Every spring/summer DudeDad begins his circuit of race running.
He’s not a marathoner –he is more adventurous than that.
He enjoys a more aggressive experience. The kind that involves mud, and blood, and guts, and glory.
I’m talking about those obstacle course type things –mud runs, Spartan races, anything that is going to cause you to test your physical and mental capabilities and push your body to new limits.
Which, from what I gather is a positive thing.
That I disagree with wholeheartedly.
Personally, I think he’s crazy. Like why do you want to potentially be electrocuted, frozen, set on fire, beaten with a club, or forced to carry a mud covered friend up a hill and back while you have a brick tied around your waist? Or something.
And, the danger. People have died doing these events! Like actually perished. While forcing their bodies to do things my first world body is just not accustomed to doing.
And they pay for it no less. Like hundreds of dollars even.
Way I see it, these people are basically paying for the opportunity to nearly torture themselves for a period of 2-4 hours, depending. And the creators of these things must be lol-ing themselves to the bank.
Blows. My. Mind.
But also, I’m super proud of him.
He has worked really hard to reach a level of physical fitness where he can accomplish these things without much of an issue. He always comes in towards the top of the group and the worst thing that has happened is he’s needed to throw away whole sets of clothing. Because I’m not putting that nasty in my washing machine.
So in life I am all gooooo him! And in my mind I’m all heeeee cray.
A couple of years ago, at the height of my own personal fitness, in a moment of couple solidarity wherein I thought my support was needed, I agreed to do a race with him.
None of this trekking to remote locations in the beginning of winter to struggle through bear infested mountains with a weight filled backpack.
I’m not Leonardo Dicaprio.
There’s no zombie apocalypse.
Homie don’t play that.
I made it clear that it needed to be short (not one of his 10k+ adventures), during the early summer (I can’t run when it’s too hot or too cold), within reasonable driving distance of our home (mountain ranges are totally off the table), and in a relatively controlled environment with no fire or electricity based obstacles (I’m not trying to die).
Oh, and there needed to be a reward at the end even of you don’t win, like a cupcake or a beer.
He came to me in March saying he’d signed us up for this 5k mud run in the beginning of June. So I finished out March doing nothing, pressed right into April doing nothing, and then hit it hardcore towards the end of May.
And by hardcore understand that I mean that I added a teeny bit of time on the treadmill to my three times a week dance fitness workouts.
He advised me to do some training routine he found online, “The main issue people face is lack of preparation. People are overconfident in their abilities. Do you want that to be you?”
And I was all, “Dude, it’s what? Three miles? I mean seriously, confidence is my middle name and plus, I can do that with my eyes closed. Basically. ”
But, what I didn’t know was that the real question was, could I do it after running uphill with a sandbag in my arms after climbing over a huge wall and crawling through a mud pit and swimming against a current in the river and practically dying from barfing all of my lady guts out?
Probably not, but whatevs.
I did what I felt was right and, come race day, I donned my cutest mud race running outfit, put on my old, worn in running shoes, tied up the curls, put on eye black, and hit the course with him bright and early the Saturday morning our event was scheduled.
And then, I proceeded to fail.
Like hardcore, barf in a bush, snotty-nosed, talk-crying fail.
I know I made it across the finish line and received a beer I couldn’t drink for puking, but I don’t know how it actually happened.
Or, even, what element of the race defeated me exactly.
I know for sure the running was horrible. I’ve always hated it and, as I shuffle stepped along with my knees bleeding from one of the times I lost the will to live and fell to them, I hated it even more.
There was also the water obstacle which, for many taller individuals, was no big deal, but for me, at a majestic five feet two inches tall, required actual swimming so as not to drown or be washed down shore in the current and then drown.
And then the mud. I’ve come to the realization that mud, man made or otherwise, has a certain odor to it that my olfactory system is aggressively opposed to. Not to mention I don’t enjoy being slippery, or wet, or filthy.
Plus there was a good amount of uphill running, an obstacle I do not recall being spelled out in the brochure that featured smiling people happily holding beers at the finish line without a single ounce of mud on their faces or in their hair.
Let me note, there were not places the mud didn’t reach on me. My butthole was full of the stuff and I had to wash it out of my hair and my ears for days.
DudeDad says I should be proud of myself for finishing, but mostly I just recall feeling relieved that I didn’t die or need a medical team to cart me from the course.
So, go me.
Thinking about running one of these yourself?
Let me discourage you some more help you prepare!
How to Prepare for a Mud Run So You Don’t Actually Freaking Die
1. Train. Don’t run on the treadmill a little bit. Actually train. And do it outside. The outdoor terrain and the feeling of actually moving your body along a pathway can not be duplicated in the controlled environment of the gym on a treadmill you have set to 5mph, no gradient.
2. Wear clothing you literally never want to see again. Like those leggings you got from Lululemon are super cute, but they should not be worn for this adventure. Unless you like throwing your cute, $75 leggings into the trash can.
3. And wear as little of it as possible. Excess clothing items will just weigh you down in the water and mud.
4. Hydrate. I know, 3 miles isn’t far, but it’s amazing how far it gets when you’re running uphill, climbing up trees, traversing ropes courses, running up walls, and zip lining across crocodile pits. Okay fine, there was no crocodile, but whatever, I didn’t want to fall and, since I didn’t have on my glasses I thought I saw a crocodile (think it was some fool who did fall laying in the mud).
5. Prepare yourself for the dressing room. I mean if you care for your vehicle at all, you can’t get into it covered in mud so you’re gonna want to change. In my case, as is often the case I hear, the area to change in was just a huge tent with the circulation of a sauna where all of the muddy women went to change together. And there were hoses outside of it. So, lots of nakedness and little privacy and lots of mud and little air. I cried inside of that tent while I tried to discreetly scrape mud from under my boobies. Fortunately, my face was so muddy no one could even tell.
If you live near me and I haven’t completely discouraged you, here is a good list of mud runs in DC (change the city search on the site to find ones near you!) coming up in 2016 -maybe I’ll see you at one. #sike