It’s National Dog Day!

In our home it’s always Dog day! But today’s the perfect excuse for all of us dog lovers to brag on ours.

CJ & Esme got to hang out with me at work today, meeting and greeting people and their dogs. CJ loves the people, Esme loves the dogs.

How did your dog(s) spend National Dog Day?

Freddie Mercury doesn’t really give a crap! He knows cats are superior.

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Run for the Toilets 5K & 8 Miler Forms

The Run For the Toilets 5K & 8 Miler will take place on Saturday November 30, 2019 at the Onancock Elks Lodge #1766 located in Accomac, VA.  The following are links to the downloadable forms for the Run For the Toilets 5K & 8 Miler.

You can register for the event online using this link.

Stay up-to-date on the happenings leading up to the run by joining the Facebook Event Page.

THE Rugged Maniac…Part 1 of however long it takes me to finish this post…The Beginning

Saturday May 2nd, I along with several friends and acquaintances took part in the Rugged Maniac at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg. Speaking for myself, but certain that all of my team participants would agree, it was AWESOME! What a blast and what a great group of people (both my team members and all of the others who attended).

Ever since I did my first mud run in 2012 at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, I couldn’t wait to do another. It all started with the no-longer-in-existence Run For Your Lives, a 5K Obstacle Course Race where you had to escape zombies. It was an awesome time. Even though we had to swim across a freezing cold river in late October, I’d have still chosen to do it all over again. And there were zombies.  Fun!  What an awesome feeling of accomplishment it was to make it through all of the obstacles that I never thought I’d ever be able to do! Like crossing a freezing river in October. Had I known that was one of the obstacles beforehand, I probably would have never signed up to take part in the event. Smart move there race directors at Reed Street Productions.

Since that first experience, I did another Run For Your Lives in Illinois in September of 2013 at Byron Motorsports Park. It also was a blast, but not nearly as fun as the first one. The obstacles weren’t quite as good, most likely due to the location of the event. There were no rivers. Plenty of mud and plenty of zombies, but it was lacking something. Like a freezing cold river. I didn’t feel quite as accomplished after that one. I didn’t feel like I overcame anything, if that makes any sense. None of the obstacles were “OMG!”

Not because of my disappointment with the 2nd RFYL, I didn’t do any more mud runs until last weekend. There just weren’t any convenient ones for me that I could get time off for; at least none that made me go “I have to do this.” Then the Rugged Maniac ads started to fill my email and social media feeds. I can do that. It’s relatively nearby, and I had plenty of notice to ensure I would be available that weekend! So I put some feelers out to see if anyone else was interested in joining me, because a mud run is SO MUCH more fun with a group than solo. The fish started biting almost immediately. So we signed up. Over the course of a couple of months our team grew to a total of 11. I knew this was going to be one hell of a fun weekend! And I was right.

The majority of the team drove to a nearby town the night before.  A few of them carpooled with me.  We made a weekend out of the event; why not?  By doing this we didn’t have to worry about traffic, especially at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, which could have delayed us if we left the day of the event.  That HRBT is a bear sometimes.  Not a soft, cuddly teddy bear; a grumpy, nasty, mean Grizzly Bear.  Sometimes traffic moves like a hibernating bear.

We arrived at our hotel unscathed and went out to dinner at a mediocre sushi restaurant.  At least the Nigori Sake was good (a little too good as I may have had a bit too much of it).     After dinner we returned to the hotel rooms and had fun playing Cards Against Humanity (we are horrible people!) and drinking beer.  I don’t really remember exactly how the night ended, I just woke up the next morning bright and early and ready to get muddy!

Sushi Dinner2

Sushi the night before

 

Our wave time was 12:15PM, so we headed over to the event site around 9:45AM as it was a 20 minute drive from the hotel.  We arrived just in time to see some parachuters landing.  That was pretty cool.  After checking in and getting our race gear we perused the event grounds to see what was happening!  There was a mechanical bull that we just HAD to try.  So we did.  That was fun.

Mechanical Bull BC01

My first Mechanical Bull Ride

 

There was a beer tent (yay!) and several food vendors that were serving anything from greek sandwiches to funnel cakes.  I steered clear of all of that stuff.  If I’m going to have something that’s going to make my guts sour, I’ll stick to the beer.  They have bananas and other fruits post race, and I snuck a bagel and a banana from the continental breakfast offered at the hotel before we left.  Always thinking ahead (or at least TRYING to be prepared!).  There were some other gym/fitness tents but, unfortunately for us ESVA folks, they’re not anywhere local enough for us.  But I did chat with a few of them to see what they offered, to encourage them to bring POUND to their gyms (because it’s awesome), and to try to talk them into coming to the shore!  We’ll see how much influence I had on them.  I’m sure it wasn’t much.

