Saturday, July 24, 2010

Down & Dirty Mud Run Report

OMG - fun, fun, fun!!! The 5k MudRun was on 7/18 in - yep - 92 degree heat. Every run this year has been in 90+ weather. Me and hot - unh uh!

Hubby and I sat on the highway for 50 minutes waiting to get off the exit ramp. 4,000 people were participating in this event, do you think Philadelphia could have posted a traffic cop at the red light to direct traffic? So we got there a little late, but the race did not start yet. We were in wave 12 (remember 90 degrees). They started the waves in 4 minute intervals. After running the race - it should have been longer in between. We bottled necked at the obstacles for 20 minutes. I'm embarrassed to put our time up because of this - 1:42 minutes for a 5K!!!! Two sets of friends were doing the race - but we didn't see them.
Hubs was a little concerned for me at the obstacles because of the two tears in my shoulder and the herniated discs in my neck (thanks obese patient). But I did them all on the first try!! I was a little too exuberant on the rope climb and when throwing my leg over the top, hit the guy next to me and missed the top three rungs on the way down. Can you say rope burn?! I was able to hop up and over a 5 foot wall that was slippery with sweat. The next obstacle was the "slippery vertical climb." A rope was attached to the top and you had to pull yourself up and over. One girl kept slipping, hitting her face on the wall and then sliding down and out onto the muddy grass. After about 10 time of this, a large man laid down on the wall, told her to climb up his body and then pushed her by the feet to the top where military guys were waiting to help if needed. A few more small obstacles and then the - dum de dum - mud pit!!
OMG, you had to crawl under a net and then into the pit. Military guys were screaming at you "if you were in combat, you would be dead, you can't stand!" I said, if I was in combat, I would be in the medical tent, not crawling through mud!! (hahaha) So you got a good crawl going on and then they thought they were slick, they dug a deeper hole so your head would go under the mud. I caught myself just in time :) The showers they claimed to have consisted of a water tanker truck with 50 hoses attached. If you tried to stand up and rinse off, the water was no more than a trickle. My legs got torn up. I look worse than an 8 year old. Scabs, scrapes, bruises, lumps..... But it was so much fun - we are going to do the 10k next year. A BBQ followed. And the bling bling finishers medal was a dog tag with D&D Mud Run Series on it.
The pics show us clean at the start, nasty and just plain eeeeewww with our legs and feet. My kids want to do it next year.

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Getting ready for my very first run!

After I renigged on my promise to run the Broad Street 10 miler with my friend Chrissy D - I decided to make it up to her by running the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k. Did you read below where I NEVER ran before? She told me that if I cancelled on her again, she would drag me across the bridge by my hair. Okaay then.

I was in shape until a work injury side-lined me (a patient decided to herniate two discs in my neck and tear my shoulder in two places - thanks!) So kiss that bikini goodbye. Pain and inactivity followed. I found myself unable to sleep and in front of the pantry at 3am - everything screaming "eat me!" My day consisted of Percocet, Valium, Red Bull. Percocet for the pain, Valium for the muscle spasms, Red Bull so I could pretend to play mommy for my children. So, physical therapy, epidurals, steroid injections and 40 pounds later, I decided that getting ready for this run was going to help me get back into shape. (I decided against 3 surgeries at this time.)

I had already conquered the ellipticals at the gym. I could do them for an hour on level 6 and barely break a sweat. Surely I could run a measely 6.2 miles. I moved on to the treadmill. I couldn't even run .25 miles continuously. This was a lot harder than it looked.

The Ben Franklin Bridge is almost 3 miles back and forth and it went up, up, up!! and then down. The first time I crossed it (walking, mind you) on the pedestrian cross-walk, my calves were cursing me in three languages. What did I sign up for - who was I kidding?

I downloaded inspiring, fast beat music to keep me pumped up and ready (Britney, Buck Cherry's Crazy Bitch (yep that's me), Pink, PCD, etc.) I decided that I would go for distance and not speed. I discovered that I had exercise-induced asthma when I pushed a little too far (anything at that time was too far). Soon I was able to run a mile, then 2 - at once. I continued to "do" the bridge and even took my kids a couple of times. I had to find a better way to keep my iphone close. They didn't make an arm band that I liked so I found a "runner's belt" online and soon had it. I tried it out one day in the park. My 11 year old was with me and started laughing when I put my iphone in it. "Seriously mom, a fanny pack?" It is not a fanny pack, it is a belt. It stays still, doesn't ride up and I can put my keys in it too. So there!

The weight was slowly coming off. I decided to take a drastic measure - no alcohol at all for the month before the race (oh no, what was I thinking.) My goal was 20 pounds by race day. I continued to plod along on the treadmill. I was up to 5k with almost no problems. However, when I tried to run outside, my body rebelled. The park trail was 1.3 miles - however, it was not flat (but hey - either was the bridge). I was a wheezing, sweaty mess .4 miles into the "run." I was running faster than I was used to on the treadmill. (GPS is a wonderful thing - an app I downloaded on my iphone let me know my distance, speed, and even mapped my route - love the gadgets!)

Strep throat struck my son (11) and he generously shared it with me two weeks before the race. I bought new sneakers (Asics Nimbus Gel 11) and my shins and calves let me know it was not a good idea to change things two weeks before the run. So I went back to my Nike Lunar Glides and made everybody happy. My 16 year old decided he would like to try on the Swine Flu one week before the run. My throat was still bothering me from last week and my chest was tight. I was having some serious doubts if I would be able to finish this race. Not to mention Lysol toxicity from degerming the whole house.

I completed 5.5 miles on the treadmill on my birthday, 6 days before the Sunday race, and for the first time I thought I might be able to do it. It rained for the next two days, so I didn't run the bridge (think shuffle up and run down). I worked Friday night and had off on Halloween. Was I ready? I made my goal of losing 20 pounds two days before the run - yeah me! (20 more to go!)
P.S. Read posts bottom up :)

Ben Franklin Bridge

Ben Franklin Bridge

Kids on the Bridge

Kids on the Bridge