Tough enough?

By this time next week I will either be dead, or the toughest mutha’ in Colorado. Saturday, June 25, I will be one of thousands of crazys trying to finish the Beaver Creek, CO Tough Mudder obstacle course/race/death march. Check out the map of the Beaver Creek event here. The race is about nine miles give or take, but it’s not the distance I’m so worried about (although maybe I should be). I’m more concerned about several of the obstacles; mainly the ones involving tubes, pipes or barrels, and water. Claustrophobia + water = totally freaked out! My heart rate goes up at the very thought of it. But I’m supposed to be trying new challenges, and I think I was also somewhat drunk or maybe just not paying any attention when Mike said, “I’m signing us up for this race, ok? OK? Do you hear me Trish? I’m signing you up too.” And he did.

Just in case the map didn’t adequately convey the seriousness of this event, check out this video.

Are you worried for me?

My goal is to finish it without getting seriously injured, and to make myself do all of the obstacles that scare the crap out of me. I think I will feel a great sense of accomplishment. Plus, it makes me look super cool to my little boys. I mean, how many of their friends have moms who are Tough Mudders?

Yesterday I went on my last “big” run before the event. I put big in quotation marks because it was really more medium-sized, but I am not made to be a runner so it felt big to me. Anything much over five miles and my body rebels, saying, “I will make you pay for this abuse!”  It was actually a six-mile trail run at Deer Creek Canyon Park. Decent uphill climb for a good part of the run, and I handled it nicely if I do say so myself. Here is my happy, before picture.

I did not take a sweaty, after picture. I don’t know you well enough for that yet.

This week I plan on some nice, easy active recovery. Today I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike and 25 minutes on the elliptical, followed by some stretching and foam torture rolling. Active recovery is always better than couch potato recovery. When you do a challenging workout, your body needs a day or two (or maybe more, depending on how hard to pushed it), of rest and repair time. Studies show that a light workout, such as an aerobic walk, swim, yoga or even an easy run (if you are an experienced runner) is more effective than parking it in front of the t.v. And if you are preparing for a race, it’s best to stick to mellow workouts in the week or so leading up to your event.

Anybody out there done a Tough Mudder? Did you get the tattoo? What about a marathon, half marathon or triathlon? Signing up for a race is a great way to set new training goals. You’ll see your fitness level improve as the weeks go by, and on race-day you’ll be inspired by the other athletes around you. Not sure where to start? Hal Higdon’s training programs are a great resource, and most gyms have personal trainers experienced in creating running, swimming and biking workouts. Just think, if Pippa can do it, so can you!

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