Tag Archives: The Warrior Dash

Warrior or Bust

30 Mar

Saturday is the Big Day …

There are no half times.

There are no timeouts.

There are no cheerleaders.

There are no subs.

There will be sweat.

There will be mud.

There will be the sound of my heartbeat.

There will be Gatorade.

There will be guts. 

There will be words running through my head. These words:

 

It’s Warrior or Bust.

Tune in on Sunday to see the Warrior Dash Saga unfold.

 

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My Warrior Dash Update #10 … The You-Can-Do-It Phase

29 Mar

There’s nothing else I can do. I took all the vitamin B complex and glucosamine that my body could handle. I’ve done all the endurance training my Guat legs could muster. My quads are made of steel. My calves are toned. My arm muscles are sculpted.

Could I still trip and fall?

Probably.

But I’ll have enough strength to pull myself up and move on to the next obstacle. There are thirteen of these bastards, and I trained for each one. Then they changed six of the obstacles about three weeks ago and I trained again. The race is this Saturday.

What’s left to do?

The mental game. The you-can-do-it phase. How else does The Guat prepare for something like this?

Do I talk to myself and continually repeat my personal mantra internally? Do I call friends for support? Do I visit Tony Robbins’s website?

No. Not the Guat.

Sports movies. It’s sports movies. Underdog-against-all-odds-comeback-motivational sports movies. This is what I’ll be watching before my race in hopes that it’ll inspire me to kick ass. Most are based on true stories.

Hoosiers with Gene Hackman. “Welcome to Indiana Basketball”.  Gene, plays coach Norman Dale, who along with his alcoholic assistant coach, takes a small-town team to the Indiana High School State Championship Game. A regular March-Madness-Cinderella story. The best hoops movie.

Rudy with Sean Astin. Best football movie ever.

“You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football players in the land for 2 years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.”

The Natural with Robert Redford. “People don’t start playing ball at your age, they retire.” 

“It took me sixteen years to get here. You play me and I’ll give ya the best I’ve got.”

It’s Robert Redford and baseball. Do I need to elaborate?

Breaking Away with Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, and Jackie Earle Haley. The film is about four working-class teenagers living in a college town. They are trying to figure out the next step in life. They enter the Big Race: a cycling race where they are pitted against the affluent university attending  jackasses of the movie.

“They’re gonna keep callin’ us “cutters.” To them, it’s just a dirty word. To me, it’s just somethin’ else I never got a chance to be.”

Working class rocks.

Rocky with Sylvester Stallone. The Eye of The Tiger? C’mon now. It’s everyone’s you-can-do-it theme song.

Invincible with Mark Wahlberg. It’s a film about Vince Papale a bartender who, against all odds, tried out and made the NFL Philadelphia Eagles team in 1976. His wife bails out and leaves this note: “You’ll never go anywhere. Never make a name for yourself. Never make any money.” He left it in his football locker and looked at it everyday until he made the team.

The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. A middle-aged dude, who probably had a Costo-sized tub of BenGay for his shoulder, teaches and coaches in a small Texas town. Jim Morris makes a pact: if the team goes to district, he’ll try out for the majors.

“Jimmy, how fast were you throwing fifteen years ago? ”
“Slow enough to where scouts stopped using the word “fast”…
“… You just threw 98 miles an hour.”

Seabiscuit with Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges. I know it’s about a horse but he’s a badass … “You know, you don’t throw a whole life away just ’cause he’s banged up a little.”

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. An inspiring story of a kid, Michael Oher who makes it all the way to the NFL with the help of good people.

“I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be.”

Miracle Kurt Russell. The all-time underdog story. It’s about the 1980 U.S. Mens Olympic Hockey Team and their journey to win the Gold Medal against the heavily favored Russians — which they did.

“Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight.”

My Warrior Update #9

21 Mar

Complications beyond your control. This has become The Guat training mantra this month. I know you can’t control everything, but wouldn’t it be nice to control some things?

Ahhhh the mom dream.

