|Posted on May 3, 2014 at 6:05 PM|
I tackled my first mud run obstacle course today - with great success! Though it wasn't a timed race-like event, I did finish in the top ten from my 100 person heat, which for a first timer, feels pretty good. The experience taught me a few things, and I'd like to share them with any Zumba fanatics who might be looking to expand their workout fun!
1. You don't have to wait in line if you're the first one to reach an obstacle. One of the things I noticed come up constantly in my pre-race research, was that the herds of people running will inevitably get backed up at obstacles and you'll get a nice rest period while you wait your turn. Truth is, this only applies to the people in the big packs, not to the front runners. THIS MEANS that I did not get those "freebie" breaks and had to actually run the whole way. I guess I didn't *have* to, but I did anyway. The breaks probably would have been nice.
2. Not every "mud run" actually has tons of mud. To some, this is a huge blessing. I'm on the fence about it - I was expecting to get some of those awesome "covered in mud" photos to show how tough I was and to prove I did all the nitty gritty obstacles, but I was also worried about swallowing nasty mud! I'm glad I didn't get a mouthful or two of the icky stuff, but I do feel like I missed out on a big aspect of typical obstacle courses. This event focused more on trying to outrun zombie hordes than on crawling through mud, and that's a nice unique part of the experience. I'm sure the next mudder will have some real MUD and I'll get more than my fair share!
3. Don't be afraid to go alone. I dragged my husband to this event, since it was my first time. He's strictly an "indoors cat" and wasn't thrilled, but he did it for my security and safety. I think next time I won't have any problem leaving him in his comfy computer chair while I venture out alone. All of the event's volunteers were incredibly sweet and helpful, they had lots of easily identified security and police officers, and the other people running were, for the most part, also total sweethearts. I "teamed up" with some other mud run newbies on the course, and we chatted between obstacles, then helped and encouraged each other through the obstacles when needed. I have loose plans to meet up with the same people at the next event I'm planning to attend, and even if they don't show, I'm sure I'll meet some people to share the course with once I arrive. The biggest benefit to having a non-running friend at the course was the album full of AMAZING photos afterwards (and he really did get some great shots, he found the perfect camping spot) but I think everything else is manageable by an individual.
4. It is TOTALLY OKAY to skip an obstacle if you can't do it! I'll admit, I was nervous about this, even after reading other advice posts. I know it's "okay" by the rules, but when you're in the middle of a pack of people pushing themselves to deal with the obstacle, sometimes there is that feeling of peer pressure. I tackled every single obstacle at least once, and conquered almost all of them with no problem - but the rope climb got me. I have some lingering shoulder injuries from years of lacrosse, and I could tell after a pull or two that it just wasn't happening. I dropped down, took a second, and looked at my two running buddies to see how they were doing. One of them had no problem, but the other had the same result as I did. He just turned to me and said "we'll train for that one for next time, let's go!" And we were off. No pressure to try it again, no shaming, nothing, just encouragment to learn how to do it safely, and to keep moving for the next challenge. Pretty cool atmosphere, really!
I think those are some of the biggest takeaways I had from this experience - besides the awesome fun and fitness, of course! I've posted some of the highlight photos, you can check them out under the Photo Gallery tab at the top of the page. Have YOU ever tried a mud run? Tell me all about it!
Copyright © 2012 Zumba Fitness, LLC. Zumba®, Zumba Fitness® and the Zumba Fitness logos are registered trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC Powered by Webs Copyright © 2012 Amanda Selker. Amanda Selker is responsible for website content