Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Muddy Buddy! And my first 13.1

Last Saturday was Muddy Buddy! As I'm sure you know, I love me a good mud race. My first one was the Warrior Dash on May 22nd (click here for the race recap), and I was instantly hooked! There's just something awesome about being covered head to toe in mud in public. Love it.

Here are the all the crazy kids who came with me this time:

From left to right: Paul, Emily, Jessica, me, Rusty, and Patrick.

We decided to race in the coed division, so the teams were Paul & Emily, Jessica & Patrick, and Rusty & me.

We got there nice and early so that we'd have plenty of time to prep our gear.

We started in the fourth wave, so we had a nice, long wait in line, too.

The concept of Muddy Buddy is that you and a buddy race as a team with one bike between you. One person starts on the bike, and the other person starts running. At the end of each one-mile leg, the biker drops the bike, goes through an obstacle, and runs the next leg; the runner runs the leg, does the obstacle, and picks up the bike for the next leg. You alternate for 5 legs.

The bikers got a head start on the runners so there wouldn't be a big mess with runners and bikers trying to share the path. The whole race was on a trail with a lot of single-track, so it was important to divide up the group ahead of time!

Here go the bikers:

Here go the runners:

We decided to have the boys start on the bikes and the girls start on their feet. Jess, Emily, and I stayed together for the first leg, but Jess and Emily dropped back when we hit the first obstacle and picked up the bikes for our first biking leg. They were pretty worn out from the running leg and wanted to take it slow. They kept up with me at a 9:00-minute pace, and they aren't really runners!

The obstacles went like this:

  • After 1st leg: Cross a balance beam
  • After 2nd leg: Crawl under a fishing net
  • After 3rd leg: Climb a rock wall
  • After 4th leg: Climb a fishing net and slide down an inflatable slide
  • Before the finish line: Mud pit!

I felt pretty awesome through the first two legs! Rusty was waiting for me when I hit the bike drop at the end of the second leg, but he did have a two-minute head start at the beginning--I didn't feel too bad! The third leg (my second running leg) was a bit rough. It was HOT outside! We're talking 90's with 100% humidity. I had sweat dripping from every inch of my skin. The course was steep and hilly to boot, so it was that much harder! I ran most of the leg, but I walked up most of the steep hills. The rest of the race went by in a similar fashion--mostly running/biking with some walking up the steep hills.

Luckily Jeff's mid-race perch was at a flat spot so I was actually on the bike!

The last leg (my third running leg) was actually 1.2 miles, and it seemed to go on and on and on. Before I knew it though, I heard the roar of the finish area and saw the signs for the mud pit! Rusty was waiting for me in front of the mud pit and we crawled through together.

Rusty and I crossed the finish line first and met up with Jeff in the finish area.


Emily and Paul crossed next...

...then Jess and Patrick!

Muddy Buddies!

Muddy Buddy sucess! Rusty and I ended up finishing in 54:29, 32nd out of 63 teams in our division (coed teams whose ages add up to between 56 and 65). Rusty has finished in 54 minutes and some change for the last three years! I'm glad I was able to keep up!

I took my shoes off in the car--I was DIRTY!

After the race, I came home, iced, and ate ate ate! I knew I had a long run Sunday, and I wanted to make sure I was appropriately fueled and rested. I was scheduled to run 12 miles, and I was a little nervous about it because of what happened post-Warrior Dash. I don't have a lot of experience with back-to-back runs because my training schedule only has me running Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

I woke up Sunday morning, bright and early at 4:30 AM, and fueled with 1/2 a whole-wheat bagel and some Gatorade.

I left the house at 5:30 AM. Despite my goofy smile in the photo above, once I started running I felt like absolute CRAP. My shins were killing me! They threatened to give out with every step. Usually, I wear my Zensah compression sleeves on every run, but I didn't wear them at Muddy Buddy because I didn't want to get them dirty in the mud pit.

Zensah <3.

I told myself I'd reevalute the situation at mile 5. If I still felt like crap and my shins were still threatening failure, I'd turn home (at mile 5, I'd only be .4 miles from home).

Luckily, at mile 5, I felt flippin' fantastic! My shin/calf aches had worked themselves out, and I was feeling pretty powerful. I had told myself before I even started that if I was feeling good I was going to push for the whole 13.1. A half mary!

I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. I needed to know what I was made of. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

I did it, too! GO ME! I didn't have anything left in the tank and was certainly ready to stop at 13.1, but I did it! That's all that matters to me.

This bodes well for the weekend after next, when I'll have to run 14 miles on Saturday and then run my first 10K on Sunday!

It's the PEACHTREE ROAD RACE, baby! Once of the biggest races in the country!

More blogging soon. Miss you guys!


  1. The Peachtree is, in fact, the biggest 10k in the country! I missed getting a spot and haven't had time to keep up with my training anyway. Have a blast for me!!!

  2. You are doing fantastic your training... and you are going to own that marathon in October. Great job on the mud run. you make mud look fun! I'm going a mud race in july, but it's only 1 mile through the mud the whole time. should be funny. Wat to go, Ali!

  3. That race looks like so much fun!!