Cowabunga!

Also known as, “I’m not so tough after all.”

I’m not sure about you, but it seems like my twenties have been like the old guy at the beach walking around with a metal detector, just hoping to find something valuable. I feel like I’ve been on a hunt to find out what makes me truly happy, and what makes me…me.

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The latest piece of metal I dug up is not one I’d take home. It’s called a Mud Run. While digging, quite literally, I discovered just how not tough I really am. Consider the puny, yappy dog that greets you at your neighbor’s door. That small, five-pound sack of snarling teeth and fur doesn’t realize how tiny she is. How easily trampled she is. In my mind, I am this tough, strong, elegant, and graceful person who can accomplish anything. You already know I’m an optimist, and while I can’t think how that could be a bad thing, it definitely puts me in my place now and then. Yesterday opened my eyes to things I do not enjoy, and things I need to work on.

Thing I do not enjoy #1: Getting hurt. I will avoid it at all costs.

Our first “obstacle” was a 15-foot-high wooden structure made of horizontal boards that had large three-foot gaps between them. We had to climb up, over, and down it. As soon I as approached it and realized how far of a fall it would be, and how much it would hurt if I did fall, the fear took over. I suddenly wanted to just run back and wait for the others. It was hard, too. Being slippery from already running and swimming through mud, it was hard to find a good solid grip and then I had to reach my entire body length to find the next rail to continue. It was rocking back and forth from the weight of all these people climbing it and when I was sitting at the top straddling the boards, I froze. With the encouragement of my teammates, I finally made it down, safely, but I have a few bruises today from that one. As soon as I finished, I said aloud, “I hope we don’t have any more climbing obstacles.”

This rope obstacle wasn't as bad as the ones I wrote about.

This rope obstacle wasn’t as bad as the ones I wrote about. I wasn’t able to get a pic of those.

Thing I do not enjoy #2: Climbing obstacles.

We had about 10 more climbing obstacles. Tires, small one-inch boards nailed to a 10-foot wooden wall, rope mesh attached to walls with tracker jacker hives hidden underneath, etc. I would say the majority of the race was running and climbing high obstacles.

Thing I need to work on #1: Agility.

This is a big reason I’ve joined CrossFit, and this weekend made it exceptionally clear how awkward and clumsy I am. I need better control of my body. I need to learn more functional movements so I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I think if I knew everything my body could do, I would’ve been more prepared to handle the obstacles.

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Thing I need to work on #2: Balance.

I thought I had pretty good balance, but watching all of my teammates gracefully clear the log over water, while I made it halfway then fell in, made me aware of how inferior my balance skills are. If only I had a slackline like Mark Sisson! (Btw, he is so cool. I would love to meet him and Anthony Bourdain someday.)

The Mud Run was 80s themed, so obviously it was totally rad seeing all the neon-inspired costumes. I did enjoy the run, and I loved crawling all lizard-like through the mud. I was hoping for more of that. There was a decent amount of swimming and I enjoyed that part, too.

So, it wasn’t all a kick in the butt…just most of it.

Pre-race, obviously

Pre-race, obviously

 

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A Year of Costumes and 5Ks

By the time December rolled around, I realized I had a year full of costumes, and 5Ks. I happen to really like running, and I really enjoy dressing up in costumes, so I guess 2012 wasn’t all that bad. Here’s a quick recap of the costumes and 5Ks.

Costume #1: Rocky Party

My friends and I decided to have a party where we dressed up like Rocky, watched all the Rocky movies, and ate lots of Rocky-like food. It was awesome.

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Trying to look tough

5K #1: Mayfaire

This was a great race here in town. Even better, it started at 7 p.m.! How often do you get to race so late in the day? You can read more about the details of this 5K here.

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Smiling at the start of the race

Costume #2: Luau

My girlfriends and I like theme parties, so next on our list was a luau. My friend Rosa has an awesome pool and hot tub, so we took advantage of the beautiful Florida weather on a hot summer day.

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I should learn to hula dance

Costume #3: Rockabilly Party

My coworker Cynthia’s husband David turned 50, and he threw a blowout Rockabilly-themed birthday party. Awesome food, dancing, and music combined with adorable costumes made for a great night.

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My favorite picture from the “photo booth”

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Dancing candid

Costume #4: Halloween

After gentle prodding, I succumbed to the idea of spending the evening partying in Tampa for Halloween. Little did we know, it was “Guavaween,” which is basically a huge block party with Tampa socialites. We had great weather and it was really fun seeing all the creative costumes.

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Dorothy, Rafael, and Cute Sailor

5K#2 and Costume #5: Reindeer Run

Despite getting up at 4:30 a.m. to drive to SeaWorld, this race was awesome. If you participated without wearing a costume, you would’ve felt out of place. The sound of Christmas music and jingle bells surrounded us as we trekked through the streets of SeaWorld. We are already thinking of costume ideas for next year’s race.

