Monday, March 28, 2011

Big Sur Mud Run - 2011

We got up bright and early Saturday, March 26th, and headed down to Seaside, CA. It was raining pretty good the whole way there and the temp was in the low 40's. As usual, while I try to stay modest, I don't' like running in a lot of clothes, and I was a little worried about the temp. The rain did not worry me as I knew we would be soaked anyway.
I was also concerned about Kona and the kids being out in the rain and cold for hours. We got there at 8:30 and our wave didn't' start until 10 (it would actually start later than that) and I was guessing we would take 1:10ish to figure the family would be out in the elements for 3.5 to 4 hours. The kids were as bundled up as possible and changes of clothes were packed in the car.
Kona found a warm spot inside of Randy K's jacket, so no worries about him, and the kids were immune to the crazy weather conditions. When we would later run by them, the kids were busy playing in the mud piles from the mud that was dug out to make the pits : )
The fam and Randy (Brian's wife) set up camp at the last wall and mud pit. We packed chairs and snacks and toys for the kids, so they had their spot all set.
The 5 members of Rage Against the Mud Sheen headed over to the starting area. It took us a minute to figure out that the teams weren't all going at 10, they were in waves. First was military and public service people, then men teams and woman teams, then us..the mixed teams. Before each wave we were led through some warm ups of squat variations, sit ups, and push ups. The announcer read off his fav names in each wave and we were first to be announced for favorite mixed team name!
So eventually we were off and running. It is hard to know what happened at what mile as the miles were not marked, but the first section of running seemed the longest to me. The first obstacle was the orange traffic dividers. Think freeway dividers, but orange and a little taller, sitting in a mud pit. I think there were 4 rows to get over?? Then we were off and running on some nice, sandy trails for quite a while. There was not much flat to this course, lots of rolling up and downs, nothing super steep, but not much flat either. There was a push up station where you had to do 15, and a scissor kick station where you had to do 20, there was navigating down a steep bank, and running through what they called a sand pit...but it was really not so much of a pit. The sand was a little deeper than what we had been running in, but it was wet, so it was pretty easy to run through. There were mud pits, as expected, and 3 walls. The walls I was not worried about going into this thing, but they were honestly the hardest part. One side had a board missing so you could get a foot hold, and that was the side I always aimed for.
Somewhere along the way there was a beer station. Only beer. I was really hoping for a water station, and if I was going to complain about anything, it would be that there was only 1 water station, and it was after the beer station.
Seeing as this was a "Mud Run" I suppose I should give some details on the actual mud. Last weekends Diablo run had more actual mud if you are thinking thick, slippery, gooey mud. Because this run takes place near the coast, the soil is very sandy. The pits were dug on Thursday, and there was no actual mud brought into the pits, just water. Since the soil was so sandy, the bottom of the pits felt like crawling on sandpaper rather than mud. I have the scraped up knees to prove it! And again, since the soil was more like sand w/mud and water mixed in, the banks into and out of the pits weren't very slippery, more like dirty concrete.
As for entry and exit strategy, I didn't really have one, other than not being prissy about it. Once I saw Brian K's belly flop and huge splash method, I opted to let him enter the pits first. If you look at this picture you will see him setting up for his belly flop/slide, he's on the far right in the red shirt.
We went through the last pit, which was covered in a net and deeper than the other pits. I will admit this is the only time I had a slight panicky feeling because I was looking ahead and saw the netting drooping in the middle where I was heading. I was afraid I would have to go all the way under the water to avoid getting my hair or visor stuck in the net. I did end up getting stuck a little, but I think I played it off as trying to hold up the net for Sabrina to get out : ) From there it was up and around and down into the stadium, through what we thought was the finish, but was actually a spot where automatic cameras were set up to take your picture...then around the track and across the real finish. My heart sunk a bit when I saw the clock reading 3:46 minutes. I thought real quick if it was possible that we took that long but realized it started at 8 and we were supposed to have started at 10, so maybe 1:46 for a time?? That still seemed quite long, but possible. It wasn't until we got home and I checked the results that I finally realized the first team waves started at 10, we started much later, and our actual finish time was 1:17. Much better!!
They had foil blankets for us at the finish, which was great considering we were really cold! This is the only non-full marathon where I have gotten one. We were given nice rustic looking medals, walked into a tent and got our shirts and food, and that was it.
Overall, it was fun! I would love to do it in better weather. It was pretty darn cold. I also think that now that I know exactly the degree of difficulty we are talking about, I would love to run it as an individual w/Brian and go all out. The running part of the course was great, loved the trail and the type of soil. The obstacles are extremely doable for anyone. The yelling soldiers didn't' bug me at all. And, while there were pits, there wasn't really much mud. We ended up dirty, but not muddy. I did bring a lot of the course back to the hotel w/me in my top and was a little surprised by just how much stuff I packed home with me!
So that was it as far at the run goes. Afterwards we headed to our hotel and took a very long, hot shower! We got lunch at our favorite Mexican place and it did not disappoint. The kids got some pool time, beach time, and friend time. It was a nice, relaxing weekend!!
A few thank you's -
Matt - Thank you for asking me to do this run! I have always wanted too, and would not have been brave enough to do it solo the first go round, so thank you for the opportunity!
Angela and Brian K - Thank you for being so willing to do this last minute. We had a few cancellations on the team and these two more than carried their weight. Props to Brian K, a non-runner who ran 5.8 miles and dove into the pits w/gusto!
Brian - (my Brian) - thank you for being on Dad duty in the cold, and rain, and mud for hours. You have a crazy wife who appreciates you supporting her crazy whims and adventurous side!
Derrick - Again, thank you for the pictures! Yours came out way way better then the ones taken out on the course!
Randy - thank you for being a "Kona Warmer"
Ok, there are just way too many pictures to post here on the blog, but they will be up on the photo site later today!

