So, my approach worked and confirmed what I suspected what Tough Mudder was going to be about: all mental!
No mental as in “you’re crazy for doing it”, mental as in mental resilience. I saw people of all shapes and sizes “git up and go”! Team work, misery loves company in a masochistic way of enjoying pushing your limits.
I didn’t find any of the obstacles particularly difficult. Maybe under fatigue, losing grip, or getting shocked (that one sucked a bit) and one I thought was unnecessarily dangerous (walking and balancing on a 2×4 and if losing balance, falling into a shallow water pit with a hard landing. I almost sprained an ankle there, and I only fell because a big guy behind me fell and made the 2×4 wobble like a wire).
I was in my groove, my zone, by about mile 3. Then it’s just about getting there and truly enjoying the scenery. Even a slow-paced run felt easier than a walk at times, less work. Seriously.
My approach of pushing for high reps, low rest then adding some heavy lifts in the 3RM range worked really well for me. The obstacles were what I was looking forward to to break up the monotony of the run, nice scenery aside. Narrow ridges would provide unscheduled breaks in slowing down because of the amount of people in front of you (without whom my time would have been better, but who cares).
So, I confirm it: no need to kill yourself. Your training should get you there if you train intelligently. I wrote more about it in my pre-race post.
For the detailed course outline I ran and its obstacles, check it out on the Tough Mudder official site.