Sunday, April 11, 2010

Irvine Lake Mud Run - April Edition

I took Friday off work, which turned out to be a great thing.  Daniel and I were able to leave after he got off work, so we were actually out the door at 2 PM.  We hit some traffic along the way, but it was nice to not be stressed trying to pick up out packets.  We were able to get them long before they stopped handing them out for the day.

From there, we went to our old roommate Brennon's place.  He'd moved close to the race site, and he was nice enough to let us crash on his couches the night before.  We met up with a group from his Bible study for dinner.  It was a very fun evening.

Unfortunately, I got the amount of sleep I expected Friday night.  Daniel and I were in bed by midnight, but I didn't fall asleep until sometime after 2AM.  I was awake by 5:30.  I do this all the time before a big event.  The whole "I've got to get to sleep because I want to be well rested for tomorrow" thing doesn't work for me.  And getting me to sleep when I'm not tired is impossible.  Despite all that, I was surprisingly well rested.

We were on the road at 7AM, which was when we wanted to leave.  We arrived at Irvine Lake at 7:30, parked, and walked over to the starting area to check out the layout.  Then we went back to the car, got our race numbers on, and got ready to race.

We were scheduled to run in different waves since they had us seperated by age, but I snuck into Daniel's wave, which meant we were part of the first wave to go.  The waves for the open sized groups kept going until well after 11:30, but we left at 9AM.  Because they didn't release us all at once, there was no conjestion at the various obstacles.  Heck, we only had 12 or so people in our wave.  Granted, I got passed by people from waves behind me before I finished.  But I was there for the run and to complete and not to win.  Ironically enough, I wasn't that nervous standing there on the line.  I was ready, I knew I had trained, and there wasn't anything else I could do.  Bring it on!

The first obstacle we hit was a small mud pit.  That's when I realized one problem I was going to have.  My shoes got gravel in them.  I had quite a bit of it in my shoes by the time I actually hit the finish line.

We actually ran beside the lake for much of the first half, and most of the first half was actual running.  There was a tire obstacle and a 3.5 foot wall.  The idea was again to help space us out.  When we came to those 3.5 foot walls, I was very glad they had been professionall built and sanded.  Most of the people around me would hop up and then jump off the top.  I, on the other hand, put a leg up, sat, then pushed myself off.  Slower, but I was afraid of hurting myself.

Once we turned away from the lake, that's when we really started to hit the mud pits.  Up for was the devilish Whoop-de-do.  I had no idea what that was.  Basically, it was several hills with mud pits in between.  So you'd run up and down into mud, back out and back into mud.  It was murder on my legs.

The one that really killed me was the "Triple Threat."  This was three larger mud pits pretty much back to back with even larger hills in between them.  In the first mud pit, I actually kept getting stuck.  My shoes stayed on (fortunately), but I was having a problem getting my foot out of the mud to take another step.  This is also the point where I lost Daniel.  He'd taken off fast, intending to let me catch up.  I did about the time of the Whoop-de-do, but after I got stuck here, we never did connect back up.

After those pits, I was a bit worried.  I'd fallen over a couple of times, enough to get my shirt wet, but not lying in the mud.  My shirt looked wet, but not muddy.  Darn it, this was a mud run.  I wanted to look muddy.

I didn't need to worry.  Up next was a small pit with a cargo net over it.  We had to crawl under the net.  I got out to see my shirt looked pretty muddy.

Next came the big hill.  I must admit even after the hill training I had done, I walked up the last bit of it.  I could have run the entire thing (at a very slow speed), but I just didn't feel like it.

The home stretch had two more obstacles.  First, we had the Car Wash. 

No, I don't know what they used to make those bubbles, but it was fun to run through.  Then came the final mud pit.

We were supposed to crawl through it, under those rows of flags.  From there, it was just a short sprint to the finish line.

As you can see, we were definitely dirty when we finished.

We hit the showers, which were just cold water shooting out.  It took a while to get me under the water (have I mentioned how much I hate cold?) and to get the mud washed off since the water pressure was pretty light.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around looking at the various boothes and listening to the bands they had for the concert.  I took some of those pictures above after we were done as well.

They had at least preliminary results posted before we left, and I finished in just over 40 minutes, or just about a 10 minute mile.  I am thrilled with the results because it means I must be running faster than I realize these days.  That especially made me feel good about myself since there was the time I spent stuck in the mud pit or walking up the last of the big hill.  If I had run that hill or not gotten stuck as much, I could have finished under the 10 minute mile mark.

The entire course was pretty well marked, but it was also filled with volunteers encouraging and making sure we didn't get lost.  I really appreciated all that help.

At the race, we just stuck our dirty clothes in a garbage bag.  Once we got home, we washed it at a faucet outside, then threw everything in the washing machine.  After two cycles, everything looks as good as new.

And I have to mention the weather.  I was worried I'd be cold, but it turned out to be a nice day.  It was cloudy in the morning, but it wasn't windy, so that helped.  After we finished the race, it became partly cloudy.  It was actually nicely warm in the sun.  It's got to be 10 degrees colder today and it was raining about the time we were running.

As you might have noticed, I had a blast.  I am definitely looking forward to Camp Pendleton in June now (even though I talked to a guy who had done it, and he said it was much harder).  They are planning another one at Irvine Lake in July, and I will be looking for a friend to go with.  Who's in?


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Great Blog! Sounds like you had a very good time. I don't know if the CP Mud Run is more difficult, but the huge hill is closer to the beginning with the mud walls, tunnels, etc. in the last 1/3.

Mark Baker said...

It's also longer, which means I just need to increase my training. I got a good start on that by not running this morning. :)

Unknown said...

Sounds like a ton of fun! I love to run, but not sure we have something like this in my area. I think I'll check it out!

Mark Baker said...

They seem to be the "in" event right now, so there might just be one in your area somewhere.

And it was tons of fun.

Anonymous said...

Mark! great Blog! Pendleton is sold out.. you have to sign up at Midnight on 1/1/11!! and YES.. there is an Irvine Lake Mud Run on 7/17/2010.. Can't wait!!

Mark Baker said...

I did sign up on 1/1, so I am going to Pendleton. Of course, by the time it sold out, the first Saturday was already sold out.

And I've signed up for July, so I'll see you in the mud then.

...tom... said...


I was here.
I read.
It was good.
I am outta here..!!