Check out this great MSN video: Big Sur Mud Run Taking Place In Spite Of Bad Weather

Check out this great MSN video: Big Sur Mud Run Taking Place In Spite Of Bad Weather

At the very end you will see Brian and the kids making their way down to the spectators.

Just a few quick pics......

Sooo many pictures....will do a proper recap later w/more pics....for now..

Sabrina, Matt, Brian K., Me, and Angela

Below, coming into the last wall and mud pit. There was a bit of a back up, so we posed for pictures

Angela and Me coming out of last pit, I am trying to hold up the net for Sabrina as it sagged in the middle

From here we went around that building down into a stadium, around the track and across the finish. We had a lot of fun. Thank you to our hubbies and families for sitting in the rain for hours! Thank you to Derrick Behrens for getting great pictures!!
Here is an article from the Monterey paper.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bring It!

The day has finally arrived!! I am so excited and looking forward to whatever the morning brings! Looks like it was sunny last year.....we have a storm coming in tomorrow morning, so that make it even more fun! We head out at 6 in the morning and plan to make it a long weekend at the coast.
I know all 5 members of Rage Against The Mud Sheen are ready to bring it!
Woo Hoo!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ever Wonder.....

what having this much confidence feels like?

She's 8. She strutted up to the front like there was no other place she should have been. On this course, in the worst conditions you could imagine, crossing 6 streams and having 1 fall, she PR'd by over 1 minute. She would later relax, have a hot dog, and then strut over to the awards table and collect her age division medal.
She oozes confidence and self assurance and I'm pretty sure she's not really my kid!

How about this....
Ever wonder what it would feel like to hear your name announced over a loud speaker while people cheer for you....all the while you are giving it your all as you cross the finish line, oozing mud from your nose and you could care less?
She's 6. I have to keep reminding myself of that.
A recurring theme after Brazen Races for me is that I am so proud of my girls! I am so happy that they have the confidence at 6 and 8 that I lacked for a great deal of my life. They have already willingly experienced things at 6 and 8 yrs old that I am just getting the nerve up to do at 33 yrs old.
They continue to amaze me and I look forward to all the adventures we have yet to have together!
I should mention that Sophie did a little strutting over to the awards table herself for her age division medal and also PR'd by over 10 minutes!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Diablo Trails Challenge - Brazen Racing


