"The timorous may stay at home."
~ Murphy v. Steeplechase Amusement Co., 250 N.Y. 479, 483 (N.Y. 1929)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day After World's Toughest Mudder Hangover

No, not like booze hangover. I wish. Back to work, back to the grind, and thanking the higher powers I'm a desk jockey. Sitting is the only thing that doesn't kill me right now. I need a dog to go fetch my print jobs from the copier.

I always like to mull over races for a few days to let it all sink in and organize my thoughts, so that will happen at some point.

But let's get to the not-so-important and meaningful things: the "random thoughts" edition. So in no particular order:

I look warm, right?

(1) So much warmer than last year. I got a bit chilly at around lap 4 or 5, but it was never unbearable. As it became harder and harder to run, though, it got colder since I couldn't keep my body temps up. And thank you wind for not picking up until the last lap. Did anyone notice how calm the wind was during the night?
(2) Who is in charge of TMHQ's music? I swear to God it was the same 5 or 6 bands on repeat throughout the course the entire time: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182, Tupac, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd. I must have heard Nirvana's "Rape Me" about 5 times during the race--very motivational, guys. I heard a racer say he thought Christmas music was playing during part of it. Hallucination or not, but that's freakin' hilarious.
(3) Mudders rock.  The amount of encouragement from other racers out there was just amazing. I apologize to those of you who called out to me and I had no idea who you were--wetsuit hoods make everyone look the same. I met tons of awesome people along the way, and offered people $5 here and there when they helped me out in some way (offering to hold down the cargo net, etc.). I hope you all don't think you actually are going to collect on that.
(4) Wetsuits are not flattering. As I ran by people, I must have been told "keep it going, man!" or "well done, dude!" about two dozen times. So yes, we all look the same in wetsuits: like dudes.
The camera (and 9mm of
neoprene) adds 10lbs
(5) Wetsuits do prevent gnarly gashes. While I'm covered in bruises, at least I don't have to worry about infected cuts like after the Death Race or the Ultrabeast. Infected eyes from the Jersey mud, however, are probably inevitable. 
(6) Windburn and eyeball burn hurts. I spent the entire flight back to Chicago last night with a Coke can pressed up against my face. And rocking sunglasses in the Philly airport to shield my eyes. People must have thought I was either a celebrity or a beating victim.
(7) When your grip strength goes, you're screwed. I cruised through the Funky Monkey and Hanging Tough and that rope climby-thing the first few laps just fine (I'm going to go ahead and thank Crossfit for that--struggled immensely with all of those last year). But between the monkey bars, rings, ropes, tac ladders, and that damn cargo net out of the lake, my forearms were shot after 4 laps. Couple that with the freezing water, and there's no way to regain that. I'm just thankful I didn't fall off of that cargo net the last couple laps. God knows I was precariously close.
(8) Being in the lead is stressful. I felt like I was being chased. I mean, I guess I was. Sadly, I never had the opportunity meet Deanna Bregg, the Aussie who held down third, but I wish I could have--what a great competitor and athlete. She stayed consistently 30 minutes behind give or take a few for the first 8 laps, and you bet that I was looking over my shoulder the entire time.
(9) OH MY GOD THESE PICTURES. I'm not vane or anything (ok, I am...a bit), but seriously?! Is that seriously what I looked like? Swollen face, mud mustache and eyebrows, and just pain? Yikes. I gotta work on that.
Just wow. I'm bringing wet naps next time.
(10) I have phenomenal friends and support. Those who helped me break down my tent and campsite afterwards, who brought me clothes, who drove my rental car when I was in no condition to, who posed with my giant check and gave any interview...oh...wait.
(11) This is my first semi-serious race injury. I thought it was a sprained ankle, but the swelling has migrated to the top of my foot. Crossing my fingers there are no broken bones. Ice and rest for the time being, and you all know how I hate rest. Hate it.
(12) I still cry after races. This time, I made it successfully away from the race track and through a shower without breaking down into sobs. But as soon as I got on the phone with the parents, the flood gates opened.
(13) I did not break the 2nd place streak. I mean, I won for women, but I still came in second to Pak. Not that I even thought I could get within a lap of him, let alone less than 10 minutes. In other words, I'll take it.  
(14) Running alone blows. It's lonely out there. Thankfully, I kept myself company by singing this on repeat for 24 hours. Check it out: THIS IS F*CKIN AWESOME.

