Rat Race Dirty Weekender Full Mucker – #24Events24Months

Well this was one of the biggest ones of the year. Something I knew that was really going to test me and to say I’d been dreading it would probably be an understatement. My friend I was originally meant to be running with had to drop out so that left me desperately searching for someone to run with who would be of a similar pace. In the end that got resolved but for a few weeks I was desperately trying to psych myself into running solo. Unsure if I could do it.

Thankfully childcare meant that we were able to arrive on the Friday afternoon to register and I have to admit I felt calmer for it knowing that when we arrived Saturday everything was set and we just had to get going. Registration was nice and straightforward and like MHSOF you get your T-shirt before the race which means when you look through the photos there are just thousands of bumblebees! I named them bumblebees thanks to the colours of the shirts lol!

I’d love to be able to give a blow by blow account but we were on the course over 8 hours and I think I’m so mentally traumatised I’ve blocked out most of it so I’m going to break it down to the moments I do remember.

  • Walls – Lots of walls! Don’t get me wrong I LOVE walls but my god there were so many of them! I vaguely remember one 5ft one which I managed solo but other than that most were high enough that assistance was required. On one which was more similar to an irish table I ended up dangling over the edge with my groin in my team mates face after he fell backwards trying to support me.
  • Seeing my buddy Mark early on in the race and then getting to see him about Mile 12 at the hideous wall from MHSOF. His pep talk and hugs were much needed and it was so good to see a friendly face.
  • Completing the cage crawl – I can be quite claustrophobic at times and wasn’t sure how I’d handle this but I was glad I did it!
  • Water stations with cadbury freddos, biscuits and crisps!
  • Getting kicked in the face twice. Once on the longest cargo net crawl in the world when the guys foot slipped and promptly met my cheek! 2nd time on the wall at MHSOF.
  • Completing the water section even if the marshall thought I was damn mental querying if the life jackets really would stop me drowning! Getting onto those pontoons was so hard and then falling off one of the ones when you needed to walk across a narrow gap wasn’t a high light! 11088608_10153209012401830_6354451959005588314_oNor was the hose at the end of it, thankfully I had a friend as a shield ;-) Around the corner was the water jump and I wanted to be brave and do the 20ft but I just couldn’t so I did the lower one and it felt much better with the life jacket than the previous week at Tough Mudder. I surfaced much faster and felt much happier! I didn’t love the slide down into the lake though!
  • Conquering my fear of one of the obstacles in the woods. It involved descending with your hands on a rope and feet on ledges, it looked ridiculously high from the top and I thought I needed a bit of time to get it together but a brilliant marshall encouraged me and despite me telling those behind me to go on ahead he stopped them and told me to sit down and follow his instructions. I was thankful for him because without him I’d have stayed there AGES!
  • Splitting my trousers at some stage in the day and only realising around 10 miles! Spent the rest of the day conscious of it! Thankfully I had underwear on!
  • The final two obstacles! The big one with its 4 x 8ft bloody walls! It was exhausting and I just wanted to be done! A bit of team work and a helping hand from strangers and I was up them but I got halfway and just thought I can’t do this! It was either going down 2 x 8ft walls which would hurt or getting up to be able to go down the ladder.
  • Coming over a stone wall at mile 16 and sliding down awkwardly absolutely ruining my thigh for the final 4 miles. 11262472_10155636587105374_1145398545671940176_n
  • The curly wurly at the finish line! AMAZING!
  • The water slide that was so slow we nicknamed it the penguin as everyone had to shove themselves down it pretty much!
  • Struggling to balance along the various balance beams in the woods!
  • Avoiding one of the pond crossings only to be faced with the muddiest wettest ditch you could imagine! #Fail!
11109801_10153209009521830_5031219442292128314_o

11221848_10153211169971830_9116242527205084284_n Finish!

Overall my lasting thought was I paid £140 to be tortured for a whole day! Initially I said never again however I kind of feel I have unfinished business so maybe one day I’ll do it again. For now the bruises still need to heal!

