Tag Archives: training for a race

Guts, Playlists, and Rocky Balboa

2 Apr

It’s their job to pump you up, to get you moving, to inspire you … to get you to 63 stories … 1,400 stairs.

Guts … Guts and Playlists.

It’s their job to get you to the finish line.

I’ve got plenty of guts. I think was born with them. I’m good in the guts department. However I’m in the process of creating the fuel that’s gonna get me passed that wall I’ll probably hit at midpoint. That dangerous 30th floor, where your knees are really feeling it, where it smells like teen spirit, where it feels like the oxygen is running out, and where everyone is clinging to the handrails and you have to dig deep for every ounce of strength just to make the wide turn and pass them up.

Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa


Yeah … this is where a really kickass playlist brings out the Rocky Balboa hidden inside.

So other than The Eye of The Tiger, I think I’ve come up with some tunes that will help me survive the Fight For Air Climb this Saturday. Now the opening songs is something that needs to get to you. It’s a melody. It’s a lyric. It’s something that helps you envision raising the bar.

For me … it’s Tim McGraw’s Felt Good on My Lips. That opening sequence gets me. I hear that guitar and feel like I can just shake off whatever is trying to hijack my emotional juice. I hear that guitar and it’s on. I feel like I can be in a Gatorade commercial.

The rest of the tunes with their upbeat tempo build up and I eventually get so pumped up going up the stairs that I won’t realize how old I am until the next morning when I have to buy some BenGay for my quads and Advil for my knees. But it’s worth the sacrifice. It’s for a great cause. It’s all for one dude … one of the most important men in my life … my dad. All of this is for him, so I definitely needed a playlist that would keep me going no matter how tough the climb.

And this is what I came up with. If you have any suggestions, feel free.


Felt Good on My Lips — Tim McGraw

Eye of The Tiger — Survivor

Counting Stars — One Republic

Break Your Heart — Taio Cruz & Ludacris

I’m Gonna Get You — Bizarre Inc Featuring Annie Brown

Another Night — Real McCoy

Back In Time — Pitbull

Feel So Close — Calvin Harris

Camaron Pelao — Los Polifaceticos

La Chona — Los Tucanes de Tijuana

Strike Your Light — Vintage Trouble

and the one song I want to hear when I get to the top …

Happy — Pharrell Williams



63 Stories

1 Apr

The countdown is on … Five days.

I got five days until the big race. The Big Climb, actually, and my quads feel like Randy Macho Man Savage‘s, but in reality they look like toothpicks. Really strong toothpicks, though. The big beefy kind that you get at a steak house, but no matter the size, they’re going to take me to the rooftop of the second tallest skyscraper in the city. I might not finish first, but I’m gonna haul ass and do my best to finish strong … even if it’s to finish at the top of my “age rage”. You gotta be happy finishing at the top of your “age range” right? I mean that’s how they level the playing field. But you also hope that you kick some 21-year-old butt and that a 65 year-old Muscle & Fitness Athlete of the Year type of chick doesn’t leave you in the dust. That’s all you really hope for right? Well, that and not falling up the stairs and causing pedestrian traffic.

So am I ready? Is Team Guat ready? Have I been training?

Most people have been putting up training logs on their fundraising page. I guess as evidence that they’re not slacking off — evidence that they’re committed and that people’s donations are pumping up their spirits to finish faster. I don’t need to be doing that … my people have faith in me. They know that if I say I’m going to do something, I will slather myself up and down with BenGay in order to get it done. I will run at around my neighborhood at 9 o’clock at night, hit the bleachers at the local high school on weekends, and storm my parents’ wooden staircase when the weather (or time) does not permit me to go outside. I work out. I’m prepared. I’ll get all Rocky Balboa on them.

But regardless of the workout, my Guat spirit is getting it done. It’ll get me to the top. I don’t know if I’ll still be sprinting by the time I get to the 40th floor with 20+ more floors to go, but I’ll still be moving. I’ve got the iPod loaded and my knees fortified with Glucosamine … well my knees could probably use a little more lubrication, but I think they’re used to the wear and tear going on around here. Ice packs and BenGay are common household items. I stock up. I should be, I know this little challenge is gonna require a lot of TLC when I’m done.

