Tuesday, November 24, 2009

San Diego Mud Run!

This past Sunday I went down to San Diego for the SD Mud Run.  I was so excited because all my friends who have done it in the past all said they had the best time running through the mud and all the obstacle courses throughout the course.  I was on a team with my boyfriend, cousin, and her husband, and our team name was “We Like it Dirty”…pun intended! 
Before the Mud Run upon arrival:

When the four of us arrived at Skyline Church (where the Mud Run was held) after taking the bus from Cayamuca College (where we had to park) we were surprised by the amount of people who were there to run.  There were easily a thousand people, and as we could tell from their personally designed shirts, from all over!  It was so cool!  I had no idea that many people would be participating.  With that many people, how could an event be so organized?  I’m not sure, but this was one heck of an organized event.  Bus drop off.  Bib pick up.  Bag check in.  T-shirt pick up.  Duct tape station (tape shoes to help prevent mud from weighing them down…DID NOT WORK!).  Starting line.  It was one station after the other in perfect order complete without lines or crowds.  I know, shocking for the amount of people.  When I did the 40 mile walk for Breast Cancer last year (2008) their expo the night before wasn’t even this organized.

Anyways, after we got our feet duct taped, we each grabbed a bottle of Sparkletts water that was being handed out and headed towards the starting line area.  Some people had incredibly decorated and ornate costumes on!  One team, “The Dirty Turkeys” were in brown shorts and shirts and had feathers glued all over them and were wearing feather head pieces.  And to top it off, they used their own tape on their shoes which was neon orange!  It was quite clever with Thanksgiving just around the corner.  They definitely put the matching team shirts I made to shame.  Lesson learned for next time though…neon.feathers.sparkles.tulle.  Any or all of these for team outfits.

On to the race!
After waiting what seemed like an eternity in the starting area and listening to the announcer warn us about the unknown depths of the mud pits ranging from 2 to 5 feet, the gun went off and the muddiness began! First, we ran through the parking lot where there was a fire hose being squirted at us, then we snaked around the rows to encounter an uphill trail.  Sean and I slowly jogged up this while my cousins dashed ahead.  Oh, Sean worked an all-nighter and got about an hour sleep before we had to cruise down to San Diego so he was feeling a little out of it, but he still wanted to do it nonetheless!  What a trooper!  So we jogged up this hill and then down the hill to where we encountered our first mud pit!  There were four mud pits in a row, each about 3 feet deep.  Everyone had halted and was slowly walking into the first two, until finally someone just flew into the third one and everyone more or less raced through.  The muddier the better!  Then there was some more trail running followed by tunnels filled partially with muddy water and as Sean says, I crawled through it so easily by squatting and walking because I’m so tiny (I’m 5’4 barely) whereas everyone else was on their hands and knees.  I wish I had a picture of this, but I didn’t think to bring a water proof camera (next time!)  
Here is what the tunnels looked like though (guy in white suit from last year):

There were a couple more mud pits about 4ft deep.  Then came the hurdles!  There were about 8 hurdles in the lower parking lot, and I have to admit, Sean and I went right past these.  Not because we didn’t think we could jump them, we knew we could, but because some people couldn’t and were slowly crawling over them which backed up everyone else.  So instead of just standing there waiting, we went around. We ran for a bit on asphalt, through another fire hose spray, and onto the 5 foot deep mud pits!  SO FUN! The hill before it was probably 8 feet so we ran up that and slid down so fast into the mud!  Fire hose number 3. Some more train running.  MOUNT EVEREST!  Part of the trail was running up a hill at 60% incline for anywhere from 700-1000 feet and it was brutal.  We walked it and they actually had spotters midway just in case someone fell or collapsed.  We named that Mount Everest.  We finally got to the top and my bum and calves were feeling the burn.  We grabbed a cup of water from one of the volunteers and continued down the hill.  Fire hose number 4.  Then there were two 5ft deep mud pits back to back and some more parking lot running followed by a short but steep uphill leading back to the start/finish area.  We ran around a bend and there were two more obstacles:  a wall to jump over (there was a bundle of hay in front for the shorties) while water was “raining” on you, followed by my favorite obstacle, the mud pit with flags that you had to swim under!  The flags were about 8 inches above the mud and some people were just lifting them up to walk under, but Sean and I went ALL out and dove into the mud pit and under the flags!  It was awesome!

