Friday, October 26, 2012


Yup. 30*. I was not ready for this. It has been snowing for two days. There is something about snow in October that really rubs me the wrong way. My gym bag is now ten pounds heavier because I'm carrying boots and sweaters and cans of soup for lunch. I guess that is a good thing - like an extra workout? Today's run was just dang cold. I only did a short run, but it was hard to maintain my pace. I found myself taking smaller steps and slowing down as I scrunched up my whole body! This, too, shall pass. You know - like next March.
Stats: 3.1 miles in 31:14 for a 10:05mpm pace

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


After TM, I took a day off, then I ran and worked out for two days, then I did NOTHING for five days. It was glorious. And, I think that I may have gained 20 pounds in five days! Carol is taking some time off to rehab her sore knee, so I'm running alone. Blah. I did NOT want to run this morning. It would have been much easier to get out the door if she wasn't injured. It snowed at my house last night and this morning. Luckily, it was only raining when I got to work and started my run. For the first cold run of the year, I overdressed, of course. After a mile, the jacket was tied around my waist, and I was regretting the shorts under my pants. I was only one of three runners and two walkers in the park on this dismal day. I was also exhausted. Nearing the top of the second hill, I remembered why I was so tired: I gave blood yesterday! Then, I got light-headed, and then I fell down. Just kidding. I didn't fall down, but I did give blood, and I did get light-headed. I took about a minute walk break to regain my bearings and then tried to pick up the pace for the 2-mile return to work. I don't know if it paid off or not. I couldn't tell a real difference in my pace. I just know that I was still tired and that I did get back to work.
Stats: 5.5 miles in 59:54 for a 10:54mpm pace

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tough Mudder Utah, event report, part 4 – retrospective and lessons learned

**Unlike every marathon that I’ve ever done, I didn’t cross the finish line and immediately start thinking about the next race. Balls and Eel will make me really think long and hard about whether or not I will do this again.

**Obviously, if I had been 35 pounds lighter – as was my original plan back in January – this would have been easier on me and on my teammates. IF I ever do this again, I will only do it if I’m at my goal weight.

**Did you notice how there were 23 obstacles, and not 20 or 21? Originally, it was a 10 mile course with 20 obstacles. By the time we were done, it was 12 miles and 23 obstacles. So, if I ever do it again, I will train for what is listed on the internet and then some.
Most of the dirt came out of my shirt! Yay!

**I need to do more upper body work. I truly am proud of where I am based on where I came from. I am considerably stronger than I’ve ever been before. I only regret not starting this type of weight work when I was younger. More is necessary.

**Clothing: Tights – yes – a very good idea. My knees and legs are quite bruised. If I hadn’t been wearing tights, I would have also been scraped and cut. I am glad that I duck-taped them to be tight near my shoes. Shirt – a short-sleeved shirt was fine, but my elbows are a bit scuffed. A long-sleeved shirt would have been OK but only if the sleeves were tight fitting. Loose sleeves would have been a real pain in the butt. Gloves – yes – for sure. Although they were wet, they actually kept my hands warm. I took them off at the Funky Monkey and tucked them in the waist of my pants. Unfortunately, I lost them at Walk the Plank. I’m happy that I only spent $3 on them; I didn’t feel too bad about losing them. Glasses/Contacts – I went sightless. No way was I going to worry with my glasses, and I didn’t want to get dirt in my contacts. I chose to go without anything. I’m not so blind that I couldn’t do this. I can see far enough ahead of myself to know if I’m going to fall down or trip over something. I’m glad that I did it this way. Shoes – I used a pair that was ready for the trash. I didn’t want to ruin something new. This was probably a good idea, but some traction might have been a good idea for a couple of obstacles like Just the Tip. Socks – I chose an unmatched pair and trashed them at the end of the day. I didn’t feel badly about this at all.
My ears were so dirty! This is after two baths.

**Difficulty: This was one of the toughest races I’ve ever done. I still think that Mid-Mountain Marathon was harder, but not by much and only because the distance was double what I did for this event. Mentally, it was just as hard as anything I’ve ever done. The fear I felt on Balls to the Wall was like nothing I can remember. The intensity of the obstacles was incredible. The organizers really know what they are doing. Like I said before, I couldn’t have done this on my own.

