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 back and I’m ready to share some more details about the Wisconsin Dirty Girl Mud Run at Milford Hills. Many of you are in the middle of, or starting, some training for the mud run and that’s great!
I’ve seen so many great posts and comments on Facebook and Twitter about what you’re all doing to get ready – whether boot camps, trail running, treadmill intervals, zumba classes, weight training, chasing the kids around or the couch to 5K program, you’re all going to do awesome. There’s nothing to be afraid of on this course – it’s going to be pure fun, laughter and enjoyment – not to mention muddy!
When I “toured” the Milford Hills course I was excited to see all the different terrain and the sheer beauty of the place. We’ll be trekking through mud (obviously), water, grass, pavement, up and down hills and through trees and fields (with paths cut out for us). There will be 11 obstacles throughout the 3 miles. That means we’ll be running/jogging/walking for about 1/4 mile between each obstacle…that’s not so bad, right?!? Check out this page on the Dirty Girl website, to see the actual obstacles on the course to get a better idea of each one.
If you get a chance to run in some grass or do some trail running, that would be a great way to get yourself ready for the event – it’ll help you get used to the feeling of running/walking on something other than pavement or a treadmill. The course is winding and has different elevations – one of the coolest parts (in my opinion) is the tire run through the trees. Gorgeous. Oh and there’s some cool water features along the way as well – a small pond and a little river we get to trek through. AWESOME!
As I’ve mentioned (as have the other bloggers), this event is going to be so much fun! I’m not gonna lie, I’m not the best runner, but I do know that once I finish this mud run I’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment. It’ll be something I’ve never done before. And, it’ll be something I’ll never forget!
So now you know what I’m most excited for (mud, tire run, laughter). What are you most looking forward to at the Dirty Girl Mud Run?
June 8th, 2011
If you’re like most women, you not only love the show, What Not To Wear on TLC, but you’ve learned a few things from it as well. Stacey London and Clinton Kelly know how to make anyone look good and feel good – after some crying and secret footage of course. Unfortunately, not many of us get the chance to have our wardrobes completely overhauled by fashion experts, nor do we often take the time to consider what we’re going to wear, especially to the gym.
You might be saying to yourself, “Really Carie, you’re going to discuss workout fashion on your blog post today? What does that have to do with running the Dirty Girl event?” Here’s my response: when you feel good about yourself, you take care of yourself (and vice versa)…whether you’re in the gym or not. And, it could be just that little motivational push you’ve been looking for to get your butt in gear and start (or continue) training. For example, I just got some really cute Nike Free running shoes at the Nike outlet. Now, every time I’m on the treadmill or lifting weights and I look down at my cute, new shoes it makes me smile. I even want to go to the gym more often just to look at them.
I’m not a proponent of spending loads of cash on cute, little yoga-inspired leggings, wraps and shoes, but it’s fairly simple to fit your body with clothing that flatters you and makes you feel good. Pay attention to your assets, show them off. Pay attention to those trouble spots, and don’t show them off. Simple as that.
We’re all aging, our 18 year old bodies don’t look the same as our 30 or 40 or 50 year old bodies (mine doesn’t anyway) and that’s totally fine. Wearing short shorts to kick-boxing class might be okay for some, and not for others. Although, I’m of the mindset that short shorts should be saved for running, Bikram yoga, college volleyball or Pilates class.
It comes down to respect for yourself. And you should have lots of it because you’re worth every bit of time and energy you put into taking care of yourself. There are a lot of places to find cute gear perfect for sweating in. I find a lot of great deals on brand names at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls (they have NB and Nike sports bras at a fraction of the cost – they aren’t paying me for this endorsement). And, wearing the proper materials made for sweating is also key – don’t plan on wearing your flannel pajama pants for a 3-mile run on the treadmill…that’s not going to work out so well (physically or mentally). Most brands make a moisture-controlled fabric perfect for sweating in – Nike’s Dri-FIT is a great option . You might also consider a tank-top with built-in support instead of your husband’s big, boxy Nascar t-shirt. You’ll just feel better – and you’ll look good too.
What are some of the places you like to shop for your workout gear? Share with us!
March 14th, 2011
Isn’t it funny how your mind plays little tricks on you? Not like funny, haha, more like funny weird. There are days when I feel like I can do anything…run for miles, climb a wall, paddle for hours, give an awesome presentation in front of 20 people. And then there are those days when those things (and everything else) seem pretty impossible. So it comes down to mind over matter. And, if you’re like me, this is something you deal with fairly often. The good news is that most of the time, I overcome the doubt and just go for it. Luckily, that’s seemed to work out pretty well for me in life.
So if you’re unsure about attempting the Dirty Girl Mud Run, let me tell you this secret…you can do it. Yep. Simple, I know. The fact that you’re even visiting this website, reading this blog or even thinking about the event means you have it in you to do this. At this point, there is no “level of fitness” you need to be at in order to sign up. If I had to sum up my advice for preparing it would be based on endurance and attitude.
When it comes to endurance. You can start out slow with a level you’re comfortable with. But, you need to keep pushing yourself too. Jump on the treadmill, run for as long as feels right, walk for awhile, run some more, alter the incline, alter your speed, etc. Before you know it, three miles will feel pretty doable. Try some strength training too. Weights aren’t anything to be afraid of. In fact, women can benefit greatly from them. Ask someone to help you figure out a plan that works for you or attend a strength training class where you can learn some good technique and exercises you can eventually do on your own.
Attitude is a whole other ballgame. And, it’s equally (if not more) important. Sometimes keeping your mind moving forward is harder than the physical part (it’s that whole mind game thing I mentioned earlier). Just know that every race has its ups and downs, but you have to be okay with that. And, there’s no doubt that you and your mind will be on a nice high when you cross the finish line and head to the party tent for some celebration.
February 24th, 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