Saturday, September 28, 2013
Today was my 5 mile "Gravedigger" mud and obstacle race. Please note that mud and obstacles are listed in order from the most to the least because there was PLENTY of mud!
The weather here has been great the past week with some nice cool temps last weekend going to a bit of a revisit of summer temps in the last couple of days. This morning, however, we got a great deluge of cloud cover and rainfall along with some cooler temperatures. Perfect mud run weather, right? Well, kind of. The rain and slippery conditions caused a few of the obstacles to be a bit unsafe, but made the ones that I did complete even more epic. I am so happy to announce that I did my first rope climb EVER today!!! I was (and still am) so excited about it! Let me tell you how it happened.
One of the earlier obstacles was sort of a...well, it was...hmm, I'm not sure how to explain it, but it consisted of a series of spaced out platforms (narrow platforms, might I add) of increasing height and at the highest platform the only way down was by rope. That's where I got my first training session in rope climbing; actually rope descent, but what I learned here would prove useful in my latter obstacle conquering. Some people elected to just go back the way they came, descend the platforms and continue on with the race. I actually had in mind to follow their lead when I saw the rope, but the volunteers and race marshalls were really helpful coaching people on how to properly descend the rope, so I decided I'd give it a try. So I grabbed the rope with my right hand (still sitting on the platform), got my left foot so that the rope was laying on top of it, then placed my right foot on top of the rope so that the rope was between my feet and I could control my descent by letting the rope slide between my feet, closing the gap tighter when i needed to stop, and using my hands to "climb" down the rope. I let go of the platform & grabbed the rope with my left hand, stood up on the rope & began my descent. I was AMAZED! I did it!!! I was totally cheesing the whole way to the next obstacle.
About half way through the race there was another obstacle that was a simple rope climb; a tall post with two ropes hanging securely from it. There weren't any race marshalls around so it was totally on the honor system whether I completed this obstacle or not, but with the confidence I had gotten from the earlier descent, I told myself "you got this!" I used a similar technique. I grabbed the rope as high as I could with both hands, held on while I worked the rope around my feet then pushed myself up with my feet. I climbed higher with my arms and brought my knees to my chest to secure the rope higher at my feet. I did this until I was at the top, then I climbed back down!!! OMG I'm a friggin BEAST! I can climb a rope...& it doesn't have to be knotted! That was totally my victory for the day. There were some pretty epic obstacles, but this one is THE ONE that I'm most proud of! GO ME!