The ColorDash Review

The world’s brightest 5K run!

Before all of us

Look for a ColorDash race near you! I promise you won’t be disappointed. The Colordash team has teamed up with not-for-profit charities nationwide in 2014. They teamed up with Partners in in GJ Colorado which is a local not-for-profit similar to Big Brother/Big Sister and raised almost $10,000 for them from the 5K.Not only will you be running for a great cause you will be having a fabulous time.

Me Ki Color

The ColorDash team is fun and high energy. When we arrived at packet pick up you could feel the energy all through Sports Authority. It was seamless I just had to give them my registration form. The shirts, bibs and pins were all packaged together and made it simple for the team to hand them out and they even had tutus for sale which saved me a hunting trip around the mall.

John Carol

I was excited that my Mini Me and her friend were joining us for the race. After packet pickup it was prep time for shirts and tutus. Mini Me knew exactly what they were going to do to their t-shirts. Yes very creative and original thinking. We didn’t see any one else with t-shirts made like theirs. Which makes her very happy?

Ki Ke Color

We arrived to the race early to feel the high energy and listen to the music. There were some booths set up and people to watch. Most were taking photos and some were running around throwing color at their friends. Then announcer did a fabulous job of keeping the energy level high and enthusiastic. The check presentation for the donation occurred prior to kicking off the race. What an awesome way to support our local community.

9:00 the race began it was a lap around Canyon view park two times. There were approximately 6 color stations throughout the course. The stations had people throwing the color on you and they seemed to be having fun themselves and getting all colored up too. Mainly the color they were throwing.

All after

After finishing our two laps we all gathered together and took some pictures and drank water. The temperature outside was HOT and we could have used a couple of water stations during the course. The fire truck was there for those who were over heated to get sprayed off with the hose.

After me and Ki

SOS

We then waited for the Color Explosion to take place. The girls were excited to get more color on them. The color explosion is a big circle and everyone throws up their color bags. So much fun!

Color expolde

This race is not a timed race it’s a fun race for EVEYONE. All ages, shapes, sizes, athletic ability just great great fun for everyone in the family!

Find a ColorDash near you!

My collage

Inflatable 5K Review

Inflatable 5K

Let me start off by saying this was a fun fun fun race. I think having a large team made the race so fun.

IMG_2545

(Michael, Carol and I ready for the race) 

I do have a few rants about this race. Let’s get them out of the way first thing. I personally felt the expense of this race was high for what you get. I paid $52.50 for the registration fee then an additional insurance fee of $3.50. Now here is the most upsetting part. On the day of the race we were charged a $10 parking fee. Not once in any of the pre-registration information did it say there would be an additional parking fee.

The packet pick up was a joke. You received a Sports Authority plastic bag with your bib (no timing chip), a coupon for Sports Authority and a nice plastic Sports Authority bracelet. At the finish line you were awarded with a t-shirt, cup of water and a granola bar.

When I was filling out my survey I looked at the price of the Warrior Dash in comparison. The registration fee is $60 three months out from race day. When participating in the Warrior Dash they give you a timing chip, t-shirt, warrior hat, medal, banana, water, oranges and a FREE Beer.

I guess I felt that for the price of the Inflatable 5k I didn’t get my money’s worth maybe that’s just me.

IMG_2507

(Carol was our team captain great shirt if your team has more than 10 people)

 

The instructions told us to arrive an hour before our wave. Really we could have arrived about 30 minutes and been safe. It was fun to watch the first wave of the day head out into bounce mania.

The first obstacle at the start is called Bounce Way to Heaven. I wanted to get to the back of the pack because I didn’t want to get trampled on. The large bouncing steps would be much easier to climb over if you could actually bounce but there were way to many people. When you get to the top there is a slide down.

IN Bounce way to heaven

 

 

IMG_2610

 

(See the guy in the white shirt in front of Carol in the air. Crazy fun! He is one of our team members )

This was probably one of my favorite obstacles.

I may or may not have all the obstacles in the right order. It’s been almost a week since the race and I have had a lot of things happen since then.

Run This Way

You get through this obstacle by running in one direction. Sounds pretty simple, right? Trust us, you’re not going to want to take this obstacle lightly. Run This Way challenges your balance and agility as you make your way across this huge mattress filled with ankle-loving holes.

In Run this way

Haha my friend Carol watched a video of this obstacle before the event and she said just run over the top. Yep we skipped the holes and ran over the top.

Bust On Thru to the other side

This obstacle is the ultimate agility test and is not for the faint of heart. Made up of three tire sections, Bust On Thru challenges you to break through four sets of doors without falling down. If your feet aren’t nimble and your knees inflexible, you may want to take this one a little slow.

IN Bust on Thru

I think the hardest part of this obstacle was the doors that would slam into you.

Big Balls

These Big Balls are always bouncing and we guarantee you’ll be smacked, whacked and knocked down by them. Quite possibly the world’s largest ball-pit, once you crawl under the entrance point, you’re immediately faced with giant flying balls coming directly at you. Duck, dive and dodge your way to the other side!

IN Big Balls

We had a blast pushing the balls into the people coming into the tent.

Tangled Up

 Sometimes getting a little Tangled Up is more fun than you’d think. Here’s your chance to get tangled in one of our most unique obstacles. Simply pick a lane, take the leap and navigate your way through. Don’t let the size intimidate you, trust us, you’ll get out. Eventually. This was a fun one.

