Kirsty’s Tough Mudder Challenge

Kirsty’s Tough Mudder Challenge

12.9.17 Post Tough Mudder Analysis!

So we did it! I’m so proud of myself and the rest of the team. In the end there was 5 of us in the team as a couple had to pull out. Myself, Jancie, Mark B (my personal trainer), Mark D and Chris. We all finished it and we all attempted every obstacle. It was so much fun, I haven’t laughed so much in a long time.

I was very nervous on Sunday morning. I had a 5.30am wake up alarm and we all met at the gym to travel to Cholmondeley Castle at 6.30am. I could barely eat anything but managed to have a smoothie with plenty of protein and then an energy bar just before. Throughout the course there was food and drink points with water, Lucozade sport and Trek bars and energy balls which were very well received!

I’m going to try to go through each obstacle and give you a bit of an explanation of the challenge!

1 Bale Bonds
These were square bales of hay that we had to get over. In all honesty, I was expecting this to be harder than it was as I was expecting them to use the big round bales that you see in the fields but I suppose they don’t want to scare you off at the first hurdle (so to speak)

2 Log Jammin’
This was a series of logs that you had to go through and over. Again, not terribly difficult but I probably could have challenged myself more by going over the top of more of the logs than through the gaps between them!

3 The Block Ness Monster
These are rolling blocks with 5ft deep water between them. You have to try to hold on to the top of the block and your team mates then roll the block over so you can get to the other side. On the first block, I ended up going head first into the water! On the second block, I learned to twist myself so it didn’t happen again!

4 Kiss of Mud 2.0
For this obstacle, we had to crawl under barbed wire and over some hay bales. This is where the majority of us lost our race numbers which were pinned to our stomachs. Mark D however managed to keep his on all the way round!!

 

5 Skid Marked
Do you remember doing wheelbarrows as children? We had to relive our childhood in this obstacle! Mark B and Chris went through with Mark carrying Chris’ legs first and then they swapped. Jancie and I decided to hold one of Mark D’s legs each! It was difficult, don’t remember it being that hard when I was small!

6 Creek Crusade
This obstacle was walking through waist deep water and mud. This obstacle was repeated a few times over the course to break up the running/walking between the other obstacles. We were all kept our shoes luckily!

7 Artic Enema 3.0
This sounds easy but it was hard and I struggled! You slide into a skip full of water and ice! It absolutely took my breath away and I was completely disorientated even though I’d braced myself. Once you had gone down the slide, you then had to go under another beam to get out of the skip. I couldn’t catch my breath and had to be helped by one of the marshals who held my hand and basically pulled me under the beam.

I got lots of cuddles from the team afterwards and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for them. This was the obstacle I had been dreading and hadn’t told anyone. Me and ice cold water do not mix unless I’m drinking it! I was very proud of myself for doing it and not missing the obstacle.

8 Creek Crusade (see above)

9 Birth Canal
For this obstacle, we had to crawl under a tube full of water. It was an odd experience because the water is moving above you and it’s hard to keep your balance. For Mark B, his obstacle was slightly different because he had completed Tough Mudder last year, they had to crawl through in complete darkness.

10 Quagmire
This was another mud obstacle where you have to get through an area of mud that comes up to your waist/chest! Great fun. Everyone was offering to hug the marshals who were nice and clean after this one!

11 Hero Walls
This was one of the funniest moments of the day. These are sheer 10ft walls with one small ledge only about 2ft off the ground and you have to get over.

 

For the first wall, we managed to send Chris and Mark D up first and then they were able to help me and Jancie over after we had climbed onto Mark B’s shoulders who then had to attempt to get over by himself (sorry Mark! 🙂 ).

After we had all got over the first wall we were elated, clapping and saying “great work team” then we turned around and saw a second wall! The looks on our faces must have been priceless and there was a collective “oh ****”. We managed the second one however with a helping hand from a gent dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, which is what it’s all about!

12 Mud Mile
This was my favourite obstacle on the day. These are mounds of mud with pits of very muddy water in between. The mounds were really high and steep but it was so much fun, you end up literally covered in mud.

