Hog Wild 5K Mud Run – Lessons Learned

Before the race, trying to stay warm.

Before the race, trying to stay warm. Jasmine is on my right, your left.

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.

Pinning on bibs.

Pinning on bibs.

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.

Seven bad asses, right there!

Seven bad asses, right there!

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.

Team Peace, Love & Mud

Team Peace, Love & Mud

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.

The tunnel that didn’t love me back - sprung my back 2/3 through.

The tunnel that didn’t love me back – sprung my back 2/3 through.

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.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

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.

Finishing as a team!

Finishing as a team!

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.
Dirty girls!

Dirty girls! In front, L-R, Jasmine, Lindsay, Jen, Jazel, Chelsey. In back, L-R Jennifer & me.

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!”

Let’s just say my smile says how happy I was to have finished!

Let’s just say my smile says how happy I was to have finished! Lindsay and me, muggin’ again! 🙂

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!!!

Thoughts on a Mud Run…

Training in my “Get Dirty” shirt. :D

Training in my “Get Dirty” shirt. 😀

With the Hog Wild Extreme Mud Run coming up a week from tomorrow, I can say I am really stoked and a little nervous.

I blogged a couple of weeks back about addiction and mentioned that during mine, I did something to my back. At the advice of a good friend of mine, who is also a nurse, I went to see my doc, who told me she felt like I’d sprained my back basically benched me until I could see an Ortho. I saw the Ortho last Tuesday morning, and she told me that my disks are all where they need to be, and to basically take it easy, low impact until the race. I had been fairly worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the run, so this was good news.

So I have been really thinking about the course since Extreme Promotions posted the course map and a list of the obstacles.

I am going to share the map, and my thoughts about the obstacles here:

So, yeah…Wow! ;)

So, yeah…Wow! 😉

1. Squill Pig Tire Deal: Run through a few hundred tires in slippery mud carrying a greasy pig – Okay. To be honest, I believe this scares me the most. Is it a real pig? Is it a little real pig? Do they bite? I’ve heard stories out here in hog country about people being eaten by pigs, and while it is poetically karmic? I’m still pretty nervous about this.

2. Slop-N-Slide Mud Dive: dive into a mud pit and then crawl under barbed wire through the mud – I think we’ve all got this down pretty well. The key is going to be simply STAY REAL LOW.

3. Tall Squall Wall Climb: Climb straight up a sky-high wall and then back down – I am hoping that the overhead  and bench presses I’ve done will give me enough strength to get over this one. Just sayin’.

4. Pre-Slaughter Wash: swim through the water climbing over slippery obstacles – It’s been pretty cold here for late March/early April, and I’m kind of wondering about how cold this water is going to be…

5. Seegars Fence Mountin: Climb up and over a huge mountain made of fence – Climbing…I used to scale chain link as a kid, so this should be okay. Right?

6. Crazy Hog Tunnel Crawl: crawl through tunnels in the mud – Totally ok with this, altho I suspect my elbows will need a ton of moisturizer when it’s all over with.

7. Seegars Fence Trench: Crawl under Seegars fence through mud (ranging 0-12″ off ground) – Wondering how anyone can crawl under fencing zero inches off the ground. Hmmm….

Please notice the distance between obstacles #7 & #8.

8. Lumberjack Log Climb: Climb over and across a huge log pile – Totally doable when dry. May present a challenge soaking wet.

9. Pork Cleaver Log Weaver: Balance yourself on log beams over a mud pit – Balance. I fall a lot on regular ground. Sure hope this training has improved my balance a little bit. This is still cause for concern, but not like the concern I have about the pig…

10. Seegars fence Hurdle’s: Jump and/or climb over fence hurdles ranging in height from 4-10 ft – Umm… Ok…Oh shit.

11. Pork Fork Tire Pendulem: Run through a tunnel of hanging tires swinging like pendulums – I suspect ice packs will be needed at some point before the day is out.

12. Slippery Wild Pig Climb: climb up a huge, steep, slippery hill and slide down other side – This just sounds like good ol’ dirty fun.

13. Sideways Wall Rock Climb: Climb sideways on a long rock climb style wall – This will be new and exciting. Oooh, note to self – get nails shortened a LOT before race day.

14. Reverse Wall Hog Fall: Descend own a steep slope backwards using a rope to guide yourself – THIS is going to be sweet.

