Tough Mudder Review
I rose before the sun on that morning, swiping my marker across the number 14 on my calendar. It was the morning of Tough Mudder, April 14th. “Am I ready?” I asked myself this question a hundred times. No matter how many videos one views on YouTube of a Tough Mudder challenge, nothing can quite prepare one for the physical endurance as well as the mental stamina required to make it through an event of this caliber. I was nervous and excited. What obstacles would I face on the course? I knew of and dreaded the Arctic Enema (A huge tank filled with ice water and green dye that requires complete submersion) as well as the Electric Eel (This obstacle entails crawling through water underneath dangling, live wires each containing 10,000 volts of electricity). I was aware that not all of the obstacles are disclosed before the event, but I had a general idea of what was to be expected and prepared myself as best as I could. I attend Lifestyle Fitness; and four months prior to the event, I increased the length and intensity of my workouts. I ran 5 miles on the treadmill every other day; and on the days in between.
Just running on a treadmill, even with the incline adjusted, will not properly prepare one to tackle these hills. I would greatly suggest going on several hikes or running up and down hills at a local park prior to the competition.
We drove the two hours to Beatty from Las Vegas listening to upbeat music and eating bananas. It is best to eat 2-3 hours before any major athletic endeavor. Eat a light carbohydrate and protein rich breakfast and drink plenty of water, Gatorade, or coconut water. Peanut butter toast, a banana, and a slice of ham or turkey are an excellent meal choice.
Preparation for a mud runner does not just include an adequate breakfast and months of training it also requires proper clothing. I chose my attire carefully. With much research and debate I settled on Nike Pro Capris: they were form fitting without being restricting and went just below my knees to protect them while I crawled. I chose a Nike Dri-Fit tank to wear as I prefer to go sleeveless; however, I did wear gloves. There are many conflicting ideas on whether gloves are a help or hindrance during mud runs; but as for me, I would not have been able to escape some of the obstacles unscathed had it not been for them. I wore Under Armour Utility Gloves which boasted breathable, mesh palms and rubber grips. I saw one pair of discarded gloves on the entire course. Although they may not be helpful to everyone, I know that gloves were an appropriate choice for me. Another very important article of clothing that is often overlooked is a choice of socks. I wore Nike Women’s Dri-Fit socks that claimed to be anti-blister, which performed as advertised. I never thought of my feet the entire mud run. The socks coupled with my Nike In Season TR2 Training Shoes created a feeling of jogging on puffs of clouds. I would highly recommend wearing a nice pair of shoes that have been broken in during training. This will prevent any ankle rolling and blistered feet.
Having earned the title of a Mud Runner Gal, I would say that Tough Mudder was quite difficult; yet, it was an irreplaceable memory that gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. I would recommend this type of challenge to anyone that desires to push himself to the limit. I have never experienced such an atmosphere of camaraderie amongst strangers. There were very few hurdles in which I did not have a fellow mud runner assist me or ask how I was doing. There are obstacles constructed to be impossible to overcome without help from another mud runner. Inadequacies and weaknesses should not hinder attempting any race or challenge of this type. The goal is not to be the first across the finish line; the goal in these events is to work as a team to edify one another and complete the nearly impossible. Do not miss out on a chance to be a mud runner. I will continue to challenge myself in these events for the foreseeable future.
-Mud Runner Gal (Beck Rajkowski)