Detroit Race Recap (The Trip)

I’ve been meaning to write here about the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon from October 20th. I have had very little time to sit down and write something out. I have so much to say about it, though. This post just covers the trip and the next, I’ll talk about the race.

The week leading up to the race, my husband was out of town on business. I was not mentally well and had considered canceling my trip to Detroit. My travel plans meant that I would miss my husband returning from his trip and much of my relaxation comes from talking to and being with him. He convinced me to go and enjoy a girls’ weekend with my friends. I convinced myself on my last pre-race run that it would be okay.

I was fortunate to be welcome in a group that were going up in the mid morning. I was concerned that I’d be driving on my own when my original group said they were leaving before I would have my kids off to school. I was able to get my kids off to school, head to the gym to complete workout 20.2 of the open, and get in a shower before meeting up with my group.  The car ride was more than 5 hours, but it went by quickly with four of us chatting the time away. We arrived in time to check in to the hotel, get our race packets from the expo, and arrive to a dinner event we’d signed up for in advance.


I met up with Maureen, Jane, and Kristen. These would be the friends I was sharing a hotel room with and I’d originally planned to travel with. I trained for my first marathon with Jane and Maureen in 2016 and I hadn’t seen them as much in subsequent training seasons since then. I was excited to catch up.

That night, I found myself unable to sleep. Upon the realization that I wasn’t sleeping, I began to feel anxious. Then, I began to feel trapped. I started feeling intensely afraid and the realization hit me that I could not get any fresh air without stepping out of the safety of the hotel room. I started looking up flights home because I was certain my heart would explode if I didn’t go home soon and I didn’t think I could wait another car ride. Flights were all over $300. When I noticed Kristen starting to stir, I texted that I needed to leave the room. We went to the hotel lobby and sat near the door until the breakfast room opened. At breakfast, I got teary eyed. I went alone back to the room to shower and get ready for the day.

I took a dose of my anxiety medicine. It was prescribed to me to take twice a day, but I’d been only taking once a day after the doctor told me that it was okay to use the AM dose on an “as needed” basis. I messaged my friend Judy asking if I could ride home with her on Sunday instead of waiting until Monday like most of the others on the trip. She agreed and that took a lot of the anxiety away. I spent the rest of the day too busy to work myself into any frenzy. Maureen, Jane, and I walked around Detroit. Upon searching for a place to eat, we encountered Mr. Monopoly from a bank promotion. We were given coupons for a free food bowl from a nearby food truck. We had a delicious meal of pork, cole slaw, and cornbread. We went on to walk to the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum while stopping at places along the way for photos. I really enjoyed seeing where the Lions, Tigers, and Redwings all played. The museum was lovely and I enjoyed learning a few new things. I also really enjoyed some of the displays. We used their QLine trolley to save the return walk to the hotel. It was clean and really comfortable. We found a bar/restaurant and had a meal and drinks before heading back. We ran into Judy with some friends there and I confirmed we were in the same corral at the race. Once back at the hotel and full of food and extra sure I was hydrated, I put my race day clothes and accessories together in a single bag. I double checked everything to try to settle any future anxiety.  At bedtime, I was too tired to keep my eyes open and I dozed off while my roommates were quietly winding down. I know I heard someone talking when I realized I was too sleepy to understand.

The alarm went off in what seemed like moments later, but it was race day. When I looked out the hotel window down to the street, I could see all the people with their race bibs. I saw buses filling with people to be driven out to their relay locations. We got ready for the race and walked down onto the street and towards our corrals. I said goodbye to my friends and hugged them. It was cold and dark outside, but there was noise and people in every direction. Mentally, I prepared for escape from the fencing without a reason or specific fear. Kristen was nervous about the pressure she’d put on herself to run a new PR. Her parents were there to support and cheer her on. They helped Judy find us in the crowd.  When Judy showed up in the corral, I knew that we were going to be running together and I was excited about the experience and having someone to share it with at the same time.

Next post, hopefully tomorrow, will be about the race. Jane and Maureen gave me crap about writing about them in my blog. So I’m specifically mentioning that they wanted to know what I was going to write about them.

Race Weekend is SO CLOSE

The Detroit Free Press races are this weekend and I am PUMPED. I had my final run before race day today and it was amazing. I saw myself run a pace I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I sustained it.


