Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tough Mudder Training Diary #1

Earlier this year on a whim, I participated in Warrior Dash with my gal pal Jill. She is a marathon runner and mother of three boys. My idea of a marathon is watching an entire season of The Office in one day. Needless to say, it wasn't a pretty experience. As I literally limped my way over the finish line, I realized something needed to change.

That mud on my legs was leftover AFTER visiting the open-air showers.
So, I signed up for Planet Fitness. Sadly that didn't work out because I spent more time cleaning the equipment than I did using it (not their fault; I'm just a bit OCD about germs).

Fast forward three months. Jill asks me to join her for Tough Mudder in December. At that point, I had spent my summer doing sporadic workouts here and there, but I immediately say yes. I don't know if you've heard of Tough Mudder, but here is a fabulously funny training video for it. At first it made me laugh, but by the end of it, all I was thinking was "Cheese and rice, what have I got myself into?".

On our first day of running together, Jill brought her Shot Blocks and had hidden water bottles for us along our running path. I brought my iPhone in case I needed to call an ambulance. Jill was very understanding and spent the next THREE HOURS getting me to actually run instead of my pathetic jog/walk/complain routine. And she made me add the RunKeeper app to my iPhone. Thank you for that, Jill. Now everyone can enjoy my 20 minutes per mile status updates.

Fast forward to today. I'm jogging 3-5 miles every other day and fitting in some at-home cross-training in between. Here's a typical synopsis of my runs:

1. Alarm goes off at 5AM. Hit the snooze button three times before getting up (or until my chihuahua starts tugging the sheets off the bed).

2. Forget that my workout clothes are still in the washer. Put them in the dryer and get back in bed for 20 minutes.

3. Finally make it to the park around 6AM. Debate setting my RunKeeper to crawl mode.

4. Stretch while watching to see if anyone is watching me stretch. Keep backside faced towards lake.

5. Officially start jogging around 6:10. Increase my speed every time a water fountain is in sight. Luckily for me, this occurs every quarter mile. Not sure what I'm going to do on Tough Mudder day, seeing as there are no water fountains; only mud holes and monkey bars for 10 miles.

The coldest fountain in the park.
I would know because I've tested them all.

6. Stop and take pictures of baby ducks. C'mon! Who wouldn't stop for that?

Seriously? How can one concentrate with all this cuteness walking around?
7. Realize that my pace is 20 minutes per mile. Try to make up time by sprinting for a quarter mile.

8. Immediately regret that decision.

"No, no. I don't need the police. I just need a ride to my car...
...Yes, I'll be the one lying flat on her back in the grass. Thank you."
 9. Walk  Limp the last quarter mile.

10. Get in my car and head to the nearest Starbucks. Completely ruin the 300 calories I just burned off.

So, I have a long way to go, but at least I've made some progress. I've lost an inch around my waistline in the past month, and my friends say my face looks thinner. I have until December to get up to 10 miles. At this point, I'm not as worried about my pace as I am actually finishing the race. I think I might sign up for CrossFit. At least then there won't be any baby ducks to distract me. ;)

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