The Aftermath of Tough Mudder

Once we crossed the finish line of Tough Mudder, all I wanted was to immediately sit down.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sit down for about two hours after we finished.

We were ushered over to a side table where we grabbed space blankets which saved my life and I kept on forever! Even though the rain had stopped right around the Funky Monkey obstacle, all of the girls on our team were freezing afterward. The boys were just fine – weird.

The MC crowned us with our orange Tough Mudder sweatbands and I grabbed another banana to nosh on. (I definitely need a banana break for awhile!)

We got our well deserved “free” beer – though I could only take about two sips of it before handing it over to a teammate to finish. I was too thirsty for water to drink anything alcoholic.

Once the beers were downed we headed off for the hike back to the car, waiting for a few teammates to shower off. There was no way in hell I was going to rinse off in the cold hosewater when I was finally warming up a little.

Since we parked so far away in the cornfields where we weren’t supposed to, we had our work cut out for us to get back to the car. Just how we hiked about a mile or so on our way in, we had to hoof it a mile or so back.

Not to mention we were all hobbling along at approximately 2 mph. We looked like we had just been thrown into a rodeo and kicked around. I really think it took us about an hour to get back to the car. It was quite miserable.

******

I woke up the next morning to some battle scars.

I have more pics of cuts and bruises but I didn’t want to gross you out too much!

Damn Mud Kisses! At least the cuts were pretty shallow, so I hardcore neosporined them up and they were mostly better in a few days. I might have some scars though – we’ll see. I also discovered many a bruise.

Is it bad that I kind of liked trying to figure out which bruise came from which obstacle?

It was finally time to go through the dreaded trash bag of muddy attire.

My cheap-ass self wanted to save whatever I could. Workout clothes are expensive! I threw everything except the shoes into the tub with some laundry detergent.

And I let everything soak for a few hours. Nothing really happened until I started moving the clothes around with the detachable stick from the vacuum cleaner like I was washing clothes in olden times. Ridic.

Ew.

I kept draining and refilling the tub until the clothes started looking like their normal colors again – and then I tossed them in the washing machine – twice (and cleaned my tub really well!) My shirt, sports bra, and shorts turned out OK! But I had to throw out the underwear and socks.

I decided the shoes couldn’t be saved.

When I showered on Monday morning I found two new discoveries:

1. I still had mud in my ears

2. Poison ivy on my legs

Noooooooo! When I saw the poison ivy, I knew I was doomed.

I am super allergic to poison ivy. I’ve gotten it 10+ times in my life: on a cruise (WTF?), a ridiculous time at pole vault camp where I continued to pole vault with my entire body mummified in pink pre-wrap, and once I was hospitalized because it got so bad!

Mal actually got a bit of poison ivy too. My theory is that we got it when we were being smart and running high up on the path through the brush of the trees  to try and run on the firmer mud when it was pouring and really muddy. Or we might have gotten it from the hike home?

Plus, on Monday my throat started hurting along with a runny nose and a cough. The Tough Mudder effed me up, man.

By Wednesday I couldn’t take the itching anymore and headed to the doctor, where he prescribed me steroid cream and prednisone. I tried to hold off on taking the prednisone, but once the poison ivy spread to my back I was all for it.

Please excuse my under-eye circles, I was quite ill.

I had an interesting time explaining my cold, cuts, bruises, and rash to the doctor!

A week later I’m feeling better – I’m still getting over the cold and my poison ivy is slowly healing.

Though my body sure took a beating from the Tough Mudder, I’m still in awe at how much our bodies can take and still function while physically and mentally battling obstacles and the elements.  I found that our bodies are capable of much more than I ever thought possible, and realized how important it is to take care of them.

The Tough Mudder inspired me to treat my body like it deserves to be treated – so that’s what I’m going to do.

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Tough Mudder: The Epic Recap

The Tough Mudder was undoubtedly one of the hardest physical (and mental) challenges I’ve ever completed.

