Warrior Dash #4 Recap

This past weekend I ran my 4th Warrior Dash and Chris ran his 2nd!

All of the Warrior Dashes that I have done have been at the same location in Mt. Morris Michigan, so when we pulled into the parking lot of the event on Saturday morning I told Chris that I felt like I was coming home. It may seem like a silly thing to say, but running my first Warrior Dash 4 years ago sparked a journey that I never imagined. It just goes to show that sometimes when you do something our of your comfort zone you will find a passion that you didn’t know existed!

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Okay, enough with the sentimentalism, let’s get on with what you really want to hear about it…..The Warrior Dash!

The day before the Warrior Dash I had to check my email confirmation to see what time Chris and I had signed up for. We signed up for the race almost a year ago, so I wasn’t sure what we had picked. To my surprise we were signed up for the competitive heat! Those in the competitive heat were expected to maintain a 7:30 minute pace or less. Ummm, what?! Even when I was more trained, I didn’t maintain that kind of pace.

Luckily the Warrior Dash is very lax when it comes to what wave you actually run in so Chris and I did the first open wave after the competitive heats. (As a side note, it appeared that there were plenty of people in the competitive heats that didn’t maintain the required pace so we just may run in the competitive heat next year to see how we do.)

There were a lot of changes at the Warrior Dash compared to what I am used to. If memory serves me correctly, at all previous packet pick ups you had to stand in a line that either corresponded to your last name or bib number. This year you could stand in any line which was confusing to me at first. lol Waivers were done electronically at packet pick up on a tablet versus the paper waivers that they used in the years past. Saving trees is always a good thing!

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The biggest change of all (for me anyways) is that the Warrior Dash is no longer timed. This is a big thumbs down for me. I like to know my time, I just do. Taking that away turns the Warrior Dash into a just a fun run and I tend to shy away from un-timed events.

On the upside, the pictures taken by the on course race photographers are FREE now whereas in years past you had to pay for them. This is a big plus! (But I still want my timing back. Grrr.)

The layout of the course and the arrangement of the obstacles was slightly different this year as well. Spectators weren’t able to see as many obstacles as they had in the years past as the new obstacle Goliath took up a lot of room at the end of the course. However, Goliath is an obstacle that has several different obstacles within it, so that makes up for it.

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Now let’s talk obstacles! I am not going to list out and describe each one because you could simply go to the Warrior Dash website to see that info. Instead I am going to talk about the ones that stood out to me.

By far my least favorite obstacle is Alcatraz. It is a water obstacle where you have to swim to a large square raft and pull your self up, walk to the other side, get in the water again and then swim to the shore. I am not a good swimmer and every year I feel like I am going to meet my death on this obstacle. This year was no exception. The water was much deeper than in the years prior probably due to the large amount of snow we got this past Winter. On top of that people are either not paying attention to what they are doing or they just do not care or maybe they suck at swimming like I do. Regardless, it seems that people will push you down to get themselves up or they take their time getting up while everyone else is treading water behind them. Long story short, I didn’t like it at all but I survived.

Goliath is another obstacle worth mentioning both because it is new and because I was dreading it. I am scared of heights and everything about this obstacle is high up. First you climb a cargo net, then you walk across a 2×4 type plank high above water with just a rope on either side of you to help you cross while simultaneously being blasted with water so that the plank is slippery and it is hard to see. Once you get across that you go up a small ladder and then you arrive at the giant slides that will spit you out into a pit of muddy water. I let several people go ahead of me before I got the courage to go down. I tried to use my elbows to slow myself down before I got to the bottom of the slide and that turned out to not be such a great idea.

The walk the plank section of Goliath.

The walk the plank section of Goliath.

The slide section of Goliath.

The slide section of Goliath.

My Warrior wounds from the slide.

My Warrior wounds from the slide.

After the race, there was a picture station where you could take your muddy picture and have it emailed to you or you could post it directly on Facebook. I thought that was a pretty cool idea and the line wasn’t very long so we gave it a go.

Looks like we weren't prepared for the pic! lol

Looks like we weren’t prepared for the pic! lol

My Warrior Swag!

My Warrior Swag!

A close up of the awesome medal!

A close up of the awesome medal!

All in all Chris and I had a great time at the Warrior Dash. I am still bummed that they are no longer timing the event but I don’t think that will deter us from coming back next year!

 

What do you think about the Warrior Dash changes?

Did you do any racing this weekend?

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Next Up: Warrior Dash!

Finally, it is time for another race!

It seems like it has been a while since I have done one. Hmmm let’s see, my last one was the Kona Run which was the beginning of June, so yeah, it HAS been a while!

Luckily my racing withdrawals will be coming to and end because tomorrow Chris and I will be running the Warrior Dash!

