I’m a Warrior!

Before and After!
Before and After!

Saturday morning, I did the Warrior Dash! It was a blast and I’ve got to warn you that there are A LOT of photos in this post. In fact, I could just let the photos speak for themselves, but I like to talk, so I won’t. Remember the Mud Run I did about a month ago? Well, the Warrior Dash totally kicks that run’s muddy little butt. We had the best time!

We put on some Warrior tattoos from Tattify to look the part.
We put on some Warrior tattoos from Tattify to look the part.

tattify

First of all, the are like 5 million people (give or take a few) at the race. Everyone is pumped up on adrenaline, caffeine, beer and turkey legs. Before the race, we picked up our tees, viking hats and numbers. We roamed around the many tents and admired the many people in costumes. There was an intense band playing, not my style, but whatever. It was also pretty chilly, but I knew we’d warm up once we started running, so I wasn’t too concerned. There was so much energy and excitement that it was impossible to not be totally pumped up for the run.

Our pre-race faces
Our pre-race faces

The race began with the biggest flippin’ hill… “moderately hilly” my ass. There were quite a few hills at the beginning, but it spread everyone out which was nice. We made our way to the front and managed to stay there throughout the race. I guess all that P90X and running is paying off!

fire

I SWEAR this hill was so much steeper than it looks.
I SWEAR this hill was so much steeper than it looks.

There were 12 obstacles in this race, 12 real obstacles. They were much better than the obstacles in the Mud Run, but not super challenging. I’d still like to do a race with more intense obstacles, but these were fun and doable. I think anyone could do this race. Sure, not everyone can run the entire time or easily get through the obstacles, but they can do it. There were people of every shape, size and fitness level participating which is kind of amazing. For some, it was a test of their abilities, for others it was the start of a new lifestyle. For everyone, it was a muddy day of craziness.

trenches shocktop unfiltered

 

One very cool quality I noticed in the race was the “teamwork” attitude everyone had while running. Several people got scared and even stuck at the top of various obstacles. Everyone around that person would do whatever they could do help. Some would offer an encouraging work, others would lend a hand and everyone else would cheer them on until they completed the obstacle. It was such a positive and friendly atmosphere. There were a few obstacles that required waiting in line because there were so many people trying to complete it, but it wasn’t annoying. We were having too much fun to be upset about waiting a few minutes.

roast mayhem

 

warrior peak

 

The craziest obstacle was definitely Goliath. This involved several cargo nets, climbing, crawling, a very long wet slide and a drop into a deep muddy pool. Straight up craziness.

goliath crawl slide

that face...
that face…
we look like soaked puppes
we look like soaked puppies

One hour later, the race was over. I’m guessing it would have taken 45 minutes if there was no waiting in lines. We got metals, water and felt pretty dang proud.

finish

The festival atmosphere remained for hours after we finished the race, but it was so hard for me to enjoy any of it because it was FREEZING. We tried to shower in the sprinkler system they had set up, but the wind was blowing so hard that it was near impossible to clean off. We ended up stripping behind towels and putting dry clean clothes over our muddy bodies. Warrior Dash Team, if you’re listening, I suggest setting up two tents (one for each sex) for people to change in after the race.

trying to shower
trying to shower
SO COLD
SO COLD

I would totally do the race again. If you haven’t done the Warrior Dash yet, then do yourself a favor and sign up! (Just click here!)

all done

Cheers!

Everything You Need to Know About the Warrior Dash

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Today, is one week since the minor surgery I mentioned a few posts back, which means I got my stitches out and the okay to workout as normal. Just in time too…the Warrior Dash is this Saturday! OMG, I am SO pumped! Also, a little disappointed that I had to take a week off so close to the race, but it’s cool, I still have a few more days to get ready. Speaking of getting ready…I recently got to have a little question and answer session with one of the awesome Red Frog employees. I believe her official title is “adventurologist”. Hmmm, that sounds like a job for me…

Anyways, Red Frog Events is the company that created the Warrior Dash and several other just as cool events. They’re actually one of the best places to work. Their meetings take place in a tree house, they have foosball tables in the office, free soda, beer and snacks, a gym that is available to employees at any time, not to mention full coverage insurance, unlimited vacation days, one “work from home” day a week, paid parental leave and more, so much more! Forget being a stay-at-home Mom I’m moving to Chicago and working for Red Frog!

Okay, sorry, got a little off topic, but I couldn’t not share that info. That’s crazy, right?!  Anyways, back to the Warrior Dash. So, I chatted with Lauren, the “adventurlogist” (I’m so stealing that title) and she gave me the scoop on what to expect this weekend.

What’s the best way to train for a Warrior Dash?