As soon as we bolted out of the staggered entrance gate, our team took off in a relaxed jog, but at a pretty steady and swift pace too. It was hard not to feed off of all the surrounding adrenaline, and we started off running a bit faster than I wanted to, probably around a 9 minute mile pace.

I was definitely the slowest runner on our team, as I like to shuffle along at 11 minute mile pace. A few of my teammates regularly run sub 8 minute mile long runs! I knew from the beginning I would really have to pace myself if I wanted to finish.

I think we ran about 3/4 of a mile or so before we arrived at the Arctic Enema. This was the obstacle I was weirdly the most nervous about!

Note: please disregard the numbers in these pictures. They were from the preview of the course.

Click here to see a the official video of the Arctic Enema.

We previously decided that our team plan would be to hop in and out of the Arctic Enema and then start running to the next obstacle as soon as we each got out, and meet up at the next obstacle if we got separated. Mal heard that was the trick to not cramping up from having your muscles numbed from the icy water. We had to get moving to warm our bodies back up!

We ended up all sticking together anyway since there were two tubs and several entries into each of them. I was the first in and out of our group – I wanted to get out of there fast. The water felt like a thousand little pinpricks in your skin, and though it didn’t hurt, it kind of scared me because it was hard to move! Once I got out, I immediately stumbled along into a jog, but it felt so weird. It was almost as if my legs were asleep and weren’t listening to my brain.

The guys on the team didn’t like their wet t-shirts after emerging from the Arctic Enema and debated ditching them along the way. Only one of the guys ended up doing it – which I think he later regretted from his many rash burns he got throughout the course. It was pretty warm and sunny out at this point, so our shirts did quickly dry a bit.

After the Arctic Enema, we slammed into the next obstacle around the corner: Dirty Ballerina/Trench Warfare (not sure what it was actually called!)

This was one of my favorite obstacles! It was basically a small field of sturdy mud trenches with mud moats in between them that you had to jump across. But the muddy water was just long/wide enough that you really had to stretch your legs so you would make it over in one running leap. The first trench I tried to cross I fell into! But I made it the rest of the way by lengthening out my stride. I also liked it because it was the first obstacle where you needed your team in order to complete it.

You kind of had to jump into each others arms or risk sliding off each plateau. It was quite hilarious though – my teammate B-man face planted on one of the trenches and his face was literally covered in mud for the rest of the event.

We ran another mile or mile and a half before the next obstacle. I was already getting tired and we had only made it barely 2.5 miles!

Though I knew I could physically run 8 miles since I’d done it before, I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be to run the Tough Mudder, because I hadn’t factored in that you use a lot of energy on the obstacles. Not to mention running on the course itself was extremely difficult with it’s mud, hills, and fields that I wasn’t used to by training almost solely on the treadmill. If I could go back and redo my training, I would definitely ditch the treadmill and have done outdoor runs, with an emphasis on trail runs.

It didn’t help that a lot of the signs stated things like: “If you’re hurting now, just wait…” Thanks, for the encouragement guys.

The next obstacle was one of my least favorites: Kiss of Mud.

We actually did this same obstacle again about halfway through the event too. It was fun at first and not incredibly difficult. But it HURT! I don’t think it would have been as bad with long pants on, but my knees got ridiculously scraped up and bloodied from the rocks in the mud on this obstacle.

There were hundreds of those damn little rocks. I don’t think I army crawled under barbwire correctly either. After I got tired of getting scraped up in my shorty shorts, I rolled a bit on my side and just shoved myself down the rest of the way. I remember Mal laughing at me during it (I bet I looked ridiculous). My abs definitely got a workout though!

The first set of Berlin Walls turned up around mile 3.5. This was the first time we really started using the help of other Mudders who knew what they were doing. Even though there were little half inch ledges on the walls about a foot up from the ground, we all needed help getting over the walls with a boost from two of our teammates.

There was lots of booty shovin’ as well. I needed some help getting my bum up and over! This was the obstacle I was very glad to have my weight lifting gloves for – otherwise I think pulling yourself over the thin ledges would have been painful. It was also pretty high up when you’re straddling the top. Each set of the Berlin Walls contained 2 walls to get up and over.