IN Tangled up

My friend Carol is shorter than I am and we were wondering how we would get over the lanes. In the middle of the lane I gave Carol a little push to get her over.

 

Lose Yourself

Once you get to Lose Yourself, you’re no doubt sweating, feeling fatigued and wondering where you go next? Well, that’s for you to figure out; don’t let the mesh walls confuse you either. Adding to the pandemonium… your fellow runners will be up close and personal with you too!

IN Lose Yourself

I was very worried about this obstacle. Lucky for me a YOUNG fellow runner took the lead and got us through the maze in no time.

Disturbia

By the time you reach Disturbia, you’ll think you’ve come to some futuristic structure or maybe you’re hallucinating. Pick a crazy lane and go for it. Let the music be your guide … just don’t let Disturbia get the best of you!

In Disturbia

This was very awkward but easy!

Electric Slide

Leave the boring straight slides on the playground. The Electric Slide is extremely steep, twisting, partially enclosed and sure to leave you wanting more. No worries, you’re allowed a second slide. You’re also allowed to start your own dance party.

IN Electric Slide

 

This slide reminded me of a water slide minus the water. Keep your feet up or they will get hung up on the way down. Carol got a nice elbow burn from this slide.

 

Jump Around

This is where the rubber meets insanity and hands down one of the most insane obstacles you’ll ever experience. Simulating what it might be like to walk on the moon, Jump Around has more than 70 feet of crazy, bouncy fun.

IN Jump Around

This was my favorite obstacle. The key is to jump from one spot to the next. When you get to the end jump land on your bootay and bounce off.
Pure Misery

We took a page from our military’s training handbook and created this goliath that will leave you begging for mercy. This 100-foot long beast will test your strength, agility, flexibility and endurance as you complete multiple obstacles within the confines of this challenge. Some would say misery loves company.

IN Pure Misery

I like this slide! In the middle it had a platform that broke you speed for the next slide.

Crazy Air

Finish Line

IN Crazy Air 

 

Slide

Insane things come to those who wait … and trust us, this is INSANE!

Crazy Air is the most fun obstacle you’ll go on all day and features one of the steepest inflatable slides in the world! You’ll slide down at a rapid pace and when you hit the bottom, there’s a lip to launch you into the air and onto the landing pad. The Crazy Air is more than 110 feet long and the only one of its kind.

Seriously, it’s the most fun you’ll have all day!

After reading that the finish line was 110 ft long slide I was a bit worried. By the time I got to the top I was ready and it was a blast!

 

IMG_2611

Huge Thank you to John who had the most important job of all! Finish line BEER!

IMG_2612

 

 

Photo bomb

Overall this was a fun race. Would I do it again probably depending on other race options on the same day.
Read More: Insane Inflatable 5K Obstacles | Insane Inflatables | http://insaneinflatable5k.com/obstacles/?trackback=tsmclip

Photos: Inflatable 5K website and Anthony Calacino

Nike Womens Race Day!

I know this post is LONG overdue. My days seem to be flying by and I don’t seem to have enough time to sit down and just type.

Race day! (Pure Craziness)

We arrived downtown San Fran early early. On the way to find our corrals we stopped at the Walgreens on the corner to use the rest room. I am sure the manager was sick of seeing all these women racers coming in. Hopefully they did get some sales out of the deal.

We then headed to find our corrals. This adventure was new for me. I would  guess since this is a HUGE event and over 40,000 people participating this was the best way to line up. Once you find your bubble with your time you enter they have volunteers there checking your wrist band to make sure you are where you are supposed to be. Porta potties lined up along the hill not to many people waiting as I passed by. I then walked to the starting area for my coral. BURRRR! One big lesson I learned is that San Fran is COLD! When leaving the hotel we saw a few girls with the paper hospital gowns on to keep them warm. I was wishing I had one at this point and time while waiting for the race to start. We arrived around 5:30 race start was 6:30 and my corral started about 7:30.

Lining up!

Lining up!

For this race I would recommend running with a friend and for fun. It’s very crowded the entire race. I enjoyed watching all the girls stop and take photos. The course was a blast! We started at union station and ran along the pier towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes we had A LOT of hills!

Start photo provided by Nike!

Start photo provided by Nike!

Nike Photo of the hills of San Fran!

Nike Photo of the hills of San Fran!

 

They had donation boxes around mile #5 but I had already dropped my sweat shirt before I saw the boxes. One thing I love about a race like this is all the supporters along the route cheering you on and the great signs they make. “You just missed Channing Tatum, run faster and you might catch him.”

Running in San Fran was very wet. The trees were dripping down on you during parts of the course. I guess coming from the desert this was something new for me. Dressing in layers is a very good idea for this race and I highly recommend not dropping that sweat shirt.

Between miles #9 & #10 Verizon had a contest. You were to guess what your mile time would be. This is a huge downhill run. The winner would win $4,000 and you had to be within a minute on either side to qualify.

This race was a blast! Not my personal best run but that happens. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the people and the sights.  When I crossed the finish line it was very crowed. You get your “Finisher” T-shirt and “Tiffany Necklace” and picture opportunity with the Firemen. 

Finish Line!

Finish Line!

