Survival Guide For Those Out Of Action Part 1 – Introduction

In March 2016, Mudd Matters was born. Why was it born? In all honesty it was the only thing that would stop me from feeling like I wanted to kill Steven for knocking me up. When I found out on New Year’s Day  that I was pregnant, I couldn’t get my head around it and for the first 3 months I really resented Steven because he was adamant that I was NOT allowed to do any OCR’s or running. Mudd Matters was my way to keep my foot in the door and keep my sanity.

Let me just explain here that Steven is a god send and I love him to bits. He didn’t in any way, shape or form MAKE me have a baby with him. It was just that when we had decided to try for a baby, I never in a million years thought that it would happen as quickly as it did.

One of the hardest things I found initially was to still go to events with him and support him, watching my friends’ enjoying themselves, boasting about how amazingly they’d done.

My aim for this year was to smash into the OCR world with a bang after working on my fitness for quite some time. I was well on track when I was ranking 3rd in the OCR Community at the start of the season.

Since March, Mudd Matters has really grown significantly with followers from Canada to Australia and everywhere in between. We have been approached by companies asking us to review their races and products which is quite demanding between pregnancy, running my own business and being a mom to a delightful 7 year old so Steven jumped on board and he now does reviews for kit and products whereas I concentrate on race reviews. Once baby is born and I am back in the OCR world as a runner, I’d like to think that we will share both race and kit/product reviews.

As you can imagine, being heavily pregnant (especially in this heat) and walking around races doing reviews or as a marshal can be quite a strain on the body but work isn’t work when you love it right?! I won’t lie, the day after race day I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus and am totally wiped out but isn’t that kind of the same reason we do OCR? The “oh crap that hurts but in a satisfying sort of way” feeling.  I’ve not been stupid and have spoken to my midwife and GP about what I do and have also maintained fitness by regularly walking 10k+, all of which I’ve been told is fine and baby is well.

As the months have gone on I have struggled to find anywhere or any group that can really help runners that are ‘out of action’ for sometime due to things like pregnancy, injury or illness. That’s why I’ve decided to start this section in ‘Our Journey’ to share helpful hints and tips that I’ve found along the way. A survival guide if you will. I’m going to share my experiences with people, what I found hard, ways I found to soften the withdrawal symptoms caused by not being able to participate and answer any questions people might have along the way.

I’d like to share my perspective from a pregnant woman’s point of view and give insights to my continuing journey from conception right through to managing fitness and caring for baby e.g breastfeeding and OCR’s. May I just point out that I am happy to help anyone, men and women, pregnant, injured or suffering from illness? Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific topics you’d like me to discuss or any questions. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading my posts and please remember that they are personal to me and are drawn from my own experiences so I just ask that you be respectful.

Muddy hugs,

Keren – Mudd Matters

In a man’s world….

EAI_MFRBu_130316_01789 - Copy.jpgHi,

I’m Steven. I have been an outside type for many years, being the youngest of four boys I was quickly thrown into all things boys do, like playing in mud, climbing trees and generally causing havoc for my Mum.

During my high school years, I joined the Air Training Corps where my enjoyment of the great outdoors developed into a true passion. I regularly participated in expeditions to Wales and the Peak District to conduct adventure training. While in the ATC the inner soldier in me really came out during military pursuits, including shooting and obstacle courses. I went on to join the British Army and served for 9 years, completing many courses such as main battle tank gunner, armoured vehicle instructor and the height of my career was passing as a full Army sniper.

I never really lost my love for mud after leaving the Army and in September 2013 I convinced my brothers to join me in running Spartan Sprint at Carver barracks. To my naivety, this was going to be the day I was fully hooked on OCR. After completing the run I did the usual; get back from the race, look online and book the next event.

Picking up the sport again in May 2015, I completed 26 OCRs in England and Wales. I learnt vast amounts including new techniques, differences in kit and nutrition. My aim was to try as many different events as I could, which in turn has armed me with a good depth of knowledge for the sport that we all know and love.

Through my reviews, I am hoping that my experiences and  observations will help new and experienced runners gain a better perspective on all things OCR.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts.

See you in the Mudd,

Steven – Mudd Matters.

Who am I?

  

Well, I’m Keren.

My passion for the great outdoors started as a very small child. Being bought up in South Africa, it’s fair to say it runs deep through my veins. I moved to England in the early ’90’s (my dad’s hometown of Tamworth, Staffordshire).

So where did my OCR journey begin?

In January 2013, New Year’s Day to be exact. I put on a pair of trainers and decided to run. I absolutely hated it but stuck at it and did two 10k road runs for Bliss (a charity for premature babies). Then a friend of mine told me about a local charity called Simon’s Heroes. “A bunch of people who make exercise fun by pissing about in the woods or quarry” she said. So I agreed to go check it out. This was actually when I was at the lowest point in my life. Years in a violent relationship had taken its toll but after finding the strength to finally walk away, my main focus was to get my head and health on track so I could do all I could to love and support my son, Malakai, for as long as I could.

I did my 1st ever OCR ‘The Wolf Run’ in April 2015. I remember thinking what the fluffing heck am I doing here? This is ridiculous. I’ve lost the plot. I’m going to die. I can still feel the immense pain that 10k caused me for days after but I was hooked! My Ma always said that I was a sucker for punishment and I think in some twisted way the hurt and the bruises helped me get through the emotional pain I’d been through.

Anyway, since then I’ve completed many ocr’s, my favourite being Spartan Beast for my birthday in 2015. I’ve marshalled all over the country and had the pleasure of meeting some truly amazing and inspirational people.

So, why am I doing this blog?

Simple, my passion for this sport has grown and grown in ways I never thought possible. I love everything about it and I want to share my experiences and views with you all. Why? Well, why not!? Reviews are hugely helpful and a great insight for people thinking of doing a particular race or trying particular piece of kit. They can also provide excellent feedback to the RD’s etc.

In this ‘My Journey’ section I’ll post about my own very personal experiences and journey in the OCR world. I suppose this is for the nosey ones among you and as a bit of a ‘dear diary’ for me. ‘My journey’ will include details about my personal life and whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I ask that you please be respectful.

That’s enough about me. I hope you find this blog useful, informative and fun. See you at the finish line!