It turns out that my memory completely blocked out a few pertinent facts about the mud run. Important fact number one is that of the 5 miles in the race, about 4 of them are sand. Important fact number two is that I felt out of shape when I ran the race last year, even though I ran 5 miles with relative ease the week before the race. Important fact number three is that for the past few months, I’ve run a mile or two at a time, not five miles.
To put it kindly, this weekend’s race reminded me of the value of training (and humility). The only real perk is that while people were passing me right and left, I maintained a level of cheer that my fellow slow-pokes didn’t achieve. If you’re going to be bad at something, you can’t be grumpy, too. That’s just my opinion.
After about 4.75 miles of sand and frustration, I came to the crowning glory of the mud run–the mud pit. It’s conveniently located very close to the finish line, which is helpful because you don’t have to drag around 12 pounds of mud for the entire race. The pit placement is also beneficial because friends and family can watch participants crawl through mud. That’s probably a lot more entertaining than watching tired racers trudge through a quarter-mile of sand to get to the finish line. And my favorite reason for having the mud pit so close to the finish line is that the mud crawl is absurdly fun. You immediately forget how painful the rest of the race was when you dive into that mud, and if you aren’t inspired to frolic to the finish line, I’m not sure what would inspire you.
This is a small sample of the mud on my body after that pit (which was so deep that I had to literally swim through it this year):
Those shorts are hot pink. Can’t you tell? And I rinsed my feet so I could walk inside without mopping my entire house. Before that, my feet were almost as muddy as my legs, despite the fact that they were covered by shoes and socks for the entire race. My arms, torso, and neck were encased in dried mud, too. Mmm.
Stepping out of my car covered in dried mud probably upped my crazy points in the neighborhood. The lady across the street was definitely sitting on her front steps for that Kodak moment. I should have said something to her, but I think letting her wonder was more fun for both of us.
The verdict for next year is that I fully intend to race again. It might be a good idea for me to actually train for the event, however. Please remind me of that sometime in March 2011.