So, what about the other runs? The 12 mile one I was so worried about in my last post? The taper week short run? They were alright.

My friend, Judy invited me to run with her and others when I needed a 12 mile run. They weren’t going as far, but Judy ran with me and we finished strong. I was so happy to have company again, but I was also impressed with how I was able to make it 12 even after feeling a bit of hesitation in my 10th mile. I made a mental note that I probably needed to take an additional gel or some type of nutrition along next time. Judy is encouraging and always has something positive to say. Despite our run being together, she said that I did great.


This past weekend, I was camping with scouts Friday night into Sunday morning. That was a whole different kind of endurance. It left me mentally exhausted to a point where I was not well. Sunday, upon returning home, I was having trouble not crying over every little thing and I was physically exhausted to the point I couldn’t function at my normal capacity. Monday, my family was off of work and school. I went to a 9am conditioning class in the morning. I talked to Judy there and told her I needed my run and that I wasn’t quite myself. I [embarrassingly] broke into tears for no reason. She offered to run with me even though she’d had her 8 mile run over the weekend. At first, I held back and said I’d think about it. I honestly didn’t want to burden anyone, but I knew I needed to run and that I needed accountability. She met up with me for 8 miles after I messaged her. I don’t know that I would have done it on my own or just found reasons not to go. I left our run feeling relief. I wasn’t crying every moment I was alone with my thoughts.


I look like any other day, but I was deep into some dark thoughts.

My husband has been on a business trip this week and I almost asked him to cancel because of my mental illness. I was going to cancel my trip to Detroit because I didn’t believe I was well enough to go anywhere. I had one episode of anxiety that was pure terror. I take anxiety medicine and something so intense doesn’t happen often. I waited for my husband to be off of work then told him about it and talked it out. He’s messaged me through each day with reminders that he loves me and that I’m strong. I’m sure he’ll be encouraging me to get help once he can talk to me in person. I’m open to it. Just not happy about it.

I have spent time listening to praise songs and praying. I’ve tried to stay positive. I’m actually more oriented toward there being a future than I was the other day.

Today’s run was a HUGE help. I had told Judy that the paces I used to run at felt effortless and that was what I’d missed most about running before my injury and all the secondary ones from the rehab. Today, I was faster and it felt effortless. I savored every moment. It made me actually start getting my things ready for Detroit. Because I’m going and I’m going to finish another half marathon. I get to go to Canada for the first time. I haven’t even been to Michigan before. I actually can’t wait.

I have some amazing people around me that encourage me and lift me up when I need it. I just hope I can do the same for them if and when they need me. I really hope I can do it for anyone that I can help.

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to write a race recap. I hope I get pictures. I am usually really caught up in stuff and forget the pics.



Weighty Issue

In my last post, I said I had something less running related that I wanted to write about soon. Today is that day.

At my heaviest, I weighed around 215 lbs on my 5 foot 6 inch frame. When I started the fat loss challenge at my gym, I weighed 205.

I have been working out 3-5 days a week and running 3-4 times a week. I’ve been eating better by incorporating more fresh and whole foods into my daily diet. I’ve experienced considerably fewer binge eating episodes. I still want chocolate and salty snacks when I’m getting ready to have my period [most women understand]. I am by no means perfect with my diet and I honestly don’t have much faith in myself that I’ll ever be great at nutrition. I’m well aware that most of the magic happens in what I eat and not in how much I exercise. My biggest effort goes into making many of my meals from scratch instead of processed foods, but we enjoy an “out” meal every weekend.

I often wish my progress was rapid and that I could look the way I feel I should. I don’t like that people are surprised when I tell them that I run and do high intensity fitness and weight training. I understand that people put in years of effort for that, but I actually have been trying for years, sooooo….still knocking on that door to get my fit body.

When I started at my current gym, I had a weigh in that measured my body fat and muscle. I often have those measurements re-taken. I know that I started at 205 lbs with 108.9 lbs of lean body mass and 96.6 lbs of body fat mass. My most recent weigh in was 196.7 lbs with 113.8 lbs of lean and 82.9 lbs of fat. Where I only see 9 lbs on a scale, I actually lost 13.7 and I gained almost 5 lbs of muscle. I’m proud of that.


