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Running the Gauntlet

I’ve been pretty good about training this first week. The program I follow starts on Mondays because most marathons are run on Sunday. Where I’m running the Tough Mudder on a Saturday, I moved the start back to Sunday, so I effectively ‘start’ my week with a long run and then do medium length runs, cross training and strength training during the week. So this week I ran 4 miles on Sunday (long run for the week), stretched on Monday, and then just under and over 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. I was supposed to do a cross-training day on Wednesday but work and contractors in the house made that easily skippable (notice I didn’t say impossible, I just got lazy).

So what, you might ask, does this have to do with the title of the blog posting? Well, one of the obstacles I face is called the Gauntlet. You can see all the obstacles on the course map, but I thought I’d describe a couple of them as I trained.

The Gauntlet reads as “Prepare to feel like you’re at a South American political demonstration as you get high pressure hosed from both sides as you run through Mount Snow’s half pipe.” For those of you who haven’t been skiing or snowboarding recently, picture a pipe, cut in half, and laid down the slope of the hill with the U facing upwards. It’s used by snowboarders and skiers to perform insane tricks at high velocity. The one I’m most familiar with at Loon Mountain in NH is about 15′ high on the sides, probably 60′ across, and several hundred feet long. Which means I’ll be running through a giant trench, probably uphill, while sadistic volunteers hose me down with fire hoses. Clearly I’m going to want to get out of there as fast as possible (although there’s more obstacles after that so why rush to the next?!?!) To make matters worse, this particular one is nearer to the end, so I should be good and exhausted by the time I get there, making it damn near impossible to get through this in a timely fashion.

Dare I say “yay”? So, when I start running during the week, whining about having to get out on the road, I think back to the Gauntlet and realize that I’d better work my tail off because I have a lot of endurance to build up. Otherwise I might get stuck in South America….

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