10521666_10155636635100374_6270706951817323723_n 10423927_10155636635285374_8865429921987109976_n 11203008_10155636635555374_369347320598157559_n

 

 

Tough Mudder London West – #24Events24Months

In the lead up to the weekend of Tough Mudder I have to confess I was incredibly nervous. Teasers on their facebook page as well as the course map showed a few obstacles that were going to seriously test my limits. Notably king of swingers which was downright terrifying!

We arrived in plenty of time and went and got registered and popped to the toilets, we didn’t have to use the bag drop and I was glad of that when later on it transpired some people had waited over 45 minutes for their bags!

Once we were all set we got ourselves into the starting pen and grabbed a quick before photo! I paid my usual minimum amount of attention to the warm up and then it was time for the short jog to a wall ready to start! race_715_photo_17442551Tough Mudder definitely starts slightly different to most other races! Once we had said our pledge we were off! Within 0.30 of a mile me and Becki needed the loo so along with a ton of men ducked into the bushes and dropped the trousers. Think we amused quite a few guys with the fact we didn’t care who was around us lol!

What we had quickly realised was this would involve a lot of hills. They were pretty much relentless and I don’t remember very many sections that didn’t contain either up or down. The first obstacle was skidmarked, which is otherwise known as overhang walls, with a bit of help from team mates we all made it over and then ran onto Arctic Enema 2.0. I knew this for me was an issue. The cage made me feel claustraphobic and I was coaxed by my teammates to climb up the ladder. I got so far as sitting on the edge before deciding I couldn’t do it. There were alot of people around and had it been quiet and I’d been able to just sit a while I know in the end I would have done it of my own accord but under pressure I just couldn’t. The route then took us up and down another hill before hitting birth canal. I have to admit this was a bit a *WTF* obstacle for me. I didn’t find it challenging in anyway, it wasn’t the most comfortable crawl I’ve ever done but it was short and pointless IMO!

What the hell was that face....

What the hell was that face….

From there it was up another mega steep hill and into some woods where I finally found a small muddy puddle and turned into Peppa Pig running at it and jumping in two footed! The course lacked mud! There was also some hay bales which you could simply roll over and then ‘Quagmire’ which was the tiniest amount of mud I’ve ever witnessed! More hills and onto Hero Carry which involved plenty of giggles as my team mate mark fireman carried me!

We then came to Sewer Rat which was a crawl through a tunnel into a very muddy pool of mud/sludge/water

From there we moved onto Cry Baby which has been billed as tear gas – its not! Its simply menthol that clears your airways! We all tried to hold our breath at first but we also had gone through at a point when there wasn’t much in the way of gas in there so it was fine!

After that we came to Pyramid scheme which involved plenty of team work and some hilarious laughs! I think for me this was one of the highlights of the day. It took me 3 attempts and bugs bunnys shoulder to help me finally reach the top and we were ecstatic when we all made it up! 10431701_10155608422805374_8091269800151158720_n

 

After this we moved onto Haha Ditch and Kiss of Mud before coming across the Liberator – this involved moving pegs in holes and climbing up a sheer surface. I was convinced I couldn’t do it but with a bit of help and encouragement from my team mates I made it over and was thrilled with myself!

We then moved onto ‘Mud Mile’ which is so ridiculously named, its about 20ft long! 11140342_10155625007500374_4519710080936953677_n

Another few steep hills and then we had to work as a team to carry a large log around a circuit and over a wall. Now I say work as a team, by the time the chaps had got it on their shoulders it was about 4 inches off of mine so I assisted by walking along side encouraging. The wall was a 5ft one and I decided I wanted to attempt to tackle it solo as I’ve never managed a wall without some assistance before. And guess what – I did it! Super chuffed!

After that was the one I’d been dreading. King of the swingers. Basically your supposed to grab a bar – swing out and touch a bell before dropping into the water. I hate being submerged and decided that trying to swing out would freak me out more so I went with the just jump option as even that for me was terrifying. It felt a ridiculously long time before I hit the water and then trying to find the surface took forever, when I came up the water was choppy and I inhaled a bunch and could feel myself starting to panic, there was a marshall with her rubber ring staring me in the eye trying to gauge if I needed her help. There was no way I was using the ring and eventually I got to the cargo net and gripped it for dear life as the relief of feeling safe washed over me.

