Monday, October 1, 2012

Rugged Maniac Recap

Alright, here it is. The recap of my muddy, obstacle riddled 5K run yesterday. Warning, it’s long, and gets a little heavy/emotional at the end…
Pics will come later/tomorrow
I will start out by saying my hubby came with me. Although there was a moment last week where he was a little whiney about it, he totally got how important it was to me and was all in. Thank Goodness.
The boys stayed with my mom… I missed their little face so much. But, the drive and waiting would have been torture for them (and us) so they had a fun day at home.
The drive there was easy, and we ended up early. I have to say – there was a LOT of people but this thing was SO incredibly organized that there was very little waiting in lines. I got my number, my chip (which goes through your shoe laces, as tying it up on your shoe is the only really secure place to put it) and my tee and proceeded to… wait.
And wait…
And oh yea, wait…
I finally saw some of my team mates start to filter in. I went over to a few but then I started to notice how many of the girls I DIDN’T know… I mean, everyone who goes to Bodyology has their own schedule, but I wasn’t prepared to NOT know more than ½ the team… but more on this later.
It was 12:45 and a wave had just left. We were up next. There was shaking. Yes, shaking. I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid I wouldn’t be able to tackle all of the obstacles. I hung with a few girls I knew who were great. We kept reassuring ourselves and each other that we would rock it.
The first obstacle happened before the race even began! Just to get INTO the cue to race, you had to jump a wall! Damn! LOL…I got over it, but it made me even more worried for what was to come.
I know I won’t remember all of the obstacles (there were 18 total) or the order they went in, but I will try my hardest.
The first was more walls. Both were about 5 feet. At first, I kinda froze. Before even attempting it I uttered the dreaded words: “I don’t think I can do this”. My trainer was there for all of us and she immediately said - “Don’t say that. Just do it”
Breathe. Go.
Up and over. 1, then the other
(Just a side note, this event was SO much work for the trainers, who were running up to help people and back to help stragglers, over and over again… there were a few obstacles I couldn’t have gotten through without their help.)
Ok… moving on… this was the longest running stint. We ran for a while… it was a little tougher than I was used to because it was all rocky trail and mud. I was a little more careful so it took me a little longer…
More walls. Some were planked, so you could easily climb them, then maneuver yourself over the (wobbly feeling) top and climb back down. 2, however, were tougher. About 8 feet high, and only one little, tiny foot ledge near the bottom. When I stood on the foot ledge, the top of the wall was eyeball level.
I dropped several f-bombs at this point.
One of our other trainers, Mike, helped me by giving my lower foot more stability. Once I had that, I was able to push myself up and slowly, very, very slowly, ease my way over. Getting down was like lowering yourself from a pull up… painful, but I did it.
 Then, I did it again…
Things get a little blurry now. There was a very dark, small tunnel that you needed to walk through in a crouch position. About ½ way through I was thinking – damn, I hope nothing is living in here. Hehe… Then there was the first of several mud pools that you needed to bear-crawl under barbed wire to get through. Up and down muddy hills and ditches. Running up very, very big hills, a few obstacles and then down the hills again. At one point we slid down narrow plastic tubes into another pool, under barbed wire, and then up another plastic tube. I struggled with this one. One this rope, no knots in it at all… I was about ½ way up when Super Krista emerged to help. She pulled me up (!) part of the way and I made my way out and onward.
I ran over a hill crest and came upon the section I had previously been most nervous about – log jumps. You need to jump from tree-stump (logs) to tree stump. They are very spread apart and by this time in the race are covered in slippery mud. I got a little stabilizing help and hopped across. Score.
Another huge mud pool, up cargo nets; making our way up a massive hill – and the only way down was a HUGE slide. It was really freaking big. I was talking another team mate into going down with me, because she was really scared. Well, I don’t know how, but we went down together and ended up going SIDEWAYS down the slide! YIKES! All I could do was laugh – which landed me with a mouth and nose full of muddy water… ewww. Lol
More walls, more ditches… but around this point I was feeling surprisingly good! I had seen hubby several times (climbing in places he shouldn’t have been to take pics… lol) and he was so encouraging.
Then, I got stuck.
On top of a 15 foot wall.
Yes, on top. See, when scaling the walls, I felt most comfortable keeping to the side. I dunno why, I just felt like I had more to hold on to. However, on this one wall, the cross planks on the way down where in an awkward position… right where I needed to put my foot to get down. I didn’t know what to do. My balance is already precarious. I try scooting down the beams, but by this time, I am afraid. I feel tears starting to sting my eyes and my breath gets heavy.
I am panicking.
Trying to breath, I hear, once again, my trainers talking me down. Mike climbed up to help stabilize me so I could feel comfortable in maneuvering my stance to turn around. I did it, slowly, and  though I felt incredibly grateful, I started feeling like… a failure… more on this later…
We were nearing the end now. Climbing up onto our final platform, rolling across cargo netting, which was 20 feet above the concrete, and climb down to the finish line.
 We crossed the finish line, more or less as a team… I hung around for a few minutes, and hubby and I made our way back to the car, where he awesomely created a mock tent so I could rinse off and change. Hubby rocks my socks.
Physically today I feel – actually pretty good. I’m sore, for sure, but I was able to get up and out of bed without too much groaning. AS the day is going on, I am getting a little more tired and a lot more sore. Meh, I expected it.
So, let’s revisit this event on an emotional level. I was excited and nervous, yes… but I was not prepared to feel left out of my own team. There were so many girls there, and yes I knew many of them, but there weren’t any that I felt really comfortable jumping into excited-race-day conversation with. I felt… in the way. So, I went for a walk, down to use the bathroom and grab a banana. I talked myself up, saying it was fine, this was MY race and regardless of anyone else, I was doing it for me…
Well, partially that’s true, but I went into this under the assumption I would feel a lot of camaraderie. And I didn’t.
 I later on found out in the less than 10 minutes I was gone to the rest room, they took several team photos. So, I’m not in even one of them.
Go team.
Maybe it was the Inner Fat Girl coming out to say that I don’t really belong to a group of fit athletes. That to put myself in this competition was asking for letdown. Fatties don’t run obstacle races.
So, some of you may be saying right now – but, you DID it!
Yea... I guess, kinda… But, could I have done it if I really was out there on my own? Could I have figured it out, or gotten my footing, or talked myself down off a 15 foot wall?
I know this is the point when I should be super upbeat and positive and say YES! I COULD have done it all by myself! Because I am AWESOME-SAUCE!
But I just don’t know. Maybe I could have. Or maybe I would have been one of those people who had to skirt around some of the obstacles.
Even as I sit here writing all of this, I feel a lump in my throat and my face get flushed with emotion. I look at the team picture, now plastered all over Facebook, see all the kudos going around, and all the “I had so much fun with all these awesome ladies!” and I know that doesn’t include me. That no one would have missed me at all if I hadn’t been there.
I know that shouldn’t been the point. But at this moment… I’m having a hard time getting around it.
I’m not sure where else to go with this right now. My mom gave me a pep-talk last night – remember where you have come from, what you have accomplished. Remember the important things in your life, like your boys… and she is totally right about all those things. I guess I just have to keep trying to swallow the lump in my throat and move on to the next obstacle.
Keep moving forward peeps…