This promised to be an exciting run as we have had a full week of rain and the rain continued to pour this morning. As we approached the park, traffic was being diverted to the high school nearby. Brian asked an official what was up and he said it was too muddy up at the park and cars were getting stuck so they are having to shuttle people in. Nice. So the kids had their first experience being shuttled to the start of a race, which is exciting for them to get to ride on a bus full of runners.
We arrived at the park w/no complications. The rain began to come down pretty good and did not stop for the rest of the morning. We got our timing chips situated and made our way to the Pete's Coffee tent for some free coffee. We met up with a bro from the hall that was running his first race ever, and another bro and his 2 kids who came out to cheer everybody on. We also got to see Rebekah and Josh for a quick "Hi" and then they were off on their 10k.
An exciting thing for me was to finally meet in person one of my favorite bloggers, Punk Rock Racing's Ron (or Punky). You may remember he sent me a shirt a while back. Nice guy. We talked for a bit and he let me get a picture.
The 50k-ers (31 miles) were the first to start, then half marathoners, 10k-ers, and 5k-ers. By the time we hit the trail, the mud was pretty deep as hundreds of people had already passed through.
Emma started out in the front row with Brian right behind her, and Bro from hall was starting about 50 people back from the start. I ran with Sophie. Brian had been instructed to wait at the first creek crossing if it looked fast to help Emma.
Sophie and I had a blast! The entire run was very very slippery. You were either in mud, ankle deep mud, mud puddles, or a creek the entire 3.1 miles. We had 6 creek crossings total. They were full and muddy, but not scary at all, just way more water then we are used to seeing in them. As we approached the second one there was a lead 10ker coming back down the trail at us towards the creek, full speed. He yelled out "runner, runner, runner" to let us know he was not slowing down, and he didn't. He hit the creek full speed and crossed it in maybe 2 strides?? It was pretty cool to see. As the lead runners came at us at a much quicker pace than we were moving, they would throw up quite a bit of mud, which was also kind of cool.
The first fall came early on. Sophie was more comfortable running holding my hand as we were really sliding around, so when she went down she took me down with her. No worries, we laughed it off and kept going. The second fall I attempted to lift her up as she slipped and she stayed up and I went down. No worries again and I managed to keep the camera in the air out of the mud. The third fall was on the way back. I was trying to get up a tiny bank onto some grass along the side of the mud and slipped and slid down the bank. Sophie stayed up and I think at this point is starting to wonder if I would do better crawling than running. Not much later she went down in the mud as a fast 10ker came up right behind her and hurdled her. He just flew over the top of her and kept going with out even breaking stride. It was pretty neat!
Along the way out to the turn around, we saw Ryan heading back in. I was a little surprised to see him so far up in the pack, my guess was he was in maybe 15th place overall...not a bad run for your first 5k ever! About a minute or two later I saw Brian coming at me, looking strong. And finally we saw Emma making her way back. She looked cold and wet, but was running strong and gave me a high five.
We hit the aid station and I told Sophie to take her time and do what she needed to do. She drank a bit but didn't' want any food. We kept going to the turn around which wasn't much further, then we headed back. When we hit the aid station the second time she drank and had some M&M's. We worked our way up the last hill, and then just enjoyed the rest of the run which was down hill, then flat. We picked a park sign out and put that as the place she would kick in, and she did just that, finishing strong, covered in mud, and appeared to be oozing mud from her nose. : )
We got our medals and the photographer took some pictures of Soph and me. We found Ryan first, who ended up finishing in 29 minutes and took 3rd in his age division. Brian and Emma both had solid runs, too. Both girls placed in their age divisions, earning additional medals.
We hung out for a bit afterwards even though the rain was pouring and it was pretty cold. Whole Foods was putting on a full catered lunch, and there was also table after table of additional food and drinks. Then we caught the shuttle back to the car.
It was another extremely well organized, well put on run by Brazen. I chatted for a while with one of the volunteers at the aid station. She had been the photographer out on the last 5k course I did with Soph, today she was handing out drinks at the aid station. She had purple eyeshadow that day that Sophie loved. Today she had bright pink hair. Her dad was running the 50k and her mom the half marathon. That is one of the things I continue to love about Brazen, the volunteers are so so friendly and willing to talk and encourage you and praise the kids.
Anyhow, it was another great, memorable run!
There are tons of pictures and a video of Soph crossing a creek here.
I think it was a good test run for my Mud Run next weekend : )

Brazen Delivers Again!!

