Don’t Stop, Get It, Get It

So this happened.

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Saturday my team, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five, finished this course at Tough Mudder St Louis.

Today I hurt. All over. Abs, hips, quads. Even my triceps, which I learned when I brushed my teeth.

And? It was all so very worth it.

As much as I’d been worried about this race, given that it was an entirely unknown entity, PLUS the fact that I hadn’t really trained for it, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d expected. Our whole team finished. Our whole team completed every obstacle.

There were some injuries, lots of scrapes, more bruises than we’re able to count, and mud in probably every single spot and more it could get.

This was awesome.

Our wave started at 1020am.

Such clean shoes!

Such clean shoes!

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No quit in here

We had to get ourselves over a wall just to get to the starting line.

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The first obstacle we got to was called the Kiss of Mud.

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We were the lucky ones who DIDN’T have a fire hose on us during this obstacle. Apparently later in the day they added water, since the mud was drying out, while Mudders were in there. Bullet dodged.

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This is my aunt Melissa. She’s awesome.

Our next obstacle was a mystery obstacle, which involved climbing over a mud hill and jumping over fire into a pit, and then pulling ourselves out with a cargo net.

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Once we were all nice and soaked, they sent us to the Glory Blades, where we had to get over two slanted walls to get over and the slide down the other side. Hey, teamwork, you come in handy!!

And then. Arctic Enema. I swear Tough Mudder was trying to mess with our heads as we ran for probably a mile with the side of the truck screaming “ARCTIC ENEMA” at us. We knew what was coming, and seriously, the anticipation didn’t help.

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Blissful ignorance

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The many facial expressions in this one make me laugh

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Couldn’t really feel my face here

We ran around a quick corner and were quickly introduced to the Mud Mile.

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Going head first

Will cause this

Will cause this

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Then it was off to the Lumberjacked obstacle. It’s surprisingly uneasy to get over giant logs when covered in water and mud.

Stuck. Couldn't swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Stuck. Couldn’t swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Then they sent us off to the King of the Hill, which was a tower of giant haystacks we had to get over. I think we can safely attribute most of the tiny scrapes on our legs from the hay.

Running up to the next obstacle, the Electric Eel, was more intimidating than going to the Arctic Enema. From about 100 meters away, all we could really hear were these screams of (what sounded like) sheer agony. Once we got there, we were accosted by the nearly continuous *pops* of electricity zapping the people in the event.

Right as I got into the beginning of the obstacle, they started pouring more water into it. Directly into my face, which successfully made me jump straight into the wires. I got hit a couple more times, once directly on my head which made me clench my teeth really hard. It was an entirely disorienting, and completely unlikable experience.357363

Apparently my way "looked safer"

Apparently my way “looked safer”

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Following that, we ran a bunch and completed four more obstacles. I wish we had photographic evidence of my friend Kyle trying to carry GCB during the Warrior Carry.

Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare

Carry Your Wood

Carry Your Wood

Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank

We got stopped for a while before we hit Mud Mile #2, but it was pretty worth it. This mud was awesome.

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Over the Funky Monkey and through the Cage Crawl took us to the Berlin Walls.

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Then? Everest.

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This is my second try. First try I just missed.

Climbing down from Everest we were looking straight down the chute to Electroshock Therapy. As of now, I don’t have pictures for it. All I know is that I was stupidly lucky to miss every single wire. My teammates weren’t as lucky, and some ended up nearly face-planting in the mud.

All that was left to do was get our head bands and our beers and breathe a sigh of relief.

mud

500

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The end.

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Hot Rockin’

The other day my aunt Melissa, who’s running Tough Mudder with me, and I were texting back and forth. She was telling me about this squat challenge she’s been doing and moved on to telling me about the ab challenge she was getting ready to start.

This ab challenge.

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Yes, the month we are heading into is May, not June. Guess what though? May has 30 days as well! In fact, it even has a 31st day where a big ole REST can be planned. Convenient, right?

I think I’m most intrigued to see what kind of an effect this actually has, combined with the running/circuit training involved in the already set up TM training.

Melissa asked if I was going to take before pictures, and I plan on doing so, if for nothing but my own feeling of accomplishment, of “look how far I’ve come.” I’m fairly excited about that.

What is even more exciting has been the reaction on the social media platforms. People coming out all over facebook and twitter to say “I’m in!” I love that one tiny challenge can bring out so many people, some of whom I haven’t even spoken to in months/years.

And you know? It feels GOOD to be excited like this. To be looking forward to the type of soreness headed my way, to the miles and blisters and probably sunburns.

So. The challenge has been set forth. Are you in?

Here We Go Again

Let’s talk about Tough Mudder. You know. This Tough Mudder:

Yeah, THAT Tough Mudder.

Can we talk about the fact that it’s only four and a half months away? And that training started for it this week? And that the thing I’m looking forward to most about it is, masochistically enough, this?fireRight. That Tough Mudder.

Like I said, training started this week. I have a beautiful training schedule for this one. I know, I know, you must be thinking, “Dude, does this chick ever NOT have a training schedule?” Or better yet, “So, you think she’ll follow it this time?”

As to the first, no. Meaning, yeah, I’ve always got a schedule, save for the past three months. And the second? Well, I hope to.

You see, this type of training is SO different from any other kind of training I’ve ever done. Mostly because it’s not just running.

It’s….CIRCUIT training. Not just running. Not even running and lifting weights. CIRCUITS.

And I have got to be honest. First time through the first circuit? Abysmal. Wretched. Just plain bad.

Apparently my body forgot how to do pushups. I love pushups. I cried when the hand doctor told me I couldn’t do pushups with a pin in my finger post-surgery for finger break number one. This makes me sad.

You know what’s crazy? Remember this girl?

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Taken in my living room, October 2011, the day before my first half marathon. Courtesy of my lovely mama.

Yeah, her. The one who ran 13.1 miles in just about two hours flat. The one who was so cocky about her abs that she PUT THEM ON THE INTERNET. Multiple times. The internet. The never-dying, will-be-here-FOREVER internet.

She’s…..buried. She’s buried under a layer of calzones and Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos. Buried with complacency and an unsatiated love of naps. Buried, but not lost.

Glimpses of her show up every now and then. She shows up in the smile that appears realizing that I’m SORE again. She’ll show up in the absolutely JACKED heart rate that I get every time I watch a Tough Mudder video. She’s not even slightly forgotten during a quick run when she shows up in the huge smile on my face.

Last year I forgot who that girl was.

This year I not only remember, I bring her back.

Tough Mudder 2013, watch out. I’m coming for you.

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Unrelated, but no less important, for more pictures my awesome mom took, check out her photography blog (phoblog? Anyone else want Vietnamese food reading that?).