Less than two weeks to go and I’m finally kicking my ass into gear. I’ve been lifting, running, or biking almost every day and I’m feeling a little more confident (though not much). My only hope is that I’m not the slowest on my 11-person team. I am not in prime shape for this event, and I know that I will not be on race day, I just want to be able to keep moving. I’ll certainly be taking advantage of any lulls or breaks before obstacles, and surely at water stations. Though my concerns change literally every day, at the moment they are calf-cramps (which I’ve never had a problem with before, but I hear is prevalent in this kind of event), and ankle sprains (am I paranoid, or what?).
I’m still taking cold showers each day, which have been unbelievably refreshing. Turning the knob to 100% cold seemed impossible during cold shower #1, and just a few weeks later, it’s the most pleasurable and confidence-boosting part of the shower. I never, ever thought I’d say that a cold shower felt good, and I still won’t. I would say they feel amazing. Since I learned to coach myself through them and slow my breathing, it seems almost as if I’m tricking my brain into thinking it’s not cold water. An oddly powerful feeling accompanies that ability to trick and/or self-regulate my body’s reactions. I feel like David Blaine.
I’m getting pumped and scared simultaneously, but overall I’m excited and anxious. One thing is sure: it will be quite an experience. I hope somebody takes pictures!
I’m another week closer to the race and getting nervous. I ran four days for 30 mins in the past week, but it’s not quite enough. I need to ease myself into a long run once a week until I’m at about the 5-6 mile range (which they recommend despite the 12-mile race distance because the obstacles will break up the continuity), but I’m running out of time. There’s just two and a half months left and I’m still struggling find time for training 5 days a week. When I did train this week, it was strictly cardio; I haven’t strength trained all week. I’m more nervous about being in shape for the distance anyway. The worst case scenario is I have to bypass an obstacle because I lack the strength to complete it, but if I can’t keep up with my team during the running, it’s all a lost cause. And so I head into a new week of training…
My goal this week is to train 5 days. Three days will be my standard 30 minute run, one day will be 30 minutes of cycling (trying to avoid the stress injuries that littered my track & field career), and one day will be a longer run of 40 minutes.
Wednesday: 30 min. run
Thursday: 30 min. run
Saturday: 30 min. run
Sunday: 30 min. cycling
Monday: 40 min. run
I cannot lie (it would defeat the purpose of this weekly post). It was a bad week for training. I ran 30 minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then foolishly took a rest day on Thursday. I did not, however, consider what my weekend would be like. One of my closest friends from undergrad (coming from eight hours away) paid a weekend visit. I hadn’t seen him in over a year (more specifically, the last time I saw him was departing on separate flights from Frankfurt, Germany for the U.S., concluding our second European adventure). This visit, unfortunately, resulted in a poor excuse of a training weekend. Instead I spent the weekend hitting city clubs and catching up (I even skipped church, much to my own disappointment). I hope that this week holds some better training!
The more I think about the challenge of this race, the more nervous I get that I will be unprepared. I almost certainly will be if I don’t stick rigidly to my routine. I’m on a team of 12 participants, and although we will aim to stick together whenever possible, it seems likely that we will eventually split into two or three groups depending on skill and endurance. My goal is to be in the top group of my team (if a split actually does occur). The only way that will happen is if I keep staring at that poster in front of my treadmill that screams
JUST DO IT.
I’ve decided to post weekly updates on my training for the Tough Mudder race I recently registered for. My hope is that I’ll be able to both reflect on my training, but also keep myself motivated. So here is how things are going so far:
I spent the first few weeks of training building up my endurance in various exercises. So far I’ve been doing cardio just 3 or 4 times (more often 3) a week. I alternate days between running (25-30 minutes at a 7:30-7:45/mi pace) and cycling (~30 minutes, alternating high and moderate resistance). I strength train with weights 2-3 times a week doing this circuit provided by Tough Mudder, minus the first running exercise because of my other cardio work.
Despite this routine, I’m not yet satisfied with the effort I’m putting into my training. I feel that I should really be doing cardio 5x a week, as what I’m training for is nearly a half-marathon with 25 physically-demanding obstacles. I remained unconcerned about the physical strength required for the course because I’m (thankfully) gifted with natural upper-body strength (it helps that I don’t weigh much). So I should be focusing more on getting in great aerobic shape. I’m running on a team with 10 others, and my biggest concern is not being able to keep up with them, or at least the top-tier of them. I don’t know how hard they’re training, but I worry I’m not doing enough. I’m hoping that this weekly post will motivate me more (as I’ll be reporting specifics on my workouts).
As a side note, Tough Mudder runners raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that provides support and services to wounded war veterans. If you’re interested in donating, let me know and I can personally send you the appropriate link.
That’s all for now, folks.