>> Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday began early. And I mean early. 4:10am to be precise. Jason & I left the house by 4:45 to make our way toward Pedernales Falls State Park. The actual race was at Flat Creek Crossing which is next door to the park. Since I wasn't able to pick up my packet with my partner, Shana, on Saturday, we had to pick ours up between 6 and 7. The goal was to meet about 6:30. Jason & I arrived by 6:15.
And it was pretty dang chilly....probably the low 50s. After all this 90-something-degree weather, the cool front was not welcome.
Shana & I picked up our packets and then waited for our time to go. Here's team "Running for Booze" with our leied bicycle. Trust me, decorating your bike makes it soooooo much easier to find!
Our start time wasn't even until 9:00am! The nerves were starting to set in, as well as a bit of hunger, but I couldn't do anything about it until after the race. We were in line waiting in a sea of people and bikes.
Finally, our turn came. I rode the bike for the first leg while Shana ran. Other than the night before, I hadn't ridden a bike in YEARS. And I have never in my life mountain-biked! The start was a little rough because there were so many people trying to go all at once. Luckily, most people in this race are amateurs and complete newbies to the race as well. There were MANY times I had to dismount the bike to get up a rocky hill or keep from flying over the handlebars on a steep decline. At the end of the first leg, I had to climb a "rock" wall for my obstacle. I nearly laughed when I saw it because I could almost see over it! It took me two steps before I got over the wall. Then, I started running.
I passed a friend of mine, Deseere, of team "Send in the Bitches." You can see her (middle) and her teammate, Shawna (far right), below:
Holy bad camera angle, Batman! (Memo to self: don't turn to the side while wearing patterned tops and standing next to someone way smaller than myself.) You can see the obvious height difference between Deseere and I. My legs have a longer stride, but I tire fairly quickly. Even though I passed her up, I had to walk a little and she was able to catch up with me. I kept at her pace and she got me through the second leg. (Love you girl!) The second obstacle was a rope climb that ended in a slide. It wasn't too bad, but some girls seemed to slip on the rope. The slide was fun, but I tried to slow myself down so I wouldn't end up in some water at the bottom. I was not about to run the rest of the way with wet shoes!
I quickly found my bike (thank you leis) and moved on to the third leg. I lost Deseere here because her teammate hadn't arrived yet. Even though Shana dropped off the bike, neither of us remember passing the other. The third leg was very quick. The ride wasn't too bad, save for a vicious downhill that I dismounted and walked, and was over too quickly. The third obstacle was an army crawl across some astroturf. This probably didn't feel so good on the knees, but I was high on adrenaline, so I didn't even notice.
I grabbed some water and started jogging. The 4th leg shall now be named "the hill from hell" because it was rough! According to the Muddy Buddy website:
"This short, but unrelenting uphill is the steepest section of trail in the entire Muddy Buddy Series."
Let me tell you, they were not exaggerating. I walked all the way up the hill as did 99.5% of everyone else I saw. The bikers had to dismount and walk up it as well. The Muddy Buddy site also said that only the most experienced mountain bikers will be able to ride up that hill. I didn't see ANYONE ride up that hill! After conquering that hill (with a short stop 3/4 of the way up to catch my breath) the course did flatten out a bit until I got to the last obstacle. It was a balance beam. Normally, I'd say balance beams are easy, but when you're exhausted and just are ready to finish, it's not nearly as easy as you would think! That said, I easily walked across the balance beam, grabbed some water and the bike, and got moving.
The last leg of the race was extremely challenging for me. By now, my legs are tired and I'm having a lot of trouble breathing despite taking both asthma medications that morning. The course wasn't too steep, but it was slightly uphill. I had to stop two different times for several minutes to catch my breath. One girl even asked if I was okay. I knew I was so close to finishing, so I kept telling myself to keep going! Even though that last leg was tough, I made it through and met Shana at the mud pit for the last obstacle.
Every participant must crawl through the mud pit with their partner and we did a great job with that! After the mud pit, we had to run a few feet through the finish line. Here we are running through the finish line:
And here we are just afterward (like the crooked helmet....it's all the rage):
We waited around to letting our mud dry until we saw Shawna & Deseere cross the finish line as well:
We all rocked it! Shana & I finished in 1:01:52 which was amazing. I was hoping to finish in about an hour and we did it! Also, I did accomplish my two goal for this:
- We finished!
- We didn't finish last!
Now, you may notice that we have a little bit of mud on us. That mud is extremely heavy. It weighs down our clothes, making them look like they are ill-fitting. Also, the freaking mud got EVERYWHERE. And I mean EVERYWHERE. We had to use water hoses provided by the event to hose ourselves off in public. Then, rather than change in a nasty porta-potty, Shana & I changed outside Jason's truck!
Each participant gets 2 free beers, but we were so exhausted and cold that we just headed for home and I had a nice nap. It was an awesome day! We're already planning for next year, too. Team "Running for Booze" and "Send in the Bitches" unite!!!