2x Tough Mudder Legion Mom

Tough Mudder Kansas 2014

immediately after my first Tough Mudder, i decided i was crazy enough to sign up for my 2nd Tough Mudder. i’ll spare you the details, since you can get them in the blog post from my last Tough Mudder. (HERE) let’s just say that i trained just as hard for this Mudder. i managed to add one more pull up to my list of attributes, bringing me up to a whopping 2 whole pull ups in a row. i managed to run 10.5 miles twice just for fun, and i’ve been doing all sorts of bodyweight calisthenics to get into shape. i was still really scared, though. with about a month to go in my training, i got really burnt out with the whole “training for the Tough Mudder” thing. we had a hard winter, and i was DONE with the burpees and the wall balls and the jumping rope. i had HAD IT with all the pushups and the crunches, and my hands were callused and tired from hanging from the pull up bars. i kept going as best i could, with my flagging spirit. i had one goal this Tough Mudder…. to make it all the way across the Funky Monkey. they’re just monkey bars… but set up in a barn-roof style with an incline, then a decline. apparently, only 40% of mudders make it across the Funky Monkey, and last year i splashed into the water on the 2nd rung. i really, really wanted to conquer this obstacle this time.

my first Mudder was in September of 2013. we had so much fun that we signed up for the next one the day after the event. later, the date for the event was announced…. May 3rd, only 9 months after the last Tough Mudder! i think i took a month or two off, but i remember jumping back into training pretty quickly.

here we are now, not even a year later…. not even a year older (!) and i just completed my second Tough Mudder.

this one was a completely different event.

first, the stats: 25 obstacles and 11 miles. 11 people on our team with 5 Legionnaires. Cliff was no longer a sponsor… this year it went to MetRx. not okay for me… Cliff Builder’s bars are vegan. NOTHING MetRx makes is without dairy. i was very, very disappointed i would have to pack energy snacks again this year, but oh well. they didn’t get in the way too much last year. i packed my Spi Belt with 3 quadruple wrapped medjool dates and 2 miniature Cliff Builder’s Bars. let the fun begin.

right off the bat, we all climbed the wall into the pit and huddled together like cattle at market. we were given the uplifting “you got this shit” speech, met a couple World’s Toughest Mudders, and we started jogging onto the track. there was no fire to jump over this time, and no mud crawl through to anoint us into the Mudder event…. just a REALLY LONG FUCKING RUN IN THE GODDAMN PRARIE. we twisted and snaked around, all the while wondering where the hell the mud was, and were we really in the Tough Mudder or did we accidentally enter into an off road marathon? i was thanking my lucky stars i had removed my long sleeved shirt before the race, because by the time we came up to Balls to the Wall, we were sweaty, irritable, and sick of jogging. up and over we went, and off we went…. to run some more.

we made it to Pole Dancer, where i fell into the water about two feet in. surprisingly, i was quite pleased with this failure to successfully complete the obstacle. by the time we got there we were HOT and hadn’t seen any mud yet. the water was cold and only just below my waist. it was pleasant and refreshing. not quite what they had in mind, i’m sure… but i was recommending everybody fall in just to cool off, as we hadn’t seen a single goddamn water station yet. nobody else did, but it was totally their loss.

we next came up on the Berlin Walls, which i am proud to say i actually went over one of them this year. last year i didn’t even try because they were so slippery and muddy. this time none of had even seen any mud yet, so they were pristine and pretty. there were two walls, but i figured one was enough. like i said…. hot and grouchy. (where the hell was the mud???!?)

finally, we reached an obstacle that sounded promising. the Muddersection. it was a large stretch of churned up dirt that was supposed to be slippery, wet and muddy. actually, it was just dry, cakey, and annoying. all it did was slow us down a little bit because we actually had to watch our feet to avoid twisting an ankle on the dry, caked tracts of earth.

another worthless obstacle after that (a short hop over a creek) and we were finally to the Funky Monkey. i’ll be honest, i nearly skipped this one. it terrified me. i didn’t want to fall into the water. i didn’t want to fail yet again in front of everybody. i had to consciously steel up my nerves, but i began the journey across the monkey bars. right off the bat i knew i was going to be screwed if i couldn’t figure out a way to reach the next rungs. the inclined bars were designed so that i couldn’t reach the next rung unless i swung myself over with a conscious effort. eventually, i got a rhythm down, and i made it to the decline section. i grunted and groaned and cussed and fretted, but by golly I MADE IT OVER THE FUNKY MONKEY!!! i was now one of the 40% who successfully completed the obstacle! another teammate of mine who was in the same position as i successfully completed it as well, so we smugly high five’d each other before realizing one of our team members fell into the water, and literally breathed that shit in. and by “that shit” i mean the dyed green water that people had probably pissed in not to long ago. he was around a corner vomiting for a good 5 minutes before he managed to collect himself enough to continue.