IMG_9533

Then it was time to try and find my friends….We were to meet at the boutique…Haha there is 40,000 people trying to buy Nike garb. I never did find them. My cell phone didn’t work so I couldn’t text or call. I was asking people around me if they had service and non of them did. My suggestion is if you are going to meet up after the race meet at the medical tent. I was freezing cold and just ready to get into a hot shower. So I headed for the shuttle line. This took over an hour and a half just in line. One bad thing about this race is having to wait in line FOREVER. When I finally got cell service I had 50 million calls texts and messages. Luckily my friends were on a shuttle too. We met up at the hotel and did a group picture there since I was lost in the crowd at the finish line. 

IMG_9539

IMG_9535

WE DID IT! What a fun time with new friends, great city and great race! 

Nike Photo

Nike Photo

IMG_9603

I’ve been working on something new. Stay tuned! I promised I will post about it before 2014!

Part 2 of the Bay Series!

Nike

Ferry trip!

Ferry trip!

After the ferry ride from Sausalito back to Pier 1 it was time once again walk the streets of San Francisco back to the Nike store.  On our way we found a few little artists booths. Some of the girls stopped and made a few purchases of interesting photographs of the bay area. We then scurried down to the Nike store.

Fractal Art

Fractal Art

Oh my! How many people can you really fit into one Nike store? One of the girls wanted to exchange a shirt she had purchased and I was looking for an additional one.

Guess what! Amy wanted to exchange her black medium for a black small and there wasn’t a single black shirt left in the store let alone a small and this is a 7 floor Nike store. I searched and searched the racks for the shirt I wanted and found a size medium on the mannequin.  Just as we were going to undress the mannequin, a lady said they had a medium on a different rack. Yep it was the very last one! Lesson here is if you would like to purchase Nike souvenirs get to the store a couple of days before the race not the day before.

Banner on top of the Nike store.

Banner on top of the Nike store.

Back out into the streets of Union Square to find our way back to the hotel. We decided on a different route this time, wandering through China town. I am only 5’4 but feel very tall next to most of the women in China town. We passed a sushi restaurant that looked very interesting. It was a boat floating thru water with a sushi buffet. I believe the name of the restaurant was the Sushi Boat.

Lantern in China town.

Lantern in China town.

IMG_9515

I am not sure if getting back to our room was a good idea. We all were tired and ready to eat and wanted to be to bed early since we had to be at the start by 5:30 AM. We all managed to get a little cleaned up and found an Italian Restaurant close to our hotel.

"Mangia" = Let's Eat!

“Mangia” = Let’s Eat!

When we arrived the host said our wait would only be about 15 minutes. I think he forgot they had a bunch of reservations to come in to be seated too. We sat and sat and sat. If he would have told us when we arrived the wait was an hour we could have made a decision to stay or find another restaurant.

Lesson here is be sure to make a reservation in San Francisco. We finally got a table and it was Mangia time!

I ordered the Pappardelle Bolognese Homemade wide Fettuccine pasta in an Italian tomato beef ragout. The meat sauce was ok but the home-made noodles were to die for. By the time we got our food it was about 8:00 Pacific Time 9:00 home/Mountain Time and I really didn’t feel like eating.

I ate what I could and then ordered the Profiterole – Homemade cream puffs filled with vanilla gelato. 

Home made pasta is the best!

Home made pasta is the best!

Delicious dessert!

Delicious dessert!

After dinner we walked back to the hotel to prepare for race day!

Time till race while waiting for a table.

Time till race while waiting for a table.

Bib, wrist band, shirt, shoes. "Let's do this!"

Stay tuned for “Race Day Re-Cap”!

The city by the bay ~ San Francisco!

Girls trip to have fun in the city and run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon perfect fit for my blog. Food, Drink and Fitness!

IMG_9388

Here we are boarding a jet plane to the West coast!

IMG_9406

IMG_9407

We were luck to have our own personal travel agent with us. Tina she had us make a reservation on the Super Shuttle when we arrived in SFO to save time and money. I highly recommend this for traveling when arriving to a large city that you have never been to before. When we arrived at our hotel we were all tired and ready for sleep.

Good Friday Morning San Fran! This is the view from our hotel. Beautiful!

IMG_9412

The concierge helped our personal travel director giving her directions to the Nike Expo and a popular breakfast restaurant.  We walked to Lefty O’Doul’s and Irish pub. It offered a variety of things. I would say it’s an average place to eat breakfast. Very convenient  for us because it was right across the street from packet pick up.

IMG_9415

IMG_9416

Packet pick up was very well-organized you checked in via computer and verified all your information. The person at the registration gave you your bib and a wrist band with your corral number. Then you move to the next line where you pick up your swag bag. Now on to the expo. Once inside the tent there is a huge marquis with names of girls checking in giving some motivation. We venture around the corner and it’s picture time!

Melissa is really running the Half not the Full!

Melissa is really running the Half not the Full!

IMG_9440

Other things offered at the expo were Nike shoe strings, Verizon had a sign up for guessing your mile time from mile 9-10. Whole foods gave away a protein taster and chocolate macaroons. The NUN booth had tasters of their different drinks that were going to be offered on the race course. There were other booths but we didn’t’ feel the need to wait in the huge line.