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How often can you wear a tutu in public without getting stared at?

I was lazy about making goals at the beginning of last year, but I still managed to make quite a few changes.

  • Probably the biggest change in my life this year came in September when I revolutionized my diet by turning back to Paleo. I wrote an entire post about it and it’s here. Besides meeting a special someone, eating Paleo-style has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time.
  • I had an unspoken goal of reading one book each month and got to 10, so I feel like that’s pretty good. You can see the full list here.
  • I ran my first and second 5K, and logged over 100 miles just in running alone this year. There have been ups and downs in my training and I’ve learned better ways to run, better ways to stretch, and everything in between.
  • I traveled more than I thought I would at the beginning of this year. I visited Boston, Virginia, Connecticut, and Ohio.

Those were the highlights, but I know I’m forgetting things. Anyway. On to next year’s list.

  • I want to see more improvement in my athletic ability this year. I want to get faster and stronger. I’m interested in swimming, and could see a triathlon in my future if I could master a few laps in the pool.
  •  I want flying colors on all my medical checkups, including my cholesterol check I get every three years.
  •  I want to go the entire year without a single sunburn.
  •  I want to read at least 12 books.
  •  Every single day, I want to make someone else smile.

Oh yeah! The Bucket List. My current list is below.

  • white water rafting
  • zip lining
  • run a 5K
  • be a model for a day
  • take a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub
  • eat caviar
  • eat foie gras
  • write a book
  • write my initials in wet cement
  • ride a gondola in Italy
  • ride in a hot air balloon
  • stand underneath a waterfall
  • slow dance with someone I love

29/73/1500: Mayfaire 5K

What are all those numbers about, you say?

Yesterday, May 12, 2012 I ran in my first 5K race, the 33rd annual Midflorida Mayfaire. I have not been running regularly for very long; I practiced the 5K distance for a few weeks preceding this race. My goal was to come in under 30 minutes, and I did! My official race time was 29:24, which put me at 29th place out of 73 other girls in my age group. I ended up being in 502nd place out of a total of about 1,500 participants. Don’t worry, I already patted my back.

Overall, the race was good! It started at 7 p.m., which turns out to be a nice time for me. I was able to sleep in, do some yoga, eat a decent lunch, and have a generally lazy, relaxing day up to that point. That’s just the way I like it.

I felt the course was good for a beginner, but the hill at the end was pretty tough. It’s amazing how steep the streets feel when you’re running them as opposed to pressing the gas pedal in your car. The last hill was at the very end of the course, right when my energy was waning and my lungs were struggling to find enough oxygen amid the humidity. But, alas!  I ran like the Little Engine that Could and crossed the finish line.

My friend Mary was committed to run alongside me for my first race, and she kept me so motivated!

Pre-race: That’s me, Adam, and Mary. This was Adam’s and my first race.

Moments before I crossed the finish line

After the race, there were all sort of festivities, the best being fireworks. We all found a peaceful spot to sit along the edge of Lake Mirror, with an awesome view of the fireworks. We “oohed” and “ahhed” abundantly then shared some delicious pizza. It was the perfect end to a rewarding day.

Maybe I’ll stick with this running thing for a while.

 

The Last Girl to Run a 5K

Lately I’ve felt like everyone and their dog has run a 5K race. I like to think I’m “delightfully stubborn,” meaning, I do things when I’m good and ready. Maybe I could call myself the anti-hipster or the reverse-hipster. Generally, I defy the bandwagon until my curiosity becomes too overwhelming to resist and I cave in to the last wave of excitement. Watch, after I complete my first 5K, everyone will be bored with that and into CrossFit and the Paleo diet instead. Hopefully, letterboxing doesn’t go mainstream right away, because that actually does sound like a lot of fun.

Overall, my curiosity with 5Ks starts with one main question: how is this different from running 3.1 miles on my own, for fun? (Yes, I actually do enjoy running for fun.) Is there a “rush” or a certain feeling I will get just crossing the finish line? Will I become addicted to this rush, if it exists? Why am I paying money to run? Will I be able to get some good photos where I look strong and athletic so I can post them on Facebook?

My coworker convincingly told me about the Mayfaire 5K and it seems like the perfect race for me to decide how I feel about 5Ks. It starts at 7 p.m., and it’s about 10 minutes down the road from me. That means I can sleep in on a Saturday and still run a race! Awesome.

To prove I’m actually following through in my commitment, here is the screenshot of the registration confirmation. See? I will most definitely update you on my results, struggles, and triumphs of the day. I think this will probably make @TrimommyKelly very proud.

 

If you are in the area and wish to join me, please let me know. Also, if you’ve run a 5K (or more), what was your experience like? Have you become addicted?

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