Jungle Run 2012

It’s official: I survived my second half marathon.

laced up and ready to go! now where did I leave my car keys…?

Although there were about 6 Lululemon Run Club/Employees at the event, I ended up running alone for most of the race, simply because I was planning on running about 10:30s, and most everyone else was planning on 8:50s.

As a group, we only ran one lap around that track that we were starting at because we were running late. Which worked well for me, since I was at the back of the starting lineup, the first mile was going to be a warmup pace anyway. My playlist was set up pretty perfectly, if I do say so myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I started with Florida Georgia Line’s new song, “Cruise,” which was theย perfect pacing for a warmup!

*this vid is just audio, but it’s an awesome song, so it’s okay ;)*

After that, I had the pretty typical hip-hop beats for a while. Which I really only listen to when I need to get fired up, since I normally don’t like the lyrics, just the beats and the tune. When the song “Outta Your Mind” (Lil Jon feat. LMFAO) came on, I just started visualizing the routine from So You Think You Can Dance. It was great! It gave me a break from thinking about running! I’m going to have to plan that kind of music more often!

If you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about, or just love the routine as much as I do, here’s the link to a video of an amazing dance routine! (Embedding has been disabled on this video, I’m sorry!)

And let me tell ya, when Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” came on, I started thinking, “Well, I’m not shaking, but I sure am jiggling!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, I talk to my music, if you can’t ย already tell. I like to think that I’m not the only one who does this. . .

I may have had some choice words for Flo-Rida when he started singing about a “Good Feeling,” cuz there wasn’t a single good feeling at mile 9 when I thought I was on mile 10. I’m gonna blame that brain fart on being blonde. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So while I was conversing with the artists on my playlist, I noticed that I was playing leap-frog with two other girls my age (they were running/walking, while I was just at a solid jog.) Girl number one was in a Lululemon CRB in Flash (which I had actually thought about wearing!) and girl number two was in a Lululemon Run:For Your Money in Pow Pink (I am so jealous, I want that top! It was so cute!)

Flash girl, during her running intervals, was running with her spine hunched to her right, as if she was doing oblique crunches. She must have been in pain. I felt bad for her, so I kept an eye on her to make sure it didn’t get any worse. (When she was walking, she had great posture, she only hunched to side while running.) We met up around mile 3, so we ran almost the whole race together. Pink girl and I met up ’round about mile 8. So the three of us got to run the hard part together.

Oh, did I mention that miles 10.5-12.25 are UPHILL? In the sun? In the dirt? No? I forgot to mention it? Oops. Well, now you know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once we hit mile 10.5, we started running on the un-paved fire road on the side of the freeway. In the sun. Uphill. Ew. This part of the race is the only part that is out-and-back, so you know that as soon as you round the cutting point, you’re gonna be running downhill. The anticipation for that point makes the uphill seem reeeeeeally long.

All three of us, Flash/Pink/me, managed to go around those beautiful orange cones that marked the end of the “out” part at pretty much the same time. I started walking so I could hydrate without swallowing too much air and take a gel. So with that, both Flash and Pink were in front of me. I started running again when the Nike+ GPS lady told me that I had just passed mile 12.5. YES!! ALMOST THERE!!!

So I started running, and even picked up the pace a bit. My quad, which had been quiet the whole race (it was tired, but not hurting) decided that I was now going too fast and started to bitch at me. I told it that if wasn’t going to fall off, that it needed to shut up and get with the program. So on we went.

I passed Flash first, and she was in her walking interval. As I passed her, I turned so I could give her a huge smile, yell out, “Come on! Let’s GO!!” and wave in that “follow me” sign language. She started laughing, and picked up the pace, and we were off! Running a bit faster than we had been.

