Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tough Mudder Race Recap!!

Today was SO much fun! I had an absolute blast with our team, Mudder Militia! That being said, I may not do another Tough Mudder event in the future- the electric shock is no joke and it really hurts! Especially going though it twice! 

Our wave was one of the first to start 10:20am, I thought that was the perfect start time. Not super early so you have to wake up in the dark and then still be cold outside- but not late enough to where the heat is unbearable.

We woke up and started getting ready. My mom was coming over to do my hair give us a ride to meet up with our team. While we were getting ready I tried to make toast and burned it... twice! Like pitch black and toaster smoking burnt... I hurried and opened some windows so the smoke alarm wouldn't go off. 

My mom gets there and walks in and immediately says 'what's burning?!' Awesome. She attempted to french braid my hair but it just wasn't happening. I don't know if it was just too early for her or if my 3-day old, unwashed hair was to blame.  So I ended up WITH hair 3 inches tall and WITHOUT toast. 

We were finally ready, met up with the team, and headed out to the race. Since we had to pay for parking the whole team squeezed into one car. (My mom was planning on coming later but I forgot my ID so she brought it to me and stayed for the whole thing- BEST. MOM. EVER!!) 

We got checked in, got our numbers and took some pictures before the start. Then I found another pink porta-potty! It wasn't hot pink like the ones in Las Vegas- but close. ;)

 When it got closer to our start time we made our way to the start line. (This is when the nerves set in and I realized what I was getting myself into.) In order to get to the start line, you have to climb over a wall. We haven't even started yet and I was already struggling. 

Here's the team- flying right over, looking strong....

Then here's me.... 

Once we made it over the wall, we were off into a cloud of orange dust. There were 21 obstacles over the 12.5 mile course. The first one was crawling through mud- not so bad right? Then came the second obstacle: the 'Arctic Edema'. This is where you climb up a ladder and jump into a dumpster full of ice water (with ice chunks floating everywhere). You have to swim to the other side- but in order to get to the other side you have to go under a wooden board, so you are completed submerged in the freezing water. The second I hit the water I felt like I couldn't breathe and just stood there frozen. Luckily, another girl in there said we would all go under the board on the count of 3. I knew I had to go on 3 or else I never would have gone. I could not get out of that fast enough!

For some strange reason the team wanted to keep going? So on we went. We climbed a mountain of mud (ridiculously hard to climb when you're still soaking wet), went through more mud, made it over the 'Berlin Walls' (shout out to my team mates for doing a majority of the work for me on this one- they lifted, pulled, and caught me over both walls. Please reference my upper body strength at the beginning of this post). I was seriously embarrassed for my team due to my lack of upper body strength. (I'm working on improving it!)
I think my brain must of still been frozen from the 'Arctic Enema' because I can't remember what was next or the order of the remaining obstacles. I do remember we had to carry a log and walk about a mile with it and I remember a guy who resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger walk up to me and ask if I wanted his log. I said sure and took off walking. For a little looking log it weighed a TON! At one point we had to jump over fire pits and into water. This one was actually pretty scary- the fire pits were pretty big and the flames were pretty high! 

Then there were these tubes we had to crawl through. They were really small ( and I get claustrophobic) so I was really nervous to go in. It was really dark and muddy inside. 

There were 2 tubes to crawl through and once you made it out of the first one, the second one added some water. Making it even more scary fun for people who are claustrophobic!

There were also hay bails we climbed, rings we tried (and failed) to cross, monkey bars, more tunnels, and at one point I ended up carrying 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter'. 

2 bar in was as far as I got
Some of the most terrifying were the 'Electric Eel', 'Electroshock Therapy', and 'Walk the Plank'!! Oh.My.Gosh! Just thinking about them again makes my body tense up. The 'Electric eel' was where we had to crawl through another mud-pit... but this time there were hanging electrical wires that electrocuted you every time they touched you. Everything about this one hurt. I tried to go fast but every time I got shocked I went slower and slower. When I finally reached the other side, I just sat there for a minute and heard some really loud high pitch female scream. I turned around and realized it was coming from the biggest guy on our team- Private Pile!! haha!

'Walk the Plank' is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You climb up a steep wood ladder and then have to jump off. I am terrified of heights and I honestly didn't think I would do this one. I think the only reason I did it, is because the three of us were holding hands and I had no choice but to jump.

The photo is blurry and you can't see the pure terror on my face... 

