Monday, June 18, 2012

Shootin' at the walls of heartache

There's something really cool about starting an annual tradition. The races that happen every year are certainly no exception, and Warrior Dash is one of my favorites. When else do you get the opportunity to run, jump, climb, slash, leap and crawl, all in the name of a good time?

That's what I thought.

On Father's Day, it was back to the battleground. Linda and I joined up with work friend Mike (whom I no longer work with, but who cares?) to take on 13 obstacles (can I remember all of them?) over three miles. It. Was. Awesome.

In my gut, I want to say that I don't know why this year was so awesome. I want to say that I can't explain why the experience this year was so much better than last. But I'd be lying, and it's my blog, dammit, so if I can't be truthful here, where can I? So ... here goes.

Some of the credit goes to the race organizers. In anticipation of some pretty insanely hot temperatures, they added water stations along the course. They also added water obstacles - wading through a poll and then climbing a wall while "rain" fell on you. It was easier to stay refreshed this year.

Some of the credit goes to precipitation, or lack thereof. The relative dry state of the ground meant that last years' treacherous terrain was simply not that bad. (Also, going off the trail to get up the particularly steep hill was definitely the right choice!)

But most of the credit, I have to admit, goes to me. I did the work that made this year's Dash so much more fun! I think the most vivid memory of last year was how much I hurt at the end. Granted, I was nursing the Achilles injury and battling massive knots in my calves. But after the race, it hurt to walk; my dogs barked with every step. Every muscle in my body cried for relief, and although I had fun, I was so glad it was over.

This year? I would have done it all again if I'd had the time. It was a fucking blast. I tried every obstacle (last year I bypassed a few) and only gave up on one. Most of them were a lot of fun! I just threw myself into the whole experience and had a fantastic time. (The corn and turkey leg afterward were just part of my motivation.)

A lot of progress in just one year. We ran a lot more of it than we did last year, and if we hadn't had to wait in line (occasionally long, slow lines) for several obstacles, we would have made great time. As it was, we shaved four minutes off last year's time, coming in at 1:16:32. I was 529 out of 582 in my age group (40-49) and 8,496 out of 8,797 overall. That's respectable, in my opinion!

After the race, we visited a little bit with Mike, Emily and their son Jax, and settled in for our turkey leg and corn. When it was all over, we were already making plans for next year.

You in?

 Our shoes and socks, a complete mess post-Dash.
  Mike and me, all smiles after finishing the race.
 Will Dash for food.
 Me, proud and satisfied. Shiny medals and bragging rights!

1 comment:

Cherylyn Gnadt said...

I want to do this one next year. My knee hurt during the muddy buddy, so I ran only about a 1/3. But I LOVED the obstacles. And they really reminded me that I might not have the endurance of a runner, but my strength has come leaps and bounds. Thanks for all your inspiration my dear WARRIOR!