Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finding my Inner Warrior

It's no secret that I hate running. I don't try to hide it. I would rather lift weights over running any day, but sometimes I wish I could like running... so I go through spurts where I run for a bit, remember that I hate it and go back to lifting weights. I think I'm designed for lifting and moving fast... this whole long slow distance thing that runners do doesn't work for me, it doesn't feel right.

I had accepted this about myself. Then I heard about the Warrior Dash... a 5K run through hell (their words not mine) and I thought "now that's a race I could do!". What exactly is it? It's a 5k obstacle course race which involves climbing over things, jumping over hurdles of fire (yeah that's right, fire!), crawling through dark tunnels (not my fav), walking planks and crawling through a mud pit under barbed wire (definitely my favorite!) and they host them all over the world! What's the point? Bragging rights of saying you did it!

So I signed up with bunch of other trainer friends- a great group of very fit ladies. Then I realized I had better start running! It was all well and good until I sprained my foot 2 weeks before the race. Well, I thought it was a sprain, the doctor I went to diagnosed it as a sprain and said I'd be good to train again in a few days. Bad advice... but I'll explain more about that later...

So, Saturday morning I got up ridiculously early to drive to Whistler with friends/ trainers Patty and Ingrid. The drive was a bit of a gong show... we were all tired, and one of us (not me) got car sick, but we managed to arrive in one piece to meet up with the rest of our team and register.

Okay... so we get to the start line and realize that the first part of the run (2k) is straight UP the mountain! So not only do I hate running, but now I have to run straight up! If I knew this beforehand, if I had done some more research, I would have stayed in bed that morning, but here I was, so I was going to go for it! and really... it didn't look too bad, it looked like it leveled off not far up.... wrong! It just turns and then keeps going straight up, and up and up!! FML!!! I was swearing a lot at this point! I thought about going back, giving up but then I realized that's what "Old Teri" would have done, that was 200lb Teri talking, new Teri doesn't give up. And I thought about Gregg, my amazing husband, and how proud he would be of me if I finished, and just as I decided to keep going... the ground leveled out and we were at a water station.

Then the real fun started... the first obstacle was jumping over walls and crawling under barbed wire, one after the other, up and over, down and under... at the first wall I thought "yeah right, are you kidding me?" but up I went, I hoisted myself up, swung my legs over and jumped down. Not so bad at all. I past the obstacle and kept going... but every time I hit the next obstacle, that voice came back again "No way, I can't do this, I'm going to fall on my face" but every time, I pulled myself up, pushed myself through, and kept going again  and every time that voice of "old Teri" got a little weaker, and little quieter.

Then I stumbled. My "just a sprain will be fine in a few days" ankle, apparently wasn't so strong yet and I slipped on a rock and rolled it badly. It hurt a lot... but I chose to keep going and as I kept moving the pain subsided and I was okay (I mostly just walked though).

When we got to the end, it was such an amazing feeling and three of us crossed arm in arm together and waited for the rest of our team. We were muddy, tired and hungry and it felt great!!

I learnt a few important things durning the race...

1) when a doctor tells you it's "just a sprain you'll be fine to train in a few days" but doesn't even examine your foot, get a second opinion. A few hours after the race on the way on the drive home, excruciating pain set in and I ended up in the ER the next day. I found out that I had strained the tendon of my Tibialis Anterior and if I do it again (a third time) before it properly heals, it will probably tear.

2) Even the steepest mountains level out if you climb long enough

3) Bananas somehow taste even better with muddy hands

4) Now that I can't run (for at least 4 weeks), I really want to...

but most importantly I learnt that "Old Teri" is still lurking there, somewhere in my brain, and even though she's getting smaller and weaker, I know she'll always be there... reminding me of who I once was and what I'm capable of becoming again... if I don't out run her first.

Me with the ladies... shelby, Ingrid, Nicole, (Me), Sherry, Jamieson and Patty

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