Be prepared to run, duck, climb and crash through a course that will test every muscle in your body, but make sure you save enough energy to refuel with a massive turkey leg! Each course varies across the country, so we suggest Warriors are able to run or jog a 5K distance and prepare with basic strength and conditioning. Of course, participants who would like to walk the course are always welcome, as we encourage all fitness levels to participate in the event.

What are the most challenging/scary obstacles?

Goliath is our newest and most challenging obstacle. As the largest obstacle in its history, Goliath features balancing on a beam one-story above a water pit before climbing two stories to the top of a water slide. 

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Who can do the Warrior Dash?

Warrior Dash welcomes athletes of all abilities to challenge themselves on the course and become a Warrior. It is an event for everyone, a day where participants get to challenge themselves, be active and get muddy.

I recently ran a Mud Run that was very anticlimactic…no cheering at the finish, no party, no excitement. What can I expect at the end of the Warrior Dash?

You can expect to be cheered on through the finish by a roaring crowd of spectators, volunteers and staff as you conquer Goliath, jump over fire and crawl through the mud. After you receive your medal, the festival area awaits where you can celebrate with beer and a turkey leg.

Can friends and family watch and take photos?

Absolutely! We encourage Warriors to bring their family and friends, as anyone can enjoy the festivities for free.

What percentage of people do you think complete every obstacle?

The majority of our Warriors complete every obstacle. However, there is always an option to skip an obstacle, if you are not comfortable completing it.

What if I get hurt?

We take the safety of everyone on site at our events very seriously. Each of our race directors work with our operations team, local officials and a medical team for several months prior to each race in order to assess and determine on-site safety precautions and procedures. This includes if individuals get injured on the course. We always have a fully-staffed medical tent on-site and medical staff at each obstacle.

Do we get photos of the race?

Yes, free photos are available the week following the race for each runner. Registered runners will receive an email when they are posted.

About how long will it take to finish?

It takes an average of 25-35 minutes, depending on the difficulty level of the course.

Any tips for a newbie like myself?

Get ready for the craziest frickin day of your life!

Anyone else feeling super excited?! Oh, and good news, if you haven’t signed up for the Warrior Dash here in Nashville, well Pulaski,  there’s still time. Just click here. Then, tell me that you will be there and we high-five each other and cheers our beers after we cross the muddy finish line!

Can’t wait to share the photos this weekend!

Cheers!

Apparently I Like to Run

I’ve created a monster.

running

 

We ran the Mud Run two weeks ago, which inspired us to sign up for a local 6k last weekend. Now, we are signed up for the Warrior Dash in a few weeks and already looking into holiday runs, more obstacle runs and even Disney Runs. (OMG, Did you know there is a Princess run???) Anyways, last Saturday was the Heroes in Recovery 6k (weird distance, right?) and it was the first run where I didn’t feel like death at the end. In fact, I enjoyed the run. I felt awesome at the finish!

start

This race had zero obstacles, yet it was a hell of a lot more fun than the Mud Run we recently ran. The cool, breezy slightly misty weather certainly made for a pleasant run, but the whole experience was so positive that I am certain we will be running it again next year. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 reasons why the Heroes in Recovery kicks the Mud Run’s butt.

1. Pre-race shenanigans. Before the race started we enjoyed walking around the tents set up nearby. There were local gyms, stores and groups advertising and giving away free passes, t-shirts and selling cute merchandise. We got some cute free tanks for warming up on some rowing machines. There was also music playing and a stage set up where a local jazzercise group taught a few routines. It was the perfect way to warm-up. Everyone was silly, dancing and just having a good time. Fruit, bagels, trail mix, coffee and water were also available for everyone for no extra cost. Everything was well-organized and geared towards pumping the crowd up to run/walk.

jazzercise

2. Scenic route. The race was held in Leiper’s Fork which is a gorgeous part of town. We ran up and down hills, through the woods, past farms and wide open fields and around cows, horses and llamas. The race was never boring.

horses view cows

3. Cheerleaders. Everyone working, volunteering, watching and running was so enthusiastic and supportive. Before we started everyone pumped each other up, warmed up together and lined up excitedly. During the race we cheered for the people passing us and encouraged the ones behind us, as did everyone else. Volunteers on the side handed out water and constantly told us “great job!” At the finish line we were completely bombarded with people screaming, cheering and telling us how fantastic we are. We were handed metals as our chips were taken (that’s right, we got chips in this race). We also got water, more snacks and lots of praise. All of the love and support made us feel like heroes. In fact, it was so fun and encouraging that after we finished we stuck around to the end to cheer on everyone else running/walking the race.

4. After party. Once the race was over, the party continued. We were not rushed away and immediately sent home. The tents remained opened, a band played music, people snapped photos and everyone continued celebrating their accomplishments.