A bit more of a run and a few people throwing up the water in bushes and we soon hit Killa Gorrila – basically a meandering hill. With the amount of hills we had already done this felt like a right cop out! The monkey bars were next and as I knew I wouldn’t get further than the first and I was just starting to warm up I skipped these whilst the rest of the team made their attempts. We then headed back into the woods for the Hero Walls, they must have been about 10ft these walls and they were tough! Team work got us over but getting down was bloody terrifying! Into the final stages and we had a cargo net to crawl under before we reached Everest 2.0! I had been worried about this, knowing it was at the end I knew my legs were tired and i didn’t have the speed required. I decided on 3 attempts and with each attempt I was landing worse on my ITB and hip and doing myself no favours and cut my losses after 3. A friend had told me before you need road shoes to have a better chance. I was in trails and just slipped all over it! Two of our team got up and it was great cheering on those who were giving it a try. After that we headed around to the final obstacle. Sadly it was aftershock which involves electricity, due to a heart condition I’m not allowed to do it. Tbh I would have loved to as it looks a right giggle!

And then it was over! race_715_photo_17409018

 

Overall Tough Mudder left me underwhelmed, there were only a few ‘Good’ obstacles. For the price I paid I’d expect alot more decent obstacles. But despite the race being pretty lame I had the most amazing few hours with 3 wonderful people who I shared plenty of laughs with and couldn’t have done it without them!

Dirty Dozen 6k – #24events24months

Not quite a week after taking on Brighton Marathon I set about the task of taking on the Dirty Dozen Dash. Anyone who doesn’t know about Dirty Dozen races should check out this page to give you an idea of some of the obstacles! They were just epic! I can’t deny I wasn’t massively anxious about doing it, I’d run a 5k on Thursday, my legs hadn’t been too bad, my chest had suffered alot and I spent the rest of the day struggling to keep my eyes open. So it hadn’t exactly filled me with confidence for this race! But more about post marathon recovery in another post!

I spent the morning watching some of the 12k participants which had its pros and its cons. It meant I had an idea of what was coming, not good! But was also kinda good not to be totally unprepared!

The day was generally spend queueing it felt, it took me 45 minutes to pick up my race number, we then also had to queue to drop off bags ahead of the 1pm wave and then queued over 30 minutes wet and cold to pick up bags, only reason we had used the bag drop was because we needed somewhere to put the car keys. I’m sure with a few small changes next time things would run much smoother!

Overall the race had some amazing obstacles. I found the amount of on grass running quite hard work, I ALWAYS turn my ankles numerous times when running on grass and yesterday was no exception, there were plenty of swear words muttered!

I bypassed the monkey bars as I didn’t fancy another freezing cold dip as I knew I wouldn’t get further than the first rung, they just aren’t a skill of mine! I also skipped the barrells as I couldn’t mentally psyche myself up to get underneath something that was so wide, I have a huge fear of being submerged and not able to get back up. If It had only been one then maybe I would have tried but as it was 4 I just couldn’t talk myself into it. However the next obstacle was Sheep Dip and I amazed myself at doing it. I had told myself I could do one and get out if I needed to but with a bit of coaching from the marshall on the best way to do it and I was under the first and decided to just not think and carry on through! I did all 3! Absolutely bloody hated it! But I did it!

I had a few other fears mainly surrounding the height of obstacles as the majority are of a reasonable distance off the ground when you reach the top. Thankfully I had a couple of excellent friends with me, one of whom had run the 12k in the morning and the pair of them helped me get up and over all of them.

The final obstacle right before the finish was a 10ft wall. Now I love walls, like I really do. I struggle like a bitch at them but I enjoy them. But not when they are so damn high that your balanced on tiny beam of wood and then trying to get your leg over! I really did not think I’d be able to do it. I’ve never been able to use the technique of bracing against the side of the wall and then swinging up but this time I did. Admittedly when I got up there I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to get down without breaking a leg as I knew my quads wouldn’t support me when I landed, and they didn’t! But I managed it!

Would I do it again? Quite possibly not! Amazing obstacles, great price! But no medal is generally a deal breaker for me. I wanted to do DD as I’ve heard so much about it and it really is an awesome experience. But bling is bling!

