Yesterday I took part in a 10k Obstacle Course Race in Hertford. I have to admit that I had always looked at Tough Mudder kind of events before and thought “those people are just crazy”. In the past I never would have considered it. The only event I have ever taken part in before was a 10k women’s race in 2013, so other than that my training has been limited to the gym and occasional 3-4km road runs in the summer.
I was nervous about it because I doubted whether I would be able to run 10k, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do any obstacles that involved using my arms to pull myself up, and I was worried that I would look be rubbish against all of the potentially superfit people!
So why did I sign up in the first place? A few reasons but mainly I wanted to give myself a goal to work towards.
- Training which is only based on losing weight can be frustrating when the scales don’t move quickly and to be honest being solely focussed on your weight is pretty unhealthy and unfulfilling even when you do lose weight. I have been smashing team training each week with a new focus and determination – focused on surviving this event!
- I was doing it as part of a team and I thought that it would be fun to work together.
- I wanted to find out what I was capable of!
So I signed up!
We decided to set up a team Just Giving page and raise money for Mind Mid Herts who work with local people with mental illness. I was so surprised and grateful by the amount of sponsorship I received and it spurred me on – I knew that there was no getting out of it now!
The big day arrived and after a decent breakfast we headed over to the event.
We started at 10.15 and the way that the race was set out, you could opt for 5k, 10k or 20k, so most of the obstacles were crammed into the first five kilometres. That meant that it was full on from the start. After a couple of easier obstacles- climbing over hay bales and wooden structures, the first shock was crawling through a river on your hands and knees – with chest under water. From there on in it was mud slides, wading through rivers, using a rope to pull ourselves up a steep muddy bank, and more mud mud mud! Everyone pulled together to support, push and pull the team through obstacles.
The toughest part for me was all the running in the second half. It was made harder by not knowing how long you had left to go and wondering when it would all be over.
The sense of achievement at the end was amazing- I survived, and I raised £1250 for charity. My legs ache like never before today but I won’t forget the amazing experience. It just goes to show what you can do when you just get on with it! Now….. what’s next?