The first time I jumped straight down, and even though I landed in a squat position, it still sent a shock through my ankles. The next wall (and for the second set of walls) I wised up and hugged the edge of the wall to dangle down and have a shorter drop.

By now my strength was already spent! We were only at mile 4 and 50 minutes into the course, but it felt like we had been out there forever.

At this point, I would hope and pray I would see an obstacle station around the corner, since my trot was already turning into a hobble.

I was so glad when we approached Hold your Wood because it meant we got to walk for a bit!

I had no shame in grabbing a small-ass piece of wood, and happily walked along next to Chutes and Collie. When we were walking back in our lumberjack route, we all looked up at the clouds in the distance and gasped.

It basically looked like Armageddon mixed with a tornado and some darkness on the side. We were screwed. And we weren’t even halfway done.

The temperature started to drop as we got to the second Kiss of Mud. I reluctantly flung myself under the barbed wire, knowing my poor knees were going to take another pounding. No sooner than I started saying, “ow, oww oww,” did the cold rain begin to pelt us in the eyes, catapulting the mud under our faces into my contacts.

It was at this point that I realized this was miserable and we were fucking crazy. After we wiggled out from the mud/rock pit of hell came the one moment I severely doubted I could finish the thing.

I started being a stubborn brat and grumpily walking behind my team a few paces after seeing mile marker 5. Instead of being encouraged that I was halfway done, I was pissed that we still had half of the stupid thing to finish.

If there were carts with someone driving quitters back to the spectator station, I most definitely would have taken a seat to dryness and warmth. Too bad there was only one way out – to keep going.

We rounded a small lake and tried to make out what soaking wet Mudders were saying to each other about the next obstacle. It was one that a few of my teammates were apprehensive about: Walk the Plank.

The thunder and slits of lighting had begun a few moments earlier, and we quickly figured out that some of the obstacles were being closed, including Walk the Plank. Just like a kid at the pool, we were told we could wait 20 minutes after the last lighting and thunder if we wanted to walk the plank.

I don’t even think we looked at each other through the pouring rain to see if we wanted to skip it, we just kept running.

We ran right into big ole’ logs on sticks as high as our heads.

This obstacle was OK – not my favorite, but not the worst. It was just kind of awkward because you had to wrap your whole body around these wet logs and swivel around to plop down on the other side. It hurt my boobs.

I kept pouting along at the tail of our team with the encouragement of my prodding (in a good way) teammates.

We got to the second and higher King of the Mountain.

I liked climbing over the hay bales because it meant I didn’t have to run for a few seconds.

Same thing with the second set of Berlin Walls.

These emerged after we had to hike up a very steep, very muddy hill. I was glad to catch my breath for a moment before being hoisted over these babies.

It was still raining steadily, and since sun was no longer around to dry the mud and rain from our clothes, it was starting to get pretty chilly.

The path was no longer a dirt path – it was a mud path. We were at mile 7.5 with 3 more miles to literally slip and gingerly slide through to the finish.

We originally thought the course was 12 miles, but luckily the Tough Mudder gods took pity on me and had  originally shortened the course to 10.5 miles without my knowledge. What a pleasant surprise.

Next on the To-Do List was the Mud Mile.

I was surprised at HOW MUCH MUD there was. This obstacle was kind of like Dirty Ballerina/Trench Warfare except the nice plateaus that were at the beginning of the course were now five foot high sopping piles of goopy mud.

Grisly guys from other teams took pity on us here and literally dragged me up the hills on my stomach by my arms. It was like we were swimming in a pool of mud. No joke.

Once we got over the last hill we all looked kind of like deranged swamp people in pain.

I limped behind my team to the next torture event, the Boa Constrictor, my least favorite obstacle.

