Over the last two months, I’ve been training and preparing
for a bunch of events, one of which is the Atlanta Tough Mudder sponsored by Merrell* in May. That conversation went something like this:
|Working on reverse rows here...trying to develop grip strength, and the ability to pick myself up. This isht is hard.|
Gear: The North Face Capris, Swiftwick* Socks, Pearl Izumi M2, Panache Sports Bra
Merrell: Hey Mirna, are you interested in Tough Mudders?
Mirna: I mean, I've never done one but, yeah, sure. Why not? I'll try it.
Merrell: Ok, which one?
Mirna: Um, I don't know, Atlanta? That's close to me.
Ok--Great, you're on.
Wait. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
WHAT WAS I THINKING?????
So now there's no backtracking. To tell you the truth, the idea of a Tough Mudder really scares me...gives me the shivers. Why? I’ll tell you why:
First of all (in my best Brooklyn accent), have you seen any of those videos with CoachMud
? Or the other guy with the mustache
who puts himself through absolutely grueling
training so that he can
complete his Tough Mudder? It’s just downright frightening!
Second, I've never been successful at upper body things. Never. Rock Climbing? Nope. Hanging and swinging? Nope. Planking for more than a few seconds at a time? HELL NAW.
|Started with doing The Firm Express by Gaiam and some Hammer and Chisel by Beachbody with lighter weights. Gear: Torrid Fashion Bra-Tank, Skirt Sports*|
I decided that I would put myself through some extra
strength-training, not so that I can be like Coach Mudd or Mr. Mustache, but so
I can begin to gain some badly needed strength in all areas of my body, and most importantly SO I DON'T LOOK LIKE A COMPLETE FOOL
during the TM community workout on March 19 in Atlanta (location and time TBA) and the actual Tough Mudder itself. And let
me tell ya, the little bit I’ve been doing has ALREADY greatly enhanced my
After doing some research on various strength-training sites
and using what I already know from my own coaching training and experience, I put
together a program of weightlifting and body weight exercises that is definitely making a difference in my ability to lift heavy things, including myself.
|Hanging practice. Gear: Skirt Sports 261 |
Switzer Capri, VSX Sports Bra, Pearl Izumi
I actually started out with a couple of sets that I found on
using dumbbells only. It’s a workout for beginners looking to gain some
strength that is done on alternate days. Each one is a mix of upper and
lower-body exercises along with some core work. You leave the gym (or your
living room) not
feeling completely exhausted—maybe even invigorated. But trust
me, you WILL feel it the next day… Don’t worry though, you won’t be working the
same muscles on the following days.
And to tell you the truth, that slight soreness is delicious.
In the Tough Mudder, there are lots of obstacles (read: ALL OF THEM) that require
upper body strength, balance, and more upper body strength, all of which are my
weakest links. So I’m going hard! Since high school, I’ve never been able to do
even one pull-up, and as I understand, mostly everything in the TM will be me
hoisting heavy-ass self up with my arms. So yeah, I’m working on that too!
I also incorporated another strength training routine (that
I’m switching out with the aforementioned on a two week rotation) that has me
doing chest/shoulders/triceps one day, back/biceps/core the second day, and
quads/hamstrings/calves the last day.
|Overhead press. Gear: Torrid Fashion jacket,|
Skirt Sports GTD Tights, Pearl Izumi shoes
Stairs—Easier. Like, I-feel-like-I’m-on-a-properly-inflated-moonbounce
kind of easier.
I can hang from a bar for more than five seconds. This is
life-changing people. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.
I can hoist heavy weights above my head and hold them there
without swaying to and fro.
Mountain climbers feel like marshmallows for the 10 seconds
I do them. This has never happened, folks. NEVER. IN. MY. LIFE.
I can pick up a heavy weight in my hands using mostly my
Did I tell you that I can hang from a bar? I did? Oh, but you don’t realize how epically important this is for me. Since high school, I’ve never been able to do an unassisted pullup—and I still can’t but that’s beside the point. I am going to get there—soon, I hope. My plan is to progress from hanging to being able to hoist myself up, and hang from ropes and swing for a few seconds. This Tough Mudder training is REAL. Like FOREALTHO.
|Deadlift practice. Gear: Top Quarter Zip by Merrell, Switzer Capri by Skirt Sports, Gloves by Saranac.|
Running feels way easier. Like, sometimes I can’t even tell that I just ran 4 miles.
Usually, I can tell.
I can do a plank for more than 30 seconds. If you know me, you know I hate planks and I don’t like working on them and avoid them whenever possible and planks suck.
|Planking--ugh. Gear: Top is Charmer Long Sleeve by Skirt Sports, Capris by Under Armour, Socks by Swiftwick and Shoes by Merrell.|
This whole obstacle race thing is way
out of my comfort zone, but I'm going to try and probably fail miserably, and that's ok because then I'll know what to work on for the next one. Yep, already planning for the next!
*I am a Merrell Ambassador, Skirt Sports Ambassador, and Swiftwick Athlete.
What scary goals or events do you have this year? Share!!!