As many of my regular readers know, my first ever 5K Mud Run was yesterday.
Back in January, my 5’7” frame was toting around 192 pounds and I was ready to drop some weight, One of my friends from work told me about this mud run, and asked if I would want to run it with her. Thinking, at the time, it was a wonderful idea; we registered with five other women.
I downloaded the C25K program for my phone, and started off diligently enough. Got through three weeks and the weather out here went south, and I wasn’t feeling the whole “running in sleet/cold rain-thing,” so I picked up weight lifting (pardon the pun) in mid-February.
Things were going really well until I sprained my back (figured out it was piss-poor form on a barbell row) in mid-March. Thinking it wasn’t a big deal, I kept lifting, but finally relented and went to the doctor and an orthopedist to get it checked out. Sure enough, it was sprained and I pretty much was benched from lifting and anything else high impact, so being the stubborn hussy that I am, I just stopped deadlifts and rows during this time and did light squats with either just the bar or a few pounds on either side, kept up with my OHP’s and bench presses. Did a lot of time on the elliptical.
Down to 167 pounds, (yes, that is a 25 pound loss, folks) I figured, based on all the time on the elliptical, I would be good to go on the run, and given the strength training, my upper body would be in better shape to handle the obstacles. I was half right.
We got to the site and pinned on our bibs and did our stretches. While I was still feeling that *twinge* in my back, it had gotten a lot better and I was absolutely set on doing this event. And it was chilly. The clouds rolled in and there was a chill wind. During this time, we were all eyeballing the first tire obstacle. We did not see any pigs, and Jasmine and I commiserated that we, as animal lovers, would have been bummed to have had to carry little greased piglets.
After we stretched a bit and kind of got warmed up, we mugged for some pictures. At 47, I am the oldest woman on the team, the rest of the girls being in their 20’s and early 30’s.
Miraculously, the clouds blew away, and it warmed up just before our heat started.
Things started out okay, but before long, I was so winded I had to slow down and try and catch my breath (this is where I learned that for me, all the time in the world on the elliptical would not replace actual jogging), and soon fell way behind. Fortunately there was a wait at most of the obstacles and I was able to catch up.
I love, love, LOVED the obstacles; even the combat crawl tunnel, which was where I felt my back go out again.
I fell further behind, Jennifer, whose idea this was, asked me what was wrong, and I told her I felt my back go in the tunnel. She asked what was I going to do, and I simply stated, “Finish.”
And finish I did, with the help of those six other bad asses. We ran the last bit of the race, 7 of us across, all holding hands.
The tire hill was fun, but winded me worse than the other obstacles. I loved anything where I had to climb. Yes, those OHP’s and bench presses came into play for those.
Our team wasn’t in it to win it. We were in it to finish. Together. And while I was panting, and limping, and thinking I was going to have a heart attack right there and then, they waited for me.
So, MY lessons learned? (I hope this helps someone else who still has weight to lose and is wondering if a 5K mud run is for them.) And remember…Your Mileage May Vary.
- Do NOT put away your running/jogging program 2 months before the race, thinking you got this.
- The elliptical machine is not going to replace running as a means of building your endurance, if you are NOT a runner. (And I am NOT a runner.)
- Jogging multiple Island Laps on Wii Fit in place, in your living room, is probably not going to help much, either.
- Do NOT do this with a back injury, even if you think you’ll be ok. My back hurts worse today than it did after the original injury.
- Heavy lifting helped more than I thought. I went from zero upper body strength in February to being a climbing machine yesterday. I LOVED the climbing/descending/rope obstacles the best. Also, I believe that while I am a bit sore in my shoulders and glutes, that I would have been more sore without the strength training.
- If you are injured enough to have to see a doctor before one of these events? Do yourself a favor and stay benched when they bench you.
While I have read many forum posts and blogs from people who have done these and said that they have found a new addiction, I can’t honestly say that. It was honestly the most physically difficult thing I have ever done, outside of giving birth (and at least then, you can get good drugs, ha ha).
Will I do it again? As a matter of fact, there will be another one in November, and I plan on giving it another go, training for it the right way, next time. I think running (okay, walk/jogging) injured does suck some of the fun out of it. Baby Boy took pictures and video, and in one segment of the video I am putting my finger to my chin pistol-style and saying, “This sucks!”
While I finished it? In my mind it was an epic 5K fail, because after re-spraining my back there was one obstacle I had to completely skip, and I walked entirely too much of it. I disappointed myself, and held back my team. Team Peace, Love & Mud, however, refused to leave me behind, even though I told them to go on. I don’t think I would have finished it if not for them. I really wish someone had gotten a picture of Jennifer, Jazel, and me climbing up over the log mountain and descending it holding hands.
That said? It was amazing to me that I finished. It was an incredible bonding experience that I will never forget, stopping felt SO good, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
We all met downtown a couple hours later (except for one of us) at the Flying Shamrock to turn in our drink tickets in exchange for beer. We also picked up our plaques. We all got one for being VIP’s, and they have a picture of each one of us on them. What’s really cool, to me, is this is the first EVER sports-related item I have received in 47+ years on this planet, and I am sure gonna hang that bad boy up. 🙂
Did I mention how happy we were that no pigs were involved?
Until next time, y’all!!!