Tough Mudder x 3

This weekend was the Tough Mudder event, which happens to hold a special place in my heart because this was my first ever OCR event that I did, in turn it kick started my crazy running addiction and healthier lifestyle.  I have to make a point to run this every year.   This year was slightly different however, I volunteered at a race for the first time ever.

Volunteering is the most humbling experience you could have at a race.  You meet so many people and all of whom are truly amazing.  Watching others from the outside looking in attempting this awesome race gave me more insight as to how many people are motivated or inspired for one reason or another.   So many people come out to do this race for a cause, no matter what that may be.  Watching the wounded warriors run the course was especially touching.  These men and women were injured protecting our freedoms, and were injured.  They came out anyway to run the race and finish.  Some with missing legs or arms, but they finished and didn’t complain at all throughout the day.   Yes our bodies may hurt running a race like this but do it for them, run and take that for a few hours.   High fiving and finishing the race was one of the best things ever, motivating and encouraging people along the way.

I had the opportunity to run with a new team of people, since I wasn’t able to run with my Velocity peeps on Saturday.   It was great to run with Colorado Obstacle Racers!

Every race for me is a battle one way or another.   I have weaknesses in my athletic abilities that I know cause struggles for me throughout races.  Tough Mudder was no different, my body was not happy with me after being on my feet for 12 hours on Saturday volunteering.  I was going to have to deal with that and very little sleep in order to make it through the race.  The race started off up the ski slope and we began our mile run to the first obstacle.  The first mile, I felt great as I supported my team and we made it to the Artic Enema.  The huge dumpster of ice cold water and ice.   Its a mental challenge, and its just cold water.  I had been challenge to donate and do the ALS challenge again, so why not do it OCR way ?? The first few miles I felt great even going up a hill, my hips were happy and body was actually enjoying this.   Tough Mudder always has ended up being difficult for me in one way or another but this year felt completely different.  As we neared mile 4, my calves were not happy and cramping as we were stopping and taking breaks, and Heather was with me in that regard.  It was at this point that we made the decision I couldn’t take big breaks like that and had to continue on.   Then the rain and snow came.   Nothing like a little bit of Colorado weather to make the race all the more interesting.

The storm quickly passed and Heather and I continued on.  I have to commend Heather though, she was just coming back from having pneumonia and was at Tough Mudder racing.  That takes a lot and isn’t easy.   The rest of the race produced a lot of hill climbing.  Colorado races are well known for the altitude change.  Let’s climb up a ski slope for fun! It will be fun they said!  As we trucked on through the race we reached the top of the mountain, where I was greeted by my cheering squad Cheri and group!  I didn’t realize they had seen me until going under the barrels in the lake at the top of the ski slope.   Heather and I were reaching the point of delirium, where I am pretty sure we thought EVERYTHING was funny.  At least we were having a good time.

The mud mile was next, trust me not a short person friendly obstacle.  Lots of mud and really high walls to climb over, wooo !! Despite being short and having mud up to my boobs, I made it over all the walls of mud but the last one, really over 6 feet tall to get out?  Yeah that was going to be fun, a gentleman offered to help me and I was going to have Heather give me a boost from in the pit.  However Hercules over here decided to just yank me out ramming my knee into a rock, and throwing me out of the pit like a rag doll.  That was fun.  He did the same thing to Heather, we had matching injured knees.   At this point I was covered in mud, and a lot of it.  But wait electrocution was coming, say what?   This obstacle required you to go under a log with electrical wires and go into another mud/water pit.   I thought ok it can’t be that bad its just a few wires.  Ohh it gave me a few good hits, pretty sure my screams let everyone know that.

