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Tough Mudder
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Alright ladies. Has anyone done this race? Is it fun? I really want to do it, but I'd like to know someone who's done it. OK, I'll say it... I'm scared. There are no obstacles in IM that are electrified.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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I'm doing it tomorrow morning! From what my girlfriend has told me, it's definitely a team event and a challenge - not a race. Our plan is to /try/ most of the events (I'm skipping the electrical stuff because of my belief that my brain works because of electrical signals - I'd like to avoid introducing 10k volts to that process) and walk around if we need to. Avoiding injury is priority one, since my first triathlon is coming up in April and my fiance is training for IMAZ.

I'll be psyched to share stories/pics tomorrow!


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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So... how was it?
Stories and pics please.

Also, did you have any problem going around the electric obstacles. They're the only ones I don't want to do. Thanks.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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Ow and Ow. First off, it was cold - 45ish degrees and we started at 10:30. I am not a huge hiker, so the fact that there were a LOT of uphill hikes (1.5 miles at a time between obstacles) destroyed my glutes. Because I was so slow and ended up walking the majority of the hills inbetween obstacles, it took 5.5 hours - a pretty long time when the average is 4. The obstacles were fun - you definitely need a group for most of them.
My course map: http://toughmudder.com/.../SoCalWinter_Map.pdf

I skipped all 3 electric events - it is always easy to walk around, though I did get yelled at by the "announcer" (a volunteer with a megaphone ensuring the flow kept moving) as a weakling for skipping the "let's climb a 15' wall and jump down into hay" event. As I waited for my fiance to come out of the "crawl through the dark low area with dangling shock wires", I overheard a group of men admit some of the shocks were so bad that their muscles involuntarily tensed up, planting them face-first on the ground. Ow.

I enjoyed the Kiss of Mud events - crawling through mud under barbed wire, but the Arctic Enema was soul-sucking. Jumping into a 10' long icebath where you have to swim under a wooden plank that goes about 8" under the water in the middle - everyone popped out the other side with a look of complete shock and horror on their faces.

Thanks to another Slowtwitch woman, I had most EXCELLENT trail running shoes - they made a huge difference on the "hike up the clay mud wall" - I could practically walk up where others were pawing, sliding, and failing. As one who wears contact lenses, I decided to wear goggles. I didn't see a single other person wearing goggles, but I did run into a guy whose contacts had been lost - he was nauseous and frustrated.

By mile 5, we saw golf carts taking groups of (non-injured) people off the course. I hung in there and finished, though I feel like a bit of a cheater for not doing all the events. I have never been so cold and miserable in my life - I was sobbing by the end. No one in my group was hurt, though we all have scraped up knees from crawling - long pants are definitely the way to go - and 90% of us wore gloves.

I will never do a TM again, though I would consider one of the shorter distance obstacle challenges. If you are an awesome hiker, love being dirty, don't mind the cold, can jump really high, and don't have a fear of heights, TM is for you.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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I'm super proud of you for finishing. It's not easy to be cold that long. I hate that.
And thanks very much for the report. I appreciate you taking the time.
I'm really thinking about whether I want to sign up or not. My biggest issue is that it's less than a week after Boston, so my legs won't be good. I'll give it a few more days to decide. I'm getting too old for some of this stuff.

Good job.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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Yeowza, that would be a quick turnaround. Mine was 6 days after my first half mary (twice the distance I'd ever run before) so I wasn't in ideal shape. The cold thing - I'm not sure that would be an issue depending on the season. When we signed up, it was billed as the "So-Cal Tough Mudder" - a month before the event, they changed it to "Tough Mudder - So Cal Winter". That extra word made all the difference. The biting wind just never let us get dry and warm, even when the sun did peek out, and there is only so much a mylar blanket can do (though I carried one for about 3 miles at the end). Different courses also have different elevations - my girlfriend did one in Sydney that she said was quite flat, while ours had an excess of LONG uphill hikes. The kind where you come around the corner and see another mile of upward twists and turns and just want to sit down and cry.

