Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Am I Tough Enough?

Well about 4 months ago we signed up for this little race (challenge) called the Tough Mudder. At the time it really did look like something that would be a lot of fun. Now with only 3 days until I do it- not so much fun.

This is what it says on the Tough Mudder website about this race...
"Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10 to 12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the worlds most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and over $2 million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project. Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world."

Let's just start this by saying I am a wimp- I really am. I enjoy running and biking and swimming but lifting weights- um not so much! I really did plan on starting a lifting program solely to prepare for the crazy things that I am going to be expected to do during this race. Well you know what they say about good intentions- yeah me neither :)
This is what the website this is what kind of shape you are supposed to be in to participate...

"How fit do you need to be? Basically, you should be in good physical condition – complete slackers need not apply. At a minimum we recommend that you are running regularly (2+ times a week, working up to 5 miles per run), able to do 15-25 push-ups in a row, able to bang out 6 pull-ups in a row (especially the dudes), and able to swim 50 yards without stopping (although you can skip the water obstacles)."
 Ok- lets talk about  my fitness- running will be NO PROBLEM for me. I try to run 5-6 days a week and my short run is usually 5 miles so I am good there. I can do ZERO push-ups and ZERO pull-ups. I can swim 50 yards without a problem though so I won't be skipping those- ha!

"We mix up the drudgery with belly-crawling, wall-climbing, mud-slogging, ice-water dunking, monkey-bar traversing, huge slip n’ slides, etc. "

Did I mention I can't climb over a wall and the only way I am getting over it is that my strong husband is doing this with me.

"As we like to say, Tough Mudder is about completing a fearsome challenge and discovering a new sense of accomplishment, not about running your knees into the ground or testing your maximum lung capacity. So while some Mudders are ultra-marathoners and others are super-jacked Rambo clones, most are regular people who take care of themselves and are looking for a true all around challenge, a super fun day with friends, and a goal on the calendar that will force them to step up their workouts."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rock n Roll vs. Disney

Just got back from Savannah and it was really an AMAZING experience with my hubs (Dave). I really thought a lot about this post but I am just going to hit the highlights and write something a little more in depth in the future.
You all KNOW I am a Disney girl. Up until this point all races that they have, except the marathon, I have ran in. (I really wish they would bring back the Tower of Terror 13K- My favorite of all time!!!) So, Disney was all I really had to compare this Rock n' Roll Series to and there were some things that Disney could really learn from this organization.

Packet Pickup: Well, we got to Savannah early enough that we didn't really get to experience the crazy crazy traffic going to the expo. When you have 23,000 runner plus their families, you really shouldn't make packet pick up over a bridge with limited (and i mean limited- parking). With that disclaimer out of the expo experience was flawless. I had already printed out my waiver and walked right up to my pick up my number...NO LINE AT ALL. Every Disney race I have done I have had to wait in line JUST to get my number then another line to get my shirt and goody bag. I had none of that with this race. I also had to change my corral which literally took me 10 seconds. I asked if I could move to Dave's corral and she gave me a sticker to move and that was that. No questions, nothing- and I was very impressed!!!

Expo: The expo was fun as always. There were a lot more name brands at this one compared to Disney but I would have to say that the vendors were evenly matched in this category.

Pre-Race Corralling: This one goes to RnRSav as well. My major pet peeve with Disney is having to be at a 5:30 race at 3:30 am just to go sit in a parking lot for 2 hours. We left our hotel at 7 and walked to the start line and our corral left at 7:45ish. I also liked that they sent the corrals off at 30 sec. to 2 min intervals instead of every 5 minutes. I also liked that the people monitoring the corrals weren't crazy like the volunteers at Disney. If a few people move corrals it should not be a HUGE deal like they make it at Disney.

Race start: Even though I told Dave I DID NOT want to be at the front- we ended up there. And it wasn't that bad. Where as Disney races starts are always jammed with people and the first mile is AWFUL, this race was on a wide road where I felt extremely comfortable the whole time.

Race: I thought that they did a great job of having some sort of band at every mile. The people of Savannah cheering us on throughout the race was really a nice surprise too. I liked (although Dave didn't) that they clock was easy to read at every mile marker. I also thought they did a good job of providing water and sports drink along the way too. My only major complaint is about the course. I was truly looking forward to running through beautiful Savannah- and that really wasn't what I got. We ran through VERY URBAN areas which turned out ok because there were people all around cheering us on BUT I really didn't get to see the downtown Savannah area with all the
pretty houses.
Finish and Medal: Medal goes to DISNEY- honestly the ugliest medal ever!!!! I thought the finish was really not that bad. I was nervous that I wouldn't break off from the full and that thought freaked me out a bit but all went well and I finished the half in 2:16:23.
NEXT UP: Tough Mudder- December 3rd and hopefully RAGNAR!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Years Ago

I just got back from my last run before Dave and I run the Rock n'Roll Savannah Half Marathon. I began this training cycle running 3 miles and appropriately my last training run was 3 miles as well. 3 is having a big significance for me. Today is the 3rd (ha!), I have 3 kids, and 3 years ago was a definite change in my life.

3 years ago, I went into labor at 33 weeks on October 30. Dave and I made it to the hospital and I just kept saying "please don't let my water break" to which the nice nurse told me that even if it did they could keep my baby in until 36 weeks (what?!?). I remember going into that hospital worried, but feeling ok. They put me in a triage bed and gave me the shots to stop my contractions and nothing happened. They gave me some more shots and still no change. I wasn't dilating (which was good) but I was still having contractions (over 10 an hour). The nurse looked at me and said we are admitting you (i thought for the night) and we are going to give you Mag (magnesium sulfate)- she said " the first 3 days are hell" and i just laughed, little did I know then.

They brought me down and started my IV and gave me a bolus of the dreaded Mag because they have to get you into a therapeutic range. I don't really remember much of the next 3 days. People visited, my husband was a saint, and I was sicker than a dog and have NEVER been so hot. Literally, it burned the skin off my face and it raises your temperature. I really thought after the first 3 days they would let me go home- that was not to be. They didn't want me to go home and overextend myself (me-overextend- NEVER-ha!) I was in the hospital for 14 days. Laying on my back- with Edward, Jacob, and Bella to keep me company. My kids were shuffled between my husband and my sister in law, and I felt useless a lot.

Why am I telling you all of this??

Because in 2 days I will be running, and I will be running 1 mile for every day I was in that bed!! I will be running for my sweet Alexis who is the feistiest little girl and has been from the first day I held her, almost 3 years ago. I will be running because I can and enjoying every step and when I feel like I can' t do this or I want to stop- I will remember those 14 days where all I was allowed to do was sit, eat, and sleep- and I will press forward simply because I CAN!!