As the world of obstacle racing moves progressively into the professional realm, I feel the need to share a bit more of my story, in hopes of giving anyone intimidated by trying one, a push in the right direction.
Although many people racing competitively in today’s obstacle races are seasoned athletes with years of running and training under their belts, not all of us are! I recall very clearly how intimidating obstacle racing appeared to me when I caught my first glimpse. And, believe it or not, it was just a year ago that I was introduced!
Let me remind you that it was a mere year and half ago that I lived a sedentary life, 50 pounds heavier, and incredibly unhappy and insecure with how I looked and felt about myself. 10 months ago I ran my first ever 5k, FIRST EVER. So last July when a co-worker of mine asked if I would want to participate in a mud run called Tough Mudder, I watched the You Tube video in disbelief and told her, “You are insane!” I even googled, “has anyone died during Tough Mudder” because I thought this crazy race looked deadly!
I have to thank my husband for making the most life changing statement as we sat together at happy hour one evening shortly after. As I explained this ridiculously insane race to him, he looked at me and said, “You’d never do anything like that! You don’t like to get dirty! And you could get hurt since you aren’t ready for something like that.”
The stubborn Irish woman in me promptly signed up for Tough Mudder, and I vowed to get myself in shape by December. Although I had lost about 20 pounds at that time, I still could not run a mile without walking, had done no strength training, and I had 3 months to get in shape for 12 miles and 28 obstacles.
To make a long story short, I worked my butt off, I ran Tough Mudder, I was in decent shape and I was so proud of my accomplishment when I crossed that finish line.
And thus began my love affair with obstacle racing.
I ran Warrior Dash shortly after Tough Mudder, and have 4 more obstacle races coming up this year.
I now have a goal to complete the Spartan Trifecta in 2013. And not only do I intend to run these races, I intend to be as competitive as I possibly can. I plan to get up in the front line with the pros, and show them how a rookie can race!
So if you think that obstacle racing, or anything for that matter, looks too intimidating, forget that! If you put your mind to it, focus, and put the work in, you can do it, and do it well!
I remember what it’s like to struggle through 30 minutes on the treadmill, to feel my body give out when I attempted to do one pushup, to suffer through shin splints and sore muscles. But I also know that I kept pushing myself a little further each day. I went from my first 5k, to a 12 mile obstacle race, to a half marathon! I’m in the best shape of my life, and know I can get even better, and I will! And you can do it too. I promise.
I hope to see you next to me at the starting line someday, I’ll run beside you, and I’ll cheer you on.
Until then, lace up your shoes. We’ve got some work to do…