Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And so it continues...

After my first race in May, the Muddy Buddy, my cancer decided to raise a little cane in my life.  I was a bit puny and some of the cells had gone all Ramboish in my body so it was decided to remove the infected parts.  This included my cervix and uterus, a hysterectomy.  I had that July 28th and recovered fairly well.  Prior to the surgery I had to donate my own blood in case I needed it.  I was given a 'script for iron supplements to help replenish that mineral before surgery.  Well the pharmacy included the wrong directions on my dosage.  Instead of one every other day they had me on two a day.  Let's just say an iron overdose is no fun!

At my four week check up it was determined that I had ripped out some of my internal stitches by running so I was put on rest, no running, for four more weeks.  We had a family cruise planned for this time so I didn't mind so much.  I also had the Expedition Everest run planned for 9/26/09 @ Animal Kingdom.  The Dr. said maybe and he would see me the Thursday before to determine if I could partcipate.

So only my second race and once again I have little to no training going into the race.  The EE is a 5K night race, followed by an obstacle course and scavenger hunt inside Disney's Animal Kingdom park in Orlando.  It is also a partner race and unlike the Muddy Buddy the idea is to stay together.  Please recall how much taller the ManHo is than I.  Stride difference much?  Not to mention that his pace time is like 4 minutes better than mine.  Oh well he suckered me into this, he can suck it up and shuffle step.

The Doc cleared me with a little reservation and some internal glue stuff (don't ask, it's better not to know, trust me).  We suited up, checked in and were just shocked at how many runners there were participating.  The Disney folks put on a great race including fireworks.  We were in Wave 11 so with a 5 minute wait between each wave we wouldn't even start 'till the fastest first wavers were finishing.  Then it was time...on your mark, set, GO!

It quickly became apparent that ManHo should run at his own pace and wait for me at the start of the obstacle course.  There was just no way we could run it together.  All was well but about 3 minutes into our run the heavens opened and a torrential downpour proceeded.  I was soaked in minutes and not even a half mile in yet...damn it.  The muttering started.  This was gonna cost the ManHo something sparkly, for freakin' sure.  Y'all should know though that I just kept going, head down, cursing. 

About mile two I happened to see a woman supporting a very fit looking man and I approached her to see if she needed help.  She did, he was having a seizure.  She was remarkably calm and I suppose this happens a lot with them but it freaked me out.  I became a woman on a mission to get the medics there.  I ran fast and found a race ranger and yelled as I ran anyone a Dr., nurse, medic?  About six people stopped their race to help until the medics arrived.  The man was fine and the seven of us very wet runners continued the course.  We lost maybe 5 minutes total.

I have to say by mile 3 and coming into the home stretch I was miserable.  I was cold, wet and grumpy.  Thirty minutes running in a downpour will do that to ya.  I didn't have on a watch but knew that my pace was slow.  As I approached the finish line I watched the runners in front of me seem to sink into the pavement.  WTF?  The finish line was about 10 feet away from a pavement drain.  I ran through and was quickly covered to above my knees in water.  So much for sprinting, more like sloshing!  Ran through the finish line at about 7 minutes slower than my normal pace, met ManHo and we jogged to the obstacle course.  The rain was still coming.  We completed the balance beams and net climb but decided to football step the crawl under net.  I was wet no way was I getting muddy.  Been there, done that.

Obstacle course completed we headed to pick up our clues and equipment for the scavenger hunt.  As we headed for the tent, massive lightening strikes.  About a minute later they called the race.  That was it.  ManHo and I had completed everything but the scavenger hunt so we were considered finishers.  Anyone still on the obstacle course or running course wouldn't have times.

I will honestly say I was miserable.  Soaked, pruned and chaffed.  There was however the issue of my bling.  You see the finisher medal for this race was a spiffy compass medallion.  I covet the bling.  It started to ease up so we headed to the final finish line to get our medals, hell yeah!  Grabbed some snacks and then decided to dry off and see if the attractions would open.

Being not just a mom but the DaDivaMom, I had the foresight to pack in our running bags two towels and a dry shirt for each of us.  Amazing.  A dry shirt was simply amazing.  It didn't make up for the soup in my shoes but every little bit of comfort counts.  We decided to head over to the Everest ride to see if it was open and we were among the first to be allowed on.  I will say this roller coaster is so much better at night than during the day.  After our ride it was time to head to the hotel and warm up.  A quick stop by Mickey D's for some french fries and a Dr. Pepper and I was a happy little Fat Girl.

