Sunday, May 15, 2011

Warrior Dash was . . .

     Some background first.  I had been (sorta) training for this race since my last post.  In January, I got hurt while walking on some ice.  I had sprained my ankle and bruised my back, so I wasn't able to train for two months.  So, about a month leading up to this race, I started training again.  I didn't think that I was going to do too well at all because, when I started training, I was only up to 2 miles, in running.  And that was running in interval sprints (i.e. run 1/4 mile, walk 1/8, run 1/2, walk 1/8, etc.).  My back was still giving me problems, so I wasn't able to do heavy lifting for back exercises.  But, I had promised myself that I was going to do this race, so I plunked down my money and went for it.

     My buddies, and I, got to the race-grounds, picked up our race packets and started the race.  We went in two separate waves.  We got to the race grounds early.  I ran by myself.

     First thing of note is, anyone in relative good shape should not have problems with this race.  I am not saying the race is a joke.  It is NOT.  If you are not in decent shape, you will not do well and you can do injury to yourself.  Seriously, people were being taken out by ambulance because they tried to push themselves too hard to try to keep up with other people.  On the real, there were some people that were deluding themselves for this race.  I can see the conversation they had in their head, "Hey, this video on YouTube makes Warrior Dash seem easy.  I can do that.  I used to be an athlete back in high school!  Also, <insert running/adventure race blog/magazine> said it was an easy race.", ignoring the fact that they are 50-70 pounds and a bum knee removed from high school.  Real talk. Do the race, know your limits.  Walk, if you want.  Just be able to do general physical activity.

     Second, which should be first, if I didn't have to put in that disclaimer: CARDIO, CARDIO, CARDIO!  To me, the obstacles were cool, not overly hard, but if you don't have your cardiovascular strength down, you will be screwed.  The race is over three miles.  The good thing is, the legs between obstacles are more like 1/4-1/2 mile sprints.  This works in your favor, if you are not a long distance runner.  If you are conditioned for smaller runs, you will do O.K.  I think the longest leg was maybe 3/4 of a mile.  So, I didn't have any problems with it.

     Third, the obstacles.  Just as advertised.  There were no surprises.  The hardest obstacle was the balance beam type obstacle and the horizontal cargo obstacle.  Other people, that I have talked to, have different opinions. But these two obstacle require a certain... innate coordination that I, personally, lack. Outside of that, the obstacle were not "easy", but they definitely were not "hard".

     Fourth, there will be mud!  I have never had so much mud in so many places in my life.In my personal opinion, I think that since Warrior Dash is, basically, and entry into adventure running they didn't want to make the obstacles too hard, however, they want the running part to be tough.  Running on muddy slopes made the running the most punishing part of the race.

     Finally, The after party was kinda cool.  We didn't stick around that long, for that.  Partly because we all had stuff to do later.  The other part was, we all were bartenders who went.  Why pay for beer there when we all worked in bars, most of them with outside decks and the same party atmosphere?  Not knocking it, just pointing it out.

     In summation, I am glad I did this race.  It got me out of the dorm to start exercising.  I started losing the winter fat.  I completed one of my goals for the year.  And, now, my friends are inspired to run Tough Mudder with me in October(?).

We have a team.  If you are down, you are welcome to join us.  Also, I am going to try to do as many of these, as I can, during the summer.  It's a fun way to stay in shape.

     One last thing.  I ran my race in under 40 min.  40 was my goal, so I am really happy about that.