Having my son at home, and not in preschool, for the past month has altered my workout situation. It is no longer taking place in the morning with the baby and my clunky Chicco stroller. It’s become an evening affair, when I’m tired, listless, ready to pass out and in need of “Vita-meata-vegamin”.

It’s the only time, when the kids are asleep and someone can just physically be in the house with them, in case they wake up.

I’ve been working out at night, which makes me more vigilant about my surroundings and any crazy pedophiles that may be lurking in the shadows. It makes me think I should go back to my Hapkido dojo and finish earning my black belt.

Perhaps that will be my next project when my income is more incoming. Until then I’ll have to rely on muscle memory, which to tell you the truth has been pretty good. So anybody who tries to sneak up on me will probably be in need of some serious medical attention. But I try to avoid situations like that and stay on the running track, which is pretty well-lit and in front of a fire station.

However, I still feel pretty bad about not being able to workout on a daily basis these past two weeks, considering the race is just 10 days away. But I make up for it in other lame ways, like running up and down the stairs, as if they were bleachers, or jumping rope. It’s not the same as running two-and-a-half miles but at least it’s a workout and that’s the best I can do. Can’t control everything, right?

But considering that  there’s absolutely no preparation for the last two obstacles, I shouldn’t feel like such a loser. That’s right. No prep, no training. None. So I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about my dismal workouts last week and this week. The obstacles are based on sheer adrenaline and craziness.

The Petrifying Plunge is the obstacle where I “slosh down a slippery slope” which looks mountain-like from the pictures. A giant dangerous slip-n-slide for adults. I know how to fall, so I don’t think this will be a problem. My concern: stopping. I think I might just do one of those crash landings. No other way to do it.

But the one that freaks me out the most: The Warrior Roast. I’m supposed to leap over the “Warrior  Fires” … logs that are on fire. 

Fire … the stuff with heat and flames. I’m not to keen on burning, so I’m gonna have to use some sort of high jumping skills to clear these bad boys.

Leap, to be more accurate. Leap. Leaping is higher than jumping. It sounds higher than jumping, doesn’t it? I’m going to have to practice leaping this week. Definitely.

With this one there’s nothing I can do to prepare. It’s just a matter of building enough adrenaline and bad-ass attitude to go for it.

Giddy up!

 

My Warrior Update #8 … Surprises

12 Mar

How you gonna change on me? I’ve been mentally and physically preparing my muscles for these obstacles? I’ve been training them not to fall down certain ways, because you know I can fall all kinds of ways … it’s the Guat in me. And now, I’m going to have to retrain these Guat muscles. It’s not easy people. Gravity is a powerful thing and then you’re gonna throw in five new obstacles in the mix that gives gravity an even bigger advantage? I can only do so many push-ups and squats.  Let’s not get crazy. 

But at least I’ve got about two more weeks. Warrior challenge indeed. The unexpected always happens. That’s a given … that happens all the time in every aspect of my life past and present … motherhood, sports writer, substitute teacher, designated driver, etc…. Expect the unexpected and then train like hell.

I’m glad I checked the Warrior Dash home page this week. Otherwise I would have been in for a surprise when I ran into the Road Rage, Vertical Limit, Barricade Breakdown, Great Warrior Wall, and Capsized Catamaran obstacles.

I think I’m gonna need more Glucosamine.

It seems that a few of them I can handle with ease. Road Rage has me “stampeding through a scrap yard of rusted wreckage.” I can stomp. I can climb cars. I can slide over the hoods. I’ve seen Dukes of Hazzard. This is one is not too bad.

In Vertical Limit I’m “scaling to the summit and sliding down the vertical drop.” I’m rock climbing basically. However, no harnesses or ropes attached to my body. But I’ve seen Sylvester Stallone‘s Cliffhanger…I’ll be fine. I’ve rock climbed before, so this one seems all right. I just need to remember to bring my Hapkido/Kung Fu grip so I don’t fall backwards. Thank God I don’t believe in manicures, I’ll be able to hold on tight without worrying about my Lee Press-On Nails.

