Toughest Mudder West - Oh boy here I go hurting again
Previous Best: 35 miles @ Toughest Midwest 2017
Current Year: Placed 11th Overall/9th Male @ 40 Miles in 8 hours
2 hours prior
½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter
16oz water with 1 nuun tab (electrolytes)
30 Minute Before
(1) Spring Energy Long Haul
During: Tailwind, Donuts, Spring Energy Long Haul
Course Profile: Rolling Hills/compacted dirt w/1,100 feet of elevation gain, per lap
Pit Set Up: Had the perfect pit member and previous Elite Contender, Tyler Nash aka Nashty!
Lap 1 (miles 1-5): The Holy Fuck Up, not so Sprinty |46:24|
The dreaded announcement was made. No sprint lap and full obstacles from the start. We started out strong and I led the pact for, what felt like, the first 20 minutes of the race with Dr. Red Tights. Is this even real life? Then, I made the biggest NEWB mistake at Just The Tip. Instead of sticking to my plan of utilizing the pole holds vs. Door Knobs, I got cocky, grabbed the knob and fell. Off to the penalty I went down a fast hill, and up a big one. It was at this point I saw Trevor, Robert, Doza and Rea all just cruising past the obstacle. Stupid, stupid mistake, Javier. I thought I was only getting the tip but ended up getting fully fucked. Luckily, this was my first and only obstacle failure.
Lap 2 (miles 5-10): Gastro, Ass-Throw |48:18|
I came into the pit fast and hot where Nashty waited for me with my pre-mix of Tailwind in hand and even though I still felt full I knew I was going to need the calories. I swig all of it down as I’m running to the start of the next lap and felt really full, and started to get sharp pains in the stomach...fuck just ignore it and it’ll go away.
Lap 3 (miles 10-15): Gastro, Ass Throw pt.2 |52:06|
Again, coming in hot, Nashty hands off the Tailwind, same issue...fuck this was my entire nutritional strategy...luckily I had also grabbed a gel. Although I was experiencing gastro issues I figured maybe I’ll “line” my stomach with some Spring Energy Gels. After that I felt much better and went back on auto pilot.
Lap 4 (miles 15-20): Mecca and Donuts |58:15|
Mmmmm….donuts. I had packed some, just in case, and they ended up saving my race, that beautiful round shaped, sugar glazed fried piece of heaven. They went down easy, it was about 150 calories (just the right amount) and it didn’t cause me any gastro issues.
By this lap I had named “MY” obstacles.
Devils Beard: “fucking hell”
Arctic Emma: “Mecca”
Just the Tip: “That’s what she said”
Mud Mile: “Fuck that place”
Blockness Monster: “Second Cool Down”
Hero Wall: “Trump Wall”
Skidmarked: “Trump Wall v2.0”
This is a little trick I developed to make the experience my own, and it helps mentally, well, because YOU own it. Going through “fucking hell” uphill and then making it to “Mecca” was absolutely my favorite stretch because of the reenergizing cool down I knew was coming.
Lap 5 (miles 20-25): What Elevation? |1:01:25|
By this point I’m definitely feeling the effects of 4k of elevation, my gaiters didn’t do a great job of keeping rock out of my shoes, and my Salomon Amphibs (better suited for short course) not the grueling endurance event had fried my calves. The quads at this point are in a lot of pain this is the point that the race actually starts, the only thing that mattered at this point was getting in some consistent lap times. I’d set up my watch to display two things, lap times and average lap pace. I knew I needed to run a consistent 11:30-11:45 to get 40 miles in. Oh and it this point the dryness of the obstacles, and hands tore up my hands pretty badly. At funky monkey the volunteer asked me “are you OK?” to which I replied “‘tis but a scratch”.
Lap 6 (miles 25-30): ULTRA ON YOUR LEFT...oh wait EXCUSE ME! |1:04:17|
As if Tough Mudder didn’t make this hard enough with elevation and no sprint lap, they throw a final obstacle at us, “The Weekend Warriors”. Now, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the motivation was great but on the other not everyone followed the course rules and I found myself yelling “excuse me, excuse me, I love you, excuse me!” far too often. I got yelled at Blockness Monster for not helping out “EXCUSE ME, YELLOW HAT GUY!” ummm you have 4 people there “wut?”
Lap 7 (miles 30-35): Release me from this Death |1:08:02|
By this point I seriously considered stopping and just accepting my contender status but I’m not that smart. During the Pit Nashty had said to me “you look strong” and it was these words that kept repeating themselves in my head as I went out for lap seven. Because well if he said it, it must be true and I need to believe it. Hills were no longer a running option, I’m still bombing the downhill stretches and overall the exhaustion is really settling in.
Lap 8 (miles 35-40): Sweet Release of Death, negative split |1:05:18|
Came in, ate a donut, Nashty said I was in 8th, and I left that pit quicker that you can say “fuck me Scotty”. I heard the announcer say...here comes Dr. Red tight….dammit I’m going to have to work this lap, again?! I was constantly looking over to see where he was, and I finally got a glimpse of that beautiful bastard as I was running down the pavement...shit he’s chasing me. Made it past “fucking hell” and during the uphill transition, before, Mecca is when Dr. Red Tights passed. I was close behind him and observed him constantly looking back to see where I was...I see you, you see me, well we’re both going to hurt for this position. Eventually he won, and I lost sight of him and at this point I hear some girl cheering out this stud Justin Sexy Rose, and he passed me. I asked her “what lap is he on?” and she said “this is his eighth lap…”oh fucking hell no, 9th male and 11th overall is mine, not yours” I thought. This is the point where I went from running a 13min/mile down to an 8min mile on an empty tank and with a lot of hurt. I negative split this lap, running faster than my previous. I focused on what was ahead, I saw Allison Tai and she was my next “anchor point” get as close as possible to her and we finished together almost.
Who was at the finish line, laid out on the floor waiting for my sweet embrace? None other than Dr. Red Tights himself, I collapsed next to him...called him a “fucking bastard” for making me run that hard and we laughed, dead on the floor. I couldn’t wait to see Tyler Nash at the pit to give him a big fucking hug for being such an amazing pit person, I love that guy!