Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Down and Dirty Race Report

Before all this injury nonsense started, I agreed to run a 10k mud run with Erin.  (Her race report is here  -crazy girl had it written before I'd even gotten home!) After my stupid injury, she agreed to step down to the 5k and just walk it, which turned out to be an awesome decision (except for our whole race time getting fraked up, but this wasn't about the time anyway).  I had, what I can honestly say, the most fun I've ever had "racing" today.  I'm thinking the Down and Dirty Mud Run in Chicago rivaled my Tinker Bell 1/2 experience by far (maybe cuz I only did 3 miles instead of 13.1, but whatever - totally different races).

After a crappy night of sleep (I swear our hotel room was about 100*) we got up bright and early and headed to the farm where the mud run was starting.  It was beautiful! There were horses, ponds, and even a plane parked there! We had a good hour to wait for the start of our race, so we wandered around, checked out the fun stuff people were wearing (no other sparkle skirts, but we saw a few tutus on guys, people who were obviously teams, families - it was pretty cool), and watched the 10k racers start.  The first wave of each race consisted of service men and women (military, police, firefighters) and they got lots of cheers.  (The race partners with Operation Gratitude so there were tons of hawt dudes and dudettes in fatigues willing to lend a hand or motivate you along. I'd be thrilled to run along side a bunch of Marines and have them yell at me any day! Eye Candy For the Win!)

What else would 2 girlie-girls wear besides Team Sparkle skirts and full makeup?
Since we were planning on walking the course (I was under "no running" orders from my doctor) we lined up with the last wave and before too long, we were off.  Each wave started with a mini-cannon BOOM and there were several minutes between each wave so the course wasn't too crowded.  I am PROUD to say I made it through the entire 5k course without taking a tumble, which was EXTREMELY hard given the massive grassy hills we had to climb up and down and I didn't skip a single obstacle!

Obstacles:

  1. Low Walls: about a 3-4 foot wall that I hopped over just like I was getting out of a pool. Easy-peasy!
  2. Pushups: I gotta say, having the Marine in uniform say "great job" regarding my 10 military-style pushups was pretty freaking AWESOME!
  3. Ladder Wall: We splashed through a shin-deep mud pit and then had to climb these TALL (maybe 8-10 foot) wooden fence-type walls.  This wasn't bad, but was really slippery with mud-caked shoes.
  4. Inflatable: So fun! Climb up a rope ladder on one side and slide down the inflatable slide on the other. The only hard part about this was the inability to look up as I climbed since the guy ahead of me kept dropping (what I hope was) mud out of his shoes and onto my face.
  5. Low Crawl: Combat crawling under nets while the Marine yelled at you to not let your body touch the net. YES, SIR!  This really tore the crap out of my elbows and knees - major grass burn and from what I can tell, my only physical "injuries".
  6. Sandbag Carry: They weren't heavy and we didn't have to go very far with them. Kinda like carrying a 3-year-old on your hip. Moms rule!
  7. Cargo Climb: A big, tall, spiderweb type thing to climb. It was bouncy which was both fun and scary as hell.  
  8. Mud Pit: Had to combat crawl through mud and underneath flags. This was the first I got my hands really muddy and I came out coated in mud from my chest down.  I think the race photographer got some great shots of us here.
  9. Tunnels: Long, blue, habitrail type things that fraked my knees up even more. There were hot and stinky inside from the mud pits right before and I think I banged my knee on a rock or something going through.
  10. High Wall: These were like a rock-climbing wall, only the "rocks" were so much smaller than any I've ever used before.  I was told in no uncertain terms by a very buff woman Marine to do the high wall. So I did. I made it up on the first try! (Picture is up there ^)
  11. Water Crossing: A muddy water pit over an inflatable.  Holy crap it was hard and I kept falling in, but the cool water felt GREAT.
  12. Slippery Mountain: This obstacle made me feel like such a bad-ass!  We had to use our upper body strength ONLY to pull ourselves up this slanted wall they'd greased up with something. The knots were pretty far apart and it took me a few minutes to get over the wall, but get over it I did!  I am SOOO glad I was wearing my lifting gloves because they gave me a little more grip and my hands didn't get torn up. My arms on the other hand were literally SHAKING. (Those are the ropes up there ^) I think this stage was actually switched with the water crossing, but I can't remember for sure.
  13. Mud Pit: A nice, deep, muddy pit to finish off the race! 13 lucky obstacles and this girl did them all :)
This is the kids race going thru - I couldn't get the whole pit in a picture!
If there was any question at all as to whether we got muddy during this race, this picture should remove all doubt.  We had an absolute BLAST!
I love this girl and had the best.day.ever. hanging out and getting WAY outside my comfort zone. I felt strong and fit and I haven't felt like that for quite a while.  If someone said I could do this course again tomorrow I would be there in a heartbeat.
Tonight I'm actually feeling pretty good.  The only visible wounds are the scrapes on my knees and elbows.  My left ankle (the one that's been in a boot for almost a month) is stiff and sore and so is my right knee (the one that landed on a rock).  Oddly, my injured shin doesn't hurt at all.  I suspect the morning will bring some seriously sore arms from all the walls and ropes work and I'd be shocked if the shin didn't complain some, too.

I left this race with some pretty sweet swag (including a DOG TAG for this bling whore!!!) and a new-found burst of confidence and bad-assery.  I'd thought this would by my year of the half-mary's, but like a friend said tonight, this is turning into my "bad ass year".  I finished a 1/2 marathon with a stress reaction and just finished my first mud run/obstacle course.  Next up...dare I say my first triathlon?

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