Saturday, October 1, 2011

Warrior Dash

this is three weeks late. like i said, i'm always late. it was three weeks ago today i made my way to my second consecutive year at the northwest warrior dash held at horning's hideout in north plains, OR. as much as i tried both years, no one wanted to run it with me. all too scared i guess of a little 3.2 mile run with military type obstacles, beer, music, women, free stuff, bbq turkey legs and lots of people.

the WD is just a huge party. it's not like any other race i've been to. there's not much competition going on here. there's a lot of out of shape people and everyone is looking to have a good time. there are many groups of people who go in matching costumes. (hint to whoever wants to do it next year). being a huge party with groups of people going alone last year, i didn't want to go alone again this year. i talked a friend into going with me. only stipulation was i had to stay the night at her place since she didn't have a car. i wouldn't ask her to take the bus that early, my heat was at 10am, and i didn't feel like driving so much. so i slept rather well on the floor with little mury at the bottom of the futon.

these are a couple of pics of the henna my friend was nice enough to do for me. it was a total fail. even though i slept with it on it didn't stain dark enough to see. i wanted everyone to know for sure that i indeed ran the WD bf. if i got questioned i just wanted to show of the henna and also promote the barefoot runners society.

so off we went. i stopped at my place to make myself my morning herbalife shake and drop off mury. i didn't want to and was upset that other people brought their dogs. damn, should've brought the little guy. next year. 

i wanted to get there early because when i went last year it took over an hour for me to get in and park. i missed my slot by two hours and ran it with no energy. this time i had it worked out better. so did the WD crew as when we left at noon there wasn't a traffic jam like the prior year. so in quickly and to the registration table. all i had to do was find a zip tie for my timing chip. i left my stuff with my friend and got into the chute.

i had planned on walking around or running a little so i could be properly warmed up for the race. oh well, can't follow through on every plan. at least i wasn't late. people were starting to notice that i was bf but no one was talking to me. too scared i guess. then the announcer starts picking on people in the crowd. first calling all of us crazy for coming out to run the course. then he picked on muscular guys, one in the front, about how he was going to burn out and get passed by all the women.

then he sees me and asks where's my shirt. stupid me just points to the crowd and say over there. later of course i realized i should have said "don't worry about it, it's too small for you." then the women next to me start yelling he's bf and he has no shoes on. the guy was like "what?" he asks "what are you doing without shoes?" then he walks to the timer's table and says "hey guys i'm going to go run a race without shoes." he's lucky i decided to keep my mouth shut. or am i? i had planned on saying, but didn't, "hey this is the WD so why would a REAL warrior need shoes?" sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.

some guy in five fingers came up to me and started talking to me. i should've got his name and pushed the BRS but didn't. nerves, excitement must have gotten the better of me. i just stood there kind of swaying from side to side waiting for the heat to start. 

finally start it did. fire went off and the horn blew. off we went. i was in the middle to keep from being stuck behind so many out of shape people yet they managed to be in front anyhow. if you're out of shape, why are you starting a race at the front? just a few feet into the run i let out my battle cry. scared everyone. some guys says "there's the bf yeti." i just laughed. i may have said something but i can't remember every smart thing that comes out of my mouth.  

the course started out exactly the same as last year. going around with numerous hills. of course i got passed uphill by strong runners only to pass them on the downhill. that's a big advantage of being bf. going downhill is easy. you just have to relax and let go. i think it was here on one of the first sets of hills that i got passed by batman and the flash. both in their underwear and capes. funny.

we hit the water and from here i knew i had an advantage. no waterlogged shoes. the only thing i was worried about was getting out of the water. last year i ran with bikilas and was slipping. i had to crawl out because it was so muddy. that's why i picked an earlier time this year. less mud. i was right. i made it out easy and upright. last year this is where i lost all my adrenaline and had absolutely no energy left in me. i went too long without food and was pretty dead after hitting the water. a volunteer told me i should go take a break at the aide station and drink some water. of course i didn't and pushed on. this year i had planned it better so when i got out of the water i was able to keep my pace.

next obstacle was a two for one. tires, junk cars, then more tires. easy. i had no worries about broken glass cutting my feet. with people likely to slide over the cars there was no way they would leave sharp objects exposed. i was right. then it was a small stretch downhill. i zipped down and to the bridge. this is where i had my first energy drop. i start races too fast. i will learn to race better sometime in the future. on the other side of the bridge was the first water station. they had two since it was the hottest weekend predicted for the summer. this is where the volunteers started noticing me running bf.

a short flat stretch and then i hit the wall. no, a real wall with a rope to climb up it. it was easy. made it up in a second. getting down, that took me longer. i didn't want to drop and hurt myself. i think when i ran it last year and hurt my right ankle when i jumped in the water. as my ankle still hurts i wanted to make sure to not land on it. i made sure to take it easy coming off of each obstacle so that i didn't re injure or hurt something else.

