Mud. Sweat. and BEER! Honestly, the first two didn’t really sound that appealing to me… but BEER!? Well ,sign me up! (Now, I may be making myself look bad, and I’m okay with that only because I will 100% admit I enjoy an adult beverage every now and then! 3 kids remember!) I take that back though… The mud, in some weird, not clean, fun, random desire to act like a care-free child again did sound appealing. Sweat? Well, while I fully APPRECIATE a nice sweat session, I’m still quite the girly girl at heart. Which is why, when my hubby was getting ready this past Saturday morning, I snuck into the bathroom to apply mascara. Just because the temp was going to be a scorching 95 degrees, I was going to be running a 5k filled with mud, water, trails, 499 other participants in my wave, and obstacles (many including heights, which for me the going up is fine, it’s the going down that freaks me out!), I wasn’t going to lose Lindsey!

What’s going on here? I’m going to tell you a little story about my 1st and 2nd experiences at the Warrior Dash, a Mud Run with 14 obstacles that has been going on since 2005, and why I plan on continuing every year I am capable!

Before we jump into WD 2011, let’s go back and let me fill you in on a little about myself… I was not even close to being as “okay” with getting dirty as I am now when I signed up. I am not a runner, at all. I never learned how to run properly, I don’t enjoy it, and I get bored WHILE running. Finally, minus watching plenty of video of the runs, I was unprepared.

RACE day 2011: We were on the 2nd day of the races (Mistake 1: TORN. UP. COURSE.) I literally had 100% JUST finished nursing a couple days before race day (Mistake 2: boobs still were producing milk UGH!) The only preparation I had done was Insanity DVDs (Mistake 3: not doing the DVD’s, but lack of doing anything else). I only ate a banana that day. (Our was time was around 5:30pm I believe).

Here we go, I got nervous… really nervous. What had I gotten myself into? We were all corralled up, ready to be released into a terrain I was totally unfamiliar with, it had been spitting out (aka raining lightly) all day (extra muddy course then!) and there had been 500 people each wave every 30 min from 8:30am-6:30pm the day before and from 8:30am-5pm the day were were racing. This was the biggest mistake EVER! The course was for lack of a better word, a MESS!

Moving on, the fire shoots up through the air, and we are off. My husband is a born and bred competitor. No matter what he does, he wants to win, and he’s GOING to win. Where I was heading into this thing with just the idea that I wanted to FINISH! (and have fun doing something new and COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone!) This caused a lot of frustration between us during and after the race  (including the 1.5 hour drive home).

I am happy to say I did finish! I got my medal, my warrior helmet, t-shirt, and left my mud covered, destroyed shoes behind… (I think my socks too!)

What did I take from my first year into the race this past Saturday? Here’s are my tips!

Tip 1: Make sure the people you are running with are running the same race. This year my husband and I were on the same page. He was going to run “my” race and run with me. I couldn’t be more grateful! He held the ropes tight for me as I wobbled across. One of the people stated , “now that’s a good friend” to which my smart hubby replied, “my best friend, my wife” (insert aw moment in my heart HERE!), he held his hand on my back as I struggled up one of the steepest hills, he reminded me the best way to tackle each obstacle and always brought me water from the stations so I didn’t have to stop. He also DID let me stop, walk for a couple steps, and then re-motivated me!

Tip 2: Try to get into the first day, an earlier wave. The trail not only gets muddier, and messier but so do the obstacles! This year it was as if no one had been running over them with caked on mud yet! It was a huge help!

Tip 3: Wear under armor or something of the like with additional clothing on top. If you make it in an earlier wave, you’ll be able to get hosed off pretty well, but the later you go in the day, the muddier people get, and the more packed it is around where they hose you off. Which is more like a sprinkler system. This way you can strip off your first layer of mud soaked clothes and you aren’t so gross afterwards! (That’s my inner girly girl talking there!)

Tip 4: Bring your own gallons of water and leave them in your car. Along with towels, flip flops, and a change of clothes! After our rinse off, we were able to walk back to our van, pour the gallons of water over ourselves to clean up, dry off, and change our clothes! We didn’t even shower before we went out to grab some food before our car ride home! It was amazing to be able to get that clean!

Tip 5: Depending on what your goal is for your first mud run, I’d suggest getting your endurance up. Run in the grass, trail running is SO much different than on the pavement. Be able to run a 5k easy. You’ll enjoy it much more if you aren’t struggling with the running part!

Tip 6: Enjoy yourself! I was at a point where I was tired of being ME, and not doing anything different. I was in a rut, and this year especially after shaving off 12 minutes from my time last year (I finished in 36 min 25 sec.s WOOOO!) I honestly have a refreshed view on myself, my hubs for being so fantastic, and my fitness goals!

Funny thing is… that Beer I was so interested in… 2 years down, and haven’t had a sip there either year… Your timer chip even has your “earned free beer” voucher ON IT! Mine is even still attached to my shoe! Eh oh well, I’ll be there next year, mascara and all!