Guest Post: My Second Warrior Dash

My friend Jamie is guest posting today about her second Warrior Dash.  Be nice and leave her lots of comments, then have an awesome Wednesday!

I’m baaaacccckkkk!!!  Ok… Ok… OK!  Contain yourselves.  *Sheesh*  🙂  Thanks to Athena for having me back (yet again) to babble about my beloved Warrior Dash.  Third blog’s a charm, right?  Anyways, the first time you heard from me I was just discovering a new-found love for working out.  And the last time you all heard from me I had just finished Warrior Dash Connecticut in June and because I am brain-damaged LOVE obstacle filled runs I signed up for Warrior Dash New Hampshire.  Now for those of you who missed my last blogs and haven’t heard of Warrior Dash, it’s a 5K run with obstacles thrown throughout the entire thing.  In short, it’s an obstacle course for adults (and it’s freaking amazing).  And for those who really need an excuse – there is free beer and entertainment, including bands and drinking games!  Really – How on earth can you possible go wrong???  Check it out here!

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Well, folks, I did it!  I successfully completed Warrior Dash New Hampshire on Sept 15.  You all should be impressed by this because this was my first weekend back after a 10 day cruise.  That’s right.  I came back from binge drinking, eating, working out NEVER (yup, not once in that 10 days – Sorry Athena!), and ran a race that weekend.  So let me tell you about this Warrior Dash and all my glory, because I was after all GLORIOUS!

See all the glory?  (Yes, I am covered in mud… more on that later.)

The day of the race the hubby (bizarre word, right?  Anyhoo…) and I drove out to NH bright and early and made our way to the battle ground, I mean race course.  It was held at Gunstock Mountain Resort, which was amazing because they have zip lines and all sorts of stuff to do there.   I received my free t-shirt, free beer ticket (doubling as a race timer tying onto your shoe), and number.  From there I headed to the St.Jude tent.  Pause: “GIANT SHOUT OUT TO ALL WHO DONATED HERE!”  At the St.Jude tent I was provided free food, drinks, private bathrooms and… drum roll… a shower!!!!  While I got to support a great cause and raise money for St.Jude, it also enabled me to get clean and eat after the race.  Anyone who decides to run this should raise for St. Jude.  It’s a great cause and takes very little effort to help out.

A bit before my heat I got lined up, aka corralled, and we got amp-ed up to go!

Notice I am rockin’ my St.Jude Warrior buff.  Another bonus to being a St.Jude Warrior – free swag!  While we counted down the MC had lots of fun with us, forcing us to play along to Simon Says.  I have to admit that it kept us entertained while the clock ticked down.  Before I knew it the fire flared and we were off!

…and then many of us stopped.  You see this was at a ski resort and they sent us up the ski trail… straight up.  Yes, a ski trail.

While it doesn’t look like much from this picture, it got much worse.  Although from the top I was wishing I had a camera.  The views were amazing, simply stunning.  Here’s a pic the Warrior Dash folks took.

Part of the fun of these is the overheard conversation.  This was amongst my favorites:

Guy: “We PAID for this?!?!?!  Like, paid them to run up a ski trail.”

Girl: “Quick whining and pick it up.”

Guy: Scowls at girl

Now on my last Warrior Dash I just ran right through.  This one, which went up the ski trails not once, but twice, I admit was walked on several occasions.  It was unavoidable.  Now, the obstacles are my favorite part.  At one point I came upon a large tarp laid down the mountain side with hoses spraying water all over it.  While most were being careful to run down without falling, I went full speed, screamed at the top of my lungs, and jumped onto it on my backside sliding all the way down.  When I got up I was giggling like an idiot, fully enthralled with my fun on the makeshift water slide.  (Insert odd looks from snobs running here.)  I was there to have fun dammit, and screw whoever doesn’t like my brand of fun.  Sticks tongue out at snobs.

I also got to do rope climbs, jump over barricades, crawl under barbed wire, net crawls… the list goes on!  But the finale involved leaping over fire and then crawling through a giant pit of mud.  You have to admit the child in you is screaming “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CAN WE GO?!?!?!  CAN WE MOMMMMM????”

Please note I clicked my heels like a giant tool, but I was giddy.  What can ya do?

The girl in green who looks like she thinks her life is ending lost her shoe, and caused a nice back up in the mud pit.  I managed to get around her and into the deeper part, which yes does have barbed wire hanging over it.  There’s no strolling through this!  You get in and get dirty!  After the mud pit I raced across the finish line, slamming down a couple of cups of water and eagerly found Chris (aka hubby) for my mud-covered photo-opp.