after that, things finally got muddy and picked up a little bit. 3 and a half miles into the course, we finally saw our first bit of mud that wasn’t optional by falling accidentally into a pit, or intentionally stepping into a puddle that just happened to be there. it moved a bit quicker when we managed to get dirty. sadly, it didn’t make us move faster, it was just more entertaining to move as slow as we were. we were a big group of 11 people at various degrees of fitness…. me and at least 3 other people on our team had a chest cold when we started, and one of our team members didn’t quite know how Tough it was going to be. they hadn’t trained, and nearly gave up after that first miserable sweaty jog. we kept that person going, though, and i am proud to say that they crossed the finish line and earned their headband (though many skipped obstacles) it will probably be the last headband that person ever attempts to acquire, but that person acquired it, and that’s what matters.

i officially skipped one obstacle this year…. the Electric Eel. no fucking way was i going to crawl through a big puddle of water with electrified wires hanging over my head. this year, i got to watch one of our team members get hit, black out for a brief second, face plant in the water, lose their prescription eye glasses, fumble for said eye glasses, get hit AGAIN, then face plant AGAIN, the sit up AGAIN, get hit AGAIN, then finally give up on the several hundred dollar prescription glasses, and trudge through to the end. every time one of those electric wires popped on somebody i involuntarily flinched and jumped. let’s just say that i wasn’t the only one to bypass this obstacle, and i am okay with that.

much to my disappointment and pleasure, there was no Arctic Enema this year. we had a Legionnaires Loop… supposedly, it was a special stretch of obstacles that only multiple mudders could go through. you know what we got? a tire pull (that was part of the regular obstacles last year) a dingy, dry tunnel with a couple lame wires hanging down the end, and a marshy bog-type area that was just unpleasant to trudge through. it wasn’t fun, and didn’t make any of us feel special. it did, however, give us first dibs at the next obstacle… a big water slide with fire at the end. i hated it. i wanted to skip it. i bitched and moaned the whole time about how much i didn’t want to do it. i did it anyways. (overcoming fears, right?) i hated climbing up there, i hated going down the slide, and i hated the feeling of being uncontrollably flung through the air. i have to plug my nose in water, so i freaked out when my hand was flung off my nose. i banged my head on the slide, and the water was cold and deep. i’m not a great swimmer, so doggy paddling to the ladder was the most miserable experience of the entire Mudder. i was cold and wet and DONE at that point.

the last obstacle, as always, was Electroshock Therapy. as a Mudder Legionnaire, i was given the option to by pass it shame-free. me and 2 other teammates said HELL YES and we watched our team members one by one screech and trip their way through the obstacle. we got our headbands, we got our tshirts, we got our protein bars. (that i gave to my kids later that night because i don’t consume products with dairy in them) . we got our optional beer (yuck) and we got our traditional trip to a fast-food food-court.

there were some great moments in this Mudder…. watching one member laugh uncontrollably at my husband, Darth Mudder, go to running up Mount Everest, and instead trip in a hole, have his cape catch on a pole, and face plant into the dirt, was quite amusing. i think she’s still laughing at it a day later.

i don’t know if i’ll run another Tough Mudder. honestly, this one was a little disappointing. it was WAY less muddy, and there weren’t as many rest stations as there were last year. MetRx was much more stingy with their snacks than Cliff was. the design of the course seemed poorly thought out, and Legionnaires Loop was a JOKE. also? NO CAMERA COVERAGE. we were stuck (involuntarily) at one of the last start times of the day. all the Tough Mudder camera people were gone. my husband dressed up in a big, flowing orange cape and a Darth Vader mask with a GoPro camera mounted to it, and he didn’t make it to the facebook page at all, because there was no one left to take pictures of us. last year, Marathon Photo people were everywhere, snapping action shots and group photos… this year? nothing. we were lucky to have one spectator come with us and snap photographs of us, or we’d have nothing but our word and our muddy clothes to prove that we’d even been there. so… shout out to you, our lone spectator looking out for us and taking pictures! we had my husband’s GoPro shots, but you got the ONLY other photos of us that day! so THANK YOU for being there, and shoving medjool dates in our mouths with your clean hands right when we needed them most. 😉

unfortunately, the mud i finally managed to get covered in didn’t help protect me from sun burn…. the back of my calves and my shoulders are lobster red. i’m a little sore and a little tired, but i’m happy to say i survived another one. over the next week my husband and i will discuss the prospect of another Tough Mudder. i’m thinking about giving them one more chance not to suck…. but we’ll see.