On June 13, 2009 I ran my second Camp Pendleton Mud Run. Aside from losing my watch in that race, it was an awesome experience yet again. I was happy to have run it again and happy that I beat my time and survived the race once more.
But I wondered what the next year's race would be like. After all, I was going to take on a much more challenging race and run my first marathon. Would I still enjoy the Mud Run after having run a marathon?
I logged many firsts between that Mud Run and now - my first 18-mile run, my first 20-miler, first 22-miler, first marathon. Having met and survived the ultimate challenge, would I still be excited to run the Camp Pendleton Mud Run? After all, it's "only" a 10K, and many marathoners look down on or refuse to run 10Ks.
Well, I am five days away from running my third Camp Pendleton Mud Run and I can say that I am just as excited as ever to run one of these.
This is the ultimate 10K. It's a 10K on steroids with a nice injection of human growth hormone. This race separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls. It was a tough test the first two times I ran it and I think I can run it 20 more times and it will be a tough test every time.
I want to do well in this race, of course. I want to set a new PR. I finished in around 1:06 last year and I want to get as close to an hour as possible. This race has a good balance between running and obstacles, and a lot of the running involves hills. I've been kicking butt on hills lately and the obstacles will pose a challenge as usual. I'm going to focus and approach this race with as much energy and excitement as I do any other race.
My following race will be the San Francisco Marathon, which poses its own set of unique and difficult challenges, so I will enjoy the Mud Run as a sort-of sendoff for San Fran.
And I have no doubt that once the race is over, I'll be thinking just one thing: I can't wait for next year's Camp Pendleton Mud Run.