Brighton Marathon Race Report – #24events24months

Well after 16 weeks training the day has finally been and gone. I’m sat here writing this with two sore little toes, painful knees, aching muscles and general overwhelming exhaustion but also on such a high!

The weekend started Saturday when I headed down to Brighton via train with my friend who was also running, we got to the expo about 2 and didn’t face any queues, walked straight up to get our numbers no problem. We had a wander around and also recorded some messages on the Saucony stand ready for mile 23 – however on race day that didn’t work! BOOO!
image

Before heading off to check in at my hotel and then head for ice cream on the beach! Possibly not great pre race fuel but hey ho! I knew I’d struggle to sleep Saturday night and I wasn’t wrong, I tossed and turned for hours before I nodded off and then when I did I kept waking panicing that I had missed my alarm!

Eventually I woke up to my alarm and felt incredibly sick – the nerves were in full swing! I grabbed a shower and got dressed before heading to breakfast. Stomaching anything was hard though and I just couldnt do it! I was looking out the window at mile 25 and just couldnt face eating! 2 pieces of toast and some weetabix later and I headed back to my room to try and not throw up. I KT taped up and then headed to meet my friend at the station.
image

On the way I bumped into two other buddies so we made our way to preston park together which was nice! The park was huge and spacious so it didn’t feel like there were 16000 runners trying to get ready.
image

image

After dropping our bags off we joined the longest toilet queue in history. I may have got a bit annoyed at seeing spectators using the loos! Surely they could wait until we had gone?! 9:15 arrived and we had just finished in the toilet and made our way to the start. Being the last wave we had to wait a while to cross the start but the elites and early runners had already lapped the park and were running along next to us so we cheered them on whilst waiting. And then it was time to go!
image

Jo Pavey was there waving everyone off and the crowds meant you couldn’t run fast which was probably a good thing. I overtook a few people and then spotted a lovely lady I know from Instagram up ahead so I made my way through the crowds and tapped her on the shoulder. We had a quick chat and ran together for a bit before I headed off. I was trying my hardest to hold my pace back but it was damn hard. Around mile 5 I spotted my friend Debbie who took a delightful picture of me.
image

I knew my family were along the sea front and I was dying to get there. I was still feeling strong at that stage. I rounded the corner and shortly after heard a shout of HAYLEY that sounds really familiar and looked across and saw my best friend and my dad there. I was ahead of pace so ran over and gave them a huge squeeze before carrying on down the road to find my Mum, the boys and their godmother who were near the marina, spotted them and a high five later and I was heading on up the hill. I know that hill as I’ve run it before when I’ve stayed in Brighton and during Brighton Half so knew how long it was. It didn’t fail to disappoint. I was glad for the out and back though as I was distracted looking out for all my friends and cheering them on as I saw them! An hour later and I was back down the hill to give the kids and my Mum a kiss before continuing down to the town which I knew would be full of crowds. I wasn’t sure where my Dad and bestie had moved too but figured they may be past that section.

As I passed mile 14 I spotted my best friend and ran into her arms – I was starving, I never get hungry on runs – EVER! But for some reason yesterday hunger tormented me the whole way around. I nabbed something that I can’t even remember off her and carried on, she told me she would meet me again at mile 18 so I clung onto that. The road in Hove. Oh. My. God. It was never ending. I looked up at one point and all I could see was runners, I couldn’t see where it ended! I was starting to feel quite sick from all the shot blocks and was relieved when someone had some orange segments. I took a quick selfie at 16 and posted it on instagram – at 17 I spotted a toilet with no queue, that actually contained loo roll! And ducked in so that probably knocked a minute or two off my time. At this stage I was still 10 minutes ahead of my pace but knew I wasn’t going to be maintaining it now!

At mile 18 as promised was my beautiful best friend bouncing up and down cheering on the runners and I ran into her arms. She walked with me a bit whilst I snacked again on her little packet of something lol and then I headed off to get to 20. I knew from there it was just 10k. I got there and faced the long road of hell which is the power station. Going out to it was ok. I saw all my buddies and had awesome hugs and tears with 3 of them as they were heading back but when I got to the power station and turned around oh man that road back felt like it was the longest!