5. A sense of community. Heroes in Recovery is a movement started by Foundations Recovery Network and the those who are in recovery from addiction and mental illness. They want to break the stigma that surrounds substance abuse and mental health disorders and keeps millions of people from seeking help. They put together events like this 6k to create a sense of community, and they did a perfect job. Everyone was working together, supporting one another and behaving like neighbors. We were all coming together for a good cause and doing something active and positive together.

us

Besides these 5 reasons, the Heroes in Recovery 6k also offered free pics and free parking. We are definitely doing htis again next year. Aanndddd probably several other races in between. Any suggestions?

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Cheers!

The Original Mud Run: The Good, The Bad and The Dirty

For literally years now I have wanted to do a mud run. There are like gazillion mud runs around the country year-round (Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc) so there’s plenty to choose from; choosing is the easy part. The difficult part is finding friends to sign up with you. This year, I finally managed to get Husband and a close friend to be my daily workout buddies, and then convinced them both to start signing up for mud runs with me. The first one we chose to do was The Orignial Mud Run in Nashville.

start

We ran The Original Mud Run 10k this past Saturday. You read that right. 10k. We signed up for the 10k because we wanted to do every obstacle available and convinced ourselves we could easily prepare for a 10k. We planned to continue P90x3 while adding running a few days a week. However, summer vacations and illnesses threw us off schedule and September snuck up on us real fast. We stuck to our P90X3 workouts, but we only ran 3 times before the 10K. Again, you read that right…3 times. We thought it wouldn’t be so bad because the race would be broken up by obstacles. After all, we are in good shape.

running

I learned something very important after running that 10k Saturday… you can be in great shape and not be in good shape to run. Holy Cow, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) is a long long way! It was VERY hot and mostly in direct sunlight, which is not at all like working out in a big air-conditioned room. We walked quite a bit more than I thought we would, but so did everyone else. With all that being said, we still kicked butt! I’m fairly certain we were third in our group to finish. (They don’t time the fun run so I can’t be sure.) We may not have been the best runners, but we have great stamina and we rocked the obstacles!

cargonet

I did this particular race (and signed up for others in the near future) because I want to experience the different runs, review them and share the results with you. That being said, I am going to be very honest because I want you to know exactly what you are signing up for/purchasing/getting yourself into when you read my reviews. I had a lot of fun during the Mud Run, but was very disappointed at the same time.

log wall

We arrived to race site an hour early to pick up numbers and shirts, as suggested. It took about 30 seconds to park, get our stuff and be in place for the race. It was nice to get everything done so quickly, but then we were stuck in the hot sun with way too much time to stretch and nothing else to do. There were a few tents set up selling gear, but no tents for shade. No refreshments or snacks and really nothing to do, but wait. There was a shady area under some nearby trees, which seemed like the best place to stand. When we got close we warned not to go any further because there were two dogs tied up in the shade that were not friendly. Boo. Our race also started 15 minutes late, which was especially frustrating because it was an abnormally hot September day and only getting hotter. (I HIGHLY recommend singing up for these runs in cooler weather.) After what seemed like hours, the race finally began.

rolling logs

The website advertised 30+ obstacles for the 10k and I was told there were 32 obstacles set up. The first obstacle is said to be about a mile after the start to give everyone time to spread out. After doing some quick math I figured the other obstacles have to be about a tenth of a mile apart, right? Wrong. They were much further apart, and many of them could barely be considered obstacles. If there were actually 32 obstacles then some must have been crawling under one tree trunk or over one tire. The website also states that most obstacles contain mud and water. It would be generous to say that half do. Don’t get me wrong there were some really fun, challenging and muddy obstacles, bbuuutttt certainly not 32. In fact, not even close to 32.

creek

There are water stations set up every mile along the course, which should be awesome because it’s not only desperately needed, but it gives you an idea of how far you’ve run and how much further you have to go. When we got to the first water station we had just finished running up 2 very steep hills in direct sun and water never looked so good. I ran to the table, grabbed a cup filled to the brim and took a nice big gulp of hot water. Yes, hot. Not even luke warm, but hot water. The volunteers at the water stations had poured numerous cups of water in advance, but by the time we got to the water stations the water had been heated up by the sun and was not exactly refreshing. Talk about disappointment. It was better than nothing, but I don’t think it would have been difficult to supply us with cold water.

gorilla ropes

One mis-advertised obstacle turned out to be pretty humorous. Before the race began, the announcer guy told us that no water on the course would be over 3 feet deep. About halfway through the race we came to two giant mud puddles separated by a mound of mud. The volunteer stopped us and said, “The first puddle is shallow, the second is a little deeper.” Husband went first. He splashed to his ankles in the first puddle, went over the mound in the middle and jumped into the second puddle, which very surprisingly went up to his shoulders. After recovering from laughter, Bella jumped in and the water came completely over her head! I was lucky enough to go last and was totally prepared to swim. This actually happened twice on the course, and we were actually happy the water was much deeper than they said. It made it a little more exciting. However, they advertise that lifeguards will be on duty if it’s over 4 feet… not true.

