Cinco de Muddo weekend was the greatest in LbF’s storied history!
Starting 4 months ago, about a dozen aspiring Mudders met weekly at the hills and playgrounds of Providence. In the end, the survivors of the program all successfully completed Tough Mudder New England #1!
I had already signed up for Saturday’s event prior to starting the training program, and prior to Saturday selling out. As luck had it, most of Los Neuty Osos (our team name dedicated to the park we trained at and the bear crawls that prepared us) were unable to sign up for Saturday. So, in the spirit of leadership and being a little messed up in the head, I signed up Sunday too so I could join my fellow Osos! Here’s what went down during an action-packed weekend:
Saturday was beautiful! 50+ degree temps and mostly sunny skies made for the coziest TM experience I’ve had! The course was completely different from last year, but as I have previously written, so was I! Last year I went in untrained (due to injury) and under-hydrated. That will never happen again (well at least the under-hydrated part)! I felt quite comfortable at the front of the pack of a fit group of experienced mudders (Team Sofa King). Although Sunday was “in my head” a little during the event Saturday, I decided to take advice I heard several years ago at a Triathlon clinic…a coach was asked if one should do shorter races (i.e. sprint or Olympic distance) at a slow pace ( i.e. 1/2 iron or iron speed) to prepare for a longer event. The coach put it simply – IF YOU’RE GOING TO RACE, THEN RACE! So, I cruised through TM Round 1 without holding back! Here are a couple highlights from day #1:
Everest (not as smooth as Day 2):
Team Sofa King Just Before the Finish Line:
Then came the recovery strategy…
After the Dos Equis at the finish line (not passing on that one) and one more celebratory beverage at the official Sofa King team cabin, I started preparing for another day of (hopefully) cramp-free and injury-free muddin with mis Osos. Featured on the menu – lots of coconut water, glutamine, pears, bananas, then Los Neuty Osos’ last supper that featured healthy portions of cabbage, sweet potatoes, chicken, steak, parsnips, more fruit, and my secret indulgent health weapon – Dark Chocolate! While digesting I spent some time on a foam roller and a lacrosse ball. Although I was pretty tired, I woke up around 3 am anxious for round 2. Some yoga and deep breathing took me until daylight (although the moon that night was like a spot light). After a brief early am nap, I took down two bananas (of the approx. 2 dozen that weekend), a glass of emergencee, chased it all with coconut water, and took the Moover to the base of the Mountain.
Round 2 could not have gone any better!
Feeling surprisingly fresh, I hiked along with a fantastic group of clients/friends to victory! I’m proud to say we all passed through the electrical wires at the finish line injury-free! There are plenty of reasons for this but the most significant ones are as follows (in no particular order):
- Proper training – we hit hills consistently for 16 weeks! When people were moaning and groaning about lactic acid and fighting gravity, we were pluggin away as usual.
- Doing the right thing before the event – I personally did a two-week taper and most of Los Osos did a one weeker to ensure muscles were fresh. We also reduced caffeine intake, ate clean, and increased our water intake in the days leading up to the event.
- Appropriate gear – we all rocked some sort of minimalist shoe (I believe vibram 5 fingers are made for TM), wore stretchy board short bottoms, and topped it off with a sick wicking LbF T shirt!
- Technique – all obstacles were approached with safety and efficiency as the primary goals.
- Grit and balls – there are times when your training and preparation don’t make a difference anymore, when you need to dig deep and put your inner badass on display. We all had moments like that on Sunday. For me, I slipped off the monkey bars about half-way through and took a bath. After a cold swim, I ran back like a pissed-off beast and dominated them. The picture below captures those feelings pretty well…
In conclusion, once again the LbF approach proves to be effective! Approx time investment leading up to TM New England #1 = 2.5hrs/week. Approx time on course = 9 hours in 2 days! Get good at muddin without muddin!
Here are some video highlights of day #2:
Electric Eel (I shock my own teammate right off the bat! Listen for the pops and screams from other fellow mudders):
Everest (although it’s a longer video, it’s worth it to watch Big Dave Decamp conquer the wall! He was either getting up or knocking down that ramp on his last attempt at 5:08. My attempt 0:29, Brian 1:33, Jim 2:23, Dawn 1:58, 4:30):
Oh and we never practiced cold water obstacles. That’s just grit and balls!
Los Neuty Osos After:
Also, big shout out to the First Laidy for all her culinary and videography contributions!