The Mud Hero race in Ottawa has been over for a couple of weeks but I just got this website up and I wanted to write about how it went for me and what I learned from it.
I felt fairly confident going into the race. Confident in the sense that I would place respectably because my body had pushed through a good 12 week training program and hadn’t had any issues with it. My tempo runs had set new records for me in the 5km and 10km distances and I had been eating well and drinking little to no alcohol.
The race itself was well organized and fun. I placed 6th overall, which sounds much better than it was. Not to take away from my own accomplishment but the talent pool doesn’t run that deep in a race like Mud Hero. It’s more of a girlfriends getting together and dirty kind of race. The truly elite athletes are either in another city or waiting for bigger events like Tough Mudder or Spartan Races. But I did run the 10km in just over 51 minutes and given the 22 obstacles on the site map and the mud, is a fairly good running pace and I was proud of it.
What I do need to practice more is hitting the lactate threshold and trying to keep it there. I ran a hard race, there is no doubt, but I spent a good deal of it pacing to make sure I didn’t gas out and fall apart. I ran neck in neck with another athlete who ended up placing 5th overall by just over a second. He was a faster runner. I had a blast catching him on nearly every obstacle and passing him, but he killed me on the straight running. After every event I do I like to analyze what I did well and what I need to work on. In this case I felt that everything had gone fairly well, I wasn’t bogged down anywhere and the only way I could have done better is to have run faster. Unfortunately running faster takes time and I have it as a big part of my training program already.
One unexpected thing did happen – the Commando Paintball owner (Commando Paintball is where the race is held in Ottawa) was a real softy. My son Matthew had come to watch the race and tried out their kids tennis ball shooting range (you basically run around with a paintball gun that shoots tennis balls) and got hurt. Matthew cried and was very upset. The owner came by, got him a Mr. Freeze and gave him a Commando Paintball t-shirt. Now that’s the kind of owner you want to support. If you’re ever thinking about doing some paintball, go there. He’s a down to earth owner and a straight up guy. My son stopped crying and smiled on the way home, talking about his experience shooting other kids. I’m not sure he would have remembered it that way (he is 6 after all) if he’d been ignored after getting hurt.
Next race: A 7km trail run in Thunder Bay Ontario in July.