Off to the Nike store we go. On the windows of the store all of the participates names are listed.  Now it’s time to decide what to purchase for souvenirs.  Many many items to choose from. Lucky we arrived on Friday because there were still smaller sizes available. I was going to buy a pair of the Nike socks made just for this race but when I tried them on they were HUGE on my small feet. So I decided on buying a nice warm up pull over.

IMG_9443

IMG_9436

Whole foods offered a free shuttle to the store for a swag bag. So we hopped the shuttle and made a few food and drink purchases. Then it was time to find Nordstrom’s. The girls wanted to do some shoe shopping. This is the place to find shoes for sure.

IMG_9612

Yep these boots are calling my name. I just might have to order them!

Yep these boots are calling my name. I just might have to order them!

After shopping it was time for showers and get dolled up for the theater. Unfortunately in San Fran it’s almost impossible to find a taxi especially for a party of 5.  Lucky for us Roger a limo driver was on break and took us to the sushi restaurant for a donation.

IMG_9454

IMG_9453

IMG_9452

Our walk to the Orpheum Theater from the restaurant was cold and much father then the 5 blocks that we were told. Pretty scary too! We saw the Wizard of Oz a very good production. The theater was beautiful. It was freezing cold when we left the theater and once again we were challenged to find a cab. We split up in 2 different cabs for the ride home.

IMG_9456

IMG_9458

IMG_9460

We are all early birds thank goodness because a night owl would not have liked sharing a room with us. Up early and out the door down to the Pier. The farmers market was amazing. Tons and tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, meats a chef’s dream come true.

IMG_9522 IMG_9474

We found a cute little place to have breakfast. The porridge made out of Farro was delicious and a must have. I need to learn how to make this. AMAZING! I also found the best donut EVER a sweet bread filled with Nutella YUMMO!

IMG_9473IMG_9482IMG_9483

Now it was time to work off some of the food we have been eating. We rented bikes for the day and headed from Pier 1 to Sausalito  over the Golden Gate bridge approximately 10 miles.  Not including the detour we took to visit Lombard street.

Walking up Hyde street to see the famous Lombard street.

Walking up Hyde street to see the famous Lombard street.

Lombard

Lombard

IMG_9510IMG_9508

IMG_9511

We made it!

We made it!

Time for lunch!

Time for lunch!

What a fantastic day! Stopping in Sausalito for lunch and a bit of shopping then found the ferry for a ride back Pier 1.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Amazing Race!

I am sure you have watched and/or heard of the reality show The Amazing Race. I had the privilege to participate with my “mini me” and her 8th grade class in their Amazing Race.If you are looking for a fabulous birthday game or a fun learning project for your kids the Amazing Race is for you!

The teachers dispersed the entire class into teams of 6-8. The teams were made up of different social networks, athletic abilities and IQ’s. The teams had to work together to solve the puzzles and figure out the best route to get to the next location. Before the day of the Amazing Race, the teams participated in different challenges to determine the order of the start.

Mini Me and all her friends!

Mini Me and all her friends!

The clues were very creative and fun.

Our first clue was “Mr. Brennen hasn’t had his coffee yet and you can get some toffee there too.”  All the kids on our team #3 knew the answer right away.

Off we go sprinting to Enstrom’s Candies! When we arrive we had to wait for the other team to finish the activity.

The activity consisted of a blue/silver tarp and a fitness ball. The team was required to turn the tarp over from the blue side to the silver side without touching the pavement while balancing a person on the fitness ball.

AR 3AR 2

All together we had 13 different stations 7.75 miles and a whole lotta fun! I truly enjoyed meeting a group of new kids and watching how each one of the kids excels in different activities. I can’t remember all the clues, because it got hectic and trying to run as fast as we could to find the next station don’t forget I am 30 years older than all the kids I was attempting to keep up with.

#2 – Museum observatory – There were 16 questions that had to be answered about the history of our town and they could use the observatory to find the answers.

#3 – I do remember the clue for this one.

“Catching __________”

“Girl on _____________”

Yep you got it! Fire off to the fire station we go. Here the kids had about 7 science questions that had to be answered along with a physical challenge that the firemen put them thru.

The clue for #4 was a picture of a Ruby, a picture of a canyon and a picture of a bike! The kids thought the ruby was a diamond I think because the picture was black and white. If they would have known it was a ruby they would have ran straight to the Ruby Canyon Bike Shop  rather than running to 2 different bike shops first. When arriving at station #4 it was a break due to waiting on other teams to finish the activity. They had to look at a map and find 10 local bike trails then another timed physical challenge adding clothes to a team mate and adding a blindfold then that person had to ride a bike. Key to this activity was to look at the ENTIRE map!

#5 -City Market Grocery store. When the team arrived in the store the station was found. They were given a gift card and shopping list for this activity. Our team had 6 kids and the shopping list had 6 items so they thought together to divide up the list and each team mate find an item on the list. I think we gained some speed on this because all the kids knew what they were looking for. All the groceries purchased was donated to the soup kitchen. Thank you to all who purchased the gift cards.

#6- I can’t remember the exact clue but it said something about a second hand store being on “Grand” and the name is the same as an Eminem album. The kids said lets run to Grand because we can’t use technology to find the name of the Eminem album. Yep we found the second hand store the Encore Shop. This challenge was defiantly a challenge for this team. Who was REALLY paying attention in Mr. Brennen’s social studies class? A LARGE crossword puzzle on US History! Lucky for our team they could get letters for push-ups. The last word they couldn’t figure out they did 30 push-ups to get it completed.

