bum arm (yes, from falling off my bike while standing still). The adrenaline really numbs the pain. After the high of the cargo climb we had to climb a rope up and over a wall. But that was mundane at this point. I already made it up and over one big thing. How hard can it be? Pleased to say I made it up and over the wall. And there were boards to climb down on the other side so it wasn't too rough. I think the hardest obstacle of all was the cargo crawl:

Sure, it looks easy (to you, sitting at your computer) but that rope really digs in. I didn't follow the volunteer's advice and roll across. Um, I don't think anyone did. I just made my way slowly by crawling and the next morning my knees looked like...I don't know, something involving someone on their knees a lot. I was going to make some tasteless joke but really, too easy. The pinnacle of the race is near the end. The jump over the flames. I was so psyched for this. I just imagined my triumphant picture soaring over a wall of fire. And this is what I got:

Yes, two pictures of my husband soaring over the flames and me in the background looking like Ma Kettle. "Come on over here flames, Im'ma gonna jump you now." If you have no idea who Ma Kettle is then that last reference is probably completely lost on you and you should just move along. So, no triumphant flame jumping pictures for me. But the day was not lost, as I had this to make up for it:

My very own picture in a newspaper slide show. Thank you Arizona Daily Star. After the mud crawl (and surprising tenacity of my head wear) we were hosed off-repeatedly in the face-and managed to change in port-a-potties. A lot of firsts occurred that day. My only complaint about the mud crawl would be to take issue with the alarming number of small rocks embedded in the mud. I mean I'm a Warrior not a super hero. My knees looked like I took sandpaper and rubbed them vigorously. And y'all that does not work to remove hair so don't try it (more than once). Overall though the race was a total success and I would gladly give them money to torture me all over again. Who can argue with such looks of appreciation:

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