  1. That really sounds like a great challenge; I SO want to do one but getting a team together has proven next to impossible. Sucks about the lack of unity you felt with your life can be just as clique-y as high school sometimes. :(

  2. Kel, could you see yourself doing anything like this two years ago? A year? No. You did not manage to complete the course with out help but you were not the only one! Every time you do this you will get better and more confident. And there will be other times! As far as camraderie goes, most participants were in the same position you were. Running this obstacle course isn't about making friends or even having a good time. That will come. No, this race was about yourself..overcomming your inner demons and DOING IT! Maybe fun next time!

  3. Kel, I do think that you should appreciate the "you did it!" factor, but like you described here...that's exactly how I felt when I did Warrior Dash. Yeah, I did it, but I knew I could have done it a little better for various reasons (the running portions especially).

    But you know what, this is probably not something you would have done pre-weight loss, right? Warrior Dash was definitely something I never would have thought of doing. I think the fact that we are trying and doing new things, and making new goals to strive for...that's a mini victory in itself.

  4. Loved your ending: "I guess I just have to keep trying to swallow the lump in my throat and move on to the next obstacle."

    I just ran this same race, my first obstacle race, and I found it very challenging. I was mopey leading up to it because I was supposed to run with some women, and they dropped out, leaving me as the only woman (and only slow person) in a team of men. I ended up loving being alone, though, because I had to rely on myself.

    Congratulations on what you achieved! You could always do another one, and you will feel even more prepared and confident. That stinks about the group photos, though.

    I posted my report if you want to check it out: