Thursday, June 21, 2012

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash
Audrey, Mary, Me After the Race

Last Saturday I participated in my first ever 5k of any kind. It just so happened to be a grueling, tougher than hell 5k that is Warrior Dash. Now I didn’t go into this event lightly. A year ago a friend of mine had been talking about doing Warrior for months. She was trying to talk anyone and everyone around her into doing this insanity with her. At first she had informed me that this event would take place in Indiana, a grand total of 5hrs away from our home just outside Chicago. 

I told her HELL NO. LOL I wasn’t going to drive 5 hours just to kill myself I told her. That was September.
By October Audrey and I had started walking 3 miles 3 days a week to slowly work ourselves into working out again. She was convinced she’d be able to get me to go to Indiana for this race, while I was just happy to be off the couch and moving again. 

In November I was talking to some of my Twitter friends, I found out another friend was also going to participate, but she was going to the Illinois location. o_O I didn’t even know there was one in IL, none the less 30 minutes from my house! So I debated in telling Audrey or not, because once she found out, I knew it would be over from there. LOL

Long story short, I confessed the info and we signed up for June. 

Through the looonnnggg coooolllddd (it was actually pretty mild for Chicago) winter we continued our walks until we started “running” toward the end of February. I’ve never been a runner in my life so there was lots of fighting and whining on my part. But Audrey kept my ass moving and told me to quit my bitching. Which is exactly what I had needed! 

After a long spring of hard training and endless workouts… June came. And with it, The Warrior Dash.
Was I ready? I didn’t think so. Was I scared? Fucking terrified!
But Audrey kept me positive and kept me moving. And then race day came.

After a very confusing morning of finding the location, having to go find an ATM for parking money ($20 for parking on farm?!!?) and then finally parking and getting our packet, I was already stressed out.
The race was to start in 5 minutes and I had to pee! So Audrey and I were running toward the “potties” when all of a sudden I hear someone yelling my name! 

I turn and almost run right into Mary! My friend from Twitter! There was quick hug and hello and then I ran toward the bathroom! Yeah, I was awkward, as usual. LOL (I’m bad at meeting new people!)

And then it was race time. 

Warrior is described as 3.19 Hellish Miles on their website. Yeah. And they were right. From the get go, the terrain was tough and hard going. Knee high grass that had yet to be packed down, uneven footing and hundreds of people running around you. 

I took it slow, kept my breathing even, and concentrated on my footing and stride. The last thing I wanted was to fall and twist my ankle or something. I’m a concrete runner; there wasn’t much practice in a field.
After the first mile I was breathing pretty hard, but we had reached the first obstacle. So I able to catch my breath and concentrate on not falling off the tight rope as that hung over this gully. After not falling and reaching the other side, it was back to running again.

The race went on this way going through all 14 obstacles. I finished just over an hour later, dead on my feet, soaking wet, and had mud in places I never want mud in again! But I had a blast!! So much fun!
After the race I met up with Mary again and we took pictures and quickly posted them on Twitter to show the girls! Audrey and I headed out to get water and change our clothes. 

You ever try changing wet undies in the backseat of Ford Taurus with people walking by both sides of the car? You can imagine my struggle after the grueling race! 

Once changed we headed back into the festival to search for more water and shade. Once securely under a shady tent with water in hand, I called Mary and told her our location. 

This is where the day went from FUCKING AWESOME to horrible in a blink of an eye. Mary showed up with the Suspects and everyone was joking and laughing and having a great time. Meanwhile, this headache slowly creeps in behind my right eye. 

I think nothing of it. Keep chatting with Mary and friends while drinking water and eating granola to ward off dehydration. Audrey’s mom get’s me a couple aspirin while her dad keeps buying us water.  I try not to think of my headache as it quickly turns into a full blown migraine.

And then it happened. Migraine was in full force. The nausea set in and I was done for. I apologized to Mary for not being too talkative, and tried to just concentrate on my breathing to help the nausea pass. 

It didn’t work. A quick look to Audrey and I was running for the forest some 100 feet behind where we were sitting. After losing granola, a nutrigrain bar, and 3 bottles of water, I was a hot shaking mess. Medical had found us (Audrey followed) near the woods and though I denied their many attempts, finally brought me over to the medical tent via a golf cart thingy. 

Yeah, I was kinda embarrassed. But honestly felt better after losing everything in my stomach. Medical set me up on a bench in front of a fan that was blowing cold mist at me. That helped me cool down QUICK. After a few minutes I was shivering wanting back into the heat. 

Audrey grabbed more water for me and we headed back toward the group under the shade tent. I felt better and wanted to hang out with Mary for a little while longer, and was under STRICT orders from Audrey that I was not allowed to go home until I peed. Classic dehydration sign. Not peeing. 

So we hung out for an hour or so? I don’t even remember too much of it anymore, before I apologized to Mary and told her I had to take off. It was just too damn hot out there! 

Overall the RACE was the coolest frickin thing I’ve done in a long time! Dehydration and the migraine that came with it were my downfall though. Would I do Warrior Dash next year? HELL FUCKING YES! And I got to meet a Tweep!!

I’d just do a couple things different next time! Like Hydrate the second I wake up and not drink coffee no matter how much I “think” I need it! And make sure to really read the website for parking fee’s and carry cash!!

Great time! Can’t wait for next year!!