It’s a new year and that means I need a new word. Last year I chose “Revivify” as my watchword.
to restore to life; give new life to; revive; reanimate. This rut I’m in needs to be filled in and a new path taken.
I didn’t have a huge overhaul this past year, but I do believe I lived up to my word. I’ve done several races in the past couple of years, but I was getting bored with it and about ready to stop all together when a friend suggested we try an obstacle race. This is wayyyy outside of my comfort zone, so I said yes! What better way to get out of my rut than to try new things to challenge myself!
In fact, I did several races that were a little different for me. First was the 5K Foam Fest, then the Color Me Rad 5K, and last I signed up for a Zombie run (that’s actually this June). Unfortunately, exercise was about the only thing in my life that I changed. I started doing my own weight workouts and I joined a running group. I completed the Muddy Trails 5K even though I said I wasn’t going to do it again. Then, I completed two new races: Run Thru the Woods 5 Miler at Thanksgiving and the Texas 1/2 Marathon on New Year’s Day! I was going to do the 10 for Texas with Mike, but it was right after my throat surgery and I had to give my admission to someone else.
On the health front, I joined MyFitnessPal and met some wonderful people. One of which was the impetus for me trying the different races than I was used to! Hi Amy! I also joined Move More, Eat Well and learned a bit about health and digital scrapbooking. Again, I met some lovely people in this group!
I do feel that I’ve grown spiritually in the past year as well. I’m also more open to trying new things/adventures than I would have been any other time! This year I did my best to try and view things from other people’s perspectives and give back where I could.
All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year (despite having lost two beloved uncles and a scare with my Grandma). Now, however, I’m back to needing a word for 2013 and I’m having a hard time figuring out what it should be. I have some big changes coming up this year that could throw me off my game. With that in mind, I believe I want 2013 to be my year of balance. 2010 was my year of “Transformation“, 2011 I was “Shine“ing, and in 2012 I wanted revivification. See a pattern here?!
I need to balance being healthy with enjoying life. It’s not all or nothing. If I eat poorly at one meal, one day, one week, or even one month I’m not going to give up but I’m going to slowly steer this ship back in the right direction and keep on chugging on. Time at work needs to be balanced more fully with quality time with Mike and my family. Yes, “Balance” will do nicely!
In November I decided that I wanted to bring back the holiday spirit to Christmas time and help others out in the process. My main goal was to bring a smile to someone else’s day in some small fashion. I put forward a challenge to my friends and family, but mainly I challenged myself to do one random act of kindness (RAOK) a day for the month of December. Some people participated and some cheered me on. I have to say, this gave me a whole different perspective on how I go about my days. After a month, I’m finding myself looking for opportunities to do something for someone. Before, I would just hurry about my day so I could go home and veg out. I rarely put thought into how a complete stranger’s day may be going. Now, I look forward to possibly brightening their day just a tad! I repeated some of the RAOKs because I’m not that creative!
This is the challenge I put forth:
My Friends and Family, I have been doing a lot of thought lately about the holidays and the fact that everything is so commercialized that we often lose sight of what’s important in the rush to get “that toy”. I have a challenge I’ll be starting on December 1. I would love for any, or all!, of you to join me. I am going to do at least 1 random act of kindness each day in December. #1) It’s in giving that you truly receive gifts and blessings. #2) By putting other’s first, even if for a moment, we stop long enough to understand that we’re all in this together and need a helping hand from time to time. If you participate, I’d love for you to post on my profile what your RAOK was so I can live vicariously! If you choose not to participate, that’s ok too. As I said, this is a challenge I’m putting forth for myself but would love to see others join me! Love to you all.
RAOK #1: Letting the person behind me go before me when checking out.
RAOK #2: Handed the waiter a card with some money in it to give to a person/family he felt deserved it.
RAOK #3: dropped a dollar on the floor of Office Depot with a note. I was told I shouldn’t spy on my
RAOK, but I had to see what happened! Several people passed it up but one of the workers at the store found it!
RAOK #4: Eating all of the peppermint bark in the office kitchen so the others didn’t eat mindless calories!
ok ok… My actual RAOK! Gave stamps to the Postal worker to give to the next person in line.
RAOK #5: Tipping 50% at lunch today.
RAOK #6: Taped a dollar to the coke machine at work.
RAOK #7: Gave Mr. Newspaper a gift certificate for dinner. He’s the guy always selling newspapers at 242 and 45.
RAOK #8: Left a dollar in the bathroom stall on a small shelf. In hind sight that probably wasn’t the best idea.
RAOK #9: Donated a $5 B&N gift card to Methodist Children’s Hospital.
RAOK #10: Took a stray shopping cart into the store.
RAOK #11: Let a couple of people ahead of me in the car. Anyone that knows my driving knows I usually speed up and let them go behind! 😀
RAOK #12: Gave a friend some foreign currency and a fifty cent piece for his son who insisted they had to have one in the couch cushions!
