Last year after the Warrior Dash, Matt and I signed up for the 2014 race. Approximately four months later I found out I was pregnant and would be about 114 months pregnant when August 2nd rolled around.
But I didn’t let that stop me… or at least, I didn’t let it stop me once Matt said he would walk the course with me and help me through the course.
Last year the event went VERY smoothly. Everything seemed to go off without a hitch. This year it could not have been more different. Instead of parking in a nice bank parking lot with a ton of space, we parked in a farming field with horse poop everywhere (not the Warrior Dash’s fault… the new owners of the parking lot didn’t want to rent it out for the day). Our heat was at 10:30 am. After leaving the house a little after nine and dropping the kids off at a friend’s house for babysitting, by 10:30 we were still sitting in the jeep downtown stuck in traffic. After a few more hours in the overheating car and more starts and stops than I want to count we finally made it to the field that we were supposed to park in. I took one look at the line (at least a half mile long… no joke) I decided it would be faster to walk the mile and a half to the check in than stand in line waiting for buses that were also stuck in traffic. And we were right.
Then we stood in line for another hour to pick up my “race packet”. Last year it consisted of a large envelope with my name on the top and included my race bib, t-shirt, viking helmet, race time chip, free beer token (which I still have as a souvenir), and safety pins. This year my “race packet” consisted of someone handing me a random bib, and throwing me a t-shirt and viking helmet. Matt and I picked up our “packets” and pinned our bibs on.
The plan was for Matt to run the race as fast as he could for a time and then we would walk it together. By now it had been about five hours since we dropped our kids off at the sitter. Needless to say we were more than a little stressed about the time this whole ordeal was taking. But we had gotten the green light from the wonderful family watching my kids, so I gave my sweetheart a kiss and wished him luck.
After he was out of sight I made a bee line for the porta potties. It was so crowded, but most of the crowds were congregated around the packet pickup and gear check.
After my bathroom break (which thankfully had toilet paper) I parked myself on the ground near the finish line and took some pictures to get my focus and exposure right. After a few minutes my rear started to hurt because of sitting on the ground. I got up and started to walk around to pass the time when I saw the most beautiful thing in the world… my sweet husband walking back to me.
“I changed my mind. I don’t want to run it by myself. Let’s just walk it together.” In that moment I felt much like I always imagined the heroine would feel after having just put her lover on a plane, possibly never to see each other again. I realize that is dramatic, but I’m pregnant… I’m allowed to be dramatic :)
“Okay!” I said and we stood in line for another hour to check our backpack. All the while I was pestering our sitter making sure it was ok that we keep going and what to do with Henry if he started to fuss (now that it was perilously close to nap time. The starting line was the shortest wait that we had had thus far, yet it was still probably fifteen minutes or so.
I’ll spare you the play by play of the race (all two + hours of it). Suffice it to say I walked painfully slow, holding on to my sweetheart’s arm while he helped pull and push me up steep hills and carefully step over the same slippery roots that I had flown over the year before. I did the obstacles I could but walked around the one’s that involved any climbing or sliding around on my belly. There were several more lines waiting at the big obstacles and after waiting for a good half an hour at the first one, Matt decided to skip anything that had super long lines with me. My favorite obstacle was the lake. I remembered it from last year and was looking forward to my belly being supported by the buoyancy of the water. Oh it was HEAVEN! My back did not want me to get out.
After far too long I saw one hill and said, “I don’t know that I want to go up that hill”. Matt said, “sure you do! Just get to the ropes.” So I grabbed the ropes and pulled myself up the hill (with Matt pushing occasionally from behind). When we got to the top we saw the last little bit before the finish line. Matt did the final obstacles while I walked around. Matt jumped over the fire… I stepped over it. We got to the huge slides (which I had also looked forward to) and ended up only able to do half of it (the going UP part). I wasn’t comfortable going across the beams so I went down the ladder and then when I saw what awaited us at the end of the slide I decided to skip that as well. Matt went through the last mud put and we crossed the finish line together.
I honestly didn’t think it would take me as long as it did, and parts of me are far more sore than they have any right to be considering how slow I was going, but I did it. A mile and a half walk to the course, then a 5k Warrior Dash. Given my being eight months pregnant I don’t feel like any less of a “warrior” than I did last year when I ran the whole thing and only had to skip one obstacle (I gave it a try first though).
The way back was much faster. No lines for the bus, and very little traffic to deal with. I’ll find out tomorrow if my friend/babysitter will still consent to be on speaking terms with me, but I’m fairly sure I can convince her that my lemon cheesecake is worth forgiving me for taking so long… though she may need to wait until Christmas before I make it :)
Will we do it next year? Who knows. It was so much fun last year, and this year I had fun because I was with the love of my life… but it was so poorly run this year that I’m not really excited at the prospect. Been there, done that.