After years of consideration my brother-in-law, Pete, finally talked me into committing to my first Tough Mudder. We had a handful of Warrior Dashes under our belts so we decided it was time for a new challenge. Comparatively, Warrior Dash is 3.1 miles/12 obstacles and Tough Mudder is 10+ miles/20+ obstacles.
Pete assembled the team, Mudder Truckers 2.0 (Pete, Micah, Mikki, Kurt and I), and we registered for the event in Lebanon, OR (advertised as Portland) in August 2014. I signed up in January so I had 8 months to prepare. My training included a combination of weight lifting (circuit training) and running. Additionally, I participated in other races. Pete, Micah and I did the Shamrock Run 15K in Portland and I did the Kids Dash 10K in Bellevue. After the Shamrock Run (the trek up to upper OHSU and then the Chart House) I discovered I needed more leg work so I started doing hill training. I also added push-ups to my runs (25 at the start, every mile and at the end) and started doing the 300 work out. By August I was running as far as 11 miles and completing 300 reps in less than 30 minutes.
When race day arrived I was pumped and prepared for the experience. As expected, the course was both physically and mentally challenging, but we all survived and finished together. It is an event that inspires comradery and pushes you to do more than you believe you are capable of. There were countless times I helped others or others helped me (both teammates and strangers). Arctic Enema (gigantic ice bath) and Electro Shock Therapy (hanging wires with 10,000 volts of electricity) were exactly as advertised but the most challenging obstacle for me was Cliff Hanger – 1000ft+ elevation gain in less than a mile. Overall, it was a positive experience, I’m proud of my team and I’m happy I tried it. We are all signed up for Tough Mudder 2015 in Black Diamond, WA (Seattle) in September. I can’t wait to do it again.