Don’t Stop, Get It, Get It

So this happened.

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Saturday my team, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five, finished this course at Tough Mudder St Louis.

Today I hurt. All over. Abs, hips, quads. Even my triceps, which I learned when I brushed my teeth.

And? It was all so very worth it.

As much as I’d been worried about this race, given that it was an entirely unknown entity, PLUS the fact that I hadn’t really trained for it, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d expected. Our whole team finished. Our whole team completed every obstacle.

There were some injuries, lots of scrapes, more bruises than we’re able to count, and mud in probably every single spot and more it could get.

This was awesome.

Our wave started at 1020am.

Such clean shoes!

Such clean shoes!

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No quit in here

We had to get ourselves over a wall just to get to the starting line.

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The first obstacle we got to was called the Kiss of Mud.

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We were the lucky ones who DIDN’T have a fire hose on us during this obstacle. Apparently later in the day they added water, since the mud was drying out, while Mudders were in there. Bullet dodged.

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This is my aunt Melissa. She’s awesome.

Our next obstacle was a mystery obstacle, which involved climbing over a mud hill and jumping over fire into a pit, and then pulling ourselves out with a cargo net.

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Once we were all nice and soaked, they sent us to the Glory Blades, where we had to get over two slanted walls to get over and the slide down the other side. Hey, teamwork, you come in handy!!

And then. Arctic Enema. I swear Tough Mudder was trying to mess with our heads as we ran for probably a mile with the side of the truck screaming “ARCTIC ENEMA” at us. We knew what was coming, and seriously, the anticipation didn’t help.

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Blissful ignorance

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The many facial expressions in this one make me laugh

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Couldn’t really feel my face here

We ran around a quick corner and were quickly introduced to the Mud Mile.

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Going head first

Will cause this

Will cause this

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Then it was off to the Lumberjacked obstacle. It’s surprisingly uneasy to get over giant logs when covered in water and mud.

Stuck. Couldn't swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Stuck. Couldn’t swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Then they sent us off to the King of the Hill, which was a tower of giant haystacks we had to get over. I think we can safely attribute most of the tiny scrapes on our legs from the hay.

Running up to the next obstacle, the Electric Eel, was more intimidating than going to the Arctic Enema. From about 100 meters away, all we could really hear were these screams of (what sounded like) sheer agony. Once we got there, we were accosted by the nearly continuous *pops* of electricity zapping the people in the event.

Right as I got into the beginning of the obstacle, they started pouring more water into it. Directly into my face, which successfully made me jump straight into the wires. I got hit a couple more times, once directly on my head which made me clench my teeth really hard. It was an entirely disorienting, and completely unlikable experience.357363

Apparently my way "looked safer"

Apparently my way “looked safer”

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Following that, we ran a bunch and completed four more obstacles. I wish we had photographic evidence of my friend Kyle trying to carry GCB during the Warrior Carry.

Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare

Carry Your Wood

Carry Your Wood

Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank

We got stopped for a while before we hit Mud Mile #2, but it was pretty worth it. This mud was awesome.

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Over the Funky Monkey and through the Cage Crawl took us to the Berlin Walls.

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Then? Everest.

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This is my second try. First try I just missed.

Climbing down from Everest we were looking straight down the chute to Electroshock Therapy. As of now, I don’t have pictures for it. All I know is that I was stupidly lucky to miss every single wire. My teammates weren’t as lucky, and some ended up nearly face-planting in the mud.

All that was left to do was get our head bands and our beers and breathe a sigh of relief.

mud

500

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The end.

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Hot Rockin’

The other day my aunt Melissa, who’s running Tough Mudder with me, and I were texting back and forth. She was telling me about this squat challenge she’s been doing and moved on to telling me about the ab challenge she was getting ready to start.

This ab challenge.

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Yes, the month we are heading into is May, not June. Guess what though? May has 30 days as well! In fact, it even has a 31st day where a big ole REST can be planned. Convenient, right?

I think I’m most intrigued to see what kind of an effect this actually has, combined with the running/circuit training involved in the already set up TM training.

