October 22, 2014

three years and counting.


Dear Mike,
Husband of mine. That sounds so formal. Babe, that's better. I'm shocked that we've been married three years, already. Where has the time gone? Some days I look at us and think it's been a lifetime, then I stop, and remind myself that we have so much more to experience together, and it makes me thankful, and extremely happy.

I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life, and love.

I am always thankful, and happy when I am with you.

I'm always excited to start each day knowing I'm your wife.

I am also very proud of all that you do for us as a couple and as a family. I know our two small fur babies will agree.

Thank you for being the best husband a girl could ask for.
Happy Anniversary babe! I love you.

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October 21, 2014

an evening with pearl jam... memphis, tn

The date was October 14, 2015, yes, just last Tuesday, one week ago, and I'm still slightly floating from the experience. My husband, Mike has ALWAYS been a huge Pearl Jam fan. I will admit, I too have always been a fan, although somewhere in the mid 2000's I sort of lost my way not listening to them as much as I did in the beginning, shame on me, not for lack of liking, just not following as closely as I should have. I lost a lot of valuable time with the band and I admit it was a complete mistake.

For many years, Mike was an on again and off again Ten Club member (fan club for those of you wondering what that is). After the release of Pearl Jam's latest album, Lightening Bolt, they announced they would be going on tour. Their first show was revealed that they would headline Austin City Limits. Mike and I have always wanted to go to Austin together (he's been once many years ago for his sister's wedding), and add to that PJ in concert, YES PLEASE! We held off purchasing tickets, we were still waiting to hear the line up for the Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta this past summer, the concert promoters were very late this year with their announcements, so we nixed plans to hit up Austin, hoping, praying that PJ would come somewhere close to us for a show. The wait was painful, I was anxious, and in the end the line up for Music Midtown, totally sucked this year. I kicked myself for not securing ACL tickets, and for not trying to purchase tickets to the 10.22 show in Colorado, more on that in a bit.

Mike and I waited and then the tour dates were released and the angels of rock sang, and said "Memphis, TN had a date, a special date just for the two of you!" Ok they didn't really sing that but that's what I heard. As a Ten Club member Mike was also able to enter a lottery for tickets. He entered us into both categories, seats (2 tickets) or General Admission Pit (2 tickets). And we waited as patiently as possible for the results to come in. Either way we would win out - a chance to have decent seats, or standing room only to see Pearl Jam live, I'd happily take either option. I was so ready for another show, it's been 2 years since my FIRST and only PJ concert, this would mark I believe Mike's 5th or 6th. I have no desire to stop seeing them live, I hope he doesn't either. I could go a million more times and still be floored.  After what seemed liked forever, the lottery results were in, and HOLY EFFING HELL - we got General Admission PIT tickets. Even after the show I'm still in shock... this was our first lottery, we got PIT, and I was blown away!!!

And then we waited for the show date... the waiting drove me mad.

Mike and I will be celebrating our 3rd Wedding Anniversary this month, and this concert was our way to celebrate, and our gift to each other. Much like our first anniversary, tickets were purchased with our anniversary in mind. So finally October 14th arrived, and we were headed to Memphis.

That morning we both worked a partial day and hit the road. We arrived in Memphis, to the Fed Ex Forum at about 2 PM I believe? Time is sort of a blur at that point. Immediately we saw the merch trailer, and a MASSIVE line that wrapped half way around the building. We quickly rushed to claim our spot in the line. It was a cold and semi wet day out, but I didn't care. I had a jacket, and determination to get the merch I wanted. Can I just say I think it's genius and awesome that we could purchase our shirts, posters, stickers etc BEFORE the show started. Allowing us to put them safely in the car, and not have them get ruined during the show. Downside to this, I stood in line for over an hour waiting to get a shirt. This did give us time to do a few things... Mike checked into our hotel, and was able to wait to get our wristbands for the pit at will call, and then have time to come meet me, to get his shirt, and poster, and stickers, and my tank and my scarf. Yep, I got a Pearl Jam scarf and it's awesomeee!