What’s ahead of me? 63 stories. About 1,400 steps. Now knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it better. In fact it may cause even more nerves because of the crazy number itself, but I tell myself that it can only help me. When I feel like I’ve done enough working out for the day I think … it’s 1,400 pinche steps. Holy Crap!  I could use another ten minutes of burn. So I take a deep breath, raise up the volume on my little iPod and keep running, keep stepping, keep lunging. Don’t know if that extra time is gonna help, but I’m sure I’ll find out.



And you’d figure with all this sweat and working out that I’d at least lose a few pounds or that my pants would fit looser, but I’m still racking up the same numbers and my stomach is still the stomach of a mother of two — no Shape & Fitness models up in here. I just tell myself that my legs are getting most of the lean muscle. It’s the silver lining.

I also remember that I wasn’t in it to lose weight, I’m never in it for that. I’m in it to honor my dad. I’m in it to raise money for the American Lung Association and help others with lung disease. I’m in it to reach the top.  I’m in it for the challenge that 63 stories can bring to my Ben-Gay loving body and knees.

The Crazy Hill and The Mighty Stop Sign

14 Oct

It’s a stop sign. A red octagon with white letters. And normally this traffic sign is insignificant. It’s a stop sign. You stop, then go.  But this stop sign … this one, represented a woo-hoo! moment for me. A holy crap I can’t believe it.

It sits there at the top of a long, winding incline, practically at the top of a mountain. Taunting runners and bikers alike.

Had I attempted to reach the top before, during my previous triathlon training regiment? Yes. Did I make it? The first time I barely reached the 25 MPH sign. The second time … well … the second time I reached the deer-crossing sign and told myself I could do it. And I made it, huffing and puffing and gasping for air, but I made it. It took two attempts and many bike training sessions in between to build up enough endurance to reach the mighty stop sign.

I told myself that this time around I would make multiple trips over there, but seeing how it had been raining last week, and then hitting temperatures of 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit the week before, I hadn’t gotten around to as much bike riding as I wanted.

Image via Durtbagz.com

But I needed to cowboy up, because in my last triathlon Devil’s Canyon kicked my ass, and I didn’t want a repeat performance. Although I’m not sure what the bike course looks like in this race, I’m certain they’ve got hills and mountains. So this weekend I busted out my two-wheeler, with its new tires, and hit the pavement.

Now I wasn’t planning on visiting that crazy hill with its stop sign today. It had been a rough morning and emotions were running high in the Guat household. In truth, when I left the house I was thinking of riding  about five or six miles and then just heading over to the 7-11 for some chocolate, but found myself riding  to the state park instead, looking at that crazy hill and its mighty stop sign. As I stood there, I noticed all these racing bikes whiz right by me and I thought … oh hell no, even if I don’t have Gatorade I’m going up there.

I found myself pedaling towards that crazy hill and the stop sign.

Now once I got to the 25 MPH sign I thought yeah … I’m feeling pretty good. I haven’t even shifted gears, but once I got to the deer-crossing sign I began contemplating just turning around. My quads had not prepared for a ride of such magnitude and altitude. But I kept going. I kept saying, just one more sign, or just one more tree and I’ll turn back.

However, I just kept going. And in truth it wasn’t the upcoming triathlon that was fueling my inspiration to reach that pinche stop sign. It was the family drama that took place that very morning that pushed my Guat butt up that hill. My frustration and anger fueled me all the way to the top. All I could think was if I made it to the top at least something positive would have happened to me that morning. I would have a happy, triumphant moment among the crappiness.

And you know what? Anger works, man.

I reached the top passing all the racing bikes that had zoomed by me earlier. I got off my bike and smiled. I grabbed hold of that stop sign, while trying to catch my breath. I stood there for a moment. Red-faced, sweaty, huffing and puffing. And victorious. I had made it on my first attempt. And it felt good. Real good. I don’t know how it’s going to feel tomorrow, but today it felt good.