Sliding down into the water was slightly pleasant because we got a bath of sorts. We had to make sure not to stand up too tall in the pool of muddy water for fear our heads would get ripped off by more barbed wire. As I stood up, I tried to remember when my last tetanus shot was. Don’t worry, I got one last year.

The bad part came when you had to crawl up the ribbed plastic tunnels on your knees with nothing to grasp on to. Maybe it wouldn’t have been extremely painful if your knees weren’t ripped to shreds and bruised from the damn Mud Kisses, like mine were. I shoved my ponytail against the top of the tunnel and grimaced in pain, trying to wiggle my way up the tunnel. If Collie hadn’t stuck her leg down into the pipe to pull me out, I probably would have chilled in there for the rest of the day.

We came to the last water station and shoved some bananas down our throats before arriving at Funky Monkey at mile 10.

A girl on the team that went before me promptly dropped into the water and pulled out a toad. She cheered and carried it to the other side.

It was nice of her to get the toad out of there for me.

I was so fatigued by the time we got to Funky Monkey that I held on for dear life to the first monkey bar before losing my grip and dropping into the muddy water. Props to Chutes, our only teammate who successfully completed the monkey bars!

We were finally at the spectator station, where several obstacles were clumped together at the end of the course.

I could see the end! I was going to make it through alive!

If I could just get over Everest.

This picture does not do Everest justice. Everest was HUGE.

More grisly guys (I think I saw the Hulk and the Terminator, too) from other teams parked themselves at the top of Everest and leaned over to grab the brave attempts of the measly human beings throwing themselves at them.

We saw a few people go before us that reached out only to smack down hard onto the pipe and slide back down into the mud.

The tricky part was getting enough speed without slipping in the mud in order to make it up high enough so the Hulk and co. could grab you and lift you to safety. I was too tired to care that I was putting my life in the hands of the Hulk. I just wanted to get up and over the thing.

Without thinking, I ran as fast I could without face planting and leaped high enough to latch on to the grislies!

I think they wanted me to pull myself up, but I was too exhausted for that shit. Instead, I flung my right leg up as high as I could and kicked the Terminator in the face. Luckily, he blinked for a split second before grabbing my leg and dragging me to safety.

We were almost there – it was still raining and I was absolutely freezing. The only thing that sounded better than not running anymore was getting warm. We only had one more obstacle to get through: Electroshock Therapy.

I shrieked and ran through the wires with my hands over my chest, and was jolted with a shock at my core! It didn’t hurt, but just felt like a sharp surprising tickle. But I had a smile on my face because…we did it.

We were done. We finished. I finished!

My aching smirk/smile says it all: relief.

And…never again.

Well, that’s what I thought that Saturday afternoon.

The next day, I was too proud of myself to remember how much it sucked.

A few days later, I was looking up entries to the Warrior Dash.

Pre Tough Mudder: WTF

After my breakfast on Saturday, I stretched a bit and read some of Eat and Run to pump me up.

I could feel that my whole body was super tense from anticipation, so I tried to channel Scott’s running zen. It didn’t quite work.

My team came to pick me up at 8:40am. Frederick is about an hour away from my apartment, so we figured with our start time being at 10:40am, we wouldn’t need much more than an hour at registration, bag drop, etc before the event.

We were wrong.

As we got closer to our exit, traffic abruptly came to a stop. We were bumper to bumper with other cars (many holding Tough Mudder alums wearing their orange headbands proudly!) and I started to slightly freak out. My OCD self went into panic mode. WTF happens if we miss our start time?

Luckily, TM texted us before I could hyperventilate.

After that, I wasn’t stressed anymore – just annoyed. And I started to really have to pee. As Tuna calls it, I was reaching _____ % critical mass.

My BFF teammate Chutes reached 100% critical mass before I did and shot out the car, acted like he was warming up, and promptly stopped on the side of the road to pee in front of everyone. Pointing at him.

I actually have a glorious picture of this event but unluckily for you, I had to force myself to refrain from posting a picture of him doing something illegal on the internet.

Finally, we reached the exit we were supposed to get off at – and it was blocked by cops. WTF, cops?

