My Tough Mudder Adventure: Part One
Sometime this past spring, my friends Hannah and Lauren asked me if I wanted to run a Tough Mudder race with them. I recall the conversation over Facebook going something like this:
Them: Hey, want to run Tough Mudder with us?
Me: Huh? Tough Mudder? What is that?
Them: It’s a 10-12 mile endurance event with obstacles designed by British Special Forces. We’ll run through miles of mud, crawl through underwater pipes, run up and down ski slopes, jump into a freezing cold river, climb a glacier, carry a log up a mountain, run through fire, and finish the race running through live wires with 10,000 volts of current running through them.
Me: Hell yes!
Fast forward to May 8, 2011 and I found myself staring up the slopes of Mt. Snow, VT with four other teammates. I came in with pretty high expectations of the race. I work out regularly, do yoga, and eat pretty well. I ran a half marathon lat October with no training and that was 13.1 miles. The Vermont Tough Mudder was only 10 miles so it couldn’t be that rough right?
I was dead wrong. The first mile or so was straight up the mountain. We ran up and down the entire length of the mountain multiple times. In between running up and down ski slopes we dunked ourselves into freezing cold water time after time.
At around mile 6 I had my first cramp. My calf completely locked up when I was pushing hard up a hill. I’ve gotten these before playing basketball so I just stretched it out, drank some more water, and pushed on. At around mile 8 the other calf locked up. A couple hundred meters after that my legs literally stopped working. They were completely cramping up from top to bottom. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. Soon I found myself on an ATV ride to the medic tent where I laid under heating blankets, ate a couple bananas and three Myoplex shakes, and drank around a gallon of water before I could even walk again. Bad times.
Looking back at the race I realize that I didn’t drink anywhere close to enough water as I should have. And my training was basically non-existent. You know what the late, great John Wooden said, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Today is exactly six months from the day that I ran my first Tough Mudder. This Sunday I’ll try it all over again at the Tri-State Tough Mudder in my current home state of New Jersey. Big thanks to the Tough Mudder team for letting me run this one for free on a press pass. See, there are some perks to being a “published writer.”
I’m feeling pretty good about this upcoming race. My diet has been super on point lately with my November Detox (I actually created a daily journal for it at: bit.ly/november-detox). I’ve also been training way harder than I did for the last race. In fact, I’m feeling good enough to even say:
In a couple days I’ll be finishing the Tri-State Tough Mudder and checking another item off of the List of Adventure. Guaranteed.