Run For Your Lives Recap

I first wrote about Run For Your Lives back in January when I made it part of my list of things to do before my twenties expire and my thirties begin. Well, Saturday was race day! I woke up that morning feeling horribly unprepared. I was certain that I hadn’t trained enough and that I was doomed. I convinced my friend Brynn to come with me and she was also pretty sure that she was zombie bait.

We set out early, as the race location was about an hour from where we live. Even though I was nervous, I was also excited and ready to outrun some undead!

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Okay, I was like mostly excited and some nervous. Or maybe it was reversed. Whatever.

We got to the race location (out in like Boonies, Georgia, where I was half-convinced that someone was just gonna straight up Texas Chainsaw our asses) and got everything settled registration-wise. We had about an hour to kill so we wandered around, checked out the events of the all-day Apocalypse Party and limbered up (which happens to be rule #18 of Zombieland).

We ran in the Noon wave and guys, it was intense. It was more intense than I imagined it would be. The first wave of zombies were ruthless and right off the bat I got two flags taken. I did encounter some neighborly zombies (we are in the South after all) who gave me two flags back so I would have a fighting chance the rest of the race. I don’t know how other RFYL courses are, but in Georgia, there was at least a quarter of a mile (maybe more) that was all uphill. On the way up and the way back down there were no zombies, which was good because I’m fairly certain that if I had run down that steep hill I would have fallen and killed myself.

I did fall, actually, really hard. I was crossing a ditch filled with rocks (I assume during rainy days it is filled with water) and a zombie came up from behind me and scared me so bad that I screamed, ran, lost my footing and just fell knees-first right into the pile of rocks. I banged my knee up and scraped my leg. A medic was nearby and made sure that I was okay, but I didn’t come almost two miles just to give up so I solidered on.

I had to skip some of the crawling obstacles, but I did dive into the vat of cold, muddy “blood” water, scaled walls, and sprinted through outstretched zombie arms faster than I thought my body was capable of. At the last stretch, I had one flag left. After I crawled out of the vat of cold blood, I was faced with a field full of what had to have been at LEAST thirty zombies, just waiting to snatch my flag. Brynn and I decided to try and stick with a big group and we all just took off running across the field together. I sprinted as fast as I could and avoided all zombies. Suddenly I was five feet from the finish – the end was in sight! I was going to survive! But then, two zombies came after me. I did the #1 thing that I now know not to do: I hesitated. The moment’s hesitation is all it took and I was surrounded. A zombie to the left, a zombie to the right. One of them started grabbing at my flag and I was yelling, “NO NO NO NO!” while twisting and trying to get away. But she was faster and snatched my last flag – RIGHT AT THE FINISH LINE! I was so mad.

The finish line was one more obstacle; a belly-crawl under electrified fence through the mud. At this point I was wet, bloody, in pain, and “infected” but there was only one way out and that was under the fence. I slithered through the mud and a friend we’d made during the race was on the other side. She grabbed my hands and helped pull me through the rest of the way.

Even though I finished infected, I finished! I was bummed that my hurt knee forced me to skip some of the obstacles, but I still felt so exhilarated and thrilled to have finished something that was so difficult. And y’all, it was SO HARD. It was fun, it was terrifying, and it was really challenging. I went into the race afraid that my body wasn’t ready for the challenge and finished the race amazed at what my body was capable of. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t feel like collapsing and dying and the only complaint I had was that my leg was throbbing from where I fell.

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Me on the left, Brynn on the right.

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Infected and FILTHY.

We stuck around and enjoyed a free beer and some of the Apocalypse Party. I got called onstage for a zombie movie trivia game where another girl and I faced off against two guys. My head is jam-packed with useless movie trivia and that helped my team win! I won a RFYL beer mug, which was put to good use that evening as I enjoyed some well-earned brews.

MUG

Run For Your Lives was every bit as fun as I had hoped it would be. I’m really proud of myself for finishing, and I honestly cannot wait to do it again. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had and if you have the chance to do one, I would highly recommend it (use my special discount code ZPTD10 to get 15% off your registration). Check out this video below, it’s coverage from the race I ran in and gives a good look at what the 2013 Georgia race was like – plus it shows how the RFYL team transforms people into the walking dead!