 

13 Killa Gorilla
These were muddy hills you had to get up and then come back down. The getting up wasn’t as difficult as going down so I took the decision to slide down so I didn’t end up falling on my face! Ha-ha!

14 Hero Carry
This was a fun obstacle! You are supposed to carry a team mate half the way and then swap and they carry you to the end. Due to our team’s uneven number I had to find a random person to do the obstacle with. Thankfully there happened to be a gent in a similar situation without a partner so he told me to jump on his back. Luckily for me he carried on straight to the end so I didn’t have to carry him! You can’t be shy to do Tough Mudder! It was definitely a new and unusual way of meeting someone ha-ha.

15 Sewer Rat
In this you had to crawl through a pipe and you fall into a deep pit of mud and water. You were supposed to crawl through this head first but after seeing people who had we decided to go backwards so our feet were first and we could avoid taking a muddy dip!

16 Pyramid Scheme
On this you had to get up a very high incline with the only grip about half way up. We managed to get me up first with the help of some fellow mudders who had got to the half way point then I had the job of reaching down from the top of the obstacles to help pull the rest of the team over the ledge. I felt pretty strong at this point ha-ha and even helped a few other guys and girls over too! Must have been the adrenaline… 🙂

 

17 The Reacharound
This was a difficult obstacle. You had to climb up a structure at a backwards 45 degree angle. Chris went first and managed to get up and then he was able to help Jancie, Mark D and I. Mark B had a Legionnaire version (you become a Legionnaire if you complete a Tough Mudder event) which included monkey bars and 45 degree backwards angle to get over too.

18 Hold Your Wood
For this you had to pick a log and carry it over a long distance. I tried to strategically choose what I thought would be a light log. The idea is to carry over one shoulder and then you can swap to the other shoulder once you get tired. I don’t think any of the team were prepared for how long this obstacle was!

19 Swamp Stomp
For this you had to literally swim through mud which was at least 5ft deep. It was really difficult and quite tiring and you try your hardest not to lose your shoes. Thankfully we all escaped unscathed and there were lots of muddy cuddles between the team afterwards!

20 Funky Monkey
These are monkey bars at an incline and then wheels which rotate over 5ft of water. Due to the inclement weather, the grip on these was difficult. Mark B was the only one on our team to get over half way across before losing his grip and he really wasn’t (and still isn’t) happy he couldn’t complete it! But not one person could do on Sunday! The rest of us had a lovely swim in some cold water!

21 Creek Crusade (see above)

22 Augustus Gloop
For this you had to climb up the inside of a pipe whilst water was raining down on you from above. The trick is to not look up! I was actually surprised that I managed to do this relatively easily!

 

23 Devils Beard
This was where you had to crawl under a heavy net with a hay bale obstacle to climb over in the middle. This wasn’t a bad obstacle at all as you’ve already done something similar. It helps if team mates and other mudders are able to hold the end of the net up so you can crawl out more easily.

24 Everest
This is a 15ft half pipe you have to get up and over. Unfortunately, due to the rain on the day, this obstacle was closed so we didn’t get to try it.

25 Kong
This is very similar to Hang Tough in Gladiators! You have to get across to the other platform using the rings. It is a legionnaire obstacle so only Mark B could tackle it, which he did brilliantly and he could have finished his Tough Mudder course there but instead he decided to complete the final obstacle with the rest of the team.

26 Electroshock Therapy
The final obstacle! You have to run through wires hanging down with 10,000 volts running through them! I got hit a number of times and it actually knocked me off my feet. It was hard to mentally prepare to do this but when I had got to the final obstacle there was no way I was going to miss it! Least I don’t have to do it next time!

All in all it was a really fun day, and in a way I didn’t want it to end! I can’t believe I managed to complete all 10.7 miles and all of the obstacles. I’ve even already signed up to do it next year!

 

 

 

 

 

Injuries!!

I think I got off pretty lightly in terms of injuries! I’ve got some pretty impressive bruises on my arms and legs but otherwise I’ve been surprised that I feel absolutely fine. Not much muscle or joint ache really. The only other thing is I’m pretty sure I’m getting a cold, which I suppose is to be expected after swimming through mud and a skip full of ice on a Sunday morning!

