Mudderella, Tough Mudder, Dirty Duo – all of these challenges I used to look at with a mix of fear and admiration for the competitors that would enter. But of course I would never enter one of them because, a) I don’t run, and b) I have a bit of an aversion to mud (and cold water).
But, I also have a competitive and adventurous side AND i’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. So when offered the opportunity to enter my very first adventure/mud run it took me all of about two seconds to say yes.
Hello Mudderella. Nice to meet you. You’re my first mud event, so please be kind.
Mudderella is like the younger little sister to the epic Tough Mudder. The course is designed by women for women (even though men are allowed to join as long as they are invited by a woman) and the courses are generally 9-11K in length with 9-10 obstacles en route. Sounds pretty do-able right? I had months to train, and the Mudderella website was full of great training ideas.
But I have a different training philosophy for such events. I don’t.
And you know what, that was ok!
I went about my everyday life in the months leading up to the event getting all the training I needed in the form of hurtling myself up and down mountains on my bike.
And getting muddy of course.
I’ve done the ride to conquer cancer twice now and taken the same approach and did just fine thank you very much.
So the point of all of this is that you CAN do this, don’t get intimidated by the perceived commitment it might take. The energy of event day and the help of your teammates will get you through, I promise!
But, nothing prepared me for the COLD.
You see the event was in late September in Whistler, which can get pretty darn cold at that time of the year. In fact, the morning we woke up it was only 6 degrees, raining, and when you looked up the mountain you could see a distinct dusting of snow at mid-mountain. Had it not been for my teammates sleeping in the same room I might have snuck off with my tail between my legs and hid in a local coffee shop til it was all over.
But with a couple of layers of light wool (a must!) and a slightly later start time (it was 10 degrees by then!) we tossed ourselves into the first cold mud pit with abandon and it wasn’t too bad. It did take a few minutes to be able to feel our extremities again after these cold plunges but ah well.
Most of the obstacles were totally do-able if not slightly humorous to participate in, and our in-team mud fights were quite hysterical as well (we might have pissed off a few others by hitting them by accident).
And then there was the end. Did I mention above that i HATE cold water? So as much as I was happy at the prospect of rinsing off the horrid caked on mud that was starting to give me an anxiety attack, I was fearful of plunging myself into the ice bath of doom that was the last obstacle. Up a 15 foot high rope ladder to the top of a slide where you were literally launched into an icy muddy bath of water. Ugh. But hand in hand we plunged and survived!. I ended up losing a glove and my hat but thats ok (always bring extras to change into after!)
And despite being soaking wet and cold, we wandered over to the free beer, cause hey, free beer.
It was a super fun day and I am so glad I participated. There is something very powerful about being with thousands of other woman in one place overcoming obstacles together.
And celebrating at the bar too afterward. Cheers to Mudderella!