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As you probably know by now, the Warrior Dash is very near and dear to me as that is where my love of mud runs / OCRS started. It is hard to believe that it was four years ago that I ran my first Warrior Dash. Want to see how my first three Warrior Dashes went? Click here to read #1, here to read #2 and here to read #3. (Funny story….. At my first WD they had me listed as 60 years older than I was. After the race results posted I had many people contact me in awe of my accomplishment! Even a reporter wanted to interview me. It was pretty funny.)

If you read the recaps you will notice that a lot has changed for me since my first Warrior Dash both on the course and off and I couldn’t be happier with where I am today!

Chris and I don’t have any goals for the race other than to go out and have some fun together which will be pretty easy to accomplish!

As usual I will post a recap here sometime after the race, so stay tuned for that!

Anyone else racing or getting muddy this weekend?

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WeeRide Together

Ever since Chris got me a bike for my birthday I have been eyeing a WeeRide Co-Pilot for B. B has a bike of his own but he won’t ride it very far or for very long which means bike rides together aren’t really an option.

My only hesitation about the purchase was the price. On Amazon the WeeRide goes for about $90 and that’s certainly a hefty investment for something that I wasn’t sure was going to be a good fit for us. Although the reviews on the WeeRide were mostly good, the real reviewer was B and we had no way of testing it out before purchasing it.

Luckily I came across a listing on ebay for a gently used WeeRide for half of the cost! I was sold!

That's his excited face, I swear! ;)

That’s his excited face, I swear! ;)

B and I have used it every day since we brought it home. Granted that was only 3 days in total, but I think I can safely say that this was the best purchase I have made in a while! We have been having a BLAST together.  I love spending any type of time with B but there is just something different about getting outside and being active together.

Our bike ride selfie!

Our bike ride selfie!

The great part about the WeeRide is that we are literally connected together. Where I go he goes. That closeness allows me to hear his giggles when we go over bumps and when we go down hills. We get to talk about things that may not have otherwise come up….like this gem from B.

B: “The earth is beautiful, Momma. And we get to live here.”

Wise words from a six year old if I do say so myself!

The WeeRide also allows B to take breaks when he needs to as he knows that I can keep both of us going. But when he is pedaling it makes us feel like we are going super fast! B has also enjoyed the comments and looks we get from people as we pedal by.

The only downfall about the WeeRide is that I will miss B even more on the weeks that he goes to his Dad’s. Our bike rides have been THAT fun, no joke! I am already looking forward to our bike rides when he comes home next week!

What type of activity do you enjoy doing with your kid(s) the most?

Or if you don’t have kids, what type of activity did you enjoy doing with your parents?

P.S. This was not a sponsored post. I just loved the WeeRide and wanted to share our experience. There is an an Amazon Affiliate link in the post, so if you decide to get a WeeRide for yourself it will help build my running fund if you use my link. :)

 

 

 

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Spartan Beast Change Up

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Did you hear the news? Spartan Race is bringing their Beast to Ohio! Woop!

Chris and I were originally signed up for the Spartan Beast in Texas on 11/1 but after hearing that news we changed it up and we are now registered for the Spartan Beast in Ohio on 10/4. Nothing against Texas but getting to the Ohio race is going to be much gentler on our bank accounts.

The change however, may not be very gentle on our bodies. On 9/27 we are doing the Spartan Super in Chicago so that means just one week later we will be tackling the Beast. Crazy, right?! You all will need to remind me when the time comes that I thought it was a good idea because I am sure as I get closer to those dates, I will be questioning my sanity. That’s a lot of Spartan in one week’s time!

Anyone else joining us for the Spartan Ohio race? All three distances (the Sprint, Super & Beast) will be there that weekend, so it is a great opportunity for us Michiganders (and Ohioans) to get our Spartan on! Aroo!

 

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OOFOS Recovery Footwear Review

I received a pair of OOFOS in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About a month ago I received a pair of OOFOS Recovery Shoes (the flip flop) version to review.

Chewie was a bit bummed to find out that there was not a dog version for him.

Chewie was a bit bummed to find out that there was not a dog version for him.

As soon as I put on the sandals I discovered why they were named OOFOS! The first word out of my mouth was….”OOOHHHHH!” They are THAT comfy.

After that first initial try on, I started wearing my OOFOS everywhere. After working out, on my way to work, after work. I was hooked on feeling the OO!

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Curious to learn more about the OOFOS? Here is some information that they shared with me that I found interesting, so I will share it with you as well!

What is OOFOS footwear?

-  OOFOS footwear is powered by our innovative and proprietary OOfoam technology combined with our patented footbed design

Leader in the Recovery Market

  • 37% shock absorption than any other foam material currently being used in the footwear market.
  • Each step OOFOAM disperses your body’s impact to the side of the shoe, rather than coming up back through your body.
  • Allows the body to recover after athletic activity.  Endurance athletes in particular benefit from the well-designed massaging footbed.