**Bodily injury: While I’m only bruised and scratched (thanks to my teammates), there were others there with bloody lips and cut arms. In a 20-minute period where MW’s wife and kids were walking from the parking lot to the event, they saw two ambulances head to the hospital. We also saw several 4-wheeler EMS vehicles tearing around the grounds with their sirens on and their lights flashing. This is a hard event, and has the potential for serious injury. I honestly worried about my own safety on Balls.
Look at my poor left knee that I kept whacking against the Berlin Walls.
This is a side view of my knees. You can see how swollen the left knee is.
This is a picture of my left leg two days after the event. It's even blacker now. The other leg is not quite as bad. My triceps are both bruised, too.

**Having great teammates is essential. If you’re going to do this with a group, you’ve got to go into it knowing that you’ll all work together and not get upset with each other. If you’re going to run it with family or friends that you easily argue with then don’t do this event; choose something else. If you do it by yourself, expect to ask for help, expect to receive help, expect to make friends – even for just a few moments.

**I need to do some rock-climbing type of work so that I can learn how to re-leverage my body.

**I need to try every obstacle. Even if I fail, I need to try. Then, I won’t have regrets.

**It was crazy. Crazy fun. Crazy hard. Crazy awful. Crazy awesome. All at the same time.

Tough Mudder Utah, event report, part 3 – the part describing the next 12 obstacles

Obstacle #12: Balls to the Wall This is a new obstacle, debuted in Utah. Oh, how freakin’ lucky are we? This was a wooden wall AS TALL AS MY HOUSE with ropes for the hands and 2x4s for the feet. So, we had less than 2” for our toes to go on, and our hands were gripping the rope. Both things were getting muddy, but ok. I had a hard time even getting on the wall because the first board was so high and my upper body strength is so iffy. BO gave me a shove on the bum so that I could get started, and it was slow going. SLOW. It took so long that every time I managed to get on the next board (each 3’ apart), there was a cheer from the crowd below. This was really sweet, but I was terrified. All I could think was that if I fell, I would fall on my back on a meager foot of hay. I would be paralyzed which would be awful because we have steps going all over our house. I would be in a wheelchair and not be about to maneuver in my own home. This was the most terrifying thing I’ve done since, well, F – I’m not even sure. I was getting closer to the top and the guy next to me (who scaled the wall like Spiderman) turned and asked if I needed help. I almost started to cry. So, I said “Yes. I need help. Please help me. Please help me!” in a really scared, little girl, shaking voice. He anchored himself and reached his gloved hand down to me. I made it to the top, but I wouldn’t have. I honest-to-goodness would not have made it. I am 100% convinced that I would have fallen before I would have made it. Before he quickly scaled himself down, I said “I love you,” and I meant it. I really did. Of course, when I got to the top, the other side was exactly the same. I had to get down the same way I got up. I looked at my teammates and mouthed the F-word. They all knew exactly what I was saying. I made it down the other side, and got some congratulations from my teammates and other people, too. It was really sweet, but I couldn’t soak it all in because my adrenaline was amped over the top. I was wired. And scared even though I was no longer on the wall. In fact, I was scared until I reached the next obstacle. I was scared later when I just LOOKED at Balls to the Wall. I still can’t think of the last time I was this scared.

Obstacle #13: Mud Mile This was like the Dirty Ballerina, but three times more trenches, deeper trenches (chest/chin deep) and mini-hills between each trench (instead of the flat surface that the DB had). This was, by far, the most fun. Bless the course organizers for putting this after that last horrible obstacle to get my mind off of my terror. Oh my gawd. We were a disastrous mess. It was hysterical. Again, I did the slide-it-in entry approach and the knee-up exit, but this time I had to have help from anybody who was already out of the trench. At the last trench, BO shoved me in. I landed with a huge splash. I turned around and called him an ass just in time for RG to shove BO in! We had a blast on this obstacle. A blast!
Just getting started in the Mud Mile. By the end, we were covered head to toe with slippery, gray mud.

