"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Detroit Merrell Down and Dirty 2012

I did not sleep hardly a wink all night. The clock ticked painfully minute to hour. At 2 am I got up and took 3 Ibuprofin and 4 Juice Plus hoping this may help. Running the 10 miles at the Crim did not leave my body feeling too prepared for another race.
Before MUD!

In just a few hours I was going to be doing the Merrell Down and Dirty 10K obstacle race at Kensington Metro park. I knew as I counted down how many hours till I had to officially get up I should have not gotten that Vanilla Latte at Starbucks.  I just folded to the fact that I was going to do a double race with no sleep and I was going to have to suck it up and sleep later.

With all my gear and clothes laid out I left the house at 5:30am sharp. The only thing that I was leaving behind was my family. Team Harless was going to sit this one out. Andy knew I was meeting "Sarah" out there and asked if it was OK if he went to church.  "I am a big girl, I will be fine hunny." I responded with a some reserve.

Stopping at Tim Hortons I got my coffee and was getting pretty pumped.

It was still dark outside as I pulled into the parking lot where the volunteers motioned for us to go.
In my big girl pants I headed down to find registration. I was hoping "Sarah" would be there early but she looked like she was going to be getting there closer to the race starting. "Sarah" asked  this guy to sign up and it was looking more like they were going to be hanging together.

My name wasn't in the roster but the race coordinator typed in my info and quickly found me.
BIB 534.

After pinning my bib on I just stood around, alone and feeling kinda awkward.

I tried to look confident as I looked around for someone I might know. And after some time I did find someone...FRITZ! The guy I had just met at the CRIM from DailyMile yesterday. Even though I had barley spoke to him I made my way to say "HI". He was talking to a woman about 20 feet away.

It did not take long for me to get introduced to his new friend "Jackie" who also ran the Crim and was coming out here to conquer yet another race less than 24 hours later!

Merrell Hamster Wheel..Where I fell in love with their Shoes!
It was nice to know that we had our own little "Crazy Club" going on running back to back races!

The race started at 7:30am. By the time we headed to our corral we had met up with 2 others that they knew.  Now I am totally a people person and I was in my element. I was not sure if we were all running together or what we were doing. I decided to just see how it went.

The gun shot and I jumped from the sting of the boom in my ears.
This was a trail run. It was hot and steamy out and we were all smiles not sure what to expect.

The course was intense to say the least. If the "Bradleys" did not kill me at the Crim this course was gonna send me to near death!
The obstacles were similar to the Warrior Dash. We climbed walls, Rope challenges, Balance beam, water and of course mud crawling.
I stayed with them till the balance beam and then I slowly moved out on my own.

There were so many steep hills to climb down and back up. running solo I had to listen to my own voices. As I approached mile 3 I came on a steep decline with trenches and rocks. I thought about something "Fritz" had said. "You can't run it afraid." Well that seemed easy enough.  So down I went. I tried to relax my body and legs and not be afraid. My knee started yelling at me. "Be afraid, Be Afraid!"  But it was my ankle that decided to hate me as it twisted and cracked coming down that evil mound of insanity.
No time to stop, I can assess the damage on the run. Catching my breath I thanked God that I was not hobbling. I asked God to give me strength in my legs and power in my steps. I needed him to plant my feet on solid ground and help me run with power and safety.

That was just one of many of those hills. The trails were covered in sand, rocks, trenches and even horse crap! Dodging horse dung was an obstacle in itself!

I came to one obstacle where you have a Army guy making you stop and do 20 SOLID push ups. Down I went. I rocked out the first 10 but had to put my arms on pause. These two guys came in right behind me. As I was struggling with number 15 they got up to go. "WHAT, the crap is that?" I thought! I heard the one guy say, "I don't know how many I did, I lost count." I thought " You lost count?...Like to 5?!" UGH. I knew I was going to hunt these to countless dudes down if it was the last thing I did!

Out of breath and feeling like Jello I got up and tracked those two knuckle heads down. If they run like they count I could "COUNT" on catching them!
Now this was fun, my own little game. It wasn't to far before I found them. SEE YA, You just got passed by not only a chick but a chick that did more Push Ups then you AND knows how to count past 5! Boo YA!

About mile 4 I was feeling pretty warmed up. MR. Tye Dye yells in my ear, " I don't want to pass you because I promised myself I was not going to run this and have anyone pass me." He stayed behind my shoulder cautiously waiting to make his move then he did it, He passed me with his Tye dye shirt wrapped around his neck.
I laughed to myself and yelled "Go Get em, Tye Dye, but keep looking behind your back I am coming for you."