Some random couple drove by as I was feeling the thrill of conquering that crazy hill and reaching the mighty stop sign. They looked at the bike, then at me, and smiled. It felt pretty good to have a random stranger give me an imaginary high-five with a glance.

However as I was taking deep breaths, in order to try and catch my breath, I didn’t get a whiff of fresh mountain air that athletes need after such a victory. My oxygen was tainted. Tainted with the smell of fresh horse manure. And not just a little bit either. I think they were giving a group tour or something because there was a definite aroma in the vicinity.

So I grabbed my bike and made my way down hill. I wish I could have stayed a little bit longer and relish in the moment, you know, take it all in, but unfortunately horse crap isn’t really my thing. And it wasn’t great for my deep-breathing victorious moment either. Maybe next time will be better.


One step at a time. One pedal at a time. One splash at a time.

23 Aug

I fell off the wagon. But today was day one. I’m back. And no matter what happens on day two or day forty-five, today I was back on the wagon. I’m on a roll. Yeah one day can qualify as being on a roll. I’m building momentum, here.

What has brought me back to sports bras and New Balance running shoes? The athletic surge of energy I got from the Olympics? Probably.  Those inspirational VISA commercials by Morgan Freeman and wishing he was talking about me? Maybe. An athletic challenge that meets the crazy competitive sporting nature at my humble Guat athletic level? Yes. Most definitely.

A challenge.

A mini-triathlon challenge … this one by the beach.

Image via Durtbagz.com

That’s all it took. This is what had me lacing up my shoes at 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday night. After undergoing a very long day where my four-year old son suffered a 100+ fever and crazy mood swings once the Advil wore off, I decided to take it to the streets. I know most people think that days last 24 hours, but when you’re sick or your kid is sick and you wake up and 5:44 a.m., for some reason the day is much longer. Much. I think it’s the mood swings and all the patience that drained out of my body.

So once the moon came out and both kids went to sleep the training began. I told myself this is it. You hate running. I know you hate running. For me it’s a pointless exercise unless I’m being chased by some slasher.  But running is an essential part of a triathlon. So I didn’t mind it much. As long as the running serves a purpose in the end, I’m all good.

And let me just clarify that even though I’ve probably gained like ten pounds from eating all those different forms of chocolate — pies, rocky road ice cream, cake, KitKats — the purpose here is not weight loss. The purpose is being able to finish the triathlon and possibly improve on my last performance. The purpose is to get that cartwheel feeling of excitement in accomplishing something I think is pretty awesome. The purpose is to get back on the wagon and feel good about myself. I’m sure I’ll feel pretty spectacular once I’ve crossed the finish line.

I’ve got two months to train my Guat body into amateur triathlon form. Today I took my first step. I’m pretty excited about my start. I know I’ll probably fall off the wagon again, considering my lack of available babysitters and my ability to work out at all. But 9:30 p.m. seemed to work out all right tonight. But I’m hoping not to make that time slot a habit, considering that suspect characters like to commit criminal activity during these hours. And even though I grew up in the barrio and have plenty of street smarts, it’s good to avoid dark streets with no lights. Even if you are a brown belt and carry mace, the dark of night may not always be a good workout schedule.

But I can’t get discouraged for having only sixty days to train, knowing full well that I may miss a day or two. I must think more along the lines of quality workouts instead of quantity. Granted I need at least four days, but four quality sweat-busting days. The kind of days where I need Gatorade. Here comes The Guat … one step at a time, one pedal at a time, one splash at a time.

Giddy up!

My Tinman Update #5

20 Jun

The countdown is on and I’ve got three days to go.

Three days until the big race. Three days to do some final workout cramming sessions. And during this final week of workout madness I finally hit the water. And I know what you’re thinking … crazy Guat. It’s a triathlon. Swimming is an essential part. It’s like catching in baseball. But as I mentioned before, I’m a starving writer and don’t have the status of pool success.