Obstacle #14: Boa Constrictor This obstacle consists of ribbed culverts with mud and water inside. The first slants down slightly and the second slants back up. You’ve got to gut crawl through both of them. I managed to do some of it on my knees, but not much. After what we had been through, this was another breather, relatively speaking.
RG halfway through the Boa Constrictor

Obstacle #15: Faux Cliffhanger We all thought that this was Cliffhanger, but honestly, I think that it was just an extra mud pit placed on the course. The mud was knee+ deep and had a serious sucking action. I had tied my shoes tightly, but actually worried a time or two about losing them. Climbing up the other side was awfully hard. Again, it was the super slippery gray mud, and impossible to get a foothold. We ended up having RG and JN lay down on their stomachs, and we used them as human ladders. BO and MW were at the bottom to get us started. Other guys were at the top to grab our hands and pull us up. Teamwork works. Even though we had been “rinsed off” during Boa Constrictor, we were now covered once again.
See that line of orange shirts? That's us.

Obstacle #16: Carry a Mudder This isn’t an official obstacle, but I think that it’s just part of the whole deal. It’s a 100 yard stretch where you have to carry another Mudder (teammate or not) on your back. At the halfway point, you have to switch. RG carried me at first. The whole team was together. At the halfway point, JN just kept carrying his wife, LN, because she is TINY and she was starting to have some hip problems. At the halfway point, everybody switched. RG was going to keep carrying me, but I wouldn’t let him. I wasn’t going to wuss out. He didn’t think that I could do it. I did. I totally did. We were slower than the rest of the team, but I carried his ass for the next 100 yards just like he had done for me. Yes. I rock.

Obstacle #17: Berlin Walls #2 This is a repeat of the first Berlin Walls, but 14-feet high instead of 12, and covered with slimy gray mud. Same approach as before. I was just as graceful as the first time. I smacked my left knee coming off of both walls again.

Obstacle #18: Cliffhanger Now, we got to the actual Cliffhanger. It starts by jumping into a deep pit of water (chest deep), and then climbing up a hill. At least this time we were given a big cargo net to help us get up to the top. I made it. Piece of cake. And, by “piece of cake,” I mean it was steep and slippery and gross!
The orange team just getting ready to enter the water pit before the big climb.

Obstacle #19: Funky Monkey I’ve never seen any woman make it across these. If there is a YouTube that proves me wrong, I would love to see it. Basically, this is the playground monkey bars, but longer, sloping, greased, muddy, and loose. Yup. There were probably 40 bars. The first 20 are at an incline with the remaining on a decline. They are loose, so they turn just a smidge each time you grab one. They are slippery from the mud but also from the grease that the organizers put on them. Thoughtful, no? Thankfully, there is a deep, watery mud pit below so that when you fall off the bars, you can get rinsed off. I could barely reach the bars, so I couldn’t get enough of a grip to even get started. I’m not ashamed to say that after realizing that I couldn’t get a grip, I just lowered myself into the water and walked across that way. MW rocked it in, like, ten seconds. He’s incredible. He’s also an experienced rock climber.

Obstacle #20: Just the Tip This is an 18-foot long wall with two 2x4s – one for your feet and one for your hands. I couldn’t get a foothold with the problems I have with the big toe on my right foot. I can’t grip with it, I can’t push with it, I can’t bend it. Again, I just had to lower myself into the water and walk across. The only person from our team to make it was MW. No surprise there.