We came out of the woods and made a couple turns then like a Giant looming over us was a massive hill. It was grassy and steep. I saw "Tye Dye" up ahead struggling. I attempted to run up but it was in vain. People were running a little and walking alot. I followed slowly closing the gap between me and "Tye Dye". At the top I came up on his right. "Here I come Tye Dye, Don't let me pass YOU!" I yelled.

What comes up must go down! And down we went. I could hear him yelling at me and making his way back again. Our path ended in the water where we had to do a lap through the water then bog in the mud. He caught up here and passed me again!

The water was refreshing but really slowed me down. My shoes were heavy and sloshing. I could really feel my quads rebelling against me. I had mud weighing me down and slapping me in the face from my hair.

 A little over 1 mile and we were done. I was having so much fun.  I hunkered down and made my legs move. Through the signs I made my way along the path. The Race was very well marked and had many volunteers guiding you and assisting you with all the obstacles.

I might be small and to some look "fragile"  but I can hold my own. I did those obstacles like the big guys. The Army guys would come to help me but motivated by a combination of pride and endorphins I would conquer the obstacles solo and probably stupidly!

The end was there. There were several signs motioning where to go. It looked like a lot of walls. Good Grief. The first wall challenge I tackled with little dificulty. But the second wall challenge was going to be the gonna bury me.  The wall was sloped and about 15 feet high with a rope hanging over. The rope had knots every couple feet. I thought I got this, we just climb up the wall... NOPE!!! You could not use your legs! You had to PULL yourself up on your belly or your knees. My hands were wet and sweaty and so was the rope.  I went up on my knees and was praying I was not going to loose my grip and fall back down. Up Up and over I went and searching for the FINISH in between heavy panty and loose arms..

People were everywhere. The music was ringing in my ears and there was the final mud pit. "DOWN, Down, You have to get on your belly and crawl under the ropes in the mud." They yelled.
 I nuzzled into the mud and crawled my way through. By the final rope I had mud dripping in my eyes and saturating every strand of my hair.

Even though I knew I was done I could not see where I was going there was so much mud in my face. Patiently waiting for my sight to return I had the urge to spit. With masculinity I spit and was as  mortified as the people next to me by the thick chocolate spit ball that escaped my mouth. "UGH"

This was a great race. One I would do again. I found "Fritz" and the rest of the clan. We all looked filthy but it made our teeth even whiter as we were all smiles!

We took pictures, filled out drawings and got in the Hamster Cage. I have never tried on a Pair of Merrell's. I tried them on and FELL in LOVE! I have been asking for a pair for a couple years. They were light weight yet snug. They just hugged your feet in all the right places. A little touch of Love.

I really wanted to get home to my family. I looked everywhere for "Sarah" I kept checking my phone. She never called. I gave my "Burger" tag away to one of the people we met. I looked at this guy sitting down with the huge burger with ALL the fixing. INDIAN GIVER! I turned back around and said "Never mind, I change my mind I want my burger!" Laughing He gave it back and we all got in line. They had fruit bowls, several different bags of chips, and soda or water and green tea. They also had hamburgers or Veggie burgers. I was so impressed! I never stick around for my free food. I couldn't pass this up.
With my new friends we sat on the ground still covered in mud with my muddy shoes and socks as a centerpiece and we ate, laughing and talking about running another race together.

"Sarah" text me half way through my burger. She and "Hayden" already left. They were eating breakfast at the "French Laundry". I hope they were eating outside. Even after my lil shower at the race I had mud  coming out my ears and smelled less than desirable.

Distance: 6.2 miles
Pace: 9:40
Time: 1hr.02
My knee were hurting, I twisted both ankles and the down hill really abused my knees. It sure was fun though!!!
Iced the knee, 2 hour nap and doubled up on my Juice Plus.



  1. WOW!! that sounds hard but fun. Hoping to be with you next year!! Great job at the Crim too Anita - you're awesome :)

    1. Danielle, it was hard but fun. It was probably a little harder because I was not on fresh legs or had not gotten very good sleep. It was a totally different experience for me. There is another world out there of runners. A little running society that goes solo to runs but when they get there they meet other runners they either know or get to know! I enjoyed it but still missed "Team Harless"

  2. I was watching them set it up Saturday as we ran around the lake. Looked like fun but I don't want to risk an injury and then be unable to keep up my training for the half in Oct. Way to go with the back to back races! Whew!

    1. Rebecca, There were a lot of twisted ankles I later found out. The obstacles you would have been fine on. But if you are not used to trail running..Which I am not...It makes it easier to get injured.
      Unlike the warrior dash there were a lot of experienced runners that came out for this race. And a lot more runners who came prepared with proper shoes..trail shoes. I don't own a pair but would like to have a pair. The experience is worth it. You really will have to check into one. You don't run it for speed especially if your like me and not a trail runner, but you can run it for fun and still be safe and have a BLAST!