#7-This was a fun clue to. It said something like the teachers have a “GRAND” time during second elective at this time. This lead the team to 145 Grand they got a 15 minute break, with Gatorade and bananas.

#8 – This clue was a picture of a keyboard and letters were blacked out. It took the team a few solve the word. They decided to just head towards downtown and look for signs to give them ideas. One of the girls said the word City and it clicked “City Hall.” Here we go again sprinting to City Hall. Once we arrived they had to memorize one of the monuments and repeat it.  “We the People……”

#9-I don’t think I ever saw the clue for the next station because the kids already knew where they were going once they read one line of it. Off to the Post Office we sprint, another break here because the teams at the Post Office were still finishing the activity. They had to put a 100 piece puzzle together without talking. I found this to be very interesting. The very quiet kids analyzed the puzzle and pretty much lead the “normal” leaders on this activity.

#10- This clue said something about going here when you turn 16. Yep the DMV. By the time the team arrived to this station they were getting very hungry and tired and the activity was Sudoku. Not this team’s favorite activity. They all struggled with this puzzle and push-ups were not an option with this mom/teacher manning the activity. Finally after about 20 minutes they completed the puzzle and off we go.

#11 – To the dried fruit store for some blindfolded dried fruit. They all loved it. Hahaha

#12 – Off to the R-5 High School where they had to build a tent, write down all the instructions and put it back in the bag. This team had great team work on this activity.

#13 – Finally the last station. The clue said something about getting candy and aspirin at this store. The rain is starting to come down on the team. They are very hungry by this time and they have to run 6 blocks from R-5 to Rite Aid. When getting to Rite Aid they had hop like bunnies in a train. Once done the entire team takes off to the finish line because they are starving! Yes there was a clue for the finish line but who can remember, it said something about find us here and you can eat we will be waiting for you.

I had a fabulous time with all the kids. The Amazing Race proved great teamwork, sportsmanship, learning and physical activities.

The best part of the day was when we got home and my mini me told me “Mom, I am so glad you came to the Amazing Race today you made it a lot of fun and kept my team motivated. Thank you! “

My Story

Recently I’ve had several friends tell me that a recent Facebook picture has been an inspiration and motivation for them. Wow what an awesome compliment. So I thought I would share my journey with all of you.

My journey to a life of health and wellness began in 2002!

I will never forget the day when I jumped out of the shower and took a look at myself in the full length mirror. I did not like the image looking back at me. I was a happy mom of a 3-year-old, I had an amazing husband and a great job but I just wasn’t happy with myself.

I had watched a Montel Williams episode when my daughter was a baby about the Body for Life program. I had purchased the book then put it on the shelf. It was this day in 2002 that book was taken off the shelf and I decided to make a change.

The episode that Michelle is referring to is the one I watched when I bought the Body for Life book.

In 2003 I was fortunate enough to attend an Energy Camp for Women in Denver at the EAS headquarters. What an experience I had! Here is a before and after picture of me back in 2001 pre BFL and 2003 after a 12 week challenge.

photo.JPG

As we all know if you don’t stick to your health and wellness plan you gain back weight, lose muscle mass and your cardio capacity is limited. So in 2008 I decided that this was the year that I wanted to really learn for myself the “LIFE” part of the Body for Life. I had completed numerous 12 week challenges and never really did figure out what to do past the 12 week finish. Thinking in the back of my mind I knew I could do another 12 weeks. 2008 was the year designated for me to really move to the next level for “LIFE”.

A 26 week BFL marathon was an opportunity for me to continue my journey of learning about self-discipline, self motivation, determination and learning about my body not only physical but emotional as well. Planning each and every day and setting small achievable goals for the day, week, month and the year! Along with keeping positive thoughts about me each and every day helped for motivation!

Persistence is the key! I see so many people start out their challenge so strong and motivated and then they hit a life bump in their challenge and they give up. I think it is important to remember we all have life bumps but moving forward and keep persisting is a key attribute for “LIFE”. 2008 was a successful year for me on my health and wellness journey.

2009 brought more of BFL and finding balance in life of work, health and wellness. The first part of November in 2009 a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to run the Winter Sun 10K with her. My response was “I am not a runner, but if you train me I will try.” She asked me how far and how long can you run for? Maybe a minute I replied. She said well we have some work to do. She gave me a training plan starting out running for 4 minutes then walking for 2 and I only had 6 weeks to train for this 10K (6.2 miles). What the heck was I thinking?

By week 2 I was running 11 minute intervals for an hour, completing about 5 miles or so. I thought ok I can do this. We ran the local 5K Turkey Trot to get me prepared for the 10K. Many lessons learned on this 5K. I did manage to complete the 10K in 17 degree weather and have been running since.

IMG_0075

I was still on the runners’ high when my running friend found the Warrior Dash race and suggested we do this race. Due to the fact that I still was on major runners high I jumped all over this. Signed up and started the training phase.

I continued to run in January 2010 and joined a contest that the gym was holding for the New Year. In February I started my new-found love KICKBOXING. During my 3rd class I pulled my right hamstring. UUgghh! I was very disappointed in this set back. My running slowed down for about 6 weeks. During this time I did the step mill. I thought that I would not lose much doing this kind of activity. Boy was I wrong! When I could run again it was like starting all over again.