via • turnedup2eleven
After securing our loot - the poster was the BIGGEST score, and what we wanted the most, we met up with a friend from back home "What up Phil!" and Mike's Aunt and Uncle who flew in for a visit from Cali, and honestly, go to go the show, their first, for the record.  We dropped our items off at the car and hit Beale Street for some beers and FINALLY food. My biggest worry with being in the pit was that I was going to have to wait in line ALL. DAMN. DAY, and possibly NOT get to eat. I had original plans to meet up with Misty of Handbags and Handguns and Natalie of My Crazy Busy Life, I still hate we couldn't work that out but unfortunately, I had to head home the next AM right after waking up for work - I promise girls, next time!!! [Yes, I went to bed at 2 am in Memphis, and was back to work in Northern Alabama by lunch time the next day - and yes, I am aware that I'm crazy].

FIRST BREW STOP:

We hit up a little bar on the corner for some local craft beer, and then wandered over to Dyer's for what I thought would be a simple cheeseburger, and it ended up being the best damned greasy burger ever. If you are in the mood for a good old fashion, slider style burger, a bit like Five Guys but WAY less commercial, way more delicious and with a sweet set of servers, hit up Dyer's next time you're there. We loved it, and almost had it again for dinner (more on that later). FYI - I was so hungry taking a photo wasn't happening, sorry!

After filling our guts, and having a beer or two, we decided it was time to get in the General Admission line. It had been forming all day long, but honestly, the weather was crap, we got in line and probably waited another 45 mins before getting to go inside. Longest day of waiting ever.

Once inside, we were instructed to take our time, not to run, and be orderly. So we did... as we walked through our gate doors to the pit, I got really anxious, then I saw how small the pit was. Not tiny mind you, but in relation to the rest of the room, fairly quaint, small, cozy, and thankfully not a ton of people had made it down to the pit, so Mike and scurried down and got ourselves a nice little spot, on the right hand side of the stage where soon Stone would stand to play. While waiting for the show to start (another hour), we made friends with our surrounding Ten Club pals and settled in for a great night.

There was no opening act, literally just an evening with Pearl Jam which was better than I could have asked for. Standing by the stage we realized, we were indeed, only three rows back from the security barrier in front of the stage. Literally, third row. HOLY FREAKING AWESOME! Now, our trade off for this awesomeness is that I had to deal with a drunk, older woman, doing her "sexy" dance for Eddie any time he came to our side of the stage. I get that there is ONE person in every crowd that pisses the masses off, but why the hell do they alway have to end up next to me?!?! She had wormed her way up front, through all of us that were waiting there a FULL hour for the show to start, right before it was time for the show to begin. My first instinct was to tell her off, but I noticed that others were annoyed but trying to be cool about the situation. I watched a few dirty looks in which she was oblivious too, and finally a couple in front of me, the man looked her dead in the eye as she tried to push to be 2nd row from the stage and pretty much told her "fat chance, move back!" Whew, I really thought no one would say anything. We had just been told by two girls from Pittsburg about 20 minutes prior that everyone in the pit is respectful, and cool and then THIS happens and my inner ghetto fab wanna be gangsta alter ego just about lost it... I might also note I had PMS really bad so it could have been REALLY ugly. Thank you PJ for making me realize I'd rather not be kicked out before the show even started, and thank you to my husband who helped me navigate dealing with her ALL. NIGHT. LONG! Tolerating her was a chore but eventually I was able to worm my way away from her, put my back to her and enjoy the show with Mike, and the rest of our new found crew. Minus the super tall Tennessee Fan [who was a rather cool guy, just too tall] in front of me who I had to duck and weave a bit to avoid having my view of the guys blocked it was perfect.

SET LIST • MEMPHIS, TN
OCTOBER 14, 2014 • PJ FALL 2014 TOUR
via pearl jam's instagram


Pendulum 
Wash 
Low Light 
Why Go 
All Night 
Mind Your Manners 
Even Flow 
Lightning Bolt 
Sirens 
1/2 Full 
Garden 
Alone 
Wishlist 
Given to Fly 
Let the Records Play 
Spin the Black Circle 
Black 
Rearviewmirror 

Encore: 
Nothing as It Seems 
Come Back 
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town 
Do the Evolution 
Breath 
Porch 

Encore 2: 
Once Crazy Mary (Victoria Williams cover) 
Better Man 
Alive 
Rockin' in the Free World (Neil Young cover) 
Yellow Ledbetter

29 Songs... 29 SONGS! From all different walks of their 20+ Year career. Some rarely performed and all of which blew me away!!! [Photos in NO particular order, and these were all taken by Mike (his instagram)

 This was most likely at the end of the night - one of the encores!


