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Tough Mudder Recap

Tough Mudder Electroshock Therapy

The last obstacle, Electroshock Therapy, features you getting shocked while you try not to fall while running through a muddy area. Here’s a …shock (har har): this was painful. (I’m the guy on the far right.)

On Saturday some friends and I successfully navigated the muddy waters of the Tough Mudder. It was pretty enjoyable, in that deliberately signing yourself up for a painful event sort of way.

We had signed up for a start time of 11 am, thinking that it would be nice to sleep in, eat a bit, and then get started. Ease into the day nicely. Our actual start time was 1 pm, which was definitely later than we had hoped to start. The sun was in full force.

  • Tip Number 1: Sign up for a time earlier than you want. If you end up getting that time, deal with it, the obstacles might be less muddy (therefore easier to get a grip on) and there might be less wait for some of the obstacles at the end. (For one we waited about ten minutes.)

We had decided to go for a Ninja Turtles theme. Matching green shirts, and then each of us had shorts, headband, and wristbands for our respective characters. In addition we each had on long-ish green socks and black lifting gloves (to help with monkey bars and prevent the risk of splinters). I enjoyed our costumes, but we weren’t the only Turtles out there. If you want to be truly unique, get weird.

  • Tip Number 2: Pictures … I really wanted to end up with some of the event’s photographers capturing me looking like a real tough guy as I went across the monkey bars (successfully!), or ran through the electroshock therapy, or ran up the Everest challenge. Instead there are two of my friends and I right before the race, and two of me on the obstacle known as “Twinkle Toes.”

    Tough Mudder Twinkle Toes

    Twinkle Toe-ing it up!

  • After the race the event photographers posted all of their photos which you can download for free (you just have to like a Facebook page or two). This is the only race I’ve done that has supplied free pictures so that is pretty great. A lot of the pictures end up not tagged because they can’t see your bib number under all that mud. I went through A LOT of photos to try and find a cool one of me (I am vain) and here are my conclusions …
  • What could I have done differently?
    • Make outrageously painful or elated faces at obstacles
    • Dress in garishly colored (easy to spot when looking through pictures) or very unique costumes
    • Be a girl (Honestly, I feel like the amount of pictures per girl at the run is very misleading)

As far as the run itself goes, it is very easy to walk. There will be lots of opportunities that present themselves to you as for why you should walk: right after an obstacle you are very tired and often there is so much mud that jogging will be just as fast as walking, it’s a long run, the obstacles are tiring, there is mud everywhere, so many other people will be walking, you will want to walk, your friends will want to walk …

  • Tip Number 3: Put off walking (I’m not saying I followed this tip, but in retrospect I wish I had). At any point in the race, in the next half mile there will probably be an obstacle. At that time you can walk up to the obstacle and go through it. Consider that your rest. To go into high school coach mode: the run is only as tough as you make it.
Tough Mudder Starting Gate

Starting Gate (the guy in the middle is the pep talker)

Before you begin the race you get shuffled into a little starting gate area. A very good public speaker, trained in the art of Under Armour commercial style pep talks, will tell you about the race. CAN I GET A HOO-AH! It will take TOUGHNESS. (HOO-AH!) It will take STRENGTH! (HOO-AH!)

This guy (or girl) will tell you about how this is not a race, this is not a competition, this is a challenge. As part of the challenge you will have to support your fellow Tough Mudders. Teamwork makes the dream work and all that.

  • Tip Number 4: Just Give Me a Second, Geeeeez … Inevitably (probably) you will get to an obstacle where you won’t ace it on the first maneuver. If you’re like me, you’ll probably want to try again because if-only-I’d-just-…-OK-I-got-this … It’s nice that everyone wants to help (and I was guilty of this), but sometimes things just take a few tries. So, fellow future Tough Mudders, if you see someone struggling, and there are already ten people en route to help the struggler, just move along. You don’t need to be the eleventh helper monkey.

My friends and I brought along two disposable, waterproof cameras. We have done this for other mud runs and it has worked well. For this one, it turns out, mud can really cloud some photos. Nevertheless, we got some good photos out of it (albeit some of them were a bit blurry).

  • Tip Number 5: Have fun! Bringing a camera and taking pictures of you and your friends putting yourselves through an unnecessarily difficult Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon is a way of taking ownership of the event? Aw heck, we all know it’s for Facebook.
Tough Mudder Sasquatch

Sasquatch sighting!


Tough Mudder Tweets

I am no stranger to bad ideas. Last year I did the MS150 (a 2 day, 150 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin). I made predictions before the bike ride for what I would be thinking on day 1, and day 2. This year I have been training for the Tough Mudder.

If I could tweet during the Tough Mudder, here’s how I’d expect it to go.