Next time you want to base progress on what the scale says, remember that there are other ways to identify progress. Also, remember that your weight is never the whole picture. I feel better when I’m consistently getting exercise and eating well. My energy levels are better. I can run up and down the steps and not feel winded. There’s progress. It is going to be hard to identify in the mirror if you’re critical on yourself. I know I am. That’s why this type of weigh in helps me along with measurements around my waist and hips.

If you are harsh on yourself, like me, you might never see the progress you’re making. Just because I don’t look the way I want to and I think my progress is slow, I have evidence that I’m moving forward. Even without the fancy measurements. I can lift heavier at the gym. I can run further without stopping. I can stop when I’m done eating even with food still in front of me. I’m healthier and stronger. I’m enjoying and using the body that God made for me in HIS image. Isn’t that really what my goal was at the very core? YES!

Thanks for reading! I hope you got something more than knowing how much I weigh out of this post. If not, maybe next time….

Changing Up The Run

It’s October! So there is not much time left until the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon that I’m training for.

I had a 10 mile run where my headphones died 3 miles in and I chose a route that was in the full sun for what seemed like eternity with no music or company. The following week, I just wasn’t feeling the run and I’d decided I wanted to reduce 11 miles to 8 or 9. I realized that 8 miles was actually on my training plan. I ran in a misting rain for 8 miles. It wasn’t amazing, but I actually had a lot of clarity in my thoughts during the run and I felt at peace when it was done. The rain had unfortunately left me with chafe under both arms, though.

Last week, I did a Fleet Feet pub run at Lil Beaver Brewery and ran 3 miles with my friend, Shelly. With her, I ran 3 miles at a better pace than I have been on my solo runs. I posted a request for running company for the weekend long run to a Facebook group of runners. Someone gave me a time and place for a group that had been training together and I showed up. It was humid and not really pleasant outside. I still enjoyed it more than I had my solo 10 mile run 2 weeks prior.

I’m looking forward to the race despite knowing my PR is out of reach. What helped was  I realized that I was still capable of running a little faster. Time spent running with people not as concerned about making a time also helped. This weekend’s 12 miles is going to get done, I’m going to have my week of taper, and then I’m going to finish my 9th half marathon.

I missed my planed run time today because one of my kids came home from school sick. Don’t worry. He’s already asked to go hang out with friends. I’ll fit a run in even though I’ve been outside and the humidity isn’t going to be “run friendly” at any point today.

I still want to PR my half marathon time and think I might keep my weekend long runs up through the winter. I’m grateful that I’ve been well through this training session.

My mental health has been less than stellar. I’m currently too sensitive to go into detail about it. I get peeved when people use “I don’t need my meds anymore,” as a sign of their physical fitness success. I don’t want to go back on mine, but the natural way I tried did not serve me well. Holding me back are the feelings that medication is a step backwards in being able to say I’m healthy.

I often get anxiety that makes my body feel like it can’t stop moving. My thoughts become intrusive and sleep will completely elude me for most of the night. I can’t understand why the world is so unkind and self serving and it bothers me to the point where I just sit and try to figure out the solution to the millions of problems. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the thoughts that go through my mind.

I think about the things people said to me years ago about my intelligence or my sensitivity and I wonder if maybe I never have been very bright and if my emotions make me weak. I think of the compliments people gave to other people while I stood there and I wonder why I wasn’t worthy. I think about every conversation after I’ve had it and hope I was honest and kind. I think about the people who said I’ve been mean and wonder how they could see me that way. I pray for people and I hope good things for people even when I know they wouldn’t do the same for me. I feel the weight of the words and thoughts that fly through my head and I just wish I could be normal despite the fact that mediocrity used to be what I worked hard against. I pray, run, work out, read, and I keep myself busy and the thoughts still come and my emotions are still affected by them. I outwardly do the best I can to be normal despite the fact that the overwhelming thoughts in my head make me sometimes behave differently.

Thanks for reading! I hope to come back before race day. I want to share with you my progress since beginning regular visits to the gym and having body composition measurements.



Five Weeks Left!

There is a little more than 5 weeks left until race day. I am not thinking I’ll get a PR this time, but I had a less crappy long run last weekend than the previous long run. I went over my intended mileage and probably could’ve gone further if not for fear of injury.