At the St Johns I asked if they had anything salty and she gave me some dioralyte … turns out it tastes bloody disgusting so I chucked that after a few sips and topped up my bottle at the next water stop.

23 soon came around and I started to get tearful about Matilda and why I was running. Once the tears started they wouldn’t stop, every person that cheered me on I cried more. And then I spotted my best friend and that was it I was pretty much full on sobbing. She grabbed my arm told me she wasn’t having it and dragged me along telling me to effectively pull my shit together! It was just what I needed and I love her for it. I was on track to still get in under 5:45 which was my Plan B goal. At 25 I left her and started to pick up a bit of a good run pace and another girl near my felt encouraged and said she would join me so we ran down together towards the finish and declared ourselves finishing buddies. Just before 26 I turned around and spotted a man in a rhino suit about 50m behind us and told her we needed to move our shit or the rhino would beat us. I was not going to be beaten by a man in a rhino suit! By now we were at the roundabout and the finish was in sight. My family were on the left hand side cheering me on as we suddenly found a burst of energy and ‘Sprinted’ (I’m sure it actually did not look like a sprint) down to the finish. I was elated to be there and to get a PB! Arms in the air and we crossed that line! I was so happy! A few more tears may have occurred!

We grabbed our medals and cotton tshirts (WHY?! Who wears a damn cotton tshirt – no one! Get your act together Brighton and go for technical then we could all advertise your great run to others when we are training) and some water and snacks before finding our bags. At the end was one of my lovely friends who had said she would wait for me and I grabbed her for the biggest hug before we headed off to find my family.
image

I had been fantasizing for half the race about getting into the damn sea so once they were all there I headed in to soothe my legs. Natural ice bath! Can’t really go wrong can you. It hurt like a B****h and I may have swore rather alot but it defo helped!

image

Overall I did enjoy the race. It was hard, seriously hard, but I knew I had the mental strength to get through and I did. I’ve knocked 27 minutes off my marathon personal best and had a race that was enjoyable, probably because I knew so many runners doing it. Would I do it again …. Yes!

Now to recover for a little bit and then its time to start training for Liverpool Marathon … EEEK!

Don’t forget this is all for an amazing charity – so please do sponsor me!

 

 

Brighton Marathon – Its here!!!!

How the heck has this come around so damn fast?! It feels like only yesterday that training began! Its been a rollercoaster generally going with the first half being all up and looking positive and then peaking at 20 miles and since then its all gone to pot with training courses taking up unexpected time and holidays, illness getting in the way! I haven’t been running anywhere near as much as I would like to have the past 3 weeks but I guess at least I won’t be overtrained.

I’ve trained for this marathon on 3 runs a week, purposefully because I felt when I did Edinburgh last year I was never getting recovery time from runs and went into the race already tired and that just spelled disaster on so many levels. So this time I am definitely going in the opposite. I had some awesome strong runs during those 3 runs a week, following the pattern of long run, recovery run, speed/tempo run. I could feel myself getting stronger, but that now feels a distant memory and I’m left wondering how the heck I am going to manage 26.2 on Sunday.

I am conscious its as much mental as it is physical and I know I have the mental strength and stubbornness to get through the race. If I cross the start line I won’t stop until I’ve crossed the finish. But what happens in between could be incredibly messy. I know towards the end I’ll get emotional, thats if I don’t to begin with! I cried during my last run on Thursday as I thought about having my family there to see me finish. When I did Edinburgh last year I only had my dad and he only saw me at mile 26! This time around I’m going to have my kids there, parents and friends and that means the absolute world to me! But will also spell plenty of tears no doubt!

The bags are packed. The vest is ready. All thats left to do now is get to Brighton, collect race number, carb load, sleep and then run 26.2 miles! Easy … right?

Of course I’m not just doing it for any old reason, I’m doing it for Matilda Mae, Jennie and family, The Lullaby Trust and all those touched by SIDS. Please do donate. I’m so close to £500, it would feel amazing to break that this weekend!

 

www.justgiving.com/24events24months – or you can text donate as below:

Banner-300x250

 

Not part of the marathon plan!

