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The Mud Run.

6 May 2016

And it will be a very mud run indeed. Tomorrow BB and I are participating, with some friends, in the Maryland Mud Dog Run, which is, well, I don’t exactly know. It’s a 5k “race” in a field in Frederick, Maryland. I put race in quotes because the event isn’t timed. It’s just about getting filthy and finishing.

The former should be no trouble. A huge and plodding rainstorm is soaking the East Coast from New Haven to Virginia Beach at the moment. Heavy, persistent rains throughout Maryland will have turned the field to a brutal quicksand of muck and slime. Should be fabulous.

I’ve never done anything like this and I’m a little nervous. Trail running is muddy enough, generally, and crawling through heaps of mire under wires and leaping crevasses strikes me as muddier than I’m generally predisposed to. But it’s the kind of thing that I’m glad to be able to try. Maybe I’ll hate it, maybe I’ll love it. I’m just thrilled to be fit enough to make it part of my world of possibilities.

Yesterday I swam 1775 yards, or just a tiny bit more than a mile. Today my right forearm is exhausted and sore. I’ve been doing a lot more swimming lately, and this is my third long swim in a month. Now that I’ve joined the VFU pool, I can train regularly.

My tri swim is 1500 meters, which works out to 1640 yards. So I’m going to train out to about 2000 yards because the course, I’m sure, will be laid out with 1500 meters being right along the buoys. That’ll also be the most congested, with the fastest swimmers. I won’t be one of those. So I’m training to swim a little further and stay wide, out away from the crowd.

My goal for the swim is simply to make it through without being too exhausted. Right now, a mile swim is possible but tiring. Getting up for a 90 minute bike ride and then an hour-long run is asking a lot of my body at the moment. I’m glad that I can ask a lot of my body. And I know I’ll have the fitness to do it on race day. But it’s a big ask.

And of course, between now and then I have the trail half-marathon. Somehow, I need to get through a river crossing, and 1700 feet of elevation gain over a 13 mile course. I’m daunted. But we will be able to do it. The key will be bringing plenty of water and calories for the difficult terrain. But we know how to pack for long tough runs.

I’m excited by all of this. My fitness is easily the best it’s ever been and continues to improve as I add new things to my regimen. Being fit is exciting to me. And it still all feels so new. I’m still amazed I can run a whole mile. I’m really looking forward to the rest of my races this year, and to finding where I can take myself next.

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