Then we came up to Pink, who was walking at that point. Just like before, I turned to her, gave her a huge smile, and yelled, “Come on! Let’s GO!!” with the “follow me” hand gesture. Sure enough, all three of us were running together, pushing ourselves to get the damn race over with. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Flash dropped off first, round about the 12.75 mile marker, followed by Pink, not too much later. I was in my mode, though, so I kept going. And when I saw that 13 mile marker, and the Nike+ GPS lady told me I had gone 13 miles, I kicked it into overdrive. Dredging up my old sprinting skills (7th grade Track & Field, anyone?), I made it over that finish line.

I kept walking around so I didn’t cramp up (there were a few people there who never got that memo; I felt pretty bad for them) and headed over to the shirt pick up. (At this point, I hadn’t even looked at the medal I was handed. I was just concentrating on that fine line between drinking a lot of water without throwing it up.) And then I saw it: a HIPPO!!! The mascot for the Jungle Run 2012 was a hippo! I LOVE LOVE LOVE HIPPOS!!!!! And it had this cute little bird sitting on it’s head! I got so excited! And yes, the girl who handed me the shirt started laughing at me. I’m totally okay with it. It’s a hippo!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ hehehe

hippo hippo hippo!!!!!

Well, by this point, Pink had crossed the finish line and was talking with her boyfriend. I walked up and gave her a high-five, said congrats. She had a huge smile on her face when she said, “Thank you so much for egging me on! I wouldn’t have finished as strong as I did without you!” Yeah, that made me feel pretty good. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I kept walking around, and ended up seeing Flash, talking to her mom and dad. So, again, I walked up and gave her a high-five, said congrats. She started laughing and said, “Thank you so much! You helped me finish!I was keeping up with you the whole race! Thank you for pushing me at the end!” Yeah, I was on cloud nine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So by the end of the day, I had run 13.1 miles (not including the .25 mile warmup), high-fived two race-path volunteers, egged on two runners, and got a hippo medal and a hippo shirt. I’ll take the soreness and stiffness today and handle it with pride for that awesome of a race. ๐Ÿ™‚

icing my left quad, stretching my right hip flexor, and taking pics for Facebook. Multitasking at it’s finest ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you high-fived people while racing?ย 

Have you been either the egged or the egger in a race? (are those even real words?! hehe)

Gladiator Rock N Run

On Friday, at the Giants game, Wes said, “You should do the Gladiator with us!” In fact, he said it multiple times. Enough times for me to say, “Yeah, sure. Why not?”

So on Sunday morning, my alarm went off at 6am, and there I was, getting ready for a Boot-Camp-Flashback obstacle course. Never mind that this was supposed to be my first rest day since Tuesday. (We can worry about my brain cell count later)

Mark, Wes, and I drove to San Jose, where we met up with Hoyt, Hoyt’s dad: Bob, and Hoyt’s sister: Stacy. (Hoyt’s first name is Rob, but for the past year and a half, I’ve known him as Coach Hoyt, so for the sake of not confusing Heather, we’re calling him Hoyt.)

Mark was nervous and bouncing around like a Terrier, Wes had to tape up his sprained ankle from Friday, and I kept having to pee. Yeah, this was going to ROCK!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mark, Me, Wes; before the race

We went the 11am wave. Hoyt, Mark, Wes, and I were near the front of the corral, and Bob and Stacy were near the back. With Mark’s energy, the boys shot out of the corral like 5-year olds on crack. My calves couldn’t handle the hill, so I walked up most of it, falling behind the guys. I kept expecting Bob and Stacy to catch up to me, but I didn’t see them again ’til I was half way done with my beer and slightly delusional.

I could go through how I dealt with each and every obstacle, but I’m not going to. I will, however, tell you that I didn’t pansy out of ANY of the obstacles. Did I have to get some boosts up from some tall guys? Yeah. Did I climb the scaffolding instead of the rope? Hells yes! Both the military and CrossFit have taught me something very valuable: work smarter, not harder. But I did every single obstacle!!! Without my group, and while cheering on the people around me. They shoulda given me an extra beer. And a shot of tequila.

find the shortest person in this picture. that’s me. yes, climbing in and out of industrial dumpsters was HARD. from left to right: Bob, Stacy, Hoyt, me, Wes, Mark.