Towards the end of July I started getting bored with the workouts and not feeling gains in running or in my strength training. Started missing workouts and getting just plain lazy. I tried to set up a training schedule for the last 28 days to get myself motivated and prepared for race day. I did find that I love to run outside on a summer morning. Hearing the birds chirp, the sun to rise above the Mesa is just a relaxing and energizing way to start the day. I also loved trying to beat my time each week when on my outdoor run.

determination

The week before the race I was on my outdoor run and my mind was just racing wondering if I could even do this race. Running hard and fast my heart just beating and my breath unable to be caught. I simply had a mental breakdown. Negative talk to myself thinking will I be able to do this. I am not ready for this race. As I peaked the top of the hill that morning I thought back to the Warrior Dash website and its training recommendations. It’s about your mental ability more than anything. I still didn’t convince myself that day that I was anywhere near being ready. I did however take 3 minutes off my run time that day. Ohhh something was working!

As race day approached I got more and more excited. I didn’t feel 100% prepared for the race. I could only do my best. So off we went to Copper Mountain. I just kept looking at that hill and thinking that it’s 9,700 feet above sea level and the oxygen is low up here. What am I going to do?

Shirt Good idea

As I look back now I have no idea how I made it over the fire or completed the Warrior Dash not only once but THREE times. It’s all a blur when the runner’s high kicks in. Each Warrior Dash presenting different challenges! Now on to new challenges in 2013.

100_1392

I now know why people continue to sign up for races. The feeling after your done is AMAZING! The runners high and the sense of self achievement and accomplishment is one of its own.

Will run for beer! Will run for beer!

In 2012 I ran my first ½ Marathon. Read my race re-cap here.

http://dee-liciousmusings.com/2012/09/24/denver-rock-n-roll-12-marathon-race-review/

So if you are ready to cross the abyss and get moving now’s the time! Let’s do it! 2013 is your year!

Denver Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Review

This is going to be long but well worth the read! 

In January of 2012 a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in running the Rock n Roll ½ Marathon in Denver. At that time I had just had surgery and was still recovering. I kept this in the back of my mind for many months. In July I officially signed up for the race and talked two other friends into running it also. My thoughts at this time were “can I really run for 13.1 miles”?

 

I started my Warrior Dash training the first week in June and new that my ½ training needed to start the last week in June. I think this is what nudged me to officially sign up. I was already running why not just add 10 miles to it…

 

There are a few things that I love about running. It’s very hard for me but gets me into great shape very quickly, I love that it clears my head and love that running burns a great deal of calories.

 

Let’s get to race week!

 

So race week is actually a pretty easy week of running. Monday I did 4 easy miles, Tuesday 3 easy miles, Wednesday rest day and Thursday 2 easy miles and Friday the day before the race rest day.

 

My friends and I met at our hotel to check in. The entire lobby was covered with 250 University of Oklahoma students in town for a convention. Pure craziness…I had been hydrating while driving to downtown Denver and really needed the ladies room. I managed to find it rather quickly. Why is it when you are hydrating you get stuck in traffic. I am so not a city girl. Once we succeeded to get checked in we walked down to the convention center for the Fitness Expo and packet pick up.

 

Prior to race day you receive an e-mail asking that you print out a confirmation and release sheet. On the sheet you are assigned a corral number based on the time you thought you could finish the race in.

 

Once inside the expo it’s very fast and efficient. You check in with your drivers’ license at the corral that is assigned to you. They handed us our bibs and safety pins at this time. A couple of girls wanted to change their corral numbers. This was a very easy process. They had a table set up specifically for start time changes. Each person who changed his or her corral received a green dot. Once this was done we moved on to the t-shirt pick up and swag bag pick up. No lines anywhere! 🙂

 

Into the expo we went. There are tons of different vendors and booths throughout the convention center from Brooks to Sprouts. I think we all made one purchase at the expo. I stopped at the Razzy Roo for a couple of headbands.

 

We found a booth that sold running t-shirts. I loved these shirts but didn’t think they were worth $26.99.

 

Front of the Shirt

 

Back

 

We stopped at the GU station and taste tested many different kinds of protein bars. Most of them were ok but not great.

GU Booth!

 

Last stop at the expo was the 21 and over wristband stop. This was by far the smartest thing we did. I will explain more about why this was so smart later in my race review.

 

Time to find Maggiano’s for dinner! We had a reservation for a later time and tried to get in early but there was a very long line of runners waiting for a table. So we stopped at Earls for ONE glass of wine before dinner. Once we got our table we all shared an artichoke appetizer. Each of us ordered the Tuscan Bean soup and we split the lasagna and spaghetti & meatballs. Once we were completely full we walked back to our hotel to get sleep before the big day!

 

All three of us set our alarms 5 minutes apart. We wanted to make sure we didn’t over sleep! At 5:18 one of the phones started ringing and woke us up. It was my friend’s sister wanting us to find her at the start. We got up at 6:00 got dressed ate a banana and nutella tortilla wrap with a cup of coffee.

 

Out the door we go! Our hotel was about 4 blocks from the beginning of the start. We dropped the “Gazelle” off at corral #3 her goal was to finish in 1:50:00. Myself and my German friend head to corral #11 stop at corral #7 to say hi to her sister on the way. We meet up with my mile high running buddy. We are standing around talking and people watching. My teeth are chattering at this point. Not because it’s cold mostly from nerves.

