Age: 26 State: WI
Experience: Iron Woman
Age: 46 State: NY
Age: 29 State: NY
Age: 22 State: CO
Age: 26 State: CO
Age: 25 State: WI
Age: 34 State: WI
Age: 32 State: WI
Life's a circus for Kim. Her days are spent juggling work, family & friends and, at times, squeezing in a little "me" time. It's a good week if she leaves work in time for yoga class. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, she has no problem getting dirty. She's counting on her strong, country work ethic to help her train for her first 5k.
If you were at the Mud Run on Saturday and didn’t have fun, something must be wrong with you! There might have been a few hiccups (true for any first-time event), but there were so many fun and cute parts of the race that far outweighed anything else.
So let’s recap. I was scared out of my mind (just ask the girls I had a slumber party with the night before the race!). I kept thinking about all the obstacles, how long I’d be able to run and how many times other runners would pass me. Looking back, none of it mattered.
We arrived at Milford Hills (PS, it’s beautiful!) around 7:30 a.m. After parking, we followed the Dirty Girl signs to the registration tent. Along the way we passed “The Wall”. I thought seeing the obstacles before the race would freak me out but seeing the different height levels of the wall was a clear reminder that this race is for girls of all ages and all fitness levels. The registration process was smooth, there was pink everywhere and the energy was awesome! It started to sprinkle so we walked by the vendor tents and past the start line to find the bag check. The bag check-in process was organized as the race bib had a tear-off piece with my registration number on it and the bag-check station volunteers passed out zip ties to secure your ID piece to your bag. I think the sprinkles-that-turned-to-rain put a damper on the original plan for the bag check (sort bags on the ground by bib number) as the volunteers were scrambling to cover all the bags with tarp so they wouldn’t get wet. I appreciated their efforts as I had a canvas tote that would have been soaked had they not covered it.
We walked back towards the vendor tents, took a gander at the corral near the start line and took cover from the rain under the beer tent. The music was loud (a good loud) and we watched as the competitive wave gathered in the corral. The emcee was asking questions and getting the girls pumped. The next thing you know, the horn sounded and the girls took off. We watched as they took on the first hill and then they were out of sight. The rain picked up and for safety reasons due to lightning, the Dirty Girl organizers waited for the small storm to pass before letting the next wave start. Considering recent events (the tragedy in Indianapolis) I had no problem waiting. We had a very short delay—waves 2 and 3 started eight minutes apart rather than 15—and before we knew it, it was our turn. We headed towards the corral and I was so nervous. My posse (Colleen, Katie, Haley and Corinne) had all run in 5ks before. We ran into my friend Linda as we were about to start and she joined us, too. Finally, I had a newbie runner with me! The horn sounded and… there was no turning back!
We ran up the first hill and there it was, the hay bale climb. I was excited for this obstacle because I knew I could do it (thanks to a trip to a pumpkin patch last fall with two of my work buddies. Ha!) We jogged around a field and approached the second hurdle… running through hanging tires. Fun! I was getting tired, though. I slowed to a walk but jogged to the high knees obstacle and made my way to the first water station.
The next stretch seemed like it took forever (up and down little hills) but the tubes approached and that’s where the laughter started. I slid in the tube and wasn’t going anywhere. I turned on my back thinking that would help and I could push my out with my legs; it didn’t work. I laughed at myself – literally laughed out loud – and that’s when I remembered that this was a fun run. I slid back onto my hands and knees and crawled out. I used the same technique (laughing and crawling) through the second tube. So we took off for the next challenge: the ditch of water. I screamed with excitement! (I think I screamed every time there was an obstacle with water.) Down the ditch. Legs in water. Grab the rope. Get up the ditch. Start jogging with wet feet. Weird feeling.
The army crawl was fun (I was kind of good at it) and around the corner was the mud pit! Seeing a group of spectators was energizing. We waded through the pit and approached the hill. This is where I really started to feel tired. The course was a bit slippery from the rain in the morning so all the girls (not just me!) slowed and used caution. We jumped hay bales, used the “rollerblade” technique through some of the muddy areas and approached the wall. I took on the second-highest level and was surprised at how easy it was. My friend Colleen said this was the last stretch so our group jogged together. I was tired. I slowed down, she went behind me, put her hands on my back and pushed me. I’m sure I grumbled something mean and sarcastic to her (we’re good friends so we’re ok being honest with each other).
She moved ahead and I barely jogged to the cargo net obstacle (did I mention I was tired?!?) and we waited for our turn to take on the challenge. I’m not going to lie, it was tricky once you were at the top and had to turn your body around to get down. But I did it! When our group of girls had finished with the ropes, we ran to the finish line together. But wait. Surprise! One last obstacle – a giant pool of water and sand! We made it out of the pool and crossed the finish line together. WOW!
We wanted to snap pictures so we made our way to the bag check, which had turned a bit chaotic now that more girls were arriving for the race and since the rain had ruined the system in place. One of my recommendations to Dirty Girl would be to have separate “check in” and “pick up” lines for the bag check. We documented our dirtiness, picked up our cosmos and made our way to the Dirty Girl merchandise tent. The sun came out and the energy was still high as runners continued to take off. People were laughing as they crossed the finish line.
What a great experience! I had a blast during the Mud Run. I’m going to do it again next year but I’ll be better prepared: I’ll keep training (I’m thinking about doing the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run in my hometown this winter). I’m also going to bring a water-proof camera with me (there were so many photo ops along the course!) and I’m going to make sure that whatever team I’m on makes t-shirts and has crazy head pieces like a lot of the girls had at this year’s race. I saw capes, feathers, shower caps, tie-dyed t-shirts, matching socks; it was an adventure of its own looking at all the outfits!
