Sunday, 2 June 2013

The O course Recap - Uh Rah!

I convinced a few of my friends that will be participating in Tough Mudder with me to try out  The O Course this past Saturday. It is a military style obstacle course in Toronto designed by former US Marine drill instructor Sgt. Tony A., based on actual U.S. Marine Corps fitness training. It says on the website that all fitness levels welcome.  I figured that since it was not too far from home it would be good for us to test our physical abilities.

Other than running, I have not done much upper body strength training. Does carrying my 20lb baby all day long count?   My cousin works with The O Course and reassured me that I would be fine. However, I was still very nervous.

The weather was perfect on Saturday, a little overcast and the rain clouds were holding back. When we arrived we were each given a "rifle", a 4x4 piece of wood to keep with us for most of the course. After signing all the paper work and waiting for all participants to arrive, Tony A. and his crew bellowed out over the megaphone to line up rows for the warm up to begin.

The 45 minute warm up was INTENSE. We started out by holding out our arms out like a T for what seemed like a lifetime then doing circles and other variations. My head was spinning from the burning in my shoulders. We did burpees, jump squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and push ups. He then had us line up at the end of the soccer field and do sprints, followed by doing the crab crawl and front crawl across the length of the soccer field. My arms were burning and this was just the warm up.

We were then instructed to pick up our "rifles" and head outside to start the course. We ran about 5 km with our "rifles" towards the lake and onto a very nice green path where you stop every couple of kilometres to complete a number of drills. We actually went into the lake for most of the drills such as jump squats, sit ups and push ups all with our "rifles". The lake was nice and cool, but getting out and running with wet clothes and soaked running shoes was not my idea of fun.

When I finally ran back to the dome where we had done our warmup, I dropped off my "rifle" and thought I was done. Ha. Ha. Was I ever wrong. This was where the real military style obstacles would be. I pulled a tire from the lake by chains then and had to lift it over my head, jump over a wall, crawl through mud pit, drag myself up a mud pile then try to do monkey bars. I dragged bags of sand on my back while crawling in sand. The obstacles go on and on. When I got to the rope that I was supposed to pull myself up, all I could think of was G.I Jane. I never made it up the rope. Maybe next time. 

Pulling the cement block

By the end of the event, I was smiling and covered from head to toe in mud and sand. It was tough, but I survived. My body was tired but once again, all I could think about was getting home to nurse my baby. I think it took me 1:50 to complete the entire course. I'm proud that I survived the O course and tried all the tasks put before me even though I was not able to complete all of them. Yes, my body is sore all over and it hurts me to laugh. But, I know the pain is only temporary and in a funny way I would love to do it all over again.

Striking a pose before another burpee

I think The O Course is a great event. It runs every Saturday. It pushed me physically and mentally. I had a good time and would definitely do it again. We had great weather. Tony A. and his crew were fantastic.  Even with them barking at us, I felt that it helped push me to try harder.  If you are in the Toronto area, I highly recommend you check them out here. They also have photographers that take great photos of you during the entire course and are posted on their Facebook Page. Now back to marathon training :)

Ready for the next round

Have you ever done an obstacle course style race?


Have a great week


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