There was a lot of running going on this past weekend!
Saturday I had a 5:20am wake up call to meet Caroline and Jackie to drive up to Dade City, outside of Tampa, Florida, for the Dirty Girl Mud Run 5k Obstacle Course. We had a group called the Dirty Bloggers made up of women from Tampa Bay Bloggers and Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers.
Friday night I was laying out my clothes for the race, my clothes for after the race, everything I needed with me – and my DD1 decided to open up. She was telling me about school, her boyfriend, her hair – talk talk talk. Which was GREAT until 11:05pm rolled around and I had to tell her I had to get in bed so I could have a good race the next day. Luckily she is a runner, and completely understood.
Around 11:30pm Brian came to bed. Then “beep beep” – his computer told us he had an email. It was outside our bedroom door, closer to my side of the bed.
“You’re going to go mute that, right?” I asked.
“I guess so, ” he said, and reluctantly got up.
Which is when he tripped on the laptop cord and bashed his heel and yelled an obscenity through the house – so not like him. But he had a half marathon the day after my race, so he went to ice his foot. But left the light on outside our room and the door open. (How many wives would do that to their runner husbands?) But he gets a free-pass because he was hurt.
I managed to doze off, heard the alarm, turned it off, and fell back asleep. Luckily, the race angles were watching over me and 7 minutes later I woke up on my own and had no recollection of the alarm having previously gone off. I went through my getting ready and triple checking routine, hit the potty one more time, and drove to meet C&J.
I’ve known Caroline for a little while, but had never met Jackie. Conversation in the car was easy and all over the place. We had a good time, but also noticed fog creeping in and the temperature dropping as we got further into the middle of nowhere. It had been 75 degrees lately, and here it was about 46 degrees.
The Dirty Girl Mud Run was being held on a ranch called Little Everglades. Jackie had been there for the Tough Mudder. I have never done a mud run. Because it was February, I knew the mud and water could be cold. And I knew people who had ingested mud at a race and got ill. Ecoli type stuff. So when the bloggers were first approached about covering the race on our blogs in exchange for free entry, I said I would come as the team photographer and take pics of everyone along the course. This way I could skip the mud, still run, and hang out with everyone. Plus, we all know bloggers need photos NOW, not next week.
Dirty Girl thought that was a great idea. I think their great idea is reserving 250 entries for cancer survivors to run free! I hear that proceeds from the event benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The event was ladies only. It is a 5K distance with 11 fun-filled obstacles. There were inflatables, mud, water, walls, ropes, tubes and more. Our group was the first wave of the day (clean shower area!) and we were going to go as slow as our slowest team mate. Everyone helped each other and waited for each other. After each obstacle I would sprint ahead and wait with a camera and try to get photos of the whole Dirty Blogger group on each obstacle.
From the minute I arrived everything went smoothly – they seemed so much more organized than The Color Run, my last 5k volunteer event. We got race # bibs, T-shirts and cute Dirty Girl necklaces instead of medals.
As it neared our start time, Dirty Girl got us warmed up with 2 Zumba instructors. While the others danced, I ran ahead about 1/4 miles to be ready to take photos. And then they were off!
They ran right through a barn with horse stalls first off. Luckily it was empty, but it reminded us for the rest of the day that this was really a ranch. There was POOP everywhere! Like, huge piles next to huge piles. That was the only bad part of the whole day though.
The bloggers ran, walked, climbed, rang bells, got stuck in the muck, and I got photos of it all! And at the end, we crossed the finish line in 3 smaller groups, and posed for photos in one large group. The whole 5k was about FUN FUN FUN. Even as we were grossed out, we were giggling at the same time.
Bondi Bands sponsors my husband’s run club, Digital Running. So I was able to get all of the Bloggers matching Bondi Bands. These rock for keeping mud out of your ears and hair out of your face! And the fabric is backed with sweat-wicking material. If you ever need a Bondi Band coupon code, just check Digital Running (right side of this page).
