Filed under: challenge, fitness, goals, resolutions, running | Tags: challenge, Duathlon, fitness, goals, Obstacle course, running, sports, Tough Mudder, Trail running
For those who don’t know . . . Tough Mudder events are “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.” Check it out here: http://toughmudder.com/
And I did it!
Yes, 12 miles and 22 obstacles later, I crossed the finish line in Whistler, BC and am keen to go again!
If you know anything about my last year, I quit my VP sales job to stay home with my two boys and gave up running at the same time. I started going to ballet again in January and have done 2 fitness events this year without any training (a Duathlon and a 10km trail run). I didn’t train because I signed up the night before and wanted to “see if I can do it.” Signing up for Tough Mudder was another challenge to my self. Could I do it? Would I be able to finish? It was also an attempt to conquer my claustrophobic fears and tackle the panic I experience when I have to swim any real distance.
So my long-time friend and I signed up. We had good intentions to train, but life got in the way. Knowing I needed to, I sporadically practiced doing the monkey bars at my son’s school and was feeling pretty good that I was the only mommy who could do them (try it – they’re hard!). My team-mate didn’t train either. He had sinus surgery 3 weeks before the event and was not allowed to do any heavy-lifting or cardio. We were both pretty nervous going into the event.
Luckily for us, the stars were aligned – our assigned start time was 8:30am, the weather was cooperative and we managed to get ourselves to the event site on time (along with 15,000 other Mudders-to-be). Despite being in the mountains, it wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain! Bag check, snack, souvenir shopping, bathroom break and it was time to start, but to get to the Start line . . . we had to climb our first wall!
Once inside the starting gates, I soon realized that this was unlike any sporting event I had ever participated in; no longer was it me against other runners or even me against the clock. Suddenly, the teams and groups of people became our allies and we were in it together.
Of all the obstacles, the ones I was most afraid of turned out to be tolerable! I swam through slushy, muddy, ice water, forced myself to crawl through several (sometimes dark) tunnels, waded knee-deep in mud, crawled on my belly and hauled myself over walls. I even survived the electric shocks. The only obstacle that kicked my butt was the monkey bars which I knew was going to be tough. At twice the distance I practiced and on an incline to the mid-point then a decline to the end; the monkey bars were the last real obstacle before running through the electric shocks. After what seemed like an eternity trying to decide which hand to begin with, I started across. About one-third of the way, my hand slipped and I lost momentum, but regained my grip only to slip off at the top – yes, I made it to the middle and then fell, splashing into the water below.
With the mud rinsed from my clothes, I caught my breath, joined my teammate and dodged electrical wires to cross the finish line where I received my coveted orange Tough Mudder headband and a complimentary beer.
Sure, I’d do it again; I might even train next time.
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