Survivor Mud Run with my Wife Kristi and we had a blast… So much that I think I found a new hobby! (click here for the Survivor Mud Run Seattle Race Report) I am REALLY excited about obstacle racing first because it is a HUGE challenge both physically and mentally, and second because it tests every aspect of your fitness. If you have never seen an obstacle race or mud run before this video will give you a little taste of what the Warrior Dash is all about:
If that doesn’t get you excited to work out and have a blast with a few good friends I don’t know what will! I’m also planning on doing them all in my Vibram Five Fingers, because after last weeks mud run I really feel like they offer a HUGE advantage in traction, ground feel, climbing ability, and weight when wet. Anyways, I am REALLY pumped up and excited about the upcoming race and am adding in some additional elements to my routine now including some body weight exercises, kettlebell swings, plyometrics, and weightlifting to help me drop more weight quicker and get over those BIG obstacles a bit quicker! Have you ever done a mud run or obstacle race? What was your experience like and how did you train?
Running every day isn’t easy… and some days are harder than others. June 18th’s Survivor Mud Run Seattle was one of the tough days! If you have never done a mud run I highly recommend you try it out! It was an EPIC day of showing the world how tough you are in the 60 degree pouring rain. With 3.3 miles of mud, rivers, and mayhem including 14 obstacles you absolutely got your moneys worth! When the race started a 9 am I saw the first finishers coming over the line and thought to myself these people do not look too muddy! By the time my 11:45 heat started and close to 2000 people had covered the course it was a pure mud-fest.
This was my first race as a barefoot runner, and I used my Vibram KSOs. People looked at you a bit weird, but I really feel like they were a HUGE advantage. My ground feel was awesome and not running in waterlogged trail shoes was totally worth it even with the rocks and gravel roads. They also stayed on amazingly well in the deep mud. There was one point in the bog where myself, Krisy, and a guy we had never met were mired so deep in the mud we were unable to free ourselves. It took a solid 10 minutes of pushing, lifting, and pulling to get all three of us free. I was literally up to my hip in mud so deep I could not move and had to crawl on my belly to avoid sinking deeper. My first thought when I sunk that deep is this is how dinosaurs got fossilized! The 10-foot wall was awesome, the pipes were cool and a bit freaky, and the other racers were awesome!
For the $60 entry fee you got to race (obviously) a shower! a free beer, a free Brat, t-shirt, and a finishers medal. Well worth it in my opinion. My only gripe was that there could have been a few more course safety people on hand as there were a few injuries and I saw one girl wait a very long time to get help for an injured ankle after jumping off the 10-foot wall. Overall though, the available staff were nice, friendly, and helpful. The DJ was good and the event was well organized and planned. my only other gripe was the volume of showers available… it was a LONG line to get cleaned up and even after we did we used two 2 1/2 gallon jugs for a sponge bath at the car just to get sort of clean. I needed one more real shower and Krisy needed two to get her hair clean. This race is on my must do list for next year…
No iPhone GPS tracks with Runtastic though! No way I was going to carry it on this course. I saw too many people looking for gear in the thick soupy mud! I uploaded the time and distance manually: 3.3 miles in 1:50:30. Most of that extra time was spent waiting to get over crowded obstacles, but it was a welcome break, and I was BEAT when we finished! This isn’t a course to set a new personal best on… It’s about covering the distance and I think most reasonably fit people should be able to do it if my tubby butt could! 🙂
Today was a bit of an adventure… Krisy and I don’t do a lot of shopping but today we went to REI and got some cool stuff… the BIG buy for both of us was our new Vibram FiveFinger shoes! I got the Vibram FiveFinger TrekSport and Krisy got the Vibram KomodoSport. I also got a pair of Native Sunglasses, backpacks for Sarah and Sophia, some new Tivas for Krisy and I and a few other random things. It was a fairly awesome trip over all! 🙂
After the shopping festivities were over we went home and I had my daily run… First trip out in the Vibrams and I have to say they are REALLY cool! The TrekSport is a bit thicker in the sole because it is a trail running shoe and designed to give a bit more protection than some of the other models. Still, I really felt like I was barefoot. I could feel every pebble and twig I stepped on and the shoes ability to conform to the ground gave excellent traction. Its a weird sensation because while I could feel every thing I stepped on it never one time hurt. The one really cool thing is this shoe encourages a forefoot or mid-foot strike and as a heel striker its a big change for me. I kept the distance short and was really done when I got home. I go barefoot a lot, but usually just walking around in my house or yard. 1.6 miles continuous was more than my feet were used to and they were a bit tired, but I really enjoyed them. My biggest concern was the pounding my feet would take being 245 pounds. The guy at the store assured me it would not be an issue and I have to say he was right. The mid-foot strike I instinctively used barefoot had NO pounding and my knees, ankles and hips all felt REALLY good. If you get a chance I highly recommend you try a pair out… It’s REALLY cool! I am following the advice given to me of keep it slow and no more that 10% of your weekly mileage and work up every day use over time. I can tell you the muscles in my feet and lower legs are thanking me for my decision the heed that warning and I feel like I am going to get HUGE calves! 🙂