This is what absolutely terrified looks like..... 
After this obstacle, there wasn't much more I was scared of- except the last one, where we would get shocked again. So I was excited to see what was next and to keep going at this point- I mean what else could there possibly be?! 

Meet Everest. Probably the hardest obstacle we had all day. 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' ran right up it and got up by himself on the first try. (He was so fast no one even got a picture of him!) One -by-one our teammates went and got up with little to no help. 


Then it was down to me and Private Payne. He tried, tried, and tried again and still could not get up there. One one of his attempts he came crashing down and hit his knee pretty hard. He told me to go and I didn't really have much of a choice. I took a running head start and took off sprinting..... I grabbed my teammates hands, they grabbed mine, I slipped out and came sliding down. (Somehow in the shuffle the managed to slip off by LiveStong bracelet and not break it.)

I set up for my second attempt and backed up even further to have more of a head start. I took off sprinting this time and once again grabbed onto my teammates for dear life. This time, they recruited more help from fellow 'mudders' and I was just dangling there. Like we saw earlier in this post, I lack upper body strength and once again was left at the mercy of my stronger teammates. The only thing I could do was try to kick my leg to the side and yelled for someone to grab it. After a few kicks someone was able to grab it and they were able to pull me up. Ya.... it was great.

It took 5 people to pull me up.... Not embarrassing at all! 
Now we just needed to get Private Payne up. The crowd had been watching his continuous efforts and began cheering for him (and shouting out pointers!). It was awesome to see all the support we got from everyone. After a couple more attempts, he got up and we could not have been more proud. The crowd exploded in cheers for him and we celebrated the sweet victory. 

So happy to have the hardest obstacle behind us. We were now onto the final obstacle. 

The final obstacle was the 'Electroshock Therapy'. Finish with  bang right? We all stood there, just looking at it, watching people run into it and get shocked repeatedly (probably didn't help). Next thing I know,  one-by-one all of our teammates have gone through except for me and Dena... we were scared and watching everyone else go was just making it worse. 

 A group of ladies had came up behind us and told us we were all going to go on the count of 3. At this point we had no choice- I knew I either was going to go with them or not at all. When she screamed out "THREE!!" we all took off running. My plan was just to run straight through as fast as possible and just get done with it. Ya..... that didn't happen. I tried to jump over the first hay bail and my foot got caught and I tripped (while getting zapped SEVERAL times!!). I decided it would be best to just stay as low as possible and army-crawl out of there. My thinking was I would be low enough not to get zapped- I wasn't! I got zapped many, many more times! 
See me fall? Way back at the first hay bail? 
"Go around sir." You can also see the ladies planning my rescue on the left.... 
Finally almost out- but still getting shocked
'Go on without me. Save yourselves'  (Seriously, how dramatic was I?!)

For you're viewing pleasure I give you the grand finale and to really hammer home my pathetic-ness.... 

Once I was finally drug out and ran through the finish we got our orange headbands and celebrated finally being done!

My awesome mom- who stayed the whole time and took these amazing photos! 

We are officially TOUGH MUDDERS and have the bruises, blood, scars orange headbands to prove it!  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Meet the Militia

 So I've mentioned before that I've done some running/training with the Mudder Militia. What's the Mudder Militia you ask? It's our team for the TOUGH MUDDER!! (I really pushed for the name to be Sprinkles and Glitter- but no one would go for it and they wanted a more 'tough sounding' name. I don't know about you- but I think Sprinkles and Glitter sounds pretty tough to me! ;))

What's the TOUGH MUDDER you ask? It's a 10-13 mile trail run with over 20 obstacles! These are not your ordinary- jump over a hurdle obstacle, these are crazy/insane/terrifying obstacles!! For example, you have to climb a 30 foot wooden wall, then when you get to the top... you have to jump off into cold water! (I am terrified of heights so this is probably the scariest one for me!) Then there is the lovely electric shock obstacles that you have to go through TWICE! I don't know who wants to go through it at all let alone TWICE! The first time you have to crawl on your hands and knees (in mud and under barb wire) through the hanging electric wires- sounds like a great time right?! And then just in case you didn't get shocked enough, the last obstacle you have to RUN through the mud and the electrical wires to get to the finish line. To say I am absolutely terrified would be an understatement.

