Jailbreak Wrap-Up

So, Saturday was the Jailbreak Run. I could hardly sleep the night before and I was nervous the entire way to the shooting range where the race was being held. Once I saw some of the obstacles I got even more nervous, but I was a little bit heartened to see that there were other people walking.
Before the race...

Before the race…

Not gonna lie, I walked a large portion of the time. I jogged as much as I could, but when I got to the hills my stamina failed me. Probably this is because I usually jog on the treadmill with no incline. I did manage to run up two hills but when I got to the top I had to walk. I am comforted by the fact that I was not the last person in my wave, and that when I had to walk, I power-walked it.
Part of the walking had to do with the fact that I found some of my friends there and when they said “don’t worry, we’re slow too” I didn’t think they meant they planned to walk almost the entire way. I split up with them around Mile One because I wanted to do some more jogging, and when I looked back they were nowhere in sight. I felt a little bad leaving them behind, but I felt a little better running when I could.
Friends!

Friends!

I think the cargo net climb may have been the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I was shaking the entire time, afraid I was going to fall, especially when I went over the top. The A-frame climb was hard because it was slick with mud, and the hay wall was hard because there were no real hand or footholds, but the cargo net was just plain frightening. Imagine trying to climb up a rope ladder that’s moving and wobbling underneath you, and trying to do it in muddy, slick running shoes. By the time I made it over, I was kind of lightheaded.

There was a whole lot of mud, let me tell you. The first obstacle was a “pond crossing” that was a lot more like a bog crossing in knee deep mud, then we were supposed to climb a hill. A lot of people, including me, slid right back down that hill. Then we had to come around and cross through it again, then climb up another hill. There was an obstacle where they sprayed water down on you like a fire hose, which made the ground around it into dirt soup. There was a slip-n-slide that was 85% muddy water and ended in a mud puddle. The final obstacles were a mud crawl, then rolling through sand to get to the finish line. Oh, and a drainage pipe filled with muddy water.

...after the race.

…after the race.

After 3 miles of jogging, climbing, slipping, carrying concrete weights and sliding down things, I made it to the last obstacles. There was a banner marking how low you had to crawl through the mud pit to get across, then more banners that you had to roll under. When I made it to my feet, I was so dizzy that I ended up staggering across the finish line to receive my medal of honor.

Finisher's Medal

Later on, when I took off my filthy jogging pants, I discovered that my knees were bruised, scraped and cut. I have a bit of road rash on my upper arm where I tried (and failed, sadly) to climb the tire wall. There are also some little cuts on my hands and scrapes on my ankles. These things happen when you’re crawling through drainage pipes, over gravel, and through mud pits. I’m also sunburned and my upper body is sore from climbing. I regret nothing.

All in all, it was an amazing experience and a damn good time. I plan to do it again next year, and hopefully Mister E will be able to come with me. He said it looked like fun. He was right.

SAMSUNG
Oh, and on the way home from lunch – paninis at Hearthstone – I bought a cheapie frame and put my muddy race bib into it, then hung it on the wall. Not even the Curse of Nines could stop me.
SAMSUNG

My next goal is the Fiesta Fandango, a 2.6 mile evening “fun run” during Fiesta in Lamesville. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make it, especially since I have over a month to get ready for it. Then, a real, honest-to-goodness 5K in honor of Misty.

I can do this. I’ve totally got this.

Nana’s Got Street Cred

When I lived in Wisconsin, I didn’t make many friends for one reason or another. One of the people I always got along with, though, was Special K’s grandmother Nana.

She is a surprisingly tough old lady who took care of Special K almost his entire life, so they have a very special bond that I think a lot of his family underestimates. She’s also very outspoken and doesn’t think twice about giving you a piece of her mind. Thankfully, she liked me. We would go over there often to check on her, help take down or put up decorations for holidays, and sometimes Special K would drive her to the doctor.

I liked Nana very much. Helping her was never a chore and she always saved articles or coupons she thought I would like. I wish my own grandmother was like her. But that’s another story altogether. This story is about Christmas, Special K, and fashion. Two of those three words don’t go together, and Christmas is not one of them.

Special K was always content to wear the same three or four plaid shirts over a white t-shirt until I came along, and even then the only thing I was able to do about it was get him to wear a few different plaid shirts over various colored or screened t-shirts. Oh, and a sweater or two. The baseball cap was something else entirely, we won’t even go into that.

One Christmas when everyone had gathered together for the traditional stuffing of themselves, Nana thought she would buy all her grandkids (and great grandkids) an article of clothing. Mine was a super-soft fleecy sweatshirt that I really liked and cannot find these days. It is not often that an 80+ year old woman is able to pick out clothes that young people like, but she seemed to have a knack. Special K’s cousin got a pair of rhinestone studded jeans that she thought were better than pie (she had no idea what she was on about), and Special K himself got a really nice hoodie.

“Thanks, Nana,” he said as he held it up for everyone to see. “I’ve really been wanting a nice sweatshirt with a hood.”

“Dear,” Nana replied, patting him gently on the arm, “The kids call those hoodies.

Somehow I held in the laughter. I do that a lot. The rest of the family, however, were not quite as adept at it and had a good laugh at Special K, Nana, and the hoodie. I’m sure they still do, and Special K laughs with them because if there’s one thing he can do it’s laugh at himself. This is a good thing if you’re as dorky as him, and I say that in the most loving way possible.

