Mud Smart, Not Hard

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: June 21, 2014

Last year when I ran the Mudathlon, I was tripping and awkwardly making my way over and around obstacles -pretty much the picture of incoordination. It's not uncommon for participants to resemble newborn calves when running this race. It's called Mudathlon because there's mud everywhere, and this mud gets on you and it travels with you throughout the race. So trying to scale a hill on tired legs and hoisting myself with a mud-covered rope is common practice, and I'm sure I looked quite silly doing so.

I'm not concerned with looking silly. I make mini mockeries of myself on a daily basis. I am, however, concerned with safety and my enjoyment of the race. Which is why I joined the Mudathlon training program at Extra Mile Fitness. I'm doing many different things to get ready for this year's race, and the more I prepare, the better the results will be. This thought of mine was shared with the rest of the people that were in the training program. For most, it will be their first Mudathlon. It's smart to want to be ready, and there really isn't a better place to get ready for a race than Extra Mile. There's always something to be involved in for runners of all levels. And with this program, a certified personal trainer and RRCA certified trainers help lead the group so everyone can get the correct help and guidance that they need.

See the second picture to the right? That's me and Michelle McCaskey. Everybody say hi to Michelle!

You can still sign up to be part of the training program for Mudathlon.

And while I'm thinking about it, you can still sign up for Mudathlon NWI, too! You can do it as an individual or join a team. My team, MuddyLIFERS, is always looking to add to its numbers. When you sign up, search for us by name. We're a pretty cool bunch and we make it extra fun.

So on Thursday night I went to Extra Mile. The Mudathlon training program took place at the same time as one of the many fun runs that Extra Mile hosts. These runs are free to anyone and all who come out get in on neat things like Saucony test runs, demonstrations by local doctors on foot and joint care, etc., fun themes like cupcakes and ice cream, and more! That night, runners got to eat ice cream after they ran and test  out Saucony shoes during their run. We got ice cream, too. :)

We had a super fit personal trainer lead our group that night and she had us all doing balance exercises. This was perfect for me because of the aforementioned reasons in paragraph one. After a quick warm-up run around the block, everyone stood in a large circle outside and followed our instructor. Looking ridiculous, I attempted these exercises and came to discover that, to put it kindly, I had poor balance. It didn't bug me. I was doing my best and besides, if you aren't willing to look ridiculous sometimes, then you aren't willing to try hard enough.

The weather didn't want to cooperate that night and so we had to cut things short. Normally, there would have been a second run after the strength exercises and my inner glutton for punishment was looking forward to it. But I'll get to run next time. 

Keep reading to find out about more of my muddy adventures! Farewell! *runs off into the sunset*