Anyways, since it is coming up next weekend, our team: the Mudder Militia, has gotten together a couple times to 'train'. The first time we got together we ran up a mountain in the pouring rain. ('Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' had a picture of us- but lost it when he got a new phone. :( ) Then we got together at a playground, where we would run a 1/2 mile loop and then do some 'obstacles' on the playground like the monkey bars, climbing UP the slide, and then finishing with 12 push ups. We repeated 10 times so we did 5 miles total. It was pretty fun and we got some weird looks for the other kids on the playground.

Sunday was our last time getting together for a run and we did a hard 10 mile trail run. It was a lot of fun! We started after the birthday party so it was late afternoon. By the time we finished it was pitch black and 'Mr, Sprinkles and Glitter' was SO excited to actually use his new head light.

I think we're ready for the TOUGH MUDDER and I can't wait for next weekend- although I'm still terrified for some of the obstacles. We are having shirts made and everything!

Have any of you guys ever done a TOUGH MUDDER or an obstacle course race?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Mickey Mouse Birthday Party!

Today we celebrated our good friends (and old roommates) kids FIRST birthday. I cannot believe he is already a year old- it feels like yesterday I was just visiting them in the hospital after he was born.
When we first got the invitation and realized it was going to be Mickey Mouse themed, I knew we should wear our Mickey Mouse shirts we got from Disneyland way back in the day. 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' was beyond excited willing to go along with it. ;)

I absolutely LOVE giving gifts and thought I would do something really creative as his gift. For his baby shower I made 2 small blankets for him and I knew he absolutely loved them and took them everywhere he went. I had some of the same material left over, and was able to make 2 more blankets for him for his birthday- a HUGE hit. I bought a bag of the big size legos and tried to 'build' a basket out of lego's to hold the blankets in. Then I bought a Mickey Mouse plate and silverware and have them sticking out at the top. (It kind of looked more like a bad castle and I'm SO mad I didn't take any pictures but you get the point.) Walmart had wipes on sale so I bought 3 boxes of them and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to wrap them in paper and making them look like legos.

'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' decided to go a more 'cooler' route and bought him a super-cute Batman shirt and a little Batman car to play with- another HUGE hit with the birthday boy!

How cute is he?!   
When we get all our friends together I usually try to get a picture of everyone. When we all got together to take the group shot I told everyone to hold up a 1 since it was his 'first' birthday. My friends are so used to my craziness they just go along with it now. :)

The most amazing group of friends

The boys
Love these ladies

Before we left, we quickly changed into running clothes because we're headed to meet the Mudder Militia for a 10 miles trial run. Wish us luck! 

Happy Birthday big boy! :)

Tough Mudder is NEXT weekend and I'm starting to get really scared! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Skirt Chaser 2013 Race Recap!!

Everything about this race was really laid back and super fun! I also PR'd which may-or-may-not of made me like it even more! ;)

What is the Skirt Chaser you ask? Females (AKA the 'skirts') all start at the same time and then 3 minutes later all the boys start, 'chasing the skirts'-- get it?

When we registered we had the option to pay $30 buck for just the race- or pay $60 and get a running skirt for the girls/t-shirt for the guys. We chose to go shirt/skirt less and save some money. When I went and picked up our packets at a local running store and everything went really quickly.  I got our bibs and the girl who gave them to me told me to go across the store to get our glasses and "swag". So I went over there and the girl working with the glasses/swag, asked me what size I was. I told her I was only there to get the glasses for 2 registrations  She said she would get the glasses in a minute but needed to know the shirt/skirt size for us. I was so confused, and I think she could tell so she said we get a shirt for the male registration and a skirt for the female registration and asked me again (not as nicely) 'what size?'. I didn't feel like arguing and she seemed to be getting annoyed with me, so I told her medium. She threw a shirt, skirt, and two glasses in my bag and then started helping the next person. I thought you had to pay extra for them, but maybe every registration got one and you could pay the $30 extra for an additional one? I'm still confused by this.)

Anyways, the race didn't start until 2:00 so we slept in and I did my swim workout (2,100 meters). I got home and didn't have enough time to eat, so I figured I would just wait until after the race. I changed into my new running skirt I got a little nervous because I've never run in a skirt before and when I wear shorts my legs tend to chafe. I grabbed a handful of pretzels on the way out the door. We drove down to Temple Town Lake, quickly found parking and hurried to the start line (there was a lot more traffic than we were expecting).

We made it to the start line and for the first (and probably only) time I dropped 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' off in the back and made my way towards the front. The plan was for 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' to catch up to me (since he is super fast) and then us finish together.

