Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Saturday

It was a cool (cold for Californians) morning at Irvine lake.  It was overcast and even a slight drizzle of rain occasionally.  You would think this is going to be a nice peaceful post about being out in nature and seeing some of the beautiful things our God has created for us to enjoy.  However the picture does not show the blaring music, announcers, or the noisy cheering from the volunteers.  It has been about fifteen years since I have competed in a race.  Yesterday was the Irvine Lake Mud Run.  I do not know my time but there were several things that I remembered or learned in this race.
My work put together a large team for this mud run.  The better thing was they paid the registration, so I was in.  I had about three months to train which was plenty of time to prepare for a 5k.  My wife also ran but she ran in the individual race earlier.  She did well.  I do not have any pictures of her in this post.  She will post on Facebook  or maybe her blog about her experience.  This blog is not about my family and out of respect of my coworkers I will not mention their names even though I ran with six of them.
There are no pictures of first part of the race because it was up a hill and really not a lot of good obstacles.
I am at the top of this 20 ft hill.  At the bottom is a deep water hole
The last mile had about 25 of these mud pits.
First of five mounds in this obstacle.  I am a little tired.

The bottom of the mound
This is one of the last obstacles before the finish line. No mud but the mind thought there was.

The vary last obstacle was going through a tube.
After the run.  I was a little dirty
Other obstacles included walls, ramps, cargo nets and the worst was running in a simi-dry clay lake bed.  Runners lost shoes.  I sunk knee deep and could not get out. There were parts where it was like running on a water bed.  I have been asked if I would do it again, yes I would.  Maybe not this year and not in March again.  It was a lot of fun.
I am going to bore some of you with things that I have learned from this race.
First, I had to prepare.  I was not going to be able complete this run if I was not going to get in shape for it.  In order to accomplish this I need to have a goal.  I would not be running again if there was not a goal insight.  Several times I have wanted to train for a marathon.  I figured it would take about a year and a half.  I would start and get discouraged and stop.  I have found that it is a lot easier accomplish smaller short term goals to accomplish a larger goal.  Now I need a 10k in about 6 months.
The value of a team is important even though running an individual sport.  It was nice to run in a group.  I did not know how well I would do or even if I would be able to run the entire 4 miles.  There were six of us that would be within eye site of each other.  So many times we are focused on our part we forget that we need to encourage the others around us.  They help us and we help them.  I will have to admit.  I ditched the four person team that I was on.  We were a group of all different running capabilities and decided to run at our own pace and in groups with similar capabilities.
Encouragement has to be honest and sincere.  The volunteers were here to help and guide the runners and they were a great help and energetic.  There were a couple at the last mile that were saying the finish is only a quarter of a mile left.  Runners mustered up more energy to finish strong.  In reality, a quarter of a mile ended face to face with a 20 foot tall dirt mound with water before and after this obstacle.  This is more discouraging than encouraging.  Focus on the good that has been accomplished and sense of accomplishment after.
Somethings just cannot be done on your own.  In mile three there we ran over half a mile in a clay lake bed.  This was freshly wet from recent rain and the water table underneath.  Two things I was not doing.  Looking ahead.  I did not see what people ahead of me were doing.  I was not looking at what I was currently doing.  I made it five feet before I sank to my knees in clay and fell forward and sank to my elbows in clay.  I was suck.  Looking ahead no one was running the path.  They were running on the out side where the clay was not so soft but very slippery.  This was the hardest part of the race.
Showers are ok but a fire hose is better.  They had a set of outside showers to rinse off, then they had a person with a fire hose on the other side.  Once numb the cold water was not too bad.  Good water pressure and lots of it removed the mud faster then the showers.  There are times were we cannot just lightly put in the effort, we need to come at a task with full effort and force.
Last, there is great power in the mind.  I was lucky in the first couple of obstacles I was able to break free from the main group and insert myself in the lead pack of my work's team.  I did not imagine I would ever be able to keep up with them but I was in a good pack.  After two miles I was ready to give up, but through encouragement and keeping a positive outlook I stayed with the group. 

I had lots of fun and was very dirty.  It was a little cold for me to do again in March maybe in the summer.

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