Monday, September 01, 2014
Spent the weekend taking some me time. Saturday, I went and had my hair done for the first time ine two years. The selfie is REALLY bad, but you can get the idea. Color came out all wrong in the picture, I'm black and red. Hubby says it looks good, I just really needed to have something different.
Then yesterday we spent the day at Brookfield Zoo. I love the zoo. If you need to go on about animals on display, please don't. Przewalski's horse. I say no more.
So we had a great time. Stingray bay was open this time and we got to pet the rays. Hubby commented on how much they seem to like me. They have had this exhibit for the last 4 years (I think). I always end up with a swarm around my hands. They are such awesome creatures I love it. However they always find a way to soak me, and yesterday was no different. I was petting on and another tried to push in. The one I was petting went for a wind slap, I ended up with a face (and mouth) full of salt water. I also had one of the southern rays mistake my pinky for a shrimp. They might not have teeth but those dental plates can crush. I've got a bruised pinky today, but nothing that is all that difficult.
Today, we have errands and getting things back in order. Oh well, guess I have to get back to real life eventually.
Speaking of real life, I'm trying to get back to my healthy eating and exercise plans. I've looked at all my past logs, I've made my plan - and I've done nothing about it. I'm not happy with myself about that. So here we go again. I see the train tracks, I want to get back on track, and I honestly don't know what keeps stopping me. I don't have time to figure it out. I need to just do it as the phrase goes.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I was horribly hot and humid again here today. I had wanted to take a long walk with the girls but it was just too much once we got out there. They were both suffering after a bit over a mile. We did our normal 3 mile route and then headed back into the house. They have both just been laying in front of a fan for the last two hours.
We had a friend follow us for a bit while we were walking along. When you see this picture, remember this is only about 5 to 6 feet from me and my dogs.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Today’s race was unplanned. See I had registered for 2015 Foam Fest when I complete this year’s. It was my favorite race. However, I guess it wasn’t high on everyone’s list as the organization went bankrupt. Red Frog events offered a free registration to one of their other events. I looked at the five choices with hubby. He thought that Epic Fail looked promising and it was close to home (soldier Field). It was a bit close to my Black Light race but I figured why not, it was inflatable obstacles (which I like) and was free (aweseome). So with less than 2 weeks to prepare I registered.
Got up this am and got ready. I really didn’t have an outfit set for this one. I knew there would be water – so no tutu. Like I said, I had not planned on this race and after last week’s horrible experience I really wasn’t in the mood. I knew I would be dealing with walkers and hot humid conditions. However, when I say I ‘m going to do something – I’m gonna do it.
We had breakfast and headed out. The fog was thicker than pea soup this am; you couldn’t even see the lake from LSD. It was so humid and muggy I knew I was going to have breathing problems. We got there uber early, so we took some pictures and just hung out at the field. I actually ended up sneaking into an earlier wave. Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one.
They were only letting us go in small groups at a time, 10 to 15 people every 5 minutes. It was really different from most starts. It kept the pack very spread out – very nice for an obstacle run. There were 12 inflatable obstacles, several hills on the lake front, and up and down the stairs of Soldier Field. As I approached the first obstacle I was alone. It was those bouncy balls that we used to ride on hanging from ropes. I started teasing with the guys swinging the balls by dropping into a boxing stance. They laugh and one yelled “Jab”, so I did. So they were yelling jab or cross as I went through 12 rows of swinging balls! We were all laughing by the time I got through.
Next we had walls to go over. They were only 4 foot walls but it was fun. Then under a cargo net. I love these obstacles – good use for a commando crawl and I actually know how to do it!!!
It was so hot I was dying before mile one. I noticed that most people were slowing jogging at BEST. There were several people who had been pulled out or stopped the race. The EMTs were very busy. I heard at the end of the race that 4 people had gone down and the race was less than an hour over. It was supposed to go on for 5.
There were climbs and slides and an awesome foam block pit to wade through. The staff was great! They really kept a good look-out on people and were a ton of fun in the foam pit. There was one problem with this obstacle though; the foam blocks were sticking to sweaty skin! It was so humid there was not evaporation of sweat, just more water. I had blocks stuck to my legs and arms.
