Monday, October 8, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

Warrior Dash was a blast! I had an amazing time running it again this year. The course was on the grounds of Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, VA. It sits on the banks of the James River and of course part of the course runs right through the river.
I have been very busy lately and hadn't had time to train properly for the race let alone look at a map to see if the course was going to vary from last years. I had no idea that they added an additional water obstacle or that they was more crawling through mud tunnels. I went in with the mindset that I wasn't looking to break any records, but rather, to just have a good time and enjoy running through the mud, woods, and river with my friends.
It had rained the day before and when we got there the corn field/parking lot was a mud pit, so we made our own parking spot close to the road and finished fueling for the race.

I am pretty sure that pre-gaming with a banana and beer is what lead to this...

Gangnam Style

We started in the 11:00 wave and in Warrior Dash style, flames shot into the air signaling the start of the race. The first mile was just running through mud and I was maintaining a pretty good pace, right around a 8:30 mm. But within another half mile I was panting and sucking wind. An older guy came running up behind me and told me I needed to get my breathing under control! WTH! In my defense, I was sick all week with a chest cold. I grunted out something about being sick and knowing what I was doing, but he flew by me and probably didn't hear me. Oh well, I kept at it and finally made it to the first couple of obstacles (WD has clever names for all these but I have no idea what they are, you can check it out here); crawling under bared wire in the mud; over under walls; tunnels carved into the mud topped with more barbed wire; and tires covered with a mesh you had to crawl under. By now I was exhausted and I decided to really just take my time and avoid scrapping my knees any more than I had to, but then I came to the obstacle that I both loved and hated last year, the log jam. Picture a muddy creek with three logs spaced out running horizontally to shore. After entering the water you have to climb up and over these logs.  For my 5'4" butt, that is a challenge because I couldn't reach the bottom of the creek. I did do better this year and exited the creek and onto the second part of the run.
We had to scale 50 foot walls (not really but it felt like it at the top). Nothing like climbing up, probably 15-20 foot wall with wet running shoes and a rope. I am happy to say that all those push-ups and assisted pull-ups payed off and I scaled that thing like I was being chased by the po po. Now here is where it gets interesting...they added a swim. It crossed a very big pond! I am not much of a swimmer. I can float around the pool, but to swim for fitness is not my thing. I can't do the whole head turning thing and my arm motion looks like I got caught in a spider web. I decided to back stroke and side stroke my way across the pond and although I really tried to not swallow any chocolate milk colored water, I did anyway. (I am happy to say I did not get dysentery.)  In the middle of the pond was a dock that you had to pull yourself up and over, I was spent. At this point the only thing that kept me going was this woman, a little older than me, who was clad in a cheetah skirt and mesh tank top, 80's style. We kept passing each other and right then she had the lead. That is, until we hit another wall that I scaled like a spider monkey. There was a little more running on flat ground until we came to the river. This slowed me way down. You couldn't run. The water was knee high and the best I could do was high step through it. She took the lead, bitch. (She was actually really nice.) Once we hit land she was mine and I closed in on her again. We were neck and neck going into the last three obstacles, a cargo net climb, the wall of fire, and the final mud pit. I was taking the lead over the cargo net and then this really slow guy was taking his sweet-ass time going over the top of the net and this is when she took off. I wasn't able to catch her after that. Yes, I am blaming that guy. I came to the fire, stopped, got in a little Gangnam and jumped over the fire and through the final mud crawl, which, I have to say is my least favorite obstacle and not because of the mud, but because it scraps up me knees. I know....Whaaaaa.
I meet up with Chad and we waited for the rest of our neon clad friends to come through the finish line.

 We got cleaned up in the river and noshed on the traditional turkey leg (ok, I actually think turkey legs look better than they taste, so I got a BBQ sandwich).
Meagan enjoying her turkey leg like a true warrior!
According to my Garmin I did it in 35 minutes, BUT I knew I couldn't have done that well. I walked way to much and and I am a very slow swimmer. My watch  probably auto paused when I stopped at each obstacle. I actually finished in 44:18:05, which put me at a 12:27/mi pace. I came in 15 out of 1,138 women in the 30-39 year age group, 48th overall for women and 421/6,661 overall male and female combined! Take that old guy! It was a tough course and I was sick, so I am totally happy with my performance.


Until next year....

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