Anyway…I woke up on Saturday morning fully intending to do my first (and only) open water swim before the triathlon on the 9th. However, Mother Nature had other plans. Her plans? Thunder, lightening, rain, and hail. Not exactly ideal conditions for swimming in a conductor of electricity, so my friend and I wisely decided to nix the open water swim and bake Strawberry-rhubarb pie and Rhubarb bread instead. I believe this was
a truly wise decision. My stomach and taste buds agree with me.
The picture and recipe are from this website. You need to make this. It is the most delicious pre-race food ever.
Mother Nature decided to play nice, and the thunderstorms passed, so the Warrior Dash was still on. All the rain we have been getting washed away some of the parking lots, so we spent an hour in the snaking conga line of cars that were trying to get parking, which meant that we missed our wave. Luckily the organizers were letting people run in later waves due to all the weather related issues.
Finally, we were off! The dash took place at Amesbury Sports Complex, which in the winter is used for sledding. The first obstacle was the first obstacle was running up the sledding hill. No problem, I run on hills all the time! My house is uphill, both ways, from anywhere that I would go running! Wrong. My hills are conveniently made of cement. They are not made of grass and dirt, which has turned to mud. All I could think was: “This is going to MUCH more difficult than previously expected!”
In fact, four straight days of rain hadn’t just washed away parking lots, but had turned 3 miles of trail into 3 mile of sucking, sloshing, slipping, stinking, mud. Mud that I was tasked with running through. So I ran…and then I did some sort of high-stepping walk/run, and then I grabbed on to any available sapling or tree or shrubbery in an attempt to stop myself from crashing face first into the muck.
I’m guessing that after two days of Warriors dashing, there’s not a single baby tree left in those woods. Here’s why:
Those elevation changes are brutal! Especially when you’re trying to keep both your footing and the shoes from being sucked off your feet!
So part of the Warrior Dash is that you do obstacles in the course of your running. There were 9 of them along the course, but heavily weighted at the end. There were ropes strung across the path like cobwebs that you had to get through, this over/under thing (where you go over the short wall and under the barb wire), a 20 foot wall you climbed over, balance planks, a FIRE THAT YOU JUMP OVER, another giant wall, a muddy hill (that I went down superman/slip and slide style…aka on my belly), and ropes that you needed to crawl over to get to the end. I think the obstacles were my favorite part. They were so. Much. Fun. (Pictures of these will come at a later date).
By the time I got to the end of the course, I was more tired than 3 miles should make me, exhilarated, euphoric, and muddier than I have ever been in my entire life. Seriously, there was mud in places that there should never, ever be mud. Ever.
My time ended up being: 57:09.
So while it was my slowest 5k time ever, it was also none too shabby for the course.
So, I ran/slogged my way through this race. However, due to the unseasonably cool temps, there was a decided lack of summertime sweating. So not only have I (most likely) placed last in the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5k, I believe I have failed in the titular activity. No real sweating pour moi. I am sorry I failed you.
However, after I hosed myself off, I did get free granola. And a free beer. And a Viking hat.