Thank goodness there were other Mudders in cars around us to frantically shout at to figure out where we needed to go.

Alas, once we arrived, we were greeted by a line of cars waiting to get into the designated parking areas that lasted as far as the eye could see.

Look how gorgeous of a morning it was! Can’t believe what happened later…

We ended up defying authority and parking about a half mile down the road next to a cornfield. Fo’ free! I was a tiny bit worried we would get towed, but fortunately we didn’t.

Once we parked, we wandered off in the direction of the event pretending like we knew where we were going. Because we didn’t enter near the designated parking area where we were supposed to, we took a “short cut” with many other Mudders trying to find their way to registration.

As we kept walking, I was horrified how far we were going (through the course, in mud, over streams) to the starting area. We walked for at least twenty minutes in the heat! It was exciting to get a preview of the event and some of the obstacles, but I started to freak that I was wasting my energy!

Once we hiked strolled over to the starting area, everything went much smoother. Registration was a breeze, the bag check was perfect, and we had our bib numbers sharpied on our foreheads and arms.

I ran over to the restrooms to make one more bathroom stop before the start in a nearby porta-potty. There weren’t any lines which was nice, but there wasn’t any toilet paper left! WTF: no TP.

Our team was finally ready to start the Tough Mudder! Just two hours after our assigned start time…

On Sunday, Tough Mudder released a statement of apology on their website regarding the traffic problems and other event issues.

(source)

I forgave them. Well, I forgave them for the traffic – not for the ridiculous obstacles and pain that I endured during and after the Tough Mudder.

But oh yeah, I voluntarily paid for it. WTF is wrong with me? I have decided that Tough Mudders are crazy people.

Have you ever been late to a race?

What do you do on the mornings before a race?

Tough Mudder Teaser

I did it!

I am officially a Tough Mudder!

There was a freak thunderstorm that caused a ridiculous amount of rain and flooding throughout almost the entirety of the event.

It was exactly the opposite of what I thought: I was terrible at the running part of the course, but loved (almost!) every minute of the obstacles. I had to walk some of the time, forcing my amazing teammates to coddle me along to keep running.

How did I train on the treadmill for eight months and have an extremely hard time running the 10.5 miles, but breezed through most of the obstacles with the help of my team without completing more than 5 lifting workouts throughout the year?

Who knows.

My team finished together in approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes, without any serious injuries.

The Tough Mudder was way, way harder than I expected, and though I wasn’t the all-star of my team, (probably was one of/the worst on my team!) I fucking did it.

And I ate an entire pizza afterwards.

Butterflies

All’s quiet over here!

I’m trying my best to relax after a long week at work – I had a 12 hour day yesterday! Good timing to be exhausted for Tough Mudder day. But I napped this afternoon, so I think I’ll be fine sleep wise.

But seriously. Terrified.

I’m all packed and ready to go. I was a good girl tonight and had a simple, healthy dinner of good fuel.

Brown rice with edamame and leftover Thai peanut sauce.

My brain is all over the place with questions. Can I really do this? Do I have everything I need? Will my contacts survive? What if I didn’t train enough?

I just keep telling myself to relax, don’t think about the obstacles too much (especially the arctic enema), and to just have fun. That’s what it’s all about.

Off to bed early! I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. Hopefully my brain will shut off soon.

Do you ever get pre-race/event jitters?

Slopes and Scones

If I do want to reach my goal weight the same week as Tough Mudder, I gots some work to do this next week!

I’m so close, yet so far.

The iPhone app I use to keep track of my weight is called “Lose It.” When I originally started to lose weight  (see the first negative slope) I did use the app religiously, recording both my calorie intake and exercise. But then you know how it goes next – became obsessive about putting in all of the data into the app, being mad at myself if I had chocolate pudding that put me 120 calories over my daily budget, that sort of thing.

But that sucks. No one wants to do that. (At least I don’t!) So now I just use it to simply record my weight.

