Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
If you’re gonna go down, go down in a blaze of glory, that’s what I always say.
If you are going to run like a warrior, you must eat like one. And that means tossing fear of gastro-intestinal distress aside. Bring on the enchiladas and margaritas! Needless to say, we had a much deserved, kid free, good night. Fortunately our race wasn’t until 2:30 pm the next day, as those margarita’s probably wouldn’t have felt so hot for a 5:30 am wake up call, haha.
The next day, I paced around like I always do before a race, while Rich kept telling me to chill out. He was busy painting his face to his best representation of “the Ultimate Warrior“, which really had nothing to do with this race, but instead a 1990’s pro wrestler. Much to my surprise, later hat day many people (mostly old men) actually recognized his “costume”. Clearly I missed out on the whole WWF scene. huh.
Anyway we were lucky enough to score a hotel room a half a mile from the parking/transportation to the race, so we walked over to the shuttles. Saved us $10 in parking and reduced our ecological footprint by about a minute. Plus, the looks from passer’s by were priceless. An older couple actually pulled up and asked what was going on (there were signs up and down the road about warrior dash parking). The lady said “are the warriors the local softball team?” hahaha. It was cute.
I had no goal other than to HAVE FUN and stick by Rich’s side and get him through this race (though he didn’t really need me! He did great!) Clearly I didn’t wear a garmin, but the first, oh, felt like a mile was just straight running (no obstacles). Mostly on a paved trail (up and down that first hill we walked up to get to the start). I did , however, run with one of those water-proof disposable cameras to document the chaos up close, haha. So, most pictures are of Rich, since I had the camera. And it was his first EVER race (of any kind) so I figured it was only appropriate to capture it on film!
After the walls there was a good bit of running, some pavement, some trail, all dirty.
Then we were off into the woods. I have an all new respect for you trail runners. That stuff is HARD. I lost footing and turned each ankle at least once…followed by an “I’m good!” as soon as I regained my balance. Hills, mud, rocks, roots, ducking below trees…you can’t just “zone out” and run like you can doing mindless hamster -wheel laps around my suburban cul-de-sacs. This took concentration , focus, and balance, and it was FUN! I need to move back to the forest…
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.