I was so nervous leading up to the event. In my initial post, I mentioned that I am not a runner. I jog and not for very far. I use the motor cross machine, bike and do incline walking at the gym. I do not run. When I jog around the complex while trying to wear out my pup, I sometimes get a sharp pain in my foot and my knee and then I stop. I also thought I was going to fail in fundraising $300 for ‘The Princess Package’ as one of my clerks calls it. When you raised $300 for the St. Jude Children Hospital, you have access to private restrooms, showers and are provided food. They also check your belongings for you so you can enjoy the festival post-Dash.
I baked those amazing Cookies and Cream cookies well over a month ago. I brought in donuts to work. I used social media. I tried to get jewelry lovers to help out as well. What really worked was giving folks a sense of urgency to help me raise the money the day before. And I did! Well, mostly thanks to my Papa Bear. Since I was a kid, he hated me being dirty. It’s a rule to always take a shower before you crawl into bed so you always go to bed clean. He made a generous tax-deductible donation to put me right at the $300. I called him and thanked him. His main reason: “I want you to have your own bathroom.” Daddy to the rescue. The last few times I’ve seen him, he asked me how I was doing and if I needed anything. I just shook my head and assured him that I wasn’t doing great. My head and heart were in the right place and I don’t need any financial assistance whatsoever. Help with getting clean was the only thing I’ve asked him for and he came thru without hesitation as always. I got the news that my father turned my fundraising efforts into a success while at work. It was just so funny to sit at my desk, surrounded by my young staff, and think, “Wow, even at 33-years-old, my father still can make everything better.” I’m a lucky girl. I actually ended up raising $390 total. Thank you to everyone that has donated. It means so much to me.
The event was on a Saturday morning and my family, We R Pamily Team, were already up in Woodland, CA having a great time. I had to stay home with Bevo because he can only be in his crate for a certain number of hours for the following day and financially, it was best that I didn’t pay for a room plus a pet fee. I stayed home with him and tried to carb up. I got a Safeway fresh baked loaf of bread and slathered on the butter while watching the tube. I could live off of bread and butter. Soo good. I tried to go to bed early per my father’s recommendation Eventually, I went to bed. I had to get up at 4:45 AM. I was planning on hitting the road at 6 AM because we had a wave time at 9 AM.
The drive up to Woodland to meet up with my family was a nice one. I was definitely tired but it was nice to watch the sunrise as I headed West. I arrived at the hotel and it was cold. Everyone was up but not ready. We even had time to get some breakfast in the lobby of the hotel.
When we parked, we had to bring everything we needed for the day with us. Some people dress up for the event and I just had my devil horns, a long devil tail pinned and carried around a small pitchfork. My cousin Tiffany was Polamalu with her fro-y hair and Steelers jersey. We’re a fun group. Here she is attempting to pin my tail on.
We got in line and TMM texted me to wait for them and we’ll do the event together. Oh, boy. He’s meeting my family. I gave them a heads up that he was coming and they knew who I was talking about. He arrived with his brother and you just have to expect it from your family that they’re going to put you in an awkward spot so Polamalu said, “So you’re The Mystery Man?”Ah, jeez.
We make it onto the bus and I feel ginormous trying to get down the aisle with my bag, while I’m talking to our Cousin Jenny because she and her kids are going to meet up with us later. I sit next to TMM and give him the download on who’s who in my family. He hears me talk about my Cugino all the time so it’s nice that he finally gets to meet my favorite cousin. ‘Favorite’ just because he’s one of my closest male cousin. Shanti, would be my closest female cousin. I have always been able to talk openly with her about everything. It’s no holds barred with both of them.
The bus made a stop at the top of the hill and we disembarked towards sign in and check in stations. I took photos while TMM carried my San Jose Sharks bag that I got last season on Appreciation Night and I have to say, I love our Team We R Pamily. So glad we got new recruits too! You checked in by your sex then last name. I was given a shirt and a warrior hat. You’re given your number, pins to pin this number to your clothes and a tracker to tie onto your shoes to keep track of your location. At the end, turn in the tracking device for a free beer. That ended up in Doug’s hands as I don’t drink beer and TMM doesn’t really drink. You then can check in all your gear for free. It was cold that morning but the sun was doing its job and warmed us all up. My Adidas jacket came off and I checked it in with the rest of my gear. No sunglasses either. I can’t risk my Pradas getting messed up.
We regrouped and made our way to the starting line. Roars came from people, trying to get hyped up to start this journey. I looked ahead and the trail started uphill. Oh boy. I’m going to die. But I could do this. Right?
High flames spewed above us and We R Pamily was off. Angela, Cugino, RJ, and TMM are runners. The rest of us? Not so much. I tried to keep up and was doing A-alright. It was congested at first and my long devil tail kept finding it’s way to the front of my body. I now have compassion for you men that have this same problem during your run. The first hill was steep and I had to stop and walk, among other people so I definitely wasn’t the only one. I was already so damn hot and I had to keep going. Even if I jogged tiny steps I was still making progress and not giving up. It was tough but there was no way I was going to stop here. My cousin Laurie was such a trooper. She has asthma and had to walk up the hill. We waited for her at the top and cheered her on when she made it. It was so nice of TMM and Doug to stay and wait for us. They definitely could have gone ahead and tackled the course. But we were definitely a team.
