Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Staying Motivated: Mud Runs

It's obstacle course race season again! This year I've been in the Zombie Mud Run, Rugged Maniac, MudManX and this Saturday is Warrior Dash. Please enjoy this replay of a post from last year on staying motivated to keep running, climbing, jumping and moving.

Stay strong.

Lose weight: check!

Get fit: check!

Now what?!

How do I stay motivated to keep the habits that lead to a 70 lb weight loss and improved my immune system?

Wish I could say feeling great and looking good are enough. But sadly, no - I find it's very easy to backslide into old habits.

When I look back at what worked during the 14 month transformation, it's obvious that playing to my personality was a main factor. As a goal oriented type A, I worked hard to achieve nutrition and fitness metrics. It makes sense that if I want to continue to be healthy, I need to set some more goals. Time to push some boundaries.

Growing up I was not considered the athletic sibling. That was my sister - who was not afraid of anything. And she was generally pretty darned good at anything she tried. What if I didn't have to be the non athletic sibling? What if I could be any damned thing I wanted to be?

As I struggled with how to maintain the improvements, I saw a Groupon for the Survival Race. It was a mud run - a 5K timed obstacle course with mud. Running. Climbing. Swimming. Carrying sandbags. Hurdles. Not anything I've ever done or anyone could imagine me doing.

But I had set a goal to push myself. And this certainly counted. It must be on a weekend I have to work, right? Nope! Must be expensive? Nope! Must be happening too soon to properly train, right? Nope! 2 months was plenty of time and I was out of excuses so I bought the Groupon and signed up for the race.

Knowing it was coming up supercharged my enthusiasm for working out and eating right. It also made me find different workouts that would get me ready fo the obstacles. I would have never been able to do pull-ups or monkey bars if I wasn't trying to increase my upper body strength.

I was 42 at the time and my goal was only to finish and not punk out on any of the obstacles. It was crazy fun and finishing in the top 16% of all participants was a rush. I signed up for 2 other mud runs:, MudManX: Beach Bash N Dash and the Zombie Mud Run: East Windsor, NJ

MudManX had some issues with their first beach event, a bunch of the obstacles couldn't be used and running in the sand without something to break it up gets old fast. My performance resorted to a run-run, trudge-trudge, run-run cycle. But there were still good times to be had after the race took to the streets.

Oh, but the Zombie Mud Run...so much fun. Probably because I'm such a horror geek. Tough obstacles, great course (at the Fields of Terror, East Windsor NJ) and very nice observation area for my hubby and daughter complete with bonfire (it was on Nov 8). Runners needed to finish with one flag football flag still attached to have "survived". I did not and was "infected". But still had a muddy good time.

Right now, I'm planning what runs I'll be in next year because the earlier you register, the cheaper the signup cost. And that will keep me working my butt out throughout the winter, because I want to do even bigger and badder runs next year.

Find out what works for you and your personality. When something new sparks enthusiasm it makes staying fit an adventure that ensures ongoing success. You might be surprised what you can do if you try.

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