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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Am a Tough Mudder

Fear me.

This past Saturday, I traveled across the border to Frederick, Maryland with some of my Tough Mudder teammates to participate in what can only be explained as hell on a farm. For those of you who aren't insane, let me explain. Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile race with obstacles that only Satan himself could think up. Our  run was 10 miles with 20 obstacles all along the route. Our first obstacle was actually getting TO the starting line. Traffic was horrific. What would normally take 45 minutes actually took us almost 3.5 hours. Lucky for us we all are a good-natured group of freaks and happily passed the time joking, laughing, taking pictures of Captain America as we waited in traffic (he was in the car with Wonder Woman and the Flash but they got back inside the car, they feared the paparazzi). Once we finally arrived, a full 2 hours later than our scheduled start time, we all made our way to the portapotties. Second obstacle of the day for me: drip dry. No TP in the potty. Life is rough. I was unaware of just how rough it would get.

Our team, Team Fossil, has been training with another team, the Mud Dogs, for this event since the spring.
We were ready. We came prepared. My fake husband Joseph is a veteran of the Tough Mudder, having done this one time before, so he knew exactly what we'd need. Long sleeve shirt. That was the first thing he suggested. Note in the picture above how many of us listened to him. Jason, the Fossil on the far left, is the only other one of us who chose to listen to Joseph (behind me, his hand on my shoulder) and wore long sleeves. The rest of us ended up with bloody, bruised elbows.
Team Fossil, before all hell broke loose
 Joseph also brought us trashbags, small plastic bags for our dirty clothes, he thought of everything. Well, except elbow and knee pads. Those would've helped. Anyway, I digress. Let's get to the starting line. Since traffic was so bad, crowds of people all started their race later than expected. Groups were supposed to go every 20 minutes in waves, since there were all those obstacles, thus avoiding 20,000 all trying to get into the dumpster full of ice cubes at the same time. So we went in the 12:40 wave. Count down after we all sang the National Anthem, and we're off!

We ran to the Arctic Enema. Yes, you read that right. Picture a gigantic construction dumpster, filled with freezing cold ice water, and ice cubes, to prevent the ice water from getting tepid. God forbid every man's testicles should stay outside their bodies. When I got out of there, my vajay-jay was tingly and not in the good way.

Among the other obstacles, there was the Dirty Ballerina, which was my first of many faceplants of the day. Imagine trying to leap across a 4 foot gap, getting a running start on 3 feet of sloppy mud. After my second try, a banged up knee, a banged up jaw and 7 lbs of mud in my mouth I knew this was going to be sooo much fun. I hoped the next obstacle was going through labor again!

Because this is a team event, and because I had a phenomenal team doing this with me, we got each other through this fresh hell together. Okay, they mostly got ME through it, but I did say 'good job' and 'thanks for saving my life' a whole bunch of times.

Other obstacles such as the Boa Constrictor, Electric Eel, Funky Monkey, Berlin Wall and Kiss of Mud all made for some dirty, hard, wet and dirty fun. If your idea of fun is crawling through tiny tubes, climbing over 15 foot walls, sliding on your belly under electric wires and barbed wire. Good, unclean fun. And another obstacle that we didn't count on was the thunderstorm, which caused them to close the water obstacles until the lightning passed. This thunder storm wasn't bad to run through, but it made running through the mud next to impossible. The mud was quickly becoming close to the consistency of chocolate custard, only dirtier. It was slippery, to the point of being dangerous, so when you knew it was too dangerous to run, you walked. And you walked like a drunken sailor. Wheeeeeeeee! The fun's just getting started!!

Towards the end of the run, when I weighed an extra 20 lbs due to all the mud in my pants, my bra, my hair and especially in my shoes, we came upon this obstacle: Twinkle Toes. We had to walk across a 4" wide beam, a shaky beam, with wet, muddy, slippery feet. If you fall, you go into the water. Guess what. I found my inner zen and made it all the way across! You have NO idea what an amazing feeling it was for me to take on that obstacle and get across without, once again, falling into the drink. Yay me!! Until I went to the Funky Monkey and just said screw it and jumped into the water with my teammate Keith. We both just looked at one another and jumped in. We did make it look good by at least grabbing one of the wet, slippery, muddy rungs of the monkey bars before leaping into the drink.

Team Fossil, after the apocalypse. 
This is my team. These are the people I ran through hell with, and that got me through. Was the Tough Mudder a smart idea? Judging from the bruises on my arms and legs, maybe not. Was it for a good cause? Yes, the proceeds went to the Wounded Warrior Project. Their motto: No man left behind. That was the motto of all the teams who ran. You helped whoever was near you to get through each obstacle. You held hands with strangers and pushed them up and over a wall, or helped them get down from a great height. Or you helped them out of a pool of mud or out of a tube or a dumpster full of ice water. It was team work. And it was awesome. And I'll be back next year with my team. And it'll be a blast.

Thanks Team Fossil, for rocking so hard. And thanks, Mud Dogs for letting the Fossils share from your bowl.


12 comments:

  1. naziwhackjobrunningcrackhoSeptember 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    WOW so super proud of you and your team Fossil. I mean it. I give you all the credit and kuddos kiddo for doing that crazy course. I can not wait to catch up with you and get the play by play action.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I know that it wouldn't be something you'd be up for this year with the JFK training but maybe next year? Not kidding you, I'm completely black and blue from the waist down but it was so worth it.

      T

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  2. OMG! This is awesome. I have a mud run this weekend, my absolute favorite events to participate in. I really want to do the Tough Mudder, was looking at it yesterday, need to find a team, my friends are crazy enough to even consider it.

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  3. Thanks Jules. And I HIGHLY recommend this but it's something you MOST DEFINITELY have to train for. This was my first mud run. That shit is HARD!!! Everything about the Tough Mudder was hard but then again, that's why it's called Tough Mudder and not Relatively Hard Mudder.

    Teri

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  4. That's so awesome and I'm really impressed! Makes me want to do it, except for my glasses and the need to see...

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  5. Marc don't be such a sissy. Seeing is for wussies.

    Teri

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  6. Kudos to you for doing the tough mudder!!! I was invited to be part of a team last year, but scheduling conflicts made it so I couldn't go. I think I would have died but I would love to participate in one.

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  7. Alex it did take months of training to even be close to ready for this and even with those months, there were still so many things I was ill-prepared for. You wouldn't have died. If anyone would've died on that course it would've been me. And I'm here to blog about it, so don't sell yourself short. Get yourself an amazing team, train hard, have a blast while you're doing it and enjoy the free beer afterwards!!

    Teri

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  8. Teri, you're such a bad ass. As if you didn't already know...

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    1. Awwww Jen, you're just saying that because it's true! :)

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  9. Teri, I wish I had seen you there. Our start was @ 1 o'clock and as soon as we got to the line it started pouring. I thought I was prepared but it still kicked my ass. I may be doing it again in Gerrardstown at the end of the year. I do have to say that the free beer made it all worth it. Later.

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    1. Hey Jason! We're already signed up for Gerrardstown in October!! We're doing Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

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