Thanks for the awesome time, RFYL. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Disclosure: As a RFYL ambassador, I got some sweet RFYL swag and gear. I also got two free race registrations, which I used to run the race in Georgia. All opinions are my own, and I really did love running this 5k and plan on doing it again next year.

Halfway to Thirty: A Twenties Bucket List Update

So back in January, just after my birthday, I wrote this post about making a “Twenties Bucket List”; a list of things I wanted to do before turning 30.

I’m happy to report that I have crossed off several of the things on the list and have several more items on my calendar so they will be happening later this year. Here’s a quick update:

  • Take a winery tour. – I did a wine *tasting* in March so… I’m gonna cheat and cross this off.
  • Attend Wine Over Water (not everything on this list is wine-related. Promise). – This event hasn’t happened yet.
  • Lose 40 pounds. – I’m almost there: I’m down 27 pounds.
  • Begin writing a book. – Er… Nope. Not yet.
  • Take 1 photo a day and make a “memory yearbook” at the end of the year. – I screwed the pooch on this one.
  • Begin saving for a family Disney trip. – Kind of?
  • Take a weekend road trip with the family. – No, but we DID go to Chicago for a whole week in the early summer.
  • Meet some of my blog friends in person (FINALLY). – :( Not yet. But I did get to meet two other people who write for Nooga (and we had a blast at karaoke), so maybe that counts?
  • See a live concert (preferably Mumford & Sons or Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros). – YES. I did see Edward Sharpe, and am seeing Mumford & Sons next month.
  • Do something completely different with my hair. – YUP. Take a look.

BEFORE AND AFTERBYE BYE, HAIR.

  • Run a 5k. – I ran the Color Me Rad (didn’t run the WHOLE thing but I ran most of the way) in March. Mentioned that I wanted to do the Run For Your Lives 5k, which I’m doing next month (if you’re planning on doing one, don’t forget you can get 15% off using my special Zombie Prep Team code of ZPTD10).

Okay so looking at the list there aren’t quite as many things crossed off as I originally thought, but that’s okay. I’ve made good progress and am exciting about the things that are still to come. Also? The thought of chopping my hair off was scarier than the actual chopping itself. Once my stylist made the “point of no return” snip, I was strangely calm about the whole thing. I’m not sure if I was in shock or what, but I was totally fine with her hacking off most of my hair.

Five months ’till 30. Lets see if I can get more of this bucket list taken care of by then!

 

Running, Concerts, SPRINGTIMES.

Why, hello there! Long time no… Er… Read…? Type? Blog.

I feel awkward now.

Anyway. Nothing too exciting here, just a rundown of some things that have been going on in my life. The first and biggest is that I re-started Couch to 5k after having some major issues running outside versus a treadmill. I had my fourth run today. The first three were really difficult. I was having some major IT band pain, shin splints (which I haven’t had since about week 3 of C25k the first time), side stitches, etc.

I’m not sure about where you live but where I live there are almost no roads/trails/paths that don’t have some kind of incline. It is very hilly here, and my body was just not prepared for that. At all. I about died the first time I tried to full-on run and that’s what made me decide to re-start C25k.

Today was the first time I didn’t have any pain when running. Yay! I was concerned and tried to rest appropriately while not totally losing my motivation. After today’s run I can safely say I’m back in love with running – even more now that I’ve taken it outdoors. It’s so much more challenging and interesting to run outside and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to get back on a treadmill unless I absolutely have to.

I hit my second major weight loss milestone: this weekend I weighed in and I have officially lost 20 pounds. WHEE SIRENS BELLS WHISTLES CLOWNS – wait nevermind. Fuck clowns. THERAPY LLAMAS INSTEAD. 20 pounds is HUGE but it’s only the beginning. I have least 20 more to lose – ideally, I’d like to lose another 30.

Last week, Josh and I had a genuine, bonafide adult date night. ….. Not in that sense, you sicko. Jesus. Seriously? Take your smutty mind elsewhere. This is a FAMILY BLOG. I mean we got to go out to eat (we chose local friend-favorite Taco Mamacita. I loved it, Josh did not.) AND to a concert. After dinner, we headed to Track 29 to check out Marc Broussard.