 Eddie preparing to share wine with the masses, or at least the front row!

 Jeff & Stone rocking out.

Like I said, no particular order, this was early in the evening, lights were still low, 
and little to none of the "set" was revealed at this time.

Huge highlights: 

Eddie took time to walk all over the stage, and jumped into the crowd (sadly not on our side, I think he sensed all the women in the pit surrounding us might not be able to hold him up and might in fact, rip him to shreds... lovingly of course).

Lots of guitar picks were tossed by Mike, and 10 tambourines by Eddie.

Fans brought gifts for the guys, which they accepted, some put on t-shirts, others handed up items for Eddie to sign which he did gladly and handed back to the crowd, it was awesome, the love for the fans is HUGELY evident in all they do.

Eddie donned Elvis like shades (circa his Vegas like days), and then tossed them back into the crowd, as well as a hat and oddly enough someone handed up (tossed up) their cell phone, Eddie then proceeded to take a video of him singing, and all of us in the pit singing and then handed it back to security to give to the kid. How cool is that???

Eddie pass around a bottle of wine to the front row and sadly I didn't have a cup and it was almost gone by the time it made it to our side of the stage, but it's one of his trademark things he does at each show. And very cool.

I was excited to hear lots of their new songs live which they performed seamlessly, even though Eddie was under the weather and feeling sick, he had more energy than anyone in his same shoes. I never thought I'd see EV blow his nose, but stars, they're just like us right?

BIGGEST KICK!
I believe it was after they did the cover of Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World and the lights were up to see the entire stadium of people, that Mike shared a moment with Eddie.  Ed was scanning the crowd, waving to folks, giving thumbs up to others, smiling and taking in everyone in the room, and I mean EVERYONE he could see high or low, and he paused, he made a face like he had a question in his mind in my direction, but I could tell he wasn't looking straight at me, as he kept singing he pointed, gave a nod like, yeah!, and then gave a thumbs up... I was like who is he looking at? I turned around and Mike yelled "Did you see that?" and I said "Yeah, what was he doing?" Mike beamed... "He was looking at me, and gave me a thumbs up for my Mudhoney shirt. UM, HOW FREAKING AMAZING IS THAT??? In the 20+ years that Mike has loved this band, he goes to this show and gets a nod of encouragement AND a thumbs up from none other than Eddie Vedder! They shared, a moment. Ugh, so cool!

Seeing Jeff Ament smile, up close. I die.
The man in front of us that mentioned had stood up to the drunk chick (I wish I could describe all she was doing that drove me bonkers but it would take up TOO much space), he had a t-shirt that he was holding up at the end of the night, politely, below his field of vision and all of ours (drunk chick, not so much, she hit us all in the face at least once with her damn shirt... no clue what it said). This dude's shirt was a Luv Co. shirt - which Mike discovered later, was a cover band that Jeff and Mike were in back in the day. Jeff saw the shirt, and pointed to the guy smiling that he liked it, and the guy gave it to him. Jeff quickly put said shirt on and played the rest of the set wearing the Luv Co. shirt. After the final song, Jeff carried over the handwritten set list (by Eddie) and gave it to this guy. SUCH an amazing thing to receive. I might not have anything physical but I have these memories that will last me a lifetime.

After the show, we went into a few places on Beale to get some liquid refreshment, as well as something to eat again... it was now almost midnight, most places weren't serving... so we hit up the Blues City Cafe. I wanted diner food, sadly they didn't have burgers etc, but they did have MASSIVE cheese fries. I settled for regular steak fries smothered in cheese and jalapeƱos, Mike, Phil, and Tony opted for the Cajun fries... yes you guess it, same as mine but smothered in Gumbo! HOLY HELL, it was spicy but awesome! Warning, this place is a "dive bar" of sorts, but it's a delicious one!
The perfect end to a great day... cheese and fries... YES PLEASE!
After I ate, my eyes were heavy, my throat was sore, and my legs were tired from jumping, and standing and line, I was ready for bed. My brain was still buzzing from the show, but I knew work was calling the next day.