6K and 15 obstacles later, I’m covered in bruises that I can’t explain, and swollen everywhere where I don’t have a bruise. I even bruised my elbow pits. How in the hell did I bruise my ELBOW PITS?!?! I have a really impressive shiner on the back of my right leg (lower hammie) where I used my leg to get over everything. Hindsight: alternate use of legs next time. (But I’ve got no muscle soreness! Thank You, CrossFit!!)

My results:

Chip time: 1:21:02.8

Pace: 20:04

Female 25-29 group: 55 out of 166!!!!!!!

Overall Place: 545 out of 1256!!!

I am never washing these. In fact, I may even laminate the bib to preserve it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Not bad for deciding do it a day before the event. Not bad at all.

I wonder if these clothes will ever be the same. . .? I used my old shoes, ones that needed to be thrown out, so I threw ’em in the donation pile. (The Gladiator races raise money for Talk About Curing Autism.)

after being hosed off at the event. before being rinsed off in the bath tub and laundered. the pink thing is the bag i used to get my clothes home

I definitely recommend an obstacle course!! Especially if you love running and love challenges!! (And no, there is no way to accurately train for swimming in 35* water. There’s just no way. And yes, you will feel like you’ve all of a sudden got asthma. It’s insane. The best feeling of accomplishment that you can have in a race.) It’s a lot of fun, and everyone’s in a great mood, having a blast! I passed a lot of people (wow, did that sound conceited?) and they were having the best time walking the course and joking around! Don’t take yourself too seriously, and JUST DO IT!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have you done any of the obstacle races?! How’d you loath like it?!ย 

My 10 Favorite Race Medal Displays

I’m new to the running event scene, but already it’s time to start thinking about where to stash my bling. I have the race bibs in my scrapbook, and I’m holding on to my finisher shirts to make a quilt; but what to do with the medals?

I’ve been looking at race medal hangers recently. I had no idea there were so many out there! So I’ve compiled a list of the ones that I like, in hopes that by the end of this post I’ll make my decision as to which one I want to get.

In no particular oder:

this one really doesn’t have any racing significance, but I LOVE swallows and nautical stars. I even have them tattooed on me.

I’d want hooks instead of a bar, but I like the humor.

Now this is my kind of humor! But, again, I’d want hooks.

I like the idea of putting the bibs with the medals.

This would work since this is the first year that I’m doing both. It’ll feed my inner organization freak, too.

Puns, anyone?

Not very race-y, but definitely cute.

Simple, but cute. Love the pink, too.

Mind over matter, mind over matter!

I wish there was a larger picture of this one. I really like it!

Alright, I know I said 10, but when I put all of them on here, I realized I had 11. But I don’t feel like deleting any of them, so here’s the encore, number 11:

This one is a bit too girly, but I’m loving it!

Final verdict:

I’m going to make my own. I’ll make a board like number 11, customize an UpperCase Living saying (I really like the .2 saying from the third one pictured, and my favorite running saying is, “26.2… it’s that damn .2 that’ll get ya!” so I may even use that), and get some nice quality hooks or drawer pulls. Done deal.

I also saw this on Pinterest, and while it’s an amazingly cute idea, I don’t think I’ll do it. But for those of you looking for a really interesting way to display your race medals, try magnets! Remove the ribbon and apply some epoxy resin on a heavy duty magnet, and, voilร ! Race Medal Magnets! Cute, right?!?!

How do you store your race bling? Is it out in the open, or stored away?ย 

Display Your Race Bling – DIY Style!

I’m going to place an Uppercase Living order with my awesome aunt to make a kick a$$ bling holder!!! I’m scrapbooking my race bibs and creating a quilt from my race shirts, so I’ve got to do something with my medals, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Display Your Race Bling – DIY Style!.

What do you do with all of your race paraphernalia?ย