Running isn’t a hobby it’s a career, and on February 27, 2014 my career got a little more interesting. That was the day I got invited to join a work group to complete Tough Mudder.
In the beginning, I was thrilled telling myself that it’s just like some of the other obstacle races I had run, only longer. At the time, I was averaging 10K steps per day, using my Fitbit Zip to calculate each move I made.
With only seven months to train, I knew I had my work cut out for me. My primary goal was just getting up to a 12-mile run, about three times longer than my usual distance. Each week I added 1K steps to my run until I hit my 12-mile goal, I then decided to make it a little more challenging.
My weekends began to fill with 10-mile trail walks on Saturdays and 12-mile trail runs on Sundays. At this point, two months before Tough Mudder, I felt I was trained and ready to go. But then I started browsing the race website and quickly realized: I was not ready.
My Zip pushed me to get gradually increase my steps/distance, betting my time and training.
Needless to say, I increased my workout intensity lifting weights, swinging kettlebells, kickboxing, and completing various core workouts to increase my upper body and core strength as quickly as possible. The ultimate goal was preparing for a Tough Mudder obstacle called Everest—a quarter pipe climb covered in mud and grease. With just one month to train for this terrifying climb, the one tool that I used the most was my Zip.
I found the highest hill near my house and ran all-out wind sprints. I started with just a few feet, but gradually increased to sprinting the entire hill and back several times. My Zip pushed me to get gradually increase my steps/distance, betting my time and training.
On the morning of race day, I was nervous and excited. At 9am we were on the road and by 10am, at the starting line to the Tough Mudder in Montgomery City, MO. In the back of my pants was a zipper pouch where I had my most reliable tool, my Fitbit, in two plastic bags hoping that it would survive along with me on our 12-mile obstacle race.
With my husband by my side, we completed one obstacle after another—even one where I had to carry him 500 feet!
We jumped in the arctic enema (think tank full of ice water) diving underwater, shaking as I moved through the ice bath to the opposite side.
The final obstacle—a muddy sprint through a barrage of hanging, electrically charged wires—stood between me and the finish line. With a couple shocks to my frame, I crossed the finish line, hoping my Zip was still in one piece.
Through all the mud, water, and obstacles both me and my trusty Zip and survived. It tracked all 12 miles, validating one of the most physically challenging days of my life.
It’s amazing what a person can accomplish by overcoming your fears with the tools and team to help achieve your goals.