TOUGH MUDDER

 “Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10-12 mileparticipants at

long military-style obstacle courses. Designed by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. The organizers encourage teamwork, and many obstacles are designed to be very difficult to complete alone. The events are untimed,and an average 78% of entrants successfully complete the course.

 

Weather forecast for Saturday 10/19/2013: 48 and rainy

The accuracy of words to describe this event is almost impossible. After a night of very broken sleep, I put my mudder motivation/prayers on my left arm, knowing at each mile I would have a new thought to push me, there were several times I scraped the mud off to see these thoughts and I knew I would finish.

I left my house at  8:30 to meet my running partner (Brad) in Wilder. He and I have been training, pushing, motivating one another toward this day since early this year. I have at times questioned if I would be in that 78% that completes the course. I knew going in that the running portion I could do, I can run 10 miles. The obstacles I told myself I would attempt, even if they posed a fear.

Artic Enema – well hello mile two, a plunge polar bear style into a vat of ice filled mud water, knowing I had about 10 seconds give or take to get my already frozen body in and out, shockingly cold, never have I felt anything like it, burning & breath stealing – but I did it and with help I did make it out and that chill wore off quickly

Boa Constrictor – a pair of corrugated pipes with a mud-water swim between was probably the hardest for me, it came in the second half and claustrophobia set in the minute my head ducked in, I gulped in fresh air in the swim and crawled my way up the slick pipe, being pulled out the last foot or two by Brad.

This course, as I am sure any of them, are not for the weak – mentally or physically, there was hiking, crawling, clawins…there was very little running, I would say not more that a mile stretch,  and this was because of the mud. Now, that may sound silly, it’s called “Tough Mudder” it should be muddy, but 3 days of rain prior to the event made it start out water logged. The progress was incredibly slow, physically demanding (think walking on ice uphill and down for miles). Shoes so laden with mud, and nothing to remove the mud with, not a tree that hadn’t already been grasped my mud covered hands hundreds of times, no grass that could assist in pulling some of it off so that maybe for a few steps you could use any kind of traction….and the rain, off and on throughout the day.

I am so very thankful and honored that I had a partner who pushed me, who made me want to finish, his bad ass did complete Everest (a half pipe one has to run up and pull themselves over – 20′ feet high – his badassery has no limit).

At mile nine, limping, on an injured foot I’ve been nursing for weeks but I wasn’t going to give up, or in, but I did have to listen to my body and be content with completing the course distance even though it meant bypassing several obstacles for fear of injuring myself more so. A woman watching as we passed her said “We’ve been out here rain and shine!” my response, “I call bullshit on that, I haven’t seen any shine!”

She then asked if I was hurt, I said “Yes ma’am” she asked if I needed a medic I said “No ma’am” there is no quit in me, I was not done.

Crossing the finish line, exhausted, starving, emotional, proud, sore…the ladies slipped the headband on my head, gave me my shirt, and commented that my pink bow (in honor of my girls and breast cancer awareness month) survived, I said “Of course it did”. Grabbing my free beer, Dos Equis (the worst beer I have ever had think church wine and cheap beer combined) we got our bag and pulled on our damp but warmer jackets. Standing in line for an hour to get the bus back , stripping down in a field to pull on long, dry, clean pants, cutting off shoes because the mud was so caked on there was no hope of untying them, sitting down a chore in itself.

 I have already been asked will I do it again? 

Yes – I deserve a dry day to attempt those obstacles I had to bypass.

Why?

Because officially I am a Tough Mudder.

The Warrior Dash – June 1, 2013

The Warrior Dash is the world’s largest obstacle race series. The proceeds go to St. Jude, …since that time I had been working out at home, kind of, watching what I ate kind of, I had dedication…kind of. http://www.warriordash.com/

 Once I made that commitment I had something to drive me. I wanted to be able to finish the race and that meant having the endurance for not just running a course but a course covered in mud and obstacles. That is the moment I knew I had better get my butt in gear.

 

 I downloaded a couch to 5K ap for my phone. I used it for a few weeks and then realized I could run more than the program dictated, so I made up my own, Runkeeper allows you to customize how far or how long you want to do a specific task. I started with 4 minutes of running and 90 seconds of walking, then I increased the run times and decreased the walking times; I am very proud that earlier this week I ran two straight miles, I know my dad is shaking his head in confusion as to how me, “flash” is now running regularly. I am eager to see what the Dash on August 10th brings for me, my goal is to finish in under an hour, I know that if I continue to work hard this is an attainable goal. Long term my goal is to run a half marathon next spring.

 

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