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My Personal Essay

on May 28, 2013

I decided I wanted to start writing about training for this Tough Mudder after my friend, Leah, started writing about training for a marathon ( Her first post was “A personal essay” so I feel like mine should be too. It may just be random thoughts, but we’ll call it an essay anyways 😉

Why a Tough Mudder?

Around the new year a lot of people make commitments about health and fitness and then don’t follow through. I’ve never really made a resolution that I REALLY was going to stick with. This year was a little different. I think I may have lost my mind. My longtime friend Amy was talking about a Tough Mudder. It seemed like some coworkers were being a bit negative. So I decided to be positive….maybe too positive. On January 7th I committed the $150 and signed up to do the Tough Mudder New England with Amy in August. I figured we’re young and have lots of time to train. We can do it!

I’m not a runner. I never have been and probably never will be. This does not mean I can’t run. My brother- he’s a runner. He ran in college. He can run far and steady. Me? I’m a slow poke. I get excited when I run a mile in less than 12 minutes.  In high school I was somewhat active. I ran indoor track and played lacrosse. I could make it through, but I was never fast and certainly not talented. The days we did a 5k or sprints in practice would kill me. Since I didn’t do any fall sports I think I never got to my full potential. Near the end of the season I would finally be getting ok with my 55m hurdle times. And I’ve had my fair share of injuries. My knees have been messed up since freshman year and I was told to stay away from running stairs and doing lunges. I would have to tape my kneecap in place most days. I’ve pulled my quad and groin (SO painful!). I had arch pain one season. I have tendinitis in both legs. In college I’d go to the gym when I had a chance, but never consistently. If I did go I’d probably just go on a elliptical with a knee brace. I would sweat, but wasn’t making myself sore. After college I worked full time in the evenings and went to grad school part time so working out was pretty much a joke. I’d try to walk when I could. That’s something I’ve always liked.

So here it is 3 years out of college and I committed a substantial (to me at least!) amount of money to running this Tough  Mudder and I had no clue where to start. I joined a brand new Planet Fitness near my apartment and started going to Zumba with my friend. Some people may laugh at Zumba, but it really does get you sweating. My teacher has so much energy it is so inspiring! Class is at 8pm–a time when I rather relax, but her energy just spreads. That first class I went to I felt like I was going to die. My legs were so sore. I could feel how dehydrated I was in my skin. It is a really fun workout.

The Tough Mudder suggested workout is circuit training. This is not really something I’ve done. I found that Jillian Michaels’ workouts really are curcuit. 3-2-1. 3 min cardio, 2 min strength, 1 min abs. I find it extremely difficult, but still think it’s not enough. The Mudder itself is about 12 miles. I have never run that far in my life. I have never wanted to run that far in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever even run 5 miles. We did 5k’s in high school, but that’s nothing compared to 12 miles! I decided I needed to work on my cardio. I have been trying to incorporate a 10 miler training guide with more strength training. I also decided I was going to run through knee pain. No brace! This may not sound smart, but it seems to be going well for now. Some days I need to take ibuprofen if I’ve run too many days in a row.

The biggest part of the Tough Mudder is being mentally tough. The course is pretty serious. I had to sign a death waiver. It’s no joke. There could be ice cold water, fire, high ledges, electric shocks. I’m somewhat convinced that Amy and I are crazy. I also think we can do it. This is a team effort and I may not be the strongest, but I certainly am ready to try. In my mind this is just about finishing together and proving we are strong. I don’t know our other teammates, but I’m still excited and confident. I’m also scared, nervous and anxious. When we first signed up I sent Amy a bracelet that reads “Progress not perfection”. I also bought myself a sign that says “good things come to those who go get them”. So I hope to be an imperfect go-getter.

I still have a lot of training left and less than 11 weeks until D-Day. I wish I’d been pushing myself more. I need to learn to push myself more. The push needs to be mental and physical. I need to be more consistent and driven. There is no can’t. There is no time for excuses.



2 responses to “My Personal Essay

  1. Leah says:

    You’re the best, Kait! I know you’ll destroy that Tough Mudder!!! You’ll be able to run 12 miles. I know it 😉

  2. Thanks Leah 🙂 I sure hope I can!

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