Thank you, Dirty Girls, for all your encouragement as I blogged for the Wisconsin race. I hope all of you had a fun and memorable like I did. As we prepare for next year (you’re training already, right?), help me answer the following questions:
What tips do you have for the Dirty Girl organizers?
Do you have any recommendations for the girls running this year in Colorado and New York?
What was the highlight of your 2011 Johnson Creek Mud Run?
How did you train for the Dirty Girl if this was your first 5k?
Will I see you next year?
Until next year,
Get Dirty or Go home!
August 29th, 2011
I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m pumped.
My goals for tomorrow: Don’t get nervous and puke before the race. Start at a comfortable pace. Laugh. (I’m sure this will happen at the first obstacle!) Push myself. Complete ALL the obstacles. Laugh. Cross the finish line. Laugh. Don’t puke at the end of the race.
I know the Mud Run is going to be a challenge for me physically but I keep thinking about crossing that finish line… completely covered in mud … and the mental sense of accomplishment that will come with it! With less than 24 hours until the start of the Wisconsin race, what are you feeling/thinking?
I can’t wait to see all of you!
August 19th, 2011
So. I’ve been quiet. It’s not because I’ve been bored. And it’s certainly not because I’m not freaking out about how excited (and scared!) I am to run in my first 5K in less than a month! It’s because I moved. Yep, a new job. Exciting, right? Well. It is! But, it’s also stressful. I had to finish up projects at my old job, pack up my apartment, move, unpack, start at my new job. The past month has been a whirlwind!
With my job move, my body started to move less. Ugh! And saying goodbye in one city meant farewell breakfasts, lunches and dinners with coworkers and colleagues. Commuting with my new job means no more before-work gym visits. While I’m struggling to determine my new fitness and workout routine, I did manage to lose one pound in the last month. Am I happy with a one-pound loss? YES because that means all the things I’ve learned in the past year about maintaining weight and making healthy food decisions are working but NO because I’m trying to lose weight right now!
At any rate, Dirty Girls, I need your help. I went for a Sunday-morning run to inspire myself to get my body moving again but my endurance was lacking. How can I incorporate fitness into my new life? How are you moving as we approach the final weeks before the Mud Run?
July 29th, 2011
Kickin’ sickness: I’ve been in a funk the past two weeks: Tired. Restless. Achy. Constant Headache. Unable to focus. I haven’t been to the gym in a week. Not good! But I’m starting to feel better and I’m looking forward to my next gym visit so I can get back to kickin’ butt on the treadmill. I’m not as intimidated by the mile anymore. There are days where I run my mile and do intervals for another 1.5 miles. Then there are days where I stop the minute the distance reads 1.0. Either way, I like how I feel when I jump off the treadmill and I’m not avoiding the mirrors at the gym as much either! But I know I need to increase the distance so I can push my endurance. I want to do a week or two of “single miles” until I feel like myself again and then I’ll start pushing myself to run farther.
In addition to preparing for my first 5k and running 3.2 miles, I know I need to get ready for the obstacles throughout the Dirty Girl Mud Run route. I have a lot of leg strength but my upper body is very weak. I’ve been lifting weights but I wanted to try something new… and then I got a Groupon that sparked my interest: kick boxin‘. I bought it and am going to take the classes with a friend from work! It’s going to be a fun addition to my workouts and preparing some of the muscles that I’ll need for the wall climb, cargo net and fence jump once August 20.
Are you mixing up your workouts? What are you doing to prepare for the obstacles? How do you handle getting sidelined by sickness?
March 29th, 2011
How has it been 11 days since my last entry? Eek! I feel like I’m on the run all the time. And in none of the places that matter – like the gym. Regardless, I spent two days snowed in (Hello, blizzard.) and then traveled back home to stand up in a friend’s wedding. It was awesome – except it meant I missed yoga last Thursday night and had to sneak in workouts between nail appointments, “I do’s” and this little thing called the Super Bowl.
I took Monday off work to have a day where I could do my own thing and enjoy being back home without running around. Ironically I started off at the gym. Instead of hopping on the elliptical like usual, I made myself get on the treadmill. Have I mentioned how much I hate running? My butt jiggles, I sweat instantly, my iPod’s ear buds continuously fall out (I can’t move without motivational music) and I feel like everyone is watching the fat girl on the treadmill. (Seriously. These are the things that go through my head.) Thankfully there weren’t a lot of people there. I walked .12, ran .25, walked .13, ran .5, walked .25, ran .25, walked .12 and ran .13 for a total of 1.75 miles. My walking pace was 3.5 and my running pace was a mix of 4.8, 5.2 and 5.5. I realize some people might not consider that running but I’ve got to start somewhere! I was a bit annoyed that my distance on the treadmill was half the distance I usually reach while on the elliptical but I wanted to lift weights and not spend my entire day off at the gym! And, let’s be honest, if I would have made myself do intervals for the entire 3.2 miles at a faster pace, I probably would have hated it and never done it again.
So after my re-initiation with the treadmill, I’m officially on the run. My goals are to increase my endurance (thus improving the distance I can run at one time) and, by doing so, shut up the voices in my head that tell me I don’t belong on the treadmill. It’s going to take time. It’s going to hurt. It’s probably going to feel like I’m going to die every now and then. But I want girls to know that anyone (of any size) can be active and anyone (of any size) can get dirty. Bring it on, Mud Run. Bring it on.
February 10th, 2011