This past weekend, my husband, myself, and two friends teamed up and had a blast completing our first Tough Mudder. Not familiar with the Mudder? Its an endurance event that includes a 11+ mile run and military style obstacle courses. Its not a timed race and its all about the teamwork. It tests not just your physical strength, but also your mental strength (facing fears, keepin’ on, and all that good stuff). Two years ago, there was no way in hell I could have done this. But almost two years ago, before turning 40, I made a change. And I am now hella strong and am not afraid to try anything. But even being strong, I was not strong enough to complete some of the obstacles if it were not for the help of my teammates and other Mudders.
First obstacle of the morning was the Kiss of Mud 2.0. It was clearly called this for a reason.
All those bear crawls that I’ve done at the gym that I am now a pro at? They finally came in handy.
After that, there were a few obstacles before we hit the Mud Mile, which was a series of slick muddy hills and valleys of muddy water.
From here on out, we got to run with lots of rocks in our socks and water squishing out of our shoes with every step. But we took the Tough Mudder creed, which included NO WHINING.
Eventually, after a series of seriously steep hills we had to run up, we came to the Arctic Enema.
You’re forced to slide down under this fencing and into a pool of ice. Then you had to hurdle a wooden bar in the water and get through another ice pool before hauling yourself the hell out. If your limbs still worked. The girls went down one and the boys another, all at once. Guess who won the race? That’s right…the ladies.
There was lots more running and even more hills and several obstacles like the Warrior Carry (I carried her halfway and then we switched)
the liberator, which you had to use 2 pegs to scale yourself to the top
beached whale, which you had to figure out how the hell to get up on (that shit was greased, man)
and many others,(let’s not talk about Devil’s Beard and how I got stuck in it) before we made it to Balls Out.
This shit was hard. The goal was to make it across the wall using the ropes. I fell flat on my back. #winning
Here’s where I admit that I probably should have trained a bit more with regards to running. Early on, my IT band, which is always tight, started acting up after I tweaked something on an obstacle. Next thing I knew, my knees had a good throbbing pain going on. And by mile 8, I seriously thought my knees were going to either spontaneously combust or lock up or give out. Especially when going downhill. But I trucked on. And it paid off because my two favorite obstacles were towards the end….
Funky Monkey 2.0 was a set of monkey bars where the first set was ascending monkey bars, then in the middle, you grabbed onto a trapeze bar and swung yourself to a descending pipe, where you finished with a hand over hand shimmy to the end. If you failed (like my dear husband did), you dropped into a pit of pink water that was 5.5ft deep.
Even more fun than the monkey bars was King of the Swingers. Why wasn’t a photog there? Dang. You had to climb up to a high-dive height platform and then leap off the ledge and attempt to grab a swing of sorts and then swing/propel yourself forward to attempt to ring a bell. Then you drop into a 12ft deep pit of (very cold) water. So exhilarating and fun! (video here)
The final obstacle was called Shock Therapy. My friend and I decided to skip it, while the men decided it had to be done (I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge fan of being shocked)
That’s my husband. He went down. And went down again. And again. And again. And then cramped up just feet from the finish. I think I made the right decision.
We finished. This gal was sore and tired, but she did it. I ran almost 12 freaking miles AND I did some pretty tough obstacles.
Would I do it again? I think so. But first I think I’ll do a Spartan event in summer 2016.