Initial thoughts: I was looking for a challenge, and it definitely was one. It was fun, challenging, went with a small group and most of us made it through to the end.
Training Prep: I didn’t do any additional training other than my typical workouts, and for the most part I was fine. My knees starting hurting around the 8 mile mark and were killing me by the end of it. They hurt for about a week after to the point I could barely walk. I attribute this as much to the mileage and my lack of running anything other than sprints, as well as running in bad shoes that were wet and covered in mud.
Things to bring / wear: As probably many first timers did, I googled what other people wrote for what they wore their first time.
- Shoes: I wore old shoes, and donated them afterward. I don’t see how it is possible to salvage nice shoes after this, but some people certainly try.
- T-shirt and shorts. Some people wore fancier clothing with leggings and long sleeves. I didn’t have those so I just wore an easy dry t-shirt and shorts and swimming suit bottom.
- No backpack. There were so many stations with water and little snacks that I think it would have been cumbersome. I debated about this one before for quite awhile and was glad I didn’t bring it.
- Gloves. Glad I bought a cheap pair of fingerless gloves. Going over the logs and mud it was helpful.
- Dry clothes, towel. There were hoses to spray yourself down but a towel that I could throw away after was useful, as it helped get all the mud off.
- People wrote their tag numbers on their skin. Luckily mine didn’t come off, but this is what they use to identify pictures with afterwards. Should have.
Obstacles: There was only one I didn’t do out of being nervous and now I’m kicking myself wishing I would have just faced up to it and done it. It was a pool of water with a chain link fence over the top of it. I knew this one would be my biggest challenge going into it, and sure enough..
Weather: The weather was upper 50’s low 60’s. I can’t imagine doing this in any colder weather. That was also a challenge for me. I was fucking freezing at points. So that I had to run on my frozen stumps for feet just to keep warm. I eventually did warm up at kinda at times, but I was cold pretty much through the entire race. If I did another Tough Mudder I would want to do it earlier in the season, or in a warmer location.
Well Managed Event: There were staff everywhere, water stations located throughout the course, and snack stations intermittently. One of them they had those little gel energy cubes which were on point. I also liked how friendly the other people running the race were. Even though I was there with my team, people were always ready and wiling to offer a hand up, or a boost to get over the obstacles. Got a beer at the end, although I was too cold to drink it and stay in the designated area. Put on my new t-shirt, went straight to the fire.