We are home after a soaking wet, super muddy, 6 creek crossings, 3 face plants, 2 age division winners heck of a 5K!!

Full recap later, hot baths and hot cocoa is priority right now.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"But Your Feet Will Get Wet"

We were talking with a bro at meeting last night. He is doing the Brazen trail run that we are doing this Saturday. He had pre-run the course to see what it was like. He said it was muddy. We asked if the creeks were full and he said yes. I said "woo hoo, I can't wait to run through them!" He looked at me a little like I was crazy and said, "you can't really run through them, your feet will get wet." Did I mention this will be his first organized trail run? : )
Took me back to my first trail run, being so green, and not really knowing what we had gotten ourselves into. Such a different mentality on the trail than on the road. On the trail, you don't dodge puddles, you aim for them, you don't avoid the mud, you enjoy it. But getting your feet wet causes friction, and then blisters you say?? Trail runners say the bigger the blister the better. If you finish w/o one, you took too long trying not to get wet. Anther bro recently said to Brian that you have to be careful while trail running because you can fall. Um, yeah....but isn't that part of the charm of a trail run?? You never know when you're gonna biff, but you always know the runner that comes up behind you and passes will yell out "are you ok?" as they do so. My personal strategy is to fall early and get it over with because it is going to happen sooner or later.
I am so looking forward to this weekend, not only to get out there w/the kids and have a great run, but also to see this bro get to experience his first organized trail run and...the mud...and water, and all the other good things a Brazen race always delivers!
This is one of my favorite videos as it captures the beauty and diverse landscape we get to enjoy here in CA. Some of it is taken from the Western States 100 run from Squaw Valley to Auburn Ca. Take a look at these amazing trail runners and their wet feet : )

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week/Weekend Update

First, here's a pic of Kona......

He is such a cutie and continues to be a great boy! No poops inside the house yet, and nothing destroyed yet....

Moving on....last week I got a run in w/a friend. We are both not where we are used to being, so it was nice to have someone to commiserate over our current fitness level with. Don't get me wrong, we are both in shape and workout/run regularly, just not at the level we like to be at. It was a good run none the less and we will run again tomorrow.
I also recently got new running shoes and skirts, which I mentioned before. I switched shoe brands which killed me to do, but Mizuno's were no longer working for me and the latest ones are cut differently and rubbed my ankle I made the switch to Saucony. They are much more cushioned and not as roomy in the toe box. Because of the cushioning, when my feet start to swell they tend to feel pretty tight, even with them being a full size larger then my normal size. My arches are also getting used to the new shoe and let me feel it on longer runs. I think once I am used to them and they are broken in I will like them.
I got 2 new running skirts, which is kind of a big deal for me. I tend to find an item I like and then stick to it. For example, the black outfit you always see me run in...well I have multiples of the same skirt and top. Things are revamped every season, so when I find something that fits comfortably and doesn't rub anywhere or chaff or ride up or...anything else, I like to buy multiples so I don't have to worry about clothes for a while.
Well with the mud run coming up and not wanting to wear my running staple outfit on the mud run course, I needed to find something else. I am just not willing to risk mud stains or tears to my favorites.
So I went with the company I like the least, Nike! I found 2 that fit well and are decent to look at and broke out of my comfort zone of only black and went w/hot pink. I have since run in both and love them both and am back to not wanting to wear either one for the mud run and risk damage : ) So here is the view of the new goods...
Ok, I think that finally brings me to the weekend. Emma and I started off Saturday with the District Science Fair. Finally. It had been moved back a few weeks. We went Friday night and set up, then Saturday she had to stand w/her project and answer questions anyone had. Then the advisers cleared the room of parents and visitors and asked the students questions and told them how good they did. It was not a judged event. All the kids got a ribbon, certificate, and a new binder. There was a science demo/assembly, and then a drawing for a dinner. They drew one student from each grade, and Em won for her grade in the district. So she (and the family) get to go to a dinner and present her project in front of everyone. (this is like the class project that just wont end!!) Papa, Myles and Sophie went in service while we did this. Speaking of service, Sophie will have some big news next month along those lines! : )
Saturday afternoon we did what usually is one of our favorite runs. Both Brian and I, but more so I, seemed to struggle through this one though. We did the See Jane course, but instead of turning left over the foot bridge, we always turn right to stay along the water and take in the view. We turned around at 4.5 miles, making for a 9 mile run. That is the furthest we have gone in a while, and it was not the greatest. Time wise it was fine, our normal pace, but it felt like I was dragging myself along and my body didn't want to cooperate. It wasn't even the typical run where you feel better once you are just never felt great. But, the views were great, and the girls had fun on their bikes dodging the ground squirrels.
Sunday was meeting, followed by a few hour long quarterly elder meeting. I picked up Brian with a change of clothes for him and the car loaded w/our running gear ready to do some time at the reservoir. After driving there, I realized I had forgotten the key card we have to have to open the gate to we drove home and I ran at home to keep the streak alive! I did manage to run everyday last week and only had to run indoors twice. It felt good to get some decent mileage in, even though not every run felt great.
Ok, so you are up to date!
Should be a fun week this week with a run with a friend tomorrow, Airobics again on Thursday, and the Diablo Trails Challenge Saturday. I am hoping we get some good rain this week so the creeks will be full for the run on Saturday....I would love for the girls to get to run through some creeks during this run!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last NIght's Class