All winter I have been massively smug at not getting so much as a sniffle. My youngest has been ill numerous times and ive not caught any of his nasty nursery bugs and have remained perfectly healthy. That was until this weekend when on Saturday evening I came down with an almighty cold which has floored me. :-(

With less than 2 weeks to go now until Brighton marathon and my confidence low anyway this is the last thing I needed. It hasnt yet gone onto my chest so thats good but my ears are threatening to turn into an infection I think which would be less than ideal.

Feeling so crap has meant sleeps not exactly happening which is hampering my recovery too I reckon. Im drinking loads, lots of vitamin C, cold and flu meds that arent touching it and generally praying this buggers off sooner rather than later.

If anyone has any magic cures for painful sinuses and ears I’d love to hear them?!

2 weeks to go – Confidence crash

Well for someone who was so happy with how their training had gone. Was feeling really strong, well trained and confident thats all gone! The last two weeks have been challenging trying to fit training in around various life events that popped up. Usually i have enough time its ok but things have been full on and a reminder that when i return to uni next year I wont be able to juggle being a single mum and training for anything. It is imppssible. Last week I got out for a couple of short runs and then ran the new forest 20 miler on Sunday. This week I managed a run on Wednesday evening which was a short and horrific 5k and then 10k on Saturday morning that was meant to be 10 miles. Last night I also came down with a horrific cold, having survived the whole winter without being ill… I GET ONE NOW?!?!

Im upset that my confidence and PMA (Positive mental attitude) have vanished. I was banking on them to get me through it. Now my head is just filled with self doubt and worries about my ability to do this. And to do it well.

I wanted to smash my current marathon time by 30 minutes. Now Im almost 100% certain that wont happen. Maybe letting go of that hope now though is a good thing. Last year when I did edinburgh, my first marathon, i spent weeks unable to see what an achievement in was as i focused on how i had failed to reach my target. Maybe this way i wont have that hanging over my head.

I know its better to turn up to the startline well rested but I cant help but worry I havent done enough.

If anyone has any tips for finding your mojo id love to hear them?

Ultimately I know i will complete it because im doing this for charity. Im doing it for everyone who has sponsored me. Im doing it for Matilda Mae and her brave parents and beautiful siblings and all the other angel babies and their families affected by SIDS. I WILL finish that 26.2.

image

Want to win £100?

Well I have a really easy way which also helps charity?! Interested?

As part of my fundraising for 24 Events 24 Months I am doing a fundraiser which sells dates. There are 365 in the year and so far 120 are sold. Each date is £1. You can purchase as many or as few as you want to. When all 365 dates have been sold there will be a random draw and one lucky winner will get £100 and the charity will get £265!

To find out the available dates check out the facebook event HERE

What will you spend your £100 on? Race entry fees? New Running clothes? A special night out? The possibilities are endless!

Brighton Marathon – 30 days to go!

I think its safe to say I’ve massively slacked off on the blogging front! I’m going to blame uni work!

So anyway! 30 days to go … thats like less than a month now! I may be starting to have a bit of a freakout!

Last weekend I took on the Nuts Challenge which although only 7km broke me for the sheer amount of mud and obstacles! However because I’m bonkers, on Tuesday when I still had aches from Saturday I set out for a 20 mile run. I felt that I needed to do the distance to mentally tick it off! It wasn’t pretty and in a way it may have been a good thing doing it when already aching because it meant that I did take it slow and steady rather than going out hard as I quite often do. It was a massive struggle. I fuelled ok I think. Shot blocks definiately work better for me, although by mile 19 I was starting to feel like something solid would be nice. I think I may try carrying a cereal bar with me on my next 20, I don’t want a repeat of Edinburgh Marathons vomitting session!  Water is still a bit of an issue. I struggle to pace it out.

Generally though I’m *sort of* feeling as ready as I’m ever going to be I think. This week is going to be a 40 mile week, next week will be roughly 30 I think and then its time to taper off almost! I’m anxious about the taper period. I know I’ll get that whole maranoia of ‘because I’m not running as far I’m going to lose all my fitness’ but I also know its so important to go into the race with fresh legs!

