Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Race Report: Muddy Buddy with Julianne

In honor of all those SFM runners that have their race reports posted just mere days after the race, I have decided to post my race report as well... of a race I ran almost two months ago. Oh well, better late than never! (And no, I haven't forgotten the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon report. Who knows, maybe that will come out in the same month? Maybe not.)

In early June, Julianne and I partnered up to tackle the Muddy Buddy challenge. I guess we just couldn't wait to get down and dirty again after taking on the Big Sur Mud Run in March.

This race is a little different as it involves both running and biking which we do separately. There are five legs and between each leg, there is an obstacle. So I biked first while Julianne ran and then at the obstacles, we switched off. The total course was about 6 miles so each leg was pretty short.

There is a costume contest for the race so of course we had to dress up! Our team name was Tutu Hot 2 Handle.

Aren't these tutu's fun?

(They were so easy to make, too. Probably only cost $6 each and required no sewing - instructions here if you want to make your own for yourself or your little one.)

We decorated the bike a little bit too to help us find it better in the transition areas. Some people had balloons which worked a lot better. I lucked out because mountain bikes were required for this race and my friend gave me hers last year. I think this was her college bike so I thought it would be perfect for this race.

Here's us during the costume contest pre-race. Unflattering photo angle, but still entertaining. Sadly we did not make the "finals". A girl/guy duo dressed as the wolf and little Red Riding Hood ended up winning. I personally liked the two guys in life sized crab costumes.

So let's talk about the race. You'd think I'd learn after the Big Sur Mud Run, but apparently I have short term memory. Just because a race involves costumes and getting dirty and has a really fun atmosphere, does not mean it is easy! This race had a lot of hills and as usual, I was not prepared for it. I hadn't run since the Cleveland Half Marathon three weeks earlier and hadn't biked since the Cinderella Classic in April. (I had been traveling for pretty much a month and a half prior to the race.)

The nice thing was that Julianne was fresh from the San Diego marathon the weekend before so she was totally cool with just having fun with this one. She was a real champ too because she hadn't been on a bike in a long time.

It took awhile for us to get going because they had about a dozen different waves for the start and we were wave 11. The bikers would go first and then the runners would follow. I had heard the first leg was pretty much a mile uphill so I decided to take that one since Julianne was not too familiar with the gearing on the bike. (Not that it helped me much, anyway.)

So we watched the other waves take off and you could tell the bike part would be tough as the announcer kept trying to help them out by making sure they were in their lowest gear. I was starting to get nervous.

Now it was our turn so I was gathered with all the other bikers in my wave. I hopped on and managed to get going a bit, while I fiddled with my gears making sure I was on the easiest one. And then a biker stopped in front of me. With bikers passing me on either side, I ended up having to stop too.

Do you have any idea how hard is to get going on a bike when you're on an incline on a dirt trail? Especially when you don't have the granny gears that you have been spoiled with on your much more $$$ road bike? Um, for me, it was pretty much impossible. But I tried anyway - and ended up going nowhere. Seriously I felt like I was in quicksand.

I would have been mortified if I hadn't been surrounded by bikers facing the same challenge as me. As in literally, women were falling off their bikes left and right. (Obviously, we were not in the elite wave.) There was a dad and his kid sitting on the sidelines spectating and I heard him tell his kid, "Well, this is just a mess." I had to start chuckling at that.

I then heard one of the nearby women say "F this" (or something to that effect) and started running her bike up the hill. I figured that was better than what I had been doing so I did the same. Well I tried to run the bike up the hill but it's not light so I resorted to walking it up the hill. And then the pack of runners show up and Julianne found me and helped me push that sucker up the hill.

OK, I know, this sounds fun, right? Really - the worst part is that first mile, it all gets better after that. Once the hill leveled off, I hopped on the bike and took off.

I got to the first obstacle and dropped the bike off. I think we had to run under netting or something. I really like races with obstacle courses - it breaks things up and keeps it fun. We also had to climb a rock climbing wall, a really tall wall with netting and then go down a big slide which was really fun as you can tell by Julianne's expression:

We also had to walk across some balance beams:

And finally at the very end, we all met up with our buddies and went through the final obstacle together - THE MUD PIT:

Since we had to go through several mud pits in the Big Sur Mud Run, I figured I got this down. Um, no. Big Sur Mud Run was more like muddy water, this was serious M-U-D. It was thick! There were tons of people cheering at the mud pit (surprise, surprise) and it was funny that people were yelling at you that you're not getting muddy enough!

YAY, we're done!

Seriously, look at our legs and our shoes! That stuff was caked on. Luckily, they had showers (well, hoses, anyway) to rinse ourselves off.

All in all, it was yet another crazy fun race. I loved our costumes - the tutus were a big hit. Runners and bikers would often shout out fun things during the race like "Way to go, Tutu!" or "Good job, Tutu!" It was like my new nickname on the course. Plus it was just fun to wear. Yes, it got destroyed during the race but it was so cheap and easy to make that I'm sure I will be making myself another one soon. You know, to wear around the house and stuff.

Plus, despite that initial leg, the rest of the race was a lot of fun. Each leg was so short so you were constantly doing something new. I will say that this race does confirm that I am not a mountain biker. One leg of the race was really steep and bumpy that I got some nasty bruises on my knees from banging into the handle bars. Regardless, I would definitely recommend this race to others, provided you have a decent mountain bike. (On a side note, your bike will not get muddy on this race, unless you decide to ride it afterward which I saw some people do.)

RIP Socks + Shoes (I kept the bib)

I forgot to take some closeup pics of our T-shirts when we were still clean so here they are after they've been through the wash. (Yes, these are actually clean.)

I used Julianne's running girl icon on the front with Muddy Buddies written underneath.

With our team name on the back.

And here's our race shirt:

And not that it matters, here is our official stats for the race:

Chip time: 1:11:32
Place: 40/59 in our division

Thanks Julianne! You were an awesome MUDDY BUDDY! ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spectator Report: SF Marathon

Just wanted to do a quick post to congratulate my blogging friends that participated in the SF marathon today.

Tara, Roadbunner, and Julianne all kicked butt in the full marathon and Aron, Maritza, and Chic Runner rocked the half marathon.

They all had special victories but it's not my place to spoil the news so all I will say is CONGRATS again!

I'll admit, I was *thisclose* to almost signing up for the half (despite doing a half last weekend) since everyone was doing it and I'm very weak when it comes to peer pressure.

But ultimately, I decided my legs were not up to it and also my wallet preferred to keep the $100, thank you very much.

So instead, I joined the Nike run in Danville for a recovery 6 miler, first run since the half. I knew I made the right decision because as soon as I started running, my legs felt pretty heavy.

I didn't want to completely miss out on the SFM experience, so I headed over to SF after my run. I was able to catch up with Chic Runner (first time meeting her!) and Maritza at mile 26 to cheer on Julianne who was a first time pace leader for the 4:45 group. They (along with Tara) had made some really hilarious cheer signs which definitely got a lot of attention, especially from the opposite sex, heehee.

Later we all headed to Gordon Biersch for a post celebration lunch which ended up being a really fun blogger meet up. I got to meet a bunch of people that I had only seen in pictures (like ROHO Kristin, Aron's husband, Tara's roommmate, haha...) Plus Kristin brought cupcakes for Tara's birthday! (And not just any cupcake, Kara's Cupcakes, yum!!!)

All in all, it was a very fun Sunday.


Here's a pic of some of us that was shamelessly stolen from Julianne. (Thanks Julianne!)

(Left to right): Me, Kristin, Tara, Maritza, Aron, Danica (Chic Runner), and Julianne
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