(Click images to view them larger…)
One of the bloggers who was there with us, Jenny, wrote a post with tips for a mud run. Her list is great! You should check it out, here.
The next day was the Rock ‘n’ Roll St Petersburg Mini Marathon (5k) and Half Marathon. My husband and daughter were signed up to run the Half Marathon together. This was DD1’s first HM. She trained all summer in the heat, the poor dear. She had some back pain the week before, but felt good the week of the race. She watched what she ate and tried to get extra sleep. She also had a back massage on Wed. and took an aerial yoga class the day before the race to lengthen her spine.
Meanwhile, I signed up to volunteer with the Running for Brews crew. They were handing out M&Ms and Gummi Bears to runners going by. I wanted the camaraderie, but I thought the food was kind of weird, so I brought pom poms instead. Lora and I wore matching green Digital Running shirts and green tutus to cheer. She made some glittery signs. And Alice’s yoga teacher, Tara, came to cheer with us just to see Alice – super sweet!
As it turned out, there was a very enthusiastic crowd at the Running for Brews area, and I knew a few of them. Everyone I knew who ran the 5k or HM said we were the most spirited volunteer area, and seeing us at mile 11 perked them up. During the 5k I jumped on the course twice with friends to take them to the next street corner and chat a bit.
Then I started getting worried for DD1. When she has a bad run, she starts to T-Rex her arms, tilt her neck uncomfortably, and eventually cry. It pains me to see it. And I SO did NOT want her to go by looking all scrunched up and out of her element. Her goal was 2:00 and she was going to run with the 2 hour pace group, so I prepared myself to look for that sign.
First we saw the lead male… soon thereafter I saw Jessica Crate. Then Brian came by. Then the 1:45 pace group went by. Then his friend Katie ran by and high-fived me so hard my hand stung! I thought I still had ten minutes, but suddenly – there was Alice! First she smiled, then she stuck her tongue out KISS style and gave a double thumbs up! I got a photo, Tara got a photo, and the photographer next to me got a photo. She looked relaxed and comfy and like she was having fun. I was so happy for her!!
Lots of other people I knew ran by, and I cheered for them all. Until it hit about 2:30 and I was anxious to know how Alice did and how she was feeling. Plus I had to drive her home before I could hit the Running for Brews after party.
Lora and I went with a few friends to the finish line and texted Alice. There I saw more people who I knew, who I didn’t even know had run the race! It was just starting to get really hot, and the finishers were guzzling chocolate milk and Gatorade. Eventually I met up with Brian and Alice. They were both feeling great. He ran a 1:33, his 2nd fastest HM and Alice ran a 1:50!! She said she was near starting corral C and the 2:00 pacer was in the back of corral D, and she didn’t want to fall back to him, so she ran her own race and tried to keep the 2 hour people behind her. It worked!
Lora and I took Alice for food and dropped her off at home. She wanted a sub heavy on the meat, extra Gatorade, and the ability to eat and sleep at the same time. Lora had promised Brian Cheetos, so she got him a bag of those. She bought mimosa ingredients, and I bought strawberries for the party.
The after party was full of mostly HM runners. Luckily the cute apartment complex where it was located had a pool and a hot tub. So people ate, drank, swam, dunked their legs, and shared running stories. We talked about Ragnar and compression socks and Lora’s broken toe. It was a beautiful Florida day!
When it came time to walk back to our car near the race start, Brian said he wanted to hold my hand and stroll through downtown – so we did. Then we drove home to return to parenthood.
You may know I am also taking part in the Love My Abs challenge this month. So that night although my feet were tired I decided to plank till I couldn’t anymore and then finish with some crunches. I ended up sticking a 4 minute plank!! I truly amazed myself!
I love that fitness allows me to see results that I can only thank myself for 🙂
Before falling into bed, I saw a link for this race on Facebook: http://www.imathlete.com/events/CalienteBareDare5k