 

10.9.17 We Did it!

Yay!!! We did it. At the moment I can barely keep my eyes open but we did it. I’m bruised and achy but can’t stop smiling. Feel so proud of myself and the team! We smashed it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full post event blog coming soon!!

 

9.9.17 The Night Before

Well it’s finally here. Well in a few hours anyway. I can’t believe it’s come round so quickly!

I don’t feel 100% prepared but do you ever before going into the unknown especially if it’s a 10/12 mile obstacle course? I’m a bit nervous but feel better now my bags packed and I’m going to try for an early night!

5.30am alarm to meet everyone at the gym at 6.25 to set off! Mustn’t be late!

Sorry this is a short and sweet post! Off to get my beauty sleep! 😃

 

 5.9.17 Nerves Beginning To Kick In!

I’m trying really hard not to let my nerves get the better of me but when I think about the event on Sunday, I can’t help it.

I feel like I haven’t done enough training, despite hitting the gym 4 times a week on average and doing a mix of weight training and cardio. I still don’t feel like I have done enough, but I have a feeling I’d feel the same way even if I had been to the gym every day! It’s the fear of the unknown, will I be able to run between the obstacles, will my team feel let down if I can’t, will I be holding them up?

With just 4 days to go, there’s not much I can do about it now! I’ll be hitting the gym a few times before then and have a PT session booked in for Friday so hopefully I’ll feel happier then but Saturday might be a sleepless night.

I keep telling myself the event is all about camaraderie and isn’t timed so I shouldn’t stress about it and keep thinking “it’ll be alright on the *day*” 🙂

 

30.8.17 – Start Time Received

I received my start time for Tough Mudder today! I can’t believe how quickly it’s come around.

Our team are lucky enough to have received an early time which is apparently better because the course won’t be as churned up. Also means it won’t be as warm of course!

 

With the good weather we enjoyed over the Bank Holiday Weekend, I haven’t been to the gym for a few days! I’ve not long got home from an after-work session where I did the “devils workout” plan. No cardio, back for that tomorrow. Happy to say I didn’t struggle as much as I thought I would! Phew!

Was a good session, trying to build up my strength as much as I can in the little time I have left before Tough Mudder (I’ll definitely be carrying on training afterwards though!)

I’m trying not to let nerves get to me, and remember it’s not a timed event and it’s about camaraderie and finishing as a team!

If anyone has done a Tough Mudder event, please send me any hints and tips you have!

 

 21.8.17 – 3 Weeks To Go!

I can’t believe how quickly Tough Mudder is coming around. I’ve only got 2 sessions now with my PT Mark before the event 😮 but I’ll be hitting the gym 4/5 times a week on my own to make sure I’m as prepared as I can be!

I don’t think I’ll be totally prepared but I’m definitely going to try my hardest on the day and give it my all, and most importantly have fun! The one thing I’ve noticed when watching the videos on YouTube are the smiles on everyone’s faces and the way everyone works together to get through the obstacles. There seems to be a real team spirit and I’m really looking forward to taking part.

Lots of laughs this week during my PT session, mostly at my expense and probably the look on my face when I was told to do as many push-ups as I could in 2 minutes! We did a mix of exercises for a full body workout including dumbbell bent over rows, ab rolls and mountain climbers. It was a really good session and I felt on such a high afterwards. Definitely my favourite plan so far!

Lots more running to do this week! I need to keep on improving! I also had a go on some monkey bars at the weekend during a trip to the park with my toddler. I really struggled! So, whether or not I do that obstacle on event day is a big question mark! I’d like to try every obstacle but monkey bars over water might be getting missed this year, maybe next year!

 

 

18.8.17 – Cardio is Hard-io

Now I’d not been running in a long time (like since I was at school) when I started having PT sessions. I had done The Body Coach’s 90 Day Plan (great if you would like a fixed food plan and are happy to train on your own) but my HIIT training had been primarily on an exercise bike as I didn’t have a gym membership at that time.

