I have been doing this blogging thing for almost three years now. Nuts huh? Itâ€™s addicting â€“ craving community, comments and interaction. (Comments are totally blogger crack.)
The true extent of my addiction was realized this weekend. I do believe Iâ€™ve begun agreeing to participate in events simply because there is undoubtedly a fantabulous story to be told just waiting to happen.
I ran a Dirty Girl race.
â€œOh my god â€“ are we insane?â€ I inquired of my running partner in crime? â€œGiven my track record, Iâ€™ll likely go splat before the race begins!â€
So now youâ€™re wondering â€“ is this one of those insane endurance events â€“ Iron Man meets Burning Man? A half marathon over the Sierra Mountains with electrified ropes that might actually kill you?
No. It was a 5K obstacle course. With mud. (For when we fell.)
Youâ€™d think I wasnâ€™t raising boysâ€¦ What adequate BoyMom fears dirt of any kind? So â€“ back to earn my street cred â€“ letâ€™s get dirty.
We strutted into the Alameda County Fairgrounds (which had clearly puked neon pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month) at 8 a.m. Bags were checked, race bibs were affixed and our team headed toward the starting gates in slo-mo â€“ a group of badass women on team Run Like a Mother. LETâ€™S DO THIS!
(At least thatâ€™s how it went in my mind, ok? In reality we bounced around whining that we were cold so we wanted to get moving. Also what pace was everyone else going to run at and hey those girls from the 8 a.m. wave actually donâ€™t look that dirty.)
9 a.m. hit and we were off! Or rather we all shuffled forward in a giant mosh-pit crowd.
The dust immediately began kicking up around us. We jogged through freshly fallen autumn leaves that blanketed the snaking course. It quickly occurred to me that the biggest danger ahead of me was likely the unseen uneven terrain buried beneath the fall foliage. New mantra: Get Dirty! Donâ€™t die! (Or donâ€™t roll your ankle if you feel the need to be less dramatic, which I totally do not.)
We leapt over some hay bales (childâ€™s play really â€“ especially if youâ€™re familiar with my children) and hit the first obstacle: a giant bounce house. No joke. It was a pyramid bounce house. We scrambled up. At the top, one of my teammates declared she was going to bounce down the descent; she hit the second level as my butt hit the one above. AIRBORNE! Best. Race. Ever.
And then we encountered the first mud pit. Splash, splunk and now thereâ€™s mud in my eye. Also, itâ€™s an entirely icky sensation running with squishy shoes that have mud oozing out.
Next up were the wall climbs, fence jumps and wooden pyramid scales. Our little pace trio decided we were gonna go for it â€“ and take on the big size obstacles. With a running start (and a teensy bit of help from the structure joint) my ego inflated just a bit as I hurled myself off each progressing challenge.
I also figured out it was a lot easier just to launch oneself of the top than try to navigate both up AND down a trial. One of the women wasnâ€™t as successful; she totally ate it about halfway up the wall. â€œWalk it off honey!â€ yelled her supportive (warm, dry, clean) husband.
We army-crawled/slip-n-slided/grimaced and plodded under seriously claustrophobic mud crawls and raced toward the finish. After one last seriously slimy rope climb, the three of us climbed the step ahead of the final mud pit. With a grinning simultaneous leap our little gang splashed down.
There was a general concurrence that we completed our charity muddy buddy fun run with a deeper understanding of our children. They end every day with far more layers of grime. Kids really do have a fine appreciation for dirt.
â€œThat was awesome!â€ We all agreed.
â€œWe should totally train for Tough Mudder next year!â€ (See above description of Burning Man means Iron Man.) Letâ€™s agree to disagree.