(15) Watch out boys, we're coming for you. 1300 competitors, only 100 of them women. Second and third place OVERALL held down by women. You figure out the rest.


    That is all :)

  2. You forgot to mention ACDC, because that is the ONLY album I heard the whole time I was in tent city.

  3. Re: Tough Mudder music. At start line/base camp it was literally AC/DC Greatest Hits on repeat between 10pm and 5am. This went back and forth between being annoying and awesome.

    1. Hmm...I guess I missed this because I was never IN the pit area. Zing! :)

  4. I'm surprised your fingers aren't too swollen to type today :) Great work Amelia.

  5. Amazing. I followed the race updates on Mudder Nation. Your energy and ability to push through for the 90 miles plus obstacles is just astounding. All of this and you're still working a day after? Yikes, I would need a week off! Congrats!

  6. My apologies for calling you "Pak" when you lapped me on my 4th lap--your 5th (or maybe 6th)--in the wee hours of the morning in the swamp. You're a freakin beast and my motivation for next year's WTM. Congrats!!!

  7. What an inspiration! I was on the mudder community along with hundreds of others hanging onto ANY update we could get of you and all the other participants. I would love to be there next year!

  8. I love that you have your sights on first place and not just first place for Womens. You are a huge inspiration and kick some major ass. I hope your ankle/foot comes out okay!

  9. ..."keep it going, man!" or "well done, dude!"...

    Very funny! Great read. Much respect and congratulations on an outstanding performance, Amelia.

  10. Amelia , I did the TM on Oct 20th ( kiddie race compared to you ) . I was addicted to the computer watching the stats of you running . I was in awe of what you endured and never imagined a women could even make it in the top 50 . You are truly a freak of nature :-) . I'm so proud of you .... Girl Power !!! and Mustache Man if you're reading ..Team Sweat really enjoyed your training videos ... Thanks :-)

  11. As a fellow Tough Mudder (New England, Team Cinderblock) I was at WTM to support two of my fellow Blocks compete. Two of us were 26 hr bystanders/support for our boys. When they were out running, we were there. Having seen the course and the toll it took on competitors over the day and especially night, I'm in awe of the top competitors and of you, Amelia. I watched and spoke to you a cpl of times and the thing that stood out is you never stopped. While most walked, a lot, you were an absolute beast. I was already inspired by my boys, and pissed I wasn't competing, but you also add some inspiration. My 2013WTM training has already begun. See you next year!

  12. haha...eye infections...SHIT! That's why it feels like I took my contacts out after eating buffalo wings.

    and the Bruce Springstein...I wanted to carry the cinderblock to the lake and drown myself if I heard him one more time...I realize it was Jersey and all, but C'MON!!

    and wasn't that lake water the most metallic tasting crap ever!

    I had one runner who kept lapping me, saying "keep it up Cuervo." I never got the joke until I was finished and realized my number was 1800. Was that YOU??

  13. Amelia, you seriously inspire me so much. I did my first TM last year in the Poconos, hoping to do 2 more this year..who knows, maybe WTM one day! You're an awesome role model for the ladies in these kinds of events (for everyone, really). I kept checking the stats for the race at work over the weekend, you seriously tore it up. I live in Michigan, ran extra long last night despite the cold, if you can do this I can run an extra measly mile haha.

  14. So about a week before WTM my buddy sends me a link to your blog post "How World's Toughest Mudder Ruined My Life" - that was fun to read. Back to this in a second.

    Meanwhile, my brother qualified for WTM when he and I did a TM race in Ohio in April so about 7 of his friends and I came out to support him in Jersey (if you heard the vuvuzelas, that was us... sorry, not my idea). He worked his ass off and pushed through 3 laps and I couldn't be more proud of my little brother.

    I didn't realize until after I got back to Chicago that the woman who kicked everyone's asses and was so close to Pak was the same one whose blog I had just read. That was more than impressive and I just want to congratulate you on an awesome race!

    Now I just need to figure out how to get out there with my brother next year!

  15. Amelia......awesome performance. Love hearing about the event from participants and your write-up here is great. And the greatest part might be the YouTube video clip, cracking me up!

    Can't wait until next year when you blow by Pak and win it all!!

  16. Amelia how do you keep your hands from becoming wrecked after being wet for hours upon hours? I ran the WTM last weekend and my hands got totally destroyed i had to stop running. Any suggestions for a newbie?

  17. Love that Thrift Shop song and video!