Let me start by mentioning how I have a horrible back…
When I say horrible, I mean absolutely horrible. Any wrong move or sleeping on a spare bed will send me into a crouched-over-old-lady stance.
Okay moving on.
I turned the big 3-0 this July and one of my bucket lists was to compete in two races by age 31. I also wanted motivation to get in shape after giving birth to my second son a few months earlier. So I took the leap, I registered for the Rugged Maniac on LivingSocial.
My sister in law and brother signed up so I was both pumped and excited.
I started googling “rugged maniac” training tips and working out immediately.
Yeah boy, I was doing it!
I was feeling good.
But most importantly my genetic bad back was feeling amazing.
Let me mention one other key note: I HATE RUNNING. PERIOD.
If I was being chased by a clown yielding a samari sword, I would be dead because this girl would be sitting on a bench eating some Athens, Georgia Krispy Kremes doughnuts.
Okay… moving on.
SO I started pumping myself up. I told myself I could run, I COULD do this!
I started jogging lightly each day for at least 4 days a week. A brief jog quickly turned into a whole mile. Each time I would run (okay, let’s be real I mean “jog”) a little further. By week 3 I had worked myself up to jogging 2 miles and walking an additional 2 miles. I was STOKED!!! I’VE NEVER accomplished a straight run for 2 miles before in my life. I grew up playing over 5 sports but we always just done short sprints, so my excitement was obvious.
Fast forward to 2 months before the race and I had absolutely LOST my workout mojo. Between a non-sleeping, teething baby, extreme day and night exhaustion and the lack of drive… I completely halted my training and working out routines.
As much as I was disappointed in myself, I just could not get myself back into the rhythm of things.
I did maintain my healthy diet while nursing my baby and the pounds were dropping off.
Lots of salads, proteins, water, fruits, vegetables and absolutely no starches.
I remained registered for the race.
Two weeks before the scheduled race, my back was feeling awful. I could barely bend over nor do simple lifting.
Man, I was screwed!
My sister in law asked if I was still going to do the race but I was very stubborn and didn’t want to back out (no pun intended).
Do I race and risk injuring my back even more, do I risk being laid up in bed while having to care for 2 kids under 3?
But in the back of my brain I was telling myself,”winners never quit… don’t back out of your bucket list… don’t quit”.
I started stretching my back and body as much as possible. I didn’t want to start a heavy workout routine and risk further injury so I stuck to stretching.
I googled the best foods to eat the night before and day of the race.
The week before the big day I started loading up on carbs- several nights of pastas and noodles. I definitely needed the extra fuel for the impending doom day.
The 3.1 mile, 25+ obstacles were very clear in my head, more now than ever.
The night before I stretched and did some light exercises with my toddler.
The morning of the race I woke up at 8:00 a.m., I took my Hyland’s Good Morning homeopathic tablet and immediately started drinking water.
I wanted to drink at least 1/3 of my body weight by 2 hours before my wave time, which started at 1:00 p.m.
I weigh 148 pounds, so I needed a minimum of 50 ounces by 11:00 a.m.
One thing you don’t want is having to pee like a race horse when your race time starts.
I highly recommend investing in a 30 ounce Yeti. Since the Yeti keeps my water ice cold all day long, I drink well over half my body weight in water each day. And when you want to splurge and fill it up with Chick-fil-a sweet tea, it’ll keep it cold for two days. Win-win.
In between chugging water, I stretched my body and back as much as possible. At least 10 seconds on each position.
Now moving on to food… what to eat the morning of the race.
I started with one banana and 2 bowls of oatmeal. I snacked on one fried egg until it was time to leave. The last thing I wanted was to feel bloated, nasty or worse – have to use the bathroom.
This meal was filling yet light.
Ladies, for clothing I recommend wearing tight-fitting exercise pants past your knees and a tight-fitting exercise shirt that is past your elbows, this will help with preventing scraped up knees and elbows. It will also help prevent sunburn. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better. [These pants are tight-fitting, moisture-wicking, non-see-through and even have an inner pocket for your license or car key> link here]
Before you leave the house or hotel, DO-NOT-FORGET to liberally apply at least 50 proof sunscreen especially to your head and the back of your neck! Do not try and be a tanning hero. Just.don’t.do.it. Lather up lobster.