Image via Durtbagz.com

You know … pool success. That’s when you have the money to buy a house with a pool, or you have one installed. I don’t have pool money yet. I don’t even have sprinkler money. So I had to turn to public pools, however that’s not my thing. I’m not a fan of other people’s urine diluted in gallons of water. I’m a little Howard Hughes that way. So my swim training has been a little slow.

But I finally got the opportunity to jump in a semi-private pool, and I went to town. I finally got in the water and I can honestly tell you that the swimming is probably going to kick my ass.

No doubt. No doubt.

But the good thing is that at least I can expect it, right? I know it’s coming. So might as well just take it head on. Psyche myself up and bust a move. Like going to the doctor and knowing you’re gonna get a shot. You know you have to do it. You know it’s gonna hurt. So what do you do? Cowboy up.Man up! Or in my case Woman Up!

Just gonna dunk myself in the water and try my best.  Gonna bust out all the swimming moves I got to get me through this part of the race.  Freestyle, backstroke, doggie paddle, and the one that makes you look like a frog. I might just even float my way to the finish. But that’s what happens. What are you gonna do?

The funny thing is that even though swimming worked out every single part of my body, I felt somewhat relaxed and at ease in the water. Pushing myself off the wall and zooming through the water at my own Guat speed felt great. I didn’t feel like I was exercising at all. My knees weren’t hurting and my back was free of pain.I was out of breath and I could feel it in my shoulders and legs, but I felt good.

I wish I had pool money. My broken-down thirty-something athletic bones and ligaments would thank me. I’m sure my post Tinman Triathlon body would appreciate it too.

But nevertheless game on. It’s on. Run. Bike. Swim. Here I come. Swimming here I come.

My Tinman Update

18 May

Due to circumstances beyond my control — bad babysitters who tell you they’ll watch your kids and then shaft you — I wasn’t able to go to the track as often as I wanted to this week, so I had to workout the sneaky way.

Nap time and bed time.

Those were the Guat workout hours. Not ideal for triathlon training, but for now it’ll have to do. And I know that’s not the best answer. I know my body will be cursing me out during the race, telling me it’s dying and cramping up, ready to fall down and cause me pain.  And it will have every right to do so, considering the challenge I want to put it through, but hey … that’s why they got glucosamine and vitamins. And I’m stocking up.

Image via Durtbagz.com


But Nature Made pills can only get you so far. Training is training and these sad fifteen to twenty-minute intervals suck as a triathlon regiment for my thirty-six year old body, but it’s my reality and I embrace it. I’m not gonna finish first, but I am gonna finish.

So as a sad substitution for running, I’ve added the jump rope to my Tinman training. I don’t know if that will help because I’m not going to be jumping rope for three miles during the race. But jumping rope gets my heart pumping and boxers do it during their workout sessions. But as a friend pointed out: they box, not run, bike and swim. You need to be training all your running, biking and swimming body parts.

So in my search for training my running-body parts without running at the track, I came up with running up and down the stairs at home, as quietly as possible during nap time. It’s a running motion, I’m just moving vertically instead of in circles. It could work for now. My quads say it is working. Most definitely.

We’ll see how things progress during bad babysitter times.  I guess there’s nothing wrong with walking during a race, but I imagine it may be frowned upon by other runners. I mean I’m frowning right now just thinking about it … I’ve got to get better babysitters.


I Realized That Tylenol Sucks

9 May

I’m no Flo Jo, no Lance Armstrong, no Michael Phelps. I’m not in Olympic shape. I’m not in triathlon shape. I’m not even in junior high school nerd shape. I’m not swimming. I’m not biking. I’m not running. I’m barely walking.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Apparently the flu is contagious in this household, and when it’s accompanied by a fever, crankiness and the inability to perform basic functions like throwing out the trash are common side effects. So not only am I sleep deprived, but also lacking the time to tone and condition my muscles as I find myself the only capable and functioning adult in the household.

During this health conscious time, I’ve realized that Tylenol sucks. It just doesn’t work. Acetaminophen. It doesn’t matter if it sounds all fancy-SAT-like coming out of the pharmacists mouth. Acetaminophen. It still sucks. It’s supposed to relieve pain and reduce fever. Lies … all lies. I should have read the fine print more closely … It says minor aches and pains. Minor. Stuff like papercuts or hangnails, I guess.

