Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Turn! (Views from the Warrior Daughter) and edited by Warrior Kathy

I've definitely meant to write about at least one of the 5K's I've done during this summer, but I slacked and never got around to it.  My friend, her roommate, and I ran the GE Petit 5K back in July.  Dad and I had done this race together ever since it started in 2008.  My most favorite memory of this race was from back in 2009, where dad and I held hands crossing the finish line, finished in one of my best times, and beat one of my ex-boyfriends by 2 seconds  (read about it here).  Plus, dad and I always loaded up on Sobe Life Water 0 after the event among the other fabulous give-aways.  It was our yearly tradition.  So, I was thrilled this year when my best friend said she'd run it with me.  My loving boyfriend bowed out (I guess he didn't bow in to begin with), but he said he'd be there to cheer me on.  That's why I did a little happy jig when I found out my friend would be running with me.  Oh, and her and her boyfriend's roommate too.  He also happens to be another ex-boyfriend.  I seriously don't have that many, but they keep cropping up at this race.  I don't know what it is, but it's like a magnet for them.  No ill will towards him though since he'd be running with us.  Anyway, it was supposed to be like a billion degrees that day and a billion percent humidity.  Luckily, the race started at 9:00 so it was only around 85 degrees and 90% humidity.  I started off feeling fast and furious and started to feel more slow and furnaced as the race went on.  Luckily, lots of people set up sprinklers along the way to help you cool off.  I don't drink and run when it's a 5K (I choke on the water...plus the glugging in my gut is too much), so I slowed down to a slog (slow jog) at mile marker 2 so my friend could catch up after she had her water.  That's where we lost ex-boyfriend #2 because he started walking for a bit.  I can't blame him though.  It was H-O-T!  I finished in 27:20, which is a miracle because I thought I might spontaneously combust at the end :o)

And now to August 13, 2011... Warrior Dash Day!
As you all know, mom took dad's place in the Warrior Dash this year.  This made it a special event.  So my uncle, aunt, 2 cousins, and grandmother all came along for the adventure.  We were signed up to run at 12:30, but once we had gotten our bibs, chips, t-shirt, and hat and gone to the bathroom it was 11:50 (oh I forgot... some of this time was spent pointing out men in Batman underpants-- there were like ten of them that day-- and another man dressed like Wonder Woman to my 12 year old cousin who didn't seem to enjoy looking at either).  You can technically run at any time during your day and my boyfriend "wanted to get this over with," (love you!) so we lined up for the 12:00 wave.  This actually sounded good to me because I had some serious butterflies in my stomach.  We were waaaaaaay at the end of the starting chute, but I wasn't too concerned because it's all up the ski mountain for the first mile and a half and you don't start getting time until you cross the starting line.  Before the race, my boyfriend had bet me we'd see a banana costume.  I said we'd see men in Speedo's.  No bananas, but we did see a Big Mac costume.  And no Speedo's per say, but there was a plethora of super hero under-roos.  We were behind a group of women dressed as Catholic school girls (more on this later).  The flames went off and we got started.  Some people are jogging to the starting line.  Uh uh.  No way, Jose.  I'm not running up this hill any sooner than I have to.  I'll start slogging once I'm over the starting line.  I high five the some dude yelling stuff on a microphone and off I go!  Yep, that lasts for, oh... 30 seconds?  Time to power walk up this mountain!  Thank goodness I've inherited dad's long legs so I can pretty much out-walk my own slogging.  I'll just break down the obstacles...
1. Barricade Breakdown: Basically a series of hurdles with barbed wire you need to crawl under on the other side.  I just use my long legs here to step over, pull the other leg over, and crawl under the wire.  Unfortunately, I get stuck behind a woman going a little too slow for my liking.  I take a deep breath (okay several of them) to remind myself that this is just for fun NOT time. (Stephanie was able to throw a leg up and over these walls, but since they were nearly chest high for me, I had to pull myself up and over, it was however, easier for me to get under the barbed wire.)
2. Road Rage:  Run through tires (boot camp style) with several sets of cars and trucks in the way that you need to climb over.  I learned from my boyfriend last year (when I told him he was cheating) that it's easier to bounce off the outside of the tires instead of tip-toe through the middle of them.  This was fun, fun, fun!  I also think there was some flat space after this so I could run (for maybe a minute). (This is where I received my first injury.  I was not able to step up on the bumpers of the second set of cars, so a fellow slow poke warrior offered a helping hand, I slipped and banged my thigh on the fender.  That bruise is now a lovely yellow-green.)
3. Teetering Traverse: Sets of balance beams that go up, and down, and up, and down, and up, and down.  Some of them are skinnier than others.  Some of them have little wooden blocks set up on them to keep your feet from sliding too far forward.  Some of these blocks are way too far apart on the ones that go down to actually do anything, so I had to slide my foot far forward to ensure I wouldn't slip off.  I learned later that mom went down on her bottom to make sure she didn't fall off (and to think I was worried about her!). (Stephanie didn't mention that I tore a hole in the rear of my shorts when I scooted down the beams.  Thank goodness I was wearing underwear, not princess underroos, however, but maybe next year.)
4. Deadweight Drifter:  The same icy cold pond from last year, but this time with chained logs in the middle that you need to get over.  The first one I could swing my leg over and boost myself to the other side.  The second one, not so much.  A woman next to me and I figured out if we counted "1, 2, 3!" and rolled stomach first over the log at the same time, it was much easier, so we did this for the next 3.  At some point during this obstacle I obtained a nasty hand sized black bruise on my back thigh and scraped knee.  However, I didn't even notice these until I had washed off at the end of the race.  I did rip my bib off my shirt from rolling on my tummy though and had to stop to re-attach it. (I also figured out that the only way I was getting over those logs was to wait for some guy from the next wave of warriors to push the logs down so I roll over them.  But alas, as one young ginger haired warrior glided over the log it came up fast and spun me head first right into the water. I am now soaked and mud covered, but made over the remaining logs, picking up several more bruises on the way.)

