Monday, August 14, 2006

Dirt Flirts Are Tougher Than They Look

I heard once than women forget how much childbirth hurts. They don't
look back on it as a walk in the park, but if they were able to fully
recall the intensity of the pain, most of them would be like "yeah, I
think the one will be enough."

That little factoid came to me after the Mud Run Saturday. I was lying
on the sand with my feet up, eating a bagel and drinking a beer. Right
after I heard myself say "we should totally do this again next year!"
I had a sudden flashback to about one hour before.

This race was misnamed. There was no mud. Only sand. Probably about 4
miles of running on sand. Initially, my team thought the sand would
only last for about the first mile, so I powered through,
congratulating myself with every step. We were wrong.

Almost the whole race was in deep, soft sand. There were parts that
look like scenes from Star Wars, except with no Ewoks and tons of steep
hills. The obstacles that we were so concerned about turned out to be
welcome breaks from the sand. Kristin and Grace were big champs, but I
slowed them down when I couldn't run anymore on the sand. Walking didn't feel much better.

We crossed a waist-deep river early on, so our shoes were little, gritty lakes.

An article in Runner's World says that running in sand burns 1.6 times more calories per mile than running on a hard surface. My preparation was one 3 mile run in more than three weeks.

But then we finished! It was an incredible feeling. We were 15th out
of 19
– a huge accomplishment in my book. You don't want to see the
rest of these competitors in a dark alley. Seriously.

Not only do I want to do it again next year, I want to do it right. We
were actually disqualified this year, because two team members bagged
at the last minute. With a full team, some sense of what to expect and
matching t-shirts, we will be unstoppable.

During the race, I couldn't really tell how my leg felt. I was hurting
all over. Trying to pinpoint pain was not possible. But I iced it like
crazy for the rest of that day, and it hasn't hurt since. I may have
been compensating with my right leg, because that one is actually
still sore.

The upshot of all of this? I'll see you on Oct. 29. I'll be the one
kicking all that ass.


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