Obstacle #21: Walk the Plank This is a 15-foot high platform that you have to jump off into a very deep pool of water. My Seattle friend said “do not hesitate,” but honestly, it was so hard to get to the top (BO helped me at the bottom and MW helped me at the top) that I needed a second to catch my breath. That second turned into a minute – maybe two. I don’t know. I made eye contact with two of the lifeguards and said “do NOT let me drown.” They promised to keep me alive. In fact, they promised to throw in their red flotation devices immediately after I jumped so that they could just pull me out. I finally got the nerve, plugged my nose, and plunged into a cold, DEEP, muddy nightmare. Holy crap. I went down for what seemed like 100 years even though I started kicking as soon as I hit the water. At least, I think I did. Who the hell knows? Anyway, I did finally come to the top, and true to what they promised, there was a red flotation device waiting for me. I didn’t grab it. Instead, I shouted “Shit! Piss!” and started back paddling. The lifeguard laughed and said something to me. I assume that he was talking about my foul mouth, but I’m not sure. I just kept paddling until I got to the other side with the cargo net and climbed out. Bummer about this obstacle: I lost my gloves out of the waist band of my running pants. I'm glad that I didn't spend more than $3 for them!

Obstacle #22: Everest This is a quarter-pipe similar to what skateboarders and snowboarders use. The idea is to sprint up as far as possible hopefully making it to the top. Few people actually make it to the top without help. There is almost always a groups of people laying on their bellies at the top trying to catch those trying to come up. MW and RG made it up with a little help, and then they were there to help BO and the rest of us. JN and LN didn’t attempt it because she could barely walk at this point, and he’s so dang cute and in looooove with her that he went off to find her a space blanket and help her get warm. At the beginning of the event, the announcer/emcee/motivational dude gives instructions like “if you’ve ever had a stroke, convulsion, seizure, or if you have a pacemaker, don’t do XXX obstacles.” He also says “if you decide to skip an obstacle or if you can’t do it, that’s ok. There is no shame in that.” Well, I disagree. Before we even got to Everest, I had decided that I was done. I don’t think that my legs had ANY sprint in them, and my arms/chest definitely had nothing. MW said “don’t worry about it; we’ll grab your hands and pull you up.” The problem was that they would have to do all of the work. I had nothing left, and I wouldn’t be helping. They would basically have to pull 170 pounds of dead weight up and over the top of the obstacle. That just didn’t seem fair to do to them. And, a little part of me didn’t want to make a fool of myself with my exhausted body. So, I sat it out. Now, there is shame in not even trying. I feel like a fraud, a wuss, a boob. UG! I hate that feeling!
This is BO trying to get up Everest with RG and MW grabbing his hands.

Obstacle #23: Electroshock Therapy This is like the Electric Eel, but upright and with bales of hay to jump over. Some of the participants were going through on their feet, and some were going through on their stomachs. Some were starting on foot and finishing on their tummies after getting knocked down by the shocks. After the Electric Eel, I had absolutely ZERO desire to do this obstacle. ZERO!! That shit hurts. I only felt a little bad that I wasn’t doing it. Until I found out that RG didn’t get shocked once because he did it on his belly and maneuvered it well. GREAT! Now I totally feel like a failure. Yes. I have unrealistically high expectations for myself. But, really. I didn’t even try. What a baby. I can’t stand it. The finish line where we were freezing half to death!
Left to right: RG, BO, JN, LN, MW, and yours truly

Tough Mudder Utah, event report, part 2 – the part describing the first 11 obstacles

Obstacle #1: Kiss of Mud #1 Mud pit with cold water – I don’t know how long it was – boards and barbed wire 18 inches above the muck. Get in it. Get messy. Get out. Based on the AWESOME advice from my friend, I didn’t do the gut crawl to begin with. I used my feet/knees/hands as much as possible because it would be easier. We were going to get enough difficulty as the day wore on. I snagged my shirt a couple of times, but for the most part, I made it through without too much difficulty. Muddy, for sure, but not too awful. If the whole day was like this, then the whole thing would be a piece of cake.

