If you’re unfamiliar with Tough Mudder and their race system, there are essentially four options to choose from. Beginning with the easiest to accomplish is the Tough Mudder Half (5 mile), Tough Mudder Full (10 mile), Tougher Mudder (a competitive elite 10 mile heat at the start of the Tough Mudder full day), Toughest Mudder (8 hour overnight race) and World’s Toughest Mudder (24 hour race).
This weekend the team is headed down to the Tougher Mudder in Cold Lake (Near Toronto). Since Tough Mudder has always been a team race, the plan is to run this race as a team even though we are signed up for the elite competitive heat. We’re in the elite heat because one of the team members, Alec, needs his Tougher Mudder to get the Holy Grail award for doing all distances.
What I really like about the idea of Tough Mudder over other races is that they put your fears to the test. If you’re claustrophobic, have a fear of heights, fear of electrical shock, fear of water and drowning or fear of falling you’re going to face it. This makes the event more than a running race and a bit of a psychological and team work test. While I’m not sure if the event will still be team based (the Tougher Mudder elite race) the team will treat it that way and conquer the race together. We aren’t planning to race it to win or for ourselves. This is the one event we are coming together to finish together.
I rated this race a C race on my plan since it’s a team event and I have no aspirations of winning it or seeing how well I can place. Despite that I went on vacation for the week with my son Matthew to Lake Placid so I didn’t get much running in. However, I did spend about 7 hours swimming and climbed the summit of Mt. Jo with him (2800ft) so I haven’t been completely lazy. My hamstrings are so tired from all the swimming I’m a little concerned for how they’ll feel over the 16+km’s in the morning.
If you’re new to the racing world and want to try a Tough Mudder, do it if you want to face your fears or if you want to work with a team of people helping each other out. I think it’s one of the most relaxed races (there are no burpees for failing) filled with honestly helpful and kind people. Or that’s what I’ve heard as this will be my first Tough Mudder experience.
Eating has been a bit rough on vacation so nutrition has suffered this week but I haven’t seen any weight gain (checked this morning). The plan for tonight is to have a team dinner of pizza with lots of vegetables (a good pizza place and not a Pizza Pizza place). We’ll be up at 4:00am tomorrow to eat and prepare for the race and my pre-race meal consists of some basmati rice and an energy ball that Stephen made a bunch of. I have gels with me and plan to use my camelbak and take the gels with electrolytes along the way. This will be a good test of a challenging race where the pack might get caught and frustrate me so we’ll see how it goes. Spartan race went well so I hope it repeats that way.
The plan tonight at the hotel is to relax and do some myofascial release and mobility as things might have tightened up with all the travelling. I’m pumped for this race! I love the mountain terrains and being out in nature.
My mantra for this race is, “The highest barriers I need to climb are the ones I’ve built in my mind.”