Chatting with one of my friends this week we were talking about being ready mentally. We were talking about how we both felt we had the mental strength that no matter what happened we would cross the finishing line even if we were crawling. I remember last year at Edinburgh towards the end it was just one foot in front of the other. Inching my way there. But I made it. And hopefully this year I’ll make it feeling even stronger!

The Nuts Challenge – 7km – #24Events24Months

Well its safe to say anyone who follows my facebook page will know that I was absolutely terrified of this race. I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I was so nervous although the fact it had won the award for Toughest Course at the Mudstacle awards probably hadn’t helped things! Then seeing that the water slide I was dreading had been extended…. all little things that probably messed with my head!

We arrived nice and early and set off to collect our packs and watch the first couple of waves head off. Watching them as they headed over the first hay bales and then down the field and off into the unknown! Once they had gone we went to check out Hamburger hill and watch the leader plunge into the water! … It didn’t do anything to help encourage me! Once we had seen that we headed back to the car to get our race gear on and get ready to go. The cars are parked about 5-10 minute walk away depending on how fast you walk!

By the time we were both dressed we had just enough time to dash to the loo, pop bags in the bag drop and keys at the key drop and then it was time to go! A quick warm up which as usual was more like some aerobics class and thus I chose not to knacker myself out before I had even started and then we were off! Down some nice muddy fields and then back around to go over the first haybales. The obstacles have all kind of blended into one. There was plenty of things to climb over, gates, logs. Lots of stream crossings, often down steep banks that involved sliding in on your bum and being helped out the otherside by some kind fellow. 11034344_865127743528328_6999171959761869684_o

The things that stuck in my mind are:

  • The firemans pole – I had been dreading it and it was as bad as expected. I’m not sure how high it is but it felt like it was about 3 storeys tall! I got up there, sat there a while freaking out before deciding I wasn’t doing it, then my friend shouted up at me I was doing this for Tilda, and I knew I couldn’t climb back down that cargo net, there was only one way I was allowed to go and that was down the pole. So again I sat there. Staring at it. Stood up and wrapped my leg around, sat back down, shed a few tears. And then suddenly I was on the ground with adrenaline coursing through my body and jelly legs! I don’t remember making the decision to finally do it. I don’t even remember going down. I’m 90% certain I screamed loudly although as I say I literally do not remember it!
  • Barrels up a slope – thats what I’m going to call them! They are literally a long tube with a rope in it, going up a steep slope. I was certain I wouldn’t be able to get up but with a bit of advising and coaxing from a marshall I managed it, I really do not know how!
  • Tyre wall – I felt so unsafe on this. I just couldn’t get a good grip and trying to get over the top without feeling like you were going to fall didn’t go so well!
  • Hamburger hill water slide – I had been dreading this one too. I hate going underwater, until that point I’d been splashed in the face but hadn’t gone under. I knew this was an inevitability on this obstacle though. I sat at the top and Helen told me she was going to count me down or she would push me. She got to 3 and I went myself. I needed to be in control of it and weather I was ready or not it was going to happen so I decided to just go. I shoved my hand over my nose and promptly flew off the end and went under bum first. I had a few moments panic trying to find the surface, probably mere seconds, and then I was up and searching for the out! 10842194_865127443528358_4294298024568813346_o

There were however a few hilarious moments including laughing at myself when I attempted to stand up having slid down a hill on a tyre and my feet went from beneath me and I landed on my back!

I can’t say I enjoyed it, I’m not certain why. I think maybe because it tested my fears to the maximum, but thats exactly the point of doing this challenge, its not all about being fun! Its about trying my absolute best. I can however say I tackled every single obstacle and completed them all. I didn’t walk around a single one and for that I am proud.

Will I be back at nuts? Yes. I have unfinished business. Maybe now I know what is coming I’ll enjoy next time more. Who knows!

This ticked off event 5 of my 24 during 2015 to raise money for the Lullaby Trust in memory of the beautiful Matilda Mae who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly aged 9 months from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A healthy baby who went to sleep one night and never woken up, a beautiful angel in the sky. The Lullaby Trust support the research and families affected by SIDS. Please do donate if you can. Thank you.

http://www.justgiving.com/24events24months

Banner-300x250