Monday, September 10, 2012
We Are Warriors!
(I had so much that I wanted to share with you guys today! This is long, OK? There was no getting around a long blog post and I did try to keep it brief, but you know me.
Here goes...get ready...)
Thursday's kickball games were in.tense. I arrived 20 minutes early and got the most frenzied and desperate crash course of my life. The team, I discovered, is very competitive, so I felt a lot of pressure to perform. Luckily, they stuck me in good ol' right field. Will I ever escape that miserable position? Kickball wasn't that hard. Kicking the ball was the most difficult part, but once I figured out I could start out practically at the backdrop and I didn't actually have to kick the ball ON the plate, I was fine. I scored a run in my first game. The hardest part was trying to take it easy on my back. During the crash course, the catching and throwing twinged my muscles, but I got off pretty easy after that because nothing came my way in the field. Well. I kind of got off easy. The team was playing with a pregnant girl and an injured girl, and since I was at the very bottom of the line up, that meant that I got to be the pinch runner. For both. Lots of running that night. I'll just point out that the run I scored was off my own kick, and we'll leave my kickball description at that.
Now, the Warrior Dash!
It was an absolute blast. I would definitely go again next year. And every year. So much fun! We discovered from our friend Brandon that you don't really have to run the heat you signed up for, so Pete decided to just run at 10:30 (naughty!). We talked to a seasoned Warrior at the dash and he confirmed that many people show up late and run whatever heat is about to start once they make it through packet pick-up. That meant that I didn't have to worry about getting through the course in under an hour. As it turns out, I wouldn't have had to worry about that anyway--I made it in 41:34 minutes. AWESOME!
The obstacles weren't nearly as hard as I thought they'd be. The hardest ones were those involving heights and balance and they weren't very physically taxing. I scraped up my knees crawling through mud under the barbed wire and one of my pigtails got caught in the wire, but except for that, it was fine. In fact, as we ran, we actually looked forward to the obstacles because they gave us a break from running. We'd see the "Danger Ahead" signs and say, "Oh, thank goodness!" I really thought the obstacles would be tough and the running would be a breeze, but it was the reverse. I must have overshot breakfast, eating **two** no-bake energy bites, because a side ache set in about a mile and a half into the race and stayed with me throughout.
That said, you should know that we ran the entire race. Goal accomplished! It was so satisfying passing up walkers (especially when they were guys!). I was absolutely floored by my sister. She stayed with me the entire race. So did Pete and our friend Brandon, by the way. For the most part they ran ahead of us and then waited to regroup at each obstacle, but occasionally Brandon would fall back and run next to us. Pete didn't do that so much, even when I shouted that someone should tell my bad husband to come back and carry me. ;)
And you know what? I might be deluding myself, but I don't think they had to wait too terribly long for us anyway. We were moving at a pretty good clip. The official race results have us at an average of 12:59 min/mile, but that includes the obstacles--and at every single obstacle we had to wait for the people in front of us. I think if you really wanted to measure your performance on this course, you'd have to get in front right off the bat and get to the first obstacle before the swell.
The last obstacle was messy. You had to climb up these steep muddy hills, using a rope to pull yourself because the hills were so slick (Pete took on the hills sans rope, the crazy). Then you had to slide down the hill and start up the next one. After the hills, you slid into a big pit of muddy water and crawled under barbed wire. The mud/water came up to my chin and was freezing cold. I got past the first string of wire and Abbie called back to me, "Just kick your feet--it's easier!" And that's how we took that last obstacle: pulling with our hands, kicking with our feet like crazy little fish. It did make me go faster and saved my raw knees from more scrapes. At the end of the pit, you had to scramble up one last steep hill without a rope. I was exhausted when I got to the top, but Abbie grabbed my hand and gave me a good yank to the finish line. We were off running again. We crossed together, said, "Whoo!" and that was the Warrior Dash.
It was certainly a tiring undertaking, but it was really more of a cardio workout than anything. And it felt amazing to emerge from the mud pit and cross the finish line victorious. And then it felt amazing to realize that our group made it into the upper half of all participants. And that Abbie and I were in the upper 40th percentile for our gender/age group. The boys took a hit to their stats like the gentlemen they are. I think next year we'll release them from that obligation so they can speed through without waiting for us.
The best part about running with the boys this year, aside from sexually harassing Pete on the course (though, the other participants didn't seem as amused) was that Brandon had a Go-Pro strapped to his chest, so he recorded the whole thing. And although he was in front of us for most of it, he started off the course behind our group. Which meant that when Abbie tripped over nothing and bit the dirt about 4 feet onto the course, he got it on tape. And he also got me laughing for the next half-mile until I was out of breath on tape. Best moment ever! I don't know if he plans on posting the video ever, and unless he does some serious editing, I won't be able to watch it (would make me so dizzy), but just knowing that the moment is preserved for posterity makes me giggle.
OK, so overall, the Warrior Dash was a ton of fun and not nearly as hard as you'd think. The worst part about it was getting hosed off by icy water at the end. It was about 60 degrees that day and the ice shower was so cold and painful and cold. And trying to scoop mud out of my bra behind the car door sucked. Next year I'm bringing spare underoos. Seriously, the boys were hardly muddy and couldn't understand why Abbie and I got so messy. Um, hello? Shorter limbs means you're closer to the ground when you crawl, and when you're on your hands and knees, the girls hang down, which means your shirt opens up into a big nice scoop for all the mud. So gross.
But yeah, definitely something to repeat. In fact, we're actually talking about doing Tough Mudders. Well, we talked about it. I don't know if the others are still interested now that we're past the post-race high (I still am).
By the way, those no-bake energy bites? Holy delicious. Seriously, so good! SOOOO good. I have become obsessed with breakfast no-bake cookies. I'm sticking with Greek yogurt this week, but sometime soon, I'm going to give this little recipe a whirl. Looks absolutely delicious. I totally believe in breakfast and never miss it. I don't understand people who can skip it (Pete). Being awake early is hard enough; why would anyone choose to be awake AND hungry in the morning?
Oh yeah! One more thing to mention--Pete and I had a quick in-home health assessment on Sunday for some insurance we're applying for. The nurse weighed me and I came in at 161 lb.s So at least I know that I've reversed the gain somewhat. We'll see what the WW scale says on Wednesday, but my fingers are crossed for 160. Here's hoping!
And now that you've made it through this post, go over to my sister's blog to check out the pictures from our race!