I enjoyed EVERYTHING about the Memphis show, and while I'm a bit jealous of all the Ten Club fans that have been literally following the band from town to town, seeing every show on this tour (how cool is that?), and I'm a bit envious they got to hear them play Yield in it's entirety last night, and a few nights prior all of their album No Code, I am so thankful we secured the place we did on the floor, had the opportunity to be that close, and celebrate our 3rd year of marriage like this. I wouldn't want it any other way!!!  We had even considered flying to Colorado when they FIRST mentioned the tour, because 10.22.14 is the Denver show. That is our anniversary, and I know I've mentioned it before, but it's also Pearl Jam's official anniversary of their first show, as a band. How amazing would that have been. Expensive, but amazing. To all fans that make that show, I am envious, but I will take Memphis with me forever.

Pearl Jam, thank you for all the memories! Thank you for returning to the south for shows and happy anniversary!!! Let's make it another 20+ years!
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October 01, 2014

Swamp Romp 2.0 [aka huff n' puffin' with my stuffin']

So it's been a very long time since I last wrote on this blog. As I stated yesterday, look at me 2 days in a row, RECORD! My last post was a re-post so I won't even count that as a dignified entry. That being said I guess the last time I actually took time to add something to this little corner of the internet was June. To be honest, not a ton has happened since June. Ok that's probably a lie. I've been to concerts, I've been kayaking a few times (not enough though), and I went to the beach for a glorious week with Mike's immediate family. It was great, but nothing I was overly wanting to blog about... until this weekend.

A few weeks ago, Mike and I innocently said yes to an invite to team up with some friends and compete in the 2.0 Swamp Romp 5k/3k Mud Run. A few of our dear friends from our 2 favorite watering holes were starting teams and running in the race. Mike and I figured, what the hell right? I will be the first to say it wasn't exactly Warrior Dash status, although to me it might as well have been. Did I mention I have never, in my life, ran a single mile?  Not even since elementary school. I always walked the mile in gym class. I did win a blue ribbon for a dash, (I forget how long) in Elementary school during our annual field day. I was like lightening that day, I also broke a school record but to be fair I think I was among one of the first of three classes to "graduate" from that school. It was fairly new so it wasn't like I broke a friend's grandmother's record or anything.

That being said, I'm not really athletic. I took dance classes growing up and was on the dance team in high school (brag: captain my senior year), and the only sport I was even close to successful at in school was volleyball, but it was a total popularity club, and well, it wore me out (again, not athletic).
I loved to dance so weezing during a kick line or dance routine never bothered me. I was probably in the BEST shape of my life my senior year. I ate like a horse, increased my ability to dance, run, kick and smile without dying, success! Running? OH HELL NO. Like I said, I walked the track 4 times around in high school with the cool girls, they smoked on the furthest area of the track and then snuffed out their cigs as they came around the bend near the teachers. I just followed along and laughed and chatted, and didn't push myself in the least during that time in my life.

Anytime I tried to be athletic, I got hurt.  Gym class was my least favorite. 3rd Grade, basketball, straight to my face. I sneezed for 45 minutes straight.  On the plus side, my nose didn't break. Middle school, field hockey, no pads, destroyed my shins left and right.  Even dance team, practice on the hard ass concrete floor in the cafeteria, resulted in shin splints from the wrong type of shoes. To say the least, I was a hot mess.

Why on earth did I think I could tackle a 3k mud run? Well, for starters there was beer at the finish line, and secondly I have friends back home that do it all the time [read: very in shape friends that can at least run a mile and for some reason I thought I was like them - yeah no]. I also thought I'd be among a few other people such as myself that weren't exactly stellar athletes but, just wanted to have fun. I was half right. I forgot how many of the servers at The Pie Factory and On the Rocks actually work out when they have off time, and others that don't smoke, and others that well, frankly just kick ass.

