Pretty Muddy? Pretty Amazing Start!

Welcome to June! Summer is officially here – school is out, the grill is on and the mud races have begun.

Today marks the kick-off to the 2013 Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run Series. The first wave was this morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Skyline Ranch in Dallas, Texas.  The course there is amazing per the Pretty Muddy updates…the weather is going to be perfect and Pretty Muddy has partnered with some very exciting organizations-

PM_FB_Pinterest_hdr_2 DALLAS

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have a lot of fun. (Not to mention, get a little lot muddy). Good luck to everyone running today!

You can keep up with Pretty Muddy and follow race updates throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m excited to run the Pretty Muddy race in Columbus on September 14. Registration is now open! You can register here. Join me and several other Central Ohio Bloggers. We are Team Powerful in Pink slated for the 9:00 a.m. wave. You can run or walk, so don’t be shy – I would love to see you there!

What about you? Are you running a Pretty Muddy race? If so, which one? Did you run in Dallas today? Leave me a comment and tell me how pretty awesome it was!

Until the next mile marker,

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14 reasons I might be a poor spectator

14 reasons i might be a poor spectator title graphic

I had the privilege of cheering for my favorite training crew this past Saturday at the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus. I’ll admit, I was excited to be out on the course and a little nervous too. As you know, I have been out of the racing scene for the better part of a year now, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel being back on a race course – even if I wasn’t running –that hit close to home for me. Cap City was the goal race for the runners I coached every spring. I know the course like the back of my hand (unless, as you will see, I am spectating), and it is one of my favorites. It provides a great tour of the capital city and has great swag – plus, the M3S Sports motto of “Celebrate like a Champion” (because everyone who gets out there and gives it their all is) and post-race swag, including champagne at every finish line is something I would rather not miss.

I am incredibly proud of my friends who started and finished this race – it was a tough training season with setbacks and injuries and this was personally important to one of them in particular. I was grateful to be at the Finish Line and along the way; I learned some things about myself and spectating too. You see, spectating was always an event in and of itself to me. I always joined a group or my running club and we made a big deal out of it. Saturday was the first time I actually spectated on my own.

Mostly, I leaned 14 reasons why I just might be a poor spectator!

  1. While I know the race course, I have no idea where to go to spectate. This involves me bumbling around on city sidewalks wishing I had combed the corner trashcans for discarded course maps.
  2. I get annoyed with people who a) don’t understand a race, b) think they do and c) are overly vocal about it. “She needs to slow down” “Why would you wear that?” “I mean, come on, it’s Mile 7 and they look that tired” and “When I ran a marathon that was like 3.5 miles, I (most annoying fill-in inserted here)” don’t do well around me. I have to move, which brings me back to # 1.
  3. It makes me miss running. I would rather be running in fact, until I see said tired and injured people at Mile 7 and think, “I’m not ready yet.” Then, I’m just back to missing running.
  4. I analyze the fast people (in my head so as not to disturb others) and think, “Seriously, once I lose some weight, how hard can it be to run that fast?” I probably don’t need to try running as fast as I want to think I can.
  5. It’s like dodging the paparazzi. I forgot I haven’t been at a formal running event in several, several months. I even wore sunglasses and black (to blend in, right?), but I still found several adoring fans. I wasn’t exactly prepared to talk about how I was feeling the last ten months, which may have come across as…awkward?
  6. It’s always colder when you’re not running, which brings me back to # 3, and then all I can think about is “If I were running….”
  7. I always think the people I am looking for are faster than they are. By Mile 7 I start to freak out, “Where are they?!” moments after the frontrunners pass through. This creates an unnecessary panic in my brain.
  8. I never know whether to really cheer or not. Faster runners don’t look like they need me to cheer, sometimes slower runners look like they don’t want me to cheer. When I’m standing by myself on High Street (because I have moved away as a result of #2), I never know whether to cheer like a madwoman or clap and say, “Keep it up!” when duh, what else would they do?!
  9. When a person I know, but am not expecting to see, pops up in front of me on the course and waves hello (Congrats, Michael! Check out his blog too), there is a moment of surprise and again, panic when I don’t know what to say or do so I stand there looking dumb and then wave and clap wildly after he or she has already passed by.
  10. I want to tell the ladies to get properly fitted for a sports bra. I refrain.
  11. I am reminded “You’re almost there!!” is never okay to scream unless really, the runner can actually see the finish line. Mile 4, 7, 10 and even 12 are not almost there. You’re closer, but not “almost there,” especially if you are struggling. It is most certainly not even remotely funny at Mile 1 of a half marathon.
  12. Margaretville and other Jimmy Buffet songs do not make me excited or happy at 7:54 a.m. unless I am back on a beach on my Honeymoon at Cinnamon Bay. I do not take kindly to gaggles of girls singing it in full beachy costume, along with the band, at 7:55 a.m. I’m pretty sure I feel the same about this when I am running.
  13. I put my hand up for one high five (for a runner who requested it by raising his hand to me) and suddenly I am the high-five girl for the mile – with people easing over to take part, which brings me back to # 8, maybe they really DO want me to cheer?!
  14. I say things like “I’m standing in between the tequila and the chocolate milk….”
Duane and I were caught off guard by photographers, but tried to regroup...