So we went to the 'Airobics' class last night and it was pretty fun! It is a 55 minute class w/a 3 minute break in the middle. Everyone gets their own square (if you watched the video you know what I mean).
As far as workouts go, it is a good workout to get your sweat on and get in some cardio. It was challenging, but I am not sore at all today. A lot of the moves were the same as I have been doing with the Insanity workout, so to do them on a trampoline was fun. Think plyometrics on a trampoline. Initially I felt it all in my calves, but after a minute of getting a feel for things, I concentrated on engaging my abs and soon felt it there too. Some of the moves included variations of moguls, high knees, butt kickers, heel tappers, running mans, jumping jacks and also mid-air jumping jacks - loved these - some floor work consisting of planks, sit ups, around the worlds, and then a minute of whatever exercise you wanted to do. There was some "jumping" laps around the room that I had a hard time with. It was hard to get your jumping rhythm down to make it from one square to the next. There was some jumping and playing catch at the same time w/your partner. In the end there was some running up onto the wall (walls are also trampolines) and back down, and a cool down of stretching at the end.

The kids were able to jump and play in the other 3 areas during the class, and we could see them pretty much at all times. There was an 8 and under area, dodge ball area, and a foam pit area. They had a blast!

This place was clean, bathrooms clean, staff friendly and good with the kids. The instructor teaches the Thursday and Saturday class, sometimes Tuesday although she said that Tuesday is an easier class and sometimes has a different instructor. It was not crowded at all, but I imagine the Saturday morning class would be.

Yesterday ended up being a pretty great day for getting a burn in. I did my Jillian workout for 1.2 hours in the morning, ran 5 miles with Brian on his lunch break, then did the class in the evening. Brian rode 16 miles on his bike, a 5 mile run, and then the class.

I have plans to go next Thursday with a sis and am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Air, Anyone?

Tomorrow night Brian and I and some Mud Run friends are taking the "Airobics" class at this place......I will try to keep Brian from busting out his secret Parkour moves (he's a huge fan these days)! Just hoping the class does not involve any flips. I am looking forward to it, though, and hoping it's wonderful and I love it and it can be the source of many fun "girls night out's" in the future!

I will let you know how it goes, how the class stacked up as far as a "workout" goes, and if it will be the future spot for fun nights out with friends!

(P.S. - I watched a ton of videos looking for one w/a song that didn't have swear words. Apparently jumping looks better when set to obscene music?? I came across this video and song and it reminded me of my sis.....and of some abs I saw recently on American this was the winning video : )

PPS.- Day 3 of the Streak and it stands! Small victories should be celebrated : )

Monday, March 7, 2011

Let the Streaking Begin!

