This week I made a big decision. I am going to run an obstacle course race. Do I usually run? No. Am I in great physical shape? Not yet. But. One of my goals this year is to be more active. I used to push my kids in a stroller all the time, but I can’t do that any more as they are growing human beings who now walk. I know I should be excited, but it’s disappointing not being able to use the stroller as my me-time exercising strategy.
My thought process was something along the lines of this:
“This race looks awesome! There are so many cool obstacles to do!”
“Probably shouldn’t do it this year, I might die.”
“But I have six months… I can probably get myself in good enough shape in that time!”
“Can I do it? I have a lot on my plate right now.”
“The bonus is that I will be motivated if I know I HAVE to do the race!”
“I do want to be healthier this year, and I should try running since I can’t push the stroller anymore.”
“Can I make it through the course?”
“I can’t NOT do something I decide to do it… and I don’t want to die”
“Yep. I’m going to do it”.
“Jarrett. We’re doing this course.”
The fear of dying is a big motivator, and I don’t plan on dying through this course. So, I’m going to do it just so that I am motivated to exercise this year. It will work. I’m not aiming for a great time, I’m just aiming to finish it. I think that is a good first step. Because I am a social person, I also roped my brother and cousin into the race. Suckers! Just kidding. We are excited to do this together. We are: The Tequila Mockingbirds!
If you are looking for a healthier lifestyle this year, it may help you to also sign up for a race! It could just be a 5 km race. There are lots of fun runs that you can do like night ones or color ones if you want to find something fun! There are also lots of cool obstacle course races that involve mud, foam, and bouncy obstacles. Yep there is a bouncy one. Find some friends who are motivated by a fear of dying and work together! I am also planning on doing a couple 5 km races this year with some other friends, so we are all going to push ourselves to do something fun. I’m totally doing a color race.
So, now I have six months to prepare for this race. Here are some of the exercises I’m planning on doing to prepare myself for the obstacles that I can complete in the comfort of my home or backyard. Or park beside my house. Feel free to use these examples if you are looking to do an obstacle course!
- Run 5 km. – it is a five kilometer race, so I will need to be able to run five kilometers. The way to do this is to run a little and then walk a little until you get your endurance up. Run a minute. Walk a minute. Run a minute. Walk a minute. When that is easier, increase it. I like to run a block and then walk across the street. Slowly.
- Jump across trenches – I’m thinking practicing long jump will work for this. I don’t have any trenches around me. Take a running start toward a line and then jump. You can also jump around on the playground structures. Hopefully this will be preparation enough?
- Army Crawl – I’m going to army crawl around my house. I’m pretty sure I can get my kids in on it too. Exercise for everyone!
- Arm Strength – Pushups. I’m going to do lots of pushups. I’m actually quite lucky because I have three children who are heavy and that I carry all the time. They are very useful and have given me what I lovingly refer to as ‘Mommy Pipes’. I carry two 28 lbs (x2) twins around all the time. Pretty sure I’ve got the arm strength thing.
- Grip Strength – this is one I’m a little concerned about. I haven’t needed grip strength since I was a kid playing on parks in junior high. So, I will be taking my kids to the park and proceeding to play on the monkey bars.
- Abdominal Strength – Crunches and sit-ups. There isn’t any specific obstacle that deals with abdominal strength, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to need it to complete every obstacle. So I will be working on my abs. I also have this fun twisty board thing that also works my abs called a Simply Fit Board. It’s fun! Just turn on “Twist and Shout” and go to town!
- Climbing – I will need to work on climbing up things like ladders and nets. There is also a warped wall! I have no idea where I could practice that… I know some parks that have the nets I can climb, as well as ladders. I will also be doing chin ups for arm strength as I’m going to need to pull myself up stuff. Blah. Hopefully that’s enough training for the wall. My back up plan is to have my husband boost me up. It sounds much more appealing.
- Balance – There are a few balance things we will have to do. I’m thinking yoga might help with that, but I don’t know if that helps balancing while running. Can’t hurt to do some yoga anyway. It helps stretch you out!
- Running through water – I can throw in some running through the water at the pool while I am there for my kids lessons. I’m sure I can wing this one if I have to.
- Running up Hills – I’m not sure if the run is flat or not, but I know there will be at least one hill I’ll have to climb up that is an obstacle, so I’ll throw in running up hills for good measure. We all know it’s a good workout!
So, there you go. Ten things that I’m going to do in the next six months to prepare myself for an obstacle course! I’m super excited! Hopefully it will go well! Don’t worry, you are sure to get a couple updates in the future!