Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tough Mudder Tri-State 2013

Victory headband!
I'm finally able to lift my arms to my keypad to type this post. Do you happen to have an extra spine lying around? TOUGH MUDDER WAS AWESOME! I would abso-freakin-lutely do it again.

Originally we were planning to run as a group of ten. Well, things happen, and my particular group ended up being two co-workers, super fit Brian and both Tough Mudder and Mudderella champion, Polina, and my 21-year old cousin Steve, who just happens to be a Marine. Four was a perfect number. We were of relatively the same fitness level and got along splendidly; always positive, encouraging and constantly making jokes. I couldn't have asked for a better crew.

When we arrived at around 9:00am, parking was directly on site and we gathered near registration to start assembling our gear and getting tags on our clothes. It was overcast, windy and chilly. All I could think about was the Arctic Enema obstacle (jumping into a ice-water-filled dumpster, swim under a wooden board, and swim out the other side) and how much I was dreading it. I decided to wear my Under Armour Cold Gear shirt (collared and long sleeved), UnderArmour Run Stretch Woven 17" Capri's, fingerless lifting gloves, extra thick Under Armour socks and my most comfortable Nike Lunarglide running shoes. (FYI: Under Armour sponsors Tough Mudder, so do yourself a favor and try to wear Under Armour!) My shoes are a little heavy, as they're trainers, not racers, but they got me up, down and over the obstacles with out any problems.

Tire Walk
By the time we got started, it was closer to 10:30. They got us all psyched up and sent us on our way! I had no problem trotting along with my friends; in fact the most controlled part of the entire race is when you're running between obstacles. The walls that you have to pull yourself over... well, I wouldn't ever be able to do that on my own. It wasn't awkward at... all... having my co-worked hoist my butt over wood planks. Hey! It just brings you closer together! Running through the woods was the only part that tripped me up. I mean, you're literally wading through feet-deep of water and mud. You can't see what's at the bottom, and you pray you're not going to trip over a root. Monkey Bars and Just the Tip were the most difficult ones for me. A word of advice: always keep two hands on each bar as you go across the monkey bars. I tried to swing from one to the other and fell on the SECOND one! Mud Mile was a lot more physically taxing than I thought it 'd be. That was a lotttt of little muddy hills. Everyone looked exactly the same; zombies covered head to toe in mud. The Arctic Enema ended up being a relief. Seven miles in, covered in mud and sweating, I was relieved to get into some crisp, refreshing water. Then... subsequently just as happy to get the hell out of there because that dumpster was COLD.

What do I do with these...?
When we finished, to be perfectly honest, I could've kept going. I was on an adrenaline high and my muscles felt good. Bring an entire change of clothes. Socks, shoes, underwear, everything. You really might never be able to use those clothes again. I was able to wash my shoes out (!!!), but I had a hole or two in my Under Armour shirt. That was tough to swallow. What's the purpose of Cold Gear if it's got holes in it? Three weeks later, I was still q-tipping dried mud out of my ear.

Two weeks later, my husband and I volunteered at the World's Toughest Mudder. Those guys are insane. And super nice. We were stationed at the A-Frame Berlin Walls and after the first two hours, I had my favorite Mudders and was looking forward to seeing them on their next circuit. I'd absolutely recommend volunteering - the Mudders were constantly thanking us for our service... while they were carrying giant logs. Made it all worth it!

I should start training for another race. Tough Mudder won't pick up again until next year, so there's lots of time to train for it! But it's so so bitterly cold outside and hard to get motivated. Help!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tough Mudder and Pull-Ups

I forget how I got turned on to Tough Mudder. The point is that I did. I had it in my mind that I was going to do it. Then I rallied some coworkers, mostly through trash talk, and convinced my CEO to sponsor an entire team. So now, not only have I registered, I have to put on a tough face for my colleagues since it was my super... awesome... idea.

OKAY! I have less than four weeks to get into top agility shape; mostly so my ankles don't break when I jump off an elevated platform into a shipping crate of ... ice. Again, awesome idea, Katie.

Here's a picture of me. Doing one pull-up. Because that's literally all I can do. Living in New York City is perfect for this. Scaffolding is EVERYWHERE. 

I accept that, as a woman, I have underdeveloped back muscles that make it much more difficult for me to pull my body weight up more than any man. (Yep, that's what I'm telling myself.) Dude, pull-ups are hard. No matter how much my brain is telling my arms to just pull, pull, pull, my body gets stuck. Then my arms start shaking. Then a searing fire-pain rips through my arms. And then I'm back on the ground. I watch my husband do ten of these without one single, staggered breath. But....?? Wha--?? How!!!

Something tells me I'm not going to be able to take the training very seriously, being as I usually reach for a glass of wine before my lemon water when I'm finished. Hm. Also, can I ask why exercising makes you want to eat healthier? All I want to do is eat lettuce leafs and wheat pellets. (Until tomorrow when I'll be scarfing down coffee and bagels around 9:30am.)

So anyway, a great routine has become running up to Riverbank State Park with its soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts, a track and my training ground: a child's playground. There I can spend six minutes trying to do my one pull-up, and then throw in a few dips, leg ups, pushups and monkey bars and feel great about myself because little Sammy over there is too scared to even climb up to the top of the slide. It does wonders for my confidence. Thanks, tots! I guess if I had to set a goal, since I can feel the breath of my colleagues on my back already, it would be to do three pull-ups before the event. I think that would make me feel good about my super intense training regimen.

Don't even get me started on what I'm going to wear. I need to go read some female Tough Mudder finisher blogs!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Finding Motivation Again

I'll never forget the day in high school, when I was sitting next to my friend Michelle Watkins, and for whatever reason, certainly not unprovoked, she quipped, "You know, Katie, one day you're going to turn around and wake up and be 30 and be fat." I thought it was the most atrocious thing I'd ever heard. Of course I wasn't going to just wake up and be FAT. Have you seen my Mom? She's a 6' pencil! I could shovel in as many carbs as I wanted, and I did. I was involved in so many sports that I'd drop into bed exhausted and sore every night. I kept it up in college, my body was tight as a drum. I kept it up after college, and of course there was Miami: races and run clubs for a solid year.

But two years later, I live in this:

And anything close to a beachy waterfront looks like this:

And you can eat things like this from street carts for $5.

And wash it down with:

My kitchen is about as big as your driver seat, so I've completely stopped cooking and buy nearly every single meal out. Do you know how high in sodium and calories even the 'healthiest' eat-out foods are?? It's nearly impossible to maintain any kind of control over your health unless you're buying the ingredients and cooking them yourself.

And to top it all off, I'm going to be 29 this year. Twenty-nine. Almost thirty. I don't mind the milestone, but my body knows that I'm not 22 anymore either. I wouldn't say that I'm getting 'soft', but I certainly can't be hoarking carbs down without a second thought. 

I know, I know, I can hear you already. 

"It's not New York. It's YOU, Katie. YOU make every decision to put that piece of thai food in your mouth, or not pack your gym bag." 

Blah, blah, blah. It's New York's fault.

That being said... I need to get back on the horse. I need to try to eat better and get exercising again. I need motivation. What seems to be motivating me right now is my two-week honeymoon in fabulous Spain at the end of August. It's going to be one million degrees there and I'll be wearing probably next to nothing every day. Is that enough motivation? Since when did I ever NEED motivation...??? Ugh. 

Should I just stick these girls all over my bathroom mirror?


I'm going to order a delicious, fatty pizza and think about how to make this work.