Obstacle #2: Arctic Enema Three long dumpsters. Filled with water and 50,000-80,000 pounds of ice (over the course of the weekend). In the center is a wooden barricade with barbed wire just in case you want to go over. Oh, no. You MUST go under if you want out. I don’t know how much ice was in it, but it was enough for it to be ridiculously code. This from the girls who can’t stand a cool bath after a 26.2 mile marathon. I would rather shove bamboo splinters under my fingernails than take even a lukewarm bath. I’m about to jump into a pit of ICY WATER – with actual ice cubes in it… and lots of mud. Um. F. Capital-freaking-F. Geezus. It was awful. Again, though, with the advice from my friend, I waited until the person in front of me was at least under the barricade so that I wouldn’t have to be waiting behind someone while just standing in the frigid hell. So, we could touch the bottom fine. The water was probably up to my armpits. But, I had to go under. This really freaked me out. The water was so muddy that I couldn’t see anything even if I wanted to. I could feel the bottom of the barricades; it was probably only four inches below the level of the water. I was pretty scared to do it, but I finally just grew a pair and did it. When I came out the other side, I was so freaked out (frozen brain?) that I started to dog paddle. I could touch the bottom, but I was dog paddling?!?!?! What the? At the other side, I stupidly expected a ladder or step or something so that I could get out. Uh, no. The first of the “thank gawd that my friends were there to help” statements. If they hadn’t been, someone else would have. I’m sure of it. We got out, and that cold wind just bit into us. Awful. Based on what we all read, this was to be the worst obstacle. Happy to have it out of the way, we ran on.
This is us after the Arctic Enema.

Obstacle #3: Berlin Walls #1 So, the pansy-assed 8-foot wall at the start line were nothing compared to these 12-footers. Bless my friends. MW got to the top of the wall (without much trouble at all, might I add) and sat there. RG and BO boosted me and the other girl, LN, up so that we could pull ourselves up. Yeah, right. What this really means is that they boosted me. Then they extended their arms until we were all in some cheerleading pose all while MW is pulling me up, and I’m squirming around trying to get one of my feet over the wall. Then, I had to get the other foot over and go carefully down the other side. Oh, ha-ha. I basically dropped quickly, whacking my left knee in the process. I landed and wrenched my back, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Then, we did it on wall number two in exactly the same way – including the left knee whack because I’m graceful like that.

Obstacle #4: Bale Bonds Meh. This was no struggle. It was just a bunch hay that was easily traversed. And, it was soft when tripping up and falling. A nice change.

Obstacle #5: Hold Your Wood There were short logs and long logs. I’m not going to say “small” or “big,” because they were all very thick. Although my Seattle friend said that carrying a single log was easier, and most of our team did that, BO wanted to carry a long log. So, I said that I would team up with him. It was all I could do to get the log to my shoulder. It’s not like it was pine or balsam. This was some heavy damn wood. I don’t know what kind, but heavy. Once I got it to my shoulder, we were good to go. BUT, another teammate, JN thought that it would be too much, so after he helped his wife get a short log up on her shoulder, he came over and took our back end. This left me in the center with almost nothing to do since both guys were taller than me. I still tried to help. I took a turn at the end while JN left for a bit to help LN re-position her log. We completed this obstacle (basically a walk around the block) without problem.

Obstacle #6: Kiss of Mud #2 Just like the first Kiss of Mud, but muddier and deeper and the barbed wire was a bit closer to our backs. I know this because my shirt was caught a few times. At the end, I absolutely had to gut crawl.

Obstacle #7: King of the Mountain BIG square hay bales (each coming up to boob level) stacked in a pyramid. These were easy to get up as long as I put my right knee up to the top of each and then pulled myself up. The guys were there to help, but I let them help others who were shorter than me because I was doing fine. Going down the other side, I simply sat down and easily lowered myself to the next level. This was a nice and easy obstacle.

Obstacle #8: Trench Warfare Crawling through an enclosed trench which turns almost 90* to the right and again almost 90* to the left before getting out. So, this was pretty fun. We had been smelling something dead, on and off, while we had been running. You know, dead cow or sheep. Before we got to this obstacle, we saw the source: a dead horse. Sad . The top of the trench was enclosed with particle board or plywood and then covered with several inches of dirt. On top of that dirt were animal carcasses and bones and hides and cow skulls. It was pretty awesome gross. It wasn’t too hard. Behind me, a girl said to her teammate “it’s getting too dark – I can’t see any light!” I shouted back “that’s because my big butt is blocking the light.” She and her friend laughed a lot about this.