It's 3 days later now and my glutes and arms are still sore, making me VERY grateful for my desk job.

If you do decide to do it, I can send you the links to the shoes and gloves I had - they made a world of difference. I would also make recommendations for tight, long-sleeved clothes, as our knees and elbows got bunged up pretty badly.

My mortifying finisher pics:
http://links.mkt2713.com/ctt?kn=18&ms=NDA4ODg3NDUS1&r=NDY2NTUxMTIzNDES1&b=0&j=MTc3NDI5NTk3S0&mt=1&rt=0


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Did they make you write the number on your forehead?
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Re: Tough Mudder [johnnybefit] [ In reply to ]
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They require it somewhere above the shoulders, so yes (as you can see in my pics) though my fiance opted for neck.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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It's fine. It's fun until the electroshocking, which in my opinion is just dumb. It's thrown in to show how tough you are, but it doesn't prove anything and there really isn't any point to getting shocked. Sort of like the equivalent of getting punched in the face for no reason. Why?

kelly dunleavy o'mara
@kellydomara
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Re: Tough Mudder [kellydomara] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for you experience.
I want to do it, but decided that this isn't the year. It's < one week after Boston, so my legs will be tired if not still sore.
And the electric shock thing doesn't really make me very happy. Like you say, it's just so people can brag about how tough they are.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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You definitely earn the bragging rights. Some of the events were fun - I genuinely enjoyed Kiss of Mud (trench crawl under barbed wire) and working as a team to get over the 8' wall. A lot of the events just struck me as crazy, and we had bad luck with weather and an especially hilly course. My gf has done a couple of them (she's a complete badass - the reason she's my MoH) and said Sydney was VERY flat (thus much easier) and Nor Cal was pretty hilly. We checked elevation maps and my So Cal was just extra-hard - all the hardest obstacles (she had a couple easy ones like over-under hay bales) and order matters. The insanely hard Everest (ginormious half-pipe) was at the very end for us, when we were exhausted. In Sydney, it was 3rd.

I also effed up in not eating enough - we had a solid breakfast before, but I only had a few Chomps-like-food-cubes on the trail. It's hard to carry anything and expect it to be clean - my fiance kept a couple Gu's in a waterproof pouch and it was a huge help to him. We both ended up with a huge calorie deficit at the end.

There are a lot of things one can do to have a better experience than I did, and I respect the concept of Tough Mudder, I just feel mine was the worst of the worst for difficulty and weather. If I'd hopped out of that ice swim into warm sunshine instead of a cool breeze, I would have had a more positive attitude.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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But you did it! You finished. You said that lots of people who were not injured gave up, and you did not. Therefore you are one BAMF!!!
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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I love Cracked magazine: http://www.cracked.com/...long-torture-chamber

Cheers!

-mistress k

__________________________________________________________
ill advised racing inc.
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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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My boyfriend signed me up.

I didn't even know this had happened until I received a confirmation email... to which my response was explicitly, "ummmm, excuse me?".

On the other hand, he'll be doing his first tri this summer, so I don't know who will win out. His aversion to regular running will probably have me come out less battered, I hope.

I've started doing a LOT of upperbody conditioning. The run doesn't concern me, but the ability to lift my bodyweight over and over sort of does.

. . . . . . . . .
-julie
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Re: Tough Mudder [mistressk] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, is that a perfect description. Funny, well-written, and accurate to the word.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [mistressk] [ In reply to ]
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Great article. Thanks for sharing. It confirms my not signing in April was a smart choice (for once).
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Re: Tough Mudder [taciturned] [ In reply to ]
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To clarify, very few people - VERY FEW - run most of TM. It is 12 mi of uphill hiking with short breaks to stand in line before events or drink water. The upperbody stuff helps with the rope climb and wall climbs (though the walls always require a team) but I felt that glutes are what carry you through TM. For most of us, it was a trudge with a few blocks of jogging.

