|I did okay at the Highlander, but it wasn't without disasters.|
|I took a lesson from my son in training for the|
Highland Games: Just keep practicing.
But now, with the Tough Mudder, I am facing a pretty big challenge. Not having ever been a runner, training the ability to do the mileage has been the toughest challenge of all. I've worked up to running 7.5 miles, which is more than I've ever run in my life, but I have to almost double that in the next three months. The strength challenges of the Mudder probably wouldn't be all that terrible in isolation, its mostly bodyweight strength, but the stamina it takes to repeatedly move your body up and over obstacles is staggering and so running will be playing a secondary role in that as well.
While doing a long trail run the other day, I was stumbling my way up a hill covered with rocks and roots focusing primarily on breathing evenly and stepping as carefully as possible. I was marginally aware of the fatigue in my calves, the sense of being out of breath, and the sweat running in my eyes. I tried to imagine climbing in and out of chest deep trenches filled with mud and all I could think was, "I'm too tired. I can't do it."
|Are the mountains in front of you an obstacle?|
Or just part of the trail?
Of course, Doubt and Fear were the first ones to rear their ugly heads. "This is farther than you've ever gone and look at how beat up you are. You can't even get in the car without hurting. Your knees are a mess. You can't run 11 miles much less run 11 miles with obstacles. You only have 3 months left to train. Just quit now. It will be easier that way."
Doubt and fear are very convincing. I struggled with them a lot when I was training horses and competing in equestrian competitions. Because I was usually not afraid, I was always being given the horses who needed "gentling". However, when a 1200 lb animal nonchalantly tries to kill you on a regular basis, you tend to get a little nervous.
|I'm thinking no one was super excited about building this|
fence, it simply had to be done.
However, with this Tough Mudder training, we're way out beyond the boundaries of what I know I can do. In order to complete this race and still have the strength and stamina to do the obstacles, I need to be able to run 15 miles at a reasonable pace and be able to mix some strength work in during my other runs. And I just don't know if I can do it.
The good news is this: Doubt and Fear have the loudest voices, but once they are done yammering, Logic takes over. And Logic tells me this:
1. There is nothing wrong with your body.
2. Three months ago, you couldn't run 7.5 miles, next month you'll be running 10.
3. You are strong and getting stronger.
and most importantly
4. This is going to be hard. Its supposed to be. But, its not impossible. You just need to work hard and that is what you do best.
|Two hundred years ago, a man cut down trees, hand cut|
them into boards, and built this house, all with just an axe.
Surely I can run 15 miles.
Every day, people get up off the couch and decide for the first time to train for a marathon, hike the Appalachian Trail, or lose hundreds of pounds. And they succeed. Not because they are special and amazing in some genetically pre-determined way, but because people are awesome and we have far more potential than we're even slightly aware of.