Sunday, May 13, 2012

Countdown to Tough Mudder - 34 days

Have you heard of Tough Mudder?  Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.  Some of the obstacles include 12' walls, frigid ice water, small tubes, greased monkey bars, burning straw, and a field of live wires.  There are 25 obstacles total and you run from one to the next.  And as the name implies, there's mud.  A LOT of mud.

Sounds pretty tempting, right?  HA!

Scott and Toby from Boot Camp did the event back in April in Ohio.  Scott was so pumped that he signed up for the event again for June in Indiana.  And then he set to work trying to build a team.  For weeks he talked it up.  At first I thought it might be cool.  And then I realized there was no way in hell I was doing any of it.  (Mind you, I hadn't watched the videos yet and didn't really know what it entailed.  I just know I don't really like to get dirty.)

Then a few more people joined the team, including two girls.  All of a sudden it didn't sound so bad.  In fact, it sounded like a - dare I say FUN? - challenge.  And before I knew it, I was sitting at the computer, signing my life away with each waiver I initialed.  (Mind you, I STILL hadn't watched the video yet and didn't entirely know what it entailed.)

Well, a week after signing up, I finally watched the video.  And read the descriptions of the obstacles.  I have to say some of them sound downright scary, particularly the "Arctic Enema" and the "Fire Walker".  (I'm hoping that maybe the latter will thaw me out if I develop hypothermia.)  It IS in June, though, so perhaps the frigid temps will be refreshing.

And it's a team event.  There are 7 of us total - 3 guys and 4 girls - and you rely on your fellow Mudders to get you through.  That's the point of the whole thing.  There's no way you could do it alone.  Me scale a 12' wall on my own?  My team will have to either pull me up or launch me over.  (Though I fully intend to train hard to help pull myself over, thank you very much!)  In fact, some of the obstacles are nearly impossible to complete anyway.  Greased monkey bars?  Come on!  You try, you fall into the icy water, you swim your way to the end.  No big deal.

How are we training, you ask?  Well, we're all in pretty great shape to begin with.  Most of us do Boot Camp 1-2x a week, as well as a combination of strength and cardio.  My schedule has been:

Boot Camp - 2x/week
Cycle - 2x/week
Running - 3x/week (about 12-15 miles total)
Weight machines - 1x/week

I'll need to start adding in more upper-body exercises, such as pull-ups, belly-crawling, and monkey bars.  Do the rock climbing wall at the gym.  I also have to do some trail running, since all my running is done on paved surfaces.  I should probably turn off the water heater for my showers, too.  Hey, not only will it prep me for the "Arctic Enema" but it will save money, as well.  (Early Retirement Extreme, anyone?  Inside joke.)

The team is getting together at a local park tomorrow for a training session.  We'll utilize the playground equipment and do the body weight exercises from Tough Mudder Boot Camp Training.  (Many of these we're familiar with from our Boot Camp class anyway but it's great that they're designed to help with the specific obstacles.)

The event is June 16th in Indiana.  We have a start time of 10:20 a.m. 

I'll keep you updated with my training.  34 days and counting...

Have you ever done a Tough Mudder event?  Share your story!


  1. Yes, ERE! I tried the cold showers for a few weeks last year but chickened out in November. Good luck training, try not to scare away all the kiddos from the park.

    1. Yeah, I threw that in there for you, Brian. :)