If you are unfamiliar with Marc’s music, here is perhaps his most popular song, and he did play it the night we saw him.

It was a great show. The opening act was good, Marc was awesome, I drank a little too much but we had a hell of a time. While we were leaving I kept insisting that we come back in June to see the Dropkick Murphys, but Josh kept insisting that I couldn’t handle the mosh pit that would probably end up happening. I totally could. Mosh pits forever.

So that’s what has been going on lately! It’s been a good few weeks especially since the weather has finally warmed up here!

What’s new with you?

 

 

My First 5k!

Hi friends!

Today was the day of my first 5k! I got up bright and early and headed downtown with my teammates to the Color Me Rad 5k!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Last week I took my run outside for the first time and it was ridiculously hard, and I ended up not being able to run as much as I had been able to on a treadmill. I decided I would just play it by ear and do my best.

Long story short – I did not jog the entire way but I DID jog more than I walked! I ended with a time of about 44 minutes, which comes out to about a 14-ish minute mile. I am not unhappy with my time at all and the most important thing is that I had SO MUCH FUN. So much fun, in fact, that once it was over I immediately wanted to do it again.

Here are some photos from the day!

 

I have decided to re-start C25k but run outside only. I’m thinking about downloading a zombie training app – one that’s kind of like a game, and you run from zombies, and can hear them chasing you and stuff. Because who WOULDN’T run from that? It’s also appropriate considering my goal of running the Run For Your Lives race in September!

If you are thinking about doing a color 5k but aren’t sure – DO. IT. You DON’T have to run the whole thing. You don’t have to run ANY of it. But I promise – you will have SO MUCH FUN.

What Would Michonne Do?

You should be excited, because this is yet another post about running.

If you don’t want to read another post about running, here’s another goat-screaming video.

These videos, unlike the Harlem Shake which I was obsessed with for about a day and a half, will NEVER GET OLD. EVER.

If you’re still here, I’m going to keep talking about running. So I’m on week 5 of C25k. Day 1 was easy enough, and day 2 scared me. It was an 8 minute (or 3/4 mile, whichever came first) jog, followed by a 5 minute (or 1/2 mile) walk, and then another 8 minute jog. I was scared. I wasn’t sure I could do it, as the longest period I had run before that was 5 minutes. I mean hell, that’s a three minute increase (just in case you can’t add. No judgments, third grade math level represent).

I originally said I was going to reward a 20 pound weight loss (still 6 pounds away) with a new pair of good running shoes. After careful consideration, I decided to bypass the wait and just buy some. I went to an athletic store and got measured, tried on about 6 pairs of shoes that the salesperson recommended after watching me walk and getting a little bit of running history, and before I knew it I was dropping more money than I would like to think about on my very first pair of running shoes.



That’s either the sound of a choir of angels singing, or my wallet crying. I’m not sure which yet. They are Saucony Hurricane 15’s, if you are curious.

I got to the gym, strapped them on, and could not believe the difference from simply walking in them. I was suddenly excited about my run. I won’t bore you with the details so long story short – I did it. Those 8 minute jogs? Not that difficult. Don’t get me wrong; those last two minutes were rough. I flipped my timer so I couldn’t see it, and just ran until my app told me it was time to walk. When I finished, I was drenched in sweat and was so proud of myself I was actually grinning like an idiot during my last minute.

After my run I did a little bit of strength training, including a core/ab/murder-cise that I saw Michonne on the Walking Dead do. She made it look super easy so I tried it. Let’s just say I am not as badass as she is, because I did five reps of what she did and then when I tried to do another set, my muscles were like LOL NO. Seriously, I tried to flex my ab muscles and they wouldn’t budge. I could barely get up off the floor. Every time I tried, I’d get my shoulders off the floor, shake like I was having a seizure, and then flop back down like a big flabby fish. I tried about five more times and even started hissing swear words at my weak abdominals under my breath. “GOYOUSUCKGOPIECEOFSHITSTOMACHNOWNONOWDOITAHHHH *flop*”
Note to self: do more Michonne exercises. She has survived the zombie apocalypse and OBVIOUSLY if you do the exercises she does, you will as well.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of week 5 and just like day 2, I’m afraid. Tomorrow I run 2 miles without stopping. They aren’t fucking around anymore. They were like “run 3/4 of a mile. You did it! Feel good about yourself? TIME TO RUN TO THE MOON, MOTHERFUCKER!” and I’m like “don’t be stupid. You can’t run to the moon. That would take too long and ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat”.

