Yep. I just thought I would write about the experience.
Quick story – it was back around December, and an old friend asked for my e – mail and physical address ( He has been living in Texas for a couple of years), and within the hour I got a text saying “Cool. You are signed up for The Tough Mudder”. I was shocked. My friend is a psychologist, so I was going to suggest he take the other side of the couch, but I then thought “You know, this is kinda what I needed. A tangible goal. A reason to do cardio.” So, I simply texted back “Well, guess I had better start running.”
That took some getting used to. I hadn’t really been much of an endurance athlete. I had been really just getting on the bike to read. It was just after Christmas, so I had to get back to a diet. I was mainly just lifting, and working on strength goals. It’s easier to do strength goals in the wintertime anyway.
So, I decided to suck it up when the weather reached 45 and just run outside. Yeah, that sucks, but it’s all about adapting to the elements, right? Plus I really hate the treadmill. I really do. Until late March I was on there a lot. It was a pretty rough winter, really, one like I hadn’t seen in years. I had committed, however, to doing it, so I would head over. I got back from filming Shotgun Mythos one night, and it was 11 PM, but I headed to the gym because I had to run for 4.5 miles. I did.
So, I will fast forward. Needless to say I focused on just running hard, and could do 10 miles in 75 – 80 minutes. I had never attempted this much running before, and though it wasn’t a marathon, I was doing it. Not to mention, plenty of marathon runners will tell you, if you can run 6, you can run 26. It’s all in your head.
Alright, so, last Saturday. I had spent the night at my sister – in – law’s house which was near the site of the event. I was picked up by a friend, who then introduced me to his girlfriend (Who was pregnant. He had a funny way of announcing his impending fatherhood, but that is another blog.), and we headed to the fairgrounds.
It had quite a bit of pageantry. There were costumes, concessions, souvenirs, whatever. One guy was Duffman from The Simpsons. As we walked further into the grounds, there were people on the other side of the rope doing the race, and people with bullhorns keeping them going. He said into it “Don’t let the guy in the Tommy Bahamas shirt beat you. No, look. He has a Tommy Bahamas shirt.” I looked. He did.
There was a group of guys all dressed as Kurt Angle. One guy was the Ultimate Warrior. However, the Mario Bros characters were the best.
So, we sign our release forms, and meet up with our team, including some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, then we get herded down to the starting area, which began with a climbing wall. We then listen to a pep talk and stirring stories, and then comes the National Anthem. Then we high five the guy with the microphone and we are off!
It was pretty easy going at first. We ran some trails, then we jumped some hay bails. We saw a lot of hay bails. We climbed them as well. We then trudge through some mud to get up a hill. Yeah, that happened a lot, too.
Ok, I can’t describe every obstacle, so I will just go through ones of note.
I was to low crawl in some mud with barbed wire over my head. Now, to any member of the branches of the US military who have to do this on a regular basis, this is nothing new. However, it was a learning experience for me, as the poor girl ahead of me seemed stuck. I looked up to say “Are you ok?”, and got a small, superficial scratch across my head. Turns out she got slightly caught in the wire. I ducked, so it barely got me. Lesson learned.
I had callouses from years of weightlifting, and they got scraped off on the monkey bars. That sucked. Really wish I had good gloves there, because it affected my ability to climb the rope. Ah, well. today I took the bandages off, seem to be healing nicely.
I jumped off a 15 or 20 ft platform. Too tired to be afraid of heights. I did, however, need 5 minutes, mainly because I may have been slightly dehydrated. I then went up and jumped. You can’t see anything when hitting water. It’s muddy. You just start kicking. I actually swam pretty fast, in spite of being out of practice.
Lots of climbing things. The running wasn’t an issue, so much as my lats and traps from climbing walls, helping others get over walls, out of mud pits, etc, etc. Carrying my friend on my back for 50 yards was tiring, too.
Jumping into a refrigeration tank of nasty, muddy, ice water was kinda messed up. I compare it to jumping into a Frappe’, but those are probably tastier than that nastiness. I don’t drink those. That’s not to sound snobby, I just prefer good ol’ coffee in the morning.
Oh, yeah, and I got electrocuted. I don’t remember much of that, honestly. Still, I was able to sprint across the finish line. Mainly because electrocution really wakes you up.
So, when it’s all said and done, I get some pics done. Then got my free shirt and headband. I said goodbye to teammates, who had to get their kids. Mine were playing with cousins, they were cool. They went to the pool. they were great.
So, I did it. But not without my team. So, I will now express my appreciation for the following people -
Matt & Tiffany, Chris & Ali, Brian & Maria (Though she had to drop out at mile 3. Give her a break, folks, she is pregnant.), I am grateful to have shared this experience with you.
Thanks for stopping by.