Monday, June 20, 2011

Warrior Dash 2011...

Back in December, Ryan, myself, my sister Jaime, brother in law Bill, and his brother, Todd, all signed up for the Warrior Dash in Channahon.  Jaime, Ryan, and I started getting "serious" about it around February/March with our workouts.  Towards the end of March, my hip started to bother me after I would run, but I didn't give it much thought and just started taking glucosamine supplements.  At the end of April, I mentioned it to my chiropractor, and he took some x-rays.

Here's how our conversation went: "Your x-rays show that you have early onset hip degeneration in your right hip.  Basically it's a form of arthritis, and if you don't stop running it's going to get worse."  Me: "Yeah, I'm 34 years old, how can I have hip degeneration?"  "Your right leg is shorter then your left (nice, I'm a gimp) so when you run, your gait is putting more strain on your right hip.  Even if we give you a lift to put in your shoe, it won't be enough to make up the difference in length."  "Well, I can't stop running yet.  I'm doing the Warrior Dash in June, and I'm not missing that!"  "Well you need to find other ways to train like swimming or biking that don't put that repetitive stress on your hip."

Needless to say, I was not pleased with the results of my x-ray, and there was no way I was going to give up doing the Warrior Dash.  So, I continued to train and run, but the pain in my hip got worse, and soon I wasn't able to do more than a 1.5 miles before the pain and tears would force me to stop & hobble home.  I figured my chiropractor was right, I needed to find a new way to train, so I began to swim and rollerblade and then once school ended I started pushing the kids in the jogger while I rollerbladed.

That brings us to Warrior Dash Saturday.  I woke up extremely excited for the day.  I taped my ankles up (yeah, I taped my ankles- I blew one of them playing roller hockey when I was a college freshman & it was a smart decision too), and put on my knee brace.  My parents arrived to watch Noah and Juliana, and then Jaime, Bill, Todd and his wife, Mary Lou (who is 7 months pregnant) arrived.  We took our pre-dash picture and got in the van and drove to Channahon.
While we waited in the long line of cars to get to the parking lot, we watched the people who were currently "dashing".  We saw that some people were walking, and wondered why (later we discovered why).  Excitement in the car built, and finally we were parked.  We grabbed our gear bags and walked in to register.  Then, we took our pre-race picture, and jumped in to the 10:30 wave (we were registered for the 11:00 wave, but they didn't care).
The first part of the race started with no obstacles, and had some hills, mud and a bit of water.  We were doing well and passing people.  My hip was actually feeling good and only hurt a small bit.  We got to the spot where we had wondered why people were walking, it was a hill covered in mud.  I had read that a tip was to stay on the outside of the trail, so Jaime and I were doing that, when my footing gave way and I bit it HARD.  I landed hard on my right hip and knee and I wanted to cry as this intense pain shot through my leg.  Jaime was able to step over me so that I didn't take her out with me.  I scrambled back up and we got up the hill, but I was basically done running at that point.  I managed to do a pathetic jog here and there, but I was the group's handicap for the remainder of the dash.  I'm sure Ryan and Bill would have liked to have run on ahead, but they were nice and stayed with me (Jaime and I had made a pact to stay together no matter what- that's what sister's do). 
Stick together, that's what sisters do!
The obstacles weren't too bad, although they required a lot of upper body strength which I didn't think I possessed, but I surprised myself and did.  We did learn that my T-Rex arms did slow me at climbing (have you ever looked at a T-Rex? They have really short arms- well, so do I- Ryan is always making fun of me for them), but I was still able to do it.  My sister was a BEAST and overcame her fear of heights.  She really scaled those obstacles quickly, and I'm so proud of her!

The last part of the dash involved jumping over fire and then jumping into a giant vat of mud and "swimming" through it under barbed wire.  I think that was my favorite part.  After you climbed out of the mud you were given a medal and were greeted with a table full of cups of water and bananas (which is why I have one in the picture below- I was hungry!).
Once we took our "mud" picture, we headed to the water truck where we were "hosed" down by a fire hose with ICE COLD water.  I'm talking FREEZING cold water.  It was so cold, it took your breath away.  I don't know how he did it, but Ryan emerged from the cluster of muddy people virtually clean, as you can see in the picture below, and he was the muddiest of us all.
The whole reason we did it, the hats of course!
I'm not going to lie, I was sore the next day, and my right leg is an array of various bumps and bruises and there is skin missing in places.  Will I do this again?  In a heart beat!  We are all doing this next year, and are planning to dress as superheroes.  We are also recruiting for next year, and we may be coming for you (yes, Dennis, that means you).


  1. It was awesome and empowering! Thank you for making me do it! I am glad we didn't die.

  2. Way to persevere!!!!!! Looks like y'all had lots of fun in that ooey gooey mud!:0) I'm glad y'all didn't die too but I guess it would have been a fun way to go, huh. Sorry to hear about your hip.

  3. Can't wait! We need to get a big gang and go in one giant wave! I'll practice by rolling in mud! Are they fir sure coming back to Channahon?

  4. Jaimers, I'm glad we didn't die either- that would have been a bummer.

    Anna, why don't you join us next year?

    Dennis, next year's site hasn't been determined yet, but I'm guessing it will be somewhere around there, since the 2010 one was as well.

  5. Great blog and cudos to Mary Lou for the great photos. I am glad you didn't die too! Love, MOM
    Proud of all of you...

  6. Sorry to hear about your hip Jenna. That sucks! I can't wait to see you super hero out there next year!

  7. ahhmmm, sad to hear that story adriane but she did it.