Perhaps if I would have started the ibuprofen regiment earlier the germs would not have overpowered everyone’s immune system and I might have made time to train for the Tinman Triathlon. If this Advil for Infants and NyQuil for adults doesn’t work I may in fact come in last place at this race. I used these flu drugs before and they seem to do the trick, but it may take a while. Last place … stupid Tylenol.

Although, there’s nothing wrong with last place, but if you know you can do better … it sucks. So I hope to carve out time this weekend and begin a daily training routine to help my Guat body do well in this race.

In any case the countdown continues and I forge ahead with my plans. Once again I’m in it solo. Now, I understand why a couple of my friends were hesitant to accompany me during the Warrior Dash. That was intimating and most of them were concerned about the obstacles. But this triathlon has zero obstacles and yet again I had no takers. 

Well one friend was up for the race, but seeing how she had neck surgery just a little while ago, it might be a good idea to sit this one out until she’s recovered. The neck seems to be a vital piece of the human body. You need it to work properly. But everyone else seemed not too keen on the idea as I got no response from my email.

That’s O.K. I meet all kinds of interesting people during a race. We all sprint the straightaways. We all don’t want to get beat by the sixty-year old Ironman looking chick. We think about walking the bike up that killer hill.  And we all share the same goal: finish the race without injury.  

With the help of Advil and NyQuil the training begins. Giddy up!



I’m Having Warrior Dash Withdrawals

16 Apr

Yeah. I’m suffering from Warrior Dash Syndrome. I’m having withdrawals. I’m craving a challenge. I was left with such an awesome feeling that I want to repeat it.

But I have to admit I don’t like running.

I feel like if I’m not training for anything there shouldn’t be any sprinting involved. I feel like if no one is chasing me, there should not be any running within a five-mile radius. Running should have purpose. I need to find another race. Another challenge.

I’m on the lookout.

made specific for the triathlon wikipedia page...

made specific for the triathlon wikipedia page, made up of licenses images from wikimedia as well as a few of my own photos which I release to public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found a race I’ve done before. The Tin Man Triathlon. Not IronMan … TinMan. The lightweight metal on the Periodic Table of Elements. Wait. I don’t even know if it’s on the Periodic Table of Elements. It’s sort of a metal-like substance. Well regardless of its lightweight status, it was one of the proudest athletic moments of my life, other than the Warrior Dash. It was on The Bucket List, and I was so happy to have crossed it out.

Could I do a repeat performance?


Training for the running and biking part was doable. Although while I was training for the biking portion of the race I was zooming along and a parked U-Haul came out of no where and sort of crashed into me while it was sitting there on the corner. I mean I saw it, but for some reason my brain didn’t send the message to my body parts and before you know it I was en route, semi-airborne, and smacked right into the back door of the U-Haul. It was a short trip. My body was up against a picture of some walrus and an interesting Venture-Across-America-Did-You-Know fact, which wasn’t really interesting at the time. 

I had to take a minute to recuperate. Several actually.

So training is not super easy, but it’s not exceptionally difficult either. I made it through the race all right, until I hit the swimming part. I trained in my uncle’s pool, and well seeing how there’s a rift in the family ever since my uncle passed away I’m pool-less.

Can I go to a public pool? Sure. Sure, but I have issues with swimming in urine. It’s just not for me. So this is my predicament.

I’d have to swim at least a couple of times before heading into the race. I mean how can you train for a triathlon and not splash around in a pool? How do you train for swimming when there’s no pool. Maybe I need a giant tub.

I don’t know. I mean I didn’t swim every day, and it showed when I got to the swimming portion as numerous people passed me. It got to the point where I was so tired that I stopped doing the freestyle and started doing the backstroke. For some reason that seemed easier to me and I went zooming along. Well not really zooming, more like Nemo, cruising the waters. I was pretty exhausted.

But I got my medal and I was ecstatic the entire day. My first triathlon. I felt badass.