Mile 0: Huh, some of these guys don’t look so buff. If they can do it I can do it! Or maybe they’re secretly buff? I’m scared.

Mile 1: #WhatWasIThinking #ShootMe #hashTag

Mile 2: Two miles down! Why did I buy such garishly bright colors? I’m just covered in mud.

Mile 3: I now officially hate monkey bars. With a passion.

Mile 4: Oh man I just helped a dude up a wall thing. I feel like such a tough guy! But also nice. A tough nice guy! Like a villain in a musical?

Mile 5: I regret comparing myself to a villain in a musical.

Mile 6: If I was to do a word association game with either of the words ‘tough’ or ‘mudder’ my association would be a shrieking noise ending in a hiss.

Mile 7: Wait, did they say this was 10 to 12 miles? What is that? How much further is this!?

Mile 8: So that’s what an ice bath feels like.

Mile 9: #Crying #TellingPeopleItsSweat

Mile 10: So that’s what being shocked feels like.

Mile 11: Am I angry at myself? Is that what this is? Is is that I have self-hate?

Mile 12: Holy crap monkeys. I did it!!!! Now to shave this incredibly stupid looking beard.


You know I actually do have a Twitter account. You should follow me!

Tough Mudder Training

On October 5th three of my buddies (Rainbow Speak, Juicebox and BattleToad) and I are going to do the Tough Mudder!/. (I say !/. because should I be excited about this? I don’t know.)

The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile race where you go through obstacles. Actually, I made fun of runs like it in a post back in January (in my Death Be Damned! Fun Run imaginary run advertisement). Now here I am in August and I’m beginning to train for this beastly run.

I had a lot of fun fiddling with my workout schedule, and since I spent time on that I thought I would share it. Why not?

For starters …

I used Hal Higdon’s guide for both of the half marathons I have done. It’s online, free, and pretty good I think. There are different levels, and a little information at each level so you know if you’re signing up for too easy of training, just right, or too hard. Neato mosquito.

This time I decided to go for the Intermediate Half Marathon guide. I think I can keep up with the training, and if I can get through that I’ll be a much better runner at the end of it.

Two good quotes (with bonus comic)…

Recently I read the “53 Runner’s Commandments” by Joe Kelly. Two of them I think are good things to remember. The first one is good especially for someone who is struggling with feeling like it’s worth it/confidence/just starting out woes.

22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.

The second one I think is really true (assuming you don’t push yourself too hard on a run and end up injuring yourself …):

53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

Bonus comic? The Oatmeal is fantastically funny, and it turns out a crazy good runner. (And kind of a nut.)

Just Get to the Plan …

Again, this is a modified version of the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Guide. (I hope I didn’t sign myself up for too much.)


5-Aug 6-Aug 7-Aug 8-Aug 9-Aug 10-Aug 11-Aug
Stretch & Weights Spinning 25 Push-ups, Run 1 Mile (Repeat 4 times with push-ups at end) (Total: 4 miles, 125 pushups) 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 3 m run 7 m run
12-Aug 13-Aug 14-Aug 15-Aug 16-Aug 17-Aug 18-Aug
Stretch & Weights Spinning Spartacus Workout, then 2 miles 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 3 m pace 8 m run
19-Aug 20-Aug 21-Aug 22-Aug 23-Aug 24-Aug 25-Aug
Stretch & Weights Spinning 7 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength (?) Rest or easy run 10k Lake Houston Rest + Stretch
26-Aug 27-Aug 28-Aug 29-Aug 30-Aug 31-Aug 1-Sep
Stretch & Weights Spinning 2 Miles, Spartacus, 2 Miles 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 4 m pace 9 m run
2-Sep 3-Sep 4-Sep 5-Sep 6-Sep 7-Sep 8-Sep
Stretch & Weights 4.5 m 8 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 5k in Galveston 7 m run
9-Sep 10-Sep 11-Sep 12-Sep 13-Sep 14-Sep 15-Sep
Stretch & Weights Spinning Run .5, Bear Crawl across field, Run .5, 50 Push-Ups, Run .5, 50 Tri-dips, Run .5, Lunge across field (do twice) (Total 4 miles) 3 m run + strength (?) Rest or easy run Rest 8 m run
16-Sep 17-Sep 18-Sep 19-Sep 20-Sep 21-Sep 22-Sep
Stretch & Weights Spinning 9 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 10 Miler Rest + Stretch
23-Sep 24-Sep 25-Sep 26-Sep 27-Sep 28-Sep 29-Sep
Stretch & Weights Spinning 10 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength (?) Rest 3 m pace 12 m run
30-Sep 1-Oct 2-Oct 3-Oct 4-Oct 5-Oct 6-Oct
Stretch & Weights Spinning 30 min tempo 2 m run Rest TOUGH MUDDER Rest + Stretch
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