Surfing about on my social media, I got a simple request from "Code Zero Kettlebells", asking if anyone had done a Spartan Race and or the Tough Mudder. Well, if you are an avid reader of this blog (and who isn't, really ... ;)) ... you'll know that I have completed both and done write ups for both on this blog.
I completed the Spartan Race in June of 2011, and the write up of the event, is here. Now, before you race off to that link, I'll admit that it isn't a very useful post in and of itself. Not much of a review of the course. I've gotten a lot better a post writing since. In any case, I liked the Spartan Sprint. It was a 5 kilometer race (about 3 miles for my American friends) with something like ten events along the way. That year the event was held at an old limestone quarry, and so we were up and down the sides three or four times. Not a demanding event, but a fun exercise. Well run, too. I did in fact sign up and pay for the 2012 event, but was unable to make it, as I had just gotten one of my children out of the hospital and was needed at home. As you can see on the side of this blog, it is my intention to run the 2013 Spartan Sprint in Toronto.
I also completed the Tough Mudder in "Toronto" in August of 2012. It's "Toronto", as it was about a 90 minute drive north of the city at a place called Mount St Louie Moonstone. I didn't quite think my way through why it would be there until after I'd finished. I did a wrap up this event here. It was a really well run event, but I am so glad I went on the Sunday. Me and crowds just don't mix, and I see a lot of crowds in the pics on various websites of the Saturday event. I was pretty sore after playing a full game of rugby on Saturday, but I was ready to go on Sunday. I was so glad I got in the earliest run on Sunday - and that I listened to Craig Ballantyne's podcast about the events at Tough Mudder. My TM was in August, and Craig did one in April and did the podcast shortly thereafter. I found his information really helpful - and it was free on iTunes.
I'd also like to thank my wife for taking our three kids for both days this past August; she sees me working hard at my fitness, likes the results and is happy when I get my blood pressure checked and it's 120/80 ... aka "normal". I owe a lot of what I am to her.
All in all, I liked doing both events. The Spartan Sprint was what I needed in 2011; I was worried about being able to finish and when I did, I felt a nice sense of accomplishment. Finishing ahead of two or three of my Facebook friends was cooler, though. The Tough Mudder was a real test of basic fitness. Finishing in just over three hours was cool, and has made me think that I should do it again in under three hours in 2013.
All in all, I've made a few goals for myself for the next years' events. One is to be in better shape to handle hills. Second would be to work on my relative upper body strength. Three would be to expand my network of training partners and, by extension, the people with whom I do these events. Lastly, I'd like to be in "better shape", but honestly, I'm mostly already there in what I'm doing already.
To that end, I've got an email/FB message in with two guys from my rugby club to talk tomorrow after training about getting ready for the spring TM. I'm also doing a walk by a "new gym" today, looking to see if they have monkey bars I can work out on this winter. I'm also watching my diet and looking to see if there is an outdoor hill/trail I can run on this winter, instead of just the roads/sidewalks in my neighbourhood. Ultimately, I'm still sore from this morning's Kettlebell and bodyweight workout. In other words, I think I'm on track.
I'm really looking forward to this winter's training and seeing the results in the spring both at these obstacle racing events, the wrestling mat and on the rugby pitch.