 

Finally the 7:15 shotgun goes off the race has started. Each corral is held for 30-60 seconds. We are taking pictures and listening to the announcers and music until our corral makes it to the start.

 

And we’re off! Running downtown Denver. We run about .25 of a mile and my mouth is already dry. I tell my friend’s jeeze we just started and my mouth is dry. My German friend said the same thing. Lucky for us I have some Quench gum. What a savior it was at this time.

 

The first mile is just running down 14th street passing lots of spectators, the convention center and the performing arts center. We had a great non-rabbit start. This will help us finish strong!

 

Mile #2 takes us around to the Pepsi center down to Coors Field. We’re all feeling good and holding our pace. At this point we passed 3 different bands. Seemed like all the bands on the course were playing the same song. “Sweet Home Alabama” Once we reached the 5K mark we all commented on how easy a 5K is now.

 

After the 5K we turned the corner and up hill we went down 17th street to the city park/zoo. There were spectators cheering us on. So many fun signs to be read. “Your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much butt.” The best one was “I don’t know you but I am proud of you!”

 

I did stop at each drink station to have either water or Gatorade. At mile #4 I had part of a shock block and did eat one every other mile. By the end I was sick of these sweet things wanted something salty. Could have just licked my arm but that would have been disgusting.

 

Miles 5-8 were running around the City park/zoo. These miles went by really fast. Maybe it’s because my mile high friend and I were in a deep conversation at this point. The relay hand off was just right before mile #8.

 

We now are running on 17th to Colorado Blvd we could see other runners facing us. At this point we are just waiting and waiting and waiting for the turn to hit the #9 mile marker. Once we hit #9 I get a huge amount of energy. Making friends on the run cheering others on. I hear someone say my name it just happened to be a girl who worked for me back in my restaurant days. She ran with a bit until her hamstring was too tight and needed to walk.

 

Mile 9 -10 took us up through a little neighborhood that was shaded up hill but very beautiful and relaxing. Someone on the course told us that the last 3 miles were down hill hahahaha not true. We did have a little down hill here and I was pacing my breathing and staying in my groove. My quads were beginning to feel really tight. I would try to kick my heels up to my butt to stretch them out.

 

Cheesman Park brought us from mile 11- 12. The very end of the park was all up hill. I wanted to walk so bad. I kept telling myself don’t walk just slow your pace. I managed to get to the top of the hill and see the #12 mile marker. Shewwww only one mile to go!

 

This mile seemed like FOREVER. I was listening for the music hoping once I could hear it that would mean I am close to the finish. Well, I made it to the music but it wasn’t even near the finish. Somewhat, motivating because I love the song that was playing. I really wish they had the last mile marked.

 

Woo Hoo! I crossed the finish line! OMG I really did it! What an emotion this accomplishment is! 

WE DID IT!

Getting our wrist band at the expo allowed us to not wait in line to get into the beer garden for our FREE Michalob Ulta!

Will run for beer!

Swag = Little back pack, Shirt, Bib and Medal!

I am sure there is tons that I have forgotten will post more as I think of things. If you have any questions about the Rock n Roll Half Marathon make a comment!

Warrior Dash Race Re-Cap Part 2!

Running to the flames of fire jumping marks the half way point of the race. I am now running/walking because my lungs are burning. As I approach the next obstacle I hear one of the volunteers screaming YOU HAVE to run up the mountain in order to make it over this wall. The only thing I remember about this wall/obstacle is once I got to the top it had 3 2×4 pieces of wood flat and somewhat distant from each other. I was thinking how am I going to get across so I can head down? I crawled on my knees.

I personally think the obstacles are the best part of the race. Once I was down the trail was all uphill from here that seemed like a life time… On and On and On. I kept seeing people on the other side and was thinking I have to be getting close to the top so I can run down. Not even close as I came around the corner there was what I thought was going to be the most difficult obstacle because I thought it was going to be water and a log that I had to go under.

Lucky for me it wasn’t! It was a couple of tunnels. Shew….We have done these before in previous Warrior Dashes. The key to this obstacle is to not put your knees down. Crawl with your butt up in the air. Lots of dirt and rocks to scrape up the knees with.

Once out of the tunnel uphill we go again and next I find a net that you crawl under, this obstacle is a joint venture between all people in the net. The end of the net had barbed wire on it and if you stood up too soon your back would get poked by the wire. Once exiting the net the next obstacle was right there a chris crossed wood thing with more barbed wire going uphill. A lovely camera man sat at the exit of this obstacle. My face is RED by this point of the race.

The trail now leads me up up and up a tight narrow rocky path. Once I get to the very top I now have a steep rocky hill to traverse down, once down through the rocks I find ropes to help maneuver down the rest of the steep mountain. Carefully handing off the rope to the person behind me. One guy behind me thought he was going to just run down the steep hill without using the ropes oops he fell. Guess they had the rope there for a reason. 

Copper Mountain Colorado

At the bottom I found the last wall. The girls in front of me were cracking me up with all their comments. I told one lean back as far as you can. She made it up half way and gave up and walked around. This wall was much easier than the wall last year because it had a place to hold your feet and you didn’t slide down. I was up and over in no time. Woo hoo now it’s the down hill run now! 

