So it is Monday. Hip Hip HOORAH! Just kidding not really excited about it being Monday BUT I do have some really good news. So this weekend I partook in my first Tough Mudder as well as my first Powerlifting competition. Without further ado, lets get into it!
Saturday Morning I woke up BEYOND excited. My first Tough Mudder. A 10-12 mile race to be held at the luxurious Gunstock Mountain. Prior to the race while eating my breakfast, I must have watched the TM promotional video like 20 times haha After seeing that numerous times, I could hardly wait to get out on the trails.
The race was about 1&1/2 HR drive from where I live. Temperatures were expected to be in the mid 90’s and very high humidity. Truth be told I would much rather high heat for one of these races over rain. Nothing is worse then dealing with mud while in the rain. On the drive up to the mountain I drank literally half a gallon of water on top of a 36 OZ Powerade Zero. Dehydration would NOT slow me down!
Finally we got there an I entered the line for registration. Music was blasting, people were everywhere and I was sweating a TON. I attribute the sweat partially to nerves but the 90+ degree weather wasn’t helping haha. After about 15 minutes everything was finally set and I was in the clear. It was 9:50 AM and my heat wasn’t till 10:45. I was far to ancy to sit around so I immediately began to stretch and near the starting line to partake in the 10 AM heat. Before I knew it, I was already climbing the first hill.
The emphasis on the website as well as in person is that the Tough Mudder is not a race, rather a challenge. Therefore they do not keep an official time nor do runners “place.” Thankfully, I knew that we started right at 10AM so I had a time to ballpark my finish.
Now me explaining this event is going to be very messy and I apologize for that. Anyways, right off the bat we had to scale a major hill. Little did I know, but this would be the theme for essentially the entire race. Up Hill, Down hill, and up hill, and down hill. I was blown away. Miles 1-3 were strictly climbing and descending hills. This early in the run though, I didn’t much mind it. After the first 3 miles, finally we got some flat land running. Here I felt that I really picked up speed. The temperature was so hot! I was sweating bullets. Also, the first two obstacles involved us Army crawling through mud under barb wire. My custom “Chasing The Top” Under Armour T was covered haha.
I would say that miles 3-6 stayed relatively flat. This was nice, enjoying some flat trail running through the woods. At the end of mile 6, I encountered the famous “arctic plunge.” Here you dive into a storage unit filled with ice cold water. On a normal occasion, this phenomenon probably would have seemed uncomfortable. In the circumstances we were in, the arctic plunge didn’t seem bad at all! Rather refreshing in my opinion, WIN! Anyways the race still had a lot of distance to cover so I needed to keep moving!
Moving into mile 7-11, things got hilly again. This time though, the hills were STEEEP. I’m talking like you had to walk up them they were so steep. It was absurd looking up and seeing the amount of hill left ahead of you. With the heat and the incline, other participants were dropping left and right from injuries, muscle cramps, or dehydration. My quads and calves were on fireeeeee throughout these last few miles from walking all these trails. When we finally got to the top of the hill, we would either be rewarded with a water station or with an obstacle, then right back down again.
One occasion stands very clear still in my mind. We had just passed the mile 10 marker, I figured we were just about finished. We ran down a hill and back into the crowded festivities (near the marked finish line). We tackled an obstacle that required jumping over 8 foot tree logs and finally I thought we were finished. I was so happy as I rounded a corner thinking this was the home stretch. All this only to realize we had to climb the hill again. I went from happy to PISSED in a matter of 2 seconds. On the last climb I started to feel a bit woozy myself. Finally we reached the top, came back down, and made it to the finish line. I HAD CONQUERED THE TOUGH MUDDER!
My unofficial time was around 3 hours and 15 minutes and the course ran a little over 11 miles. I was SOOOOOO hungry, thirsty and tired following the race. I must have sweat off like 5 pounds of water weight if that’s even possible. On the ride home from the race, I knew in my mind that the weekend was still far from over. I had a deadlifting competition staring me in the face.
Sunday morning I woke up exhausted. My knees were killing me from all the terrain the day before. I just kept telling myself, mind over matter. I fueled up with my normal breakfast of egg whites and oats. BOOM competition time. The way the competition worked was you scored based on pounds lifted over bodyweight. I weighed in at 173 LB. Now you get 3 lifts, if you succeed on the lift, you move up. If you fail on a lift, you are stuck with that weight you failed on. You need to be very careful choosing your numbers because you don’t want to overshoot it and fail on your first attempt, only to be stuck with that weight all 3 attempts. You also don’t want to undershoot yourself and knock out your 3rd lift with more left in the tank.
Anyways, after warmups, the game was on! My opening lift was 330. I got this easy. I was pretty nervous because I did not know how my body would react from deadlifts post Tough Mudder. Truth be told, the competitive nature really got the best of me and I felt really good mechanics wise. For my second lift, I went after my PR of 405. I nailed that. FOr my 3rd and final attempt in the competition, I went with 420. I was really very anxious about this lift. I actually walked outside for a little bit and really collected my thoughts and channeled a great deal of positivity towards the lift. Go time, 420, let’s do this. “Grab bar, pull up, lock out, return….NEW PR” So I finished the meet with a difference of 247 pounds. I THOUGHT I had the competition won as the math was being performed, but unfortunately I didn’t win 😦 THEY DID THOUGH allow lifters to perform another lift if one would so choose. I elected to keep going at the deads. 430 this time “Grab bar, pull up, lock out, return…..PR! Overly ambitious Jon decided to push it one more time, this time 450. Unfortunately I only got 450 to the top of my shins before dropping it. NEXT TIME!
All in all, AWESOME weekend. I had so much fun at both the Tough Mudder and the Deadlifting competition. Both of these events REALLY tested me mentally and physically and I LOVE that! I still feel like I am recovering from those two events. My body is so tired and sore now two days later LOL. I cannot thank you guys enough for the support through this page and the facebook page! THANKS. I look forward to the next challenge ahead. Please please please please! Go out and sign up for something that will push you to your limit! Embrace the call and thrive under that pressure and you will receive such a great rush of gratitude for yourself and your actions! AWESOME feeling 🙂 All in a days work when your CHASING THE TOP!
Let’s Keep Pushing!