OK, two RR, one really rambly:
The one I ran- When I got up in the morning I was kind of dreading the race. It was in the 50's, raining and the news was saying it wasn't going to let up until late afternoon. Made an executive decision that Dave and the kids would stay home, that I would change my outfit (tights instead of my skirt, old pair of Brooks instead of the VFF). Talked to a friend who was going and she offered to drive, so I hitched in with her, her husband and her niece. We spent the drive talking about birth (friend is my backup doula partner, we attended her niece's birth last year) with Scott complaining that we were killing his testosterone. M (the niece) got her husband to start texting pictures of manly things-Rambo, monster trucks, the world's largest beer keg) and all was well. Got to the exit and found traffic backed up like I've never seen there, and it ended up taking an hour from the freeway to the parking. Then the shuttle, and it became obvious we were going to miss our wave. Mad texting with a team member already there, she verified we could start whenever we got there and all was well. Arrived and the rain.......stopped. Suddenly it went up about 10 degrees, so I trotted off and changed back to the original outfit, then checked my bags. We realized we had checked our water and no one had eaten since 9am (it was 1:30), but what can you do?
We hopped into the chute and I realized I was starting with a team made up of mostly people I know, including the parents of one of Courtney's longtime friends (Darlene and Kevin). Remembered it was D's birthday and started the entire wave singing to her, while M had a bit of a panic attack. Decided as a group we weren't going to try to stay together to cut the stress on M and S who weren't feeling well.
When we took off I was in the front of our group for a while. The entire first 3/4 mile was on flattened down meadow grass, very uneven and weird. Scott passed me and I walked a bit to stretch my calves (haven't spent much time off road in the VFF) and R caught up. We stayed together until the first obstacle, where we had to tell a guy that he didn't get to hold the barbed wire for us. At the second (big climbing wall) I picked the wrong line, and R got over at least 3-4 minutes before me. I never saw her again until the finish. I shook the image of the guy who tried to jump from the top and broke his leg, and fell in with a Crossfit team that adopted me- somewhere on YouTube there is quite a bit of video of my butt, as the camera guy was behind me a good portion of the time. Climbed some more walls, walked some planks, and after about the first mile most of the terrain was deep, slippery, insane mud. Walked more than I ran, but tried to push on the grass sections. I'm proud to say I didn't fall over any of the walls, which was my biggest fear! Passed the ninja turtle guys and the women in gold spandex. Towards the end I caught up to the team from home and was thankful to have someone to pace me, we ended up all finishing together.
As I was coming over the last big wall I heard someone say "Oh my God that guy is on fire!" right as I hit the top. My panic kept me from looking, which I think is for the best, and by the time I got down I never saw anything. As I got down I heard R and S calling my name. Took a deep breath, prayed I was timing my steps right and jumped right over both fires- FAR taller than they look in the pictures online! Then....the mud pit. It's literally knee deep, with barbed wire about thigh high so you have no choice but to crawl. Made it past that, decided to keep crawling as there were big drop offs in and people were falling all around me. The guy next to me was breaststroking! At this point I hit a patch of gravel in the mud and tore the hell out of my knee, so then stood up....only to bite it in another hole, right in front of a camera at the finish. I wasn't the only one, but I sure hope that's not my finish picture!
At the finish I realized my preceptor had come to watch (our team was the Stinky Hippy Homebirthers and Friends, mostly clients of mine with a few doulas thrown in). Luckily she had her phone, so we were able to get the mud pictures, got sprayed down by the fire hose (the worst part of the event, honestly). At one point Robin and I looked at each other and both said, almost at once, "That was the best thing EVER!". We drank our beers, Robin got groped by a drunk pirate, and we laughed our butts off for a while before getting back on the busses and back to the car. All of us ended up flashing the general public while trying to get out of our still muddy and very wet clothing in the parking lot.
I highly recommend this event for anyone who has one available. Very well organized, definitely the toughest 3.55 miles I've ever done. It took me over an hour to finish, which was solidly in the middle of my group. Results aren't up yet, but I'd be surprised if the overall winners were under 35 minutes, as some of the other cities with shorter courses are still ~30 minutes and I'm assuming had less mud through the course. We definitely will be doing it next year, and are tossing around the idea of going to Oregon for the one in September.
You've probably all seen them, but the pictures are up on FB
Courtney and I volunteered as split timers for the See Jane Run half in Seattle today. We did mile 2 and 10, and basically spent 4 hours in the rain cheering women on and yelling out times. I'm actually thrilled that we did this, as it really made me feel better about my pace and where I would fall into a group- I've always felt so slow and kind of like a fraud with the amount of walk breaks I'm taking lately, but seeing all of these amazing women made me realize I'm just about average. We saw the winners 4 times due to the weird out and back legs of the course, and we ended up walking in to finish with the very last woman, who was bawling her eyes out for the last mile. So much fun, and really makes me want to do this race next summer.
I'm now dragging ass (we bbq'ed after the WD, ended up laughing and drinking until midnight, then up at 5 to get to Seattle by 7) and need to find some arnica to deal with the bruises on my banged up knee. All in all a great weekend.