They counted us down and off the skirts went. I started out pretty fast and was surprised at how good I felt. It was an out and back course so when I made the turn around I started looked for 'Mr. Sprinkle and Glitter'. I couldn't really see because of all the runners and the blinding sun but I was really searching for him- I was so sure I would see him. I was so busy looking for him that I didn't even notice he was running right beside me! He catch up to me so fast! 
Girls with the head start below, and the guys just starting on the bridge. Can you find me in this picture? I'll give you a hint- I think I'm already waving my hands in the air like I just don't care for some strange reason.... we were less than .5 miles in....  :)
I told him I felt great and if we pushed the pace I could PR. He held a quicker pace and I just tried to keep up. I told him I wanted to sprint when we got close to finish line. Before I could even see the finish line he told me to pick it up. I was a little hesitant since I didn't know how much further we had to go, but I tried to keep up with him. Once I actually saw the finish line I picked it up even more and knew I had PR'd when I finished. My time was 27:13, so almost 2 and a half minute PR. WOOHOO!! 

We found some water, got out picture taken (still can't find them anywhere on their website or their Facebook page:( ), and ran into some friends. It was hot and we were both hungry so we left and went to Cornish Pasty, Co. Absolutely AH-MAZZ-ING! Their homemade lemonade (lemonade mixed with orange juice) is so good and just what I needed.
It was a great day with a great race!

What did you guys do this weekend? Anyone racing?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Keeping with our Valentine's Day tradition... alone!

I don't think I've mentioned this on the blog before, but 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and I met when we both worked at a restaurant: Marcello's Pasta Grill. One of the many joys of working at a restaurant is not being able to get certain holidays off- especially busy one like Valentine's Day. And the possibility of us both being able to get a holiday off were impossible since they were such busy nights. So we've both worked Valentine's day for the past 7 years at the restaurant  (Even though neither of us 'work' there anymore, we still go in on Valentine's day to work because it is such a busy night for them and they could use the extra help.)

It was fun working on Valentine's day with 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and making some extra $$. Then we would celebrate our Valentine's a week or two later- which was also nice because we didn't have to deal with crowds or anything.

Well, this year was different. When they called to ask if I would work I of course said 'yes'- it's what we've always done, right? What I forgot to realize is that Valentine's day fell during the week this year which meant Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter wouldn't be able to work since he would have his kid. (We have him during the weeks for school and then he goes to his moms on the weekends.)

So what did this mean? Not only were we not spending Valentine's Day together- but now I was stuck working (which I hadn't done it quite some time) with a bunch of new people I didn't know. :/ It's like riding a bike right?!

Still my favorite kitchen staff though! 
Not quite the bike ride I was hoping for. They had completely remodeled the entire resturant and everything was different! Table locations, wine menu's, back stations were moved with different things. It was like I was working in a different restaurant for the first time! Luckily, it wasn't very busy and I got the hang of things pretty quickly.

Every Valentine's Day I've worked for the past 7 years, there has ALWAYS been a proposal. I was getting worried towards the end of the night that there wasn't going to be one this year. But it finally happened! It's always so cute to watch and then to watch everyone's reaction. The woman was so excited and immediately began texting pictures of the ring on one phone and calling people on another. They were so happy!
Once I finally got off, I headed home and went to bed.

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! <3

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My other FAVORITE day of the year!

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL day celebrating National Frozen Yogart Day!

I tried to celebrate this holiday to the fullest- but when I tried to go get some fro-yo on my way to work, they were closed? I guess it's not normal to get fro-yo at 8:00 in the morning- even on a holiday like today? Weird.

So I went to work and did nothing but think about fro-yo. Then after work I ran a quick 2.5 miles and met my mom for some Bikram yoga. (90 minutes of yoga in 110 degrees with humity- nothing but a good time! I highly recommend it!!)

One I got home for yoga I quickly changed out of my wet clothes (there was no time for a shower) and headed out the door to make it to the fro-yo place before they closed. When I got there, I was once again expecting something magic- but was disappointed that NONE of the employees knew it was National Frozen Yogart Day! (I seriously had flash backs to National Cupcake Day! Shouldn't this stuff be in the employee manual or something?!) I told them I would be expecting something great next year!

I hurried home and ate the delicious dinner 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' made, and then finally enjoyed the fro-yo!

