Tag Archives: Race

5K Foam Fest – Austin, Tx

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!

Texas 1/2 Marathon, Kingwood 2012

What a gorgeous day we had for the race! Mike didn’t sign up to do the 1/2 marathon this time, mainly because he thought I was going to do the full marathon and he didn’t want to go that far. However, since I dropped down to the 1/2, he walked/ran it with me (unofficially). I had my own personal coach for the entire race!

We got there about 6:45 to pick up my timing chip and wait around until my race started at 8:15.

What’s a sure fire way to tick a bunch of neighborhood residents off? Hold a marathon for 650 people at a park with 3 parking spaces!

There were cars all down the main street so only one car could get through at a time. It was in the mid to high 50’s when we first got there but both Mike and I were starting to freeze by the time the race started. Ever notice how the National Anthem is one of the slowest songs ever sung? Well, maybe other than Amazing Grace.

At 8:00 they lined up all of the marathoners. They got a 15 minute head start to help alleviate the congestion on the trails. There was one gentleman there who was running his 300th marathon, an 82 year old marathon runner, a couple of people completing their 100th marathon, and a guy that was finishing his 50th state marathon. Imagine running a marathon in all 50 states! I think I’ll pass, but it is definitely impressive…as are all of the others.

We waited for another 15 minutes to allow enough of a buffer before we were lined up and being sent through the shoot.

There were several people wearing costumes of some sort. The sequin lady and I had a back and forth on the trail, but I was victorious in the end! Her jacket was so shiny my camera didn’t handle it very well.

As most of the other 1/2 marathoners were filing through I heard someone call my name. Suddenly there was my friend Samantha in front of me!

Samantha and I worked together for a few years at a jewelry store while she was studying for the Bar exam and I was finishing up my Masters. We chatted for a little bit, then she went to catch up with her Mother and her Mother’s friend.  I was running intervals (3 running/2 walk) so when I first started running I passed a lot of people…it felt great! Of course, many of those people passed me again at some point (including sequins).

The race was done completely on the greenbelt trails and was an out and back of 6.55 miles. The 1/2 marathoners made 2 trips while the marathoners had 4. There were aid stations at miles 1, 2, and 3, which means it ended up being an aid station at every mile. I decided to use the aid stations this race instead of carrying my water bottle and this race was set up perfectly for that. There was even a small loop around a pond.

They put every racer’s name on a sign that hung all down the trails. This keeps your mind a little busy as you try to find your name.

There’s mine!!

The tradition is to pull your name off the tree on your last loop and take it home with you. This was kinda neat because you could tell who was finishing up the race by the pink piece of paper in their hands! Mike and I made the loop around and was heading out for my last loop when I ran in to Samantha and her clan again.

My knee started bothering me at mile 4 so I had to slow the running down and do shorter intervals but I kept pushing through. I had two goals with this race 1) finish under 3:39 and 2) finish under a 16:00 pace. With that in mind I did what I could to keep my pace up without causing too much damage to my knee.

Mike was running loops around me and was probably bored going at my pace but he enjoyed taking action shots.

Where’s Tammy?

There she is!

Those two guys behind me…would.not.shut.up. If you can talk that long without breathing then you’re not pushing yourself! There was a guy (1 of the people finishing his 100th marathon) that would cheer me on every time I passed/met up with him. It was nice! Congrats to him. (see update)

Race Shots’ Proof

As I got to mile 11 I started to realize that I may actually beat my time of 3:39 and pushed it a little harder.  The closer I got to the finish line the more I could hear the cheering and it motivated me to go a little faster. As I ran past the finish line the announcer said “In her first ever Texas 1/2 Marathon, Tammy Salo” which kind of surprised me. There were a few people cheering as I came through.

I was trying to find Mike in the crowd. He had gone ahead to get the finisher picture. I finally saw him, after the picture (of course!). I look a little goofy here but I was happy with my time.

I picked up my pig. Everyone got a pig with their finishing place. I finished 303 out of about 350 1/2 marathoners.

I also got my HUGE medal. This sucker weighs at least 1.5 pounds 3lbs!

We waited for a little while to cheer Samantha at the finish line.

We were there for about 30 minutes and I didn’t see sequin lady at all. Not sure if she stopped or what, but I had passed her about mile 10 and hadn’t seen her since.

All in all it was a fun race, very low profile and low key. Everyone was supportive and just there to have a good time!

I will probably do this one again next year. Let’s hope it’s the Year of the Tiger or something equally cool! My unofficial time was 3:24:13 (15 minutes faster!!) with an average pace of 15:44. I reached my two goals! I’ll update once I get my official finishing time.


The older gentleman that kept cheering me on was Steve Boone.

Source: fiftystatesmarathon


My official time was 3:23:34 with a pace of 15:32!! That was 16:19 faster than Angie’s…over a mile ahead of that race!!


