Marine Mud Run 2011 (or: “Stacey’s Impulsiveness”)

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Oh boy.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

Do you know what I’ve gotten myself into?

Allow me to start in the beginning Smile

A few months ago, my friend and I were trail running and talking about races that would be cool to do. She casually mentioned something called the “Marine Mud Run” and I said “YEAH! I’ve heard of that! I hear it’s really awesome and muddy.”

Her: “We should do it. It’s in September, we just need a team of 4.”

–Mind you, this was back in May? June?–

Me: “Yeah, we really should. I’m sure I could get Jason to do it. We’d just need one other person.”

Her: “My brother was talking about doing it. Let’s look into it.”

Well, neither one of us looked into it. We kept mentioning it from time to time and finally, last week, I mentioned it to Jason. He said it sounded “fun” (Oh, how little we knew!) And we signed up.

And then she signed up.

And then her brother signed up.

And the race is in TWO WEEKS(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) <—Wouldn’t be such a big deal if I had read what all would be required of us in this “race”.

I mean, the billboard alone makes me want to hide in my closet and eat bon-bons for the rest of the month.

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So anyway, we are registered for this race that we all thought would be a breezy 7-mile run with a few obstacles along the way.

You know, crawling through mud…doing push-ups in mud…things of that sort.

Well, after signing up, we decided that we should go on the website and see exactly what obstacles there were (well, DUH) so we could train in the small amount of time that we had.

Here is what we found:

Don’t feel like reading all of that? I wouldn’t either. You can imagine our surprise at this –when printed- two page list of obstacles. I mean, what the WHAT?!!!!

Our faces: I don't know smile –>Disappointed smile—>Surprised smile—>Confused smile—>Crying face

First of all, we had no idea what the heck some of this stuff was. Push ups? Fine. But what in the world is a duck walk?

People- after training for ONE day, I am hear to tell you that a duck walk is an exercise sent straight from the devil himself. It’s pure torture. And not even while you are doing it, but the pain from duck-walking only 150 ft (and we have to do it 400 ft!!!) has lasted oh, about 4 days now. Here is a demonstration:

 

My legs ache just watching it again.

Jason and I went to the park a few days ago to practice some of these moves. We did duck-walks, army crawls, frog hops, bear crawls (frontwards and backwards), plank holds, leg lifts, push ups, and then more duck walks.)

It’s strange, because when doing duck-walks, it’s the calves that hurt the most. But the days following the exercise, your upper leg muscles make it very clear that they were the one’s doing all of the work Smile

And you know what else I did? I accidentally told everyone to sign up for the wrong race. There are two options: you can do the competitive run, or the fun run.

We wanted to do the fun run – a little less obstacles and not as many miles…but I signed up for the wrong one.

So now we are in the competition. Thanks to me! Sorry teammates!

I’m sure we could change it, but I think we all like the idea of the challenge. Here are some pics from previous mud runs:

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And just to show that girls do it too-

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**Bah! That’s the dreaded duck-walk through mud. Oh my gahhhhhhhhh**

I had no idea how hard this race was going to be. We are all a little scared, especially with it being in two weeks!! I still think I’m going to be completely shocked by the challenge it will bring me come race day.

But we’re in it! No going back……! I’m sure it will be memorable, and muddy too Winking smile 

And dear teammates,

If you cannot find me before the race starts, please do not be alarmed. I’ll just be hiding in my dark closet, eating bon-bons Open-mouthed smile

No really, I may need a little prayer or two to get through this one…

N.C. Puppy Mill Petition

Hi everyone!

One more animal rights post, and then I’ll lay off for a while 😉

Grace, the 11 year old that I watch, has begun a petition to ban North Carolina puppy mills. If you would please take a moment of your day to sign it, and pass it along, we would greatly appreciate it!

We are reaching for 5,000 signatures, a BIG GOAL – we know – but we have to try at least!

Here is the link:

https://www.change.org/petitions/no-more-nc-puppy-mills

Thanks so much guys!

PS. Jason and I are going camping tomorrow! I’ll be back with a post about our trip. Also in the future – a post on meal-planning and how my marathon training is going. See you! 🙂 Have a happy weekend (and thanks for signing – especially if you don’t even live in our state) 😉

Let Him Fly

So today I took “the kids” to a popular park in North Carolina.

This park has a Nature Center, and while I don’t necessarily like going into Nature Centers – or zoos, for that matter- I still do, because the kids like it.

Well, today I went into the Nature Center of this park and what I saw was very disturbing.

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In the second “habitat” we came to, we found an American Kestrel (a type of hawk, and a beautiful bird) named “Copperfield” chained to a nail in the wall. With only two perches for the bird to sit on.

No flight.

No nest building.

Nothing.

He can hop up and he can hop down, and that is all.

Wanting to find out more about this bird, I got the attention of an employee in the building. Here is how our conversation went:

Me: “Can you tell me why that bird is chained up?”

E: “Oh yeah. That’s ‘Copperfield’. We named him that because he has a tendency of escaping when the feeders open the cage, so we had to chain him up.”

Me: *Fighting fury that is rising up in my chest*

E: “He was hand-raised, so he’s used to being around humans. He’s happy here.”

Me: *wanting to yell “So that’s why he tries to escape all of the time, because ‘he’s happy here’”????!!!! “Well, thanks.”

That’s when I excused myself to the bathroom and cried in the stall for a few minutes.

