Saturday, February 26, 2011

Absolute Rugged Mania! Just Sayin'!

Ever since running my first 5k back in June, I've been absolutely dying to do an obstacle race.  My original plan was to trek seven hours to Mountain City, Georgia in May for Warrior Dash until my lovely friend Sarah decided on the same date for her impending nuptials.  I'd still like to run this race, but it looks like I'll have to wait until next year!  But once I realized that these amazing races existed, I knew I had to get in on the action as soon as possible, so waiting a year was out of the question.  I asked my sister to join me for the Rugged Maniac instead.  The race is extremely similar and about six hours closer to home!  Her Bootcamp trainer decided to get in on the action with us, so we set out bright and early this morning to what I can only describe as the middle of flipping NOWHERE to find out just how rugged we were.

My first sight of the steep hills sent my nerves in a tailspin.  I'm a slow runner and my stamina is pretty lame.  Would I really be able to make it through the course?  Just in case, I told my sister I'd (hopefully) see her at the finish line if we were to get separated and prayed I could at least keep up enough to not be last.  In the event I did end up collapsing of weenie-ness, I'd want someone to see me and know to get help. 

At 11:00 sharp, the horn sounded and we took off running up and down numerous steep and muddy hills and around sharp curves.  It wasn't long before we came to our first obstacle: a not-so-slippery slide meant to propel us fast to the next: a 4 foot deep mud pit lined with booey barricades that we had to pull ourselves over or swim under to complete.  The cold water definitely woke us up to prepare for the 7-Foot Tall Hurdles!  Being able to pull myself up and over without needing assistance made me feel pretty awesome (thanks, Bootcamp & Chris DeRoo)!  I was also glad to see that the next three hurdles were all shorter (6-Feet, 5-Feet, 4-Feet).  I would've welcomed a break at this point, but steep hills and sugar sand didn't exactly allow for it!

As I predicted, a pre-race Redbull gave my sister and her trainer wings so they were definitely long gone by this point.  I continued the trek, crawling under and leaping over various hurdles, climbing a 12 foot tall cargo net, leaping from log to log in an attempt to stay out of water, and running through a wall of hanging tires before a nice two-mile trot through the forest, entirely on sugar sand.  Talk about a butt workout!

Just when I was starting to get over it, I heard music and cheering and then a "YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!" Of course, we couldn't be expected to cross the finish line without first walking a balance beam 15 feet over water and crawling on our bellies through the mud under barbed wire! Though my sister finished a good seven minutes before me, she met me at the end of the mud pit to take the Prometheus Leap over fire before hitting the finish line! I never had access to a mirror, but something tells me I gave a whole new definition to the term "hot mess".

This was by far the most fun fitness adventure I've had to date!  The past couple of weeks have been rough on my fitness and I've been getting a bit down about it. Today reminded me that, yes, I am strong and all the work I put in at the gym has paid off. Mud Run is coming to Actionville on March 26th and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take it on and make it my biatch while supporting the MS society!

Don't know if an obstacle race is your thing?  Check out this article for a rundown.  Interested in running a race in your area?  A quick google search of "Obstacle Races 2011" will pull up all sorts of options for you to get out, get dirty, and show your tough side!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Wagon--

--I more or less fell off of it.  Not all the way, more like hanging off the side with my feet dragging the ground, holding onto the edge for dear life before falling into the dust and getting left.  That's where I'm at!

Let me first state that as of January 31st, I had AMAZING "Back on Track" results at boot camp, losing nine pounds and seven inches.  The entire month was full of new challenges for me, changing both my eating and drinking habits, as well as getting back into the swing of waking up before the sun to get my ass kicked four days a week.  I went from having two "dry" days a week to five days of being alcohol-free.  I ate more fruit and veggies and worked harder physically in one month than I probably did in the six months prior.

I almost wish I hadn't seen the results.  It led me to believe I could take a bit of a break and relax.  A cheat day every now and then is a must in an effort to keep sane and feel like I'm not depriving myself.  However, I pretty much had a cheat week...or two.  More than once, after downing roughly a bottle of wine over four hours, I decided to shove 1,000 more calories worth of Krystals into my face (the amount of Krystal Burgers for the amount of calories is sad, people!).  There were the slices of pizza that I justified because they were topped with veggies (washed down with more wine--for the healthy antioxidants, of course).  Ice cream, cup cakes, soft drinks, Superbowl Sunday (aka who-knows-what I ate), the list goes on and on.  How did I choose to burn those extra calories, you ask?  Why, by laying on the couch watching Law & Order reruns all day each day on the weekends and several nights after work!

On the one hand, I know how terrible of a thing it was to do to my body.  It helped me feel better in the moment, but a few hours or even just minutes later and I wasn't so sure.  I was tired, sluggish, and my digestive system hated me.  On a postive side, I was able to recognize the correlation between how I feel emotionally when eating healthy (stable, at peace) verses after 3 nights in a row of drinking and vegging out (anxious, irritable).  I don't think I would've noticed this as drastically before.  I also realized that I tend to get more out of my workouts when I've given myself the proper fuel to push through them.  Lastly, I discovered that my metabolism is beyond forgiving!  If I keep up the hijinks of the last couple weeks it will begin to show some wear, but for now the scale hasn't budged more than a pound. 

I'm not going to be perfect.  It's going to be a long while before eating healthy is 100% second nature and I quit debating on whether or not to get out of bed in the AM to face the gym.  Maybe I did F- up the past couple of weeks, but it didn't come without a few lessons learned and motivation to do better.  New days were invented for a reason and I'll take them as an opportunity to put down the cheeseburger, brush off the crumbs, and start fresh!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feel Like Chicken Tonight!

I realize I haven't showcased a meat-friendly meal yet.  Believe it or not, I'm quite omnivorous!  It wasn't until the past five years or so that I gave more attention to veggies and the last year that I've considered throwing fruit into my diet.  Since the meat industry seems to be so sketch, I've begun to monitor how much meat I eat and get my protein from other sources several days of the week.  Alas, I can't completely cut out the good stuff.  Instead, I pay a little more for meat that was raised cage free by farmers who receive fair wages, animals who eat the diet they were born to consume, and are free of unnecessary hormones and antibiotics.  Interested in find locally grown, organic meat in your area?  Visit to find a farm near you!

That being said, my bootcamp buddy Margaret recently shared this kickass recipe with me that I shall now share with you!

Food & Wine's Curried-Chicken & Vegetable Pan Roast

Aside from cutting this recipe into a third (the original serves 12!) and adding chopped carrots, I followed the instructions to a T.  The dish is so simple to make, with the most work being cutting up a butternut squash.  I'm not a huge fan of brussel sprouts and have fought with my parents since my beginning that I will. not. eat. them.  My boyfriend (aka guinea pig) shares my opinions on the green farty-tasting veggie, yet we both totally dug them in this dish!  Not the slightest fart taste!  Four servings was enough for both of us to have lunch (and then some) the next day and I won't lie--knowing I got to enjoy this meal again had me super excited for lunchtime! 

Go ahead and cut up the veggies ahead of time.  When you come home and know you don't want to spend all evening in the kitchen yet you want a delicious meal, you just have to put everything in the pan and into the oven for a low-maintenance, yummy, good-for-your-tummy dinner!

Coming up this month: a little sugar, posers and spinners, Back on Track results, Healthy Hearty food and Rugged Racing!  Don't act like you can't feel the suspense!