mudpit

My Dad-in-law came to watch us run and take photos. The website says that family can “hang out at the spectator’s corral and other designated areas along the course”, which in reality was non-existent. He ended up just walking from obstacle to obstacle wherever possible, which was fine, but also inconvenient. They also said they would have vendors on site for food and drink which was nowhere to be found, and odd considering we were not allowed to bring our own food.

mud crawl

For me, the most disappointing part of the experience was the end. They lead you to believe that the end of the race is a big wet and wild celebration. There were supposed to be people cheering, a fire truck hosing us off, a free beer and lots of people having fun together. After our last obstacle there was a horse trailer with a sprinkler system set up to run through and clean ourselves off.  I was pretty sad that they weren’t able to get a fire truck on site, but what was worse was that the finish line was after the sprinklers. So as we crossed the finish line (which had kids and parents from the kids race walking through), we were clean. The two people who came to watch us took pictures of us which looked like we just went for a swim. Everyone was wondering where the mud was. Not only were we clean, but we were basically ignored. There was one lady handing out water bottles at the finish line and that was it. No music. No people cheering. No celebrators. No beer. (The beer turned out to be in a tent about 200 yards away from the finish.) The average finishing time is said to be 2 hours. We finished in an hour and 45 minutes, which makes me really happy.

water

After we finished, we walked to our cars, awkwardly changed under towels and left. It was incredibly anticlimactic. In fact, the workers were already taking stuff down, cleaning up and getting ready to go and it’s not like we finished last.  It cost $75 a person to do the race, which is very expensive compared to other similar races, and in my opinion you do not get what you pay for. It also costs $10 to park in a big empty field. It costs everyone $10, runners and spectators, which just seemed like money gouging.

finish line

 

Overall, we had fun. We felt accomplished and strong and dirty, but if I’m spending $85 I expect  a lot more effort and enthusiasm to be put into the event.

afterwards

The Warrior Dash is coming up in a few weeks, so hopefully I’ll have a much better review for you then. AND, hopefully, we will stick to our running schedule this month!

after

Has anyone else done any mud runs that you would/wouldn’t recommend?

luna

Cheers!

The Bolt

Our Tennessee family Thanksgiving Day tradition is to run the 5-mile Boulevard Bolt race at the crack of dawn Thanksgiving morning. Husband has been running for a few weeks to prepare for the race and I’ve been mentally preparing while doing yoga and Pilates inside the warm house. I have not run in a very long time and I didn’t think my third trimester was a good time to start it up again. In any case, we were all going to run, walk or jog because it’s tradition.

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On Thanksgiving morning it was 16 degrees outside…as in 16 degrees below freezing! We bundled up, wiped the sleep from our eyes and stumbled into the car to meet up with our family. At our Aunt’s house, we were greeted by her many animals, including a very large turkey…

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Grandma (who also ALWAYS participates) handed out our shirts and bibs, and after everyone got together (that is the ones who didn’t weenie out because it’s “too cold”), we drove to the Boulevard, and lined up with 9,000 other crazy Tennesseans.

My favorite thing about races are the people who dress up. We had a poor attempt at dressing up (Santa hats and Christmas socks), but some runners went all out. There were all 4 Ninja Turtles, turkeys, a pumpkin pie, a guy in a tux, tons of crazy hats and tutu’s AND Santa with his eight reindeer and Rudolph. Santa and his reindeer were not only in full costume, but ran the entire race in order (Rudolph in the lead, Santa at the rear), while ringing sleigh bells and singing Christmas carols. I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures…guess I was too cold or too sleepy to even consider it an option.

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When the race began, Husband and Derek took off with the runners, while the rest of us began walking and inching along with the crowd of slower racers. I cramped up and had to walk most of the beginning, but after a while I warmed up, the cramps went away and we were able to walk/jog the rest of the race. It was such a relief to not feel competitive, but to just enjoy a good workout with thousands of other people before Thanksgiving dinner. We got to cheer on the winners, enjoy the costumes and work up a bit of a sweat.

Husband, who is awesome, ran the 5 miles in 40 minutes! I can’t believe he’s only been running for a few weeks. I wonder if this will encourage him to sign up for a Christmas race? I hope so, because I already have some family costumes in mind…

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I, on the other hand, finished in an hour and 15 min. Not exactly Speed Racer, but  better than not racing at all! Maybe next year I’ll actually get to run with Husband.

The race definitely wore me out, but it was so fun and definitely worth it. I can’t say it enough: working out and pregnancy should go hand-in-hand. So future Mama’s, keep moving! Walking is a great exercise for all fitness levels and all trimesters. I just wish I had some pregnant friends in Tennessee to walk with…anyone plan on getting knocked up anytime soon?

Great morning!
Great morning!

Cheers!