Pack a bag with extra sunscreen, your ID, cash for parking, a protein bar, a watch and a bottle of water.
On the way to the race I had my go-to energy drink, my “mommy lifesaver”, the V8 Mango Energy Drink and a bottle of water. I also took Motrin for my back, to prevent a migraine and any potential race pains I might easily endure.
We arrived shortly after noon, signed in and immediately started stretching again and drinking a little more water. We live in the hot and humid state of Georgia so the last thing we wanted was to overheat and dehydrate. (I did not know that you could check your baggage for free at the Rugged Maniac. Noted for the future!)
We took a quick, one last bathroom stop in the dreaded portapotties and got in line.
We were excited. Pumped. Stoked.
We were high-fiving it. We were ready. And then they yelled “GO”.
Yeah boy, here we go! We got this!
I was feeling good.
At first was a long stretch of just jogging or walking trails. We paced ourselves. My brother joked and said, “This is going to be the death of Dialtown Daily”. He’s always been a little jokester! Our first obstacle was climbing over two huge spinning PVC pipes on top of a wall.
I immediately thought “what am I doing? I’m going to seriously hurt my back”. I made it over and through the second obstacle, the third, the fourth; soon we were through the sixth.
We were so proud and pumped and we still had over two miles and nearly twenty obstacles left. Nonetheless, we were on cloud 9.
If you want a team or relationship building event, I highly recommend the Rugged Maniac race.
ALL of the participants were super nice and so supporting. Everyone was rooting everyone on and the comradery was amazing.
The way the race was set up; just when you started getting tired or defeated, there was a cool obstacle, muddy pit or water stop to help boost your mood back up. They did a great job strategically placing every obstacle and water breaks.
Out of 25+ obstacles, I only bypassed one obstacle to prevent any further injury.
By the time we reached the tail-end, we were so proud of each other but mainly ourselves. We MAY have been completely muddy but you could definitely see our huge smiles.
You could also still hear the cheering, the motivation and the support from all competitors.
Nobody was getting mad if you blocked them or held up their time.
Everyone was helping everyone to finish, to succeed.
My brother even stopped mid-obstacle to help a guy that just collapsed from pulling a Charlie Horse in his calf muscle.
I was very thankful for having my baby brother compete in the race with me and my sister in law. He was our much needed motivation and assistance throughout the race. I definitely highly recommend racing with at least one positive friend, if not two. You’ll thank me later.
Today I conquered one thing off my bucket list and I cannot wait until the next race.
The Rugged Maniac was amazing and who doesn’t like a cool race medal and free t-shirt?
The Rugged Maniac made sure to provide plenty of water and loads of oranges, bananas and fun at the end.
(Man those oranges were good and refreshing.)
When you get to your car/hotel/home; I recommend drinking more water, eat one more banana to prevent cramps and eat a good lunch. I was starving!
I felt a headache coming on so I personally took 2 Tylenol as well.
Through my routine I did not experience any cramps or issues and felt surprisingly good afterwards. I was tired from not enough sleep, scraped up elbows and my race day adrenaline wore off but I would not change my experience for anything. Just maybe next time I would like my kids and husband at the finish line watching, I know my boys would be proud.
Okay guys and gals, what are you waiting for… go sign up right now for a race near you, you will NOT regret it!
UPDATE: Day 2 post race. I.Am.Sore. My shoulders, my thighs, my lower back, my hip, even my shins. And let’s not mention my sunburn. Since I thought it was a bright idea to part my hair and wear pigtails, I now am rocking sun burnt blisters all the way down the middle of my head. The back of my neck is fried and sporadic parts on my back from my sports bra. Even though I applied 50 proof sunscreen before I left the house #1 I obviously missed some parts and #2 of course it wears off after an hour.
If you like deals and savings as much as I do, I included links to find some of my race prep purchases at great prices on Amazon for you to browse at your own discretion.
SPEAKING of deals… be sure to hurry up and register for the Rugged Maniac race by September 16, 2016 at midnight with the code ATL2017 and pay only $39!
REGISTER NOW –> http://bit.ly/295mdaD