I did Tough Mudder on the weekend!
A TOUGH FUCKING MUDDER! 20km, 18 obstacles, tons of mud.
I'm not a fitness freak, I've got fibromyalgia, a neck/upper back that's inclined to seize up and arm muscles that alternate between strong and weak unexpectedly. I don't like splinters or being rained on when I'm clothed. Haha, why did I sign up for TM? Because it looked like awesome fun and I thought I'd be able to get into jogging.
But ... I'm not a jogger! After signing up for TM, I started to do Couch-to-5K from September 2013, I managed to do 6 weeks of it and got to running 20 mins straight. But then I hurt both my knees (BOTH of them) and had to stop running. For good.
Here's how I managed on the day:
1. I had the most awesome team with me. 15 of us did it, varying ages (19-51) and levels of fitness. All incredible people, incredibly helpful. We all agreed we'd do what we could, skip what we couldn't and have a blast getting muddy. We did that alright!
2. I wore long compression pants, a long sleeved compression top. I carried a camelback full of water, pain killers and a lip balm. I wore the running shoes I was used to (they scrubbed up fine afterwards). I also wore a tight pair of these light gardening gloves (they have a textured grippy palm) and cut the fingertips off so water would drain out. This was so I could grip the wooden obstacles without my killer fear of splinters! They worked a treat and kept my hands warm to boot. (It was totally freezing on the day. That was seriously the worst part, so cold my teeth chattered for many kilometres.)
3. I alternated between walking and jogging slowly. So I paced myself pretty well, by the end I was pretty much only walking, as was the rest of my team. But I could still walk! And climb! And jog a little! Unlike two days later when walking was very painful :)
4. I took paracetamol half way through.
5. I skipped a few obstacles I knew would damage me. I'm looking at you Balls to the Wall, Funky Monkey, Leap of Faith, Just the Tip and Everest. (Our whole team skipped the latter two.) My upper shoulders/arms/neck can't take much so I was sensible. Plus I need my arms and neck to type my thesis, so I was pleased to do three quarters of the obstacles. And I managed ones I didn't think I could - like Hold your Wood and Glory Blades.
6. I didn't let anyone yank me by the arms to help me up, I accepted boosts wherever possible though.
7. I had so much fun! My favourite obstacles were the Ladder to Hell, Twinkle Toes, Mud Mile, Artic Enema (I was so hot at the start and it was the first obstacle - awesome to jump into cold water). I did both the electricity shockers and all the rest of the course.
So, if you think you couldn't possible do Tough Mudder because you can't run, or are unfit, or have a bad back. Actually, you might just be able to do it :) (I am not a doctor so don't take this as medical advice, it's just my personal experience.)
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