 In Barricade Breakdown it’s pretty much hurdling over barricades and then trying not to breakdown as I crawl in the mud under barbed wire. I used to run hurdles in high schools. I know, I know with my falling record you would think, why? But sometimes you have to face fear head on. Did I fall? Plenty of times. Did I get back up? Yeah. I had to finish. So I’m no stranger to pain. Hurdling won’t be a problem. I didn’t break any school records, but I was a pretty quick Guat.

 The Great Warrior Wall seems like the Deadman’s Drop. Climbing a ginormous wooden barricade and then dropping or sliding down. I think they just put this one in so that your arms could feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel the burn as they hoist you and all your poundage up and over. I think I’m gonna drop and give myself 20 as soon as I finish this post. Just so my arms get used to feeling like jello after all the burn.

Last but not least is Capsized Catamaran. This one replaced a tall climb where waterfalls constantly splashed over you, like a hurricane. This substitution is unfortunate for me because the new challenge is a bitch.

I’m a little scared. It requires me to “swim, climb, stumble, and swim.” That’s a lot for one obstacle. And it’s the swimming. I’m not the best swimmer. I’m like my Dad … I’m a floater who splashes. The only way I can swim is the backstroke. When I did the triathlon I “backstroked” the entire swim. It’s the only way I made it, but this was in an Olympic-sized pool. The Warrior Dash will have murky waters and crowds of people rushing, swimming the normal way. I think I need to see where I’m going, can’t be swimming backwards. Maybe it won’t be a real swim, maybe I can tread water.

Definitely more Glucosamine needed … that and push-ups. 

Giddy up!

My Warrior Update #7

5 Mar

It’s when my face will be red, when my legs will be tired, when my sportsbra will be put to the test, and when my feet will probably be yelling at me: “hey dumbass … you should have bought those Dr. Scholls insoles whether or not you had the coupon,” … this is where my Guatemalan Warrior is put to the test … In the middle and near the end of the race.

This is when the Rocky theme music plays in my head. This is when my second wind kicks in, although I don’t know why the second one was invented you should just have one that lasts. This is when running two miles every day for the past month conditions me to persevere. This is when I see myself in slow motion, in a Gatorade commercial, black and white, a single perspiration drop rolling on the side of my face, with the narrator saying “Do you have it in you?”…

Hell to the yes!

The obstacles this time: nets. Climbing and crossing them, both challenging for a professional faller-downer like myself, but for some reason I’m feeling pretty confident.

The Chaotic Crossover requires that I “crawl across tangled nets,” in a sort of low-to-the-ground Spider-Man warm-up obstacle, if he ever warms up before fighting crime. It’s a place where I can clearly lose my New Balance running shoes, if I’m not concentrating, and get my foot tangled in that web, providing a serious traffic jam for my fellow warriors.

The Cargo Climb allows me to “maneuver over cargo nets” in a pretty tall man-made structure. This one I fear, a little. Not so much the climb up, but the way down. Like a roller coaster at Six Flags … you’re all hyped on the way up, but when you know you have to come down that’s when butterflies flutter.

It’s the falling thing, or the get-your-foot-caught-in-the-net-thing and still continue to fall … well dangle as others just continue to climb around me. But I’m sure there are good Samaritans in the race.

Good athletes have a code … “never leave a man behind”.  If you can help, you do. Is it a competition? Yes. But it’s not the Olympics, so I’m sure there will be some broke down athletes at various locations and if I could I help detangle someone I would. I just hope someone else would do the same. If they stroll on by laughing at me, I know they weren’t athletes back in the day … probably cheerleaders.

My Warrior Update #6

27 Feb

This is where my army or marine training would come in handy… if I had been an armed forces soldier. But I’m a writer. So I have to rely on my sad push-up regiment to help me conquer these Warrior Dash obstacles. You would think that the push-up would be easier by now and that I’d be doing five sets of twenty-five and be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness Magazine … but for some reason my weak left wrist begs to differ.

