Its rare that I have the chance to write a post strictly about Lance, but today is one of those days! Earlier today we drove out past Seattle to go to the Tough Mudder Race, which Lance had been looking forward to for nearly a year now. Each race is different depending on the terrain, but Seattle's was about 12.3 miles, with 25 obstacles littered throughout. The great thing about this race was that its set up so "spectators" can watch a decent bit of the obstacles, so the kids and I tagged along and snapped what pics we could of my honey!
Below are just a few of the obstacles I got to see and take pictures of. There's tons of pictures, I know, but it was so much fun to capture snippets of his experience and share those moments with him, and looking back through the pictures it was hard to narrow down which ones were worth sharing!
The very first obstacle was the Arctic Enema, which Lance said was by far the hardest obstacle. Hands down. He said his body seized entirely and he nearly blacked out from the cold and pain. If thats not enough, there was a wooden divider in the ice pool that you had to swim below, and the gap to swim under was way, way lower than you would think, so the strength and courage it took to dive down was insane. Above you can see a fresh batch of ice being dumped into the barge, and below is Lance resurfacing after the initial plunge.
This poster should sum it all up, I suppose! A mom was carrying this around with her tween-age daughter, and I was half amused, half cringing at her sign.
The map we had of the course was slightly confusing. Slightly, as in it looked like a 3 year old traced the path to follow - it zigzagged back and forth and overlapped over and over again and was nearly useless. There were several race times throughout the day, so runners were constantly paced throughout the course. I was completely lost and had no idea what course was what, or where to anticipate where Lance was. I recognized a guy who was cheering on someone in Lance's time group, so we followed him and hoped that we'd come across Lance again. I told Lance Jr to keep an eye out for him since there were a few directions he could have came from, and he took his job very seriously.
Lance and the Electric Eel, where live electric wires dangle above you as you have to crawl through the water to the other side. Apparently, this was even worse than we assumed it would be! I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, and Lance didn't either, but he said he was zapped about six times total, and each time his vision would go black and would see stars afterwards! He said once he got zapped especially hard, and he felt himself get sleepy like he was going to pass out, and it made his mouth clench hard involuntarily. Geez! I guess that would explain his expression below!
Lance Jr and his hero!! They had free samples of deodorant at the entrance, and Lance had to get one. Once we saw this picture of Bear Grylls, I forced him to take a picture with his BFF :)
These were my favorite pictures out of all that I took :)
This had to be the hardest obstacle of the race that I could tell - physically, at least! You had to run up the half pipe, which is completely soaked and muddy, and climb up and over. Only the elite looking athletes really seemed to be able to do it on their own, and this obstacle was a true testament to the Tough Mudder's persistence that this entire run was not in fact a "race," but a "challenge." Camaraderie and team work was a major factor in nearly every single obstacle, and as I've only been able to watch a handful of the two dozen obstacles, this one really demonstrated that fact to me. It was really fun to watch how hard people worked together to overcome "Everest," and this by far my favorite part of the whole run. Keep in mind, I was only watching, not actually participating ;)
It took Lance four tries to finally get up there, but he finally did with the help of these green guys!
Lance looks thrilled to have gotten to the top, but the guy to the right... I dunno what he was feeling!
The Electroshock Therapy was the very last obstacle Lance had to run through before crossing that much anticipated finish line, and this one was another doozy! He said about three times the shocks nearly made his knees buckle as the electricity zapped throughout his body, but he managed not to fall (unlike a good majority of other runners).
And he's done! All the runners sported their hard earned headbands the rest of the day, and on our drive home, we saw several people on the way wearing them still :)
As hard as this was, Lance did amazingly well, and loved it so much, way more than the only other mud run he's done. He's already looking to sign up for next year's, and looking to see what others will be in the area so he can compare it to this one. I have still yet to decide whether I feel inspired to train for it next year, or feel scared enough from his horror stories (where there is plenty of!). I guess we shall see!
Great job, honey, I'm so proud of you!