This past weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time! I went with my sister, The Roommate, and another friend of ours to the mountains for the weekend. It’s weekends like this one that remind me why living in Denver is the best place in the world to live– 30 minutes you’re in the mountains and only an hour more and you’re in the some of the most beautiful mountain towns in the world!

Three of the four of us signed up for the Warrior Dash that was held at Copper Mountain. I’ve never run a race in my life. I’ve done the Race for the Cure, but I walked/sauntered that, so it doesn’t count.

We went to Kelly Liken’s restaurant (remember her from Top Chef? Yeah, her) for dinner the night before and spent way too much money, but thankfully the food was well worth it!

We got up early the next day and all put on our matching outfits. My sister was our sole cheerleader, and designated purse-and-all-other-random-crap holder for the morning.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned on here that I hate running. I’ve gotten (slightly) more into it because The Roommate is an avid runner so it gave me the motivation to try it out when I started living with her. You know, that whole peer pressure thing, it’s a b*tch! I then was talked into signing up for the Warrior Dash because it’s only 3 miles and it’s just a giant obstacle course! Since I’m easily persuaded, I signed up, paid my money, and anticipated August 21 like it was the end of the world.

The funny thing is that we all signed up months ago, and I told myself that it was perfect because I would have that time to start running more and “train.” Sometimes I forget just how naive I can be… Summer hit, which is bike-to-work time of the year for me, and it also became it’s-too-damn-hot-out-to-run time… I signed up for the Dash and ran maaaaybe twice since then…

So when we drove up to Vail, I started feeling anxious about the fact that, although I’d been riding my bike pretty consistently, I was not at all in running shape. I have yet to run a full 2.5 miles without stopping (in all fairness, my knee goes all wonky and hurts like hell after about 2 miles). So this looming 3 mile “race” at over 9,000 feet started to weigh on me.

But race-day came, The Roommate got us all pumped up, and right before the fire told us to “go” (no, there was no gun– there were flames!), I had to remind The Roommate that neither me nor our friend are marathon runners and she’s welcome to run as fast as she can, but she’ll be running alone. Thankfully we all kept a similar pace– whether walking or running– throughout the whole race.

The obstacles, overall, were not that difficult. However, I have to admit that more than once I had the thought “if I were to slip and fall, I would probably crack my skull open…”

But the worst obstacle– the least physically difficult of them all– was the most difficult psychologically. THE MUD PIT. The Roommate and I had been equally dreading the experience of running through the mud since we looked up the event 6 months ago.

Mud.

On our hands.

In our faces.

On our clothes.

I don’t tend to think of myself as a girly-girl, but when it came to this, let the stereotypes fly! Ewwww! I was going to get dirty! I’m a bit ashamed to admit my resistance to the idea of being covered from head to toe in mud, but it’s true. I could barely stand the thought, let alone actually go through with the race.

So as we ran, we had that obstacle to look forward to. And as we came around a bend, we saw it. A big, giant mud pool. Not just a pit. No, no. It was a pool. Mud water. And we had to SWIM through it. There was no gingerly stepping through it or walking along the edges to get the least amount on us. There was barbed wire across the top, so you had to submerge your body in the mud and swim yourself across.

I’ve never been more grossed out in my life.

We then had to spend the remaining 2 miles covered in mud, trying to get our clothes to dry at least a little, and make it to the finish line. It then added a bit more difficulty and suspense because now, not only were you thinking about not losing your balance and cracking your skull, you had the risk of your shoes or hands slipping and falling to your death. Good times!

But I have to say, leaping over two back-to-back fire pits and sprinting towards the finish line (because The Roommate could not tolerate running at a moderate speed any longer) was extremely satisfying. If nothing else, I knew there were showers just around the corner to rinse all the disgusting mud off, and that’s what pulled me towards the finish line.

Thankfully my sister was right there at the finish line to get a superb picture of the three of us, our pink zebra-print shorts now a uniformed color of brown, holding hands across the finish line!

I probably wont be signing up for any more races or marathons any time soon, but for my first race ever, it was a pretty fun, albeit dirty, experience!

And my apologies to the cleaning crew at our hotel… the mud should come out!

AFTER

BEFORE

It’s actually a lot harder to think of something that you don’t get compliments on than I thought. My parents probably could guess my answer to this faster than I came up with it, because they’ve gotten to witness my pathetic attempts at being athletic since I was 5 years old.

To say I’m not very good at (any) sports is a bit of an understatement. And I know what athleticism looks like in other women– I play on a flag football league and some of the girls on the other teams are known for pretty much being woman-beasts! And somehow I end up being the one to cover them… life is cruel that way.

People are never EVER intimidated by my presence on the field. I’m 4′ 11 1/2″ tall and weigh about 95 pounds. I always wish I was a “secret weapon” that people underestimated and I totally rocked the show, but alas, that is never the case. I’m lucky if the quarterback even sees me on the field– which I’ve realized yelling their  name helps getting noticed, but definitely not on a consistent basis. I will never be the woman-beast. Which  I’m totally okay with, because I know it’s just not in my makeup to be that way.

When I was in first grade, I played soccer– just like every single other first grader. The games all looked as they do when a mob of kids are running at the ball with absolutely no sense of strategy or positions. However, I had a really hard time being one of those kids. Wanna know why? Because when I ran too much, I threw up. It’s not like they were having us run miles at the age of 6. I was running just as much as the other kids, and they were all just fine. My mom got to experience picking me up from practice and me be sick the rest of the evening because I just can’t run that much. I mean, how pathetic is that?

When I got a little older, I tried the softball thing– not nearly as much running, and you got to stand out in the field and do nothing for most of the game. Because seriously, this was girls slow-pitch softball… not exactly ESPN-worthy sporting. I did end up playing second base, and my best friend played third. My dad was way more into my involvement– planning our batting order and practicing throwing and catching the ball. In theory, this should have worked like a charm for me in regards to being athletic but not having to over-exert myself. Yeah, not so much. I was so used to not doing much in regards to being out in the field (even as an infielder), I remember one time a girl hit the ball right at me, which I caught (thank you very much), but I was so frazzled by the experience that I got all confused and threw the ball to the umpire who stands between first and second. Not my proudest moment.

So my athletic ability is not one of my shining attributes. I will never get picked first (I’m lucky if I don’t get picked last), and I will never be the one who the guys choose to throw to. I hold my own, and at least don’t make a fool of myself (I do actually catch the ball, so I’m not completely useless). But I will never be GOOD. Which is so okay with me. Who wants to go running around and have the pressure of having them throw the ball to you all the time? I like being able to just run amok just to be moving, but not actually following any sort of play or strategy– way less pressure that way!