It’s got a kink. According to WebMD I could have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Psoriatic Arthritis. But apparently some of my friends feel WebMD isn’t the most trustful, so I will need to get it checked out by a regular-in-office-white-coat MD. Until then I’ll probably rely on BenGay, a wrap of some sort. and ibuprofen.

What about climbing?

Don’t you need wrist action for the Deadman’s Drop and Giant Cliffhanger?

Not really. I’ll most likely need biceps and quads. With all my merengue and cumbia dancing my quads are awesome. They’ll be fine. It’s only when I’m doing push-ups that my wrist is not happy. So as long as I don’t have to drop down and give someone twenty, I think my wrist will survive. Maybe I’ll start lifting some barbells to ease my wrist push-up problem. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll need some wrist strength on these climbing escapades.

The Giant Cliffhanger allows me the opportunity to “trek to the top of a massive slope” using rope as my guide. So I am basically hoisting my entire body weight up, over, and down this man-made slope … something you would see in army training, I imagine. But as long as it’s not a timed event, I’m sure I can haul my butt awkwardly over this challenge.

In the Deadman’s Drop I will “climb to the top and over an unhandy hurdle.” Safely… safely is the key word here. However, as you reach the top and climb over to the other side, the second part of this obstacle gives you two options: 1) go down a make-shift wooden slide where you may or may not get splinters on your ass or 2) jump the distance becoming the deadman that drops because you’re so tired, possibly twisting your ankle in the process.

Awesome choices … I know. I haven’t decided what I’ll do yet. Any suggestions?

I’m sure once I get up there my athlete instincts will kick in and I’ll make my decision on the spot, with confidence and without fear. Regular Guat Warrior, if you will.

Giddy up!

 

My Warrior Update #4 … An Unexpected Side Effect

13 Feb

All right. All right. All right. Weight Watcher, Jenny Craig and The Biggest Loser people don’t be upset. It just happened. I didn’t mean for it, I didn’t plan on it. It just happened. I know that’s sounds like a line from Melrose Place, Dallas, or Dynasty. But it’s the truth. I don’t blame you for being upset. I’d get upset at writers who say “yeah it just happened. I didn’t plan on it, but it just fell into my lap and I got a chance to write an episode of Mad Men and now I have an Emmy.” And here I am still a struggling writer.

What is that?

Ugh.

I completely understand if you send me hate mail. But just don’t get crazy.

In all this training and muscle pumping for The Warrior Dash, it didn’t even occur to me that I’d be losing weight. It was an unexpected side effect, like hair loss. But apparently this side effect is good for your health. I didn’t plan on it, but there it was … ten pounds lighter and counting. My face is slender, my arms are sculpted, and my legs are toned. But if it makes you feel better my pants are still tight and my stomach muscles do not resemble a six-pack at all.

I didn’t think of my workouts as weight-loss workouts but more of don’t-fall-on-your-face-at-the-race workouts — conditioning so that I’d outrun the sixty-year old Ironman chick racing beside me. I guess the anticipation of competition just pushed me. I don’t want to be last. And that’s how it happened. I lost weight the sneaky way. But losing weight or going down a dress size (even though I don’t wear dresses I’ve gone down a size, so if I chose to I could wear a smaller one) was not my ultimate goal.  Surviving those crazy obstacles in one piece is my main concern.

Stuff like the “Teetering Traverse” … yeah that definitely requires something. In this obstacle I’m supposed to teeter my way through a soaring track. Teeter … move unsteadily or unsurely … wobble. I’m supposed to wobble across a series of boards … like walking the plank multiple times. However, before reaching this test I’d run about a mile and hopefully survived a handful of obstacles.

Teetering … my whole life is teetering. You’d think I’d be good at that…but balance is not my strongest suit as many of you know… I’m a professional “faller” — forwards, backwards, up and down. I’m sure if I put my mind to it, I could remember falling sideways too.

Yoga … I should take up yoga.