Total Warrior Scotland 2015

  
It’s done – I accepted the challenge and completed it! And man was it bloody cold! I know it’s Scotland ok but it turned in to true winter weather today with the rain and cold wind blasting away at us.  Still, we did it!

Louise came round in the morning and said her leg was really hurting her so I gave her some ibuprofen gel to put on it.  Other than that she was good to go so off we went – surprisingly early for us.  Good thing too though as it turned out to be so much further than I first thought! 2 hours away – quite a drag in the car when you aren’t prepared for that.  Luckily though because we had left early we didn’t run late.

   
 
Soon as we got there we headed to the registration tents – set up according to surname so unfortunately for Louise she was at the other side from us (she starts with C and we start with W).  We all had our ID ready but we weren’t asked for it, given our race pack and off to the lovely portaloos we went.  Then bibs on, race chip on, tattoos on and jumpers off.  It was absolutely freezing – a short sleeve vest wasn’t a great choice.  So a few photos then it was off to bag drop and heading to the start line.

  
To be honest, the event village was nothing compared to Tough Mudder.  TM might be very commercialised but it has a much, much better atmosphere and it has the experience nailed.  They really knew how to get you fired up! It was just a bit flat at Total Warrior compared to that.  Anyway, off to the start line and it wasn’t long before we were off! 

No sooner had we started though that Louise’s leg really started to hurt her – she couldn’t really manage the hill sprints at the start so she joined quite a few others in skipping them.  The water obstacles were not as cold as what I’ve done before so I was ok with them – the water was deeper though and I actually had to swim on one of them much to my husbands amusement! Good thing I’m taking lessons ha ha.  There was so much more mud on the course though – probably thanks to the rain.  And some of the obstacles were ‘curious’ to say the least.  One was a giant tarpaulin slide down the hill to which I crashed literally head first in to Louise’s back. I have a lump. I managed the Hang Tough one! At least to the end of the ladder, it then had rope and that just ripped through my hands so I went down right at the end.  There was a surprise sprint section of about 100 – 150m but I decided not to go completely at it given I have the half marathon next weekend and didn’t want to risk slipping in the rain and getting injured.  Still managed a respectable 22secs though.

We finished together – there were loads of photographers but none at the end which I found really strange and the only reason I asked my husband to wait for us.  Typically though as soon as we finished I got the shivers so it was straight to the car to change – no showers are provided.  What? No showers? But I had at least half a ton of mud in my bra, down my trousers and up my ……. Ok, time to focus.  I know at this point time is of the essence and I have to get in to warm, dry clothes as fast as I can. Stuff it, I will just strip.  The closest people are opposite so I can hide behind the car door.  After the usual fight with the vest it comes off and is unceremoniously dumped on the floor, closely followed by the sports bra.  Towel wrapped round and I walk to the boot to get my trousers and what comes along? Yup, a group of blokes, at the very next car. I quickly turn round only to be met by another group of blokes just 2 cars over.  Well, do you know what? In for a penny in for a pound, trousers off and I’m butt naked apart from my towel, which, in the wind, is about as much use as wet toilet paper.  

I am truly past caring at this point and all I want is a bloody cup of tea so yeah, if they looked, they saw everything.  Do I care? Not a bit! I’m sure they will have seen worse (at least I hope so!). I got dressed and jumped in the car to warm up before we headed for a cup of tea and a burger.

  
Heading home we did the usual ‘review’ and concluded that 1.  Louise did extremely well with her injuries.  2.  The obstacles were not as hard as we thought they might have been.  3.  We will do Tough Mudder next year, but probably not Total Warrior unless they make improvements.  4.  We did it in a damn good time.

  
So this Tough Mudder is now a Total Warrior and in 2 weeks time I will be a Beast too.  With the small matter of a half marathon in between.  Can’t wait! I will however remember a very large towel!

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Another ‘Night Before’

This time it’s Total Warrior.  And this time the hubby is doing the event with me! (Along with a friend).  Managed to convince him to sign up eventually – nothing at all to do with the fact his brother is doing it too and I just went ahead and bought his ticket a few weeks ago, nothing at all.  Had actually hoped to convince my brother as well but to no avail.

We are not packed, it’s us, we don’t do ‘organised’.  We are ready in the sense of physical fitness though.  All the training I’ve been doing I am hoping will carry me through not only this event but the next 2 – the Scottish Half Marathon and then the Beast Race.  I’m maybe being a little naive but now I’ve got 10 events under my belt I’m feeling more confident, and it certainly helps knowing he will be by my side the whole way this time.  My friend who is joining us is the same girl who did the Moonwalk with me.  Nope, not done any training together, she has a busier social life than the Kardashians put together! She has also hurt her leg quite bad so we know she’s going to have to skip some obstacles but not to worry, I’m sure she will finish. 

I should probably write a little check list of what I need.  Running gear, old trainers, clean underwear (it’s an obstacle course and you get submerged, I hopefully won’t need it for any other reason!!) towel, warm jumper for the inevitable shivers afterwards, gloves, red bull, flap jacks etc. oh Tickets!! 