At this point, the race was all down hill.  Literally.  This means that I could run, but I needed to make sure I wasn't going to slide, trip, and/or fall on my way down. ( I gingerly picked my way down the mountainside)

5. Cliffhanger:  More wading through giant, muddy, puddles.  Luckily, this one only went up to my ankles(over my knees).  Then, use a rope to climb up a large wooden wall.  Thank goodness I took a rock climbing class!(In my humble opinion, this was one of the easiest obstacles, who needs a rock climbing class, when you are a mom)
6. Deadman's Drop: Climb up a wooden wall to find a straight drop down another wooden wall on the other side.  The straight side had a little lip that I lowered myself onto and jumped off of (me too, just scrapping skin off the inside of my elbow).  The guy next to me said, "Well that's not safe."  Trust me, I know!
7. Rubber Ricochet:  This can best be described as a bunch of tire swings hanging that you need to get through.  I also think it was the weakest obstacle.  If you don't hit the tires, they can't swing back at you.  It's just that easy!  So, I just zig-zagged my way through them. (being short, it was easy to duck through the tires)
8. Cargo Climb:  Definitely a bigger cargo net than last year!  Last year the was also a platform on top so you could easily lower yourself down onto the other side.  Not this time!  It was straight up and straight down.  The only problem that was I somehow picked the spot where two ladies were freaking out about going over.  Yes, I know, that's not nice.  But, they had come to a dead stop at the top.  So I was stuck too!  I couldn't move over because a steady stream of people were using the net next to me.  Finally, one woman's husband came to the rescue, and off I went! (I had men come to a dead stop at the top.  Finally an obstacle I could easily manage and I had to wait at the top as well.  It seems obstacles were a bit easier further into the race.  I was just dead tired from the 1.5 mile uphill hike)

9. Chaotic Crossover:  More cargo nets, but this time parallel to the ground like a spider web.  The hardest part about this was that people were getting backed up so you had to be patient about moving forward (which I obviously wasn't doing so good with that day).  I had a nice little pattern worked out. I'd sit on my tush on the wooden beam, stand and put my hands down to walk, and repeat until the end. (no sitting for me, I bent over and used my hands on the cross beams to balance as I picked my way across the ropes)
10. Petrifying Plunge (aka the giant slip-n-slide): I heart this obstacle.  It's so much fun that I'd run the whole race to do it again... okay, maybe not. (I whole heartedly agree) But it's the best part of the whole thing!  You lay down on your belly and WHOOOOOOOOSH!  You fly down into a mud puddle!  Plus it feels super great after all that sweaty hard work you've been doing.  I did, however, lose my sunglasses.(kept my sunglasses the whole time, even when I got dunked.)  They were on the top of my head and went flying off as I went flying down the hill.  Duh.  Go figure, right?  Good thing they were cheap and old!
11. Warrior Roast: Leap over two sets of fire!  I had some sweet momentum here, so I really did leap.  It felt like I was flying!  This is where I heard my uncle, aunt, cousins, and grandma cheering for me.  I gave them a thumbs up and leaped again!  After I was done with the race, I watched other people cartwheel and somersault over the fire.  Also very cool. (I heard the cheering too and this is only spot I actually ran, playing to the camera of course.)
12. Muddy Mayhem: Scramble through the mud under barbed wire.  I got stuck here last year because I tried to swim my way through.  That's why my boyfriend beat me by mere seconds last year.  I kept expecting him to catch up to me again this year.  Really though, you just have to crawl.  Much quicker and easier and great for beating your boyfriend this year by almost a minute (really, I'm not competitive...I just have to poke at him a little).

And that brings us to the finish line!  I finished in 45:51.75, (1:27:08.45)which was 168 out of 1050 in my age division (133 out of 146) and 2667 of 9292 (8691 of 9292) overall.  This put me way in front of the man dressed like Wonder Woman (and me way, way behind).  Not too shabby!  And yes, I was worried about my mom for a bit.  Those obstacles were tough and my mom is a good half foot shorter than me.  I had used my height to help me through a lot of the course plus I had seen a few game ending injuries along the way.  But, as my grandma had said, "Of course she'll finish.  She's my daughter!"  And she did (right behind those Catholic school girls we'd been with at the beginning of the race)!

After the race, we hosed down, got some food, and turned our chips in for some beer.  My boyfriend and I also got these sweet Warrior Dash beer steins that hold 32 ounces of beer (after all, dad totally would have gotten one).  And no, I couldn't finish it myself.  I had to share with mom and my aunt.  I may be a warrior, but I can't drink like one.  

I can't wait for next year's race to be posted because I'm so in!  I hope mom is too!(maybe, I did notice registration is now open for next year)

Oh and I'm thinking about doing the Hartford Half Marathon as a tribute to dad.  I ran it in 2008 when dad did the Hartford Marathon for the first time.  I'm not ready for a marathon yet.  I'm technically training for it using a 10 week plan from Runner's World, which actually has me running less than usual at the beginning and forces me to take rest/ cross training days.  I've already cheated and run more than I'm supposed to and use my rest days for arms, abs, and elliptical.  I figure the cheating will stop once the mileage increases.  I'm pretty positive I'm going to do the half, especially since I saw that Al Roker had done the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. No offense to anyone that loves Al Roker, but I pretty much took that as my sign of "You can do it!"  (Go for it Stephanie, it will be a great one year tribute to your dad)

1 comment:

lindsay said...

Congrats on both races! You guys may need to rename the blog Warrior Family :) Excited to hear about your upcoming half; good luck with training!