For the first few weeks, we focussed on full body weight training sessions but then the dreaded c-word was uttered. Cardio. The thought filled me with absolute dread. “Start steady a minute on, a minute off for 10 minutes” Mark said and internally I said “1 minute?!” but I’ve persevered and actually grown to enjoy it. I’ve also found that by tracking what I’ve done each session, I can actually see my progression which is amazing considering I thought I was going to collapse at the first attempt.

Sweaty but still smiling!

 

Today I managed to do 5 minutes non-stop running which is huge for me! I usually get to about 2 minutes and think I need to walk but this week I’ve been fired up and just kept on going.

It couldn’t have happened at a better time. Tough Mudder is 10 miles long, albeit with obstacles along the way, but the running is my biggest worry. I don’t want the team to be waiting for me to keep up so this is the boost I needed to keep going and improving in the few weeks I have left to train for the event!

 

It’s not my favourite thing to do still, I still find it really hard some days, but as with everything else at the gym that I’ve struggled with, it just motivates me to work harder at it and practice more!

Also, my new trail running shoes arrived today for Tough Mudder. I’ve gone for the Reebok All Terrain Super after reading articles on the TM website. Here’s hoping the grip comes in handy on the day!!

 

 

 

 

14.8.17 – Less Than 1 Month To Go!

As I write this my countdown clock is telling me it’s 28 days until the big day, I’m nervous but quite excited by my next challenge! I’ve been watching videos of previous years and it’s definitely motivated me to give it my all and try to do all the challenges on the day.

So, today’s session with my Personal Trainer Mark was a leg session. I love leg days. They’re my favourite workouts and today’s session surpassed them all.

Here’s a little gym pic of me ready to squat 60kg! More pics next week.

I managed to up my weights on everything we did. So I can now do a back squat of 60kg (my goal is to squat my body weight so we’re getting there) and leg press 100kg! I was absolutely amazed and pleased with myself for managing it…though I will probably be sore tomorrow! We also did lots of weighted walking lunges which I hate, but they work the muscles so I shouldn’t really complain; leg extensions, as a superset when doing the leg press sets; and seated leg curls. We note down the weights used on each exercise each week and I’m so pleased to see my progression and upping the weights each time we do.

We’ve also set up our group for Tough Mudder, the “Muddy Muckers”! There’s 7 of us in the team, all clients of Mark’s. We’re getting geared up and ready to go. If you’d like to donate to us our page can be found here and all donations go to Help for Heroes, who are Tough Mudder’s official partners.

 

 

4.8.17 – First Tough Mudder Training Session

So today I had my measurements with PT (another 3.5 inch down ??) and my first official Tough Mudder training session!

It was HARD!! 66 reps of each weight exercise and 8 different exercises to complete! Usually I have DOMS the morning after a session the day before or 2 days after. At the moment it’s only 4 hours after my session and I’m already feeling sore!! It’s worth it though, I need to get ready to complete the course.

Hopefully I’ll get some pics next time I’m training with PT to show you what I get up to!

 

2.8.17 – My Tough Mudder Challenge

Hi Everyone!

I’m NCS’ Marketing Executive, so many of you may have seen emails from me pop-up in your inbox over the past few months! I’m the newest member of the team, having joined NCS in November 2016.

In January this year, I started having sessions with a personal trainer. I’ve never been more nervous, but I’ve found that I absolutely love going to the gym, weight training and even *whispers* running!

So, 6 months in to my journey, my PT (Personal Trainer) asked if I would do Tough Mudder as part of his team. Now, considering I’ve lost nearly 3 stone since January and I’m much stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been, I’m looking for new challenges and goals to smash…but a 10 mile obstacle course wasn’t on my radar!

Researching the challenge and the obstacles involved, I was sure there was no chance I’d be able to complete such a feat! Mark (my PT) however thought differently and assured me that I’d not only finish it, I’d even enjoy it!

So I’ve taken the plunge and on 10th September I will be taking on the Tough Mudder challenge with 6 others at Cholmondelay Castle in Malpas, Cheshire. That’s just a little over 6 weeks away….time to up the training!!!

You can find out more about the challenge here > 

The team at NCS are fully behind me taking part in this challenge and have asked if I would blog about my training and the event itself. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting! I’ll be adding to my blog here each week so be sure to check back to see how I’m getting on!

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