History of OOFOS

  • OOFOS was started with a renowned foam chemist in Korea.  The chemist has been making foam material for all of the major athletic brands for years.  He made foam for athletic shoes, football helmets and other applications.  His mother was suffering from arthritis and using a cane, so he set out to create an impact absorption foam that would alleviate the pressure on the body when people are not exercising.  He developed a footwear foam material and the results were incredible.  His mother’s pain was gone when she was standing and walking.  His factory workers pain was eliminated when they were standing on their feet all day.

  • This is where the OOFOS team came in and joined with the chemist to study/test the material more.  Through the testing we created a biomechanically designed footbed that maximizes what this pioneering foam material could offer consumers to make their bodies feel better.  The patented footbed design offers arch support that customizes to the foot of the consumer, whether they have a low arch or high arch – thus offering them the proper support and alignment for their bodies.  Combining this with the innovative impact absorption properties, and softness of the material, consumers repeatedly told us that OOFOS footwear made them feel better!

Ready to get your own pair of OOFOS so you can feel the OO for yourself? Head on over to the OOFOS site and use the code CREWnorth at check out to get free shipping!

But before you do that,  I have to give you an advanced warning….the people you live with are going to try to steal your OOFOS so you might as well just get a pair for everyone.

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Why yes, yes that is the bf wearing MY OOFOS! He couldn’t care less that I caught him, he was just enjoying feeling the OO!

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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SURPAHS Body Fat Scale Review

I received the SURPAHS body fat scale to review. All opinions are my own.

I have never been a fan of standard scales as I don’t feel that your weight alone is a true depiction of how healthy you are. I do however, like body fat scales as they give a broader view into your health.

Recently I received the SURPAHS body fat scale to review. And the verdict? I LOVE it!

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What’s to love?

- It is aesthetically pleasing with its slim and modern design. It blends in with my bathroom instead of standing out.

- It stores multiple users (up to 8) so your whole family can use the scale.

- It is smart! You don’t have to turn it on or even let it know which family member is stepping on it. It is able to remember who you are right after your initial set up!

- It provides a greater look into your health by not only measuring weight but also body fat, water, muscle and bone mass!

The only thing I can’t vouch for regarding the scale is the accuracy of the body fat, water, muscle and bones mass readings. I have no way to determine if those readings are accurate but I can say that the weight read out was correct so I am hopeful that the other readings were as well.

Interested in getting your own SUPRAHS Body Fat Scale. Click here to purchase one through Amazon!

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Are We Blended Yet?

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The bf and I have been living together for over a year now so I guess it isn’t news that we are a blended family.

For those of you who are not familiar with our relationship let me bring you up to speed. Chris and I have been dating for over 2 years and we moved in together in May of last year. I have one son from a previous marriage who is six and Chris has two boys from a previous relationship, one is 12 and one is about to be 10. So all of us combined together make a happy blended family.

But to be quite honest we are not always happy and we don’t always feel very blended. In short, being in a blended family is hard. Really, really hard.

I know that some of you will say that being in a “traditional” family is hard too and I get that because I have done that as well. But being in a blended family is different and with that brings its own set of challenges.

Of those challenges the most difficult of all is our exes. Neither Chris nor I have a great relationship with our respective ex. (Not because we don’t want to but just because that is the way it is.) As you can imagine our exes have tremendous influence over our kids and because of that a tremendous influence over our relationship and our family unit. It can be very frustrating and sometimes very hurtful.

Another challenge is the kids themselves. Each of them is great in their own way but sometimes they can be…..well…….kids! Sometimes they like each other and sometimes they don’t. But when they don’t like each other it is in a “you’re not my real brother” kind of way. Sometimes the kids don’t like Chris or I either and when they don’t like one of us it becomes a ” I don’t have to listen to you because you are not my parent” kind of situation.

Another challenge is Chris and I ourselves. Our relationship can be defined as relatively new and as such we are still perfecting things between the two of us. As many of you may know, this can be difficult without outside influences but we also have all of the above playing into our relationship. We also came into the relationship with our parenting styles firmly intact instead of learning to parent together as is the case in “traditional”relationships which adds an additional layer of challenges.

Despite all of the challenges, we have made some significant progress in our blended family. There are times when everything is going smooth and everyone is getting along. Those times are wonderful and give us hope as to what the future can hold. We may not have this blended family thing down completely but we are headed in the right direction and at the end of the day that is all we can ask for!

Are you part of a blended family?  I would love to hear about it!

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I’m 35!

Yep, it is true, I am the big 35 now.

And just like every year on the 4th of July, everyone really went out of their way to celebrate my big day. Between all the fireworks, parade and bbqs you all really know how to make a girl feel loved. ;) (And yes, for those of you who didn’t already know I was born on the 4th of July. And so was my brother but we are not twins. I can’t make this stuff up.)

