Tuesday, May 17, 2016

That Escalated Quickly: Tough Mudder ATL Part 1

Morning preparations for the the BIG DAY at the hotel. I ended up not using the hydration pack or the Tailwind. 

After arriving at Mudder Village, a bustling but temporary town of crazy folk, some of whom where inexplicably dirty and zombie-like, Rebecca and I signed in, handed in our death waivers, and picked up our permission-to-imbibe wristbands, we settled in for a bit at the Merrell tent and chatted with shoe and product geniuses Eric and Jon. Nervous energy coursed through our entire bodies. Neither Rebecca nor I could believe that we were actually there, about to begin what had seemed impossible and highly loony just a few months ago. 

Before we set out for the warm-up zone to hang with Coach T. Mud, we caught up with Melissa from Tough Mudder Headquarters (TMHQ) for some live streaming. Catch me and Rebecca from 2:52-8:24

After our live streaming we headed over to Coach T. Mud's warm up zone, where he energetically took us through some dynamic stretches and movements including butt kicks, arm circles,  his signature HIP GYRATIONS, for, um flexibility.  

And then we moved on to the start area, ever so close to dying (or so I thought).

Well, that escalated quickly, like LITERALLY.

This was the first thought in my head was this after we had finished listening to the gorgeous tall, dark, and handsome solider deliver his pre-Tough-Mudder-experience motivational words of wisdom in an authoritative but soothing baritone to this squirming and excitable group of adults. We were of all sizes and shades, in all manner of athletic attire--and after standing up, putting our trembling hands over our hearts, saluting the American flag and singing the Star-Spangled Banner in a key that was too low but too high, we were off!

Driving into Mudder Village
The first not-even-official obstacle required hurling oneself over a wall. I panicked for a few seconds until my training buddy and only other team member, Rebecca, pointed out that there was a shorter wall, with pegs nailed into it to facilitate climbing. 

WHEW. Oh, I got this.

I climbed over the wall, which stood about 6 feet high, and promptly fell, body-slamming heavily into the (thankfully) deep bed of wood-chips on the other side. I popped up immediately. 
All clean and nice-smelling beforehand

I'm okay. I'm okay! 

Then Rebecca and I were off for real.

We quickly entered the forest on the property of Bouckaert Farms, a fancy horseback-riding outfit with stalls cleaner than any room in my house.  We decided to keep an easy pace, even though we were experienced long-distance runners with many hundreds of miles on our legs. We expected the obstacles to eventually tire us out and sowanted to make sure we had enough left in the tank for those that would require not only mental energy, but huge bursts of physical strength. 

The weather was perfect--the day was sunny and stunning. This property, in the midst of one of the more beautiful areas in Fulton County, was well maintained and groomed, with just the right amount of horse-farm whimsy to keep us on our toes. The trails were pristine, well-trodden, and surrounded by trees in the throes of mid-spring renaissance. We ran and hiked up hills for about a mile until we reached our first official obstacle.

I decided at this point that there was no way in hell I would try to remain unsullied by the mud, because I knew that if there was one thing to worry about, it wasn’t getting dirty. I’m used to dirt, mud, falling, slipping, and losing my balance multiple times during trail races—so this was not new to me (and besides I had already had my first fall). What was new, however, was having to travel under a low-lying sheet of barbed wire that left very little room for mistakes. And when was the last time I’d had a tetanus shot? Hmmm—don’t remember. Don’t mess this one up, Mirna. Don't fucking mess up.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you just went for it. Go big or go home, right?