Melissa asked if I was going to take before pictures, and I plan on doing so, if for nothing but my own feeling of accomplishment, of “look how far I’ve come.” I’m fairly excited about that.

What is even more exciting has been the reaction on the social media platforms. People coming out all over facebook and twitter to say “I’m in!” I love that one tiny challenge can bring out so many people, some of whom I haven’t even spoken to in months/years.

And you know? It feels GOOD to be excited like this. To be looking forward to the type of soreness headed my way, to the miles and blisters and probably sunburns.

So. The challenge has been set forth. Are you in?

Here We Go Again

Let’s talk about Tough Mudder. You know. This Tough Mudder:

Yeah, THAT Tough Mudder.

Can we talk about the fact that it’s only four and a half months away? And that training started for it this week? And that the thing I’m looking forward to most about it is, masochistically enough, this?fireRight. That Tough Mudder.

Like I said, training started this week. I have a beautiful training schedule for this one. I know, I know, you must be thinking, “Dude, does this chick ever NOT have a training schedule?” Or better yet, “So, you think she’ll follow it this time?”

As to the first, no. Meaning, yeah, I’ve always got a schedule, save for the past three months. And the second? Well, I hope to.

You see, this type of training is SO different from any other kind of training I’ve ever done. Mostly because it’s not just running.

It’s….CIRCUIT training. Not just running. Not even running and lifting weights. CIRCUITS.

And I have got to be honest. First time through the first circuit? Abysmal. Wretched. Just plain bad.

Apparently my body forgot how to do pushups. I love pushups. I cried when the hand doctor told me I couldn’t do pushups with a pin in my finger post-surgery for finger break number one. This makes me sad.

You know what’s crazy? Remember this girl?

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Taken in my living room, October 2011, the day before my first half marathon. Courtesy of my lovely mama.

Yeah, her. The one who ran 13.1 miles in just about two hours flat. The one who was so cocky about her abs that she PUT THEM ON THE INTERNET. Multiple times. The internet. The never-dying, will-be-here-FOREVER internet.

She’s…..buried. She’s buried under a layer of calzones and Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos. Buried with complacency and an unsatiated love of naps. Buried, but not lost.

Glimpses of her show up every now and then. She shows up in the smile that appears realizing that I’m SORE again. She’ll show up in the absolutely JACKED heart rate that I get every time I watch a Tough Mudder video. She’s not even slightly forgotten during a quick run when she shows up in the huge smile on my face.

Last year I forgot who that girl was.

This year I not only remember, I bring her back.

Tough Mudder 2013, watch out. I’m coming for you.

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Unrelated, but no less important, for more pictures my awesome mom took, check out her photography blog (phoblog? Anyone else want Vietnamese food reading that?).

My Universe Will Never be the Same

I’ve become that obnoxiously happy, ridiculously optimistic, swoony swoon face girlfriends that used to drive me up the fucking wall.

I would always think “there’s no WAY she can be THAT happy.”

Well, as I’ve learned/been reminded/been beaten over the head with, it IS possible to be that fucking happy.

I know, again, who the fuck AM I?

I swear my snark is still there, and I was caught as much off guard with this as you people.

Seriously, that fucker came out of nowhere.

 

So many things have just fallen right into place.

I know I keep saying this, but things are just so motherfucking awesome lately, I can hardly believe it’s all real.

It’s Been One Week

I ran a half marathon yesterday. Today I didn’t go into work. Not because I need to recover from the race, but because I need to recover from this week.

Well, the last week and three days.

Last Friday my girl Steph flew into town. Since then my budget and liver have both taken the most severe of beatings.

Let’s recap! I can’t believe how long this is going to be.

Friday was the final Blues home game, where we celebrated Steph’s birthday and her arrival into town, met up with bunches of fun peoples, and just enjoyed the evening.

Saturday was a Blues meetup for the final game of the season, some spectacular company, an unexpected introduction to a boy, and several rounds of delicious, delicious beers.

