Life is an adventure — make it an exciting one! In keeping with the spirit of adventure, I entered the “Dirty 6 Mud Run” as a team with my friends from US Airways. We each chose a bright color and wore pigtails, knee high socks, jelly bracelets and black running skirts for the race.

The Dirty 6 Mud Run is a six-mile obstacle challenge held at Rawhide Western Town in Chandler, Arizona. Aside from having watched a YouTube video of the race from the prior year, we didn’t know what to expect besides lots of mud and lots of water. It was an absolute BLAST!

After the Disneyland Half-Marathon, I let myself recover from running for about five days and then tried to get back into my run training again. I ran on a Friday and then again on a Monday. I guess I hadn’t given myself enough proper recovery time because within days I was down with shin splints and ankle tendon issues again. /sigh. Back to the swimming and biking regimen only again.

Again with the trepidation of “what is my ankle going to do to me during this race”. And again with the stubborn, “I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway.” Happily, the ankle didn’t give me trouble at all during the race. Since we ran it as a team — Team Dirty Haboob (go look up haboob in Wikipedia) we all had the same race number. We paced closely together, not going too fast, and enjoyed the race, taking each obstacle one at a time.

The obstacles seemed to be first mud, followed by water. Mud again, then water. Then mud, but NO water. Of course, I chose that obstacle to get mostly covered in mud which proceeded to dry into an ashy gray onto my skin over the next mile of running. But the slip & slide washed it all off. The obstacles were a ton of fun and not overly challenging — just enough for five girls to get out there, have a blast together, and accomplish a great workout and a fun race!

On the final run into the finish line, you run through Rawhide’s Old West main street. There were cowboys dressed up holding bullwhips, hollering at you to keep running as they cracked the whip (quite literally) right next to you. Other cowboys shot their Colt 45’s (shooting blanks of course) right at our feet to give us the inspiration to cross the finish quickly. We LOVED it!

The only downside from the race was that the final mud pit was shallower than the prior ones, and three of us leapt into it expecting it to be deeeper but we came up a bit short. I’m now having to ice my right knee several times a day to keep the swelling down. I tried to run today (9/28) and by the end of my usual flat 2 mile loop I was in quite a bit of pain. So – back to the good ‘ol spin and swim routine again.

Why is it that now that I actually ENJOY running, I’m always too injured to get out there and run? Aah life — you enjoy testing my patience, don’t you?

If you get a chance to run this race next year and it’s in between planned triathlon or road races, definitely give it a shot. I now have newfound appreciation for running in shoes that aren’t filled with mud and water!

My next planned race is the Mesa Sprint Triathlon on October 30th. It’s an easy one – 400yd pool swim, 12.5mi bike, 2mi run. Even if I cut out running for the next few weeks to let my knee heal, I’ll be good to go for that tri. Time to crank up the bike mileage during the next few weeks, though!