TA-DAAAA!!!!

So there you have it… my mud filled afternoon of running through a crazy course on a ski mountain.  It was an amazing experience and you can bet your A** I’ll be doing it again in 2013.  If anyone is interested in running check out the Warrior Dash website or find them on Facebook and Twitter.  And if you do…

😉  That is all… until next time!

Thank you, Jamie, for your (third) guest post!!

Guest Post: My First Warrior Dash

As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some amazing friends and bloggers while I’m away on vacation.  This post is brought to you by my friend and co-worker, Jamie.  You guys may remember Jamie from her guest post back in February when she wrote about tips for newbies just starting out at the gym.  Thanks, Jamie, for writing another guest blog in my absence!

My First Warrior Dash

Thanks to Athena for having me back for a follow-up guest blog!  🙂

Last time you all heard from me I was having serious heart palpitations about my first gym membership back in February, which quickly turned into a love for the gym.  As part of my new-found love, I signed up for a 5k obstacle course mud race, since obviously I had lost my mind.  Bring on the Warrior Dash was my initial thought! … which was quickly followed by “what am I thinking?” and “I wonder if I can get a refund…”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Warrior Dash, they describe it as “a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from hell.  This fierce running series is held on the most challenging and rugged terrain across the globe. Warriors conquer extreme obstacles, push their limits and celebrate with live music, beer and Warrior helmets.”  I mean… how on earth could I possibly go wrong with such a combination?

Each Warrior also has the option to race as a St. Jude Warrior and collect donations for them.  I managed to raise over $500 so thank you to everyone who made donations!

So I worked out 5-6 days a week, hoping to not pass out on top of an obstacle.  Before I knew it, the day of the race came.  To use a phrase that my husband loathes (so of course I use it all the time); I was JAZZED!!!  My husband, Chris, drove us and we parked in the grass at the Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.  We then had to walk to the course itself, which seemed to take for-freaking-ever.  Once we got there it was a sea of people… some very muddy, some clean.

The way the day works is that waves of up to 500 people run every half hour.  Since my heat wasn’t until 3pm plenty of people had conquered the course by the time we got there.  We made our way to the line where I picked up my bib, timer (which doubles as a free beer ticket), free warrior helmet, and shirt.  I got pinned up and ready to go!  If you can’t tell, I was ridiculously excited for the race in the picture below.  I could not stop grinning from ear to ear.

The race itself was AMAZEBALLS.  Yup, that’s right.  I’m sorry, but no real words do it justice.  I absolutely loved it.  To kick off the race a burst of fire came out at the start line.  Really… how flipping awesome is that all on its own???

And we were off!  We went right into the woods, through the mud, and ran 3.11 miles while going through obstacles along the way.  The best one was definitely climbing over the cars!  I had so much fun with this that I was jumping from car to car.  I mean, where else can you do this?!?!

The end of the race wrapped up with a wall climb, followed by jumping over fire, a net climb, crawling through a mud pit with barbed wire over your head, and then you were rewarded with a medal and a banana as you crossed the finish line.  I wolfed mine down in about 2 bites I think!

Here’s me jumping over fire!!

And here is the after:

People were even dressed up in costumes!  We saw Mario and the Princess, Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights, women (and men) in tutus, and the list goes on.  I think going to this is worth it as a spectator alone just to see all the people there.  It was seriously some of the best people watching ever.

Following the race, they offer beer, food, live concerts, and games are set up all over.  There was even keg bowling!  And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.  If you are looking for a good cause, a fun challenge, and a great day out I highly recommend this.  Check out www.warriordash.com for availability.

Also, because I think I am permanently brain-damaged, I decided to run again in September.  Did I mention this is the weekend after I get back from a 10 day cruise?  Great planning, right?  So I’ll need all the support I can get!  As part of this I am running as a St. Jude Warrior again.  If you have any pennies to spare I would greatly appreciate any donations, no matter how big or small.  Every cent raised goes directly to St. Jude!  You’ll receive a letter in the mail following your donation for tax deductions.  To donate just go to my link and click donate now: www.mystjudeevent.org/jnwarrior

Bring on Warrior Dash New Hampshire!

Have any of you ever participated or been a spectator at a Warrior Dash?