I really should go back to visit him sometime. Just like squirting whipped cream directly into your mouth, Wisconsin is very nice in small, staggered bursts.

Jailbreak!

One of my goals for the new year was to start running again. I’ve been following the Couch-to-5K running plan again and I am pleased to say I’ve gotten further on it than my last two tries, even though I’ve currently had to go backward after some anesthesia and a minor procedure set me back a little.

I feel good, much stronger and fitter than I was when I started this whole thing. Even on the week I couldn’t go to the gym because my car was back in the shop, I did my jogging on the crappy treadmill in our apartment’s  fitness center (it’s not that crappy, the suspension just isn’t as good as the ones at the gym). I’m determined to do it this time, so I’ve set myself a goal.

THIS.

It’s called the Jailbreak Run.

It’s running, yes, but there’s much more to it than just a normal 5K. There are obstacles. Things like a mud crawl, a cargo net, a water slide, that sort of thing. When I showed Mister E the interactive map he said it looked like a lot of fun. In fact, he said if we had enough money he would do it with me. Leave it to him to want to simulate breaking out of jail.

The money is where the whole thing started to fall apart on me, though.

You see, the Jailbreak is pretty huge in terms of setup and a portion of the fee goes toward charity. That means instead of the regular $25 or $30 that a 5K costs, this one is a whopping $60. For our budget, that’s the same as saying $1000. It’s just not something we can afford. I was bummed but took to Twitter and said I need 60 people to send me a dollar so I can run in this, not expecting a response.

Sometimes people surprise you. I was sent a total of $42 by my Twitter friends, which was enough for Mister E to say we could make up the difference and I could run! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to actually be able to do something as wild and crazy as the Jailbreak.

I am fully prepared to be the very last one running but somehow I don’t see people booing me. It’ll be like that episode of the Golden Girls where Sophia runs in a marathon. With her wicker purse. Even if no one cheers for me, I’m gonna keep at it because I refuse to let down my friends who are supporting me. On Friday when I felt a little tired (around minute 16 of 20), I kept pushing forward because I knew I couldn’t let them down. Even if I’m the very last one over the finish line, I’m going to be proud of myself and collect my medal of honor. And of course you know what this means.

I need to get me a wicker purse.

On Holiday: Driving Mishaps

What would any good trip be without The Unexpected as your navigator? This was especially true for me, since this was my first major outing since I started driving again. As I’m sure you can guess, I had a few misadventures.

The first occurred before I was even out of the city. After Mister E put my suitcase in the car I gave him a kiss and left, drove until I got to the highway, realized I forgot my stone plugs, and turned back around to go get them. My husband was surprised but gave me another kiss and told me to call when I got there.

On the way to Austin, it began to sprinkle. It had looked like rain when I left Lamesville, but Mister E and I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Then the sprinkle turned to rain and my crappy windshield wipers were only smearing the water around. I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack, so I pulled over with the intent of buying a new windshield wiper at the first Autozone I saw.

Only I didn’t see an Autozone. I didn’t see a Walmart. I did see a Target, but I couldn’t remember for the life of me if they sold automotive items. Thankfully they sold (one brand of) windshield wipers and I purchased it, along with two Creme Eggs because vacation. I stood out in the rain arguing with my old windshield wiper for a while before getting frustrated and just snapping off the adapter in several pieces so I could install the new one. My hands were filthy and The Dad was on the phone telling me he’d never heard of a town called Kyle, and at that point I was wishing for Austin traffic just so I’d know I was close to my destination.

At one point I almost ran over a pedestrian who wasn’t paying attention and walking at night. I also ended up driving the wrong way down a one-way street because of some confusing signage. I made a whole lot of U-turns, some of which were likely not legal. What can I say, I’m a rebel.

The other exciting mishap occurred when I was looking for the gym so I could go run. Did you know there are TWO Lamar streets in Austin that diverge and then meet up? I sure didn’t. It took me half an hour to get to the gym, and about ten minutes to get home from there when I was finished. This was also when I ended up driving into oncoming traffic. I don’t know why everyone has to honk at you when you do that. I mean it’s pretty obvious that I was in the wrong place. All the honking just makes me nervous and stabby.

The majority of the time I had RJ as my navigator, which meant The Unexpected was relegated to the backseat, where it proceeded to make sure his Google Maps app took us the most circuitous route possible, or to places that weren’t even there. When we were married, RJ and I referred to these as our “traditional Christmas adwentures,” and the phrase got plenty of use this time as well.

Before I knew it, it was time to drive home and bid farewell to the terrifying streets of Austin for the comforting familiarity of good ol’ Lamesville. About the only good thing I can say about this town is that I don’t have to watch out for pedestrians and bikers who think they can make it across the street before I get to them. Also, I know what kind of crazy the drivers around here are capable of. Austin’s crazy is less predictable.

And that’s about it. I had an amazing time chilling with RJ and the Big Man, cuddling the cat that used to be ours when we were married, watching Fawlty Towers (aka Watery Fowls and Flowery Twats), and backing into metal fences when trying to navigate tiny parking lots.

Oh, did I not mention that particular mishap?

Heh.