Duane and I were caught off guard by photographers, but tried to regroup…

Needless to say, Congrats to all who ran on Saturday, especially Judi, Jay, Maryanne and Duane. You worked hard and I know you earned those medals (now if any of you who are injured/sick/etc. try to run until you are healed, I won’t be happy, just sayin’).

What about you? Do you ever spectate independently at races? Do you have any of the above things happen to you? How do you handle it? Or, am I completely off base and the only one who ever experienced these things?

Until the next mile marker,

Get Pretty Muddy for My Birthday Giveaway!

Time flies when you are having fun. Period. I look back over the past few years so of my life and think about how different things are now than they used to be. I went from being inactive – completely sedentary – to running and training for half and full marathons on a daily basis. I made a major lifestyle change and I stuck with it. I gained back my self-confidence, health and courage, and I was happy to be me was again. I made more friends than I ever had in my adult life and helped others, like my mother, achieve the happiness I had found through accomplishing something that was once thought to be impossible. Early in 2011, life delivered a blow like I had never felt before when my mother passed away unexpectedly. I was (and still am in many ways) devastated. I kept running and surrounded myself with the people who cared. Just when I started to come out of the daze that life left me in only a few short months ago, I was hospitalized for ten days for Pulmonary Embolism that killed a portion of my lung and only by the grace of God not my heart. It was the first and hopefully only time I ever have to hear, “You’re lucky to be alive.” I stopped asking life, “What’s next?” I don’t think I want to know.

I turn thirty next week, and I’m not entirely happy about that. There are so many things I never thought I would say before I was thirty. Things like, “I remember Mom used to…” and “Oh yeah, before I got sick and had to be on oxygen…” and “Hang on, I need to find an elevator because I can’t do stairs yet….” I am only thirty, right?! Good, because life just about has me fooled.

So, the few people that know I am turning thirty keep asking me what I want to do for my birthday. In all honesty, all I really want to do is run a race, but I can’t. Not yet. Which race would I run, you ask? Well, I would run any of them, but I have really wanted to run in an adventure or obstacle or (yes) mud race for quite some time now. In fact, I am pretty excited about the newly launched Pretty Muddy Mud Run – women’s only, obstacle run taking place in Zanesfield, OH on September 29, 2012  at Mad River Mountain. I wish I could be there – it would be the perfect belated Birthday present – if I could run!  

And that’s exactly where you come in.

Pretty Muddy has graciously offered to partner with me in offering one of my readers a complimentary entry to the race in Columbus (Zanesfield) and T-Shirt. 

Check it out, I love it:

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have a lot of fun doing it.

Here’s what you get:
  • 5k Course (3.1 miles, run or walk)
  • Women Only (sorry, guys)
  • Mud (lots of it!)
  • Architectural Obstacles (much better than shabby hay bales and shaky plywood)
  • Pretty Epic Finish Line Party (Entertainment, music, drinks and celebration galore)

The obstacles look completely awesome too:

Okay, even I can do this one – 

Doesn’t it look like so much fun? If you don’t agree, you don’t have to do all of the obstacles, or, you can go back through and do them as many times as you want!

I was grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a live Twitter chat last night with Pretty Muddy and FitFluential and let me tell you, this race just sounds like it is going to be a blast. My favorite thing I learned? The Pretty Muddy mud run is designed to be empowering, not overwhelming and you can take as much time as you need. The focus is friendship, fitness and muddy fun for hard-working women! The race was inspired by the thought that moms and wives (and all women) need more balance in their lives.

Who is near Columbus and wants to go?

Here’s How to Enter for a Complimentary Pass and T-Shirt to the Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run at Mad River Mountain in Zanesville on September 29, 2012 (Please make sure you can go before you enter!):
Leave me a comment telling me (1) if you have run a mud race before and (2) what you loved (or did not love) about it or tell me why you have (1) not run a mud race before and (2) what’s stopped you. + 2 entries
Leave me a comment telling me why you want to run the Pretty Muddy Mud Run in particular.  + 1 entry
That’s it! You have until midnight on Thursday, August 30 to enter (that’s my birthday)! I will randomly choose a winner and announce it on this blog on Friday, August 31. Please be sure to check back to see if you won too.
Don’t want to wait to see if you won?

You can register for the Columbus race using this link. Also, enter the promotional code WordstoRunByDisc to save $10 off the $69.50 entry fee!
Not in Ohio? 
2012 Pretty Muddy events are happening in these cities and you can find out more on their website:
  • Chicago IL Sept 15
  • Columbus OH Sept 29
  • Richmond VA Oct 20
  • Jacksonville FL Nov 3
  • Tampa FL Nov 10
  • Miami FL Nov 17
Each city has a designated Pretty Preferred Partner: an organization with local ties that benefits from a portion of proceeds. However, you can opt to designate a portion of YOUR proceeds to the 501(c)3 charity of your choice, benefiting the cause that means the most to you, which I think is a really cool option. We all run for a reason, why not make Pretty Muddy a part of it?

Be sure to get muddy with Pretty Muddy on Facebook and Twitter too if you aren’t already. This is really a fun and empowering community to be a part of. 

Good luck, ladies!

Until the next mile marker,