Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run 2013

It's been 1 year since my first race ever! This year I ran with my older sister E (my little sister was benched due to an injury sustained during a triathlon last week).

It was a fun run, and I learned a few things. First, a pitcher of sangria does not make a good pre-race beverage. Mostly it just guarantees fatigue and mild nausea. Second, running a timed 5k on a flat surface is WAY easier than a rocky, hilly, muddy, ankle-twisting 5k with walls to climb and pits to wade through.

Third, E is in better shape than she let on. LOL! For months she's been saying "I'm going to be the slow one... I hope I don't hold you back..." Well, this lady was slowed down by ME. She's been practicing for our run by doing 3.1 miles at an average 10:45 mile pace!!! So awesome!!! I think I was holding HER back!

Now onto race day!

It was a chilly, overcast 62°, and just bordered on the edge of rain. When we were standing around before and after it was chilly. Spectators were in coats and sweatshirts. However, it was perfect for running!

All the obstacles were different from last year, which was nice. There were two inflatables, but they were much smaller than the Foam Fest inflatables. There were a few mud pits that were similar to each other; a few rope courses. The running course was similar to last year, with a bit of back-and-forth running.

We didn't technically time it, but I think it was around 45-50 minutes.

Overall I liked the Foam Fest course better due to the scenery, better inflatables, and more difficulty. However, I had such a great run, and weekend, spending time with newly- found sister! I'm looking forward to next year's run with both sisters and my sister-in-law. I've said it before and I'll say it again: even if we have to walk the whole mud run, it's the muddy sister bonding time that matters!!

(PS. You can and should wash your shoes after mud runs! These shoes have been through FOUR mud runs!)
K, me, and E, before the mud
Running, and running, and running...
We did it!
After washing!

Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Triathlon Kick Off Event!

It was another super fun event! This was the 2nd Annual event, and it'll be an annual event for us too!

In contrast to last year's 90°, today was a high of 72°. PERFECT for the Wetsuit Dash! The water in Lake Michigan was 62°... I anticipated being cold and uncomfortable, but once my feet and face adjusted to the cold it was quite pleasant.

I LOVE my ProMotion wetsuit! This was its inaugural swim, and not only did it do its wetsuit duty, it fit perfectly. Thank you! I never ever would have thought I'd get a suit fit for ME at an "off the rack" price. :D

Anyhoooooo, the run was fun. I tried really hard to keep pace with my sister, and thanks to a red light, we were not the last to show up at the beach.

The beach was not kind. Very choppy water today. My sister did the 1 mile group swim while I did the OWS Clinic again. It was nice NOT being the newby and working on OWS drills, but in hindsight, I wish I had done the 1/2 mile group swim. I need the OWS practice more than anything. Plus, fighting the waves is quite a workout!

Only 71 days left!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Running BANANA?

I was out for a run in the neighborhood next door, and I saw a young couple moving in. As I passed them I heard "Look honey! It's a running banana!"


My first urge was to stop, turn around, and say something like, "My music isn't that loud... I can hear you!" But I kept running.

My second urge was to make a certain rude gesture to let them know I heard, but I don't do that sort of thing, ever.

After a few more minutes of running, I realized being compared to a banana isn't the worst thing to be called.

They could have called me an apple. Or a pear. Or a bunch of sour grapes. Bananas are tall and slim, and to be fair, I was wearing a yellow shirt.

I wear a lot of yellow and neon colors for visibility and safety, and this seems to prove it works. They certainly saw me enough to comment on it. I'll stick with being a running banana then, because at least I know I'll be seen. ;)

Foam Fest 5k Pictures

As promised, here are a few pictures from the muddy Foam Fest! I apologize for size and quality-- these are screen shots as I'm not paying $8-10 a picture.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Foam Fest 5K, aka Mother Nature's Revenge

Saturday was the Chicago Foam Fest 5k with my little sister and her husband, which for the record is no where near Chicago. It was actually about two hours south west, and since we're north of the city, it was about a two and half hour drive for us. For that reason alone I don't think we'll do it next year.

But I digress! On to the race report!

We arrived around 7 am to pick up our packets, and it was so well organized! There were plenty of pickup tables and little to no lines there. Next we went to the 21+ ID check tent to get our bracelets for the post-race free beer. At first the line was moving very slowly, but after a few minutes a few more staff members joined the tent, and the line flew.

It was only 7:30 am by then, so we took our time getting our bibs placed, knee pads on (BEST IDEA EVER!), and use the potty a few times. Another bonus-- they had Porta-Potties everywhere! No waits! It is possible that our wait-free experience was partially due to our early 8 am wave, but I didn't see any major lines on our way out at 10 am either.

We packed everything we were not taking on the course into my neon orange backpack, and checked it at the Gear Check tent. Again, no line!

Music was blasting at the starting line, and at 8 am we were off! The run was on trails through a forest, and is was Mother Nature's Revenge! We have had so much rain EVERYTHING was mud. Not "this is a mud obstacle" but the running paths were literally covered in a foot of mud and water. Smelly, stinky, animals poop in this forest mud. They had the more typical obstacles- mud pits, rope mazes, log piles, wood walls, climbing net, etc; and then they had the FOAM inflatable obstacles, which were super fun! Moonwalk, two slip'n'slides (not very slippery though), and the 30 foot Death Drop slide. I'm afraid of heights, but the Death Drop was probably my favorite obstacle there!

The hardest obstacle was Mother Nature made... an uphill climb, that normally would just be challenging on the gluts, but when wet and muddy was turned into a dangerous slippery slope. It also turned into the Everyone Helping Everyone place: you were either grabbing a helping hand or offering a helping hand in order to get up this mud hill. When I finally got to the top, I left like I did it! I'm a warrior! And it wasn't even a planned obstacle! LOL

Crossing the finish line, we were greeted with Foam Fest 5k Finisher Medals, snacks, and water. We picked up our free Mike's Hard drinks, our Foam Fest T-shirts, complimentary bottles of ZICO Coconut Water (the chocolate is soooooo good!), and people-watched for a little while. There were some great team shirts and costumes!

I didn't see many photographers on the course, but we got quite a few pictures at the finish line. I'll post them as soon as I can!

Overall, the event was WELL organized, the planned obstacles were fun, and Mother Nature's Obstacles were even more challenging! I'd love to do it again, but the drive was a bit much, and there are so many other Fun Runs we can do closer to home, like a Glo Run (it was the same day) and Run or Dye Chicago.