i made it through a few more obstacles no problem. more volunteers and runners making comments. a few volunteers said "wow, bf, that's a real warrior!" i agreed. one guy called me crazy and i yelled out just a little. another girl who passed me uphill asked how my feet where holding up. i said "fine, how are your water logged shoes?" she laughed. i think i said something after that but can't remember. this is where i paid the price for the running i did earlier in the week.

i hadn't been running most of the summer because of advice from Michael Sandler and my foot. i had tried running a couple of time but my foot hurt so i stopped. with a week to go i decided to go for a run. my friends had wanted to do a 10k on labor day because it was on the stretch of wildwood that we always run. there was no way the three of us are going to allow a race on our trail and not be a part of it. so i took mury out on sunday and did a long slow run to see the course. it was all downhill. unfortunately for me, i went backwards this day and ran it uphill. nine miles. not too smart. killed my quads for the race the next day as well as the WD. i tried to run more to work out the legs but it didn't work. they were not cooperating.

i wound up walking the few uphills they through in at the end. last year they had one steep uphill at the end. this year there was more with different obstacles that were more challenging. they had a new one of staggered table tops. i blew right through those. then towards the end was some downhill. i had some kid right by me. we had been passing each other all throughout the race. he saw me land on a pine cone with my left foot and roll on it. i hit the ground with a flat foot and bent knee and kept on going. he said "nice recovery." thanks was all i replied. i should have said more but saved the smart ass remark for the wrong time. right around the corner there was a girl on the ground holding her ankle screaming. paramedics were on the way and volunteers surrounded her. it was then i made my comment which i realized as soon as i said it made me look like an ass. "that's why i don't wear shoes, always rolling my ankles." doh. wrong time Michael. too late.

then came the end. i hit the mud pit face first and pulled myself through on my elbows. it worked great. they warned us at the beginning not to dive or jump in as it wasn't deep. of course i didn't. i'm crazy, not stupid. so at the end i come right behind this girl who starts to climb out. i came up to her so fast i could only yell out "don't kick, don't kick my face." she looked back and i then had room to go to her right. the same announcer was here and he saw me again. he asked me what happened to my shirt. i just smiled at him and lifted my foot out of the mud. i don't think he saw it, at least not until i tried to get out of the mud. i have to say try because my lord this stuff was slick. i tried twice and just lid back down. then he noticed me and said " hey everybody, this guy just did the whole race bf! let's give it up for him!" the crowd went wild. i moved to the right edge of the mud pit and was able to get out. almost forgot to say he told me not to let the girl pass me. i'm thinking, why not? did you see her? what's wrong with getting passed by a woman who's in shape and beautiful? i see no downside, just a nice backside. much better that looking at some guy.

from here everyone slides out because it's so slick. i slid on my butt and i wound up on my back since bf don't have any traction in that slick of mud. i almost hit the girl who was about to kick me in the face. lucky she saw me coming and moved to the side. i felt like a fool here. i had no control. i got up once i hit the hay bale. i started running for the finish and slipped on my knee. everyone was in shock and i was just laughing, hard. it was funny. i ran the whole thing no problem only to slip right at the end where all the spectators were? doh! had to laugh.

i crossed the line and they put a medal around my neck. everyone gets one. they tried handing me bananas and water. i didn't want any of it. i was screaming asking for a knife. no was was answering. finally a woman asked me why. i showed her my zip tie on my ankle. my foot was going numb at the end of the race and i realized i put it on too tight. i wanted it cut off and she did. relief. 

i found my friend and she told me how long it took me. i was in doubt. i didn't want to believe it. i was in better shape than last year. there was no way it took me almost ten minutes longer. last year i did it in 29 mins and some change. this year was 38 mins and some change. aagghhh! oh well. i had killed my quads  and paid the price in the time. i later looked at the results online and saw that i was in the 16th percent. last year i was in 20% of the finishers. did i get faster or did the field get slower? more it turns out. the course was harder and times were slower from the previous year. last years best time was 15:09. yes. 5:03 m/m. amazing. he was 36 and beat the next time by more than two minutes.

the day was done. i had my beer and relaxed. my friend was freaking out that there was no cell signal and couldn't reach her daughter. so i decided we should just leave. i had wanted to run it again for fun instead of trying to beat my time. which i failed. i was burnt though. i knew huger would kick in, it always does. so we left to get some lunch.

i will be signing up again next year. they already have the dates and times posted. the sooner you sign up the cheaper it is. it's not cheap but it is a blast. if you're undecided, just watch this video. i'm not in it but this guy ran the same course. he has the best video out of Oregon. he cut quite a bit but you get a good feel of how it is. i would also watch his video of Washington WD. enjoy.

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