Mike and myself - aren't as buff. Yeah, I've done P90x-P90x3, I've done TurboFire and Chalean Extreme, I've dabbled in Insanity and even a few other workouts... but never stuck 100%. After the wedding I just got lazy... I'm still lazy... and it shows. I can lift weights all day long, I love it, but cardio, NO! Just... no. Mike likes video games, and relaxing and once said, and I quote "I am only going to run if a bear is casing me". We were the two most unlikely people to do this race, but again, figured you only live once, right?

SOOO we entered. And this past Saturday was the day it all changed.

SWAMP ROMP 2.0 / SEPTEMBER 27, 2014
We arrived early, really early, too early. Miscommunication. The day started at 8 AM we didn't know our team's race time, again, miscommunication. We didn't run until 11 am. Last heat of the races. Plenty of time for my nerves to build and to become VERY anxious before we started. I won't lie, I enjoyed a beer before. Not the WISEST of choices but I was thirsty. Note: Event people please have lots of water for sale next year... if it was out there I didn't see it, and I quickly slurped through my 32 oz I brought with me (because I thought I was running at 8 am, not 11). My bad.

Early Check In, Early Numbers. His and Hers.
Our team was awesome. The peeps at OTR and PF came up with the idea that since one of the businesses is a Pizza joint that we would wear Ninja Turtle colors, and they made tshirts that were awesome. It was so fun to get to put on all the gear and suit up to our hearts content. We even had a "mascot" for the day, our friend's puppy Ruzzo who is "festival famous" around these parts.

We took a group shot before... we are quite a crew are we not? (Mike and I are on the far left).

HEROES IN A HALF SHELL • TURTLE POWER!!!! • OTR / PF 2014 Swamp Romp 2.0 Crew
10:45 Time to prep!
We all stretched together - and made jokes about how we thought we'd do. I was happy to have such a HUGE group to run with, and a group of folks I knew. It made me feel better to know Mike and I since we were so inexperienced would have friends around us to lend a hand if needed.




11:00 AM - TIME TO RUN!
We lined up and the DJ gave us a big introduction, well gave THEM, all the hard workers at the Pie Factory and On the Rocks [they were also big sponsors of the day]. Sent us off with a good luck and we were wide open.

I will try to remember all of the events we had to complete along the way of the 3k. I tried to take mental notes but to be honest I think my brain said only one thing over and over "Holy shit, holy shit, what did I get myself into? Why do people do this for fun? What was I thinking? How is Mike running so well? He plays video games... maybe I should play video games... how did he just clear that hurdle? Holy shit, I can't breathe, focus... you can do this... stop being a slacker... I wanna go home... No, gotta push, I can do this... OH shit, I did it! I'm a beast!" etc. etc.

#1 ICE BATH
Right off the bat we dove into an ice bath - thankfully it was later in the day (racing started at 8 am), so most of the ice was melted and they ran out of ice to dump on us, but it was still cold, and deep. I was worried I'd slip and fall getting out but I did ok.

RUN/WALK - still feeling OK.

#2 HAY BAILS
There were about 8 bails of hay, huge round bails we had to climb up and then jump down. I tried to take a running leap and my foot sunk... lovely. Note to self: Nike Tempo Shorts suck ass for Mud Runs, next time wear some biker shorts under them.  I made it.

RUN/WALK for longer... huffing, and puffing the whole, damn way... I finally walked. Mike kept trucking but he kept me in his sights, thankfully.

#3 TIRE PILE
Looks pretty innocent, but then you start stepping on the old ass tires and some of them are dry rotted and brittle... joy to the world. I have scratches from that event, or maybe it was the rocks later... not sure.

RUN/WALK/WALK/WALK - at this point I was a little frustrated with myself. I should have prepared more.

#4 HURDLE / MUD HILL
As I'm walk running, panting and seriously thinking about giving up, yes this early, I see Mike just leap over the hurdle wall like it was NOTHING. Seriously, two hands on the top, and jump, cleared it... I thought to myself MAYBE I could do that, but then got closer and figured I better not try. I climbed over it, tried to joke with the college girls there to help out with the event and then went on.

