September 20, Ray (boyfriend), Carly (co-worker/friend), Austin (roommate) and I ran the Big Nasty Mud Run just outside of Pooler, GA. It's 4.7 miles and I believe 33 obstacles. Ray and I chose to just walk between obstacles, and Carly and Austin would usually run and then wait for us to catch up.
It was long. It was tiring. I will say this - Vibrams are the way to go for a mud run! I did one last year as well wearing sneakers, and they felt like they weighed and extra 20 pounds each. Plus, my arch didn't hurt at all, despite walking on all completely uneven terrain, which it normally starts to around 6 miles or so in "normal" shoes on the road.
There were some obstacles I couldn't do, because I didn't feel I had the balance and/or strength. Some I freaked out about but did anyway. Anything I have to go up and over, I have a hard time with mentally. For instance, there were walls about 4 feet high that we had to go up and over. I lifted myself up, looked to the other side, and freaked out and let myself back down. With the encouragement of my little crew (and some strangers!) I was finally able to do all of them - about 5 or 6 total I think. Same thing with the less stable under/overs which were more just random slats of wood. They terrified me, but I did (most) of them!
A lot of obstacles were in the water - fine by me, I just swam when it got too deep to walk. That was way easier anyway! Some places were more a swamp or just a few inches to a foot of water. Then I worried about alligators and water moccasins. We never saw anything, but the thought was always in my mind!
I did manage to accomplish a lot more than I thought I would, and I only skipped maybe...2 and a half obstacles total?
Until the fall.
At one point, there was a cargo net that you had to climb up, then roll/climb across another (horizontal) one, then slide down a fireman's pole. I watched other people. They made it look easy. Ray told me not to do it. I thought I'd be fine, from all the other people making it look easy. Spoiler alert - I wasn't fine. I reached out with both arms and grabbed the pole, like they told me to, then put one foot out around it. The nice volunteer coaching me through it at the top told me to just wrap the other leg around the pole too, then squeeze as tight as I could with my upper thighs. It didn't work. I want to say it was maybe 20 feet high? I'm not entirely sure. All I can tell you is that one second I was standing on the platform, and the next I was on the ground and couldn't move my right leg.
Most of the pain was just shock and wore off fairly quickly. My right knee just felt bruised after that. They offered to get an ATV to take me to the finish, but I said I would walk it. In retrospect, I should have asked how far the finish was, but I decided to walk. I knew I wasn't injured, just bruised. So I continued along the course, my knee literally instantly visibly bruised and swollen, and finished just fine. I didn't do the rest of the obstacles, but there were only a few left, and it was less than a half mile to the end.
We rinsed off, changed, got some food, and got home. And yes, I walked up to our third floor apartment just fine. Well, we were sitting and watching the footage, and I noticed my LEFT knee (the good one) was sore. This had to be around 3 hours after me falling. I figured it was just because my legs were up on the coffee table, and they sometimes get sore when I do that. So I bent them on to the couch like I always do to fix it. It didn't get less sore. And by the time I went to get up to go the bedroom, I couldn't straighten it. By the end of the night, I couldn't bend it more than it was or straighten it, or put weight on it.
Of course, I freaked out. I decided I tore something, I wouldn't be able to run at Wine and Dine or Space Coast, or probably ever again really, and I was going to have to have surgery. Of course, this was me being completely dramatic. I started icing it (I had put Biofreeze on before and it did literally nothing to help) which helped some. Ray and I were supposed to stay in a hotel downtown that Saturday night (a birthday present from my parents), so I was a complete mess because I ruined it. I was crying because of that, because of pain, because I felt stupid for trying when Ray said not to, etc. It was a pretty bad night. Sunday and Monday I stayed on crutches as much as possible (especially to keep weight off of it walking around campus) and this seemed to help for the most part. Tuesday both of my knees were sore in a way nothing has ever been sore on me before, and I'm not quite sure how to explain it. This lasted through probably the following Monday for it to really go away. Yes, I did a 5k during that period, and yes, it sucked.
I still have some residual soreness once in a while, especially if my knee goes sideways at all, and my calves are still pretty tight, I guess from compensating. And for a while, I had a pretty nasty bruise.
Overall though, the Mud Run was a great experience. I learned that I can accomplish more than I thought, I do need to strength train, and sometimes I really should trust my gut.
These are the few good pictures that were up of us, and my bruise, at least 5-6 days after getting it. I'll let you know when we finally have the video up!
|On my very upper thigh|
Have you ever done a mud or obstacle run?