I’m still sore… I participated in my first Mud Run last Saturday and I am still in quite a bit of pain. Soreness is a lot better but the bruises still hurt and the cuts and scratches still itch. I was going to take pictures but I decided not to. It’s not horrible but I don’t want to scare you. I have about five small (1-2 inch) bruises on each leg, most on my shins; one bruise on each arm, small scratches on my left wrist; and a big scratch on my right ankle. Showering is not pleasant. Sleeping is difficult. Here’s the crazy thing… I can’t wait to do it again. 😀
Here’s me (far left) and my team crossing the finish line
As you can see we are not the stereotypically “fit” people you probably expect to see at these events. We were also rookies. I agreed to participate in a moment of “go big or go home” having no real idea what I was getting into. About a month before the event I found out that it was a 6.2 miles course with 36 obstacles… I went WHAT!!! and panic started to grow. By Friday night before the run I was twitchy and unable to sleep. On Saturday morning upon arriving to the course I started to feel better but some of my team were having the opposite experience… being fine with it up to that moment, they were then panicking. It was funny and scary and then funny again… and then, we were in it.
Mud Runs, I’ve come to learn, have become really popular in recent years. Why we have decided that it’s logical and reasonable to pay upwards of hundreds of dollars to get beaten up I will never know… but here I am. I have arrived at crazy town and I am here to stay.
This new experience has taught me quite a bit. I did many things right like eating right and not wearing cotton but I learned that I can do a few things to prepare better. Here are the top five lessons learned:
- This requires training: I workout every day and yet I don’t think I was fully ready. There were people that “looked like” they were in better shape but were puking every so often. This is no joke. It’s fun but it’s rough. Our mistake was probably starting with a 10K instead of a 5K which would have been cake… really… out of 36 obstacles I believe I participated somewhere between 30-32. Since we were a team, sometimes as long as one person got through the obstacle everyone did. Sometimes I was that person but sometimes I was not.
- Be fearless: There were a few obstacles I didn’t do because I was afraid. Now looking back I wish I had tried. Getting over walls required being helped by others and at 160-some pounds I could not let other people help me. However, two of my teammates did complete these and I realized that the difference between them and I was that they were fearless… I need some of that.
- Have the right gear: Absolutely no cotton! I got this right… thankfully! I have to give a big shoutout to Vibram FiveFingers and Klout for providing me with the best perk to date: my mud running shoes… they were awesome! You need shoes with great traction. Next time though, I am adding calf compression sleeves and maybe even arm sleeves, and gloves. I mean, if you want to show off your battle scars then don’t but the rope climbing, the swinging, and going over and under tubes and logs really did a number on me so I will protect myself better next time.
- Don’t count on the event’s pictures: First of all they are too expensive; second, there are not photographers at every obstacle. I am currently participating in a GoPro Camera Giveaway (go and enter). In any case, I plan on taking a disposable waterproof camera to my next mud run.
- Pack a bag: You’ll definitely want to change… We showered (with our muddy clothes on) with a bunch of other people while still high on life. I had brought a small bar of soap and was able to get quite a bit out. You’ll need a plastic bag for your dirty clothes and towels (bring two) and if your shoes seem too worn consider donating them. I was able to clean myself quite a bit but next time I think I’ll wear a bathing suit under so I can clean up better. Soak your clothes as soon as you get home and then wash regularly. Mine are all back to normal.
BONUS LESSON: Prepare for soreness… unless you do CrossFit regularly I don’t see how anyone can wake up the next day without feeling sore. I take arnica pellets when I am sore and they really do help; eat lots of Vitamin C rich foods, and rest.
I really had an amazing time. I am already registered for a Warrior Dash next year which will be only half the distance with a third of the obstacles. I’m expecting to wear a size S by then (I’m an M now). I am also planning to do this Mud Run again next year.
Never in a million years would I have believed that I would do something like this. It’s things like this that fill me with pride and a sense of “I can totally do this” and it’s these feelings that keep me going. Having a great team doesn’t hurt 😉