I made it through my first Tough Mudder!
My brother ran with me. To be more accurate, he skipped in circles around me and kind of shoved me through the obstacles. There was an obstacle called the Wounded Warrior Carry, where he pretty much threw me over his shoulder and started sprinting.
Despite being completely shown up by my incredibly athletic brother, I’m very happy with my performance, especially considering how little training I’ve done over the last month or so. I think we finished in about three and a half hours. I was able (with some help) to complete most of the obstacles. I struggled a bit with the cold- it was rainy and windy for part of the race, which is not ideal when you are soaking wet and dressed for warm weather. Now I’m excited to get back into pole training. Which might take a few more days, I’m still really sore.
Here is my advice if you ever decide to run a Tough Mudder:
- Commit. If you are going to run it, make sure you finish the damn thing. Don’t allow failure to be an option. This is pretty much my standard advice for anything you want to achieve. Do not have a back up plan. Just do what you need to do.
- Run in a team. Preferably a team that has someone really strong to motivate you and help you with obstacles.
- Be a team – the promotional stuff say that everyone running is a team, and it’s true. I got help from all sorts of people besides my brother, and my favorite part was giving people a hand out of some of the obstacles. It’s nice to help others, even if they only need help because they are crazy like you and signed up for it…
- I read that you should wear compression pants instead of baggy shorts, which is what I did. I didn’t feel like they helped at all, but I did feel like it was impossible to put them back on after stopping in the bathrooms. If I did it again, I would go with baggy shorts.
- Watch the rocks under the water. I scraped up my calves pretty thoroughly.
- If you have an inhaler or anything else that needs to go with you, put it in a plastic bag and tuck it into your bra. Works perfectly.
- They do have a bag check, something I really, really wish I had figured out before because we were frozen by the time we got out and really could have used dry clothes (my brother was shivering so much he couldn’t even hold his free beer!)
- Run on Saturday. We did it on Sunday, and then had to rush off to drive home. It would have been way more fun to run Saturday, go and party with all the other runners Saturday night, and then head home on Sunday.
- If you are on a diet, make sure your running day is cheat day. If I could have injected hamburgers and pizza and ice cream into my body post-run, I would have done it. As it was, I shoveled a hefty portion of food into my mouth.
10. When you train, train on hills, not just flat. It matters.
11. Smile while you run, or at least try not to look miserable. You smile when you are winning and being successful. It really helps.
12. Get your own spectator! My brother’s wife cheered for us the whole time, took pictures, and helped us figure out how to function after we were done. She also drove home, which I am sure was much safer based on my lack of fine motor skills post-event.