As a newbie to the world of OCR and running in general, I’d say the learning curve is pretty high in the beginning. I went from only knowing two race companies: Spartan and Tough Mudder to learning names such as ABF Mud Run and Mudocalypse. I also learned that you can’t just go out and play in the mud in any shoes. You need very specific shoes with special treads if you don’t want to slam face first into any of the variety of walls you are required to scale (yet more new vocabulary for me to decipher). Not only is there specialized gear, but there is a whole word of nutrition, hydration, classifications, qualifications, and slang for those “in the know”. It’s a very wild world, but also an amazing one.
I sat on the sidelines of World’s Toughest Mudder 2014 because the words “twenty-four hour”, “endurance”, and “desert” all had me shaking my head vigorously from side to side. But by the end of the event, from the tweeting to the videos to all of the pictures, I HAD to run it 2015. That cliff jump alone had me green with envy. What better way to test my physical and mental strength than pitting myself against twenty-four hours of running and obstacle traversing?
But how do you even prepare for something like this? Living in Michigan means it is less than feasible to train in the kind of terrain I will be experiencing out in Nevada. In fact I’m still pouring over blog posts and the WTM facebook page looking for helpful hints and tips. For now my training is running high, to well, running and also weight training, grip strength training, and (thanks to the odd hours I work at FedEx as well as my school schedule) sleep deprivation training.
My racing schedule opened this past February where I ran a 4.4 mile race in a snow storm in the dark followed the next morning by 13.1 miles in an even worse blizzard with quite possibly the most technical footing of my life. This month I’m looking forward to my very first ultra (33.5 miles) with a Ragnar style trail relay of 220 miles split between 12 people in the Smokey Mountains the following week, and finishing with my first ever Atlas Race experience at the end of April. Right now my plan of attack is simply to just keep running….
….oh, I already bought my wetsuit.