Obstacle #9: Dirty Ballerina The website describes this as a series of trenches, 4-feet wide, that you can try to jump across. If these were 4-feet, then I’m at my ideal body weight. They were easily 6-feet across. There was no jumping. They were all knee to chest deep with muddy water. We just got in and trudged through. These were fun. The mud was slick and gray and gross. It was awesome. A lot of the “entry” points to the trenches were like mini-slides, so I just sat down and slid into the water. There was mud in places where mud should not be.
After exiting the Dirty Ballerina

Obstacle #10: Lumber Jacked More wood – but bigger in diameter. These were actual logs. You couldn’t put your arms around them. The idea is to go over the tall ones and under the short ones. The trouble? There were no short ones. We had to go over all of them. The trouble with that? They were all at my chest level. The girls had a hard time with this because we were generally too short to get any decent leverage, and even if we could, we generally lack the upper body strength to hoist ourselves up. Some girls were OK. I was not. There was a lot of helping. I managed to get my foot in an angle made by 2x4s, but my foot kept getting stuck. Eventually, the guys just let us step on their knees or cupped their hands so that we could push off of something. These were also pretty fun.

For the record, we had managed to run between all obstacles until mile 9. This is significant because one of our teammates is a self-proclaimed non-runner. He did awesome.

Obstacle #11: Electric Eel This obstacle is like the kiss of mud but instead of having barbed wire above your back, there are about 200 dangling live wires. You’re wet. You can’t hurry very much because you’re on your stomach. And, these live wires aren’t just itty bitty zings. These are seriously wretched shocks. All I remember was saying “I’m unhappy! I’m unhappy! I’m unhappy!” After that, I cannot be held responsible for whatever I said. I don’t even know if I said anything. I’m not kidding. With the exception of childbirth before the epidural, nothing in my life has ever hurt so badly – over and over – about 25 times. All I know is that my entire body convulsed each time I was zapped, I felt like my heart actually stopped every time, there was white in my vision with each shock, and I was certain that a hole had been burned through my pants at one point. My right buttock burned for at least an entire mile, if not more. I also know this: I will NEVER be a criminal. If a police officer even reaches for a tazsr, I will confess to anything. Yes. I murdered Jimmy Hoffa. Yes. I stole the queen’s jewels. Yes. I produced the movie Billy Madison. I will take responsibility for ANY crime – just don’t taze me – because they are even more voltage than what I crawled through.

Mommy is a BADASS (aka Tough Mudder Utah, event report, part 1)

Good gawd. Where to begin? At the beginning might be too boring, but I’ll do it anyway.

It all started out in January. I just happened to see something online somewhere. I don’t even remember where. It doesn’t matter. I sent the link in an e-mail AS A JOKE to one of my fellow weight class buddies saying that we should NOT show the link to our instructor because she would come up with some new tortures similar to what the video was showing. He responded back and basically said “let’s do it.” See how that happened? That’s why I blame him for all of this. I wasn’t actually suggesting anything. He did. (FYI – the rest of the team seems to remember this differently, and it’s somehow my fault. Can you believe it?) So, five of us plus one wife signed up, paid our $115, and goaded each other all year long about how we were going to completely rock it. In the end, it turns out that the one who started the whole thing (NOT ME) was injured and couldn’t participate. (I’m not sure if he was the lucky one or not.)

So, I was going to be 40 pounds lighter by now, and it was going to be easier to do. Well, I’m only 6 pounds lighter. I guess if you count the number of times that I lost the same five pounds, I would be 40 pounds lighter but only if I hadn’t gained it all back in between. And, I truly worked HARD to develop my upper body. I may have mentioned this before, but I HAVE BICEPS! And some other stuff, but yeah, again with the biceps….

As the time approached, I managed to watch enough footage to really freak myself out while trying to mentally prepare. I think that I did a good job on both fronts. The entire past week was spent in a constant state of nausea. I hadn’t been this nervous for any event since my first marathon. Thankfully, a friend of mine had recently completed the TM Seattle, so I got some great advice from her, too. The course was only six miles from my house, so I drove past a couple of times. Of course, I couldn’t see much, and all it did was make me more nervous because three of the hardest obstacles were right at the end which was right next to the road. I needed gloves, so I perused the store this morning at 6am. I finally decided on a $3 pair of fish grabbers. Awesome damn gloves. We’re getting more of these things.

