31 July 2011

unleashing the warrior within

a few months ago a friend asked me to join her in a race that is honestly dubbed "the craziest frickin' day of your life" and without hesitation I of course agreed! Mt Morris, Michigan was the host of the event which, with over 24,000 participants, was the 2nd largest race location in North America this year.  She convinced me with the description that it's just 3 miles with a  few obstacles....

i'm coming over the wall, pink shirt far left
So turns out that my friend Mary is no longer able to join me so I find a few other people I know who are racing and set up to meet them there.  I pack a change of clothes, wet wipes, a towel, sunscreen, extra socks, extra shoes, lots of water and thanks to the advice of a new found Twitter friend, clean undies.  I grab my passport and head for the border.  When I get to the US side, the customs agent asks where I'm headed and after I briefly explain he asks how many people have died doing this.  Not the vote of confidence I'm hoping for but I assure him I can do it and that I will likely come out with a few bruises but hopefully unharmed.  He wishes me luck and I'm on my way! I pick up my sister along the way and just over an hour later we arrive in Mt Morris to this giant extravaganza of mud, beer, turkey legs and viking horns! 

through the mud, under barbed wire
So the race is 3.2 miles to be exact and there are 12 obstacles including but not limited to scaling walls, jumping through tire mazes, crawling over junked cars, meandering over horizontal ropes, crawling under a tarp about a foot off the ground in complete darkness, crawling over giant logs in a lake, a few various bouts with barbed wire (crawl over, crawl under), jumping over fire, wading through chin high mud and then climbing up and down hills of mud, scaling a rope all and then yes swiming through mud under barbed wire to the finish line.  I've missed a few descriptions there but really some can't be explained with words!  It was really pretty amazing and some of the challenges that I was worried about before the race such as pulling myself over the walls with rope or scaling up the side of a wall was a breeze when put there before me. There was camaraderie between runners that spurred you on as well as the shared thought that "I can't believe I'm frickin' doing this!". Coming out of the muddy swamp a nice gentlemanly runner ahead of me helped me up the shore line and the one behind offered to push me ass forward should I need further assistance.  

 As I came in toward the finish, the announcer noticed my shirt and starts yelling in the mic "Here comes Canada!! Come on Canada give us a cannonball (meaning into the mud pit) and then starts singing the national anthem!! Lol crowd is now cheering Canonball Canada and unfortunately I let them down.  Now frickin' way was I canonballing in to that! 
I made my way under all the barbed wire and did give the photographer a little puddle jump at the end so I could get a good photo :) Post run was pretty sketchy - my apologies to the guys parked near us as I practically showered behind the car.  What? Standing in my clean underwear isn't the same as bikini bottoms?? I successfully changed out of my dirty bra into a new one (thank you Flashdance for teaching me those moves) then my sis squirted water on me while I wet wiped & toweled off.  Don't worry mom, I had the decency to wrap a towel around my waist while I changed undies...

Now I never doubted I can do the run - I can do 3 miles in my sleep pretty much but I was pretty daunted ahead of time for some of the challenges.  Each new obstacle under my belt fueled me forward and completing all of them and the run in 50min makes me very happy.  I'm not scared of much in life anymore these days and now after this, I know that there is an inner warrior inside me and she can pretty much do anything she sets her mind to.  Now tomorrow back to the 1/2 marathon training...

ps I'd also like to extend my apologies to the other shoppers in Target & Whole Foods who likely thought I severely needed a bath and/or qtips as I did have mud still in my ears, under my nails and god only knows where else.  I've now taken a handful of probiotics (you never know what was in that water) and I'm off to bed :)

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