Tough Mudder Tuesday #4

It has been a rough few weeks for training between what is going on at school and some personal things. I have not run in over a week, and probably only ran once in the week prior to that. I have, however, been strength training a bit here and there. I finally got out this morning; it certainly didn’t feel great while running but it’s always the minute I get home and catch my breath. The problem is I haven’t been running consistently enough to feel great during my runs. Tomorrow marks a month until the race, which gives me about 30 days to train. I’ve read very mixed messages about how to train. Some people say run, run, run. Other people say focus on the lifting. My educated guess is that running is less important than strength and/or muscle endurance because obstacles are generally only .5-1 mile apart. Some obstacles, from what I’ve read, will have short waits (a.k.a. recovery time) if there is some backup. It also appears that people take rests at water stations. So in my mind, the ability to run 11 miles straight comfortably isn’t key to finishing this event. I’ve read being able to comfortably run 3-5 miles will do just fine (the website suggests 5-7).

What I’m most nervous about (oddly) is the frigid water. In LITERALLY (yes, the ‘L’ word) every single one of the blog posts I’ve read about the Tough Mudder, people relay their accounts of the absolute shock of the water temperature. Multitudes of people around them panicking and being pulled out by lifeguards, some being hospitalized. So during my shower two weeks ago, I turned the water all the way cold…

My lungs immediately felt like they had collapsed and I started to hyperventilate. Five seconds in and I was dizzy and I had to turn the water back to warm. I imagine that my water at its coldest is probably 15-20 degrees warmer than the water at Tough Mudder. It occurred to me then that the water might be what kills this race for me. So I started training… Each weekday (I treat myself on weekends) I start my shower with slightly cold water. The moment I adjust, I drop the temperature. And again. And again. I’m almost able to handle the totally cold water. It’s surprisingly invigorating and I feel warmer when I get out of the shower. I do know that I won’t have time to adjust when I’m leaping into a pond of 30 degree water, but I’m going to try and slowly lower my starting temperature until I can deal with cold water. Period.

I can’t believe it’s a month away. My team of 12 has suffered some setbacks and injuries, and some people seem less than prepared, so it seems we’ll all be struggling together. I guess that’s the point though, isn’t it?

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