Over the years, I have been on a fitness roller coaster. I have been a size 6 and I have been a size 26. In my 20’s and early 30’s, I was able to cut back on a few meals here and there and lose the extra 5-15 pounds I was carrying. After I had 3 kids, boy did that story changed! Over the next 15 years, it became increasingly difficult to lose the extra 50+ pounds I had gained. Add a back injury and another 25 pounds and I was in the worst shape of my life. When my doctor told me I had something called prediabetes, I was surprised and not all at the same time. My doctor said if I wanted to avoid daily sugar checks and insulin injections, I better make some big changes.
Getting Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
So I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and radically changed my eating habits. I started going to the gym 5-6 days a week, faithfully (OK, pretty much) following my trainers outline. I started eating more veggies and whole grains instead of donuts, cake, ice cream and chips. In the beginning, I had a tough time getting through 15 minutes on the treadmill. By the time my workout was over, I was winded, sweating bullets and felt like I would faint. After 6 weeks, I had lost 11 pounds and could do 45 minutes on the treadmill like a champ. Problem was, I was getting so bored with the same workout over and over again. I had to find more variety in my fitness routine. And that is when I discovered the Knoxville Track Club.
I found the KTC had several events throughout the year. You could find anything from a triathlon to a 5K the whole family could participate in. I knew I was ready to jump into an event, but I wasn’t sure which. When I found out about the Mudder’s Day Madness 5K, I knew that was it! This was an event that supported a fantastic cause and was something my husband, daughter and I could accomplish. The Mudder’s Day Madness proceeds would benefit The Harmony Family Center.
Their services including helping children through foster care, adoption, and post adoption counseling and programs. The Mudder’s Day Run, which was held on 5/7, is located at Montvale, 364 acres that is used for anything from Harmony’s therapeutic equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) program, to our ASAP family camps, as well as being a premiere location for community groups to rent for their own camps, events, and retreats.
Getting Dirty At The Mudder’s Day Run
I had read up on the Mudder’s Day Run, so I had some idea of what to expect. The course would wind it’s way through the gorgeous property of Montvale. The course if a 5K and is considered challenging (you can say that again!), with several hills and obstacles through the rocky, slippery, uneven and often muddy terrain. We had absolutely no idea what was in front of us, but we were determined to finish and have a blast while we did it.
I read that taping your shoes with Duct tape was a necessity (again, you can say that again!) I thought it was dumb, but we decided to go along with the pack. I must say, I was extremely impressed with how organized the event was. We had the opportunity, which we took advantage of, of picking up our race pack before the race. This saved us from waiting in line the morning of the race. Parking was as ample as the friendly faces of the plethora of volunteers. Our wave started at 10:30 and we started right on time.
The course starts out at a fairly easy pace and you run (OK, so I walked!!) for a bit before your first obstacle. There are volunteers at each obstacle, so you have no fear of getting stuck. Of course you can go around any obstacle too difficult, but we did not face any we were unable to complete. We were towards the back of our wave, but we kept at a decent pace. We were so excited to get to the halfway point! There was plenty of water and we were able to rest a bit before pressing on. Oh, and we were told the mud was just around the corner.
Oh the mud!!! This was the much anticipated part of the course for us, as I am sure for many. Trust me when I tell you, that short rectangular area filled with plenty of thick mud was deceiving! The moment you step into it, your feet sink and you are using every muscle to take each step.
Oh, and the Duct Tape? Yeah, you needed it! Caitlin ripped hers off about 15 minutes into the race. About halfway through the first mud pit, she lost a shoe. But that girl was a trooper! She got all the way to the last mud pit before she lost the other shoe! We laughed so hard, we cried muddy tears!
We finished the race in a little over an hour. We were proud, tired and ready to do it all over again! After the race, there was plenty of water to hose off and rooms to change in. We filled a bag with our muddied clothes and what was left of our shoes, tied it up and put it in the trash bin! There was food and beverages available to purchase and the race was offering water, bananas and protein bars.
This picture is of Caitlin the day after the race. She was so happy to have made it through the race. We were all very proud and we cannot wait for next year’s event! In the meantime, we are going to participate in the Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5k is part of the KTC Summer Series! Be sure to see all of the events KTC has to offer this year!
How do you make fitness fun? Have you ever done a mud run before? Please share!!