10 for Texas, 2011

It is here….race day! Drug my butt out of bed at 5:45AM to make it to the race location by 6:30. The race was stationed at Town Market Center in The Woodlands.



There were tents all over and around the park for food and various running/walking paraphenalia.


There was a band playing while we waited. They did a pretty good job. Our race started at 7:30, but before that was the Kid’s 1 Mile Fun Run. Some of these kids were so tiny that I was surprised to see them running across the finish line! Of course, Mom and Dad could have carried them most of the way. They all got medals for competing, which was great!




The mascot was cheering every one on. I have to say, the mascot was a little sad looking!



I looked around for Clara, but she was no where to be found. Of course, there were 2200 participants there! All of the fast racers (6 min mile…wow) were at the front of the line and us slow people were at the back!



All of those people behind me…yeah, they passed me early on! The microphone kept cutting out but to help the crowd hear when the national anthem was over, everyone was singing along. Once the song was over and a prayer was said the bull horn sounded and we were off!



I was walking along when I heard my name and look who I saw!



This was an action pose, so she’s a little blurry but that’s Clara! We started off together but soon separated as she’s a bit faster than me. However, she never lost my field of vision! I did 3/2 run/walk intervals for the entire race. Since I’ve been trying to use the Pose method, running seems a bit more complicated. I constantly have an internal dialog going telling me to lean, push the hips forward, pull, pull, head up, lean. The good thing is, I think my time is faster running Pose but not as fast as I’d like it to be! About mile 3 I started feeling a blister on my right foot. Thankfully, it isn’t the huge blisters I’m use to getting but just a small one in a very odd place and on my pinky toe.


At this point, I was on Woodlands Parkway trotting along when a guy in a park truck asked me for my bib number. I had no clue why he wanted that when I realized I must have been in last place and he wanted my number to pass on to the rest of the volunteers. That was a blow to my confidence! So, I kept on keeping on. It’s the only thing I could do at this point. I didn’t want to be last and I could see some people ahead of me, so I did the best I could to pass at least 1 person. I was debating my strategy when all of a sudden, movement caught my eye.



That’s right…my own private mascot! First of all, it was daylight and armadillos are nocturnal. However, this little guy/girl was running across 4 lanes of traffic to get to the wooded area. It was a fun site to see. I took it as an omen that I was going to finish ahead of at least 1 person! The run was rather boring, scenery wise but there were some fun signs and people on the sidelines. One sign said “Run like zombies are chasing you” but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it. There was also a woman dancing around in a 70’s get up to Funkytown.



It cracked me up! That person in front of me is Clara. Up to this point I had passed 4 other people. Yep, that’s right…FOUR others! Around mile 8 I ended up passing Clara. She was hurting pretty good. She had injured her calf during the run clinic and it was acting up on her again. I ran the last bit to the finish line and ended up crossing a few seconds before Clara. I thought I might be able to pass the woman in front of me but I couldn’t get enough speed going in that little bit. They were handing out the awards after I crossed.



I finished in 2:33:16 according to my watch. They should have the official time up before too long. Clara and I were able to get a picture together after the race. We were a bit sweaty, salty, and tired but it was still a good picture!



I had a fear that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race in time and when Mr. Park Ranger got my bib number my fears escalated, but all in all I finished strong and think I could have gone another 2-3 miles if need be. Will I run this one again next year? I’m not too sure. The after run party wasn’t all that fun! Then again, if I finished in a reasonable time maybe it would have been better. Next race on the docket, at least at this time, is the Kingwood Marathon. Time to get more training mileage in!


15 Minute AMRAP
10 Wallballs (16#)
10 Toes to Bar (mod to Knees to Chest)
10 Box Jumps (Short Box)
6.20 (6 complete rounds and all but box jumps into 7th (20 reps))

Felt great doing today’s workout. I was able to do all wallballs with the 16# ball without too much pain. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough but doable. My hands ripped again doing the Knees to Chest but not nearly as bad as yesterday or the time before. I tried my best to just hook my hands so I didn’t tear them, but it’s harder than it appears! The box jumps were slow, but not too bad. Glad I’m able to do them now without having to modify down to step ups.

I got my order of Eatology in today. Some of the boxes were broken. One had to be thrown away because it was busted too much. They were packed very well (Styrofoam and bubble wrap) and the outer box didn’t look too damaged (was dropped on one corner) so I’m not sure what happened there. I’m not upset, just surprised. Had to throw away the meatloaf…too bad! hahaha

Tonight I ate the Chicken Creole. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t very spicy, which in my head a Creole should be. It was a little bland, but not overly so. Of course, it was much better than Lean Cuisine!  Plus, it had okra, cabbage, and other veggies I’m not a fan of and I was able to eat them without getting grossed out!


I’ve found a race challenge I would LOVE to do. Who wouldn’t want to race in Italy? The pricing is a bit much so I’ll have to save up. Anyone want to join me?!