Sunday, November 21, 2010

Warrior Dash

I signed up for Longhorn Run last May to motivate myself to work out harder, thinking I had little chance of actually completing it, or at least completing it without walking some part of the course. I surprised myself by succeeding, and of course, I immediately stopped working out and lost most of my fitness and endurance.

So I signed up for Warrior Dash to motivate myself to work out harder. I seriously underestimated how tough it would be, though. I thought, "It's just a 5K; I've already done a 10K. How hard could it be?" and I didn't train nearly as hard for this one as I did for the Longhorn Run.

Here I am approaching the finish, trying to look like I still have some spring in my step, but I was seriously dragging:

The difference was the terrain and the obstacles. Somehow I'd convinced myself that there were only 3 or 4 obstacles, and that they were mostly for entertainment value, since the event seems largely about the silly costumes many participants wear and the beer and turkey legs to be had on the other side of the finish line. It turns out that some of those obstacles, like high-stepping through a field of tires and climbing a pyramid of hay bales and scaling cargo nets, were downright tough. There weren't any long hills, but there were lots of little ones, as well as some slick, steep creek beds to navigate.

I trained mostly by running on the treadmill, with some weights thrown in here and there and an occasional outdoor run. My running strategy has been to find a nice, steady, sustainable pace and focus on my breathing. On this course, though, with all of the up-and-down, and the broken ground, and the 11 obstacles interspersed throughout, I couldn't find my pace. I couldn't steady my breathing. I was winded all the way and did much more walking than I anticipated.

My oldest brother ran the course with me. He said that he's never been much of a runner, preferring biking and softball. When I talked about running a 35-minute 5K, he acted like I was nuts if I thought he was going to be able to keep up with a pace like that. But throughout the course, he was well ahead of me, and while he got winded here and there, I think most of the time he spent walking was for my benefit. Here he is waiting for me to finish the third-to-last obstacle:

In the end, I wasn't as proud of my performance (though at the time I'm writing this, official results have not yet been released) as I was after the Longhorn Run. But I feel more motivated moving forward than I did then. Both of my brothers, several friends, and Aerie are all talking about running another one in the Dallas area in April, and there is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to have to step up my training significantly over the next 5 months if I'm going to be proud of myself when I stagger up out of the mud the next time.

The other great thing about Warrior Dash was the after party. Thumper had a blast. He and his cousin danced their butts off and charmed all of the ladies within a 50-foot radius. They did the Cupid Shuffle:

And the Macarena:

And, uh, whatever this is:

And with everyone else showing off their bodies:

He just couldn't resist showing off a little himself:

I'm not sure what was up with the shoes, though:


She Said said...

Good for you! We (the WHOLE family) just joined a gym. Braedyn loves the kids' workout class, and the head instructor teaches the adult boot camp class at the same time. He told us it would be good for our son to see his parents sweating and giving it their all. After watching the boot camp class that night I had to wonder how inspirational it would be to see his mother puking her guts out. Yeah, it looked that hard.

Again, good for you!! And that Thumper! He sure can bust a move!

skilegap said...

Fantastic I have been wanting to do one for a while did the Spartan Race you should check it out

I, Rodius said...


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