Running a Marathon, Or Not

Earlier this year I came to the “very” surprising conclusion that I'm not doing enough sports in relation to the hours I spend in front of a computer every day. I decided to run a marathon this September. I didn't. I did something else though that was fun and kind of sporty as well.

After starting runnning in March it was pretty amazing to see how quickly your stamina improves and longer distances become easier and less painful to run. After that initial success though improvements got smaller and motivation tanked quickly. Also the marathon I wanted to run was already booked out apparently.

March April May Juni Juli August Septemper October
60.3km 33.5km 18.3km 5.5km 5.1km 0.0km 20km 4.8km

From a friend who also inspired me to go running I heard about Tough Mudder. Since I already noticed my lack of a goal I almost immediately registered in the beginning of June. The description on Wikipedia sounded exciting for sure:

Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10-12 mile long military-style obstacle courses. Designed by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. Wikipedia

Preparation

After seeing the (surprisingly) fast improvements when training I was certain I could get ready for a 20km run in a month or less. So I decided to start training a month before the event on 19th October:

01.06 - 23.09 24.09 28.09 30.09 06.10 19.10
0.0km 5.7km 9km 6.3km 4.8km Tough Mudder

Somehow I wasn't quite persistent and stopped shortly after starting again. I guess mostly because it was such a pain to build up stamina again.

Oh Shit! It's tomorrow!

The days immediately before the event were full of uncertainty and doubt whether I could make it or not. 20km without any training? Is that even remotely possible? I never ran 20km before. Sometimes excuses not to go popped up in my mind but the hefty price tag of around 100€ and the social pressure of running in a group didn't really leave the option of not going.

Surprisingly it was possible. The around 15 obstacles usually took some time to pass and equally gave some to rest. The hardest part (stamina-wise) was a 2-4km trail up and down a hill over and over again. The whole course took us around 3 hours to complete.
We got a bit dirty on the way. I say we because completing the course on your own is almost impossible and we certainly have been a great team:

@martinklepsch, January 2014