This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas
I will explain in another post why my desire to write about anything as been very low lately. THIS post, however, is to review the Tough Mudder 2013 spring course.
Team Dirty girls had a variety of levels within the team. Some runners, some not. The idea had been to stay close and keep everyone going for as long as they could. NO ONE could have imagined the cold that would hit us mid May…. No one.
I watched the weather like a hawk. I checked in on my phone about 20 times a day, praying that the weather would change and the sun would be out on race day. I hate being cold. I can manage ice water for 30 seconds, but 3 hours of freezing is NOT my thing. Sure enough. Saturday evening we get an email saying that the weather will be colder than expected and to dress appropriately. I had been looking forward to Arctic Enema ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-HG32z9hz4 ), and the other water obstacles… But on race day this was more to the tune of what it looked like:
People were told to strip down to their underware to go into water obstacles
then put their clothes back on to continue the race. Hypothermia was hitting a lot of people on the course. I can’t remember what the official weather was but it was SNOWING and hailing the whole time. Not a peak of sun. Not a ounce of warmth. Mid May and people were forced to wear wet suits. I felt like this was the best prep for Worlds Toughest Mudder a person could get!
The first obstacles was blades of glory, after a hugeeeeee climb up hill (Yes, I am wearing a WINTER HAT!!).
It was pretty evident at that first hill that the group may not be able to stay together. In such freezing temps every time we stopped to wait for those behind us our muscles tensed up. I ended up with IT band injuries and hamstring tendon injuries from stopping and starting (I am so thankful for my wonderful massage therapist and chiropractor!). It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in a race, but we divided.
As long as I kept moving I didn’t turn to ice. My Under Armour clothes ROCKED for keeping me warm, as long as I stayed dry. I can’t thank them enough for making such quality equipment. I ran past more obstacles than I would have liked. I couldn’t convince myself to get into ice water, knowing the last time I did a race in this weather and got into ice water I was VERY sick for 2 weeks. I couldn’t afford to miss 2 weeks worth of work.
I would ramble on about how my hands literally froze into a clenched fist and I was unable to open them. How my IT band got so tight from the stopping and starting that by the end every step going downhill felt like torture… But I am sure there are hundreds of blogs recounting the awful weather. Honestly, with 3 or so KM left I was starting to ask myself why I was there and why I find this torture enjoyable (That feeling goes away once I am warm and fed!).
After crossing the finish line I didn’t even stop for my head band… I blindly ran straight to the FOOD and water! I started stuffing my face and the staff handing out head bands had to come over to me to hand it to me. He laughed and said “you don’t want to forget this!”. I wrapped it around my wrist while I continued to pile food into my mouth and drink cup after cup of water.
After we found some friends that came to watch I went to get changed. Remember how my hands were frozen shut?? That makes for an interesting time taking off shoes that are literally blocks of mud at this point, I try and try. I end up hurting my hamstring tendons more just trying to rip them off. I sit down in frustration. I remember how I am not even using my car so I can’t get into someone else’s car with 10 pounds of mud on my feet. I try pulling apart the laces. No go. I get a pen from my bag and end up, very slowly, peeling the laces apart.
After we get changed and find the rest of the group we head for food. I eat roughly 3000 calories a day (at 5’7, 140 pounds), about every 3 hours, but because of nerves I had barely ate anything all day. My body was NOT pleased. A HUGE thanks to Cliff bars for fueling us on the run, and they are delicious, but I needed a meal. We go to Harvey’s. I get a large chocolate milk (Which I drink waiting for my food), 2 bottles of water (1 is gone before my food is done), a veggie burger and large fry. I DEMO it. I ate so fast I don’t think I even tasted it. 2 hours later I am home and I demo a pizza. I then relax into an Epsom salt bath.
Honestly, I wish it was a different experience and I wish my team had been able to stick together. I look back on it frequently and wish things were different, but dwelling on the past doesn’t change anything. I am proud of everyone for pushing as hard as they personally could. It isn’t about finishing but accomplishing personal goals, and for many just showing up and doing what they could was a goal.
My next stop for races is the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series. I will be at the Rattlesnake point 12 K race. I am not expecting a great time. I am still recovering from my injuries at Mudder. At this point I just want to go, meet people, network and get the experience. Next year will be my year to make a statement, after properly prepping for the season. 2 weeks after that is the SPARTAN SPRINT!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?? I honestly can’t wait. I have been counting down since they announced the dates. I have a bunch of races planned this year and after taking so long off with my back and shoulder injuries I am just looking for the experience. I will still push to my limits but I need to accept the limits are not my full potential. I have a wonderful team of massage therapists and an amazing chiro that are keeping injuries at bay until the off season, when I can properly recover and do a REAL prep for next racing season.