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Friday, April 19, 2013

Untimely suggestions regarding Rugged Maniac


So before all the ribaldry began Thursday evening, I sent the peeps headed to Rugged Maniac some tips gleaned from my experience there last year. Here's what they saw.

I ran Rugged Maniac last year. It was my first mud race. Here are a few things that might make your afternoon more enjoyable.
Parking. I will attempt to park at the event like I did last year. If that fails, I'll park in the designated lot. They'll have buses to shuttle between the event and the parking lot. Last year, the buses were a problem, and I expect they'll overcompensate for that this year.
Check-in. Our heat starts at 3. Plan to check-in at 1. You'll need the extra time to reconnoiter the site, where by reconnoiter, I mean find and use the porta-potties. Several times.
Porta-potties. If you're prone to nervous shits, bring some Immodium. You'll be glad you did. Think of it as a performance enhancing substance. Note: There are no crappers along the course.
Water stations. There will be a few water stations along the course. You will stop and drink a cup of water at each one. It's the law. If they offer you a piece of banana, take that too. It's the law. No, we're not fueling the race. We're avoiding cramps.
Duct tape. I'll have some duct tape for strapping on my shoes. You're welcome to use it too.
Cotton. With the possible exception of your t-shirt, do not wear cotton. This includes your socks. Cotton will absorb the water and mud, and soon a cotton garment will weigh 5,000 pounds. T-shirts are not so much a problem. Socks are a huge problem, especially when they make your feet weigh a ton each. Ditto for your draws.
Gloves. I'll be wearing fingerless leather biking gloves. Other gloves will work, such as those you describe, but I don't hold high hopes for cotton.
Knees and elbows. I'll wear long compression tights and a long sleeve compression top. If you behave, I'll wear shorts over the tights. You are warned. Anyway, you'll appreciate the light covering over your elbows and knees. Several times.
Hair. Cover your head and restrain your hair.
Glasses. Leave the glasses in the bag I'll mention anon.
Mud. It's a mud race. The mud formulation is proprietary. It's slick, thick, and sticky, probably formulated in the seventh level of Hell directly under Snellville, Georgia. You'll exit the race covered from head to toe. They'll have showers, which will be water hoses. There will be lines for the showers, though with our late start, we might have fewer people to contend with.
Car seats. Cover your car seats when you leave your car. Cover them well. You won't be able to after the race. You'll be very tired. And clumsy.
Analgesics. Have some Ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, or whatever you take for ouches waiting in the car for your return. Expect to be stiff by the time you get home. Also, take some as a preemptive strike, but don't overdose.
Food. There will be food for sale at the event. I doubt you want any before the race. Afterward, you probably will. I'll have Clif bars if you want some before we run.
Water. I doubt you'll drink enough water before the race. Prove me wrong. Most everyone I see in this world is dehydrated.
Bag. Bring a bag. I'll be using a reusable grocery bag. You'll put your stuff in it before you run, and leave it at the bag check. Here's where your glasses go. The bag check is generally safe, but I'd still leave important stuff in the car.
Stuff to bring. Bring some cash. Bring your government-issued ID. Bring your cell phone. Bring fresh clothes if you want. Leave the AmEx at home. They don't take credit cards, probably because of the poor cell coverage.
Finding one another. Text. Voice calls will be difficult to hear because (1) cell reception will be spotty, and (2) the bands will be loud. At the very worst, we'll meet up at the BACK of the line for our heat. We'll start at the back so (1) the land sharks won't eat us, and (2) we can pass all those people who foolishly sprinted.
Camera. You'll want pictures, but you'll likely rue bringing her expensive camera. Leave the expensive stuff at home.
Preparation. Maybe take Friday as a rest day.
Signs. Pay no attention to the signs. Well, with the exception of the “You could die here” signs. The mileage doesn't matter. The count of obstacles doesn't matter. All that matters is what's in front of you at the moment. Worry about what's coming will only get in your way. Do what's next.
Behaviors. Mud runs are known for ad hoc team forming. Go with that. In addition, plan to stick together. Just because you have the energy to rush out is no reason to do it. If you're running low on energy, reach down inside yourself and find it. Your teammates need you to do it. It's there. You just have to reach for it. We will drag your steaming corpse across the finish line before we leave you.
Some obstacles. If you're uncomfortable with an obstacle, go around it. Note: Being uncomfortable is different from being afraid. Much different. Do not confuse the two. You're suppose to feel fear. When you do, recognize it for the source of unexpected strength and energy it is.
Remember. There are many people quite willing to tell you what you can not do. Ignore them, and don't be one of them. Ain't nobody got time for sorry-assed fuckers like that.
Now, get yourself ready to kick some ass. Boom.