It was a great day- a little stressful (thinking I wasn't going to make it there before they closed) but it all worked out. ;)

THIS is my goal for next years celebration! I'm going to start practicing now!! ;)

Do you guys celebrate National Fro-yo day?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Double Down Recap and a Superbowl

A couple weeks ago I signed up for point series through Arizona Road Racers. It's a series of races and for each race you do you get points. Then at the end of the series, there are awards for people with the most points in each age group. I really like the Arizona Road Racers and have done several of their events before because their races are usually pretty cheap and are smaller in size- but still really well organized.

When I went to sign up for today's race (Runner's Den 10K) I noticed that they also had a 5K (before the 10K) but you didn't get points for it. But it was only $5 dollars more- so I figured why not? I've never run back-to-back races and I figured it would be my long run for the weekend and it would be nice to push myself for both the 5K and then the 10K. (Plus it's always nice to get a good sweat in before things like the Superbowl where you know you're not going to be eating super healthy! ;) )

It sounded great in therory, it really did. but then the Saturday before the race I ran 5 hard miles at South Mountain (stopping every mile to do 15 pushups- that about killed me!!) with the 'Mudder Militia'- I'll explain more about this later. ;) And after that my legs were dead. I don't do hills very often ever so running up a mountain was a challenge for me.

I was really hoping to PR in both of these races but I figured my legs would be tired from the trail running the day before so I was still 'hoping' for the PR- but didn't count on it. Add in the fact that when I woke up the day of the race, it was raining pretty hard- my main goal shifted to just finishing both races without falling.

My mom came with me and when we got there I got my bib number and shirt then headed back to the car to try to stay as warm/dry as possible. The 5K was first and the rain backed off to just a light sprinkle. I kept my jacket on till the very last second then tossed it over to my mom (with my ipod still in my jacket pocket- runner fail!) I took off and tried to push my pace out of my confort zone. I tend to find a pace that I feel comfortable at (usually 10 minute/mile) and just stay there. So today I wanted to push myself. I stayed around 9:15/9:30 the entire time and was shocked at how good I felt. The course was really nice and once I got warmed up the light sprinkling was nice. It was a loop course and they had a water station at the halfway point.

After the halfway point I tried to push the pace more but was still staying around a 9:30 pace. I sprinted towards the finish when I could see the finish line and thought I had PR'd. I didn't- was almost a minute off. Oh well. 

We had about 45 minutes until the 10K started so I waited in the longest line for the port-a-potties, we watched the diaper derby- with the cutest kids, a tricycle pace bike, and TON of paparazzi! Then headed back to the car to stay warm/dry. 

Is that not the cutest pacer you've ever seen?! 
They take those diaper derby's VERY seriously around here! 
When the 10K started, I tried to get as close to the front as possible. (The point series is based off of the clock time- not the chip time. So even if you have the fastest time- you could lose because someone beat you according to the clock time. Weird, I know.) But I was able to get to the very front and found one of 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter's' super-fast friends, Brady. We chatted a bit before the start. When the race did start I took off. I'm not sure if I was trying to kill myself or just keep up with all the super-mega fast runners that I started with- but I was flying! I got to the first mile marker that had a clock and it read 6:58. I decided to back off and could bearly catch my breath. (I now understand why people always say 'Don't start out too fast'. Lesson learned!)

The course started out the same as the 5K but was a bigger loop and then finished the same as the 5K. It had 2 water stations and I was lucky enough to get the same little girl in footie pajamas as I did at the 5K! She was adorable and was cheering on all the runners saying "Don't quit! You can do it! Keep going everyone!" She definitely made me smile.

I kept checking my pace and I was still right around a 9:30 pace and once again sprinted towards the finish. I was hoping to come in under 1 hour- but finished 1:00:21. It was still almost a 12 minute PR- so I was definitely happy with that!

Once I finished and found my mom, I got 2 chocolate Muscle Milks (those things are seriously delicious) and a pancake. Then we headed home to finish cooking the food we were bringing to a Superbowl party and get ready.
I made mini graham cracker crust, topped with homemade carmel, banana slices, and then homemade whipped cream cupcakes. They were so cute and SO good. I was debating not bringing them to the party and eating all 34 myself. 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' made seafood stuffed mushrooms and wings- that apparently were the hit of the party by everyone! I still can't believe the power outtage during the game! Crazy!
Hope everyone enjoyed game and had a great weekend!