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Warrior Dash - September 24, 2011 w/pictures!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

First off, I want to say that I had a BLAST. I had SO much fun and I am SO glad that I did this. It is one of my biggest accomplishments to date. On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:00 am, got dressed and headed out. I was prepared from the night before, had a bag packed with clean clothes, water, etc. so all I had to do was grab my bag and leave. I went to my friend's house (the woman who convinced me to participate) and she was ready and we headed out! Our wave was at 8:30 and it's about an hour and a half drive so we wanted to leave by 6:00. The drive went by so quickly, probably because I was so dang nervous! We both looked at each other and asked "So we're really doing this, huh?"

The event had an off-site parking area so we parked the car, grabbed our stuff and herded onto school buses to be shuttled off to Turkey Mountain, where the Warrior Dash was to take place. The setup was pretty nice, it seemed like they had a decent check-in area, but I didn't know what it would be like so unfortunately I didn't bring my camera in with me. I didn't get any pictures of the site where the music/food/beer was. Finally we have our bibs and chips in place and we're standing at the start line. People are dressed up in all sorts of costumes, a couple guys were all but naked in tiny short shorts and bodies painted blue. Another guy was painted green and brown and had leaves glued all over him. There was a group of people dressed up like characters from Avatar, and then a group of girls in tutus. One of the funniest costumes I saw was a guy in a Speedo, with a cape on.... he had a bit of a beer belly popping out and just acted goofy in general, he was a riot!

**Disclaimer: I may not get the order of the obstacles correct as it happened so fast and I apologize if I miss any, as well.***

Finally the gun sounded and we were off! It was slow starting at first, the trail wasn't very wide and it was hard to get going running with so many people herded together, especially once we got to the first obstacle, which was a slope covered in roofing tile with ropes hanging down. Only so many people can climb up when there were only 4 or 5 ropes dangling down, so there was quite a large group waiting while people climbed up it. I was a bit apprehensive of this obstacle, only because of the shoes I wore. I didn't want to ruin my good running shoes in the mud and water so I wore a REALLY old pair that had pretty much no tread. To illustrate, I used to wear these shoes to Zumba because I could slide all over the floor in them. But, I had no problems getting up that wall. The next obstacle was projecting oneself over a barricade and then climbing under the next and repeating multiple times. I had a bit of trouble at first and had to almost roll over the barricade to get over it. Then I realized I could pull myself up on it then jump down and had no problems from there (sorry I don't really have experience hurtling myself over barricades.... emoticon). Then there was the junkyard obstacle, which consisted of tires laid out over the width of the trail and you had to jump through them, and then climb over junked up cars. There was another obstacle where they had tires hanging from ropes creating a type of jungle and you had to run through them and dodge them. In between all the obstacles, we were running a hiking trail. The trail consisted of lots of rocks, boulders, roots and shrubs and lots of going up and downhill. So the entire duration of the dash you were working hard. I think the cargo nets were next, you basically just climbed over them horizontally to the beams in between. I believe the water obstacle was next, you waded into a lake of ice cold water then propelled yourself over a large, long wooden spool held in the water by ropes on either side, then went to the next one and so on. Well this was allegedly supposed to be waist deep water, but after about the third spool, my a$$ was swimming! That water was waist deep maybe on a giant! So of course I was quite concerned about my contact lenses which luckily survived the ordeal. Once out of the water, we continued on to the next obstacle (my nemesis). Do you remember my concern about my shoes with no tread? Well just so happens the next obstacle was a wall quite similar to the first one, except steeper and taller.... and this time I'm drenched. I climbed up the wall and got to the very top before my shoes slipped out from underneath me when I went to go over the top and I'm hanging on this rope trying to get my shoes to stay on the wall. I try again and again before I slide all the way down, burning my hands and shaving the skin off my shins/knees. I attempt this again about 5 more times, but each time was more difficult; each time the wall got more and more wet, and my arms and legs were really starting to wear out. Finally I gave up and walked around the wall. emoticon This is my only regret for the entire event, not even that I gave up, (although I considered taking my shoes off and going in my socks, but my shoes were double-knotted and my friend was already waiting for me at the top so by that time I just wanted to hurry up), but that I KNEW I could do it.... if only I was properly attired. I took a couple minutes to beat myself up and continued on my journey. The next obstacle wasn't really bad, except that from my knees down were so sore and raw that climbing on my hands and knees in straw underneath a net was almost excruciating. Here's a picture to illustrate:

I'm still grumpy over not making it over the wall and my legs hurt and there's photographer stationed in the middle of the trail yelling "Smile!!!" you can imagine what kind of thoughts were going through my head at this point. So my friend gets out from under the net and we carry on until we get to a large wall/slope/barricade looking thing... it was basically barricades stacked and kinda at an angle, so you gripped the edges and climbed up them to the top of a wall, which was a straight drop down. So once you get to the top you just hang from your hands and let yourself fall. We run on. One of my favorite obstacles was next, it was a wall made of cargo nets, probably about 3 stories up or so and I maneuvered it quite well and swiftly if I do say so myself! The only hitch here is that once you get to the top and look down... all of a sudden you realize WHY there are paramedics stationed at every obstacle and WHY they make you sign a waiver basically signing your life away. Anyhoo I shoved this out of my mind and carefully swing my leg over the top and climb down the other side with no incident. Now, as far as I can remember we're down to the last two obstacles. The second to last was probably my favorite, sludging through the mud underneath the barbed wire. My shins, knees and palms were all scraped up and burning and that cool mud felt SO good on them, I was in heaven!

And then the last one!

And I was done!

In just under an hour!
My goal for next year is 45 minutes! Yes, folks, 15 minutes to shave off, but I imagine better shoes will make a bunch of difference, and I will be working on upper body as far as exercises like pull ups and such.
We then made our rounds of the set up... being around 9:30 in the morning not very much was going on, the guy in the Speedo and cape was posing and taking pictures with people, people were drinking beer and eating turkey legs. I traded my chip in for a free beer and got a little tipsy off of it! The band wasn't really going either. So we wander around grab a few freebies, get hosed off and decide to go ahead and catch a shuttle and hit the road. Back at the parking lot we got a couple more pictures:

We did it!

And we're Warriors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This one was after changing in the parking lot, very awkward once I realized there was a guy standing right behind me at his car.... I finished changing IN the car after that tee-hee!

Then later, after we got back to the OKC area, my boyfriend and I took my younger siblings and his son to the fair. I've ALWAYS wanted to try a turkey leg, and I really felt like I earned it.

Three of us shared this monster! And that's the only "bad" eating I had while at the fair! I had an awesome day, though I was SO sore and tired by the end of the night, especially after standing in lines for six hours at the fair...

The Warrior Dash is another thing I have accomplished that I never would have thought I'd be able to do until now. My life is changing, changing, changing, and for the better! I never thought I'd have such a high quality of life, and I'm loving every bit of it! What an awesome journey we are all on!!!
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