We decided to carpool out, so the group gathered at our house at 8am. Our start time was 10:40, but we were recommended to arrive at least two hours ahead of time. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but it had rained the night before, and it was cold. Also, true to Tooele weather, the wind was blowing. Not a breeze, but a wind. Oh, thank goodness.

Oh, and to make it more exciting, the course was now 12 miles instead of the original 10 with 21 obstacles instead of the original 20. Oh, joy.

So, we arrived at the event site and got all checked in. The Tough Mudder people think that it’s funny to write your participant number on your forehead – you know – just in case you’re decapitated. Gosh, thanks. We were early enough that we could wander around and check a few things out. They were as nerve wracking as I expected them to be. And, we were already shivering WITH our sweatshirts on! But, it was exciting. It was exhilarating. It was crazy.

If ever I need a reminder about how stupid I can really be, I just need to sign up for an event that is out of my league. There were about a billion 20- and 30-somethings. All of them were in shape. Then, there’s me, having my early 40s mid-life crisis, overweight, and not quite as prepared as I wish I was.

Here’s a funny side-note: I was getting the last wristband out of my participant packet when I noticed the name on the packet. Kathryn. Yeah, that’s not my name. So, I said “I have never typed Kathryn before in my life. How could they make that mistake?” Then, I looked at the age: 45. Dude! I’m only 42, and I’m not in a hurry to add more years. What. The. Hell. I have someone else’s packet. SOMEONE ELSE HAS OUR LAST NAME!!! It’s not like it’s a common name, AT ALL. It’s not like Christensen (which there were probably 700 of them at this event alone). It’s just us. Or, so we thought. So, I had to stand in (the slowest) info line to fix the mix-up since I had Kathryn’s number on my forehead and my wrist and my shirt. While standing there, I saw her team! They had their team name printed on the back of their shirts. Dumb luck. So, I found her, and explained the situation. “Well, how did you get my packet?” she asked. “We have the same last name,” I replied. She and all of her friends just looked at me like I was crazy. “No, you don’t. Nobody has this last name.” “No shit,” I said. Suddenly, there are, like, eight more of us. CRAZY.

Hey. Guess what? It’s almost time to start the race. Oh. My. Gawd. In order to get to the start line, we had to scale an 8-foot wall. Just to get to the start line. I couldn’t do it without help. Read that sentence again. No, wait. Don’t. You’ll be reading it about 2749 more times before I’m done. Kneeling on the dirt and listening to the motivational emcee, I was shaking – and not because of the cold. (But, it was cold.) My hands were shaking. My insides were shaking. My mind was shaking. I was scared. I don’t do shouting with groups, but I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement. I shouted out some “ooo-rah”s, and I meant them. We sang the national anthem as a group. This was the best national anthem I’ve heard for years. It was awesome. Top of our lungs and with gusto. Fantastic. I wish we could have sang longer, but we did need to start the event. I wanted to barf. Motivating Guy blows his whistle, and we’re off.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Progress - pretty significant

I've been running, but I haven't been posting every boring-assed run. I think that the blog is a better thing because of it. BUT, today's run is significant. I ran a sub-9. Wait - I ran THREE sub-9s. Holy shit. I forgot my watch, so The Gazelle used her iPod. I totally think that it is broken, but I have to take what she says because I don't have anything to compare it with. That being said, it was a fast (for me) run, and I don't feel COMPLETELY beaten by it. Broken iPod or not, it felt like I was working very hard, so this is good! Oh, by the way, did I mention that I lost an inch from my waist and my hips and 1/2 inch from my upper arm? YAY! (My thighs are still the same size. Boo. Hiss.) Oh, and I'm terrified to run the Tough Mudder tomorrow. The course has increased to 11.5 miles (instead of 10) and there are now 21 obstacles (instead of 20). Good god. Stats: 3.1 miles in 27:40 for an 8:56mpm pace (Yes, seriously, EIGHT:56mpm pace. You read it right. I rock.)