15. Bar-B-Que Grill: Grill yourself as you run through burning fire pits – This will surely warm us up if that water is as cold as I suspect it will be.

16. Hill’s Tire Climb: Climb up a muddy hill through tires – Look, if we can do it with a greased pig at the beginning, this should be a piece of bacon without, right?

17. Aftermath Bath: Wade through muddy water with the Finish line in sight – Wading…I know how to do that.

So you see? This is going to be a very interesting choice for my first 5K run.

Afterward there is eastern NC bbq at the Pig in the Park Festival (which I covered for a local news outlet last year), and I KNOW that food is good. We also get a drink ticket for a bar hop downtown, which will be more than a little appreciated after the day’s festivities.

So now all I have to do is stay calm, relax, and will my back to heal itself up QUICKLY!

I’m kind of wondering what kind of calorie burn this will have, as I’m sure not going to try to wear my HRM, even if it is waterproof, LOL.

Till Next Time…

MUD RACE!!!!!

This will be the Dirty Divas in 11 weeks. *sigh* WTH was I thinking????

This will be the Dirty Divas in 11 weeks. *sigh* WTH was I thinking????

Ermagerd!

I committed to something that should, more than likely, have me committed. (This shit will be a LOT harder than writing a freaking book, man…)

I have agreed to run a 5K mud race.

The proceeds go to the Boys & Girls club of Wayne County.

The event takes place on Saturday, April 13, 2013. It’s going to be held at Busco Beach, in Wayne County, NC.

My friend, Jen, mentioned it the other day on break, and like a fool, I said, “Oh, Girrrrrl! It sounds like FUN.”

Did I mention, Ermagerd?

A 5K run for a pudgy girl like me is do-able. I downloaded the Couch 2 5K ap for my phone and will start that program on Sunday (assuming I can move by then…more about that in a minute).

To kick start our training, Jen and I took eight (yes, EIGHT) flights of stairs at a fairly brisk pace yesterday morning, and then did it again with Jazel, our inner-circle medical professional at 12:30 pm. We made it to the top, and happily, my heart rate and oxygen level were the same as theirs, 20-something and 30-something women. (Yay, ME!)

Today? OMG…I can barely walk. I mean, it’s okay if I get up and stay up for a while, but seat me for more than thirty minutes and I walk funny. Have mercy.

I dropped ten pounds over the past week or so (I started actually counting my calories and logging my movement) and haven’t starved to death. Yet.

So we all started doing research and watching mud race videos. I don’t think just the ability to run 5K is going to do it. I am going to have to actually work out. Upper body strength is NOT my strong point, but it will be necessary for this race. We’re not in it to win it. We just want to finish and say that we did.

I have 11 weeks to get my ass in gear.

One of the guys at work, whose logo I designed some eleven years ago, is going to sponsor us, so we are going to be Shag Daddy’s Dirty Divas. I understand that we have a few corporate sponsors, and Wall 2 Wall Photography is going to pay my entrance fee, so that makes ME a sponsor, as well. I’ve been tasked with creating the “Dirty Divas” logo to add to Shag Daddy’s existing logo. Piece of cake. Will be a hell of a lot easier than the actual TRAINING for this bad boy. That said…I have my work cut out for me.

Now, the hubs, who was in ridiculously good shape before his last surgery, has offered to coach all of us. Well, once he stopped laughing at the idea of me doing this.

At this point, I’m the biggest girl on a team of seven. At 47 years and 7/12 months, I am also the oldest. No worries.

Did I mention I lost ten pounds? This is a good thing. My heavy goal weight is 150 lbs. and my light goal weight is between 135 and 140 lbs. I am old and 5 foot 7 inches. If I play my cards right, I can drop twenty pounds by the race, which will put me within just a few pounds of my heavy goal.

And as I sit here, thinking about the photos and the writing I need to do between now and then, I have to ask myself, “What the HELL were you thinking, Self????”

But I’ll kill this…I’ll meet it head on and beat it like 99.5 percent of every other goal I’ve set for myself.

Positive comments are totally welcome…Fat-girl bashing comments will either be deleted or not approved. Just sayin’, yo.

Cuz, see? I HAVE to do this, and complete the challenge. My boss’s boss heard what we were doing and about fell on the floor laughing with tears coming out of his eyes, and my girls at work (except for Jen) think we’re nuts, so you see why we have to do this and finish.

I’ll keep you posted.

Till Next Time…