Walk the plank was next.  Had to do this one since I needed to clean off some.  Nothing like jumping off a 15ft high platform into muddy water.   It was actually refreshing and I lost most of my mud.   More hill climbing and going back down to continue.  At this point both Heather and I decided discussing our bruises and how many Facebook likes we could get from the pictures was a good topic to discuss.   Apparently when running a race and you are tired and deliroious you don’t realize you have been talking about the same thing for quite some time.  Until a guy pointed it out and asked why we were still talking about the bruises.

Cliffhanger, was like the incline but evil.   Good thing we practiced carrying a log up a hill the weekend before because it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.  We kept looking back for the rest of the group but never saw them, had to keep moving.  The discussions you have while going up and down hills.  It’s quite entertaining.  I am pretty sure that everyone thought Heather and I were crazy, but eh its not any fun being normal.

We had orginally planned on running back down the mountain, but with Hercules killing the knees that wasn’t going to happen.  At this point, my knee was a good three times the size it should have been,  yeah that’s going to leave a mark.   We took our time, enjoyed random what you are going to have for dinner conversations.  Best idea I have heard to date is that you put a hamburger and bacon in between a grilled cheese sandwich, sounded amazing when i was running at least.

An awesome thing about this race is that if it weren’t for Hercules, I am pretty sure I would have been able to run this without any problems.  Do you know how amazing that feels?  To run a race without being in pain because your body is fighting against you and what you are doing.  That just proves a point to me.  I FINALLY have the upper hand and am not going to let that go any time soon.

As we descended the mountain of fun, Tough Mudder had a sign that said something about burpees and how they don’t have them at this race.  Well, we decided we needed to do some burpees at the sign just because.   More racers were coming down the hill and go “UGHHH, Spartan racers!”  Yep that was amazing!   Not sure if the headband incident or this was the best moment out of the race.

We were almost done!  As we neared the finish line, relief swept over both of us.   As we crossed the finish line we saw Laura and Martha.  We had finished.  I beat lupus again and will continue to do so.  I am not stopping any time soon.

I got my picture with Sean at the end of the race as we have a great friend in common.   That was the icing on the cake.

I am stubborn and it took some convincing but Laura made me go to the medical tent to have the knee wrapped at least, so we could make it home. Glad I did 🙂

Ironically this race wasn’t as big of a challenge as I had expected it to be for me and the lupus.  It was an amazing feeling knowing I was able to make it through and not have to fight the demons of the lupus.  Cheri made the comment about this at the end of the race, that compared to the first year were I barely crossed the finish line, this year was amazing! And she has a point.  I have come far in my battle, and have much further to go!

Heather I have to thank you for an amazing race and having a great time.  We made the race interesting and pretty sure our laughing at everything and anything actually helped others.

Laura, girl you are an inspiration.  I know it was hard not to be able to race this year, but I want you to know that you are a rock for me.  You are truly amazing and I am so glad that we have become best friends! We will find another Tough Mudder to do soon!  I will go with you! Oh wait we have Vegas race coming up too, so excited to run with you!

Cheri, you being at my race means the world to me.  You have been there and watched every single Tough Mudder I have done and the support is always amazing and I appreciate it.  Its always nice to see and welcoming face at the top of the hill or when I cross the finish line.  Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be there for me, it meant the world to me.  Maybe one day I will get you to run 🙂

Next up on the plate, I get to fly to Napa to run Ragnar in California.  Pretty sure after all the training I have done here in Colorado, running at basically sea level is going to be epic.  Oh and I get to see the ocean, considering I have never done that in my adult life.

This had truly been the year of new experiences, with traveling for racing and making new adventures.  I wouldn’t have it any other way. 10689630_952906740821_713280267737693662_n 10592712_953460740601_7956708349510688830_n 10636424_1431003140472624_2395953919245330489_o 1912428_1431003273805944_456187912335508357_o 10658700_1431003293805942_5815127734286029551_o 10636386_1431003363805935_7105461030410813071_o 10669247_1431003083805963_2633480919436132439_o 10649452_953576159301_1560996607298661026_n 10635836_953645674991_402711861068813474_n

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