Tough Mudder: Dominated.

I want to start out with a little background story on my previous views of Tough Mudder. Early on in the year, March maybe, Tyler decided he was going to do Tough Mudder in September. We were talking about it at his mom’s house, and I distinctly remember telling her that I had “absolutely no desire” to do it, whatsoever. And I didn’t. Maybe a 5k Warrior Dash, but never the Tough Mudder. I was working out, but nothing intense, and I wasn’t able to run two miles straight, let alone 12. Finally, a week or two later, I decided that I was going to set this as a goal for myself to get into shape. I still didn’t really want to do it, mainly because of the distance of the course. Over the next few months, I worked my ass off at the gym, supplemented with extra running here and there, and got my diet back in check. I also started watching more videos of the obstacles online, and got progressively more and more pumped about it. The time finally came yesterday, and unlike the first attempt, we were actually about to run it!!!!!! Read through for our amazing experience!

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T-Minus 10 Days…

Here I am again, 10 days before Tough Mudder. I’ve been counting down the days since last month’s fiasco, training hard and keeping up with my workouts, until getting sick this weekend. I’m having serious fears of failure, this time around. My body feels so weak from being ill, my lungs and chest hurt every time I breathe, every muscle is sore from coughing constantly, and the idea of moving at anything faster than a crawl is sickening. I’m sure the fears of failure all come from these feelings; fighting illness has a heavy mental component for me. I have to not let it consume me, while at the same time taking it easy enough to not over-do it. I’m scared of so many things about TM, currently. Will I freak out while crawling through the tunnels and not be able to finish? Will I lose a shoe halfway through? Will I not be able to get up Everest? But most importantly, what if I’m not even well enough to run it? What if my bronchitis cough is still lingering? What if my lungs can’t handle the stress I put them under and I end up really injuring myself?

I’m going to do everything within my power to get better before then. But it’s so hard with the demands of college and midterms, and also battling severe sleep problems, concurrently. I am strong. I am a fighter. But there is only so much I can do with the timeframe of a week and a half, and this brokenass body. Aaaand I’m crying. It’s ridiculous how much running this means to me, and the thought that I might not get to yet again is absolutely heartbreaking. I must stay positive and not stress myself out any more than I already am. This has to be okay. This has to work out in my favor in the end. It just has to.

The Worst Clusterf*ck (Tough Mudder) and 9/10 Strength at GMU

Sooooo Tough Mudder. Yeah, that didn’t happen. We, along with over 1000 others, sat in our cars for 4 and a half hours trying to get in the parking area. The backups extended throughout the entirety of Frederick, MD, and even affected I-270 before it turned into Rt 15N. The event was disorganized and the location was NOT able to accomodate the 20,000+ people who were trying to access the site by two different roads which bottlenecked into the parking area. The only people who ended up running it were those who had the first couple heat times, and people who parked 2+ miles away (even though Tough Mudder told everyone that we WOULD BE TOWED if we parked anywhere other than their lot…HA!) and ran to the Mudder. The course was apparently awful once the rain came, and even the most elite athletes couldn’t finish in under 4 hours because you physically could not run in the 4 inch thick sticky mud that covered the course. It’s a mud run, I get it, but notice run. If the mud is so thick you can’t run through it, that negates the whole idea. Anyway, this is all second-hand knowledge, because we never even made it in the parking lot. That was apparently a blessing, because after the rain, cars were stuck in what was essentially a mud bowl, with the only entrance and exit at the “lip” of the bowl, with parking down in the center and on the lip of the other side. Cars were sliding into each other, being left overnight, and being towed out for $100 by some of the locals. One of Tyler’s friend’s cars was hit by three other cars while they were trying to exit the lot. I’m glad we at least avoided that mess. We thought leaving DC at 10:30am would give us plenty of time to get to Frederick, MD and check in by our start time of 2:20pm. If only.

So, we left around 4pm, and decided we’d reconvene at 5am, meet at a local mall at 5:45am, and try to be one of the first heats on Sunday morning, parking a few miles away and walking there. Well, around midnight the mayor of Frederick pulled the plug on Tough Mudder, revoking their permit stating that the traffic, the venue, and the parking were all just too awful, and the event would have to be cancelled. We found this out at 3:30am, when both me and my teammate Gina couldn’t sleep. Epic bummer, but honestly, it would have been just as bad if not WORSE on Sunday, because everyone from Saturday would be trying to get there as early as possible. The worst part is that Tough Mudder is stating that they decided to cancel Sunday because of safety/damages from the weather, NOT because the mayor shut them down. A little sketchy, Tough Mudder, a little sketchy. They’re offering refunds or transfers, plus discounts to any 2012 or 2013 TM races for all. Tyler and I are going to transfer ours to Tri-State in NJ on Sunday, October 21st, and the rest of our team is probably going to do the one next April in Maryland, and depending on how much of a discount they are going to offer, we might join them on that one.