I’ve been coming out of the funk that I got into. I haven’t been crying as easily. I’ve had some realizations about my self image. I am sensitive to the way people treat me and I think I often blame myself when they treat me poorly. Here are some things I’m trying to accept:

  • I won’t always get the validation in which I desire. People do that because of themselves, not me. 
  •  Sometimes, when I’m feeling left out, I have to realize that I’m probably not going to fit in everywhere and that’s more than okay. 
  • My openness is not an invitation for criticism from people even if they believe it is. Their criticism comes from their own insecurities.
  • People will talk about me behind my back and it won’t always be kind. I should still be kind to people even in my thoughts. 
  • While I don’t let my mood determine my manners, some people will and often do. Dismiss the rude.

That’s not all, but that’s as general as I can get without pointing out specific people or situations in my life. I was fortunate enough to have kept a list of positive things my friends said about me on a post I’d made and it really helped me develop that list above.

I am excited to run 10 miles this weekend. In my mind, I could already run 13.1 miles this week. I am hopeful and I’m actually optimistic. I’m not delusional. I’m worried about the humidity and when I’ll fit in my run time. I’m worried that I’ll let people and situations get under my skin and make me feel bad about myself. I’ve risen from the idea that I need to drop out of the race I’m training for.


My new job is challenging. I work with elementary aged children supervising their recess and lunch times. Some kids that seem so ready to fight or argue with their peers are the most receptive to open arms for a hug. Some of the kids I think of as sweet can be cruel to their peers out of nowhere. Some days are really upsetting and I go back to realizing that how the kids behaved had very little to do with my interaction with them. I try to guide as best I can. Each day is hard in its own way. I’m learning. They’re learning.

I made the gym 4 out of 5 days this week. I’m loving it. Except that the first 3 days, I got up at 5am to make the 6am class. This coming week, I’m going to go the 9am class instead. This means I have to rush to work after a shower, but I actually have to do it because of my husband’s work schedule for the week. We’ll see which one I prefer after next week.

Thanks for reading! I hope I’m encouraging or at least interesting.

Mid Training

I have been away from my blog. I have good intentions of making weekly posts. Honestly, I can’t imagine how bored you’d get with my mundane moments.

I’ve been training for the Detroit Free Press half marathon that goes from Detroit into Windsor, Canada and back. I did my 8 mile run scheduled for last week on Monday of this week. It was not great. While I’ve been pretty hard on myself for not getting back to the pace where I was at the beginning of this year, my 8 mile run was even slower. I hit a point where my best effort got me to a 14 minute per mile pace. I walked, and my running was only hitting in the 12 minute pace after that. My 10 minutes and better pace has gone and shows very little signs that it will return before my race. I’m bored running alone, but I can’t subject anyone to my pace inconsistencies. I’m considering scratching the race altogether just to save myself from the inevitable beating I’ll give myself for not being good enough to PR like I’d planned. I already renewed my passport and paid my entry, though.


I know how sad that sounds and I don’t want to be a downer. I also don’t want people to mistake my emotions as a sign of regressing into depression since my doctor and I stopped my medication. It’s been difficult to have the emotions turned back on after being absent for so long. I’ve always been a sensitive person and I work pretty hard to keep that in check so people don’t expose it as a weakness.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly for crossfit classes. I got a part time job. I am using alternative medicine for my chronic health issues. There’s change and adjustment going on and stressful would be an understatement of how it feels. With the new job, I work during school recess and lunch hours, so I can’t hit class at the gym at 9am. With the class schedule at the gym, my only other option is to take an early morning class. I’m waking up and hitting the gym before the chickens are awake. With nutrition response testing, I’m writing down everything I eat, every time I poop [the consistency of it], and taking vitamins multiple times a day. I am trying to remember that all these things are somehow for the greater good and once I get into it, things will be fine. My anxiety says otherwise and I often hit fight or flight mode when I seriously need to be doing something [like sleeping or cooking dinner].


I ran 6.6k on Rt 66. Not a bad pace that day.

I’m writing this instead of running before the kids get home. I understand that some of the problem is I’m not managing my time efficiently. I haven’t found the balance of when to do what so I’m not rushing or stressing. Then, there’s regretting. I meant to go to the gym yesterday in the AM and I couldn’t get up. I wanted to make time, but there was not a time where it seemed like I could.

