- Event clothing
- tights (they have a zipper back pocket above the bum for a small pouch of endurance gel, nice!)
- tight-fitted tank top (won't weigh me down, also has a back zipper pocket for possibly a small cloth that will stay clean in case I get mud in my eyes, or whatever else)
- comfortable socks (they will be covered in mud and water. No. Matter. What. I highly doubt that any special wicking socks will make a difference here…)
- my older cross training shoes (double-knotted!!! I figure these will be garbage after the event… That's okay… I was planning on using duct tape to keep them from being sucked off of my feet from the mud, but tying them tight enough should be good…))
- fingerless gloves (no splinters or rope burn for me, please! Though I'm questioning this for the funky monkey bars… The gloves may not last the whole event...)
- energy gel packet (I've read a lot of posts where people have had the unfortunate experience of getting to a water station and there's no water left, or they simply run out of energy. I've noticed that when I'm weight training, or even on long bike rides, I need to refuel a bit after an hour or so. Seeing as this event will take a few hours to complete, I don't want to get stuck and feel like I have to quit just because I'm lacking energy. I did NOT pay the entrance fee and get all hyped up and train harder at the gym… Just to quit because I run out of energy. Not acceptable! hahaha… So energy gel it is.)
- Back pack (small - containing a towel, ID, cash, granola bars, bandaids, change of clothes - shoes, socks, undies, pants, top - to be checked in before the event, obviously. No carrying backpacks during the event!)
Friday, August 17, 2012
So I sit here, less than 24 hours away from the Tough Mudder [Toronto]. Tomorrow morning, I'm waking up at an hour I don't truly believe exists [4:30am], and getting myself psyched up and ready to go meet some of my team members for the drive up to the event.
I'm scared. I'm nervous. I'm anxious. And I'm damn excited!!!!!
The last event I was in was about 20 years ago when I was in elementary school, and heading off to a cross-country meet. I remember driving up to Centennial Park in the school bus, and getting this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was overweight when I was a kid to top it off, and an asthmatic, so the day didn't go too well. [I actually had an asthma attack at the end of the race!]
Fast-forward 20 years, and here I am. I've become healthier, gotten rid of the asthma that my doctor was confident I'd have for the rest of my life [haven't taken an inhaler in over a year!], and I've signed up for a monster of a "half-marathon" with insane obstacles that are meant to truly push one's limits. Somewhere between 12-14 miles of craziness. I'm absolutely insane for signing up for this.
To be honest, I don't feel like I've trained enough. I haven't done any of the training that they post on the Tough Mudder website. I wish I had… Although, I have done a lot of upper body training. I've even been increasing the weight that I use when doing exercises, so that's a bonus! I've also done a lot of walking with heavy bags to add to my endurance (usually just 5 km, but up to a max of 10-12 km at a time with slightly under 20 lbs in my bag). I try to keep up with going to the gym, eat healthy [yay vegan!], and maintain a good balance of cardiovascular activity. I know my biggest challenge will be running through rough terrain between obstacles, and potentially any swimming may present me with a real challenge as I haven't been in a swimming pool in a few years. I also have a fear of heights, so jumping into a "lake" from a 25 ft plank will be interesting… Actually, I'm not really any good at doing pull-ups, so a lot of these obstacles are going to be tough for me… Damn.
Seeing as this is my pre-mudder post, I'm not going to say all of what I should've done differently in training for this. For all I know, I could end up doing really well [not likely hah!], or I could end up having to walk right past some of the obstacles [like those walls you have to climb over for example]. Who knows! But, I am going into this as a "regular person" who works a 9-5 desk job [well, 10-6], and who does moderate training instead of extreme training and/or cross fit.
I have a feeling that if I somehow do this again next year, I'll prepare better for it training-wise. As I read through posts from previous Mudders, I'm thinking I should have taken up some hard core training programs. Since this is my first event like this, I'll take it as a learning experience… One thing I'm super happy about, is that the Toronto Tough Mudder is in August. It's going to be beautiful weather for an event like this, so I don't have to worry too much about freezing my butt off. Score! :) [Sorry to all of you who do this in November! I've read stories about people doing the Tough Mudder when there's snow on the ground!]
I feel like I'm mentally prepared, but again - I've never done anything like this before, so I don't really know what to expect. After looking through many (MANY) different websites and blogs about tips for surviving the Tough Mudder, I've compiled my list of essentials for the event:
What I'm packing/bringing with me on event day:
To anyone who is doing the Tough Mudder Toronto - or any other Tough Mudder events for the season, best of luck! I look forward to having matching headbands and t-shirts with all of the other participants. ;) This is going to be a crazy life experience that I never thought I'd do, and I'm so happy that I signed up for it. (I may have a different opinion by this time tomorrow though… Hah!)
It'll be cool to look back 15 year from now (or whenever) and tell my future kids/dogs/whatever about how I did all this random extreme stuff in my late 20s - early 30s. To think, just 5 years ago I never thought I'd do anything like this. It's great how life throws us curve balls and tosses us into situations where we make changes and reach for experiences we've never had. This event is almost symbolic for me, in a way - it's like my own muddy metamorphosis.
Next few items on the "bucket list" for me: sky diving, half-marathon, marathon, triathlon, cross-country cycling. All in good time…