RUN/WALK/BACK EFFING TRACK
The lovely college girls that had plenty of time to encourage Mike, and talk to him and tell him where to go didn't tell me jack shit. I saw the CAUTION TAPE but thought it was to avoid a huge hole (there was spray paint lining the track where we had to run to avoid holes). He made a hard left, and I missed it, I finally turned around and the 3 girls behind me, looked just as confused. Finally the three of us found the opening, and then I was dead last... And pissed.

#5 HANGING TIRES
This seemed really tame, I guess if you are running full force with other people it would be intimidating. I just shoved through last of the group... and then I finally said OK I need to get up again, and get ahead of these girls and over to Mike.

WALK/RUN

#6 BEAMS BETWEEN TREES
I jogged to Mike who had already cleared the tall beams we had to climb between two trees. I quickly learned as I climbed and then went to swing my leg over the top that my legs aren't as long as I thought, I had a bit of trouble getting footing to swing the other leg over but recovered ok.

WALK/RUN
Here is where we made a mistake, again I think that we weren't looking for our directional signs as well as we should have, I was following Mike's lead. At this point I saw the water station and thought... OK I'll run to the water station, it's close. So I took off jogging, then I saw that the jogging track was REALLY LONG, twice the distance I thought it was and for a minute I wanted to cry, and then I wanted to cheat and just run half the course to get to the water, but then I remembered that cheaters never truly win and started walking faster to catch up with Mike.

Note: I clearly don't know how to A) Pace myself and B) Breathe properly while running. I am going to work on that from here on out.

At this point my calve muscles were really starting to kill me. I stretched before hand but I think that because I wore "cross training" shoes for this run (they were older and I didn't care if they got destroyed) + my lack of experience was really starting to wear me down.

WATER
Oh the sweet refreshing nectar of the gods.
We realized after taking the long way around that we went the wrong way and missed out on probably 1 event in the woods for this run. Mike was like do you want to go through the woods and I probably said in a greatly bitchy, winded voice... "Hell no! Keep going!" Sorry babe if I was bitchy to you at all.

RUN/WALK for what felt like the longest distance yet.

#7 UP THE HILL
The course was made on an old golf course so we were running on a lot of greens up and down hills at this point. Once you crest the top of the hill, Mike had already gone further than me, so I was hanging with a woman who's husband left her in the dust. When we got to the top of the hill we were greeted by about 10 different directional arrows... I stopped and said, do they expect us to go in circles? Are we supposed to weave around the trees? Her words were as colorful as my own and we decided to bump that and just run straight through.

RUN/WALK - Kill me now!

#8 MINI MUD PIT HURDLES
Well, I guess we were supposed to jump over the flags? Maybe it was a crawl event but honestly no one was there, and the low laying flags had almost all fallen in the mud, and most of the prints in the mud pit resembled feet, not knee marks. So I pretended to jump hurdles just did a high knee movement until the end of the mud. At this point the three ladies behind me seemed to be cheating and just not competing anymore. Lame!

WALK/RUN around the small pond, on an incline. I picked a bad time to feel like I had a 2nd wind, my calves didn't like me running on a slant at all.

#9 MUD PIT #1
I saw Mike climbing out of the pit as I rounded the corner. He was covered at a slant in mud. He yelled back to me to be careful, it's really deep. I grabbed the guide rope and tried to walk gingerly down the small muddy hill... Since I'm so graceful I landed in the mud like a total lady... soaking myself from almost shoulder to toe in mud. After that all that was left to do was tromp to the other side, and try to climb out. Done. Finished it, did OK.

WALK/RUN down a bit and to the next MUD PIT.

#10 MUD PIT 1.5
Same pit, further down the way, and more water, I thought this might be easier, Mike warned me not to JUMP in, so I held on to some thick weeds (averted my mind away from all the ticks hiding in there) and slid into the mud and then it happened... OH EFF, my shoe was stuck... I tried not to panic but tried to remember what I learned about being stuck in quicksand... seriously, this is where my mind went. Instead of trying to pull my foot straight out, I wiggled it a little, and then pointed my toe and the shoe slid out... You know the saying "Sounds like a boot in mud." yup, just like that. Sick I know sorry...