The second negative slope started when I began eating clean and running at the end of January 2012. It will be nice to eventually reach that goal line and then plateau out. 🙂

Last night before book club I munched on a healthy dinner that used up the last of the tzatziki sauce. I’m definitely going to buy some more the next time I’m near Trader Joe’s!

I made some vegan chocolate chip oatmeal “scones” to bring a dish to share at book club last night, based off this recipe.

Did you notice I finally got a cooling rack?!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal “Scones”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats, blended into chunky flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 cup almonds coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground flax+ 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of milk chocolate chips

Follow these directions with the subbed ingredients!

We got the final Tough Mudder map – my friend Mal pointed out we won’t get to do the fire-walking! Booo.

TTYL, I need to memorize this shit…

Do you ever get weight loss iPhone app obsessive? Or very into recording the food you eat? I used to, but realized it’s not worth the pressure to stress. Just eating mindfully usually helps!

Crunchtime

Yesterday marked one month until the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder. One month! How did it creep up so quickly?

I did a 4 mile tempo run last night and squeezed in a quick arm workout after staring at the Tough Mudder course all day trying not to cry out in terror.

The course consists of 25 obstacles, each one worse than the last. It’s approximately 12 miles long and takes about 3 hours to complete.

When the event was so far away it didn’t seem that bad. But now that it’s in a month…

EEK!

Please get scared for me:

1. Braveheart Charge

2. Kiss of Mud

3. Arctic Enema

4. Log Jammin’

5. King of the Mountain

6. Jumpin’ Bale

7. Giant A-Frame

8. Fire Walker

9. Berlin Walls #1

10. Mystery Obstacle

11. Everest

12. Funky Monkey

13. Twinkle Toes

14. Walk the Plank

15. Just the Tip

16. Mud Mile

17. Hold your Wood

18. Boa Constrictor

19. Devil’s Beard

20. Spider’s Web

21. High Steppin’

22. Berlin Walls #2

23. Mystery Obstacle

24. Turd’s Nest

25. Electroshock Therapy

What have I done?

Look’s like I’m going to live at Crunch for the next month.

Oh, What Da Hell

I am all kinds of excited about several things today. You probably don’t care at all, but I figured:

I’ll share ’em with you anyway. 🙂

1. I now have my own domain name.

I was reading a post by Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers about the importance of self hosting your blog.

It was a spur of the moment decision – having my own domain name was something I really wanted to do, but didn’t want to spend the 20+ bucks to do it.

Luckily, I decided to give myself a ‘lil haircut last night (don’t worry, just a trim!) instead of getting it cut this weekend.

DIY, bitches.

So because I saved a buck trimming my hair, I shelled out some dough for a domain name.

2. I discovered The Clymb.

No, not the Miley Cyrus song.

But The Clymb. It’s like Rue La La or Ideeli for fitness gear. My dear friend Vicki sent me the link and I immediately made a much needed purchase.

It’s Billabong. I guess that counts as fitness. They also had a periwinkle/pink one which I wanted until I saw that it was covered with FLAMINGOS. I am deathly terrified of flamingos. So…yay, palm trees.

I’m going on a lake vacay next week and I needed a new bathing suit. All mine are too big for me now (yesssssssssssss.)

3. I did a pull up!

After a mediocre spin class tonight, I ventured down into the scary section of the gym: the weights/jungle gym/open area.

There were some girls training for cross fit and doing those swing pull up thingys:

Soo coool.

When I was little younger I could always do tons of pull-ups. I still have the girl’s pull up record at my elementary school – I did 26 pull ups. Don’t forget, I probably weighed like 100 pounds back then. Ha. In middle school and high school I loved the pull up fitness test day because I could always beat the girls (and some of the boys) with 12 or 13 pull ups.

I tried to do a pull up last week and I couldn’t even do one. Embarr.

But then I tried again today. SUCCESS!

For now. It is slightly petrifying that the Tough Mudder is in two months and I can only do one pull up. I got a lot of work to do, folks.