I reach the cargo net and the volunteer  says this and the mud and you are done. I am thinking to myself thank god! This has been a long race. As I am coming over the bottom of the net the girl behind me says “honey have I ever told you that I am afraid of heights”. LOL! Your telling him this now? 

Down and off I go speeding to the mud pit.

In the previous races I always walked thru and lifted the barbed wire this year since I didn’t have to run in sloppy shoes and muddy hands for other obstacles I decided to crawl through the mud pit. As I get out I have mud EVERYWHERE. I feel like I flash the entire crowd trying to get the air bubbles out of my shirt and skirt. Finish line here I come! Woo Hoo! What a race! I love the adrenaline rush after crossing the finish line. Nothing like it! 

 

Where’s my beer?

Stay tuned for Post Warrior Dash Party!

2012 Warrior Dash Copper Mountain Colorado Race Re-Cap Part 1!

This was the third year my friends and I competed in the Warrior Dash. This race was by far the hardest race out of the three. The main reason is because we were running uphill for 90% of the race.

Once we arrived at Copper we unloaded all the goods from the minivan. You would think we were packing for a week with all the goods we had to unload. After unloading four of us started prepping dinner and waited for the last four team mates to arrive. Upon their arrival we scoped out the music venue and packet pick up!

Packet pick up is very organized that is if you have your waiver and ID all ready when arriving. They handed us our running chips (which is a free beer after the race or before if you’re brave enough to drink prior to running), our participation shirts and bib numbers.

Penny at packet pick up!

We had limited time to stop and enjoy the band because our lasagna was cooking and we needed to get back to the condo and finish up the final dinner prep and carb up for the race can’t forget the vino with the pasta!

We celebrated Lisa’s Birthday with blueberry pie and ice cream and tons of laughs. It’s always nice to share stories and girl giggles!

Toasting to the Warrior Dash!
Happy Birthday Lisa!

After dinner and story time we all headed to bed and TRIED to sleep. Have you ever noticed the night before a race it’s impossible to sleep? I toss and turn and I think about stupid stuff and get myself all worked up for no reason. I won’t be forgetting the ear plugs next time because of all the snoring that was happening in my room. Maybe that was causing some of my tossing and turning too.

 Race day!

One tough thing for this group of girls is we are all early risers and trying to figure out how much coffee to drink and how much food to eat for a 10:00 heat is challenging. Once up I decided on only 2 cups of coffee, 1/2 protein shake and a small piece of bread with a little cream cheese on it. 

We all decided it was time to get our chips on our shoes and bibs on our shirts. The temperature at 8:00 am was chilly! Only like 39 degrees. I was beginning to wonder if I made a mistake buying a tank top this year. Thinking the temperature wasn’t going to rise very quickly. Lucky for me by 10:00 is was 60 degrees and sunny.

Chip = Free Beer!

When we all finished our cute outfits and headed down to the start area to get some photos. Let the nerves begin. Found the outhouse and watched the 9:30 heat take off. As we were watching we had discussions of how to dodge the HUGE rocks that were at the start of the race. To me this is the very first obstacle this year. 

WARRIOR DASH – WARRIOR DASH – WARRIOR DASH cheers started and the announcer began getting our heat pumped up. My teeth were chattering by this point. No clue why I was so nervous I have done this race two times before. BOOM off goes the gun and the fire! 

In line at the start!

The heat was very crowded and the start was very slow-moving. Slower than the last few years I think it was because we were running at an angle of the ski slope and dodging rocks and people. I managed to get across and down without injury obstacle complete. The course then turned and we headed back across the mountain water running and mud puddles to either skip across or jump. Then we headed up hill by now my lungs could feel the altitude 9,000 feet above sea level. Once I reached the top I was trying to pass the slower people to gain speed on the down hill. 

Look at the pile of snow when we make the turn!

When I got to the bottom of the hill the first official obstacle was upon me. I’ve done this one before it’s the barricade breakdown hurdle the wall and crawl under the shorter wall with barbed wire. I could pull  myself up like getting out of the pool on the barricade then I would swing myself under the barbed wire and pop up into the next wall. This was a fun obstacle very do able not insanely difficult. Need upper body strength and strong legs to get up out of the swinging move. 

Run a bit then we had a steep hill with a rope to go down. This obstacle was pretty simple fast and not difficult. I needed to pay attention to the person in front of me and what they were going to do with the rope once they reached the bottom of the slope. 

Run a little ways and the hardest obstacle for me! It’s the teetering traverse! Why is this hard for me? It’s a balance thing by this time my legs are shaking like crazy and I am a little dizzy from the altitude and running. Very challenging for me to keep my balance. I kept apologizing to the person be hind me for being so slow. Shew I made it without falling time to pick up the speed and get to running! 

It’s a balance thing!

Second wall coming up! I followed a group of people who had plastic butts on for their costumes. My strategy for this wall was to watch experienced racers go up so I could go up smoothly and not have any delays! 

The next obstacle was the tires. I didn’t have a difficult time maneuvering through this obstacle. Takes concentration and not going to fast to miss the hole of the tire.

After the tires was the first drink station. In previous years we only had one drink station I was glad to see some water. I was ready to wet my mouth. 

Drink Station = Mile 1