RAOK #13 and #14: I’m running out of ideas, so I’m repeating some. Moved the cart from the parking lot to the store and allowed people to go in front of me in line.
RAOK #15: I made a plate of food and took it up to a fellow employee.
RAOK #16: I said good morning and smiled (as best as i could!) at everybody I passed during my 11 mile run!
RAOK #17: Keeping a smile and positive attitude when the girl at Walgreens told me they lost my prescription. They finally found it 20 minutes later.
RAOK #18: Picked up trash littered on the ground.
RAOK #19: Instead of remoting onto two co-workers’ computers I walked to their buildings and provided face to face service. One woman I had to go to her office, the other two were to provide a more personal experience! 😀
RAOK #20: put a dollar on a random car. The owner of the first car showed up as I was about to put the dollar on there. That’s ok, this person looks like they need the smile more!
RAOK #21: Tipped the waiter, Cidney, 55%.
RAOK #22: After taking my Mother-in-law to a couple of doctors appointments today I offered to take her anywhere else she wanted go instead of hurrying home like I wanted to.
RAOK #23: Left a tip for the hotel housekeeper even though we were only staying one night.
RAOK #24: Left some money…page 301!
RAOK #25: Left a dollar in the cup holder at the movie theater (the Hobbit).
RAOK #26: Maybe not so random but I helped Mom with all the dishes, cleaning, and even gave her my seat!
RAOK #27: Paid for the car behind me at Starbucks.
RAOK #28: Donated money to the local heritage museum.
RAOK #29: Left money in the “take a penny” jar (more than a penny!).
RAOK #30 and #31: took a stray cart back to the store, picked up litter, and donated money to Big Brothers and Sisters.
Who knew that mixing food coloring with corn starch could make for a fun race? I originally was supposed to do the Color Run in Houston back in November, but I had to cancel. Thankfully, my friend Amy had already signed up for the Color Me Rad (horrible name, in my opinion!) 5K in Austin, so I decided to hang with her and Jeremy! We had to wear white to the race, otherwise how would you know how colorful you could get?!
I look a bit like a hospital patient with the headband…oh well! There were quite a few people there trying to get shirts and other race swag. Some people would do anything to stand out!
We were supposed to run in the 10:30 heat, but decided to go ahead and line up with the 10:00 crowd. We had gone out to watch some local bands the night before and the last thing we wanted to do was stand around any longer than necessary!
When it’s time to take off, they spray down the front people with color right away then send us out to the course. There were some interesting outfits! It very much felt like an 80’s party (notice the colorful sunglasses and use of “Rad”!).
Throughout the course there were color stations where they would throw different colored powder on you or spray you down with liquid of some sort! The powder was extremely difficult to breathe in.
If that picture doesn’t explain why it’s difficult to breathe, this one should!
The further you got in the race the more colorful everyone was. I ran toward the middle of the group so I wasn’t as covered as most. Which is a good thing because it was hard enough to wash off the color I did have embedded in my ears, nose, and just about every nook and cranny!
After the race they had “color bombs” they set off now and then, which basically consisted of everyone throwing color in the air. You got one free color packet at the finish line but could buy more if you wanted to. I’d be curious to know how much they made on the color packets alone. I’ll make you a bucket full for $20!
Amy and Jeremy got blasted a lot more than I did! We completed the race in 50:47…not too shabby!
So, I did it again. I signed up with Amy and Jeremy to do an obstacle run. Only, this time I’ll have people…er…zombies running after me. While the zombie infested obstacle course isn’t until March of next year I’m already sweating it! The idea of people running after me, even if it’s just to capture my flag, is making me break out into hives. I’m slow…very slow! I think even the bumbling zombies could get me!
So, you add some obstacles into the mix and you’ve just upped the ante to something more than I think I can pay! However, I am still going to give it my all! I just may end up with a “Dead” medal at the end instead of a “Survivor” medal. I’m ok with that. There are two ways you can die: 1) the zombies take all your flags and you don’t find a health packet to help or 2) you skip one of the obstacles. I had to skip the walls the last time so if there are any walls this time, I may be screwed before I even start! I have to admit I’m not exactly sure why zombies are all the rage now and I don’t particularly like the zombie shows, but this race was intriguing. Can I survive? I just have to train myself not to hit the zombies as they’re trying to grab my flags!
Watch this video and tell me that this doesn’t look like fun!
On October 20th, I joined Amy and Jeremy to play in the suds in Austin! We’d been signed up for the foam fest for a while and I was extremely excited but as the day got closer I kept thinking “What did I get myself in to!”. I’ve done normally 5K’s, a 1o miler, and a couple of 1/2 marathons but I’ve never done anything like a mud run or foam fest. This video sold me, however!
