The Road BEYOND Warrior Dash: Day One

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

We Came, We Saw…We…well…we managed to do it!

I finally got through Warrior Dash. It was a lot more difficult than I expected but I had good friends helping me get through it. It’s done. I did it…WE did it. I’ve made my Facebook album for this event public so, if you haven’t already seen it, click here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=272639&id=790904080&l=81e385ce31.

James had a waterproof camera the whole way through and managed to capture each and every bit of the misery as I tried to haul my 330 pound ass to the finish line. The starting line exploded in flame at 10:00 a.m. and we were on our way. We started toward the back of the pack and I jogged a little but quickly found out the boots weren’t making it easy. I changed to a walking pace and watched as our wave of people quickly left us. As soon as we went through the first water obstacle, my boots and the bottom of each pant leg took on water. A lot of water. That made it harder for me to take each step. They would start to empty out a little each time we hit dry land but not much. I think every step I took had an added ten pounds or so per leg. It caused me to tire out early. The first guy that finished from our wave did it in nineteen minutes. I may never be THAT guy in my life but I’d be interested in getting closer to a goal like that. First, I need to do some 5k runs that don’t involve mud and water obstacles, barbed wire, cargo nets, junked cars and tires, hopping over chest-high walls (I had to skip that one…) and more mud, water, barbed wire…you get the idea. Oh, did I mention LEAPING OVER FIRE?!?! By the time I got there, I had so much mud and water in my pants, there was no chance of me catching fire. My legs were too heavy to jump so I looked for the lowest part of the flame and I STEPPED over the fire. I could feel the heat of the flames but no burns. Thank God for that!

Too many details to share

My mental awareness declined throughout the course. All I could think was that I was tired, couldn’t run, somewhat disappointed at my lack of speed but every time I’d get down on myself, my thoughts would be interrupted by James or Matt yelling “C’mon! You got this Pal!”. They helped me push on. When we got passed by the second wave, my friend Bill slowed down his jog to join us and he walked the rest of the way with me. Had I fallen, these guys would have helped carry me to the end but that didn’t happen. I eventually made it to the finish line.

Here’s a little slide show I created from a combination of pictures from my sister, James’ wife, and James’ waterproof camera. You can really see every bit of the course from start to finish.

Warrior Dash 2011

When I came through the final obstacle, I didn’t care that I was on my hands and knees crawling through the freezing mud under barbed wire. I didn’t care that the announcer was screaming “LOOK! HERE’S THE BIG MAN!!! THE BIG MAN MADE IT THROUGH WARRIOR DASH”. For all I cared, he could have been yelling “CHECK IT OUT EVERYONE, HERE COMES FATTY!” I was, in fact, the biggest guy in the first three waves. I only cared that I could see the finish line less than fifty yards ahead and that I was going to do it. One hour and forty minutes after I started, I stood up from the mud pit and lifted my mud and water filled legs a few more feet and stepped across the finish line. A medal was placed around my neck and I got a cup of water and a banana that wasn’t quite ripe yet. It didn’t matter. It was done and I didn’t quit. That was all I cared about.

Here We Go Again

So what’s next? We hadn’t even finished the course and James started asking “Hey Pal, you think in a year you can be ready for the Disney Half Marathon?”. I believe I can. I believe that I can drop a hundred pounds or more in twelve months and be ready to do it. My plan is to continue training and losing weight. I’d like to do a few 5k events on PAVED ground to get ready.

If you like my blog, keep reading. I think I’ll be cutting my posts down to once per week until I’m a month out from the Disney Half Marathon and then I’ll post more frequently about my daily training.

Special Thanks

I have a few people I need to thank.

First and foremost, James and Matt: These guys never gave up on me. I’ve known them since high school and they continue to be my friends to this day. I’d be so inclined to say that our friendship is bigger now than it ever was back then.

Thanks to Lori, Rowan and Morgan for being there on Sunday morning bike rides.

To my family…Dad, Mom, Kathy, Geoff, Melissa, K: the amount of support you showed helped me press on. The amount of nervous concern you showed helped me to know I was loved. Extra thanks to Kathy for surprising me by showing up at the start of the race to take many of the pictures you see here. To Melissa for continuing to support me daily through positive comments. To K for being my every reason to want to be healthy and strong and for coming with daddy on a 15-mile bike ride.

To Bill F: Thanks for stopping man! You had no reason to slow down and walk with me through Warrior Dash. You would have had a much better end time if you finished without me but in doing so, you gave me every reason to finish and you were a big part of helping me get over both cargo net obstacles.

To my extended friends, fans and acquaintances: Thank you for your continued encouragement. Believe it or not, a 10-word comment on my Facebook wall goes a long way! You helped give me strength. You told me I inspired you. If I can do this, anyone can do it. You just need to want it. Surround yourself with good friends that want to see you through it and, together, you will.

Hey…see you tomorrow!

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Comments
  1. Maria says:

    Amazing. You did it! And it’s just the beginning. You’re an inspiration to a lot of people, even as people inspire you. I am no Warrior, but if you’re ever up for a yoga workout (my treat) let me know. I am also a good walker, LOL!

    Congratulations, you deserve it.

  2. Alicia says:

    Pat, you should be so proud of yourself!! It really was harder than I expected it to be. You gave it your all and there is nothing that can stop you from being healthy now!! Keep it up- know that you inspire me!

  3. ryan says:

    Awesome job! I ended up running an hour after my original wave. A couple guys that were lapping me gave some support towards the very end, that was way cool of them. I think I might camp there next year.

  4. Melissa says:

    I’m so proud to know you. You did GREAT. I have a feeling you’re going to become addicted to races and start doing more and more of them. Who knows, maybe I’ll do one with you. Or maybe not. 🙂

  5. James says:

    Awesome job, Pat! We never doubted you. I can’t wait to see what crazy obstacles we over come in the next few years!

  6. saraant says:

    Congratulations Pat!!! Not just on completing Warrior Dash but for already looking ahead and making new goals! I’ll continue to follow your journey!

  7. Bill says:

    Pal,

    I had ever reason in the world to stop. If it weren’t for you, I would have never signed up for this crazyness. I was proud that I finished, but that doesn’t compare to how proud I am of you, and to call you a friend.

    And yes, Matt, Jim and I would have carried you if you tried to quit. But you didn’t, you took one step at a time and accomplished this amazing goal. So Disney is next…13.1 (walk in the park). Keep me in the loop of 5k’s you do…i’ll be right there to push you all the way.

    After disney I have a few I’d like to get a team for…

    http://toughmudder.com

    Then a year later….(insert sound effect)

    http://www.youmaydie.com

    Cheers
    B

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