Huffing and puffing I made it across the mud, and followed Mike on. He was still way ahead of me and I'm thankful he waited for me. I didn't want to go it alone.

WALK/RUN
At this point I was pretty exhausted, and my feet weighed a TON. We had a HUGE and long run ahead of us, and finally I believe made it to the next event. (Please note this is all a bit hazy at this point I might have left some out).

#11 UP HILL TIRE RUN
You know the tires that football players use for conditioning? The run through them back and forth with great speed, that is what this event was, but UP HILL. I tried to show that hill my moves and almost fell, I was tired yo! So I walked up them as I should but it's OK... I admit it, I'm out of shape.

WALK/RUN

#12 SLACKLINE
If you don't know what slacklining is, you're not alone - I just googled that shit because I didn't know how to explain it to you. We have a group of kids here - I think it's college funded that do "Outdoor Adventure" stuff and slacklining is one of the events they do.  I wish I wasn't so shaky at this point in my run. Mike seemed to do well, I watched him as I came down the hill toward the trees. Basically it's like a high wire act, but close to the ground. I climbed up and was shaking and fearful I might fall but finally I righted myself, and did well. I almost wanted to try again - I wish this was at the finish line so I could play all day... but I had to move on.

WALK / RUN
End of the line, I see a beautiful water stop again. SO happy... and even more fun once I got close I realized my little-brother-in-law was there with his puppy Suzy. I was so happy, I yelled "HEY PADEN!" and then in a higher voice said "SUZY Q!!!!" And commented had I known she was here I would have ran the whole race (not!)... I chugged water and we were instructed if we went right it would be the last events of the 3k, or if we went Left it would be the 5k. We opted for 3. I was done.. toast... but I had Suzy to run with me so it made it fun, most adorable puppy ever (next to our June).

#13 CLIMB THE WALL
Let's just say that my shoes were wide so trying to cling to these 2x4 type chopped bits of wood was difficult for me, my upper body strength is great for lifting weights other than my OWN body weight. Grunting and all I cleared the wall, splinter free I might add.

WALK/RUN

#14 SLIP N' SLIDE TO FREEDOM!
I missed Mike going down the slide, I got to the top and it seemed rather dry, not nearly enough water and I laid down and tried to go... I looked like a beached whale I'm sure... but... I rolled a bit got up and ran to the beer tent. I gave Mike crap for not waiting for me, he said THIS is the finish line Kelly, THE BEER TENT! Touche, he was right.

WE WEREN'T FIRST, BUT WE WEREN'T LAST and WE SURVIVED!
That's all we wanted!!!

SWEET DELICIOUS BEER... YOU ARE MY FAVORITE!
I am almost positive there was another obstacle in this event that I forgot but you get the idea. We are planning to walk/jog as much as we can in the near future, to build up endurance and maybe even have more of a fighting chance next year. I would do this again for sure, but if you asked me that when the above photo was taken, I'd say no way in hell.  When the endorphins kicked in, I was loving it though.

That afternoon... we drank beers, hung out with our team, watched some beer pong, listened to some great old school rap music and then decided to stuff our faces at On The Rocks, our FAVORITE bar in town (Pie Factory is our favorite bar/pizza joint).  Yes, we went into the bar, with mud still on us, but we did hose of a bit and we brought beach towels, we aren't total cave people.  We headed home and took showers and then I crashed in bed, and Mike crashed on the couch. I woke up that afternoon around 4 PM with a massive headache - I took some meds and drank some water and laid back down. By the next morning I think I was mildly dehydrated, my eyes were dry, my throat was sore, I just felt awful. I'm finally feeling better and will remember next year to bring myself more water, some possible gatorade and to drink less beer (I drank that Mich Ultra like it was water when we finished). LUSH.

All in all even with my disappointment in myself I had a great time and can't wait to try again next year! Maybe I should have started with a level 3k, or basic 5k - but I guess I wanted to GO BIG or GO HOME!

PS I'm also glad I didn't do the 5K apparently at the end when you crawl under the chicken wire obstacle there were rocks where your knees were, I would have HATED that.
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