Starting today, I will streak every day, once a day, for at least a mile.

I mean that in the running sense of course. In January I thought about having a goal of a year long streak, which is the more traditional way of streaking. There are groups, clubs, organizations all across the country that you can join. I thought about it for a minute.....but seeing how the last few months have been about resting up and recovering from last year, didn't seem like a bright idea.

Now, however, I find myself a few months later, and very, very well rested. : ) We do have 2 fulls on the calendar in the next 8 months, but training for San Fran wont start until mid April. We are Auxiliary Pioneering in April (under the 30 hour plan) and will get all our time in on the training will completely consist of mid week runs, probably under 10 miles depending on daylight in the evenings. We have a few fun races between now and San Fran, but nothing that will require "training" what is a girl to do to get re-motivated. How do I start to even want to get my "game face" back on?? I have definitely kept up with my workouts, haven't' missed any and on some days have done doubles, back to back....let me just say...if you find yourself keeping up with your strength training and not keeping up with your running....don't get on the scale!!

So, back to running. Well, it's always been about goals for us. If we don't have a goal, we aren't working towards anything, and we tend to slack off. I love running, and I would love to be able to say I love it so much and I care about my health enough that I run regularly because of both. But that's not the truth. I run regularly when I have something to train for, or a matter how random. Remember spring break 2 years ago?? The 40 miles in 4 days challenge?? No reason, just to see if we could...and we did. So for me, this month, it's The Streak. Run every day, for at least 1 mile. Treadmill, outside...doesn't matter.

We had 'date night' on Saturday and ended up at Sports Authority where my hubby let me spend more time and money than I should have. I have 2 new running skirts, a new (and may I add amazing!) Under Armor sports bra, a Nike running top, and a random shirt. I am very much NOT a Nike fan ( I will save that for another post), but it was a cheap top, and fit well. I am geared up in my new clothes, ready to get day #1 of the streak underway!

Before that though, I must give a shout out to my fellow Mud Run gals. I cannot say enough how amazing you both are looking (and feeling, I'm sure!). I know you have both put a lot of hard work into the past few months, and it is showing! You have both totally impressed me and amazed me with your determination and drive and commitment to getting ready for this race. You have also instilled a fear that I didn't have initially in regard to this race, but am now a little worried about keeping up with the 2 of you! You should both feel great about what you have accomplished!

Oh, one more thing I forgot to add to the schedule on the side over there, but we added the Diablo Trails Challenge on March 19th. This is a course we are very familiar with having hiked it often with the kids. It starts out of Castle Rock Park (the hike we do w/the've seen pictures here before, Melissa and kids hiked here w/us, too) and is a run we have been wanting to do w/the kids. It is a wet one, muddy one, has a few creek crossings this time of year, and should be a total blast. Brian, me, Em and Soph are doing the 5k. It is a Brazen run, so of course the girls will be out there w/a goal of getting age division medals, although this is a popular run and it will be tough!

Alright, well.....time to streak!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


"King Kona Kamehameha"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Puppy Love

We just got home with our little man. He is such a love!! He has a beautiful mom and papa and had lots of sisters and one brother. He cried a bit on the way home, but now is off and exploring his new home and has already had his first outside potty!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


We have been keeping it quiet for a while now......

Our family is expecting a new addition!!!

We are expecting another boy.

We have been keeping it quiet and low key, but now that we have told the kids they are very very very excited and are alive with the excitement of having a new little one around to look after and take care of.

We have decided to let the kids pick his name, so now the only question is will we have a little, harry, black "Prince Charming".....or "Bolt"....or "Kona".....or "Nemo" running around the house?

We will see him for the first time on Saturday and after we have him home and get to know him better, we will put names in a hat and pick one.

I love Miniature Schnauzer's and while it has been many years since we had Tuff Tuff, I can't wait to have another puppy in the house and all the excitement and adventure they bring. Bubba will have a partner by his side in the jogger again!

So....did I have you going for a minute???