If you want a daily dose of inspiration, read about this woman who I’m proud to call a friend.
I’ve known Carrie for ten years, when we each both had one babe in arms. While I now have two boys, Carrie went forth and produced three very cute kidlings.
Carrie has always been active, running marathons and half marathons, but this past summer she upped the ante by racing in the Tough Mudder, a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Basically it’s the Warrior Dash on steroids.
But it doesn’t end there because she and her husband then submitted their times to see if they could participate in the World’s Toughest Mudder. This is where the best of the Tough Mudder’s compete by racing the Tough Mudder course as many times as they can in 24 hours. To qualify, your Tough Mudder time has to be in the top 5% of the racers. Carrie and her husband qualified.
So in November, after months and months of training–a schedule I’m in complete awe of–she and her husband drove down to New Jersey to participate. They ran side by side and completed the course twice, swimming through ice cold water, jumping over a series of eight foot walls, sliding down a blacked-out shoot, running through mud, and more.
Did I mention that Carrie has three kids and works full-time? And that all three of her kids are in competitive sports which means she’s shuttling them to activities every single day of the week, sometimes two or three on the same day?
Yet she still found time to train. Carrie impresses me beyond belief. Not only is she athletic and trained like crazy for this race, she also managed to read every single one of our book club books, something I have yet to achieve.
I asked Carrie a few questions about the Tough Mudder and her training. Here’s what she had to say:
1) Why did you decide to run the World’s Toughest Mudder 2012?
Because I wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself I could do it. The World’s Toughest Mudder doesn’t only test your physical endurance it tests your mental strength and ability to overcome your fears. So it challenged me all around. It was also something that my husband and I did together which was great for our relationship to train and run it with each other.
2) You work full time and have three active kids, how did you find time to train and what did you do to train?
When I have a goal and have a training plan I will stick to it whatever gets thrown at me. I would wake up early to train, I trained in the evenings, weekends and during the day when I was able to work from home. I trained 5-6 days per week which included running 4x per week -1 short distance run (3-5km), 2 medium distance runs (5-12km) and 1 long distance run (10-22km). In addition to running I did high intensity circuit weight training 2x per week. I did this for 2.5 months. This is not a regime I could realistically maintain on a long term basis.
3) What was the biggest challenge doing the Toughest Mudder
The mental challenge and overcoming the fear of some of the obstacles. They make you do some crazy stuff – electric shocks, submerging in ice cold water, jumping off high platforms, navigating through swamps and neck high sludge, climbing tall structures, throwing yourself blind down chutes etc. Being able to talk myself through things was definitely a huge challenge.
4) Now that you’ve done one of the world’s toughest races, what’s next on your list?
I honestly don’t know. I am really enjoying the obstacle races and I’ll definitely do the Tough Mudder again next May but for now I want to focus on maintaining the physical strength and endurance I built up and just stay healthy.
5) What advice do you have for other moms who want to try something new but aren’t quite there yet?
Pick a realistic goal. Try to get a friend or partner to commit to it with you so you have buddy system. Once you complete one goal it will prove to you that you can do it and you can find a way to fit it in to your schedule. We always have time, we just don’t always make the time for ourselves as a Mom. Let go of your mom guilt and do something for yourself. It actually makes you a better Mom in the long run and I truly feel it’s inspirational for your kids. I never anticipated how proud our kids would be of my husband and I but they were our biggest supporters which was pretty amazing.
So when you think you can’t do something, think of Carrie a mother of three who found time to do something for herself.
She’s the toughest mudder know.