we like it dirty

December 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm 2 comments

the weekend before last i ran tough mudder tampa ~ a 12-mile obstacle course designed by british special forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. i was a little worried going in. not just because it’s supposed to be “the toughest event on the planet”. and not just because of my lingering calf injury and chronic hip pain. but because there was a sense of pride i desperately needed to find along the course. a realization that in spite of injury and issue i could still accomplish something so many dared not do. i could say with utmost certainty i wouldn’t make it across the monkey bars without slipping into the frigid muddy water below. and i knew without a doubt that i would hesitate to walk the plank and take the plunge. but even if i didn’t quite succeed at all the obstacles, i wanted to tackle each and every one full force and come out knowing i had given my best.

i won’t run through all 23 obstacles. or all 12 miles. get me started and i’m sure i could ramble on and on about every amazing little spec of dirt. so though often rare in my posts, a picture is worth a thousand words and i see no better way to detail the day.

team “we like it dirty” ready to face the tough mudder tampa challenge!

we like it dirty

team "we like it dirty"

the initial plan was to stick together, but not far in it became obvious we needed to split. mcC had twisted her ankle pretty bad the tuesday prior and was lucky insane enough to still be running. and the new girl and her husband simply were slower runners. and though we hesitated to go ahead, the rest of us knew there was no way we could hold back the need to push hard.within the first mile we jumped into massive vats of ice water. not cold water. ICE water. a truck off to the side ensuring there was never a lack of frozen cubes covering the surface we had to dive beneath. for a split second it didn’t seem so bad and then it hit hard. like millions of little needles being stuck into every part of your body.

as soon as we were dry, we were wet. for 12-miles we were in and out of man made muck. mud. water and more. keep in mind we were running through cow pastures and a steeplechase. mmmmm nothing like the fresh smell of manure smeared across your entire body!

this is what i get for throwing mud on his back

this is what i get for throwing mud on his back

there was no doing it alone. tough mudder pushes camaraderie. team work. and the obstacles in our path forced us to work together to achieve new heights. that’s me in the upper left.

together we face no wall too high

together we faced no wall too high

after scaling the 12-foot wall above , i stopped to catch a snake who had slithered on course and was bound to be trampled. none of the guys on my team seemed willing to get near it so someone had to save the poor little guy.

me and my new little friend

me and my new friend

hills. smoke. spider webs of rope. and mountains of hay. some obstacles were easy. some tough. some made us face our fears by crawling into small underground tunnels or taking a 15-foot plunge into water below. can you say belly flop?!

that's gonna' hurt

that's gonna' hurt!

the obstacle i feared most was the half pipe. with a lingering calf muscle injury, the required sprint straight up was risky especially with almost 12 miles and frequent temperature changes already taking a toll on my muscles. honestly i didn’t think i’d make it but i knew i had to try. we watched for a few and before my guys went up i asked what i needed to do.  “just don’t stop running”, the lion told me. “we’ll be there to catch you at the top.” and that they were.

don't. stop. running.

don't. stop. running.

the final obstacle was the one most dreaded. electric wires. some dead. some with upwards of 10,000 volts. a guy to the side controlling the flow so no two shock patterns were ever the same. another spraying you with a hose before you played with wires. the euro got it bad. actually blacked out but instantly popped right back up to cross the finish line before he really had time to realize what had happened. i got it in the hip. a shock so hard that i felt run down my leg, into my calf and “hit” the scar tissue that’s been my bane for months. an odd after-the-fact: though not perfect, since that day my calf has yet to cramp the way it had been. forget pt and ultrasound. apparently a little electric-shock therapy works wonders!

shock treatment

shock treatment

through mud and water. fire and ice. we didn’t simply live up to the challenges, we had fun!

we definitely like it dirty

we definitely like it dirty

i was right in that i didn’t make it across the monkey bars. with a mere two rungs left i lost my grip and went down. i definitely hesitated ~ though not for long ~ before leaping off the plank to the water below. i could barely walk the next day and i think i’m still scrapping dirt out from under my fingernails. but i can’t look at this picture and not feel like a strong, beautiful and TOUGH ASS woman! can we do it again? 🙂

tough mudder

tough mudder


Entry filed under: exercise, fear, injury, racing, running. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

should i stay or should i go now? something old. something new.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Manage Better Now  |  December 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I ran it as well. Best event I have ever been a part of. I will be there again next year.

  • 2. Miss Mile High  |  December 17, 2011 at 6:22 am

    love this post and all the pics!


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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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