Anything that ends with fried chicken and mashed potatoes can't be all bad

My Italian Stallion husband signed up for a mud run back in September.   He invited me to do it with him.  The invitation warmed my cold black heart but I'm a pretty delicate flower so I asked if I thought it would be too hard for me.  He decided I'd live to tell the tale and signed me up.  I figured he'd live to hear about it if things went south and planned to go.

Then I discovered the forecast for race day was sub-arctic.  Perfect.

The wind chill was 29.   The chill in my soul was minus 233.
I don't call my husband insane for nothing so naturally he wasn't going to let the cold weather stop him.  I moved on to hoping the race organizers might have a heart to heart with their lawyers about liability.  No luck.  It was a go.  And by go, I mean I didn't want to wimp out if my husband wasn't but I was pretty sure I was going to hate life.

We dropped some cash at Dick's for some cold weather crap.  My old compression pants from last winter are literally hanging off my smaller butt this year.  So I like to think it was necessary spending as opposed to flushing money down the toilet.  We also bought Bear Grylls' survival blankets just in case.   As if a delicate flower like me should ever need to purchase anything with Bear Grylls' name on it.  Whatever.
This is the face of a stupid woman still contemplating whether or not she's going to go in the water.
On the drive there, I was waffling about whether or not I'd go in any of the water at the obstacles.  Then I stepped out of the car in a winter coat, hat and gloves and I was cold.  And then some guy told us the very first obstacle was completely submerging yourself in water.  And then I knew I wasn't going in the water.  The race was 6 miles.  Running 6 miles in cold weather didn't faze me in the least.  But 6 miles at my 10 minute mile pace is an hour.  And that's with zero obstacles on dry pavement.  Mud and obstacles and I figured I'd be an hour and a half minimum.  So I'd be wet and outside in sub 30 degrees for an hour and a half minimum.
Um.  Yeah.  You've got the wrong girl.  Not because I can't suck it up.  Because I can.  I consider pretty much all exercise to be sucking it up.  So an hour and half of wanting to die is nothing new.  But what if I got sick?  Like pneumonia.   Because then I might have to see a doctor and then I might have to confess to an educated adult that I voluntarily ran around outside soaking wet in the freezing cold for an hour and a half.  This chick is not having that conversation. This chick can't be bothered.  No amount of taunting will motivate this chick to be bothered either.

So I'm thinking I'll just run the 6 miles and skip the water stuff.  No biggie.  Right.   
Still relatively warm and dry hiding out in a tent until it was go time.
The entire race area was a mud pit.  Walking from the parking area was slightly muddy.  The area to get our bibs was very muddy.  And everything past that was full tilt madness muddy. 

Slipping and near falls happened every 10 feet.    My shoes started collecting mud that would gather sort of like a snow shoe surrounding the shoe itself.   I'm a little unclear how to run with snow shoes made of mud.  My 10 minute mile was probably more like a careful 13 minute mile watching where I stepped.  Sometimes it was up or down hill in mud and then it was probably a 16 minute mile.  I tried running to the side of the path as much as I could since it was less muddy.  Sometimes I off road-ed over grass and crap at the edges. Sometimes I walked while trying to shake off the snow shoe build up.

And the powers that be at this race incorporated creeks into the course.  What a wonderful use of the naturally occuring terrain where the race was held! And we got to cross them!  Lucky us! Because there was no other way around them and oh well if our feet got soaked!  So now I'm running with cold wet feet covered in mud snow shoes!  Yeah!  Not long after that I'm thinking we must almost be to the end and then we pass the 2.5 mile sign.  Um.  Yeah.

It was mostly men out there.  I'm guessing they suffer from the same crippling insanity as my husband.  Some are more insane than others though.  For example, my husband didn't go in all the water traps.  Just some.  The truly insane went in everything and ran the entire race in shorts and no shirt.  There were a lot of insane people there.  The only thing I didn't spot was bare feet.  But I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. 
This is the face of a cold tired insane man.  I wish I had video of him coming out from under the water looking like he'd just been to war or something equally horrific.  It was nuts. 
Half of the people signed up for the race didn't show up to run it.  Half of the people that did show up to run it didn't finish.   About a mile in we started seeing people that were waiting for a golf cart to rescue them and take them back to civilization.  About half way through we started passing shivering wet messes struggling to put one foot in front of the other just to get to the golf cart pick up locations since with all the mud they couldn't drive to pick you up just anywhere. 

I hate to be sexist but most of the golf carts contained girls.  We saw one tiny slip of a girl in short sleeves shaking like a leaf walking with her boyfriend and he had his arms around her trying to warm her up.  They weren't trying to finish.  They were just trying to get to the golf carts.  About a mile from the end, there were ripped fellas that were wet and falling apart but clearly just plowing ahead despite that.  One guy's teeth were chatting so badly as I jogged passed him I could actually hear it.  
This is the face of a woman that wants to go home.
It took us nearly 2 hours to finish.  Considering I ran a half marathon in 2:25, that's nuts.  Cold, long and insane.  I was also starving by the end because who thinks to pack a snack when they're busy worrying about freezing to death. 

We celebrated by getting back in our car and turning the heat all the way up.  Then we hit up a soul food restaurant and face planted into a sea of fried foods.  My husband wasn't particularly enthused to enter the establishment with mud in his ears while wearing sketchy sweatpants and flip flops.  The universe must have heard his soul weeping and spared him by making the wait time for a table 3 years.
Bring us our food already. 
So we got it to go and did our face plant into the food in the car.  Cuz we're the kind of classy people that put the gravy container on the dashboard while we eat directly out of the family style mashed potato bowl.  Clampett's for life, yo!
My husband telling me to try the corn because it was sent from heaven.  Pretty sure they put crack in that corn.  Either that or we were both starving.
And then we went home to defrost and I attempted to pretend it never happened.   I'm thinking of signing up for another one to really give a mud run a try.  Because this was whacked out madness not a real mud run experience.  Other times I wonder if I should just learn the lesson that maybe they're not for me.  Not sure.

But I'm giving myself an A for resisting my natural urge to wimp out.  I'll take it and live to fight another day.  Now let's go back to pretending it didn't happen.


Mandi Torres said...

I totally feel you with the cold; it's miserable! I did the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and it was 19! NINETEEN!!

Kim StuffedSuitcase said...

Can I just say way to go! Man, I don't even want to run when it's raining (and I live in Seattle). I absolutely loved reading your post!

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