Guest Post! A New Found Love for the Gym

First, thanks to Athena for inviting me to be a guest blogger!

Second, I don’t blog so be kind to me.  🙂

While sitting on a beach in Mexico recently, I couldn’t help but notice the number of people who were in awesome shape.  I kept thinking, “They MUST go to the gym.”  When I got home I had trouble breaking the “eat whatever I want because I am on vacation” habit.  I am sure some of you can relate.  This expanded things I did NOT want expanding.

Well, now that I am nearing *gasp* 30, my body isn’t exactly bouncing back like it used to.  So I opened my very first gym membership.  That’s right!  I did it!  Terrifying, frightening, sheer panic pulsated through me as I clicked the button to open my new account at Work Out World.  That was it… now I had to actually GO TO THE GYM.  Like physically get off of my lazy bum and sweat in front of strangers.  This was so not my thing.  For those of you that know me, I NEVER go to the gym and I mean NEVER EVER EVER EVER.  Mainly I think this was because:

  1. I don’t tend to do well with large groups of strangers
  2. I was happy on my couch, and
  3. I just didn’t want to… seriously… just leave me here, watching my TV, thank you very much.  My husband, an avid hiker, had to bribe me with pizza and beer (we’re not talking cheap crap here either) just to get me hiking up a mountain.

See?!

I decided to be motivated I had to actually pay money, thus ensuring I would go.  I started off with something fun… “I’ll try Zumba,” I thought.  I had always heard it was fun.  Admittedly, going to the gym alone for a group class was scary, but if I can give you any advice here, this is it:  GET OVER IT.  Just get in the car and go there.  You will survive… I promise.  People will even be nice to you!  Anyways, I got into class, located my “spot,” a.k.a. a place towards the back where I had enough space to not punch or kick anyone, thus ensuring I would not be the newbie who knocked someone unconscious, and I waited for things to begin.  People of ALL shapes, sizes, and ages were there, which made me happy because I had feared that I would be surrounded by, I dunno, a whole bunch of Barbies.  The class got started and was over before I knew it and it was SO. MUCH. FUN!  Like ridiculous amounts of fun.  And when I got home I felt good!

Anyways, this one short 55 minute class had me wanting more, so then I took a Boot Camp class, and then I decided to try Total Body Melt.  Each class has come with new trainers, people, and moves.  Since someone is leading you, you aren’t watching a clock tick down time.  Personally, I tried P90x in the past, which is a lot of fun, but once I knew the DVDs I found myself remembering what I didn’t like and why I didn’t want to do it… and before you know it I stopped pushing play.

If you are thinking of joining a gym and getting into working out here is my advice:

  • Find one that you can stop at on your way TO or FROM work.  It won’t seem like such a big deal to stop if you aren’t making a special trip to go to the gym.  Once you start going and start feeling good, you will start wanting to take the trip… Trust me.  (This is a STRANGE feeling.)
  • IF possible get a friend to join and go with you.  I wasn’t lucky enough to have this, but I am sure someone helping to motivate would be a good thing!
  • Start off with something that will be fun, like Zumba!  This was a great way to get myself going.  You really learn to laugh at yourself in these classes ladies.
  • JUST DO IT… Stop coming up with a million reasons why you shouldn’t go.  Just get in the car and GO.

The bottom line is everyone needs to find what is right for them.  The major factor is usually finding your motivation and then following through.  Instead of spending the morning sleeping off the pizza hangover, try getting up and moving.

Your body will feel better and if you keep at it look better too!

Now for my shameless solicitation!! 

With my new-found love for working out (as my sister said; “Who are you and what have you done with my sister?”) I have signed up to run in the Warrior Dash New England on June 9th.  I am running as a St. Jude Warrior, meaning I am raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in support of the mission of St. Jude — finding cures and saving children. Your gift will help the doctors and researchers at St. Jude find new treatments for cancer and other deadly diseases.  So while I am running through the mud and obstacles, making a general mess of myself, I’ll also be supporting a cause I believe in.  I am working to fundraise as much as I can.

To donate:  Simply go to this link.  You can even donate anonymously!  🙂

For more information on the Warrier Dash itself, click over to the website and take a look.

Thanks for any and all contributions!

Question of the day to you all – what is your biggest “how to just get started” piece of advice? 

Thank you, Jamie, for your guest post on your new found love for fitness, your story is very inspiring!  Good luck with your fitness goals and upcoming Warrier Dash!