Day 1 – Together (a.k.a. Mud Run Overview)

The Mud Run Team!

The Mud Run Team!

Yesterday (which was day 1) was my mud run. My very first ever, but not my last, mud run. I’d probably call it more of a mud/dust/walk than anything else, but we had fun. It was HARD! Three and a half miles through the woods, up hills, through ravines, over walls, in and out of tunnels, in mud so deep you had to crawl or your feet would get sucked in and stuck, down water slides, across balance beams, in really hot weather! I have a really difficult time running in humidity. I’m not sure what my body is lacking but my leg muscles cramp up when it’s muggy.

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The six people in the back (we entered the gates late…oops) were in our little group.

First thing out of the gates was a large three foot deep water hole. So there was no chance to even run at all with dry shoes. After the water hole it was straight up a hill. Mark was with me and we jogged and walked, jogged and walked up the hill and then into the woods where we came across bog. It was kind of gross and reminded me of one of the Wildwood mud holes. I was glad there had been so many waves of the races before so that it was churned up and looked like muddy water rather than a stagnant mud hole with green slime on the top. But I’m sure that when the race isn’t in progress, that’s exactly what it is. We spent the next 1/4 mile in the woods and when we emerged, we were greeted with a hill of death! Sorry, but Momma don’t run up no hills!

At the top of the hill of death was a water station. Not a water obstacle, but a water station. Hallelujah for ice cold water. Clean. And in a cup! Then it was on to a wall. I don’t know if the climbing walls in all races were like this but some of the beams creating the wall jutted out a little so that you can get a good foot hold. For some reason, the wall is what made me the most nervous. I knew that there would be a wall and I knew that I’m not good at the “pull up” thing and I knew that I’m NOT a small person and it would take a lot of effort to help me over a wall. So I was very grateful for the way the wall was built and I didn’t have any troubles at all. The shorter people actually had more struggles because they couldn’t reach the top of the wall while standing on the ground like I could. So… the wall didn’t pose any issues for me.

My favorite part of the race was the water slide. Mark went down right before me and he had to help himself down the slide. He wore normal cargo shorts instead of sports shorts and they weren’t conducive for a slip and slide. He got to the bottom of the hill and just stepped off the slide onto dry ground. I had no sooner put my butt onto the top of the slide and I was zipping down like greased lightning! BEST part of the race. If the hill hadn’t been so tall I’d have been tempted to run up it and do the slide again. The problem was that I was going so fast that I couldn’t stop myself at the bottom and ended up in the mud/water pit at the end of the slip and slide. So I was sopping wet as I made my way to the balance beam. Balance. I haz it! I was also very impressed with Mark because he does NOT have balance, but he made it across the beam on his first try. A little more awkwardly than me, but he way exceeded my expectations on the balance beam.

Then came the monkey bars. I wanted to do the monkey bars because I always love them as a kid, but knowing the shoulder issues that I have I needed to make sure that I wasn’t going to do any harm. So I got up and hung from them but my shoulders are not strong enough to hold up my weight. So I swung back to the platform and by-passed that. I think everyone in our group by-passed the monkey bars. Hello, 50 year old bodies! Ugh.

Lots of woods. The wood trails were dusty!! I think there was probably about a mile through the wooded trails. Bridges to cross. Ladders out of the ravine to climb. More mud holes to go through. Just as we were coming out of the woods there was a mud pit that had a pretty steep hill as we exited the pit and the woods. I got out of the mud and had hold of a root to help stabilize me and Mark was right behind me. He started slipped and grabbed onto my shirt for balance! I’m like, “DUDE, don’t pull on me!!” He goes, “But I’m sliding!” Um. Hello. We’re ALL sliding! So I provided the balance and we both managed to make it out alive.

Then came the big tractor tires. These were pretty easy…balance, remember. Mark had a harder time on the tires than he did the balance beam. The surface was much squooshier so that didn’t help him. I was popping right along on the tires with no issues and as I went from a tall tire to a lower tire, I noticed mid-step that it was spaced further apart than the others. I managed to adjust and got my left foot squarely on the tire but could feel that the momentum of my body did not adjust so I put my right foot back onto the tall tire, leaving me in a very awkward lunge position between the two tires. I had to stay there and steady myself and try and figure out how push off the back tire without falling off the front tire. That was awkward. But I managed it and didn’t fall, and didn’t strain anything.

After the tires we were back to the starting gates. There was a bridge over the starting line and from the bridge you jumped into a huge tub of water. It was gross from all the muddy people before. I jumped off the ledge into the water and the temperature of the water shocked me. It was ICE COLD! My feet slipped right out from under me and under the cold water I went. When I surfaced, Mark was right behind me looking like his balls had crawled up his insides into his throat trying to find warmth! That ice water was a horrible shock to the system after being really, REALLY overheated for the previous 45 minutes (+/-). I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

As you came down the incline from the ice water was a water hole. The same water hole  that we went through at the start of the race, only on this side the mud beneath was so soft and it was impossible to walk through so I went into swim position and pulled myself along with my arms. We went from there to the mother of all mud pits. Rope strung across the top of the pit so you had no choice but to get on your hands and knees. As you got further along the pit the mud got goopier and the ropes got lower. There was no getting out without being completely ensconced in mud. ‘Twas gross! This is where all my scrapes came from. Ooky. Heading down the hill from that pit I could hear good ol’ 70s music playing. It was the car wash song. “Working at the car wash, yeh.” It was a dark room with water spraying everywhere. I spent way more time in there than most people so when I crossed the finish line I was probably the cleanest person on the property.

See? Clean.

See? Clean.

I also couldn’t be bothered to put the granola bar down that was waiting for us at the end of  the race. Dude. Just take the picture! I don’t care that I’m shoveling sweet and salty goodness into mah piehole!

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This is what exhaustion looks like.

After the race we were able to get into a kind of real shower and wash off a couple of the layers of mud and then change into clean clothes as discreetly as possible standing by the truck. There was a long line of vehicles in the parking lot with people standing by a door holding up a towel.

So…here is my official Day 1 picture – Together!

I'm so glad Mark did this race with me. We had a great time together. He even said he'd probably do it again next year.

I’m so glad Mark did this race with me. We had a great time together. He even said he’d probably do it again next year.

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