I’m trying to be a good Christian, a good wife, a good mom, and a healthy person so I can do the rest for longer. It seems simple enough when put into a short description. It is not simple. It certainly isn’t easy. I mostly just hope that I am doing a good job at the things I’m trying so hard to do. My husband likes to say I’m too hard on myself and I don’t give myself enough credit. I like to say that he just says that to make me stop being upset. I guess at least we’re well matched.

I’ll be back… and hopefully have some order restored in life.

Thanks for reading!



Hurdles, not Barriers

I have been sick this week. Monday, I started out feeling weak and feeling a little “off” from my usual. My cheeks were rosy all day.  Tuesday brought full blown body aches, sore throat, and chilly bumps. I did a few home remedies in addition to ibuprofen. I felt well enough on Wednesday to think I wouldn’t die if I ran the one mile fun run with the kids I’d coached the past few weeks in a running/physical activity program. I lived, but it was kind of a tough mile. I felt much better once I cooled down from the run and was so happy I got to see the race. My 9 year old son ran his first 5k and I was determined to see him finish.

I haven’t worked out or ran [over a mile] since Monday. I said I was feeling weak. I used a PVC pipe instead of a barbell for overhead squats during a workout. I had a good run, though. I went 4 miles even though at 3, I was convinced I could just stop there and walk home. Three different people cheered me on from their cars on the road. I felt like I could push myself the additional mile and used the cheers as fuel to actually do it.

I have not been feeling body positive. I haven’t been feeling that all the effort is worth the payout. I understand these things take time, but I’ve been doing it long enough to see better results. I’ve spent many days reflecting on whether I should continue my fitness journey or just scrap it. At the center of it all, I just wanted to avoid being fat and I am still obese. I understand that my body can do amazing things, but I’m told that most of the things I want to accomplish require a smaller person. I’m trying so hard to be lighter and I’m not. I’m trying to be more muscular and I’m just not.

Then, there’s issues at home. Mostly one person. I refuse to give it anymore than that much space on here.

I am going to take another day off from the gym, but I might need to do some running since I need some time to process and ask God what to do. He’s always faithful. I know that. He somehow keeps me from self destructing when I feel like I might implode.

Random thoughts: I’m never quite mentally sound when I’ve been physically sick. I get tired of being cooped up and unable to do everything I normally do. Even the things I don’t enjoy frustrate me when I can’t do them like when I feel well. I’ve been taking supplemental Omega 3 for my depression, but I honestly think much of what has been labelled depression in me is actually a result of hormonal fluctuations likely caused by external stressors.

My husband knew how terrible I was feeling and came home on his lunch break to talk me up and give me hugs and kisses. I actually already feel differently than when I was typing the above.


Half Marathon/Cross Training

Things have been crazy. I feel like I never know what I’m doing from one day to the next, which is mostly true in the fitness aspect of my life.

I’ve been working out at the gym nearly daily with crossfit workouts. Fitting run time in has been difficult because there isn’t much to do with the kids during a run. I recruited a neighborhood teen last week for one of my runs because I needed to burn off the crazy. My husband was out of town on business and my kids had reached that point in summer break where they can’t be in close proximity without someone getting hurt [physically or emotionally and often both].

I had been off of my depression meds for a couple of weeks and had a day from hell Monday. I was set off by a bad weigh in. I started crying the moment I got back into my car with the kids in tow. Each tried to ask me what was wrong, but they’d been fighting during the weigh in and I’d grown weary of asking them to stop. I cried many more times and for long periods that day. I talked to my husband and to my best friend. I got my emotions under control. I spent the rest of the week very stressed out, but not feeling like my emotions were getting the best of me. I used to be easily driven to tears, but it has been a long time since I openly cried about anything.

Daily, I went to the gym and planned to run independently. I would stay in my workout clothes all day as a reminder that I still had something to do. A run didn’t happen until Thursday. I finally asked a friend if her teen could help me out. I took an hour to go on a very hot afternoon run. It was amazing, honestly. I had a new playlist. I had one of my water bottles frozen for my fuel belt. It was hot outside, but I was finally running faster than I have been lately. I was able to keep up the speed and I probably could have gone further had I not wanted to get back to the kids. Funny how I needed nothing more than to get away from them, but wanted to get back to them.


