Do you want to see what I did on Saturday?
The day was here, the day I had been training for for the last 6 months. The commitment that ultimately lead to my weight loss journey and my new found love for running. June 8th, 2013….the Camp Pendleton World Famous 10k Mud Run…it’s been staring me down on my calendar since January 1st.
6 miles, dirt trails, hills, hills and more hills, fire hoses, cargo nets, 5 foot walls, tunnel and net crawls, sand traps, hay bail obstacles, and mud…more mud than I could have ever prepared for. Mud so thick your shoes would get stuck, and mud so deep the only recognizable part left on me was my face…barely. Ask me what I thought of this all 6 months ago and I would have told you only insane people do things like that. Ask me what I thought after Saturday? When can I do it again?!!! It was the ultimate adrenaline rush and I am so proud of myself and my teammates for working so hard.
I got up at 5:00am Saturday morning, got into our team “Meet My Mudder” gear, had some breakfast and drank my Spark! I was ready to go. My teammates and I hit the road at 6:00am, and got on base and parked by 7:30. The event was so organized from the parking trams, to bib packet pick up, to bag check….I was very impressed. We had so much extra time I was almost tempted to grab an ice-cold Shocktop from the huge Beer Garden, but realized this probably wouldn’t be the best idea before the race. Instead I held onto that thought, and used it as extra motivation to get me through the course.
We spent the rest of the time talking, stretching, taking pictures, and people watching. There were some great team outfits and costumes out there! It was go time…and I was surprisingly calm. I just knew we were ready for this, and I was determined to have a great time.
We were part of the second heat (I think there were 5 total) which was great because we got to cheer on the first heat at the start line. There was so much energy complete with blaring music and military cavalry. People were sprinting right off the gate which was a very smart move if you were concerned with time. There are thousands of people that participate in this race and a lot of the obstacles get backed up if you aren’t one of the first ones to get there. This wasn’t our approach, but maybe we will remember this for next year.
We were all corralled in for the second wave and I don’t even remember them saying go! I just knew the crowd was moving so off we went. It was kind of anticlimactic, but I almost preferred that because it didn’t give me any time to think….we were off and running.
The beginning of the race was fairly flat, very dusty and within the first 5 minutes we were blasted by a fire hose. I was drenched and my shoes were already soaking wet. At this point I wasn’t sure how it would be possible to run 6 miles being so uncomfortable. This thought was quickly diminished once we hit our first huge mud pit then had to trudge through sandy terrain. My feet were now concrete blocks and I realized we were in for a treat….the fire hose was now the least of my worries. We powered on and never stopped running. The next 2-3 miles were a series of steep hills. Like the kind of hills where your legs are moving but you don’t feel like you are making progress. Surprisingly I still felt fantastic and we were passing people left and right who had started to walk. I didn’t know when the hills would end, but I knew I wasn’t going to walk…this is what we had trained for, and it felt good to feel good!
We were actually given a break once we hit the cargo net obstacle. This was a new event they added this year and I will be curious if they continue with it. It was SO backed up. I would say we waited a good 10-15 minutes before it was our turn to climb. Most people were complaining about their times, some people enjoyed the break, and I was somewhere in between. I wasn’t upset about catching my breath but I really wanted to keep going. We were actually close to going around it to keep running, but then I felt like we couldn’t say we completed the course if we skipped an obstacle. So we caught up as a team, took photos, and hauled our butts up and over that net and went right back to running. MORE HILLS.
The rest of the course was a muddy blur. We hit obstacle after obstacle, were slipping and sliding everywhere, and were covered head to toe in thick, black, mud. It was awesome and felt really empowering. It was also such a bonding experience. We encouraged one another, pulled each other up slippery slopes, and held hands for balance during the rocky steep descend. We never stopped pushing ourselves, we never stopped running, and I personally think our team kicked some mud run butt! Our time may not reflect it with all the obstacle waiting we did, but I know how hard we worked!
Before I knew it we were at mile 6, and in a way I didn’t want it to be over. I did have that beer still on my mind though, and I was ready to celebrate with my teammates. We all waited for one another near the finish line and once we were together, we linked arms and laughed our way through that last muddy obstacle and crossed the finish line as a team. My favorite part was approaching the end and having a Marine yell to the guys team behind us…”Look at that ..that’s a team of girls beating you.”
One of my teammates was smart enough to bring a disposable camera. It was covered in mud by the end, but we surprisingly still got some decent shots.
We rinsed off in the cold communal showers (that was interesting) and then got dressed in the communal changing room (that was even more interesting). We then headed over to meet up with the guys’ team we were there with and they had a tray of beers waiting for us to celebrate. See that dog tag? See that beer? I EARNED THEM! And I’m already counting down to when I get to do it all over again next year! Ooh-rah!