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!

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