Those are optishokz sunglasses/earphones…

Friday, I knew my husband was coming home from his business trip. I cleaned house most of the day so he’d come home to the house looking perfect. I had time for the gym and I went knowing he’d be home around the same time my workout was complete. That workout nearly broke me. Conditioning was simple. Squat cleans and push ups in varying reps that reduced in each set. Except, I couldn’t do a squat clean correctly and I was supposed to try to challenge myself from the push ups I normally did. My first round of push ups, I couldn’t do more than 3 in a row and my eyes filled with tears by the time I hit 10. I could not be seen crying, so I put my head down and kept trying. I had to bring my leg forward to get my body up a few more times. When I went back to the bar for the squat cleans, I slammed the weighted bar into my shoulder. I started thinking I couldn’t finish the workout and planning to quietly give up. I set down the bar and I stripped weights off of it and continued. I wound up going back to the pushups I normally do [with the plyo box set up at its tallest]. I finished the workout, cleaned up, and went home to my husband finally being back from his trip. I burst into tears instantly. Everything had been so hard all week and I finally got to see him, but I was mad and stinky. He insisted that I wasn’t bad at everything I tried athletically because most people wouldn’t even try. We scheduled me a massage to try to help me relieve the stress. I was still kinda pissed that I bruised myself again right after the Warrior Dash bruises faded.


I need to accept that I just have bruises all the time.

I skipped Saturday morning gym time in favor of a visit to my local farmer’s market. I got my massage and went to a local restaurant for an old fashioned and a brie appetizer. I feel much less stressed. I don’t feel doomed to live my life in a loop like I did. I am still aware of the repetitive and often frustrating nature of life. I’m glad to admit that I typically don’t let my mood determine my manners and most people were probably unaware of my feelings unless I said something. If anything, I was the amusing kind of damaged person with the dark sense of humor. That seems to be my prevailing personality anyway.

Tomorrow, I run. I’m shooting for 5 miles. I don’t actually need to hit that distance for 2 more weeks, but I want to do it. Wish me luck and good training vibes. I don’t think I can PR the half in Detroit, but I want to get closer to it than I’ve been since my 2016 injury. I want to believe I’ll be in PR shape by October 20th. I’m still considering Indy in November. Gotta get the “N” medal now that I have the “I” and the “Y” is the year I turn 40…

Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a great summer! The hot part is kind of just beginning in the Midwestern US, but it’ll be gone before race day, hopefully.

I Dashed. Warrior Style.


It is Monday and I am still excited from my Saturday adventure. I did the Warrior Dash in Joliet, Il. I have stories, bruises, and other souvenirs from that day.

My best friend, Liz made me do it. Well, she kept mentioning it to me until I signed up, so that makes it her fault. We traveled together, but didn’t do the course at the same time. She trains for obstacle course racing (OCR) and I stick to my crossfit and running. She went in a competitive wave at 8am and I chose to go at 9:45am when I registered.

We showed up early and parked in the first row (but still fairly far down). We went in to a table and initialed and signed away our lives on a waiver in order to claim our bibs. Once we had the bibs, we got our tee shirts and I stashed mine away to ensure no post race mud would touch it. We had to go back to get the hats they’d neglected to pass out. The setup was like a fair. There was a stage, a DJ, food tents, people giving samples of things, games with giveaways, a zipline, a kids area (with dirt to play in), a place to buy souvenirs, a beer tent, and all of the race related tents in one large area.



I love the shirt!

I watched Liz start and tried to see if I could locate her anywhere on the course. With no luck or understanding of how they set up, I camped out under a tree until the first person approached the final 2 obstacles. After watching Liz finish, we took pictures and made our way to wait near the start for my wave. I was getting antsy and almost took off in an earlier wave to avoid waiting, but I went with the 9:45 wave.