We then had a short run back to Soldier Field, we hit mile two and they had a horrible trick on us. Two balance beam obstacles. My legs where trembling from the heat and strain of keeping up a slow jog. I wasn’t certain I could handle them but somehow I kept my balance. Normally I can barely walk a straight line but somehow I did a 6 inch beam and then a 10 floating buoys.
Then it was up the stairs of Soldier Field. We had a slip-n-slide at the top. Then an inflatable bouncy house with a crawl tunnels. We ran around Soldier Field and down the stairs. The last obstacle was a 4 story inflatable slide. It was awesome!!
I crossed the finish in 47 minutes yelling: “AGAIN”. It was horribly hot and sweaty but this was the most fun I’ve had in forever! It really was an Epic race. I so hope they come back to Chicago next year, I will gladly pay for this one!!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
I am normally very excited to write a race report. Even the traumatic experiences of the China Town 5K – rain, cold, bronchitis, etc- did not make me passé about writing my report. This race, however, I am hard pressed to write about.
See, I have absolutely NOTHING good to say about this race. The organization was horrible. The staff was rude. The course was dangerous. I will try to give a truthful account and let you decided if I am being overly harsh.
The “before” party started at 6:30 pm, the race was scheduled to start at 9. I arrived at the park at about 7. It took over 45 minutes to park. They could not seem to decide how or where to park the cars. I had three people attempt to collect the parking fee from me, even though I already had a paid ticket on my dashboard.
I finally got parked and headed into the race. I met up with two friends at the “before” party just a few minutes before they called for us to line up. We were herded into cattle shoots with absolutely no organization. They did not attempt to have runner or walkers separate. There were no set waves. It took over 45 minutes to reach the start.
Once we did reach the start they were asking walkers to stay to the right and runners to the left. I moved to the left hand side and awaited the countdown. Within 20 feet of the start line it was too dark to see the ground. This was problematic in and of itself but to add to the fun, there were orange construction cones littering the ground. I saw at least 5 people go down tripping over them. I think they were supposed to be course markers but without a 5 cent glow stick they were invisible. Guess no one thought to go to the dollar store.
There were far more walkers than runners at this event. The walkers also just kind of wandered all over the path. At times they were walking 6 across the path, leaving no room to get around. It proved even more fun as these same people were stopping dead in the middle to the path to take pictures, send pictures, text, tweet , and whatever else could be done on a cell phone. The more “busy” these walkers were, the more indignant they were about being passed. Oh and did I mention they had been serving beer at the before party so not all of these lovelies were sober!
We did a lap around the park and then we were weaving back and forth through the back lot. The problem here was there were several transitions between gravel (black) and asphalt (black). The idea of a 99 cent roll of duct tape to mark the edges with something visible under black light and/or some kid with a small flashlight obviously did not occur to the planners of this race. Instead we were all left to be surprised by these frequent changes, resulting in twisted ankles (mine being a victim 3 times) and several more tumbles.
Now, just like at a color run there were “glow” stations throughout the run. Unlike the color run, these stations were places for people to collect and play. The volunteers were taking pictures under the lights and painting people with color which made getting through almost impossible. Even better, they would NOT let us run around the color station. Also, I’m not certain what they were using but it was not the nice corn starch of the color runs. This stuff left a nice dry burning sensation in your throat you breathed it in. Add to that – no water stations! Yes there was one at the midpoint of the race. There was no one handing out water, you couldn’t get up to the table, and the water was just over a Dixie cup.
Believe it or not there is tons of “ick” I left out. How about the volunteers that wouldn’t let you have any water at the start of the race and yelled at me for taking water from the “wrong end of the table” at the end of the race?!? These same people insisted that it was one cup per runner (remember Dixie cup) and that if you needed more you had to go buy a bottle for 4 bucks.
It took me 37 minutes to complete this run. I would lay money on 5 minutes of that was wasted getting through color stations and trying to weave around people who didn’t want to move but didn’t want to be passed. My ankle was sore, I was experiencing that “aggravated tired”. I really just wanted to get out of there. However, there was one more insult to suffer.
There were no lights in the parking lot. So you had people from stone sober to intoxicated trying to find where they had left their cars in the dark. Also, they had no parking attendants so cars were going every which way trying to find a way out. All I have to say is I only like Frogger as a video game!!
Fortunately I had a good friend close by with a hot tub and a beer. A light beer no less, so I didn’t even go over calorie!
Hey – found a good spot!!!
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