4. “Healthy” chicken nuggets exist.

Need I say more?

Hallelujah.

Happy Friday!

Potatoes, Tuberculosis, and Running Revelations

My 3.1 mile treadmill run on Friday wasn’t too bad, but my legs still felt pretty heavy from my long run on Wednesday night.

Tuna and I cooked a supposedly plain but surprisingly yummy dinner by adding a shit ton of Old Bay to all items on the plate (minus the spinach.)

It was pretty darn good!

Potatoes are probably my favorite food of all! These are way better for you than french fries, but still give you that potato fix, and are super easy to make.

CNG’s Quartered Red Potatoes:

Ingredients:
Small red potatoes
Salt
Pepper
Garlic or Garlic Powder
Cilantro
Old Bay
Cooking Spray

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut in the potatoes into quartered pieces.

Put the potatoes on the baking sheet and sprinkle (or heavily shake, bahaha) all of the spices onto the potatoes.

Cook for approx 35 minutes in the oven – this time depends on how hot your oven gets! You may want to double check them around 25 minutes, just in case.

You will know when the potatoes are done when they start browning on the tops and are more squishy than they are hard (I’m convinced my best asset is my cooking terminology.)

Add some ketchup and enjoy!

*****

On another note, I’m still a hot sweaty mess. I had another episode of night sweats last night, which was even worse than the first one. I woke up at 2:30am, and couldn’t fall back asleep for awhile, so I changed and read some Hungry Runner Girl.

My washing machine is really getting some action lately.

I made the mistake of Web MD-ing night sweats and it gave me these options:

– Mononucleosis
– Tuberculosis

Seriously? Seriously.

I had mono in college (didn’t we all) so it obviously must be tuberculosis. Maybe I can make my tuberculosis death lovely and romantic like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

*****

Numerous running revelations occurred this morning.

I found some great articles with beginner race tips when browsing Runner’s World online.

Mistake: Too much food
RW columnist Jeff Galloway says many first-timers eat too much before a race, particularly the night before. Carmichael agrees. “You don’t need to carbo-load for a 5-K,” he says. Most people have enough stored energy in their bodies to run a 5-K without taking in any additional calories (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-520–11941-0,00.html).

Mannnn, carbo loading is superfluous? There goes my excuse to have an entire pizza pie on Friday night. Sadface.

Revelations also came via g-chat (of course) from my marathon running, Tough Mudder finishing pal Vicki.

Victoria:  i did most of my tough mudder training last year without music, because i didn’t have an ipod

Sheeeeeet. I forgot that I won’t be able to use my iPod for the flippin’ race I’m training for.

Victoria: oh btw, my trainer said if you run on a treadmill you should always have at least 1% incline apparently it better simulates a flat road, otherwise it’s more like you’re running on a very slight downhill

Crrraaaaap. So I have been training solely downhill. From now on, I promise to always run at 1% incline. P.S. Thank you for the legitimate personal trainer insight fo free. We must continue this arrangement. 🙂

Victoria:  you should get in at least one run in warm weather to prepare for your race. otherwise it will be a huge shock to your system

Say no more. I shall obey and run outside on Wednesday.

Therefore, my Runner’s World/Insightful Friend via her Personal Trainer race week plan will be:

Monday: 5 miles on the treadmill at 1% incline
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 3 miles outside in the heat
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: My First Race: DC Purple Stride 5K

Wish me luck!

Was your first race experience awkward or amazing?

What do you do for race weeks? If you do a race with short mileage, do you taper?

Salsa and Being a “Real” Runner

Awk. First posts are so awkward – I don’t even really know how to get started! I’m thinking maybe if I just pretend it’s completely normal to blog away my normal day that it will be easier. Yesterday I made the best discovery – apparently a secret combination of ingredients I had never tried before. Eggs….and….SALSA.

