I ran the Michigan Tough Mudder event on June 30th. It was awesome. While we didn’t break any course records for time, I was definitely near the top of the “Mud Consumed per Obstacle” charts.
For anyone not familiar with Tough Mudder, here’s a brief intro:
I felt this was my first true test of my year of CrossFit training, and I have to say, it seems to have paid off. I had only two issues. First, the running. The back half of the course was long, and had long distances between many of the obstacles. I had never ran more than 2 miles or so in one day. basically Murph is the longest I ever run. And 12 miles is just f-ing far. So I ended up doing a mix of run/jog/walk for the second half.
The second issue, and the bigger one, was all mental. Every one of these obstacles is more than doable, but my brain kept getting in the way. I would freak myself out, sometimes for good reason, other times not so much. On the Boa Constrictor obstacle, as you near the bottom, you are forced to get your mouth and nose under the water, and I was not ready for that shock. My mind went into “you are drowning” mode, and I had to back up a foot or two (in the tube) to collect myself before I could shut my brain off long enough to muscle down into the water. And the reward for that, was having to do it going up the other side. That was rough on my brain.
The Funky Monkey also got me. The bars near the platform were very slick from all the mud and water from previous people’s attempts. So as soon as I got going, my brain said “there’s no way you can do this”, and I had that in my head as I started across. I think I made it about a third of the way, and after those first few bars, they were no longer slick, as not that many people made it that far, but my brain kept telling me “you’re gonna drop after this one”. I needed to get myself to shut the F up and just attack this thing. This is the only obstacle I wish I had back, and is a big part of my motivation to get out there and do this whole damn thing again.
These mental challenges were something I had thought about going in, and was hoping to make some gains here. And I think the Tough Mudder really paid off. I definitely feel stronger for having done this. Learning CrossFit at HyperFit definitely has helped my mental toughness…doing Kettlebell Thrusters is no joke, but it’s nothing like this type of an event. It’s also strangely addicting. The day after Tough Mudder, I signed up for GoRuck Light. Who’s with me???