Over the weekend, I had to let go of my girly girl ways and prepare to get down and dirty. I must admit, when FitFluential and Dirty Girl offered me the opportunity to participate in the Dirty Girl 5k Mud Run weeks ago, I was a little nervous — but it ended up being one of the best race experiences I’ve ever had.
Over 4,000 girls were signed up for the race, and to avoid too much congestion along the course, we ran in different waves. I signed up for the 10:15am wave, and it was suggested that I arrive 90 minutes early. I soon learned why.
The check-in line was long! This was Indy’s first year to host the Dirty Girl event, so I knew that there might be a few hiccups throughout the day. Luckily, I only noticed the long lines, and it’s nothing that would keep me from running the race again! After waiting in line to get my race bib and other goodies, I spotted fellow FitFluential Ambassadors and bloggers, Heidi and Julie, and stopped to chat.
After checking my gear, my mom and Jordan (also my photographers for the day) walked me to the start line to see me off. At that time, my nerves were really getting to me, but before I could think about it too much, we were off! We ran a few feet before running into the first obstacle, the “Barn Burner” (aka the hay bale climb).
This obstacle was fairly easy and helped me gain a little confidence. Oh — that look on my face? Yeah, I almost slipped; but don’t worry, I caught myself and kept on running!
The entire course was in the grass, which kind of caught me off guard. Running on the pavement is nothing compared to running on an uneven, soft surface — my legs were working hard! After completing a couple of obstacles not visible to the crowd, including sloshes through mud pits (aka “H2OMG”), a couple of crawls through muddy tubes (aka “Utopian Tubes”), and one crawl in the mud under a cargo net (aka “PMS” – Pretty Muddy Stuff), I could see fans cheering in the distance as I arrived at my most feared obstacle of the course — “Get a Grip” (aka the cargo net).
I’m not too afraid of heights, but I am afraid of climbing over tall things without a safety harness. Thankfully, I made it over the wall just fine. I was proud of myself!
Feeling relieved that I had two feet on the ground, I ran to the next obstacle, the “Tire Pump” (aka the tire high step).
This obstacle was easy enough, and I thought that I was in the home stretch…until I saw another wall that I needed to climb over — the “Just Get Over It” wall climb obstacle! After climbing the cargo net, I felt confident that I could do it, but my nerves were also kicking in. This climb was straight up, and I had nothing but tiny wood pegs to hold onto. For about two seconds, I contemplated climbing over the shorter wall (we had three heights to choose from), or skipping the obstacle altogether — until I looked over and saw Jordan and my mom cheering me on. With shaking hands, I went for it.
As soon as I was back on the ground, I couldn’t help but scream to Jordan, “See, I did it, Jordan!,”
in a not-so-nice tone. Before the race, he told me that he didn’t think I could climb the tall wall. He said it in a way that let me know that he was only teasing, of course, because he knows how competitive I can get — if someone tells me I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it even more. And so I did .
After one more obstacle, ‘The Hangover” (aka a run through hanging tires), a quick slide into a creek and a short climb up a grassy hill, the final obstacle was in sight. The course ended with a splash through a mud pit, and then I was done!
At the finish line, I met up with another FitFluential Ambassador and blogger, Stephanie. Stephanie recognized me just seconds before the race started, and kindly invited me to stick with her group throughout the course. After the first obstacle, I lost sight of her, but we ran into each other a couple of more times throughout the race, and had the opportunity to talk for a few minutes at the end.
In the short time that I got to know her, Stephanie seemed really personable and sweet. Our original plan was to meet up before the race and run as a FitFluential team (several more ambassadors were participating), but we didn’t realize how crowded it was going to be! I hope that I have the opportunity to hang out with these girls in the future, because I’m sure we’d have plenty of things to talk about!
After going our separate ways, I went back to gear check to clean up my dirty self.
I decided to skip the hour-long garden hose (err, shower) line, and instead used wet paper towels in the bathroom. Hey, it worked. Before leaving, I made sure to get a little post-race snack.
By the time we left, temperatures were inching their way into the high 70s, so this did a great job of keeping me cool on the car ride home.
At the end of the day, I realized that all of the anxiety I felt prior to the race was silly. The Dirty Girl Run is truly a race for all ages and fitness levels, and I never should have doubted myself! My mom and Jordan even said, multiple times, that it was really fun to watch — I don’t think that can be said for every race.
I wouldn’t have wanted any other mud run to be my first. I am proud to say that I am officially a “Dirty Girl” (who would’ve thought?).
To find out if a race is coming to your area, check out the Dirty Girl website.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.