Saturday, 12 July 2014

Met Con Blue 2014

I signed up for Met Con Blue as part of Simon & Schuster Canada's Running Like a Girl Challenge. The post explaining what the challenge is can be found here, as well as my two update posts here and here :)


Met Con Blue is not a regular race. It is a mountain adventure race or mud race if you'd rather (or, insane). I've wanted to do the race for the past 2 years and this challenge motivated me to do it. I really, really wish I had trained more.

I am writing this a month after the race (bad Megan), mostly because I wasn't sure how to approach this post, and also because I was waiting for the official results and pictures (and also, huge procrastinator). Apparently I shouldn't have tried waiting. I've heard a lot of bad things about how the timing was off, because they didn't use chip timers (not totally sure what that means but I assume they're more accurate) and the website still says they're unofficial results, I also kept checking my watch for the time and when I thought I finished and when they said I was finished were different. So I don't even know anymore. I've also been told the race was longer than 5km and was actually closer to 7 or 8. I also was very disappointed with the lack of pictures. The company was stationed at 3 different obstacles and took over 10 thousand pictures, and yet I have 3. I understand that it's hard to get a bunch of pictures of everyone at each obstacle, but when they take 8 or so on one obstacle of the girl I know is next to me, is kind of a piss off. But that's my rant, now onto how the race went.

As I already mentioned, I should have trained more. I ran a bit here and there and hiked the mountain a couple times but didn't really do any type of hill or strength training. The obstacles themselves weren't as hard as I thought they'd be. There were only really 2 out of the 13 (or 14, can't quite remember) that I didn't do very well. In a way that was kind of disappointing, because I didn't find them a challenge. I also walked most of the way. I ran down the hill and on the flat parts but when it came to uphill I said "screw that" and walked. Which seemed to be what a lot of people were doing.

Trail map

One of the obstacles I couldn't do was the monkey bars (there were like 15 feet of them over water and they were pipe so they were slightly larger than regular monkey bars) so I fell into the water. This was the second last obstacle so that pretty much washed me off and made me less muddy for the end which actually made me kind of sad. The other obstacle was the quarter pipe at the finish line, and the first time I ran up I grabbed on but there was nothing to grip and the guys at the top missed my arms so I slid back down. On my second attempt the guys managed to grab me and pretty much just pull me up. Some of the other obstacles were crawling through a mud tunnel under a mound of snow, crawling through tubes, crawling through a mud/water pit under barbed wire, 8 foot wall (I was actually most worried about this one and it was a piece of cake. I actually helped someone over :) haha), a cargo net pyramid, and a slip and slide. The slip and slide was fun, until I realized I was going to over shoot the end of the tarp and hit the muddy/rocky bit at the end.

Battle Wounds!

My battle wounds from the race! Because apparently there was a crap ton of crawling involved, my knees got pretty scraped up. My forearms were also pretty bad from the quarter pipe, the bruising got quite a bit worse over the following days. There's also another mark I got which was inappropriate to take a picture of because it was a scratch right across my butt from the slip and slide. I was not joking when I said I over shot and hit some rocks, my shorts came up and it was painful. It took over a week to heal. I also got a sun burn. Because I didn't listen to my mother and forgot sunscreen. I was just super distracted and freaking out and totally forgot.

I look so dumb, but whatever. I finished!
So according to the Met Con results, I took 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete the race. I didn't have a goal, but under an hour and a half seemed like a pretty good result. Out of all the female 5k racers, I came 322 out of 713. Top half, I'm pretty proud of that.

Since I was running at Blue Mountain and that's where I work, everyone who was working that day knew I was going to be running by. The course went right by my "office" (the ropes courses) so my co workers could watch. One of my supervisors actually called over the radio at 5 minutes to 12 and said that I was going to be starting in 5 minutes and for everyone to cheer for me. When they told me that it made me so happy. Running by them was awesome though because I could hear them all cheering for me and it gave me a little bit of a boost. So, thanks guys!

Some things I've learned from doing this race, it's smart to train haha. I failed miserably on that part. But, I knew I wasn't going to do super awesome and I was just aiming to finish, and that's what I did. Also, I already had an idea but what I was wearing (spandex-y tank top and shorts) worked pretty well. It didn't get too water logged and heavy from the obstacles. Race day started out pretty chilly, and as I was waiting I was actually pretty cold. After we started and towards the end it started warming up, and I started warming up, so I was definitely glad I had just a tank top. I would, however, have liked to have slightly longer shorts. I think they would have helped when it came to the slip and slide, they might not have ridden up as much. I was just working with what I had, and didn't want to buy new clothes just to potentially have them ruined. I just wore regular running shoes and they worked fine, if I had a pair of the wet/dry shoes or whatever they are, those probably would have been nicer but mine did the job (and are still disgusting :) lol). I also know if I do this again, bring an extra pair of everything. Not just a shirt and shorts, but bra and underwear as well. I was soaked and disgusting afterwards and had really wished I had more dry things.

My swag!
I got a free shirt for signing up, a medal for finishing, and I bought myself a tank top (I love it!) and a dog tag.

I had a lot of fun running the race. I think not having a goal and just doing it to finish helped with that. If I had stressed too much about time or how well I was doing I don't think I would have had as much fun. If I'm around in Collingwood next year I might do it again. I am however going to be doing Warrior Dash July 20 at Horseshoe Valley Resort. And, bad Megan, I haven't been training for that one even though I kept saying how much I wish I had trained for Met Con. Oh well. Warrior Dash I believe is a little bit tougher, but the obstacles look like fun and more of a challenge. Wish me luck!

Thank you to everyone who has followed my little running journey, and thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for running the challenge and sending me my running kit! I had a lot of fun over the last couple months.