I had just gone on my first run of the week and I was starving when I got home. I was too hungry to cook up a legit meal so I went to the comfort staple of Breakfast for Dinner (capitalized because it’s actually a THING, you know?) I took 2 eggs and 1 egg white, scrambled it up with a little pepper, and put hot salsa on the side. Delish. (I also had my granola mixture with the eggs. I cannot eat only three eggs for dinner. Sorry.) Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? That’s right, eggs & salsa. I think I’m going to put it in a whole-wheat wrap with some shredded cheese. Don’t mind if I do.

I have been trying to do clean eating as much as I can. Though I reward myself a little bit here and there with normal junk food or “unclean” (ha) stuff, because otherwise – we all know I’d just end up at McDonald’s at 11:30pm on a Sunday, eating a large # 10 at a booth next to a homeless man.

Before my amazing discovery occurred, I went on a 4.24 mi (not obsessed with mapmyrun.com) on my usual Rock Creek route. I drive about 7 min to the edge of Rock Creek and park my car at a Park. Hee hee. Get it? Anyway, there is always a t-ball game going on, which I like because it makes it feel like Spring and reminds me of childhood since I played t-ball/baseball/softball growing up. I thought I was SO cool with my two braids.

I start running past the Meadows Something Something Summer Camp with stables and horsies and everything. I do down and back runs at the moment, since I am not running smart enough to map out real loops yet. I LOVE running past the stables when I’m starting my run and I smile and stare longingly at the riders galloping swiftly on their horsies. I always forget that when I run past them in my last .25 mi on my route back, I’m downwind. On my way back, I always seem to unintentionally glare at the stables while breathing in through my mouth and trying to hold in my dry heave. What, gagging while running isn’t sexy? The trail continues through the woods (I’ve seen deer three times!) and up around the Mormon temple, under the Beltway, and up Beach Drive.

In high school I was a sprinter and a pole vaulter – I loathed running distances and would actually cry if I had to run a 4 x 400 relay. 100m for me, please! I just started distance (distance for me) running around the end of February/beginning of March 2012. Running is not easy for me like it seems to be for some other people. Every stride is one that I have to fight for! As I’ve started running, eating better, and becoming more in shape, the miles get easier. Currently, my longest run has been a 5 miler – though I’m shooting to do 6 next week! Luckily, I had a finite goal to complete the Tough Mudder in September, which is a 12 mi long course. Supposedly I should be running 5+ mi several times a week by the time the event rolls around. Because I’m not a natural distance runner, I still run pretty slowly (10-11 min miles). For now, I’m OK with that. I know I’m trying my best and not everyone can immediately start running sub 7 min miles, especially if you’re running more than 1 of them! I’m hoping that speed will just naturally come with distance and repetition. I’m also trying to do shorter, speedier miles once a week or once every two weeks.

Yesterday I ran my 4.24 mi in 47:04 , at an 11:06 min pace. I have terrible hayfever/pollen allergies in the Spring, but since it has been raining this week, the pollen count has died down a little bit. I finally felt like I could BREATHE on my run yesterday! It was glorious. Another breakthrough I had yesterday included NOT STOPPING on my run. I’ve been running outside for about a month, and I secretly loved the little stops throughout the route. A stoplight? Woohoo! Tie one shoe tighter here, now gotta stop and stretch that hammie. I’m tired of stopping! Once I stop I feel defeated, like I’m not a “real” runner. What’s the point of even finishing strong? Yesterday I was determined only to take 2 little 30 second stops on my 47 min run – at the water fountain near the playground. It’s at about the 5 min marker and the 42 min marker on my down and back. Perf! (I don’t mind not running LONG distances yet, because I know I am going to have to carry some kind of spiffy water holder/belt and I hate carrying anything on a run. Wah.) And you know what? I DID IT. I was tired of stopping, so I didn’t stop. It was that easy. Knowing I wasn’t going to stop was almost easier mentally because I didn’t have to start running again. And I didn’t have to beat myself down about stopping, either. After my run yesterday I’m finally starting to feel like a “real” runner. Though I know, I’m still a beginner – don’t worry.

Do you ever stop on runs? If you do stop, do you feel guilty?