There was this one awesome group there called OCR Unleashed.  They had a mini obstacle course set up that consisted of crawling, leaping, lifting huge tires and box jumping.  After talking to the gal at the tent I convinced my team to “warm up” here.  It was GREAT FUN!  It reminded me of CrossFit, which doesn’t exist on the shore but I really wish it did.  If there were a place convenient for me to get trained, I’d do it and bring it here.  But there’s not.  So I’ll continue to dream.  Back to OCR Unleashed…the mini obstacle course was a blast and I learned that they have an Obstacle Course facility in Great Falls, VA that I WILL visit one day in the near future.  The folks involved with the group are just totally cool, even the ones I haven’t met are cool.  Trust me, I know people.  Check them out and if you are in the area, visit the facility!  Just don’t rub it in about how awesome it is because that will make me feel sad.  Not really, it will encourage me to get out there that much quicker actually, so tell me all about it!!!

OCR01

Crawling Under

OCR07

Leaping Over

OCR16

Lift and flip over a heavy tire two times

OCR35

5 box jumps

 

After our warm-up we took a group shot of all of us girls!

PreRaceGirls01

Rugged and Powerful Girls!

 

Then we headed to the start line because our wave was next!  Just to start they make you jump over a wall.  Awesome.  I love this event already.  And it hasn’t even really started for me yet…

IMG_5948

It’s about to go down! Getting fired up at the start line

I’m ready to get muddy now!  Let’s go!…

…to be continued…

 

Half Crazy for the benefit of the Animals

Yesterday was the 4th annual Run for the Animals Half Marathon and 10K on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The weather was beautiful, the crowd was huge, and the bling was fabulous. I have trophies from every year prior and I really wanted one from this year to add to my collection! This year’s trophy was a cool cat design.  But if I didn’t win a trophy it wouldn’t be the end of my world, just being able to finish my first Half Marathon would be enough for me.

My training over the course of the past 2 weeks was lax because of traveling and a nagging pain in my left hip.  I was hoping/expecting to finish with a time somewhere around 2:10:– judging by my training pace.  After breakfast I downed 800mg ibuprofen to, hopefully, keep any hip or other pain at bay to make the run bearable.

I arrived to the event later than I had hoped, since I had some fundraising stuff to set up.  I managed to get the majority of the items in order before my “helper” arrived, but I had to bolt on him and hit the potty before the race began!  Thankfully some seasoned volunteers of mine were nearby to help out with the fundraising table while I was out getting my run on.

There were just over 150 total participants this year (10K and Half Marathon combined).  By the start of the race, the weather was at a comfortable temperature in the upper 40s/lower 50s with just the slightest breeze.  Perfect running weather!  I’d have run in shorts if it wasn’t for the fact that I had just gotten the coolest pair of running tights ever…just in time for this run!  So I had to wear them.

I’ve only ever run the 10K portion of this race in the past, so I’d bolt out of the starting gate and push as fast and as hard as I could for as long as I could.  This time I had to remind myself to take it easy!  When the start airhorn sounded I just took off at a gentle, comfortable pace, a little faster than my average training run.  I felt great!  Made it to the 3.1 mile mark (the 10K turnaround) and kicked it up a bit.  Just a tad.  After 2 more miles I slowed it up a bit for a mile or so.  By mile 7, I started to get a hint of side stitches.  I hate those!  So I slowed down a wee bit at that point and started some breathing exercises.  After another mile the pain went away.  So I picked up the pace just a bit.

At mile 10, I was ON FIRE!  My legs felt great and I was able to speed it up and pass a couple of people on my way down the home stretch!  Damn!  I can do this!  That’s what was going through my head.  Then I hit mile 12.5.  My legs started to give in.  I’d try to do the “mind over matter” thing and convince my legs to keep moving, but they needed a break.  So I stopped and walked for about a minute.  Then MIND won as I told myself “the finish line is right there and then you can rest all you want!”  So I started running again, not super fast, but fast enough to finish with a time of 1:54:15!

I DID IT!  Finished my first Half Marathon!  Woot!

I DID IT! Finished my first Half Marathon! Woot!

Holy crap!  I just finished my first Half Marathon in LESS THAN 2 hours!!!  I could hardly believe it!  And I actually felt pretty good afterward, as long as I kept moving.  I was welcomed by my friends, dogs and other awesome folks at the finish line!  I DID IT!  FINALLY!  Another milestone reached!

My running buddy, trainer and coach!

My running buddy, trainer and coach!

 

Today I’m a bit stiff, my left hip is nagging me, hamstrings are a little tight, and my knees are not quite up to par.  But I still feel great.  After a few weeks of rest, I’ll be back at it.  This time in shorts and a tank top.

The Final Results:

  • I finished 17th overall out of 65 Half Marathon participants
  • I finished 1st in my age group for women 40-44
  • I earned 3rd place fundraiser, raising $751.00
  • I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON at a venue that I hold very near and dear to me!

I did get a couple more trophies to add to my collection of Run for the Animals bling.

My Trophies for this year for top female finisher in my age group, and for 3rd place fundraiser!

My Trophies for this year for top female finisher in my age group, and for 3rd place fundraiser!

Now to work on improving my pace for next year so I continue to collect trophies from each year!  🙂  Thanks for all you do Andrea D. putting this awesome event on every year!  Can’t wait to hear what the final fundraising tally was (it was EPIC this year!)!  Love what you do, and I’ll see you again next year…

Me and my post-race bling :)

Me and my post-race bling 🙂 wearing some awesome tights!