TL;DR– Tough Mudder fucked up, big time. Lots of people didn’t get to run it, including us, so we are going to transfer to the New Jersey run at the end of October. It kind of sucks, but this one is going to be awesome, and has monster trucks and rope climbs and lots of awesome obstacles that the Mid-Atlantic didn’t. And I’ll get to see my awesome cousins, hopefully see one of my best friends and fitness/crafts inspiration, Erin, and hopefully hopefully the caveman’s man himself will be able to do it with us!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, enough of that. Today I had 45 minutes to workout at the gym on campus. Just enough time to kill my legs, abs, and butt.

Strength:

  • Backsquat 3-3-3-3-3: 105-105-105-105-105. Pretty freaking happy about that, since last time I only did one full set of three and failed on the final rep of the second set. I spent less time warming up to that weight this time, and I think that made a big difference. I think my progression went 45-65-85 and then into the 5 sets of 105. Then after that, I did 20 reps of just the 45lb bar. Felt the burn.
  • GHD Sit-Ups: 40-20-10. Thought I was going to puke when I finished, so I hauled ass to the bathroom and sat there sweating and almost barfing for about 5 minutes. It passed, thankfully, and I went on to class. Haha. Oops.

I also had pole dancing class tonight, and we danced more today than we have in months and focused less on tricks, so I really liked tonight actually. I talked to my teacher about feeling disheartened with it lately, and she really helped my brain and is going to work with helping me get back into it and nail some new moves.

I don’t have any pictures of anything interesting, so I apologize, but maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow’s WOD is a Hero WOD in honor of 9/11. Probably going to pass out. Squat cleans, pull-ups, and running. I’m lamenting the death of my legs already.

Reflection!

Okay guys, this is about to get a little wordy. This past weekend I was away celebrating a big birthday for my mom, with her and my father. We had a really great time, saw two Frank Lloyd Wright houses, went on a handful of adventures, had a bunch of champagne, and ate some of the best food of my life. Every single restaurant had different kinds of gluten-free bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and designated menues), so I definitely overindulged in that, but I also managed to workout on Saturday and Sunday while there, and walk until my legs felt shaky on both Sunday and Tuesday. I also got my parents into the gym with me, which was awesome. The gym had its own little café bar thing, and we ordered huge omelettes, protein shakes, fresh squeezed juices after our workouts. I would log those workouts here, but they weren’t anything spectacular because they didn’t have any free barbells for oly lifts, just a Smith Machine, which makes everything so much easier!! I could deadlift for days on that thing.

I unknowingly overdid it on my calf raises last week, and wound up with tight, crampy, shortened calves for about three days. It was awful. I literally felt like my calves were going to snap every time I stood up after sitting for more than 3 minutes. The crazy part is, as I was leaving the gym, I thought to myself “I definitely should have done two more sets of those.” Dear workoutgods, had I done that, I would have been 100% paralyzed from the waist down. It is so crazy, because I absolutely did not feel like I had worked them that hard at all. That was pretty scary.

I returned home Tuesday evening and went straight to class, and today I got in a 500m swim between classes. As I was relaxing in the hottub afterwards, I stared ever-so-longingly into one of the gym’s workout rooms, watching people stretch pre- and post-workouts. I wanted more than anything to get in and workout. And I want more than anything to go to Crossfit tomorrow. And Friday. But guess what? TOUGH MUDDER IS THREE DAYS AWAY.

As I mentioned before, I accidentally crippled myself doing calf raises last week. I am so worried that I will do some strange workout that will destroy my legs and I will be in bad shape for Tough Mudder. I kept it light with the swimming today, and might try to get into Crossfit tomorrow and take it SUPER easy, and just do enough to get my muscles warm.

I am so incredibly excited for Tough Mudder. It was what started me back on this fitness kick, and my motivator throughout the summer to keep working out, discover new Crossfit boxes and ways to workout on my vacations, and never let myself back out because I was tired/lazy/busy/stressed. I have more than doubled my loads on all of my lifts, been able to preform faster, increased my endurance, improved my running, accomplished lots of minigoals (to name a few: unassisted pull-ups, strict push-ups, squat more than 100lbs, full toes-to-bar, string together 30+ doubleunders!!!!! All of these are so great!!!!!), and have completely changed my goals for this fitness journey into being the best, strongest, fastest, most energetic me that I can possibly be. I need to start setting more goals with dates that I want to accomplish them by, and I need a new white rabbit, like Tough Mudder has been. I’ve had so much fun chasing it, and all of a sudden it’s only three days away. I’ll be taking my camera in order to get lots of “during” photos, and I think Tyler might even be wearing our GoPro cam. If you don’t hear from me until Saturday night/Sunday, I apologize, but I think I’m just going to keep taking it easy so as not to overexert myself before crushing the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done. I can’t freaking wait.