Sunday, being Easter, I actually spent down with some of my family, who are awesome, and then there was an unexpected late night ice cream date (!!!!). Yep, a date. I’ll call him Goalie Cop, since he is both of those things.

Monday I met up with my marathon girls for beers and to watch the Cardinals game, and we sat around laughing and drinking and joking about just how poorly all of us were going to do on this race, given how much all of us had slacked off on our training.

Tuesday two of those marathon girls came lifting with me. That’s right. We actually did work out. Go figure, right? But then we had cocktails and watched Goon, and we spread the love of the movie to Goalie Cop.

Wednesday was another date night (!!!!) followed by a meet up for the first games of the NHL playoffs, which kept all of us out late. Thanks West Coast. Thanks a lot.

That’s when shit starts to get crazy.

Thursday was round one, game one for the Blues playoffs. It was the first playoff game of any kind I had ever been to, and guys? I love playoff games. So very much. After the game, the marathon girls (sans one) and I went to a bar where it was ladies’ night and successfully killed 17 martinis between the three of us. No big deal.

Friday was the Cardinals Home Opener with April, which was followed by too many Irish Carbombs at the bar after, but I got to meet Miranda (WHICH WAS AWESOME) and seriously, even though we stood in the rain for hours, it was all so worth it.

Saturday led to some traipsing around the city looking for appropriate balloons and naps, but then more tailgating and the second Blues game of the weekend.

Yes, those are tall boys.

We did great and actually went home and to bed that night. Go us, right?

Sunday we got up far too early and went out for marathoning. Steph and I realized that we had incorrectly thought the race started at 730am. Nope. 700. At least we were there on time. The race itself was ok. I ran with Steph, who was dealing with stress fracture issues, so we didn’t finish at a time I’d expected, but I’m ok with it. We spent the entire race discussing hockey and quoting Cool Runnings, which was thoroughly entertaining to those around us. Now, however, it’s time to focus on Ragnar.

Highlights of the race? Around mile eight and a half, running through the SLU campus, Steph and I at the same time started batting at each other. Why? Because standing on the side of the road were Blues captain David BaCkes and goalie Brian Elliott. We definitely yelled “Let’s go Blues!” at them and got in return some head nods, waves, and smiles. Being that I’ve loved BaCkes for just about forever, I swooned a bit. Running while going weak in the knees is difficult.

AND THEN. Then there was Mile Nine. The bestest mile in all the land. Not only were we floating because of having just seen two Blues, but then we got to the Darth Vader balloon, under which April, one of her friends from grad school, and Goalie Cop were standing to hand us frosty Budweisers. Yeah, we had a beer stop during our run. Best. Idea. Ever. Mile Nine was a good mile.

After the race there was the delicious lunching, the epic napping, and the staying up far too late to watch West Coast playoff hockey games.

And now here I am. Sitting at home, having done just about nothing productive (besides taking Steph to the airport). It’s noon.

I am exhausted and swooning my ass off and wondering just how much of my budget I’ve trashed this week and already missing Steph and wishing April could have stayed longer and finding myself beyond fucking hopeful about this guy. I will elaborate later as I don’t want to jinx this, but allow me to just say quickly that I don’t think this one’s going anywhere any time soon. Not if I have anything to do with it, anyway.

Phew. The upcoming week seems almost boring in comparison to the last.

Until Friday, when I head up to Chicago with April for a reunion with the girls we went to Vegas with last year.

Shit shows. I’m getting really good at them.

Life is really fucking good.

Walk This Way

I have a confession to make.

I strut.

Put me in heels, I strut. If I’m in a shirt that makes me feel a bit prettier, I strut. Hell, if I’m pissed off I strut.

An ex-boyfriend of mine used to call it my “Super Bitch Walk.”

Somehow when I’m wearing red it’s even worse (better?). Something about wearing red makes me feel a bit powerful. I’m not so much talking about the Cardinals stuff I wear on a ridiculously regular basis, but wearing a low-cut, lacy, form-fitted red top last night was a boost.

Today I am feeling pretty. And I’m strutting. In tennis shoes.

I clearly don’t have an issue with low self esteem.

I don’t even feel bad.