So…I'm doing Tough mudder!!
Finally the event of the year that I have been mentally and physically trying to gear myself up for. Well not really sure why I bothered! If I am honest, I am not sure anything could have really prepared me for this. All the time I was worrying about the physical work needed for this challenge, when really just as much mental training is required. I had been dreading it, I wanted to do it, I signed up for it and coaxed my fellow team mates to join me. However, I guess having booked it in February, it was then very easy to push the October event to the back of my mind, only reappearing occasionally to keep me on the gym training straight and narrow.
Well October came….and with it so did Tough Mudder. Training was upped and running outside was increased.
So we were all smiles at the beginning! Myself, Best Friend Rachel, her Husband Sam, my Brother Adam and his Girlfriend Sian are now the Mud Machines 2014….Adrenaline was pumping, nerves were definitely mixed in. But things felt ok. In fact we decided to sneak into the earlier wave we were that raring to go, or should I say raring to get it over with. Off we ran to join the warm up, before passing cheerily through the start line to jump over a wall and join the Tough Mudder pledge. Lots of rowdy hoo haaaaing and testosteronish-adrenaline, which genuinely does make you feel better. I am not the biggest fan of rowdiness (Yeah I know what your thinking, why do Tough mudder??) This was the only rowdy bit….where the newbies are down on one knee and the legionnaires are standing-(Legionnaires have competed in more than one tough mudder.)
One of the reasons I entered this challenge was because of the kind of event it is. It is a team event, whether you are alone or actually in a team, everyone helps everyone. No one is there to push past you and if they do an apology is shouted as they go.
Before ya know it eye of the tiger is playing and you are all off jogging to the finish line. Admittedly, mile 1 felt like forever and at that point I was worried. I can run, 5 miles is ok….but these miles I swear were long miles. I then had the sudden realisation there were 11 more with 23+ obstacle. This of course was when I realised what a huge game the mind likes to play on you.
Having completed 2, Obstacle 3 was Walk the Plank. I always said I would attempt all obstacles, the fact of did I know if I would like them? Well I have never put myself in a situation to know. So there was only one way to find out. Walk the plank, wasn't so bad. Jumping from a platform into a pool of cold water was just a bit of a shock to the system. However, it most definitely kick started the system. After a while every obstacle where water was involved was quite a welcomed treat, despite feeling like I was being slapped with a wet fish, it kept the body numb for you to want to run to keep coldness at bey….well that was until the numbness fell away and you were left feeling the sensation that you had gained ten stone and had to run with that additional weight.
The two obstacles I dreaded the most were Arctic Enema and Everest. In actual fact, Arctic Enema was not as bad as I thought, what was bad was the fact every muddy mudder had dipped in and out having just done the mud mile…. I was essentially dunking in to ice cold, cow pat infused water. So on emerging, I basically could only smell and taste cow poo. This really was the least of my worries, but I am just stating it was not my finest hour…..or 3 and half hours.
I attempted all but one obstacle, that was at about mile 9. Where physically lifting my leg was out of the question so I offered to help get my team over the hero wall and passed it myself….my running had turned into more of a Quasimodo style limping/hobble…In my head I was running, so I was running! Don't get me wrong at times I was walking….oh there was walking. When I said you underestimate how much of this is based on mentality, 9 miles in is when the realisation hits. It was at about 10 miles that I realised how much it did not actually occur to me, that my body may not actually want to help me out at all anymore. This is where I feared I would not have any energy to run let alone gather speed for Everest.
Pre-Everest snap with the team, I could not focus for picture time…clearly my mind was busy scaling Everest.
Despite shocking myself and managing the sprint up the wall and making it to grab the boys hands, i couldn't quite get my leg up and over…..I was prepared for them to let go, I asked them to let me go (bit like some kinder scene from saving private Ryan "save yourselves"), they didn't! I hung there for a while trying to get my footing. Eventually I was hauled up, in not the most elegant of ways, but I was up! I took my place ready to help the next expectant sprinter.
All over Everest, and through the last round of Electro-therapy, which felt like a tea towel whip to the ass, and not a playful one. Before making our way through to the finish line and claiming our well earner orange headbands and Beer.
A group hug and we were done.
Hitting the finish line to grab a beer, suddenly all my movement was restricted to hobbly pigeon steps. Pain aside, I was proud, surprised and very impressed by myself and my team, who I most definitely could not have done it without. And of course by the support of my Mum, Dad and Boyfriend who wondered the course taking snaps of our progress and cheering us on.
Of course the mudder finisher t-shirt will be my new sleeping and training attire for the next year ….just in case no one knows….Marc looks pretty bored of this breaking news already!!
P.s. Day 2 after completion and walking still has not resumed to normality and bruises are appearing left right and centre! Which I wear with pride!!