How It Began: Or, How I Became the Wife of An OCR Fanatic

I guess it’s really my fault that my husband, Mike, became an OCR fanatic. I mean, I really had no idea that in an attempt to promote “couple time,” my suggesting we do a mud run would turn into such an obsession of his.

You know the saying, “I remember it like it was yesterday”? Well, I do actually. I remember in the summer of 2011, a colleague sent me a link to the Tough Mudder website and asked if Mike and I would be interested in doing this race with her. Her boyfriend was hell-bent on running the Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder and she didn’t want to be left in his dust. (At the time I was flattered that she wanted to run with me, but I think now she was really looking for someone slower than she was!) I took one look at the training regime Tough Mudder promoted (e.g., go into the woods and carry a heavy log for a long distance—what?!) and said *something* to the effect of “No thank you!”

But then, a funny thing happened on the way to the homestead a few days later. I actually thought the Tough Mudder could be fun. I mean, wasn’t I the girl that had her own designed mud pit in her backyard from ages 3 to 5? Wasn’t I the girl who climbed ropes courses in 7th grade (and only cried just a little bit)? Didn’t I chop down our Christmas tree every winter with my dad? I could do this Mudder; it would probably even be fun! And goodness knows, at that time of our corporate-stressed out lives, both Mike and I needed a little more fun in our lives.

So, after getting Mike’s buy-in, I signed us up–somehow missing the fact that it was being held at the Squaw resort in Lake Tahoe and that I would essentially be running a half marathon at altitude. But you know what? Those important, but unfortunately overlooked factors aside, the run really was fun. (And, I only have minimal lasting damage from Electroshock Therapy.)


This is the trail map for the 2011 race. Had I seen this prior to signing up, I never would have gone!
This is the trail map for the 2011 race. Had I seen this prior to signing up, I never would have gone!

Here’s where life went sideways. I completed the Tough Mudder and checked “mud run” off my bucket list. Mike completed the mud run and went immediately onto Google to search for the next one. You know what he found? World’s Toughest Mudder—Tough Mudder’s extreme 24-hr final competition. That’s right. My husband, the corporate IT guy, thought it would be a fabulous idea to hurdle obstacles for TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. Did I mention Toughest Mudder in 2011 was being hosted in Virginia during the month of November? Thankfully, I had just found out I was pregnant. (Turns out our growing little tough mudder had run the Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder with me! This actually explains a lot about her now; sorry Sydney!) So, I got a pass on having to pit for him that year. (Notice I said, that year. My experiences as a Pit Crew member for World’s Toughest Mudder are stories for another blog post.)

Since that original Tough Mudder in 2011, Mike’s been off and running. Literally. Tough Mudders, Spartans, Gladiator Rock n’ Runs, Battlefrogs, Terrain Mud Runs, and Tick Trailblazers (ok, that last one wasn’t a mud run, but it has a fun name)—Mike’s run them all.  He’s gotten pretty good at them too, frequently placing in the top three for his division. He even decided to drop the corporate world to open up his own OCR gym, King’s Camps and Fitness (shameless plug), in order to train other, similarly obsessed OCR nuts. I couldn’t be prouder.

And yet, being married to an OCR fanatic is hard and honestly sometimes quite lonely. So here I am. Writing in an effort to stay sane and connect with other partners to OCR fanatics.

Mike and I at our first OCR race ever--Tough Mudder Squaw Valley, 2011.
Mike and I at our first OCR race ever–Tough Mudder Squaw Valley, 2011. Neither of us know what to expect–from the race or what would come after!

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