If you follow this blog, you’ll notice it’s been a while. I’m constantly playing the balancing game of work, love, life, working out, friends…..and I’m attempting a whole new journey that I’ll be writing about very very soon. Regardless, sometimes things just slip…..
But let’s go back.
Last month I completed my 2nd Tough Mudder! I have been looking forward to the next Tough Mudder since completing it last year and knowing I could do better. Here were my goals this year: finish sooner, complete the Funky Monkey 2.0 and grab the bar on King of the Swingers. Let’s see how I did!
The Tough Mudder, for those that do not know, is a 11+ mile obstacle race. You can read about my first year here! Everyone claims that Colorado has the toughest course because of the following: it ends up over 12 miles, it has an elevation gain of 3000 feet and the water is TERRIBLY cold due to the altitude. It is the hardest race that I do all year and I couldn’t wait to prove to myself that I could complete it again. My husband ran for the first time this year and I was more concerned about him finishing than myself.
My first goal to complete was the Funky Monkey 2.0 which was located 1.5 miles into the race. **Side note: I never look at the map before I run. I just don’t want to know when certain things are going to come up. The Funky Monkey is 20 ascending monkey bars, to a swinging bar and then a transfer to a horizontal bar before making your way to the platform.
I spent several evenings with Dan over at the playground, working on grip strength just to complete the obstacle. We also rock climb in the winter. Last year, I wimped out and didn’t even try to make the transfer. This year, I wanted to complete it but especially I didn’t want to give up. AND I DID IT! I can’t even explain the way I felt when my dry feet hit the platform. After you complete the first obstacle, everyone can see who did it and who did not based on who is wet.
Right after the Funky Monkey, Dan got injured going over a wall. The Berlin Walls are 12 foot wooden walls. Most people get over them like this:
One guy was ‘helping’ Dan by lifting his feet and suddenly let go. This caused him to hit his ribs on the top of the wall. We were not quite 2 miles in. I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to finish. He had no idea what was ahead of him.
The hardest part of the Tough Mudder is the mental aspect. I know that I can physically complete the race. But it is the only race that I run all year that pushes me past my mental limits. When I go out for a long run, I know there is always the option of stopping. The length is nearly a half marathon, which is the longest I’ve run. But then there’s the hiking and altitude factors. We live at 5280 feet. The races starts at 8200 feet and ascends just into 11000 feet. Oh yeah, and the obstacles.
Somewhere in the middle of that altitude was my next goal: The King of Swingers. You jump from a platform onto a pendulum swinging bar and attempt to ring a bell before falling into the water below. First of all: I do not like it when you have to get wet even after completing the obstacle. That being said, up until this point I had not gotten wet. I had gotten muddy and sweaty but not submerged in water.
My goal was to get the bar on the pendulum, and I succeeded! I then missed the bell and fell in the water. I was so SHOCKED by the water that I could barely breathe! Near mile 8: my hip and leg were hurting to badly that I thought about quitting. The only thing that kept me going was thinking about how disappointed I would be if I stopped. I had to finish the race. Also, if Dan could keep going; so could I. He was hurting pretty badly at this point too. We wanted to finish!
My third goal was to finish in less time that last year. I think I finished in 5ish hours last year. This year we were aiming for 4 hours. We did it. This is the only race that I ever think about quitting. It’s the only race that I have trouble completing. It’s different than running. It’s amazing. It’s amazing what the body can do and especially what my body can do. It’s the only race that I’ll complete for a third year in a row. It’s the only race I’ll be this excited/nervous for again next year. And I can’t wait.
It took me two weeks to feel like I had healed from the race. I’m already thinking of goals for next year. I’m already thinking of how to train for next year if I want to finish even faster. I love the Tough Mudder because I feel like it changes me a little bit every year.
P.S. I bought the Merrell Tough Mudder shoes for the race and they were freaking awesome. No endorsements. Just seriously killer shoes.