And then there was Thursday night during which I ripped a groin muscle to the point of near incapacitation. It'll heal one day. Meanwhile, I tape, I swallow pills, and I swear as I limp.

Here's the last thing I was planning to send the group last night. (I never did send it.)

At some point, some of you might start to feel that you can't go on. This is a normal and common feeling. The question is: What do you do when that happens? The answer is: You go on.

In this case, without me. Those are mighty brave words from a man who will be limping along the sideline now.

It sounded like coarse cloth ripping


About a month ago, I managed to strain my left hip adductor. No, I do not know how. I just woke up one day, and it ached. Later that day during a six mile run, I noticed it was tightening, not loosening. I taped it hard to participate in the Spartan Sprint, during which, the belly crawl in the mud under the barbed wire really got my attention because of the kicking motions required. Not to mention jumping over the burning logs to face the three Spartan warriors between me and the finish line.

That was the start of a three-week rest period. After a few days into that period, I became able to walk without much discomfort, and in fact, I found the walking to be therapeutic. So I walked. And walked. No, I have little talent for enforced rest and inactivity. That might be a problem.

Last Saturday, I taped heavily, and ran the 5K Tata Trot with a good friend. (She wound up finishing her first 5K ever that morning. We gotta love that part!) There was a dull ache, but nothing bothersome, and my time was a personal record, not that I was going for speed, and certainly not that I was all that fast. It just worked out that way, probably because of the three-week hiatus. That evening some 12 hours later, I also ran the 5K Glow in the Park, though it was really only 2.5 miles. That was mostly a big nothing as these things go, and I'm glad I did it.

Earlier that afternoon, I considered not participating because of the continued ache, but I taped again, and it all seemed better. I also knew that if I didn't run that evening, there'd appear this huge wave of depression, my personal Dementor from Harry Potter's movies, and I've had a gracious plenty of that to last a lifetime.

And so I took it easy over the week knowing I have Rugged Maniac coming at me tomorrow (Saturday). I walked. I trotted. I back-filled with NSAIDS and other supposedly nutritional supplements. What's an old queen to do? Hell, I even tried stretching. A little.

So here come yesterday. Thursday. After work, I ran and walked a little. Three miles. Nothing to get excited about, but enough to get a good sweat going, and my intention was to be warm and loose for the Krav Maga knife defense class I'm registered for. Yes, Grandpa is trying out a Krav Maga school to see if he can stand the instructors, and yes, it's working out. All that Tae Kwon Do from all those years past seemed to quickly wake up, much as I hoped it would.

So tonight, we're kicking. That's fine. The first round of kicks told me I needed to take it easy, but it was doable. Besides, the instructor is not going to discipline a 60 year old man for not kicking as hard as the younger guys. Second round. Second kick. A modified front kick I learned ages ago. It's good for opening a locked door. It's also good for ripping a left hip adductor. Audibly With the sound of coarse cloth ripping. Think burlap in a farmer's hands during sprint planting.

I went down in a hail of profanity that was masked by the glorious death metal the instructor plays when he's not talking. Yes, I had quickly learned to love that school. It was like training on a movie set. Mind you, the fall was controlled, but it was a fall nonetheless, and there I remained a few minutes until the instructor came to check on me the second time and offered me ice which I rejected in favor of a hand up. I needed to stand.

And just hush it about the language, well, unless you want to hear my litany of observations regarding Intelligent Design. 

Although turns were quite hazardous, I realized I could walk forward easily enough, and I went over to the side of the class to gather my things and get on my shoes. Yes, I had parked a half mile away, thinking the distance would help with additional warm up, which it did, though now it was helping with warming up the injured spot. I believe I managed to get in the car without making for a YouTube moment, sitting down sideways and lifting my leg with my hand while slowly turning into a driving position, whereupon I started the car and checked mobile Internet to see if my clinic was open. It was.

I was the only guest in the Pleasant Valley Inn, though I doubt I was as pleasant as I could have been. At least, they didn't rag me this time about my blood pressure, mostly because it was sufficiently low for them, despite the elevation spurred by these recent events. I knew there was nothing medically to do at this point. Well, except rest, which is exactly the dreaded word the PA used, but I was hoping she would also prescribe a few tablets of hydrocodone to see me through the next few nights. As you know, it's hard to toss and turn one's way through the night if the turn is accompanied with screaming.

She did, and here I sit at 4 A.M. waiting for the second tablet to kick in so I can get another nap before starting the day, which, you might recall, is the day I'm to drive to Asheboro after work where we'll run Rugged Maniac tomorrow at 3. Yes, I'm pretty sure that's not going to work out like I intended, but then what does?