Also, not just lifting your bodyweight - there is an event on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project where you have to carry a teammate, then switch halfway. I didn't stand a chance of carrying my 6'4" fiance, but we saw awesome teams of guys doing a "two to carry one" system.

I hope you have a good team and have fun - and that the weather is warmer than at my event.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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I personally have no interest in doing one and the article pretty much summed up why.

I had a conversation on Facebook with a friend of a friend who was into the race. The friend had posted about someone stinky on the treadmill next to her. He jumped on the post and said she should get off the cardio machines and do something worthwhile like strength training and HITS. I pushed back on the word "worthwhile" and of course he went into a post about losing weight effectively, etc. I responded by saying it depended on her goals. Etc, etc. Eventually he admitted to doing a Tough Mudder and said he didn't need any run training to do it. His profile picture had him, you guessed it, jumping over something with the Tough Mudder badge on the photo. He then said he had a 6% BMI. I couldn't let that last one go and gently suggested he meant body fat. I walked away from the conversation when he said people training for marathons ran so much so they could toughen their foot pads. Nothing like giving out bad fitness advice based on doing one event you don't even have to train for. My friend knows my background and I imagine she was laughing as the conversation unfolded.

I know he isn't representative of everyone who does them but he is exactly who I was thinking of when reading the article.

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Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Tough Mudder [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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Ugh, what an asshat! Good on you for trying to give meaningful fitness advice. We all have different goals and will go about our training differently.

TM is definitely a thing you do to say you did it. It was a unique experience (that I will never attempt again). There was a wide variety of people, from the machismo muscle men to a group of ladies in tutus who were oddly clean at the end (ie, probably skipped a lot of events - I did, too, but the mud ones tended to be the easy ones).

I can't avoid a heavy eye-roll at the 6% body fat either (as one who's psyched to have gone from 36% to 20% in 3 months of training/racing). He may not have "trained" for TM, but he was doing /something/ to be in that kind of shape.


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Re: Tough Mudder [nad] [ In reply to ]
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I did the Mpls TM last May - hot and windy day, which made the mid-portion really hard to get through. The course was very hilly and through dry, rutted cornfields, along with some forested areas. No fun when the wind kicked up and blew dry dirt everywhere.

I did like the slithering through the mud obstacles, especially under the wires - I just followed the deepest ruts and waited a sec for the wind to drop so I could slide under them.

Would I do it again? No, mainly because it was very crowded and I've got too meant events this summer to worry about injuring myself doing TM. Once was enough for me.


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Re: Tough Mudder [Ygritte] [ In reply to ]
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Will be doing the Seattle TM this fall. What model trail shoes did folks find worked the best?
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Re: Tough Mudder [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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I did the British version of this (Tough Guy) a couple years ago and will probably never do it again. Why?

1) January. Submerging head in freezing water to go through the tunnels indeed brings on brain freeze, but if you're cool in open water at a tri start it's totally doable.
2) It was held in a (very large) horse pasture. It wasn't just muddy, mucky too.
3) Some poor guy broke an ankle jumping the very first hay bale and was moaning in pain while as us slower folk gawped past
4) Fear of heights. I could not walk down the walk-the-plank thingy onto whatever it was we were supposed to land on, had to inch down on my bottom, pathetically. It gave the marshall a good laugh though.
5) No upper body strength (you really do need it)

Lots and lots of women on the course, older ones too. Bloody minded, as the Brits would say. After finishing i shook exactly like i did after giving birth -- guess it was the shock. Total exhilaration for a week after. The t-shirt is ugly as sin but am very proud to have it.

Best advice to somebody doing it: wear gloves, wear kneepads, and don't be too embarassed to put on a silicone swimcap if it's freezing and there's water. Don't worry about the electroshock, it's niggling. Do worry about hauling your ass with your arms over large barriers.

Biggest shocker of them all, on the train ride home, where I'm stinking of horse poop/sweat/matted hair/a sharpie number half scrawled on my face some crazy man tried to pick me up. I guess he likes his women ripe.
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