Monday, September 30, 2013

Rugged Maniac 2013 Recap

Wow – where to start?

You know I was incredibly nervous on Friday. But by Saturday morning, I felt much calmer. I don’t know exactly why, but I just wasn’t as agitated (until we took a wrong turn that ended up costing us almost 20 minutes). I showed up at about 9:20 for my 10:00 heat, and the race was run so efficiently, that I was able to walk right up to the registration tent, check in and make my way nearby to the starting line in about 5 minutes.

After 3 potty trips (TMI, I know) they called out heat into the “pen”. You hop your first of many walls just getting into the starting area. I hung back a little. I knew I wanted to be near the back so I didn’t feel rushed. I wanted to focus on one foot in front of the other, and each obstacle as it came up, and nothing more.

I got a kiss from the hubs and said a prayer as I waited and suddenly we were off. I started jogging at my slow pace, and just kept moving. As I jogged along and came to the first set of walls – we had a back-log of runners. So, basically, we waited in line. Meh, I don’t mind a little energy reservation. I wasn’t in this for the time. I was it in to see what I could do.

The first few walls felt easy. I remember last time coming to the first wall and thinking “I don’t even know where to start here!” Now, I have my groove down on walls. As they got taller, I added a little running jump to boost myself to the top. However, they did get tall enough where that wasn’t enough, so I utilized the side braces to scramble up.

Walls – check

There were some new obstacles that surprised me and I was delighted that I flew right through them. Things like “pit jumping” – 5 very deep, long pits in a row, each getting wider as they went along, to leap over.

Pits – check

Logs to balance/walk up and down – check

There was a trail run through the wooded area. Some logs were cut down, and you had to go over or under them. It was here that I turned my left ankle, just slightly. I didn’t fall. Caught myself and slowed to a walk for a few minutes. It didn’t feel terrible, so I returned to my jogging pace.

There were some wicked hills to run up. Damn

Running hills – check

Tires – check

More walls – check

About ½ way through I started wondering where the mud was. LOL. I found out very soon.

We got into hills and ditches full of mud. Of course, being covered in mud makes things just a little harder. But dammit, I was having a fucking ball.

Because I was KICKING ASS.

Balance beams over deep muddy water – check

Uneven logs jumps – check

Huge cargo net walls – check

It was about 2/3 of the way through I thought about my nemesis obstacle. The one that last year I would never have accomplished without Christa at the top pulling me up. The moment I thought to myself “I don’t even think it’s here this year” I came over a hill and there is was. I was NOT scared. I went at it full force and I got through it. By myself. With my own strength, persistence, AND problem solving skills. I’ll come back to this at the end when I go into all the things I learned during this race.

Bitch tube climb – check

There was a lot of mud, very cold water, cargo climbs, and of course, the huge slide. I know the slide is some of the competitors favorite but I really hate it. Because I have NO control. Once I slide down, and I’m getting faster and faster and swerving all over – I can’t control my body and that kind of thing really scares me. But, before I knew it, I was splashing into the muddy water below and that part was over.

Slide - check

Another huge cargo net climb and 3 fire pit leaps and I was almost done. (I really have to try and post pics. I’ll work on it.)

Fire jumping - check

The last leg was a wall climb, roll over a large cargo net suspended over the concrete (shudder) and a climb down. Then – the obligatory “I am awesome” picture in front of the Rugged Maniac sign.


My ankle got worse as the day wore on. I elevated and iced it on Saturday night and I have been wearing a support brace. A little sprain and some bruises are all I came out of this with. Pretty damn good!

I learned a lot in this race. I mean SO much. More than I will probably be able to express. But here are a few things

1. I’m awesome – sorry, it’s true. And every once in a while it’s good to toot your own horn. So, toot-toot.

2. I’m very social. I talked to people all over the race. People I didn’t know. I teamed up with 2 ladies running together and we helped each other over the tallest of the walls near the middle. They were awesome. I jumped over a few of those pits with another woman who was scared to do it, so I told her we would do it together. We both made it.

3. I am much stronger than last year- ESPECIALLY in my core strength. Last year I always felt like I was going to topple over, but this year I felt so steady and strong on the top of those walls. I felt confident and sure of myself. Lots of the balance obstacles were a result of the stronger core. Core strength = total awesomeness.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I had an awesome experience and I WILL be doing them again – as a matter of fact, now I need to look forward to next Saturday doing the Fitathalon!


  1. Glad you feel so awesome after completing the race like a ROCKSTAR!, especially after you felt nervous leading up to it. Hope you remember how strong and capable you are next time you feel nervous about something like this :)

  2. You.Are.Awesome!!! I got an adrenaline rush just reading all that! Congrats girl!!