Maybe doing my second one will feel even better.


Even Without a Cape … Guatemalan Warrior in the House!

1 Apr

My back aches, my shoulders hurt, my muscles feel sore, my feet are tired, my body is worn-out … but I feel good.


I survived the Warrior Dash.

Despite the gloomy and drizzling weather, which doesn’t happen often in Southern California not even in winter, I made the two-hour drive to Warrior Dash Central. I was anxious, nervous, and filled with butterflies in my stomach.

Big Time Warriors

As I made my way from the parking lot to registration, I started to notice a pattern …

The Bear Naked Peeps

Dude. I felt something was missing. Something was not right with my t-shirt and shorts outfit … A superhero costume would have been more appropriate.

The Lumberjack Crew

I felt like the Lone Guat in a sea of costumes. There was a Superman family, Wonder Woman, Xena Princess Warrior Chicks, brightly colored fluorescent people with matching head bands, The Smurfs, Ghostbusters, The Bear Naked people, the barely naked people with matching Speedos, chicks with pink wigs, chicks with pink, green, and blue tutus, dudes with hazmat suits, and even dudes dressed up as chicks. It was like The Justice League reunion with a motley crew of party crashers, and I didn’t get invited.

My dude said … “I don’t think this is the kind of race you do alone … but at least you got a cheering section.”

My kids and dude made the trek.

So with my Guat-Mexican party of four I made my way to the starting line.

“Good luck, mom. Don’t go in the muddy water. Those people look yucky. Win the race!”

All I could think about was don’t fall. Don’t fall and finish.

“You’ll be fine. We’ll be waiting for you at the finish line.”

I walked over to the starting line and began my athletic ritual. Everyone has one before an event, consciously or unconsciously: stuff like, stretching out and counting to seven, but not eight; stretching out your left leg first; and doing your arm thing to loosen up.  Whatever the ritual may be every one was doing it. If you don’t have a ritual, you’re probably not a real athlete.

Ready, Set, Go!

As I stretched and did my routine, I looked around … the chicks and dudes with the 80s fluorescent leotards and matching headbands were in front of me and the Xena Warrior Princesses were next to me.  I was nervous. I felt like I needed a cape. I looked behind me … regular t-shirt and shorts people like myself were among the sea of costumes.

Countdown begins … 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

I did the Sammy Sosa ritual move and took off.

With all that adrenaline I took off faster than usual, but kept my steady pace. As I reached the half-mile mark, I noticed all the costume people trailing off little by little. Xena Warrior Princesses probably fell on their swords or something because I didn’t see them at all.

There were no obstacles until after the half-mile mark and the first one being the Road Rage Tires.

I was like one of those state-champion double-dutch chicks. Dude. It was on! I made it through that obstacle pretty quickly. The only time I slowed down was when they triple stacked the tires.

Then came the Barricade Breakdown where I hurdled over barricades and crawled under barbed wire. I used my Dukes of Hazard jumping-over cars skills to jump the barricades that were chest high.

More running after that, where I continued passing costume after costume. The Justice League and the Smurfs were gone. My T-shirt and shorts people made their way to mile two and saw the rock-climbing wall. I was like Spider-Man as I scaled that thing up and over no problem. Sweet. Once I got to the top, I slid down the pole like a professional firefighter.

After mile two, the challenge hits you …  all the obstacles. They are spread out, but between mile two and the finish line I was huffing and puffing. That was my soundtrack, in surround sound, because everyone else was breathing heavily too.

My next obstacle was the one I feared. The Teetering Traverse. My heart was pounding and all I wanted to do was go fast, but I knew better.

I was causing traffic, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to eat it.

After conquering that bad boy, came the Horizontal Hike. This didn’t scare me when I saw the online description, but once I saw the arching geodome and all the cargo nets and pieces of wood I had to hold onto in order to cross over, I knew why there was a paramedic on standby. I made it through with only a couple of rope burns and scratches.

As I climbed up the ropes of my next obstacle, The Great Warrior Wall, I saw her behind me … struggling. It was Wonder Woman…she was not that wonderful at climbing ropes. So in my sportmanship-way I yelled at her:

“C’mon Wonder Woman…You can do it!!!”

