Archive for February, 2012

I may have lost my mind. . .

February 9, 2012

I have written about my desire to be a bad ass before, but I am a pretty poor specimen. I won’t watch scary movies, I scream (like really scream) for my husband to come take care of it when I see a bug, my rain boots are pink, and if I were on a desert island and I had to choose between killing  fish to live and starving to death, I would most likely starve.  And yet, I am signed up for (i.e. paid with no possible refund) for the this year’s New England Tough Mudder.

“What is a Tough Mudder?” you maybe asking? Well, it is a ten-mile trek through mud and a variety of obstacles.  The New England event takes place at Mount Snow and has 30 or so different challenges all with witty names that make light of the pain that will be inflicted.  The gentlemen who designed the race a ex-British Special Forces guys so there is a resemblance to a military  training course, scaling 12 foot walls, climbing rope ladders, squirming under mesh netting though (you guessed it) mud, and inclined monkey bars.  And what happens if you fall off the monkey bars? You land in a pond. In Vermont.  In early May.

All of this makes for some seriously entertaining You Tube clips, but why is this a good idea again?  For me, lots of runners turn to triathlons to diversify their training, but if there is anything worse than swimming in my book, it’s bicycling, so obviously that is out.  The Tough Mudder requires a good amount of cross training in order to survive it, and that is what tends to get lost when I am training for a long(ish) distance race.  I think the threat of falling off the monkey bars might be enough to encourage me to do a push up or two, which is a good thing.

Also, a Tough Mudder is not about winning. It is literally about surviving . . . I mean finishing.  There is no way to know how you are going to deal with the obstacles (much less running on a ski slope) until you get there, so the pressure to finish within a certain time frame doesn’t exist.  Also, it’s a given that some of the challenges require a helping hand (I hear there is a 12 foot wall to be scaled), so there is a certain amount of camaraderie fostered on the course. As someone who eschews team sports due to the competitive spirit they stir up, to me, this seems like a great way to work with people to achieve a physical goal.

So I guess we will see how tough I am come May.  I know I can do the distance, and I have resigned myself to some pretty chilly swims, but I think it will be fun.  Just don’t expect me to come home with a tattoo. . .or a mohawk.

Finishers are entitled to a free hair cut. . .mullets and mohawks for one and all. I think I will pass.

The first couple hundred finishers earn a free Tough Mudder tattoo. I think it might clash with my lotus. . .

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