Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ever since I ran the Camp Pendleton Mud Run I have been meaning to write up a post about our experience. There is a time and place for spontaneity.. but when I signed up for the 10k I did not have spontaneity in mind. Despite the mud run being over a decade old, there were little details past the basic event information. I like to be prepared. And to add to the uncertainty, the obstacles are tweaked yearly to keep runners guessing.
Considering this will be our last summer living aboard Camp Pendleton, it was now or never. I signed myself and my husband up for the 2013 Camp Pendleton Mud Run! Our first snag came pretty quickly. In keeping with Marine Corps tradition, my husband's unit decided to send them to 29 Palms for a month landing us an issue with our committed run date. The CP Mud Run is scheduled in June and runs through three weekends. Saturday and Sunday for the first two weekends and just Saturday the last weekend. I was able to go to their website and change our run date from a previous weekend to the last day of the run. Crisis averted and my husband would return from the desert just in time to run a 10k with me. Did I mention how much of a trooper he is? It was a pretty simple process and while there was a fee to change the dates, it was worth it.
Before - clean as a whistle!
The day of the race we woke up at what seemed like the crack of dawn to head to Lake O'Neill. Luckily for us the lake is almost within sight of our house. I cannot speak to the parking situation because we avoided that all together and walked ourselves to the race. Walking to a 10k might sound crazy but it worked well for us. There was plenty of entertainment to rest before and after the run.

We arrived in plenty of time to check our bag, have last minute potty breaks and our wave was off! The first part of the run was relatively dry - besides being sprayed down by the fire hoses. The bulk of the obstacles were kept till the last three quarters of the run. There were no obstacles during the run that weren't doable. While there certainly are those who run this race for time and competition, there is a lot of focus on just having fun. It is a mud run!
None of the obstacles were meant to be near impossible. There were runners from a wide range of ages, all shapes and sizes, all degrees of speed. So when met with the walls, you are also met by the Marine Corps' beloved corpsman. These guys spent countless hours kneeling in chest deep mud to give a boost to those needing help over the walls. It's safe to say that if you needed help over a wall, you got help. And I am thankful for it! I underestimated the weight of mud. Jumping to hoist yourself over a wall did not seem that unreasonable. Covered and wading through mud puddles (mud lakes!) made the jump much more difficult. A note to something I did read and witness - taping your shoes. It seemed like a common practice to tape your shoes to prevent them from coming off. To me it was totally a waste. Tape gets wet, it gets ripped off. I did have one of my shoes come off it a mud pit. Lift those feet in the mud! But it's unavoidable. You either tie your shoes normally and risk a shoe coming off. Or you tie your shoes on tighter and have painfully bound mud logged shoes to run in. No one is moving lightening speed through the mud. If your shoe pops off, move off to the sideline and stick it back on.
Once at the finish line you are free to enjoy the party part of the mud run. There are showers in the "hog wash" area, complete with Marines encouraging people along. A nifty place to donate your muddy shoes. All donated shoes were washed and shipped overseas. Changing tents. Live music. Food. Drinks. Military vehicles to tour. Their bag check was not detailed on their website (other than a bag check did exist). So I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. We were able to bring a backpack that included towels, a change of clothes, and a blanket to spread out on the lawn. The number from your bib is attached to the bag so they can easily tell who's bag belongs to whom. After the race we rinsed off, changed in the tents, spread our blanket out in front of the show and enjoyed some much deserved food and margaritas!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh you know... just a nine month break from the blogging world.
Seems fitting my last post was on the newest member to our family, Asher. Then a small puppy. Unable to climb a single stair, puppy hiccups, little pink tummy and all.
Now.. almost a year old!

Such a big difference the past nine months have made! While we still have a puppy, a rather large puppy at that, he is on his way to full grown dog. Asher has provided a lot joy during 2013. We were also blessed enough to be able to visit Ga for Christmas, bring in the new years together, spend our four year anniversary together, run the Camp Pendleton Mud Run and so much more! 2013 will also be bringing us literally more than we know. In traditional Marine Corps fashion, we will be moving.. at some point in time.. to some place in the world. Where and when, unknown. On the recent horizon we have a road trip in the works, a re-enlistment, a summer of fun, and impending school semesters! More to come, in a period of time less than nine months :)