I was a Rugged Maniac again on Saturday, May14, 2016 in Rockingham, NC at the Rockingham Dragway with my good friend Emily, the same tough girl from last year’s mud run. We got rugged, showed some swagger, proved our toughness and generally rocked it while getting wet, wild and muddy.
We did this for the first time in May 2015; you can find the post here. To participate in last year’s Rugged Maniac event, Emily had to really work at persuading me to do it; I was no fan of the thought of crawling through mud under barbed wire as one of the obstacles. This time around, I was definitely more game to participating again. So game and eager were we both that we signed up early – in November 2015!
This of course brought on months of more and frequent intensive exercising for me. Emily is really disciplined and dedicated and works out all the freaking time. So I needed to get my butt in gear, in shape and fast. Towards the end of building up to the big day, I could jog 0.75 miles. Not impressive to many, but I was quite happy with myself. I hope to be able to move that up to jogging a full mile fairly soon. (Hey, I can dream, right? ;-) )
This year Emily and I decided on a start time of 10:15am instead of the 12pm time like last year. We wanted to get in and get out quick while hopefully the sunshine and heat would not beat us down too much. Plus we hoped it would be somewhat cool for our supporters who would stand around waiting for us to finish.
This time around, we named ourselves the Queens of the Castle. She is queen of hers and I like to think I am queen of mine. ;-) I decorated our shirts this year and used fabric paint; the paint actually stayed on well the whole time through all of those obstacles. Even washing the shirts afterwards, they still look like they did before putting them through the test of various obstacles. I had written things on them like “Got Swagger? I do!”, “Adventurous”, “Awesome”, “Get Rugged”, “Mud is Fun” and “Rock On.” I used a stencil to paint a horse on mine and a stencil to put a moose on Emily’s since she is from Maine.
So the day of rugged race, I had to get up at 6:30 to be ready to leave at 7:30. Our friends, Hal and Lindsey from GA, came up for the weekend so they could watch us race. Earlier this year, I had almost talked Lindsey into joining us. She said she would if Caleb would, and Caleb said “hell no.” Haha! Emily and I did not mind being a 2 woman team again.
When it was our turn to get ready to set off, once again we had to climb over a 5 foot wall to enter the starting area and when they let us loose, we left at a jog with lots of energy, excitement and enthusiasm. The first obstacle this year was those damn bastard stadium stairs; the same ones I have massively dreaded since we signed up in November. But it was absolutely wonderful to get those very terrible things out of the way first. And even better, this year we did not have to go up and down as many times as last year! I think another wall to climb over was the next obstacle and I am not sure what followed that. All I know is that we were glad to have plenty of shade to go through and the breeze was fairly constant. Some of the obstacles from last year were switched out for new ones. We had 3 really tall walls to climb, some short walls to climb, 25lb bags of sand to carry a short distance, crawl through pipes and mud, jump over trenches, jump over fire, crawl through an underground trench, use overhead rings to swing over muddy water, use a small trampoline to jump up to hit a gong before falling into water, climb tall mounds of sand, walk up & down see-saws, use two different devices to ‘walk’ over water and I don’t remember what else before getting up to the last wall to run up. At one point while jogging between obstacles, there was this group of ladies who were around us. One must have been in the military because when one woman said something about being sore and a little bruised up and cut, the military woman said ‘even if you break your collar bone, keep going because we aren’t stopping.’ I thought ‘damn, either I could greatly benefit from working out with her or would grow to hate it.’
I want to be honest and admit that I skipped the trenches this year. I was scared and barely was able to jump over the first trench and then decided that it was not for me. So I ran down the side and then waited at the end for Emily to finish while doing jumping jacks. She was a real trooper and she jumped over nearly all of the trenches. The last one was so wide, she felt it safer and smarter to climb into it and then climb out on the other side. I figured doing jumping jacks was partially making up for the fact that I cheated and skipped. So CONGRATS Emily for not giving in!!!
And the other obstacle I was truly dreading was the Frog Hop; once again, they had 4 plastic floating things you had to use to get across a body of water 4 feet deep. Last year, I barely made it onto the 2nd floater before falling in. This year was a different story I am quite happy to report!!!! Emily naturally went at it with her usual gusto and made it across fast. After 4 or 5 false starts, letting a few people go ahead of me, and saying a few cuss words under my breath, I finally attempted it. I was not super fast across them, there was some hesitation, but I made it! I freaking made it across!!! On the other side, I literally jumped for joy and kind of screamed “Yay! I did it. I did it.” I was on cloud 9. So happy and proud was I. After that, there was nothing I didn’t think I could do. …..Until I got to the last concaved wall to get up to the tall slide – the final obstacle.
Oi! That concaved wall. Once again it kicked my butt. I was incredibly grateful for the really really strong man who lifted me up and over. Last year, there were 2 guys who got me up and over and this year one man was the lone champion/hero for me!! When running, I was able to get up it a little farther than I did last year, but once I got a hold of my hero’s hands, I instantly became deadweight. Deadweight! I could not help him get me over the wall at all. I had no way to get any traction with my feet to help propel me over. But he did it and got me up to the top!! Thanks man!! J
When I finished climbing over the cargo net that was suspended in the air, I got to the top of the slide and looked nervously over at Emily. Because as usual, she had been up at the top for a few minutes before I made it there. So she and I and a several other people were standing around waiting to be given the OK to get ready to go down the slide. After all was said and done, Caleb told us that the reason they made us wait was so they could nail a couple of sections down again. But thankfully we did not know that at the time. Emily was ready to rock it and I had some hesitation and doubt. Once we were given the go ahead to slide down, Emily reacted faster and was ahead of me; when we reached the bottom, we grabbed our noses to prepare for the splash in the pool. When I got my wits about me, I hollered to Emily that we needed to run to the finish line so we could make sure we crossed as fast as we could. Turns out we finished in one hour and ten minutes. 1:10!!!! That is like 20 or so minutes faster than the previous year!!!!! We were so freaking fast. It was astounding and thrilling. We think its possible that when we do this next year, because it is inevitable that we will, that we could be just under an hour for this 3mile 25 obstacle course. We were so freaking excited and proud of ourselves!
And just like last year upon completion of this rugged adventure, Emily’s daughter Olivia gave us hugs because she was so happy and did not mind getting a little wet or muddy. Thanks Olivia!!
Whew! What a day. We all grabbed some lunch from a food truck and then headed to our respective homes to recuperate and rest. Over the next couple of days my legs were a little sore, but I was not nearly as broken, beaten down or bruised as I was last year. I felt great. Thanks Emily! Lets get rugged again!!
**Pics will be in a following post**
And today's pun courtesy of the interwebs -
When I get naked in the bathroom, the shower gets turned on.