What is the Tough Mudder?
Per the website: "Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. As the leading company in the booming obstacle course industry, Tough Mudder has already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide and raised more than $3 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days."
Our team of 8 decided to try our hand at the Tough Mudder.
To get ready for our event:
• BF and I had been doing interval training, lots of HIIT and body weight exercises. We did not run. We did the Mudderling workout on the TM website.
• BF's brother does boxing and swimming, along with other cardio-intense workout. He would join doing interval training on the weekends.
• Other members did cross fit, and variety of gym-related exercises.
I'm not sure if any of us were 100% on point with diet. I know we certainly weren't.
Our even took place on Sat. Sept. 29 at Diablo Grande gold course in Patterson, CA. Our start time was 8:40, and we were out of the house by 5 to get there by 6:40. This is a much earlier start to the day than what we're used to....
All booths (registration, bag check, etc) were extremely organized. There wasn't much guesswork. Parking was a breeze. Only "complaint" is we had to park on dirt areas and the dust was just... ridiculous, getting everywhere, into our eyes, etc. Wetting the path MAY have helped but not much.
These photos are from the Tough Mudder website!
We had a team of 8!
Right past the start line, you can see orange smoke-- this stuff was awful and it was wafting with us as we jogged the first quarter mile or so.
The first little bit was a nice, easy job. Very little variation in terrain, everything was relatively flat. Then came the 12 foot Berlin Walls.
I did get a boost over every wall; couldn't have done it without my team.
Then came the Arctic Enema-- we somehow lucked out and didn't have to jump into the ice water-- seemed like our timing was off-- got there before they refilled the ice cubes.
So... this was more refreshing and fun than anything else :)
Down and through some barbed wire...
And then it was time for the first hill.
And my god. It doesn't look like much right now, but honestly the incline was like 60 degrees. I was completely winded by 1/3 of the way up. This was such a shockingly deceptive hill. It took me the longest time to get up; mind you this was less than a mile into the course. By the time I reached the top, I thought I was either going to barf, pass out, or some combination of both. I don't know. I could only think... oh god... what the heck did I get myself into? After about 5 minutes of taking it easy... I never felt so awful the rest of the course. So... maybe just took it to be the max too quickly? I don't know.
After another mile or so of grueling, and I mean GRUELING terrain, we came to the two by twos, and one by ones.
... really tough.
I was pressing down as hard as I could and there was no way I could have made it without proper footing, which I just wasn't getting.... so I went swimming :)
More jogging, then the mud pits:
We had been relatively clean, up to this point. After getting out of this, we were all easily walking around with 5 lbs or more of mud caked onto clothing, gravel in our shoes. It was dirty and.... really fun.
There was no shortage of camaraderie throughout; strangers helped each other and I definitely got a helping hand more than a few times :)
At this point, we were faced with another wall. Except this was much more slippery and we were starting to feel slightly tired.
I do love this sign. TM has a good sense of humor, so take it or leave it :P
More terrain navigation, and then there's the Boa Constrictor. Our version of this obstacle wasn't half flood as were some of the other sites...
The rings.. THE RINGS. MY GOD.
There were spaced out quite a bit- I was not able to reach... so.. went for another dip :)
And Funky Monkeys, notorious monkey bars!
I couldn't even reach the first bar on this one, lol. So I did the flying squirrel, made a leap for it, missed, ate it in the water below.
I just like this shot.
You had to climb up the back (15 foot wall) before jumping off the ledge. It looks way higher from above than from below. This was the one that I knew I was going to have the most trouble with. Height + water = freaked out Lisa. There were Marines at the top doing crowd control and occasionally pushing hesitant mudders in.. My legs locked and I backed up, but eventually sucked it up and just walked off. Terrifying, but very fun and rewarding once done.
Electric eel was so fun. Shocked by 10K Volts. (Felt like a pinch that also makes you unable to control your muscles momentarily, not painful really but .. shocking... haha)
Everest-- SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE!
This was the second to last obstacle and my legs were pretty shot after 10+ miles of trudging up and down crazy hills. I tried 3 times before grabbing hold of a friend who beastly bicep curled me up the ledge, lol.
Last one, electric shock again:
We were all spent. I didn't cover all the obstacles; there weren't photos of all of them online so I did not link, but this does give a good idea of what we were doing throughout the 10+ miles!
Finish, and you get your Tough Mudder headband!
The toughest part about all this: the fricken terrain.
The hills were KILLER. It was never ending up, down, up, down, up down.. etc. Those with knee problems-- going downhill is tough because you have to take it slow or else feel extreme knee pain. Luckily I have good knees but 3 members of our team were not as lucky.
We were doing these, the whole time:
The little dots are people; us! :) Love this shot because it really gives some perspective. Distance covered by this shot is maybe half a mile? Maybe...
All in all, this was an AWESOME experience. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to get out, have some fun with good company. It's not a competition (unless if you really want it to be)... but you can make it what you want. The people are friendly. The event was VERY well organized. The Tough Mudder staff takes good care of you; water, bananas, little snacks along the way and first aid stations and medics on call.
Most importantly, you feel accomplished. All around just... so positive and happy that you conquered this beast.
Excellent team building exercise, for those of you looking to build camaraderie amongst coworkers or what not.
I was deathly sore the next day. I would say everyone on our team was above average shape, but I know that I personally have a lot of room for development. We are signed up for the Spartan Race in November so harder training is in order! For those of you who do cross-fit; I think you guys are in good shape to tackle this! We are going to add in more hill/trail running to our workout regime to get better prepped.
Please leave me any questions/comments below and I will get back to you!
Thanks for coming by and reading about our adventure :)