I’m usually partial to good, clean fun. Mostly because I am lazy and don’t like cleaning up messes. This weekend, however, was a bit of a departure. My sister and I ran our first DirtyGirl 5k on Saturday morning and I swear, I am still smiling. Also: 4 showers later, I am still finding mud in various places. Like way inside my ear.
I’ve participated in one other mud run before, and it happened to be on the same course at the Amesbury Sports Park. Nick and I ran together, and by together, I mean that he blazed ahead and I met him at the finish line six hours 30 minutes after he started his celebration beer. It had rained quite a bit before the event, and the narrow and steep trails felt, welp… super dangerous. People were falling left and right and on one another. The obstacles were fun, but it was hard to run between them due to the thick mud. Basically, I fell from one obstacle to the next. I was happy I participated, but not eager to sign up for another event.
When the folks at DirtyGirl reached out to me, however, I was starting to run again (this was shortly after Grace was born, but before I broke my toe… I think) and was looking for a race to train for. I convinced my sister to join me and figured if nothing else, we’d have fun together. And did we ever.
Before and After (and yes.. that is mud ON MY TEETH.)
I hadn’t run since the whole toe thing, so to say I was undertrained would be an understatement. At the same time, carrying around a 13 lb. baby in a 35 lb. car seat and practicing inversions while she sleeps has paid off, making those climbing obstacles a breeze. I tried my best to keep up with my sister (who actually, you know, works out), but if nothing else, those walking breaks served as great motivation to be thoughtful about future goals and training.
Getting back into shape (whatever that means, seeing as I feel like I am a totally different shape) after having Grace has been humbling, which is both challenging and freeing. The slate is wiped clean, so to speak. After dropping my sister off, I took a ridiculously long shower and then promptly downloaded the Couch to 5k app. Having completed two marathons and countless other races, it bruises my ego a bit to think of myself as a beginner, but hey… that’s where I am right now. I think my new mantra has something to do with meeting myself where I am, not where I was. Also: I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all okay.
Back to the mud: At one point, I was doubled over with laugher when my sister looked at me and yelled “AAAAH! You have a mustache!” I had nothing clean to wipe my face with, so on we went. I swear, I laughed for the full 5k. Which explains how I got mud on my teeth. Gross. I have never been so eager to see the professional photos from an event.
I kept thinking, I wish every workout could be this fun. While there can’t always be giant inflatable obstacles and tutu-clad competitors alongside me, I bet infusing some of that playfulness into my training or yoga practice would do some good.
DirtyGirl Mud Run 2014: The Highlights
The course was the perfect balance of muddy, yet still run-able. While I had take breaks to walk here and there (those hills are no joke), you really could run this course. It took us just under 40 minutes to complete the 3.1 mile loop, including obstacles… and two laughing induced asthma attacks.
The obstacles were so much fun. They were challenging, but not impossible and unlike similar events, you can opt-out, if you choose.
No offense, dudes, but there’s just something about an all female event…
The event had a really positive, supportive vibe. Fellow runners cheered one another on and staff and volunteers were helpful and friendly.
From the parking and shuttle bus to the post-race showers and everything in between, the event was so well managed.
My sister and I are already looking forward to next year’s event (we’ve started recruiting teammates and designing our outfits… there may be sloths involved muhaha). To save on your registration to an upcoming Dirty Girl 5k, use the code BLOGFRIEND.