As miserable as this race was for me I learned a lot about myself.  I have endurance and determination.  I am compassionate, as evidenced not just by the fact that I stopped to help a fellow runner but by the fact that I did not kill ManHo when it started raining.  I further learned that my determination is in direct proportion to my reward.  Nice bling, french fries and Dr. Pepper can make me do most anything.

Sadly I don't have photos from this race it was just too wet.  I will take a picture of my fabulous medal and attach it later though.

For your own Expedition Everest adventure check out:

Until next time my little petals...until next time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And so it begins...

It all started last May for me, this journey of running.  I suppose it actually started a bit earlier with my ManHo. (he's my husband of 18 years, he's not really a 'ho but yes I do call him that to his face)  He entered a local 5K.  He became addicted.  That was all fine and good you see because as a properly raised southern girl I have my priorities in order and well those don't include anything that involves sweat.  As long as he left me out of it then I was all "Run Forrest, Run!"  I could return to my favorite hobby of libations and lollin'.

He decided that he wanted to enter a race called the Muddy Buddy in Orlando.  This is a team event that requires each member to bike and run a 10K course.  There are obstacles along the course, including a large mud pit at the end.  He was convinced that Heathen #2 (our 16 year old son) would do this with him.  MMM WRONG.  Heathen #2 not so gently explained to his Dad that he is not into sports, he is a gamer.  If it involved a joystick or controller, he's the man.  Sweating, not so much.  He made me proud.  Alas this opened the door for ManHo to focus on other members of the family.  Primarily, me.

In addition to my aversion to sweat and exertion I have cancer.  Cervical and CLL; most of the time this is not an issue and is under control but it does require medication and causes my immune system to be wonky.  I hate to admit it but I use my illness to my advantage in getting out of physical activity whenever possible.  I mean it just makes sense, work with what ya got baby.

I was suckered in, he convinced me that I could do this.  I mean it's only six miles or so and I could have the easy part of doing three bike legs and just 2 running.  I couldn't even recall if I owned sneakers...this was not a good sign.  One of the other key things was that we had to share a bike.  He's 5'11",  I'm 4'11".  We finally decided on a 24 inch boy's mountain bike with an adjustable seat.  On the lowest setting I could almost reach the ground and on the highest setting he didn't quite knock himself out when peddling.  We were now cooking with grease people.

We convinced another couple to do this with us and they drove down from NC.  I call them my Wack~a~loons.  They rock.

The weekend arrives and I have actually attempted to bike and run maybe 4 miles total in the past month.  In addition to my lack of preparation I wasn't feeling so good.  I did look spectacular though.  Y'all, I made us the most precious lime green t-shirts with pink for me and white for him letters that proudly stated:  Team Substantialiscious Freakin' adorable.  Did I mention I wasn't feeling good.

Another thing about these races is that you have to get up early.  Like O dark thirty early.  I did all this because well, I love ManHo and this made him so very happy.  We check in, I'm excited, I look cute, I'm on the bike and it's GO time!  I'm doing well, peddling along.  ManHo is running the first leg.  The idea is that the biker will get to the first obstacle drop the bike, complete the obstacle and start running.  The runner will then get there, perform the obstacle and take off on the bike, passing the runner.  You repeat this 4 more times.  I'm still doing well.  Complete the bike leg, climb up an inflatable thing and slide down.  Well Ms. I don't know when to stop eating bacon climbed up behind me and slid down before I had cleared the obstacle.  I was not Fat Girl Running, I was Fat Girl Down.  I recovered with my normal calm, I was raised right ya know, by muttering something about her parentage under my breath.

Let's just say that the my lack of preparation was kicking in at this point.  The adrenalin was gone and I also started muttering quite a bit about the ManHo.  I trudged on and completed all the legs.  The last leg was horrible, off road, May in Florida, I think I was passed by someone with an oxygen tank.  I jest but it was difficult.  I came to the final 1/2 mile at Disney's Wide World of Sports.  Lots of people cheering and ManHo yelling in his best Waterboy voice "you can do it!"  I was almost there.  Then I recalled the mud pit.  You have to finish with your partner.  Race rangers yelling "on your belly", "under the flags".  I no longer looked quite so adorable and had serious doubts that Ms doesn't know when to stop eating bacon would even make it out of this pit based on the trouble that I was having.  It actually felt quite good, all nice and cool and I began to understand a pig's view of the world.  Partners in Grime.

We trudge out of the pit, grasp hands and run across the finish line.  We did it!  My temp was 104.3.  I was diagnosed the following Monday with influenza.  I told you I was sick!

Here's the kicker folks:  they have beer at the finish line and medals.  Yes medals.  I am a sucker for some bling.

and the bling y'all is how it all began...

for info on your own Muddy Buddy experience check out: