Sunday, November 20, 2011

Warrior Dash and Natural Bridge Caverns Duathlon

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, this weekend seemed like as good as any to burn thousands of calories. First up was the Central Texas Warrior Dash near Austin on Saturday morning. It's a 3.01-mile run with obstacles strewn along the course. Things like climbing over old cars; traipsing through waist-high, muddy water; climbing 20-ft walls on a cargo net; and crawling through mud pits under barbed wire. Mike and I were pleasantly surprised at how challenging it was! We were in the 2nd of 10 or 15 waves that day so we were done early. We were awfully dirty afterwards.
Both of our shirts were white....
There was a big water truck where we could "rinse off"
Texas shower...
We brought old towels and a clean change of clothes to get us back to feeling normal. At the race, they have a location where you can drop off your muddy tennis shoes and a non-profit organization cleans and recycles them to produce affordable footwear for less fortunate people around the world. It felt good to help them out and not worry about transporting about a pound of mud back home with me via my shoes.
Donating my nasty running shoes for a good cause!
The best part was, when it was over, we got to hang out and eat turkey legs and drink beer while we listened to music, talked and danced with our friends. It's like a race with an outdoor music festival afterwards!
These hats are given to every race participant!
Kristin, Onae and I KILLED IT! WOO!
On Sunday morning was the Natural Bridge Caverns Duathlon. There were several different levels of duathlons available. Naturally, I picked the hardest and thought "Oh yeah, that shouldn't be too bad..." Obviously I didn't think that one through. The "T-Rex" consisted of a 5-mile run followed by a 26(!)-mile bike and a 2-mile run! The closer the race got, the more I realized it was going to be harder than I originally thought.

The cool thing about this race is that it starts in the cave! I got a bit claustrophobic in the cave at first, but I was talking to the woman ahead of me to take my mind off of it. The hardest part of the first run was getting out of the cave. There were some very steep parts on the path out! Also, at the turn around there was a very steep hill. I hate hills!! (Remember, I'm from Kansas!)

The bike was ok. There was a terrible hill at the turn around (again!) and during part of the last half I was pretty sure I wasn't on the route anymore. We were very spread out and we were on country roads so there wasn't always confirmation you were going the right way! When I finally got back to the caverns to start the last run, I was very angry at hills and wind. Mike was done when I started the run and came to cheer me on, but I waved him off. I'm not real social when I'm extremely worn out. I was cheering on the other runners (walkers) on the last 2 miles to help me stay motivated. When I reached the finish I was smiling big! I did it!

I immediately started shoving food in my mouth. I had eaten a granola bar on the bike, but that was it besides breakfast! Mike and I ate sausages and frito pies while they held the awards ceremony (they actually pushed the ceremony back to let more people, like me!, finish the race). They announced Mike's age group: He got 2nd place! My age group was next. I got 1st!!! Out of one! :) I was the only one in my group, but you know what? I'm still proud! That just means I was the only girl my age who was brave enough to attempt the T-REX! WOO!
I'm so glad I placed, because these are the coolest "medals" ever!!
We did it!
Next up is a "Turkey Trot" 5K on Thanksgiving morning. We're going to see if we can't get some of the family out there with us for a preemptive strike on the caloric intake!

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