It was a good day, to die hard.
Whoops wrong movie.
The Gods WERE crazy!
@#$@$ there I go again.
It was a cold and overcast Saturday morning as Team WolfPack rallied at the DKL Residence for the trip out to West Virginia to face the Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic 2012 Event. It's not a race. Except against your friends and yourself.
11 Miles of trail. 1800 Ft of climbing. 22 Obsticles. Mud and Water and Cramps and Pain. That was what awaited us. We left Vienna around 9 at hit the parking field a bit before 11. At registration at 11:25 running a tad late. Our official wave was 12:15 but we were dropping our bags and making final preps when it was called. So we went out with the last wave of the day 12:30.
Last wave at 12:30? I could've sworn they had waves running till 2 or later on reg. Maybe they rescheduled them or something. Regardless we queued up in the waiting zone, then we made it to the starting line wait after scaling over 5 or 7 foot Berlin walls.
Prerace prep was cool and as the last group they didn't just play the National Anthem, we sung that mofo like the bad-asses we are. And we were off at a slow conservitive pace. 1st REAL obsticles were a ways away not counting small mud holes/creeks/etc. The first obsticle in some ways was the worst. I got the dirtiest on it for sure it was a crawl under barbed wire and on the 2nd half they kept spraying us from a water truck with VERY cold water. My bib was 2/3rd's torn off. And I looked like a mud man. I went thru one of the muddiest lanes I think. And we were off. Lots of hills and small mud sections till we eventually hit the Burn Zone. No fire this year, just exercise. 20 pushups, run up and down a steep hill, 20 lunges, another steep hill up and down, 20 more pushups, another 2 hills. Then it was time.
The Arctic Enema. I jumped in and compressed too much and went under I shoulda gone under the board then, instead I had to pop up, breath and swim under. More ICE at the far end then the front. Getting out was hard and starting to run sucked but at least I was mostly clean! And after a few minutes I was pretty warm and dry. Nike's Pro Combat Dryfit T-shirt saved me. Next time I wear long sleeves for crawling stunts. And we were off but group was suffering major fragmentation 12 dudes staying together is hard. One guy's ankles were already a mess. We chose to split in 2 groups. At first I was gonna stay with the slow guys but I wanted to push a bit faster due to the upcoming course clear at the halfway mark at 2:30. I made it to that at 2:05. I'm shocked the 2nd group must have made it with minutes to spare I think. I pushed on with several different groups of people till I caught up to the main group after some giant mud pits. I needed to empty/clean out shoes but honestly couldn't undue the laces. Too mucked up. I hung on. We continued to push on thru stuff like the beard, Wheelbarrow, Log Carry, Log Hopping. But my elbow went whack and me and my new partner Jimmy skipped the BIG Berlin Walls. 12 foot of suckiness. Crazy zig-zag Gorrilla Killer Hills then pushups for Wounded Warriors. I only could manage 10 at that point. My arms were shot. Then we pushed on throu 2 balance exercises. Skipped the electric eel due to cramps starting in legs a few nasty crawl things in pipes and in water were tough but fun. Near the end I had to skip Everest also as my elbow could take the pulling/etc and I was already banged up. Tried to climb up to walk the plank but legs cramped up again a bit over halfway up. The other electric stunt wasn't bad at all with carefull-ness got hit 1x. Pushed on and we were basically DONE.
Finished in 3 hours.
Our team with out shirts got lots of support and people could tell we were a team, anytime I was lagging or me and Jimmy were we heard our team was just ahead. Cutting of the sleeves and shit really helped me not be bound up in the shirt. Garmin watch kicked ass, it kept me on pace and let me know I needed to keep pushing.
Gear Good -
Trail Shoes - Worked well and way better tracktion then sneakers, only slipped once and that was cause I under committed on dry/loose. No problems with wet/mud other than crap getting into them.
Nike Pro Combat Dri-fit compression - Awesome, just use long sleeve next time to protect elbows a bit.
Socks - Wool - Okay, kept feet warm even after being wet.
Shorts - Reebok Crossfit Boardshorts - Nice, zippered pocket worked well.
Garmin GPS - Worked pretty well though did loose 600-800 ft of elevation depending on site.
Bad Gear -
Shirt - Go long sleeve.
Legs - Knee pads or 3/4 lengths tights with knee padding.
Socks. Maybe layer up with a compression long sock to protect shins from scrapes.
Socks Part 2 - Find someway to keep shit out of shoes.
Shoes - See Socks Part 2.
Bring Sharpie of decent size to mark up arms/legs/head's with #.
Bring real shoes for after - not flip-flops. Half mile in/out was a beast.
Training Notes -
Requires SERIOUS upper body training. I estimate a fit competitor needs to be able to do 15-20 pull ups. Plank for several minutes and have some leg strength training also. My legs were mostly okay. I would raise my base target to 8 or 9 miles with more hill work.