I know a few people going tomorrow, none of whom know anything about my panic and anxiety and that somehow makes me feel relaxed!  I’m sure come start time I will get the usual wave of shakes and sweats but that is getting easier to cope with also.  Will it ever go away completely? Probably not.  Will I let it overcome me? Never.  It’s part of me, I need to accept that and move on.

Ok so next blog will hopefully be tomorrow night, include a few photos, a few funny stories and a shot of me enjoying a beer with my finishers medal in hand! 

 

Trying new things

My local gym is bringing a new program in – it’s called Les Mills Grit and RPM.  Some people at the gym kept asking me if I was going to sign up so I decided to try the taster session.  Didn’t quite know what to expect, knew it was supposed to be tough but it only lasts 30 minutes.  So I went along.

There was about 10 of us in the class and there were 2 instructors.  They explained it was all high intensity and they wanted you to really push yourself the entire time.  They wanted you to get high above your comfort zone – and if you needed a break to stop completely rather than taking it down a level.  Different, hadn’t come across that before.  Anyway, we started and there were the usual push ups, burpees, high knees etc.  Weights thrown in too.  I liked it, it was tough I’m not going to lie.  At one point I was kindly reminded I have had 3 children and almost had to make a dash to the bathroom!  Thank goodness I still do pelvic floor!

The class wasn’t anything new, just done in a slightly different way to a specially designed sound track.  But if it works it works.  I don’t like the idea of only having to do 2 or 3 sessions of 30 minutes a week though.  That doesn’t work for me.  I prefer much longer sessions of exercise.  I am going to look at signing up though, see how I get on.  (And make sure I don’t drink too much before it!) 

  

Perth 10k

Last weekend saw me participating in my local 10k race.  Took a lot of ‘self talking to’ for me to go for it but I signed up and went for it.  The hubby was away all weekend on a lads trip so it was my ever supportive mum that came along to watch the kids whilst I spent an hour in my trainers.  I would be lost without my mum.

The morning started typically ok, I was up, my boys were up, my gear was ready.  Then all of a sudden plans changed and I was running late! (No pun intended!) I had wanted to walk to the event as its only 3km away but I ended up having to drive and I had my youngest in his buggy whilst I registered – one person asked me if I was running with him so I had to explain I was waiting on my mum coming.  I chose to believe they didn’t ask snidely, but I may be wrong.  My mum arrived with my daughter who had stopped at hers the night before and my little nephew – ‘are you going to win auntie Ella?’  Not likely I’m afraid! There were loads of people wearing official running club tops.  This was going to be a fast race! My knee had been niggling for over a week so I set my mind to go steady.  The half marathon I had entered was only 4 weeks away so I didn’t want to risk injury.

  
We were asked to move to the starting line and I placed myself about midway in the pack.  There were about 450 runners – quite a number for a small town but I could see by the running club tops many had come from other towns.  As usual the shakes started, the heart started racing so I just looked at the ground and waited for the gun.  Put my music on and off I went.  

Quite a few passed me as we started – I’m really not one for pushing through at the start, I wait until there’s a clear gap before going, and, much to my surprise, there were gaps for the first 2km.  I passed quite a few people and I was keeping a much faster pace than intended.  The route was one I regularly run at the start anyway so I was very comfortable with that.  It was cool to start off with though but got hot very quickly so I knew I would be taking on water at the station.  And, because I knew the route well, I was able to predict where the water station would be also.  Yes I could have just looked at the map but it felt good to know without looking how far 5k was! 

Past the water station and down into the housing estate where I live.  I had hoped my eldest, who was at home, might have come out to cheer me on but I was only kidding myself.  He was in his room on his Xbox! Typical teenager.  Round the big street that goes the length of the housing estate and as I turned back on to the path that takes you back to the river I passed my friends house.  I looked up at her window and there she was with her young lad waving away! What a boost! With a stupid grin on my face I continued on and sent her a text saying thank you!  I wouldn’t usually text away whilst running but it really gave me the boost I needed in the race!  I pushed on until I could see the finish and looped round to the final straight.  I could read the clock now and realised I was coming in in good time so I pushed that little bit more across the finish.  

I collected the ‘bling’ and the complimentary fudge and water and started looking for my mum.  I couldn’t see her anywhere.  The panic started creeping up and I started to feel like an idiot standing there out of breath, not knowing anyone.  I was about to go hide under a tree when my daughter and nephew appeared from no where and my mum was behind them with my youngest.  I had to sit down for a minute to get rid of that feeling and checked my strava.  I had a feeling it was a pb but my word I was pleased with the result! 51min 17 – I’m getting close to the elusive sub 50min! 

There were a lot of people around so I thanked my mum for watching the kids and coming to support me and scuttled off home – yet again forgetting to go and get my preliminary race print out! I really need to stop that and just calm the …. down.  I just ran the same race as all those people, I don’t need to run away home!  I can relax and take a moment.  That’s the aim next time.  

I got a great little medal and unusually a long sleeved t-shirt from the day along with the fudge.  It was a great event and I will be doing it next year too.  Tomorrow is another swimming lesson! Hopefully taking in less water than last time!

   
  The t-shirt