Something In Training

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Post Tough Mudder

Wow. We did it. We finished the Tough Mudder! It may not have been fast, but it’s not a race so I don’t care. I may not have been great at all the obstacles, but I tried them. And that’s all that counts.

The Tough Mudder was an amazing, fun, challenging experience. It was so wonderful to see so many people reaching out to give a stranger a hand. We had many people offer us food and beer while on the mountain.

While we were going and reflecting after we kept saying “next time” so here are some thoughts for next time…

First, more sunscreen, especially for lips. I wore my normal face sunscreen instead of putting extra waterproof on and burned my nose and cheeks a bit. But what really hurt was my lips…so bring chapstick with sunscreen!

Second, long sleeves and capris are a MUST. I was so glad I wore capris, but I wore a tee instead of sleeves and my arms got very cut up. I saw some people with sleeves that you can wear with a tank. I think that’s a good option.

Third, bring water and energy. I definitely would wear a camalback and bring some powerbars. It turns out we weren’t fans of Gu. They only had bananas and water on the course which would have been ok if I liked bananas! I ended up very exhausted.

Fourth, know what you’re getting into! We all knew there would be hills, but we didn’t realize we’d be going straight up and down a mountain 4-5 times. We found the obstacles a nice break from the grueling mountain. We all wished we’d been hiking lots for practice.

Fifth, try what you can, but skip what you need to and have fun!!!! The only event I didn’t attempt was the monkey bars. I knew I wasn’t ready for them yet…Next time I will be!!! With Everest (the half pipe) I gave myself 3 tries. I almost made it on the second–holding on to my teammate, but not the right position. I was so proud of myself when I made it up with their help on the third attempt! It was where I got my worst bruises (hips, knee, breast), but it was worth it!

And don’t let anyone fool you. The Arctic Enema sucks. But it is also pretty badass to say you jumped in a tub of ice water. Be prepared for cold feet! It will wear off pretty fast–just keep moving!

Can’t wait to get a group of friends together for this event next year!

 

Everest Tough Mudder Elec Eel Tough Mudder Team

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Tough Mudder is too SOON

I haven’t written in a while….busy  busy busy!

Last night we got our Tough Mudder time and info. We’re all pretty disappointed to find our start time is 1:20pm! If we’re not halfway by 4:30 we’ll be kicked off the course. I’m worried that it will be crowded so the obstacles will take a long time.

I’m so nervous and excited I don’t know what to do with myself! I know I shouldn’t push it too hard at the gym anymore, but I still think I might not be prepared.

 

In the end I know we really only need to keep a pace of 3.5mph and we can do that! Even if we have to carry each other! NO MUDDER LEFT BEHIND!

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Back to Work

Less than 5 weeks until the Tough Mudder! Oh man!!!!! I’m so nervous. I spent the last 2 weeks traveling for work and need to get back on track. I only worked out 4 times while traveling. That was not nearly enough! Plus I need to start pushing myself much harder. Go go go!

 

My goal for this week is to wake up 30-45 mins early and go for a run. This would be in addition to working out in the evening. Let’s hope I can stick with it!

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Work or Work Out?

Last week I drove over 1000 miles from Philly to Providence to Hartford to Gettysburg to Bucknell to Gettysburg to Bethlehem to Philly–and some places in between! Saturday was great I worked out with my teammate at her gym near Hartford. Monday and Tuesday I was good–getting a workout in before getting on the road for afternoon meetings. But then it all fell apart. I didn’t even remember to bring my shoes Wednesday! Friday I took a day of vacation and I just didn’t get back to the gym until last night. That’s almost a week without a workout! I feel terrible about it. Especially since Saturday marked the 8 week countdown.

I’m worried that work is getting in the way of my workouts! I have two conferences in a row from June 23-July 2 which will make these next crucial weeks of training difficult. I am determined to push myself harder these last weeks–even if I am on a plane!  Does anyone have tips for working out and traveling? I’m not a good packer! LOL

Today I’m determined to go to the gym after Zumba and do arms because my friend beasted me on arms! Gotta pump that iron!

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Listen to your body

I’ve been really busy the past 2 weeks, but I’m trying to stay on top of training. I’m also working on listening to my body. Last week I did 2 workouts in one day and then tried to do my long run the next day. It was torture. My hamstring was killing me. The run was turned into more of a walk and I didn’t make my 6 mile goal. I took 2 days off after that (mainly because I had to travel for work). I walked a lot, but didn’t push myself. I could still feel the strain in my hamstring while walking uphill. Saturday I was back at it. In the gym with my friend and we pushed each other. My arms were so sore Sunday (and still are!). I need to work on my arms more! I got in some Jillian Michaels this morning and I could feel the burn in my arms. I’m not sure if I should rest another day or workout again tomorrow. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what my body tells me in the morning 🙂

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Small Successes

I want to celebrate the small successes. Last night I really wanted to clean my apartment instead of going to the gym. My boyfriend convinced finally me to actually go. My small goal for this week was to run/elliptical/treadmill 5 miles–hopefully in an hour. Even though I didn’t go to the gym until 9pm I ended up pushing through on the elliptical and getting to 5 miles in exactly an hour. 

I started out too slow and felt quite dehydrated, but as I got closer and closer to the hour mark I pushed harder and harder. In the last few minutes I went from 6mph to 9mph to push myself to the 5 miles. The 5 minute cooldown felt to great after that.

I feel a little bad that I didn’t do any strength training, but I needed to get some sleep! I stretched and rewarded myself with a bit of ice cream 🙂 

 

Hooray! Next week let’s see if I can make it to 6 miles!

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Thoughts About Food

I love food. I have a huge sweet tooth. Food fuels us so it’s really important when training your body. I keep thinking about where my food is coming from.

 

I recently read an article about neonicotinoids which are pesticides that are killing the bees. Bees pollinate crops which grow and we eat. Without the bees there’s no us. There’s also a lot out there about genetically modified plants. They may not be good for you. Also, 2 summers ago for school I read a book about copyright (I’ll have to look up the title later). In the book the author talks about patented seeds that are genetically modified. Some of them are modified to not reproduce the next year so that farmers have to buy the seeds again and again. It is so messed up and frightening. This is not the way our ancestors lived.

 

I used to think people who only eat meat they’ve hunted are strange. But the more and more I think about it the more and more I feel like that’s better for their bodies. I was watching that Alaska The Last Frontier show this weekend and those people sustain themselves off what they grow, hunt and fish for. It is amazing.

 

I follow Tone It Up (www.toneitup.com) and those trainers are all about eating “lean, clean and green.” I’ve been debating for a few weeks about buying their nutrition plan which is all “lean, clean and green”. It is $150 for a lifetime membership which is why I haven’t gotten it yet. I’m concern that I won’t like all the food they suggest, but I feel like they have the right idea. More and more I want to eat less processed foods. Organic foods. Fresh, clean foods. This will help my body stay strong.

 

I’m glad to say Wednesday is the farmer’s market by work. You better believe I’m heading over there shortly to get some fresh produce!

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My Personal Essay

I decided I wanted to start writing about training for this Tough Mudder after my friend, Leah, started writing about training for a marathon (http://runlastmile.wordpress.com/). 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.

GoodThingsCome

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