Shock, Drop and Roll

I'm refraining from posting my regular weekend update today, mostly because it was pretty tame. Friday was one of the more miserable days of my life as I couldn't stop sneezing/coughing/blowing my nose. Saturday's highlights included a trip to the minute clinic, followed by Ashley's going away party. I'm sure you can imagine how that went for me based on last week's blog post. Sunday was the Chicago Marathon but I remained captive to my bed, getting up long enough to cook some chili and pumpkin bread.

(Hold on. I'm watching the Real Housewives of New York reunion and I can't even focus.) Holy moly. These yahoos are all hot messes.

Speaking of hot messes, it's the time you've all been waiting for: The Tough Mudder Recap.

One thing is for sure: Tough Mudder is One Tough Mother.

It was everything I knew it would be: grueling, scary and rewarding. It was also everything I didn't expect it to be: physically possible for me to complete and ... fun.
 My husband and I after finishing.

Yes, I said fun. You heard it here, folks: Tough Mudder, "the most challenging event on the planet," was fun. (Nearly) all 11 miles, 20 obstacles and 3 hours 15 minutes of it. Everyone on our team finished and everyone completed and/or tried to complete every obstacle. Even me, who decided before I even started the race that I wasn't completing any challenges that involved heights or that threatened my safety.

I didn't remember that I decided those things before scaling 12-15 ft walls, climbing 20-ft spider webs, hiking up hills at a 45-degree angle, jumping off a 15-ft platform, swimming through ice water or running through a field of live wires waiting to shock me.
This is me, jumping from said 15-foot platform into a cold abyss. What 29-year-old plugs her nose? This girl.

I'd say for me, the race definitely much more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Don't get me wrong: I definitely relied on my male teammates to help me get over walls, I wasn't even close to crossing TWO monkey bars, and I most certainly wouldn't have completed "Everest" without three dudes pulling—no, hoisting—me over the edge.
That's not me, just the obstacle. The pipe was greased, and we were muddy, wet and exhausted. Not easy.

But a lot of it was simply mustering the courage to try something that intimidated me or telling myself to pick up my legs and keep moving. As my teammates and I were running along mile 9 or something stupid, when we were all exhausted and it felt like we were running with body weights—oh yes, that would be the mud caked in EVERYWHERE, combined with the water in my shoes—I let them in on a secret.

"Has anyone seen Finding Nemo?" I asked. "Yes," they all panted. "You know how Dorie says, "just keep swimming, just swimming..." I go on. "Yes," they respond, waiting for my point. "Just keep running, just keep running..." I laughed. And so we did.

This is us at the start of the race. Happy.

I'm taking a page from my teammate and fellow blogger, Beth (pictured above) and going to do a little Q&A:

What was the worst obstacle for you?
Electroshock therapy. Beth said it best that day: You know those cartoons when someone gets electrocuted and you can see their skeleton? That's exactly what it felt like. 10,000 volts of electricity is no joke. That shit hurts. You can literally feel it in your bones.

I ran through at full force, only to have a wire shock me so violently near the beginning, it brought me to my knees. TO MY KNEES, people. And then, I couldn't get up because every time I did, I just got shocked and dropped. Again and again and again. Shock, drop and roll, baby. I fell so hard I cut open my friggin' knee. Enjoy these "official" photos. (Excuse the quality on some, I "borrowed" them from the event site without buying them.)

A close second was the Arctic Enema, where you have to jump into an ice bath, submerge yourself long enough to swim under a wooden plank and then swim to the other side.

That's my "Holy &(*&(^&^ this water is cold!" face.

And your favorite obstacle?
Tough to say. I really liked the ones that involved mud, actually. There was one called the Mud Mile, that required wading through waist-deep mud and then having to climb up a muddy hill...up, down, up down. I liked that one. I also liked any that required climbing/being high up, such as Berlin Walls, Spiders Web and Cliffhanger. I didn't have enough time to be scared of the height, so I just did them, and I felt proud of myself for not crying like a baby.

If you could change one thing about the event, what would it be?
Not much, actually. The course was pretty awesome, as it took you through woods, ravines, rock quarrys, etc. I felt kind of like a bad ass leaping over logs and streams during our runs. But, I think I would make the obstacles closer together. It made the miles go by faster when you didn't have to run a mile to get to another one. On the flip side, we did experience some bottlenecks that made it difficult to keep moving, which you just had to do. Just keep swimming...

Would you do it again?
Tough to say. I was swayed once, I could probably be swayed again. I don't know if it would be easier or harder knowing what I know now. Like Beth said, it'd be hard to convince myself to go through Electroshock again.

Would you train for it differently if you did it again?
Definitely less running, and more cross training and strength. If you can run 4 miles without stopping, you're fine because you never run more than I'd say 1-2 miles at a time. I'd also drop some pounds. I say that not being all "I'm so fat," but more thinking about how many times I had to step on someone, or someone had to pull me up. On Everest, I had no upper body strength to speak of, and I was just dead weight for those guys. (Sorry about that.) In any case, if I did do it again, my goals would be to do some of the physical challenges a little better. Like completing Funky Monkey or Hangin' Tough.

Worst bruise?
I banged up my knee pretty bad when I fell during Electroshock Therapy (see my knee on the right). I'm not quite sure where I got the shiner on my left leg, but the picture below is from more than a week later. I think I was also the most sore of my team. It hurt to smile, breathe and move in general.

Glad you did it?     
Absolutely. As much bitching and moaning as I did before it, I am so happy that I did it. It was the most rewarding experience to date with a great group of people, and I'm proud of myself. I sincerely thank all of them for keeping me going and getting me over the hurdles, both literally and figuratively.

Here we are, minus one, after our finish: GirlsWhoGetAround.Com

One final note: One of my teammates had a Go Pro camera - you know, one of those cameras you can wear on your head? So he has the whole thing on film and once we get an edited version, I'll share it with you. Until then, here are is the official Tough Mudder Seattle video.

What do you think? Would you ever do a Tough Mudder?


  1. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I'm so proud of you!! I'm also very envious of you because you completed something that I wanted to do so so bad and just got plain old lazy to train for. Lets do one together!!

  2. WOW! Congrats! It sounds horrible yet fun!


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