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Monday, August 29, 2011

Warrior Dash

I can honestly say that I've never done anything quite like Warrior Dash. It was fun, excruciating, exhausting and exhilarating. The premise of the Dash is a race with obstacles, mud, beer and food, in that order. I wish more of our friends could have made it there with us but to be honest, with a toddler and work and all that stuff, it was kind of nice for Todd and I to just get away together. But it's not the run of the mill date, that's for sure.

What kind of a date requires warrior face paint?

A Todd and Jil date, that's what kind of date! We left Alexandra with her grandparents for the day and the night because we just had this sneaking suspicion that after running 3.4 miles in the hot sun on a summer desert day, battling countless obstacles, crawling through a mud pit under barbed wire and then celebrating with some beer and burgers, we'd probably be too tired to sufficiently take care of a child.

We got there well over an hour before our start time (start times were staggered every 30 minutes from 9am to 4pm) and sort of roamed around. There were SO many people, and as many people as were hanging around you knew there were several hundred more people on the course. The parking area, where the above photos were taken, was so incredibly enormous and so was the course. As we walked into the area, we walked by the portion of the course where you have to crawl up a 25' tall cargo net and an equally tall mountain of hay bales. I started to get a little nervous.

I met up with a couple of coworkers who decided to run it, and then before you know it, it's time to run. We started off at a brisk pace and I think we went close to a mile before the first obstacle, which was hurdling over wooden barriers and then scooting on your butt under low beams, and repeat that about four times. Getting back to a run was hard. Maintaining it was harder. I wasn't able to achieve my goal of never walking, but I did achieve my goal of completing the thing in 40 minutes (I had hoped for better but I walked too much). Todd was my hero, he kept pushing me and motivating me to keep jogging.

The coolest thing, though, I think, was battling that cargo net. I'm not a fan of heights, and neither is Todd, and the top of that bitch was just a skinny 2x6. So you crawl to the top, swing your leg over as if you were mounting a horse, and crawl down. But once I swung my leg over and was on my way down, I was so proud of myself, and I felt damn near giddy. Plus, the short break of being off my feet helped calm down the searing pain in the ball of my left foot (nerve damage) and I was able to run again.

The other obstacles varied from jumping/scrambling over abandoned cars,  running through a wash, the cargo net and hay bales, scaling up and back down a 10' tall wall, and more than I can't remember. But the last two were pretty wild: leaping over two rows of FIRE, yes, FIRE, and then, right after that, jumping in a mud pit, up to your hips, and then having to crawl through the mud pit (complete with horrible rocks and pebbles on the bottom) on your hands and knees under barbed wire.

This is what all of that does to you:

It makes you a motherfucking warrior, that's what.

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