She smiled and grabbed hold of the rope.

She must have done well because at the Chaotic Crossover, a series of tangled nets we had to cross over much like the horizontal hike but lower to the ground and with more opportunities to get snagged and left behind, I saw her causing traffic grabbing hold of the nets. She was spread out like a bad twister game. She lost her amazon bullet proof bracelets and golden tiara.

photo via warriordash.com

But she seemed to make it through, because I saw her again at Deadman’s Drop. I climbed this tall structure with extreme caution. Not one, but two paramedics were on site. The “unhandy hurdle” at the top was a bitch. So as I was moving slowly I saw Wonder Woman down at the bottom. I couldn’t let a chick like that beat me, so I pressed on and slid down the other side with caution. No splinters.

The Cargo Climb was tricky. Not only did I have to control my own balance, but I also I had to be aware of other people’s maneuvers. A foot here, or a hand there changed the way the ropes moved. Grabbing onto the wooden frame was also a bad idea as the rope trapped my fingers and crunched them when people pulled and tugged on the nets with all kinds of body parts. I was pretty tired by this point, but then I saw three 50+ year-old Ironman type of ladies pass me by … just jogging like they were beginning the race. All cool and under control.

Dude. The competitive side of me said, “C’mon now, you can’t let all these ladies pass you by, you’ve got to at least beat one of them.” So I got enough strength from who knows where and kept running to the next obstacle and beyond.

The Petrifying Plunge was a fun slip-n-slide. Most people went head-first. I preferred to go feet first, because I didn’t want my face to plunge into the murky cold waters below.

The Capsized Catamaran awaited me in the freezing waters. This obstacle killed me. It killed everyone. The water was about five-feet deep and you had to pull yourself up and over this plastic structure. Then plop back in the water, swim, or walk if you were tall enough, to the next plastic-up-and-over obstacle. However there was nothing you could push off of … it was pure upper body strength hauling your tired ass out of the water. Catamarans suck. This obstacle took me about fifteen minutes.

The water was so ice-cold and the chick and her dude in front of me were not climbing this thing fast enough. So even though I didn’t know her, I gave her a boost and pushed her up and over, so that I wouldn’t drown while treading water. However by the time I got to the second up and over, I struggled during the “up” part as did everyone else. Some racers gave up and swam to shore, including Wonder Woman, a big body-builder dude with a dragon tattoo, and even one of the Ironman 50+ ladies.

Me. I continued struggling. Then I found some chick wearing a Winnie the Pooh backpack who was struggling too, and said:  “Hey I’ll pull you up, if you push me up.”

Normally the backpack would have thrown me off, but as I was freezing and desperately wanting to finish this obstacle I tagged teamed with the Winnie the Pooh chick and we became the Wonder Twin Powers.

photo via warriordash.com

She pushed…I pulled.  Push and Pull. Repeat. We were a dynamic duo. However, on the last leg of this obstacle I pulled too much and I fell over into the water. But it’s not like I wasn’t wet so it didn’t matter. The wetter the better because The Warrior Roast was next. So I didn’t mind the fall.

As I made my way out of the water and up the hill, I tried to muster enough courage and energy for the fire. I was out of breath and needed to sprint in order to gain enough momentum to jump over these logs. Winnie the Pooh girl saw me hesitating and said “C’mon, you can do it.”

So I busted out my best hurdle-jumping ballerina leap and made it through unscathed. No firefighters or extinguishers needed.

Crawling through Muddy Mayhem

After that came the Muddy Mayhem, where we “scrambled” beneath barbed wire in muddy, rocky waters.

Everyone was dragging and hurting, but made their way to the finish line.

My shirt was wet, shorts drenched, and my New Balance shoes and socks were soaked.

Heading to the finish line

After crawling out of the final pit, I ran toward the archway. Not walked, but ran.

I didn’t need the cape. I was a Warrior.

What did I learn from this Warrior Dash Saga? Tune in tomorrow.

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.