Many more hills were next and I could see that I was already getting darker. Thirst was building too. I wanted shade. We were wondering where our first obstacle was. So far, all we were doing was running. Need water. From one of the hills, we can see an obstacle, which didn’t look very challenging. Going down this particular hill we were overtaken by two bananas. Yes, bananas. Grown men in banana costumes. And then we found our first obstacle which wasn’t challenging whatsoever. It was just bending down under barbed wire.Then our first photo opp. Then there was water!!! Yes! Then there was an obstacle to climb over some elevated low, walls and slide or run down some slopes. My shoes didn’t have much traction left and I knew they were going to be trashed, so I didn’t use a better pair. The next one was a wall to climb with rope. That was fun. Angela and TMM ended up doing that twice. I didn’t want to over exert myself with not know what was ahead. We found another water station and a water fight broke out between RJ and myself, and TMM and myself. They got me pretty good. But I welcomed being wet. It was so hot!
More obstacles but no mud or water. We saw a man dressed in a Teletubby costume. God, he must’ve been super hot. People were Minions from Despicable Me and grown men had bubble wands leaving a trail of bubbles of all sizes. Another water station and I missed splashing RJ. Damnit! I think I kept up pretty well with the joggers. They definitely had the speed and stamina but I wasn’t too far behind. When I had to walk, I did. Many conversations were had and some people loved the devil costume. Two girls said I was ‘one fabulous devil’ so I pranced around in front of them as I ran for a little bit. Some guys urged their team members to hurry up or the devil will beat them. I tried to playfully stab my team with my pitchfork but it was not so stiff. So sad.
No bathrooms were to be found on this route. Angela thought she saw port-a-potties in the distance and ran towards it but found nothing. There was three large cement sections to the right, maybe 30 feet from the trail. I told her I’d go with her if she wanted to go together. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go. But we didn’t and remained ladies.
Another photo op was available after the rope obstacle. TMM and Doug wanted shots as a brothers but Polamalu majorly photo bombed it. Cugino got many heel click opps, even over the fire strips. There were monkey bars that I went thru without a problem, though I thought I was going to slip off the last one. They were were pretty far apart. My wingspan isn’t that big. I am definitely the year of the monkey. Mono, mono, mono. That was Cousin Laurie’s best obstacle too.
The final obstacle was the mud pit. We waited for everyone before we all jumped in. And ohmigod it was super thick! It was definitely not like the mud bath in Calistoga. TMM took me down and thank goodness he didn’t dunk me but my hair was definitely going to be full of mud. Payback was just riding his back as long as I could. I eventually was left to fend for myself and it was sooo tough to get across. You’re tired, you want to put your feed down but all you’re doing is digging your feet deeper into the mud. There is no bottom. You just have to swim towards the end. And there, near the end, RJ and I get in a nasty mud fight. He takes me down, I pull him down, he gets a handful of mud in my face and I try to do the same but it ends up on the side of his and in his ear. My bad, Nephew!! And eventually we make it out of the mud. My white Skechers are covered in mud and I feel like a Munster with mud platforms. My pants are weighed down with mud and I could be flashing people my bottom but it’s hard to keep it up. I cross the finish line and a medal is placed around my neck. I later see that it’s a “I Survived Warrior Dash” bottle opener. I have mud in my eye and Doug helps me wash it out. TMM goes to get his phone for a photo and we regroup to go towards the Warrior Dash sign for a group photo. I jump on Cugino and wrap my legs around him. Muddy Cuginos! We take our photo and I have to show that my horns and tail were still in tact. My pitchfork didn’t survive.
TMM helped me find my way to redeem ‘The Princess Package.’ And it was sooo worth it. You first get in line to get hosed off a bit with no
t-so-warm water. I had some pretty good conversations with people while in line. Then I was able to go into the private restrooms which were still filthy with mud but it was nice to take as long of a shower as I wanted. I was able to wash majority of the mud out of my hair and all over my body. The clump of mud that fell from the attempt of taking off my sports bar was definitely the sexiest. The bra, shoes and socks were tossed. How nice that the shower was stocked with soap and shampoo. It felt good to put on clean clothes and flip flops. I was in there for quite some time and when I was ready with my Niners shirt, put lotion on my face, placed my Niners hat on, then put my devil horns on top and then went off to look for my team. Cell service wasn’t so good and I did two loops around the quad until TMM spotted me. As long as I made contact with someone, I went back and had a hot dog and chugged down a Gatorade. I was famished.
I met up with the rest of the team and there were turkey legs and beer in hand. The turkey legs were piping hot from my bite of TMM’s and it was kind of hard to swallow. There was beer, cocktails, fries, pretzels and other items. The DJ on the stage was pretty was good and kept the crowd entertained. There were contests and the kids were mostly the winners. They did a line dance and Cugino and I got out there and danced. They played country and hip hop and we all had a good time dancing, hanging out and laughing. TMM and Doug took off shortly after getting something to eat but it was great to do this event with them. We eventually made it back to the hotel after a ride on the muddy bus. It was a good day and I survived! Unfortunately I couldn’t spend much more time with the family. I had a long drive back to The Beeves who was sitting patiently in his crate at home. And I was exhausted. I wanted to shower again. I had to wring out my sports bra and my pants at least 5 times before I threw it in the washer.
The event was super fun and I completed my first run. I was proud of myself. It looks like Cousin Lynn, Laurie and Polamalu aren’t going to do it next year. But Melyssa and I have already signed up. She’s been wanting to do it but her training with the National Guard has interfered. Next year, Sister!