It’s daunting, but I know I can do it. I just have to ask myself: What would Michonne do? She would run those 2 miles and chop the heads off of like, ninety zombies on the way, that’s what she’d do. Maybe I should bring a katana to the gym. What do you think? Katana? Yes?

 

For the Love of Running

Somewhere between week 2 and week 3 of Couch to 5k, I began to love running.

Now, believe me when I say this: those are words I never thought I would say or type. When it comes to physical activity, I have always preferred the elliptical machine and cardio classes. But somewhere along my training I fell in love with running.

The first two weeks hurt. My knees hurt, my shins hurt, my feet hurt. I sped up my jogging pace, focused on how my feet were hitting the treadmill, and the pain subsided. I found myself looking forward to my running days (M, W, F) and dreading my elliptical days. The elliptical days are so boring. With my C25k, I have a goal. I am pushing myself to run farther, to run harder, to reach that goal.

I know that I’m not the fastest. My pace has slowly increased; when I began running my top speed was 4.4 MPH on the treadmill. I am now up to 4.8 with my first big goal being 5.0. I find that the stronger my legs get and the more accustomed to running my body becomes, a slower pace actually hurts my legs and knees more than pushing myself to a faster one. I’m on my fifth week of C25k. Wednesday begins day 2, which will be challenging… I have to jog 3/4 of a mile without stopping. I know that I can do it. I have to remember to breathe, focus, push myself, and realize that YES, I can breathe and NO, my legs aren’t going to stop working.

My first 5k is in a little over 3 weeks, and I am feeling pretty confident that I might actually be able to run the entire thing! I am planning on making my first weight loss reward to myself at 20 pounds a new pair of running shoes. Right now I’m using just my basic tennis shoes (which is bad, I know) but once I hit 20 pounds gone, I am going to go to a store and get fitted for shoes that are solely used for running.

What are your favorite running shoes? Any tips about buying my first pair?

 

After a Month of Silence…

It feels kind of weird blogging after almost a month of silence. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about – by all means, I should really be writing something pretty much every other day – it’s just that I haven’t really felt like it.

I have been busy. I am going to the gym almost 5 days a week. When I leave work, I go before I head to Nellie’s daycare to scoop her up. Three days a week I do Couch to 5k and crunches/arm exercises and the other two days I usually do the elliptical machine. It’s funny, I’ve always hated running but since I started seriously getting into C25k, I have found myself actually looking forward to it. Once I got past the pain in my legs the first week and a half, I found my rhythm and my stride and kind of morbidly enjoy killing myself on the treadmill. I’m on Week 4 now, which alternates 3 minutes of jogging/2 minutes walking with 5 minutes of jogging and 90 seconds of walking…. I think… All I know is the first time I tried I quit after the first 5 minute run, because I thought I was going to throw up. I felt nauseated for a half an hour afterward. But on my second attempt, I did it. My shins are a little achey so I’m taking the weekend off and will start day 2 on Monday.

I’m down 11 pounds so far since beginning counting calories on December 17th, and joining a gym on January 15th. It’s a little slower than I’d like (even though it evens out to about a pound a week) and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in any hurry to lose this weight. It is frustrating to be busting my ass and still not be seeing huge results in the way my clothes fit yet. I have to keep reminding myself that in the past, it’s been more like 15 pounds when I begin seeing a difference on my body. Now, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I have been sleeping better, can play harder with Nellie, and don’t feel like I’m about to drop dead when I haul her around. Yay!

My heart isn’t really in this post so I’ll end it here. I have more to say – last weekend I made an impromptu solo trip to Chicago to see my family so there’s a lot to tell about that – but I’m not really feeling it right now.