Mrs. Muddington’s Mounds: The first obstacle set my mood for the course. It was mud puddles and mounds to climb. People were lined up to drop into a pool of muddy water. After entering, the mound to climb before me was higher than my hands could reach from the water. It was also higher than the person in front of me. When we got to the mound, I laced my fingers together and told her to step up. She asked me if I was sure and I said, “I’m already muddy. Yes.” I helped another and then they turned around at the top and pulled me while someone else pushed from behind. Upon reaching the top, I turned around and grabbed the next person and pulled with all of my might. I was so proud of myself for being able to pull another person toward me as I slid down the other side of the hill into more muddy water.  We repeated a similar task with the help of others and helping others up. It was energizing and I felt strong. The final muddy pool was just a short climb out. Upon returning to running, I thought about how incredible it was with people working together with strangers and being so kind to one another.

Fo Shizzle My Drizzle: The next obstacle was a soaked balance beam, or a wet wooden 4×4 interrupted by a wet ramp climb back onto the board to the end of the pit. The water turned off upon our approach. We didn’t get rinsed by the water, but the boards were still wet to walk upon. I walked gingerly across the board, but the climb wasn’t bad once I turned myself around to go down the other side.

Oscar the Ouch:  This obstacle was a slanted wall, climb down the other side and belly crawl over grass and under barbed wire. I was a little surprised at how high the barbed wire was from the ground and crawled on my knees through it. I had anticipated the need to crawl on my elbows for this one.

Devil’s Crack: This obstacle was bear crawling in covered muddy trenches for 20 feet, then through muddy water into another 20 feet of muddy trench and back out. I probably did it faster than some since I stayed up off of my knees and kept my hands on the trench sides. I hit my head on the 2×4’s that were across the entries and exits of each trench. I was slightly pissed off when I did it exiting because I’d put my hand on the board to prevent braining myself again and I still did it.

The Damn Dam: This is also known as a warped wall. There were people waiting in line to run up the center of the 40 foot tall vertical wall to grab the top and descend the other side. There were strategically placed boards on either side to climb on, so I asked people around me if they were going to go that way and if use of the side was cutting in line. After several people reassured me, I quickly ascended most of the wall. I reached the top board and I couldn’t pull myself up and my feet were sliding off of the other board that I needed to push with my feet. I wiped mud from the rig and my shoes, flung it to the ground, and tried in vain to get my foot to stay put while I pulled with my arms. I threw my body upward and slid back time and again. I joined hands with a girl who’d climbed past me. She held my arm until I slung my leg up to the top and pushed with all of my strength to get up there. I sat momentarily terrified of descending the other side. Once I turned my body, I went as fast as I could to get down to the ground. I hugged each board as I went down as if my feet were still sliding. This might sound “awful” or whatever, but this obstacle was something I remember fondly.

Upslide Down: Mud puddle, slides laid flat with rope netting over them. Lay on your back and pull  yourself backwards along the length of the slide. Liz’s tip for me was, “Keep your mouth closed or dried mud will fall in.”  I instantly understood this advice as dirt crumbled onto my face with each reach of my arms. This obstacle made me feel kind of badass because my arm strength in pulling myself along on the slide while reaching as far as I could with each pull so I could finish quickly.

Climb and Punishment: This was set the opposite way from the warped wall (Damn Dam) that I’d completed because I hadn’t run up the smooth side. The ascending side was 2×4’s set up similar to a ladder and the descending side was boards set into a wall. There was no more than a spot to turn around at the top of this one, though. I did my turn around by throwing my body over the top and dangling my legs to find the next foothold. It worked well and it was probably from Liz comparing it to bareback horses when talking to me about the course. While never having to have done that, her explanation was enough for me.

Splitsville: I honestly thought this was going to be where the 5k and 10k races broke off until I saw that it was an obstacle where 4×4 wood planks were secured to wobbling chains flanked by loose chain handrails with murky water below. I walked gingerly about halfway through until the board started to rotate beneath my feet and I needed to grab the chains on the sides and take huge steps to complete the obstacle. I was amazed at how quickly I’d done that one and heard someone behind me comment, “Wow, that went by faster than I expected.”

Warden’s Wall:  Completely vertical cargo nets. Two on either side of a single shorter one. I decided to do the shorter one and I climbed up to the top, grabbed the spot to pull myself over, and had a bad gut feeling. I didn’t go over. I descended on the ascending side and walked around this setup. I turned my head to look back and saw someone fall. I heard this unforgettable sound and I thought I saw blood trickle from his forehead. Then, I saw people surround him and I bolted for the next aid tent and asked them if paramedics had been called. They said they had, so I went to another tent and repeated my message to the other. I convinced myself to go on so I could see a familiar face and let Liz know I was okay. I hope he was okay and an ambulance did arrive shortly after the incident.

