Saturday, February 5, 2011

Texas Tough Mudder - 1/29/2011 - Part 3

This is Part 3 of the Tough Mudder series. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2 yet, go down and start from there. Sorry, I guess I could have done these in reverse order... or you can just scroll down :)

After running through about 8 miles of course, we started to hit the harder obstacles. Okay, probably not 'harder,' but we were just so exhausted at this point, they seemed pretty hard. One was the rope bridges or 'The Ball Shrinker'. A series of bridges across cold muddy water. Two ropes, one high and one low. Walk your way across the lower one, while holding onto the upper one. Our rope figured out the best way to do this was by facing alternate directions. This way there was equal pull on both sides of the rope. Doing it this way made it not too bad. Still slippery, but doable without falling in the water.

We rounded the corner after the log carry, and saw the sight that almost made me cry... another lake. I stopped on the bank to just prepare myself for what was about to happen. I even questioned whether I could even make it across at this point. The sun was going behind the clouds, and I just knew (from plenty of experience up to this point) how cold that water was going to be. It would take all my energy to get across.

I jumped in and started swimming out to the middle, where, waiting for us, were a series of three underwater tunnels. They weren't really tunnels, but large blue barrels making three barricades across the water that you had to swim under. Yep under. At this point you were in up to your head, but at least you weren't holding your breath.

I got out to the first barricade and grabbed on. I had to prep myself again. All of a sudden some guy came up next to me and said "1,2,3." Without thinking I just pushed myself under the water and swam until I knew I cleared the barrels. Unfortunately, I almost went too far, and came up just in front of the next set. I came up and gasped for breath. But I only had a second until I heard someone else yell "go." Without thinking I was back under the water.

It was probably better this way, as the longer you stay in the water, the colder you get... obviously. I can honestly say that I don't remember much about going under the barrels, but I do remember just swimming my heart out trying to get back to the other side of the shore. I got out and turned back to see Jeremy just finishing the third barricade. He took a minute to also catch his breath then swam over to me. We were both so cold...

After the water crossing, we went straight into Twinkle Toes. You had to make your way across two bridges that were made of 2 - 2x6's standing upright. So you had about 4" to walk across. With muddy shoes, while people were falling off in front and behind you. Both Jeremy and I did pretty good on this one, only falling once.

Next came the monkey bars. I knew from the start of the event that I would have trouble with this one. Jeremy was smart and took his time to dry off his hands first. I just jumped onto them.

My first attempt I only made it two bars, then I fell into the freezing cold muddy water and swam the rest of the way out. However, after feeling that I didn't really try that hard, I decided to go back and try again. I made it 5 bars the second time, and I was pretty happy with that.

Jeremy, however, did awesome. Not only did he make it across, but he had to keep stopping and waiting for the guy in front of him to keep moving. Oh, did I mention that the bars went up and then down? Like the pitch on a roof? Yea, hard.

After the monkey bars, we grabbed the last of the shot blocks to eat, then headed for the last 1 mile run. At this point it was definitely more of a walk, but I was doing a limping run when I could. After all, this was the Tough Mudder. I'd deal with the pain later.

The second to last obstacle was another water crossing (go figure). You had to wade out to the middle of the pond, scale up a vertical cargo net, climb down a wood ladder, of sorts, then wade back out. At least you finished somewhat clean, but man, I so did not want to get in that cold water.

The very last obstacle was Electroshock Therapy: sprint through a field of live wires, some of which carry a 10,000 volt shock. This was actually not as bad as it sounds. I got shocked twice, and its more of a large involuntary twitch. Oh yea, and you have to run through a thick mud pit, so you can't go that fast, otherwise you'll just get stuck or fall down.

Jeremy and I finished the event in 2:50. Not great, but not bad. I'm glad we broke the 3 hour mark. We had so much fun. I don't know if I'd chance doing it again in January, but I would definitely sign up if it was in the summer. Here's a link to the full course map.

All photos are courtesy of brightroom photography.


Anonymous said...

How in-shape or out of shape are you?

Shelley said...

I'm in pretty good shape. Workout like 2-3 times a week and I did a 10 mile run about 3 months before this, but my running was not very good. I would say, if you don't run, that will be your hardest challenge. It's 10+ miles (usually) and in muddy wet shoes.