Okay, okay so all of that stuff wasn’t really for me. But you know who really made me feel special? The bf! He was so good to me.

Want to take a peek at a couple of the gifts that he got me? Of, course you do!

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Yes, he got me a pull up bar! I used to have one but lost it in the divorce so I am excited to have one again. The bf and I will both be using it to train for our upcoming Spartan Races!

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He also got me a bike! (Mine is the white one in the back.)

Funny story about the bike. While I was at work one day, he got it and put it with all the kids bikes as you see here in the pic. I got home from work and walked right passed it without noticing it. I walked past it several more times that day until the bf kept on pestering me to go to the garage for various things. It was pretty funny!

I haven’t had the chance to ride it yet mostly because I had B all last week and although he has a bike of his own he doesn’t like to ride it very far. I am considering getting a co-pilot bike trailer so we can go on bike rides together, so stay tuned!

How was your weekend?

What did you do for the fourth?

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#Miles4Marshall

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Last week I introduced you to my friend Jaymi and her son Marshall who was involved in a lawn mower accident. I listed many different ways that you could help their family and I want to thank all of you who have donated, sent a card, shared their story , said a prayer, or have helped in any other way. Now I am asking you to help in a different way.

I am asking you to log some miles for Marshall.

It seems like a simple request but it is one that will mean a lot. As I mentioned before Jaymi is a runner and like myself and all other runners out there she has found a lot of strength and solace in her runs. As you can imagine, running is not something Jaymi or Marshall are able to do right now. But we can.

We can log those miles for her and for Marshall. We can show Jaymi that the running community is behind her and her family.

Not a runner? Feel free to log those miles in any way you prefer. Walking, cycling, swimming you name it…just log those miles.

So how does it work?

1. Go for a run, walk, bike ride, swim etc and keep Marshall and his family in your thoughts. Take pictures, appreciate the little things along your route and enjoy every moment.

2. After running, walking, cycling, swimming etc post a recap of your workout on social media and use the hashtag #Miles4Marshall.

3. Head over to Marshall’s Facebook page by clicking here and share your recap with him and Jaymi. Post any pictures that you took along the way and leave a message for Marshall, Jaymi and the rest of the family.

4. Encourage others to do the same. The more Miles4Marshall the better!

5. Have a blog? Write about the miles that you dedicated to Marshall. Share his story. The more support the better! Don’t have a blog but want to write about the miles that you dedicated? Contact me at bamoats@gmail.com to arrange for a guest post on my blog!

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Help4Marshall

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You will want to grab some tissue as this is going to be a hard post to read as it was certainly a hard post for me to write.

My friend Jaymi, her son Marshall and the rest of her family are all going through a very difficult time right now and they need your help. But before I get to that I want to tell you how I met Jaymi.

You may remember me talking about my friend Jackie that I met through B’s Gymboree class when he was much younger. B had formed a friendship with Jackie’s daughter Ella and Jackie and I became friends as well. I “met” Jaymi on Facebook through Jackie. Jaymi and I bonded because of our mutual love of running. I eventually met Jaymi in person at a going away party for Ella. It was there that I also met Jaymi’s two sons Marshall and Mason. Marshall is the same age as B, so that was something else that we had in common.

I haven’t seem Jaymi in person since that party but we have maintained our friendship through Facebook. Although I may not know Jaymi well, it was easy to see that she is a great Mom, Wife, Friend etc. She is also a badass runner and has provided me with lots of motivation and encouragement.

Recently her 6 year old son Marshall was involved in a freak accident. Marshall was accidentally run over by a lawn mower while playing with his brother Mason. Marshall is currently in a children’s hospital here in Michigan and will be undergoing extensive medical treatments to both of his legs. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for Jaymi, Marshall and the rest of the family. My heart aches for them and I can only begin to imagine what they are going through.

How can you help? Listed below are the various ways that you can help Marshall and his family. Any and all help is appreciated!

1. Monetary Donations - Please visit Marshall’s GoFundMe page by clicking here. The family needs to be able to focus on Marshall and not have to worry about any financial burdens that will undoubtedly be present during this time.

2. Cards4MarshallandMason - Every 6 year old loves to receive mail and Marshall is no exception. All cards will be sent to Jackie’s Monkey Do Project and she will then forward them to Marshall. I know Marshall would love to hear that he has a whole community of people thinking about him.

We are also asking for cards for Marshall’s older brother Mason as he was there when the accident happened and has been profoundly affected by it. He would love your support as well.

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3. Keep Marshall and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

4. Share this post to encourage others to get involved. 

 

Thank you in advance for your help. I appreciate it and I know that Jaymi, Marshall and the rest of their family does too. To keep up to date on Marshall’s progress, head on over to his Facebook page by clicking here.

 

 

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