June 28, 2011

The Survival Race

This past Saturday I ‘competed’ in The Survival Race, a 5k with a bunch of different obstacles thrown in. I’m going to use the word ‘competed’ loosely, because let’s be honest, running is not my forte. Even so, I think that this was the first time I ever went on a run over three miles long and came out thinking, “Wow! That was a good time!”  

Karen, me, & Jess before the mud
Naturally, as soon as I saw that one of the guys running was dressed up as the old WWF wrestler Golddust , I knew I was going to be entertained. On the run I got a chance to talk to him and told him that my friend and I discussed wearing costumes, but the heat really outweighed the pro list for putting on such attire. He agreed he hadn't really thought that through. I saw him after he completed the race, looking hot and sticky with makeup smeared all down his face. Although honestly, hmmm… I guess I fit the same visual criteria after the race too; maybe I should have dressed up.

I think a big part of making my workouts fun involves keeping my mind actively engaged in what I’m doing. Since I sometimes have a hard time walking and chewing gum simultaneously, The Survival Race forced me to keep my focus on the muddy/hilly/sandy/hole-y ground. Oh, I also envisioned someone chasing me with a chain saw, you know, to make it a true Survival Race. Doing so completely kept my mind off of how much I hate running, whether or not my knees hurt, or thinking about the million things I like doing more than running (no offense to those real runners out there). I think it also helped that around every corner there was some little obstacle to keep me enthusiastic about what I was doing.
The first obstacle we encountered was this pit of mud we were supposed to trudge through. I saw some people running up on the sides of it trying not to get their sneakers dirty, but I immediately decided, “No Hill, you’re going right through it, you’re going to commit to getting dirty,” and I did. Naturally though, that mud stuck to my shoes like Glee on Lady Gaga. Mud isn’t so lightweight, but fortunately it hardened pretty quickly, crusted, and fell off throughout the race.
I continued the run, actually passed some people (cyber high-five), and shockingly finished as the second girl in our time slot (I did not get a medal though, WWWAAAAHHHH). There were definitely a couple things that I found more short(er)-person friendly. For example, we had to go through all these tunnels that were really low to the ground, crawl through bungee-chord created spider webs, and crawl under logs. I guess you could argue that I had an easier time climbing up the nets and jumping over the wall of fire (okay, so the wall of fire consisted of dura-flame logs that fueled about 4-inches of flame …on a good day), but still…I really like to complain. J. 
Karen, Jess, & me after the mud!
 Right at the end of the run there was this pit of mud, gravel, and water that we had to basically army-crawl through to go under these branches that were only a foot or so above the water. I came to this one branch which was particularly low, heard the crowd yelling at me to embrace it, held my breath and plunged. Thank God my friend waited until after the race to tell me that she was thinking of all the worms that were probably in that pit. I repeat, thank God. I don’t do worms.  

I got to donate my sneakers to the Crown Ministry Group after the race, which runs the GreenSneakers program for local charity; a really interesting cause.
Anyways, I had a good weekend; I got to do this race and spend a lot of time with my family and catch up on some much-needed rest.

À la prochaine!

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