First of 2013, my now wife and I started working out to prepare for our wedding in the summer. I used to be that tall, skinny guy but since working at a computer I swelled to 240 pounds. Ouch! I saw some pictures of myself and realized I wasn't happy. We both caught the workout bug and started working out all the time with personal trainers. I lost about 40 pounds and have been hovering at 200 pounds for quite some time now.
Around the same time, Jay Garcia was getting into working out and ran a Tough Mudder. Knowing I wasn't at that point, I did a few smaller mud runs that were 5k-7k distances and loved it! They were so much fun! Finally, I signed up for my first Tough Mudder in Chicago in May 2014 along with Jay Garcia and Arthur Kay. Art was running quite a bit, Jay was lifting (not body building lifting) and I was in the middle where I could run 10 miles and was lifting quite often. Well, the three of us kicked ass in the Chicago Mudder.
Since moving to Florida, the heat and gyms being crowded has killed my old workout regimine but I have run 18 miles in one go but have backed down to only running 10 miles as for Tough Mudder I don't need to run more. I also bought a few gym equipment (squat rack, gym mats, etc) and so I can now also target the muscles I need to work on whenever I want instead of pot luck at a gym.
In 2 weeks (November 8, 2014) I will be running my second Tough Mudder in Orlando solo. I'm hoping to do it in 2.5 hours or less but some recent ankle injuries and not working out while on vacation last week may play a big role in that goal. We shall see! I hope sunny Florida doesn't charge the electric shock obstacle(s) too much.
So my running and workouts are now back on track and I'm looking to push myself very hard in 2015. So far, I'm signed up for the Chicago Mudder on May 9, 2015 but I'm gonna turn it into a season pass as there are 6 Mudders I want to do and one or two up where Jay lives.
Here is my 2015 Mudder schedule:
- March 7 Gulf Coast (near Pensacola, Florida)
- May 2 Atlanta, Georgia
- May 9 Chicago, Illinois
- May 16 Tennessee (about an hour south of Nashville, Tennessee)
- October 10 Missouri (about 1.5 hours west of Saint Louis, Missouri)
- Fall 2015 Central Florida (Orlando, Florida; date TBA)
These are the 6 I plan to do, still waiting to talk to Jay about which one(s) he plans on doing near him to add to it.
Due to trying to save money for a house, I'm trying to stay in driving distance of where I live so that's why over the summer I don't plan on doing any but you never know. Also, Danielle may accompany me as a spectator on some which would be great to have some great pictures/videos of me. Last Mudder the photographer didn't get any of me except at the end.
First challenge is the May Mudders. Doing 3 Mudders back-to-back for 3 weeks straight will challenge my conditioning and health. I have a few months to get a great meal plan and exercises to get ready for this.
Going solo. Except for Chicago, I'm likely going to be doing these by myself. There are a couple obstacles that require teamwork so I'm hoping to find a group or someone to team up with when running. Normally people are great about helping each other out so this shouldn't a huge issue.
Gripe strength is very important for many of the obstacles. I'd say this was my biggest negative before and over the winter I hope to improve this in prep for the 2015 season. I finally have plywood and gym mats installed so dead lifts and cleans are now possible.
Along with gripe strength, my shoulders need some improving. Trying to get over the walls was a bit tough for my 200 pound frame. I will be including exercises to help in this area.
I like to set high goals for myself to really push myself. After each goal achieved, I set the next goal higher. My motto is, "If I'm gonna hit a wall, I'm gonna run as hard as I can into it."
First goal is obviously to complete each Mudder, hopefully injury free.
Second goal, the Chicago Mudder that I already ran we finished in 3 hours. I'm hoping to beat this. I'll be doing it with Art (hopefully Jay will make it out) and at the end we got some back charlie horses. I'm hoping my health will be much better.
Third goal, I'm very much looking forward to the Missouri Mudder. I used to live in Saint Louis but with work and other things schedules haven't allowed me to run it. Next year, I have a trip that will be in October/November time so hopefully that doesn't screw it up. But since it's in the later part of the year and the first after my long summer break, I'm looking to really kick ass. I'm going for time! I may even ruck it (backpack of weight)!
2015 is going to be a hell of a lot of fun for me. Tough Mudders are tough but I feel that over the winter and the summer break I can really do well in preparing my body for these to make my challenges into strengths and achieving my goals. I'm looking forward to Danielle seeing me in action finally and going back to Chicago to run with Art and Jay (in Chicago and/or D.C. area) will be good fun.