Monday, June 2, 2014

Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 2

Both times I did the Tough Mudder, this was the obstacle that showed me Tough Mudder is a team sport.  At each event I ran as hard as I could toward this curved wall three times.  Twice I slid back down.  The third time I reached up.  Two strong men at the top of the wall dragged me over the top.  Strong guys hang out on the top of the wall and pull the rest of us up.  If Tough Mudder was a pure solo event, this obstacle would be a fail for me--unless I brought a ladder.  All through both Tough Mudders people were helping and encouraging me.  I helped them when I could.  If I ever do another, I will get together a group of three or more.  Tough Mudder is a dirt-covered party.

On the other hand, with 74 days left until the Kentucky Ironman, I am withdrawing more and more into the solo world of Ironman training.  This past Thursday I swam 3000 yards, rode 80 miles in rain and a headwind to Philadelphia then took the train home.  On Friday, I was going to ride with my friends, but then I took a train to Philadelphia and rode back to Lancaster, another 80 miles.  There was no rain, but the wind reversed and was stronger than the day before.

To be ready for the Ironman, I have all but stopped bicycle racing and mostly ride alone.  Even though my wife and I are training for the same event, we might as well be training for two different events.  She is much faster than I am in the water and is running about 100 miles a month.  I am not running now because of knee trouble and plan to cram the run training into the last five weeks.  We can't run together.

On the bike our training speeds and riding styles are so different we only occasionally ride together.  I plan on surviving the swim and run and making as much time as possible on the bike. My wife will crush the swim, post a good time on the run and survive the bike.  In the 17 hours of the event, we will be together when I pass her on the bike and when she passes me on the run.

The current issue of Christianity Today includes a feature article on a guy who did the Tough Mudder as part of self-administered therapy for a mid-life crisis (I would include the link but it is subscribers only).  The author was right to pick a Tough Mudder instead of an Ironman.  At the Tough Mudder, you suffer together and laugh about it.  The Ironman means more and more time alone until the event wrings everything out of each participant.  A very tough friend and I rode to and from the Tough Mudder together on single-speed bikes--35 miles total.  If you can run a half marathon and do 50 pushups you can finish a Tough Mudder.  The Ironman is the toughest thing I have ever done that I planned to do.  Recovering from a broken neck was tougher, but I did not plan that.


Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 3

Tough Mudder vs. Ironman is Here

Second Tough Mudder Report

First Tough Mudder Finish

First Tough Mudder Photos

First Tough Mudder Entry

Ironman Plans

Ironman Training

Ironman Bucket List

Ironman Idea

Ironman Danger

Ironman Friendship

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