I can’t help it, stuff like this just gets to me.

I went back in and observed the bird and his surroundings – no fake trees, no other perches, no anything except for those two lousy perches that were covered in fake grass.

The wallpaper of the small cage was flowery and something you might find in an old ladies home. The bird looked so PITIFUL. He kept his back to us the entire time we were there. Just staring at the wall.

And the wall! It had excessive scratches all over it.

You guys should know that lately I have been obsessed with learning about animal cognition and animal behaviorism. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about how animals think and feel (if they do..and I’ve learned that THEY DO.) I’ve learned so much in such a short time.

One thing I’ve learned:

Excessive scratching, grooming, licking, are all signs that an animal is experiencing stress or boredom. As is excessive hair-plucking or gnawing. Birds have a tendency to pluck their own feathers when they are in a bad psychological state.

Scratching goes right along with this.

I tried to recreate a picture above. But the wall behind the bird looked like a dog had gotten a hold of it.

Add in the fact that the bird was clearly not wanting to be social.

 

I felt so bad seeing this.

It remained in my mind all afternoon, and when I came home to Jason, I hugged and cried into his chest about it. We then conjured up an e-mail to send to the facility.

And now we wait.

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I just don’t understand it.

Let him FLY. He’s a bird!

Give him the chance to build nests and find a mate. Give him the chance to soar above the trees. Don’t keep him chained inside of a cage.

What kind of life is that?

“But it’s just a bird

It doesn’t matter. It’s still a life.

And every life matters. Who are we to tie another living thing up? One that was meant to fly? Because we are human? And we are bigger?

Humans are animals too. We just happen to be more advanced in our ways of thinking/doing…and we outnumber the other animals.

I know this may be silly to some, but to me…this was just so…..depressing.

It was almost like I could feel that birds longing to fly. To get out of there….

Dabble, Dabble

Herrowwww.

Guess what.

I’m done with summer school! <—explains my absence.

This past week I took my exams for my summer classes, and I came out with an ‘A’ in Anatomy & Physiology (what what) and a ‘B’ in Statistics. Boo. I don’t mind a B. But I had an A before I took the stupid exam. Which was amazeballs hard.

And I knew it would be because the review for it was hard and left me thinking “Uuuuuummmmmmmm, what..what the what?!!” I also e-mailed my teacher back and forth a bajillion times to get help. We were IM-ing at midnight, I tell ya.

 

But I bombed the exam, but I’m okay with that. I really did my best.

Anywho!

As for the kittens in the last post- I went to talk to my neighbor and I’m so glad I did. I’ve never talked to her before, and she’s a really nice person. She gladly took the box of kittens out of my hands without question. I gave her kitten milk and everything I had that they would need. She is now raising them and then is going to adopt them out Smile <—Yay for a happy ending!

Amidst all of the school work and stress these past couple of weeks, Jason and I have succeeded in making time for some F.U.N.! Open-mouthed smile

 

Last Monday we went to a Sublime/311 concert with some friends. SUCH a fun night.

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Things may have gotten a little crazy by the end of the night, hence the two pairs of glasses on my head <—craziness. Hehe Smile

Aside from dancing my butt off and showing my friends how to do the “surfing dance”, I’ve also spent my spare time dabbling in new forms of exercise!

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We got a canoe!

And if you don’t think that loading this baby up, unloading it, and then rowing for an hour or two is exercise…well, then you are just off your rocker.

Added fun: we get to jump out and swim when we get to the middle of the lake Open-mouthed smile

We also get to see beautiful sunsets….

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Jason and I have become pro’s at jumping in and climbing back into the canoe without flipping it over. ‘Tis a good skill to have if you ask me.

Probably the most fun (please take note of my correct grammar, that doesn’t happen very often peoples!) “exercise” or “funnercise” thing I’ve experienced recently would have…

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to…

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be…

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ROCK CLIMBING!

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Grace, the girl I nanny for, is part of a climbing team and she invited me out one day. I. LOVED. IT.

She is also a certified “rig-person” (There is a more technical name, but I can’t remember it) and she’s only 11!

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She is a good teacher Open-mouthed smile After the first couple of times trying, I finally got the hang of it.

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It’s so addicting. I struck up a conversation with one of the managers about what muscles climbing works, and one would assume, as I did, that it’s mostly upper body because you are kind of pulling yourself up to the top, but that’s not true!

He said that 90% of it is core work! That you are having to keep your balance and control your body movements so much when going up, so that you don’t fall. It makes sense! My arms begged to differ though Winking smile

We also got to do some “bouldering”, where you climb from rock to rock without a harness. And that is hard. You have to sort of swing your body weight in order to reach the next rock, and you have to do without falling. And you are climbing up and over crevices, it’s crazy! But fun!

I’m going back next Saturday Smile It’s too bad the place is so far away, otherwise I would get a membership.

Jason and I have also been doing a lot of circuit training, I can feel myself getting stronger.

I hope to do a tutorial or post some different circuits that I do, so if you wanted to do them too, you could!

I’m glad I had time to post today. It feels good to write again.

I have the next two weeks off of school and then I’m right back at it. (This time with Public Speaking as a class, yikes!)

Right now, I’ve got to scram so that I can get this bird’s nest trimmed!

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Don’t hate on my unwashed, un-brushed hair. Sista just woke up. Open-mouthed smile