Well, hello there!
Now that I have had 48 hours to recover from the most grueling race experience of my life, I can finally reflect back on the Tough Mudder with a clear mind, pride, and nostalgia. (Please note this post may take me awhile to complete, as I am required to frequently stand up and stretch out my lats and/or re-dress a bandage on my shin.)
A couple months ago, my husband informed me that he was encouraged by a buddy to sign up for the Tough Mudder, PA. So, I looked up the website, and immediately replied that I was signing up as well and that I would kick all of their butts (being the over-competitive pain in the a$$ that I am!)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Tough Mudder, it is a 10+ mile obstacle course held around the country that “tests toughness, fitness, strength, stamina and mental grit all in one place and all in one day.” (Visit Tough Mudder's website for more info) It encourages camaraderie and teamwork as you grit your way through the most insane of obstacles. Most importantly, the Tough Mudder is a sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports the needs of our injured military men and woman (awesome).
So, all amped up, I started a couple months of training which included increasing my mileage since I slacked off a bit over the winter, and also incorporated some much-needed upper body strength training. Which brings us to…
RACE-DAY BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS and/or TOUGH MUDDERS:
- Whole wheat toast with natural chunky peanut butter, sliced bananas
- Organic plain yogurt with sliced bananas and raisins
- Shared some Rokit Fuel Cereal Cup Stud Muffin (coming soon to NaturaStride.com!) with Joe
- Lots of Water
- Pre Race Snack: ½ ProBar – Whole Berry Blast
The Tough Mudder starts in waves every 20 minutes starting at 9:00 AM, 500 mudders per heat. Our team started at 9:20. It was only 45 degrees! But we were so amped up, the adrenaline was better than that of the Boston Marathon start (believe it or not).
I won’t sit here and drag you through the experience of each of the 20 insane obstacles with me. (As one of the Tough Mudder pledges is “I do not whine – kids whine!”) But, allow me to say, the running of what was actually 11+ miles was the easy part. Somewhere between hurling myself over 10 foot walls, crawling on my forearms and knees through tunnels of snow and rock, or when I threw myself off a 15-foot plank into a pond of ice-cold scum water and my heart stopped beating – I discovered my maximum capacity of physical ability and was completely and utterly drained. (Here is a link to Tough Mudder's official photos from the day.) Joe and I crossed the finish together which was a nice family bonding moment (aw). It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. As I reflect, I feel like I would rather run a marathon any day over doing the Tough Mudder again! However, I am without a doubt proud and glad that I earned my orange headband and free Dos Equis at the finish line! (Actually, any race that finishes with free beer is probably worth it.)
After we got home, I took the best shower of my life and literally fell into bed. I kind of slept for two hours, but kept waking up due to miscellaneous sharp pains throughout my body. I wondered, at this point, if this is similar to what drug addicts feel as they detox?
Couple hours later, Joe and I slowly walked down to Marathon on the Square (one of our Philly faves) to celebrate our accomplishment.
POST TOUGH MUDDER MEAL/REWARD OF CHAMPIONS:
Marathon’s Turkey & Grain Burger, side salad, (2) glasses of William Hill Chardonnay. Yum.
Joe had the Classic Marathon Burger, with caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar, bbq sauce, side salad, and some sort of hoppy beer they had on tap. Yum.
I apologize for the dark/terrible photos in this post. Joe and I just moved into Philly last weekend (Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my newfound love of living in Philly!) and the camera is on the fritz. I haven't had a second to get it checked out yet. Forgive?
Anyways. Congrats to all the other successful Mudders out there!!