I knew from the beginning of My Big 31 challenge that completing 31 races over the course of the year would be quite difficult. Running can be a costly habit, and there are some months where there aren’t many races to participate in. It was obvious that in order for me to complete this challenge I would have to create a schedule and stick to it. Initially, my race calendar was full of your typical 5Ks and 10Ks, along with a few half marathons. While I was still excited to smash my goal of 31 races, I realized that I needed to add some variety and spice to the race calendar to keep it fun and exciting. So I threw in some specialty races including one that I bailed on doing last year: The Warrior Dash.
I’ve been after the Helga helmet for quite some time, but I was scared of this run for one major reason: the possibilities of frogs near the watery obstacles. Those who know me know that I am scared to death of those little devilish hoppers, and the thought of being in close proximity (by choice) to these critters was something I wasn’t sure if I could handle. Last year I was registered and ready to go, but the day before I had a minor freakout and chose not to attend. This year I signed up early, somehow talked my cousin Laura into participating with me, and quietly anticipated the big day. August 11th could not come soon enough, at least…that’s what I kept telling myself.
I was coming off a color high after having an absolute blast running the “Run or Dye” Color Run on the 10th, so I was ready to roll. That is, until Laura actually got to my house and we started watching videos on the obstacles we were about to take on. I think the line of the weekend was “How did I let you talk me into this?” Of course, that would be Laura saying it to me. My response: “This is the dumbest thing we’ve ever done.”
When we arrived at Clay’s Park, the location of the Warrior Dash, we proudly received our helga helmets and swag and met up with our parents, the only people there who may have been nervous than us. My mother had also watched some youtube videos and was worried sick. After wave jumping to an earlier wave, we were off….and my frog awareness senses were on high alert. Fortunately, I did not see any of these creeps anywhere over the next 3.2 miles. They must have gotten the memo that I didn’t want to see their faces.
I’ll be honest, I had way more fun than I thought I would. The obstacles were challenging, slippery, muddy, and just straight madness. Most of them I enjoyed, however a few, such as the ones with water blasting me in the eyeball as I attempted to climb a ten foot wall, were less than desirable. I also didn’t particularly like knowing certain people had broken their tibia and busted up their tailbones the day before on a certain obstacle just as I was about to take it on.
My favorite obstacles came at the end of the race: I tackled the super high cargo net climb that I almost bit it on during the Dirty Girl Mud Run back in June, jumped over fire, and shimmied under some barbed wire in a huge mud pit. Crossing the finish line was an awesome feeling: I had done it, and no four legged nasty amphibian had interfered. Better yet, I had pushed myself to new limits and did things I wasn’t sure I could do. I cannot wait to do it again next year!