The four of us then crossed the finish line and we were done!  The four of us after the run:

Me and Sean with our not-white-anymore shirts:

We could barely lift our feet because our shoes were filled with mud.  So much for the tape.  We stopped at the FRS booth and grabbed a Peach Mango FRS (delicious for anyone who has not tried them) and went to the bag check to pick up our bags and get our clean clothes. Skyline Church, who hosts the run, collects running shoes if anyone does not want to keep them.  They have a cleaning service to thoroughly clean them and then they distribute them to the poor.  I thought that was so cool.  (All four of us donated our shoes.)

At this point we all were ready to head home, especially Sean, so we caught the bus to take us back to where we had parked and headed home.
Me and my cousin :)

It was such a fun experience and the energy and enthusiasm was radiating from every single person there, including myself!  I will most definitely be doing it again but next time my team will have awesomely outrageous matching outfits, I will bring a water proof camera to take on the course with me, and we all will get ample sleep the night before ;)  All in all, so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mud Run Tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is the San Diego Mud Run and I couldn't be more pumped!  A lot of my friends have done it and absolutely loved the experience, saying it was one of the most fun times ever!

If you are unsure what a Mud Run is, here is the description straight from the San Diego Mud Run's site:

"The Mud Run is a challenging 5K run with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, 4-foot walls with mud, tunnel crawls, slippery hill climbs, and 3 mud pits."

I am racing with my boyfriend, my cousin, and her husband and we all can't wait!  Even after looking at all the pictures from previous years and memorizing the course, we're still a little unsure as to what to expect.  It will sure be an adventure!!!

The course:

One of the obstacles:

Not only are there mud pits, but walls to climb over, hills to run up and down, barrels to crawl through, etc.  I can't wait!  Our team name is, "WE LIKE IT DIRTY" (pun intended!) and I made shirts for us to wear.  I designed the image from the mud run logo and included the words Mud Run and our team name:

And here's a close up of the image:

It should be pretty fun!  My boyfriend and I are going to cruise down to SD early tomorrow morning and meet up with my cousin, get our bibs, and put our clean clothes in the lockers for afterwards.  Our race clothes sure will NOT be coming home with us...it's a good thing I have an old beat up pair of running shoes...perfect for tomorrow!

I'll be taking a ton of pictures!  Eeee I can't wait!  :)

PS-Today is my brother's birthday!!  Happy Birthday Big Brother!!!! <3


Friday, November 13, 2009

"Emotions are the colors of the soul"

Ruby, vermillion, periwinkle, kiwi, magenta, sunflower, violet, and gold.  These are the colors that can be seen in a beautiful sunset, and they are the colors that can paint my emotions during my morning run yesterday.

It was one of those perfect mornings--I woke up at 5:00am after a great night's sleep, put on my Nike DriFit long sleeve and my Adidas running shorts, and stepped outside into the crisp and refreshingly cool and still dark morning.  I turned on my Garmin and after he found a satellite, I took a deep breath, smiled, and began my 2.5 miles.  I didn't bring my iPod and instead I listened to the steady sound of my feet hitting the pavement and focused on my breathing.  I felt so good and I was feeling a mix of emotions--excitement, joy, exuberance, inspiration, serenity, enlightenment, and love.
As I ran, I watched the sun rise and paint the sky a light silvery-blue that seemed to sparkle.

Emotions are the colors of the soul.  I felt full of color as I took my time running my 2.5 miles.  My workout plan was to run 1 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 1 mile, and walk 1/4 mile for the 2.5mi total.  Those 2 miles I seemed to run with ease.  My pace was not fast...I'm not focusing on speed work but rather on building a solid foundation for running.  My splits were:
Mile 1 - 11:55 min
Mile 2 - 11.53 min
which I am happy with!

Yesterday was a great day...a soulful day.  I am so happy with my life and where I am now--I have the most supportive, loving, and fun family; my boyfriend, the love of my life and best friend, is the most amazing man I've ever met (we're soon celebrating 3 years of happiness!); I have the best friends any girl could ask for; and I love my job am learning so much.

I'm happy :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TGI-Rest Day!

When my alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, I was so tired that I hit snooze…10 more minutes. Then what seems like 2 minutes later I hear “beep beep beep.” There was no way my body was going to move. I hadn’t been that tired in a long time, so I decided to listen to my body and enjoy another hour of sleep. At least today was a rest day, so I don't feel guilty for not working out.
Tomorrow morning Sean is coming over at 5am to go running with me.  I love it when we run together...he's really fun to run with.  Tomorrow is 2.5 miles -- 1 mile running, 1/4 mile walking, 1 mile running, 1/4 mile walking.
On another note, my brother signed up to run the Turkey Trot with me! I’m so excited!!!