By exhibit A (aka as Jen)
A year ago, before I signed up for the 2012 Warrior Dash, I had already read Mike’s Warrior Dash race report from 2011. He obviously had a TON of fun doing it. He looked freaking GIDDY in his photos. I thought to myself, here is a guy who is having fun and who wants others to enjoy this fun, too, and no one wants to have fun. I felt kinda sorry for him cuz he shouldn’t have to have fun, alone, lol. So I decided to sign up and have fun, even if all I did was watch him and everyone else get giddy! A couple of our other friends, Dan and Katherine, also went.
As the year progressed, so did my running. I became stronger, more agile, and flexible. About three months before Warrior Dash, I actually decided I could do it. Naturally all my “training” plans did not get accomplished, cuz, well, I don’t train well. I had big plans to do arm exercises and all I did for that was like a week of swimming and “jump-ups and let-downs” (aka assisted pull-ups). I looked at the obstacles online the week before the race and was relieved to see that there were not too many involving climbing, which was my weakness. Even with feeling confident that I could complete it without injury, I was well aware that I would be in for some unusual muscle pain from climbing, but since I was able to psychologically prepare for this it made it a lot less daunting.
I had a lot of fun planning out, and making, Mike’s “loin cloth” outfit (especially having him try it on over and over and over…lol). And in typical Jen procrastination fashion I was working on it at midnight the night before. Surprisingly, I was able to make Mike’s outfit strong enough that it did not fall off (much to my disappointment). And I put my own outfit together in the parking lot at Warrior Dash. Dan is super talented with paint and did himself up in this awesomeness. Dan is super talented and had a kick-ass paint job going on.
When we started, Dan and Mike were out of sight in no time – whereas Katherine was not running until a later wave. I was just plodding along focusing on not over-exerting myself. It was mostly walking up a pretty steep hill in the beginning, primarily because there were too many people, too close together, to do anything else. Eventually everything thinned out and I was able to run like a normal person. There were lots of hills, some of which I had to walk, but I totally kicked ass downhill. One super-fast runner even complimented me on my downhill awesomeness –I’m sure in part, because I was doing it barefoot.
The scariest obstacles, for me, were the ones that I had to crawl over. I got a little spooked at the top. I would actually chant out loud “no injury, no pain” as I went up and over them.
The obstacle that I loved the most was surprisingly the hurdles! I had absolutely no plan whatsoever as to how I was going to mount them. I just ran toward them and let my body do whatever came naturally. And I got over every single one of them smoothly and without injury. Can’t really explain how I did it – but what was particularly amusing is the strange yell/sound that came out of me each time I went over one.
There were two areas in particular where being barefoot was a serious advantage. There were some super steep hills we had to go down toward the end, and they had really loose dirt on them. These two chicks in front of me kept almost falling on their asses because their shod feet kept sliding out from under them every few seconds. One of them turned around to see if her friend was alright and then she noticed my bare feet and asked, “Ohhhhhh how are your feet?” I said, “They are great!” And then I flew past them, stating, “It’s much easier to go downhill bare foot.”
The next big advantage to being barefoot was in the mud pit. I jumped in with a huge “splash” – or as splashy as you can get in super thick mud. I landed in the midst of about six people who were seriously stuck in the mud. I mean, stuck to the point they were trying to pull each other a few inches at a time. I just “ran” right past them through the mud. Right before I got out, I decided I needed to dunk my entire self in the mud and spin around in it. I laid on my back to do this and was kind of moving my arms up and down in the mud, when suddenly I felt someone grab onto my wrist with a death-grip. I was like “WTF?” I looked over to see it was a guy holding onto my wrist and my hand was right in front of his crotch! I said, “OMG, did I just smack you in the crotch?” He said, “Yes, but it’s alright, my wife is here.” I laughed and yelled out, “Whoo-hoo! Menage et tois in the mud!” He laughed (or maybe he was grimacing in pain). Now I know a lot of you reading this are thinking, “Suuuuure it was an ‘accident’, Jen” –but I SWEAR it really was!
And then, I slid down a hill on my ass, narrowly missing a root sticking out of the mud, and, I was done! And alive! And I had a blast! I finished in under an hour, based on Mike and Dan’s time – I didn’t wear my timing chip. Barefoot-wise I am happy to report that I did not impale my foot on anything! That was my biggest fear about going barefoot and I seriously considered going minimalist. I am glad I didn’t. I got lots of “How are your feet” questions along the way. So many, that I just started giving a thumbs-up sign, instead of responding verbally.
After the race, Dan had to leave so it was just Mike and I, and Mury of course, looking for trouble. Luckily for everyone around us, we did not find any. No public displays of trigger point massage, no humping PVC pipes, nothing. We watched our friend Katherine finish as well as Mike’s cousin and his wife. We drank a few beers, gnawed on turkey legs, listened to the horrible band that was playing, and of course, Mike stared at girls’ asses. I was oblivious to the fact that I scared some chicks away that he was talking to, until he told me later –oops! I had asked him two times if he wanted me to go hang out in a corner so that he would be more approachable, especially since it is an obvious assumption that if one chick and one dude are hanging out together that they are…TOGETHER. He did not hear me offer this, however. It must have been when his ears were ringing from the shock of that woman flipping his loincloth up. Lol.
When I was all done, I actually thought it had been a lot easier than I anticipated. I had an AWESOME time and I can not WAIT to do it again next year! In fact, I have already registered!
Oregon Warrior Dash, 2012: Race Report
Blog entry posted by jldeleon, Sep 19, 2012.