This past weekend I did two obstacle course/mud runs back to back, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. They were both OCRs that I did last year, but this year was very different.
The first was the Thunder Run in Epping, NH, and this was the first OCR that I’ve ever run with a team. It’s an entirely different experience running with a team! My focus when I run an OCR either solo or with my running buddy is to get through it – head down, feet moving, breath in and out, and preparing for the next obstacle ahead of me. My entire focus is on ignoring my brain, which is screaming at me to slow down, don’t go too fast, take a break, and is providing me with a catalog of the myriad of aches and pains I’m currently experiencing.
Running with a team shifts the focus to your teammates – so much more enjoyable! I didn’t think about my achy knees, my scraped elbows, or my seared lungs. It was actually much more relaxing to worry about my teammates and their struggles rather than focus on myself. I loved seeing my teammates, many of whom were OCR virgins, prove to themselves that they could conquer a course that scared or intimidated them. And I’m very grateful that I was able to provide them with a positive experience their first time out.
The second OCR was the MS Muckfest in Devens, MA on a much cooler and windier day. My running buddy and I got muddy immediately, which was fun, but I cramped up almost immediately and had a tough time continuing. I won’t say the rest of the run was a slog, because it certainly had fun obstacles, but it was much tougher for me. That’ll teach me to come home and drink water instead of a celebratory beer after an OCR!
It’s been two days since the weekend and I did a workout last night at a level 2 rather than a level 9 like I usually do. I was stiff yesterday and very sore on our nightly runs.
I say all this because being stiff, being sore, being tired, but still accomplishing two 3+ mile mud runs (one in 50 degree weather and gusting winds) is so much different from what I did 3 years ago. At 110 pounds heavier, I had a tough time walking around the block. I got tired very easily and out of breath walking up the slightest hill. I would come home after 10 minutes of trudging around the neighborhood and collapse on the couch for the rest of the night.
And I find it sad that in my former life I never thought there was any way out of this dead end. I had tried every diet, done the exercise plan, sought professional psychiatric help, and nothing really stuck. Nothing changed the mindset behind the problem. I think I can finally say…my mindset is now changed.
More to come on how and why on my next dump!