Warrior Roast: This was FIRE! Jump over a fire. It wasn’t too difficult, but probably looked cool in the photo that they took while I jumped. It was over quickly and I didn’t feel much heat from the fire on my muddy legs.

El Capitan: Tall obstacle. Ladder type climb up to cargo net for more upward climbing ending on a platform with a huge slide. My poor ass and that sun heated slide. I made the cute picture face as long as I could, but then squealed with displeasure at my hot butt. This is where the crowds gather toward the finish line.

Muddy Mayhem: Mud pit with barbed wire over the top. There was a man eating lunch and he announced that the barbed wire was real and the mud would swallow your shoes, so he would advise we just swim through. I hopped in, put my arms down and pulled myself through while my rear end floated at water level. I heard people behind me yelling about a lost shoe. I found a foot hold at the end and pulled myself out still feeling pretty pleased with my new found strength to pull my weight. I looked like a mud monster.


The mud monster. That one is me.

Finished!  I got my medal as soon as I crossed the finish. My race bib was covered and hanging by 2 pins and one was because I’d reattached when I saw it was only dangling from one pin. I got a protein shake placed in my hand and Liz came to the finish and twisted the cap off for me right before I took the whole thing down in one chug.


Washed it. This bib has seen things…

So. Much. Fun.

She took me to rinse off at the hoses and it did a lot, but nobody would ever be able to tell that I’d rinsed off. I changed clothes in a communal changing tent and tried to get as much mud off as possible, but I was just less covered.


Left is before/Right is after rinsing off

I got my free beer and had a meal before driving a couple hours home and taking a real shower and a real nap. I discovered so many bruises from this adventure and I consider them badges of honor. I totally show them to everyone I encounter because I want to tell them about how awesome my race was. We should mention that I bruise easily and none of them actually hurt as bad as they look. I didn’t feel any of them when they happened and I thank God for helping me get through this.



Thanks for reading! I had so much fun! I’m going to link the obstacles here so you can look if you want. Also, this race has the opportunity to raise money for St. Jude, so you should do it if you’re on the fence about it. Warrior Dash Obstacles

Now I have to start half marathon training…



Purple Slime…all in my rug

I can’t even with this summer break stuff. There is purple slime embedded in the carpet in the playroom. At least the rest of the room is clean?

This week is going to be crazy and I’m prepared. We had a death in the family and will be driving a few hours away to spend time with family in addition to attending the services for my husband’s late Grandma. I’ve teared up each time I’ve talked about her since her passing. She will be missed.

We already had plans for the weekend involving a trip to St. Louis for my husband and younger kids to go to a party. I’m signed up to do a Warrior Dash on Saturday with my closest friend, Liz. She’s going to be my ride back home from St. Louis since my family is staying behind and it’s her fault I’m doing this crazy race.

Today, I woke up at 5 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got out of bed. I’d already set out clothes to work out in, so I put those on and went to the gym for a 6 am class. Last week, the kids were with me for all of my gym visits. Solo gym visit was nice. The next two days, I actually have to attend class at that time. Then, I’ll miss the next 4 days. When I go back, it’ll be in a new building closer to home (YAY).

I’m not finished weaning from meds (prozac), but it hasn’t impacted my weight. Nothing I’m trying has affected my weight. I honestly thought it would at least change my appetite. I’m not energetic like when I first lowered my dose, but I don’t feel worse from a psychological standpoint. I’m physically stronger. I wish my body showed strength instead of a belly that sticks out when I look at my reflection. I’ll keep doing my thing, though. I enjoy my workouts and I’m about to start training for my fall half marathon.

The heat and humidity has started up in full force and I’m getting tempered to it. While I’m not having any luck losing weight, I see progress in myself and I like it. Don’t forget to look for the things changing that encourage you. I know I sometimes forget.

Thanks for reading! I’ll have to come back to talk about my Warrior Dash.

Photo is after my 4th of July run that was around noon. I think Alexa trolls me with this song.