I stayed in Marble Falls since the race was at Reveille Peak Ranch (AKA…No Man’s Land). There was a beautiful pavilion with an in ground hot tub and a couple of bar areas if you wanted to have a party. It was situated right on the lake where some of our obstacles took place. In fact, from the lily pad obstacle it looked a lot like the photo below:
Borrowed from http://rprtexas.com/gallery
So, just to give you an idea of what the course looked like, it was 3.1 miles with 19 obstacles, 10 of which were at the very end of the course!
The first obstacle was the mud hole, which was just as the name says: A big hole of mud. You would think with the name Foam Fest that you’d be pretty clean through this race, but it was more of a Mud and Foam Fest! We hit our first bottle neck at the Spider Forest. They didn’t plan that out very well. I think we were stuck behind people from a previous wave as well. It was moving a little slowly because everyone kept trying to hole the ropes for the people behind them. It may have gone faster if we all just let everyone get through it the best they could, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. Just kinda killed the buzz a little!
I was surprised at how much the elevation changed on the course. I expected it to be slightly hilly because we’re in the Hill Country, but I wasn’t expected it to be that big of a change. Definitely got the heart rate up! The Holy Foam and Moon Walk obstacles were kinda difficult to get in to just because your feet are wet and you’re trying to walk up a slippery, bouncy surface! I had the bright idea to jump out the other end and land on the slope on my butt instead of trying to walk down it. Only problem with that was my butt slid all the way to the ground and I couldn’t get my feet under me in time. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty site!
The walls…sigh…they had slats so I thought we’d be able to climb them like a ladder. However, I could barely get my toes in between the slats. I skipped the first two walls (set of 3) and tried again on the 3rd. I got up and had a leg over but couldn’t figure out how to rotate my foot to get a toehold so I could swing over. Thinking back on it now, I should have laid on my belly and just flopped!
The cargo climb was scarier than I thought it would be. It was 12 foot high and quite wobbly. A lot of people were going at the same time so that made the whole thing shake. I almost froze on the top, but thankfully Amy was there talking me through it. I was coming down the other side when a jerk flipped over the top therefore shaking the rope hard. I almost lost my grip and fell the rest of the way. He shouts “That’s how you’re supposed to do it!” to which I responded “yeah, and scare the hell out of everyone else because you gave no warning. That was excellent!” I was none too thrilled.
I have to be completely honest, I was disappointed in the slip n’ slides. I thought they’d be on a downhill angle so you could really get going but they weren’t. You just had to run and jump. If you’re built like Jeremy, you could fly to the end! However, if you’re built like me…you get stuck 1/2 way through and have to crawl out on hands and knees!
The Aqua Lilly Pad looked like you laid 5 or 6 yoga mats out over the water and had to run across them. The trick was to keep moving. I fell on mat #2 and decided to crawl the rest of the way so I didn’t hold up the line any longer than necessary. This was the second bottle neck area, and again it slowed the race excitement down some. The next obstacle was the tube crossing which was quite fun! I got to the last one and was having a hard time rolling myself off the tube so I could get out of the water and on to the next one! Yep…grace…my middle name!
borrowed from www.5kfoamfest.com
Some of the obstacles were just a little silly, like the Bouncey Ball Attack and Stumpy Jumper. Meh…now, the Electric Crawl…that was interesting. Yep, it was literally an electric cable strewn up over top of where you were supposed to crawl. Jeremy’s curiosity got the best of him and he touched it. I heard it zap him pretty good…so it was live wire, not just for looks! We all tore our racing bibs on this part of the course. It was quite hard crawling on the rocks and mud. My elbows were scraped up pretty good afterward.
We had a “Death Drop” toward the end that scared me to death! hahaha…wish I had a picture. Basically, it was a huge inflatable water slide. You had to climb up a “ladder” on the one side. I had to hold on the ropes on the side to climb to the top because I kept feeling like I was going to fall down! Once at the top the guy said to cross my feet and arms and go. I sat down and saw Jeremy at the end, waiting for Amy and me to drop to our demise. Before I could talk myself out of it I crossed my feet and scooted over the edge. I’m pretty sure I screamed all the way down!
From there we went through another mud hole and over a mud hill. Then they expected us to walk across logs…yeah…with slippery, muddy feet. That makes sense! I tried a couple of times but just had to give it up. I walked through the water instead! Then…finally, at the very end was the 50 foot slip n’ slide. Jeremy and I both went at the same time. This time, he even got stuck 1/2 way through!
Yay for having a camera in your face right at the end! Can you tell we were tired?!
Not sure what I was doing here:
Unfortunately, Amy wasn’t in any of my shots so I don’t really have any of her throughout the race. But, I do have some at the end!
We are so going to rock this race again next year! If you don’t count the time we took standing around to do some of the obstacles, we finished in 59:18! Oh, and that lovely hot tub I was talking about:
Taken from http://rprtexas.com/gallery
It was destroyed by kids and people washing off in it! Someone had a lot of cleaning to do, and probably repair work, afterward. Maybe they’ll make sure it’s drained next year!