Sunday, September 18, 2011

WARRIORS...Come out and PAY-YAY $$$

8/28 race 5k @ the Warrior Dash in my MT101's with the +1!!

Just as itchy as it looks :-)
Wow, I've been sitting on writing this race report for nearly a month and allowed it back up all my workout logs in the process.  It was a hot Sunday afternoon, as that was the only slot left when we finally signed up.  My training partners and I originally planned to to do this one together, but we waited too long and none of the time slots available worked for all of us.  So in a moment of weakness, the wife agreed to join me on an obstacle filled adventure!  I figured she could push me on the run portions and I could laugh at her while she tried to climb over things.  We would be a perfect match!  I think she was secretly hoping Irene would head straight for Charlotte and take out the course before Sunday arrived.  No such luck.

The event was pretty well organized, although the staging area felt more like a cross between a renaissance fair and an 80's hair band rock festival due to the weird combination of rednecks smoking and drinking plus people dressed in funny costumes.  Ohh and there were some bands playing and turkey legs and beer for sale.  Speaking of which the event wasn't that expensive, but then having to pay $10 dollars to park in an open field is a little ridiculous.  Also the cost of food and drinks rivaled good rock concerts!  I can't hate on an event too much that gives you furry hats with horns though.

The terrain of the course was pretty flat with a LONG run to the first obstacle, barricade hurdles, immediately followed by the second obstacle, junkyard hurdles (tires, dumpsters, more tires).  The wife wasn't very happy about having to climb over all this mess right at the beginning, but she took off after the first water station and I could barely keep up.  Next up was the rope wall, which is basically a wall with slats to stand on and a rope to pull yourself up.  She did a great job and completed it without any assistance.  Next we came to a balance beam obstacle which started out pretty wide and then got to a narrow section by the end.  I always think I'm going to fall off these things, but it hasn't happened yet.  After that was the "blackout," which I thought to mean a dark tent crawl through muddy water, but it turns out it was just a dark sweaty tent crawl through dusty, dry sand.  This was made extra unpleasant by the heat of the afternoon.   After this was the "crossover" which is an elevated rope web supported by a wooden frame.  She whipped through it without any trouble.  I was disappointed to see quite a few people using the support beams to cheat and walk across instead of actually crawling over the ropes, but there are cheaters on every course.  Next up was this thing called the "escape" which is a few wooden steps up followed by a poll to slide down.  I was getting concerned as up to this point there was no mud or water related obstacles (unless you count the water at the aid stations).  There is nothing that irritates me more than an obstacle course that only has mud at the very end.  Thankfully we ran up next to a disgusting looking lagoon.  I jokingly told the wife she was going to have to jump in that for the next obstacle and it turned out I was right.  I jumped right in first and she slammed on the brakes behind me, causing a rather humorous traffic jam as all the folks behind her scattered, while she gave me this, "I have to jump in that???" look.  She gingerly eased herself into the lagoon and we made our way over a couple floating logs.  On the first log, this fat dude jumped on it right as I was climbing over and nearly pinned my leg underneath.  I think there was another elevated climb over obstacle after this and maybe a rope net we had to climb up and over.  I don't remember the exact order.  This was followed by jumping over two rows of duraflame logs before the finish obstacle.  The finish obstacle was...you guessed it... a muddy pit crawl under barbed wire.  If it wasn't for the water obstacle earlier I would have been really pissed about this, but at least it wasn't the only water/mud obstacle.  I had to navigate around a bunch of slow people that felt the need to wallow in the filth.  Once I made it to the other side, I got to watch the wife complete her crawl through the muck.  At least by this point, I think she was just happy to be at the finish line and not as concerned about getting dirty.  So we crossed the line together, although the event photographers somehow managed to only get shots of each of us with other random people.

Now to discuss something I forgot to mention earlier.  The first thing I do when I arrive at one of these mud run events is to try and scope out the clean up facilities, as this is a BIG deal if you don't drive a car with an interior that can be hosed out.  My initial looking around didn't turn up anything too positive.  No makeshift showers or bathroom with shower facilities and only water/hose trucks.  I was hoping the small heat size would help things, as usually the crowds in the past at the hose trucks are so large, you are lucky if you even get your hair wet.  To make things even better, since we were the last group of the day, the water truck was empty when we finished, so we had to wait around for another water truck to show up and I think the heat before us was still waiting when we got there.  Once the truck arrived, the crowd was so large and tightly packed we barely got enough water to wash our hands and faces off.  This is just unacceptable for an international event company.  I've been to enough events and it's not that hard to build up a frame and drill the pvc to setup a makeshift shower area large enough to support an event with heats this size.

So, overall, the obstacles weren't bad.  The horns and turkey legs were cool although I never found out if they were gluten free (so I didn't buy one).  I would recommend a Spartan race or the USMC Mud Run over the Warrior on the quality and quantity of the obstacles (plus decent cleanup facilities), but if you are looking for an easier event to get into obstacle course races, don't mind trashing the interior of your vehicle afterwards and can afford $10 dollars for parking, the Warrior is a good choice, plus you get a horny fur hat.

P.S. the +1 said this was harder than a marathon, but I think she is just trying to trick me, as she said she would do another obstacle event with me if I run a marathon with her.  I told her it's going to be awhile...
oh sh*, duraflames, those things burn for like 4 hours

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back on the Mountain Bike

8/25 bike 60+ mins at Lake Crabtree on the TORC beginner/intermediate ride

HR avg 160 max 176

Somehow I ended up being the only beginner on the ride, so I spent most of my time struggling to keep up with everyone.  Taking three weeks off since my last ride, didn't help either, as I was full on white knuckle in the beginning, especially with the faster pace of the group.  Toward the second half I started to calm down (or was that exhaustion) and began to remember how to position my weight on the bike and relax my death grip.  I wouldn't say I made any progress from my last ride, but I managed to stay upright again.  I did screw up a couple of the more difficult obstacles.  I really need to make a point of doing one of these each week if intend to improve at all.