Sunday, June 15, 2014

Week 52: Strike a Warrior Pose: A Year in the Making

This marks the fifty-second week of this little experiment.
One full year of weekly challenges, of new experiences.
One of the most important years of my life.  

The Britter Truth began as a way for me to reconnect with myself
but has quickly forced me to reevaluate my entire perspective on life.

One year ago, I was lost.

I wasn't sure who I was outside of student or wife or employee or friend.
I think we have all felt that way at some point in our lives.
With the whole world stretched out before me,
I was quite simply too overwhelmed to take that first step...

...until I started writing.

Over the past year...

I have grown in ways I never thought possible.

I have explored my creativity through painting and writing.
Week 25: Channeling Bob Ross, Part Deux: Fun with Friends
I have become a bit of a health nut.  
I gave up fast food and soda more than six months ago
And constantly push myself to try healthier foods.
Week 43: Healthy Feast Fit for a King
I started working out
And can even call myself a runner without laughing too hard.
Week 45: Ups and Downs of Racing
I am stronger.
Week 42: Mixin' it up on the Trails
More positive.

Week 48: San Francisco Adventures--Part I
More engaged.

I have purpose.

a m
Week 49: San Francisco Adventures--Part II

It's as simple as that.

This blog has forced me out of my comfort zone so many times
that I actively seek out new challenges on a regular basis.
When I am invited to events that I would have previously found reason to avoid,
I am now eager to attend because I know,
at the very least,
it will give me something to write about.

Something to share with all of you.

Speaking of which, I have to take a moment here
to thank each and every person who has taken the time
to check this random, little blog out.

You didn't have to.
No matter how many times I posted and re-posted the links...
You chose to take a chance on me
and in many cases you even came back!

For that I am eternally grateful.
 In the past six months, especially, I have found my voice as a blogger.
But here's the thing.  I don't always know what's interesting to you...
what you actually want to read about...

So help me out, will ya?
Leave me a comment on what challenges I should take on in the coming year!


This week's race: The Warrior Dash
[a 5k mud run with 14 obstacles]
perfectly encompasses my entire year of metamorphosis.

The person I was one year ago would never have been able to compete in something like this.
She never would have made it past the first few obstacles (and that might be a little generous
after seeing a group of people bite it before we even made it to the first obstacle).

So, how was it?

It was fun, epic, empowering, life-changing...and so much more!

But until you compete in one for yourself
(which I highly recommend you do),
my words could never fully capture such an experience.

 So I've decided to just compile a little list of advice
for anyone thinking about participating in an obstacle/mud run.

Tip #1: Find a Running Buddy
I signed my brother, Matt, up for this race without his knowledge because: 1) I knew he would be pumped to do it; and 2) I knew he would make an awesome running buddy.

We stuck together throughout the entire race which is probably what made it so much fun!  We chatted and cracked jokes and came up with race commentary as we made our way through this challenging course.  There were times when we needed to rely on each other to make it through the obstacles and I was sure glad to have him there!

 Tip #2: Duct-tape is Your Friend
Matt was so worried about losing his shoes in the mud that he literally taped them to his feet...

I can tell you this: they did not come off!

(Although neither did mine...which were not duct-taped...)

My main concern was that I might lose my Fitbit which I was dead set on wearing during the race.  Since my Flex is water resistant I wasn't worried about the tracker making it, but I have lost my Fitbit just walking around the house because the clasp comes lose sometimes...

Once again, duct-tape came to the rescue.  And, I am proud to say that my Flex made it through the race intact with no issues whatsoever.  I didn't even get mud under the tracker at all.

Tip #3: Wear Race Appropriate Clothes

It absorbs all of the mud and water, and you'll only be weighed down the entire race.  Trust me, the race is hard enough on it's own with out adding any extra challenges.

If you can, try to wear moisture wicking athletic clothing.

Matt opted for a moisture wicking workout t-shirt with basketball shorts, knee-high socks, and basketball shoes.

I wore a spandex racer-back workout top with a built-in sports bra and spandex workout capris with ankle socks and running shoes.

Tip #4: Training Matters
Matt did not specifically train for this event, but he is already in great shape.  He is very active and works out pretty hardcore several times a week.

I did train for this event.  I have already run three 5ks this year, and I have been steadily increasing my distance and running intervals on the treadmill.  Plus, in the past month especially, I have been focusing more on strengthening my arms so that I would be able to climb over and under all of the obstacles.

Even with my training, it was a little rough at times.

If you are not very active and have never even run a 5k, do not start with a Warrior Dash!  Just don't...

Tip #5: Bring a Friend to Take Race Photos!
This was the first race this year that my husband, David was able to attend!  He and my mom took excellent pictures of the race and after party.

Tip #6: Stay Hydrated!
There are several water stations throughout the race.
Use them!
Not only will you need some H2O to wash off some of that mud,
but make sure you actually ingest it too.
It was pretty hot out on the day we ran,
and I was thankful for each and every water break!
Plus, we brought water bottles with us for before and after the race.

Tip #7: Bring a Change of Clothes!
 I packed a bag with the following:

*a towel

*a garbage bag for my mud-soaked clothes and shoes
(although some people just pitched their gear at the end of the race--I'm too cheap for that).

*comfortable clothes to change into post-race

*a pair of flip flops

The key here is to leave the bag with that friend you brought for pictures so that you don't have to make the trek back to the car to retrieve your bag.

Tip #8: Have Fun!
If you're properly dressed and prepared for this race, it is soooo much fun!

Coming up... Week 53: Celebrating Another Anniversary...This Time with Leather...

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