It’s official, orange headband and all, I’m a Tough Mudder!!  But let’s back up a moment.

Saturday morning I woke up after a so so night of sleep, I think I might have gotten 5 hours of sleep over a course of 7.5 hours.  Nerves were definitely getting to me so I tossed and turned quite a bit.   Despite my non-stop eating on Friday I woke up rather hungry.  However, I wasn’t able to get down more than a slice of bread with a little pb, half a banana, and drink a little coffee.  I tried to go the bathroom to avoid tummy issues on the course, but no such luck.  We met as a group at 5:50am to drive over to the parking area.  From there we had to take another 40 minute ride to the course.  At this point I was starting to feel a bit better, the group camaraderie and race atmosphere eased my nerves quite a bit.

By the time I registered, had my bib number marked on my forehead, and took the above photo I was ready to run and get this race over.

To reach the official start line we had to climb wall # 1.  I ran up, grabbed the top and immediately hit my head and front teeth…I was originally quite annoyed but once I heard the starting line music and the MC pumped us up, I forgot about the pain and again was ready to run.

And run we did!


To obstacle #1-Arctic Enema=freezing cold water

Obstacle #2-Mud mile

obstacle #3-Berlin Walls set 1

obstacle #4-kiss of mud

5. Balls to the Wall-this was rather easy, a wall to climb with a rope to aid.

6. Pirate’s Booty-crossing water and climbing up a rope.

7. Fire walker-this obstacle was also easier than I expected, it was a quick run with a small firewood fire to my left and right.

8. Electric eel-had to crawl under live electric wires, again not so bad though I did get shocked twice, it was more of a shock than painful.

Then we had a long run through muddy woods where I got stuck for a minute and had to be pulled out of the mud.  I also lost the team for a bit at this point and wasn’t sure if they were ahead of behind, so I kept on running.  Thankfully I didn’t stop and wait because I found them at the next obstacle-underwater tunnels.  This one was actually rather difficult. We had to swim under water barrels which were hard to determine their distance apart.  When I went under it felt like I was going to come up and hit my head on the barrels but in reality was right next to following set and had to go right back under.

After a water and sharkies (electrolyte chewies) break, we had to wait quite sometime for obstacle 10-the swinging rings.  I was shivering pretty bad at this point and while Ryan tried to keep me warm I decided to skip the obstacle and wait for the others in the sun.  I was fairly certain I wouldn’t make it across, in fact only Ryan mastered the rings in our group, and I wasn’t ready for more cold water.

At this point we lost about 2/3 of the group and those of us that kept a faster pace stuck together.  I think we were also about 2 hours in and just wanted to be done.

After another run through muddy woods we came to obstacle #11, the ladder to hell.

Obstacle #12, was a smoke chute (think jumping down a chimney) into water.

Obstacle #13, Peg legs-this was pretty dangerous and no one in our group was able to jump safely from log to log thanks to all the mud.  There were a couple of people who managed this obstacle, but most just jumped into the water.

Obstacle #14, twinkle toes- walking across a balance beam over water

#15, Funky Money-another set of slippery monkey bars over water-again I skipped, I was cold!!

#16, Boa Constrictor-I really enjoyed this one! Down a tube on one side up on the other.

#17, walk the plank=jumping into more cold water!  But I didn’t skip this time.

#18. Trench warfare=climbing through muddy tunnels

#19-second set of Berlin walls, but taller this time

#20-Wounded warrior challenge=I carry Ryan half the way and he carries me the other half.

21. Everest

22.Electroshock therapy-this wasn’t bad at all, but I think the lines were out.  I didn’t hit any but those in my group who did said they felt nothing.

And with that, 11 muddy miles later we were done!  I ran first for a blanket because I was freezing, then for my beer and t-shirt.

I was so excited to get out of my wet clothes at the end, sweatpants never felt so good!!

When we returned to our hotel, I took a long shower scrubbing for what seemed like forever to get all the mud off my legs.  As I was toweling off there was yet more dirt on the towel!! But I was just ready to eat and figured the rest would come off in the next shower (don’t judge me, I wanted food! Apart from 5 sharkies, and 1/2 a banana during the race and an apple after, I hadn’t ate since 4:30 am).

And with all that, it was totally worth it…I would do it again in a heartbeat working to improve my strength and time next go around.

Laters,

Nicole

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