Monday, September 17, 2012

Back in the Mud

I made it through another Mud Run, and this year I managed it without injury.  I also felt stronger and ran faster than last year.  The course was the same:  around the soccer field, through the drainage tunnel, into the river and eventually out again, through a small mud pit, up a long hill and down the other side, through the woods, through a creek, and into the big, gotta-crawl-through-it mud pit at the end.  The Marines put this on every year and the proceeds go to Toys for Tots.  A couple of the fellows admired my goggles—standard cheap safety glasses that fit over my regular glasses to keep the mud off.  It didn’t work as well this year, because I took them off too soon and got splashed by one of the other runners at the end of the big mud pit.  They are, however, still decorated with the same miniature rubber duckies as last year (one green camo and one pink camo).  

At least my headband stayed clean

Before I ran, I went back to my blog entry from last year to check my list of things that I wanted to do differently: 
  •  No slacking off during summer runs.  I felt strong during the run, but I was faster last spring.
  • Gotta get my own support crew--Allison was great, but of course had to focus on "her" runner.
  • Braid my hair--maybe even wear a swim cap.
  • Find different gear--something like compression tights and a shirt that dries faster.
  • Get back into swimming (my arms and back were crazy sore for the next few days).
  • Rinse off in the river instead of fighting the crowd at the outdoor showers.
  • Bring a thermos of coffee for warming up after.
  • Bring two towels.  At least.
I didn’t run as many miles this summer, but I changed my training program to include sprint days and bodyweight strength training days.  No support crew again this year—apparently sleeping late is more important.  I did braid my hair.  It still got muddy, but it was easier to disguise that fact for the rest of the day.  I wore running tights, but not compression tights.  According to Zac, compression boxers were the way to go to keep mud out of tender areas.  I also wore a hideous 80’s polyester blouse that I felt deserved a good mud bath.  It survived in good shape and shed the mud, which I found somewhat creepy.  No swimming this summer, but the strength training helped my arms and back a lot.  We rinsed off in the river, which worked well (and gave a couple of the Marines some entertainment).  

Others had the same idea--see all the mud in the water?   

I brought two towels and a thermos of coffee, all of which were nicely restorative afterwards.  Zac and Allison helped me finish off the coffee, so I’m glad I brought enough to share.

I definitely plan to make this an annual event.  In hopes of making this even easier next year, here is my new list of things I’d like to change:
  • Get my own support crew—there is nothing like having someone there to cheer you on and take pictures.
  • Wear a swim cap if it’s chilly enough.
  • Find compression tights and another creepy blouse.
  • More trail runs during the summer, and more running up hills.
  • Find a group to follow when slogging through the river.
  • Don’t take off the goggles until I cross the finish line.
  • Or wear my prescription swimming goggles? Hmmmmm… 

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