Saturday, September 11, 2010

At least it's funny!

"His giant ambling confidence hushes down all my inherent nervousness and reminds me that everything really is going to be OK. (And if not OK, then at least comic.)" - Eat, Pray, Love

Today started with much excitement and has been up and down ever since. I've been exhausted and elated; terrified and content; full of hope and full of disappointment. But in the end I've managed to make everything that's happened today funny, and being able to laugh makes it all OK. :)

We woke up this morning slightly before the sun to gear up and fuel up for the 2010 Marine Mud Run. (Which I am now referring to as the Mud Apocalypse of 2010 for reasons soon to be realized...) I checked outside and noticed it had been raining, so I glanced at the weather to help me decide whether or not pants were a good idea. It seemed like it would be relatively cool all day with intermittent rain clouds, so I decided on my jogging pants to prevent my legs from getting all cut up and started on breakfast.
I split a nanner with Bobert, like we normally do. However we only have chocolate peanut butter, so our protein this morning was leftover cheese from my jewelry party last night. The grapes I saved for post-run.
Oh dear. Driving over there it started to pour down rain. And when we got there, they directed us to the bottom of a grass hill to park. Robert was very nervous about this and started to rant about what a stupid idea it was. I, in my naivete and trust of all armed forces, said "Relax! The marines know what their doing. They won't let us get stuck down here!"
The starting line ended up being very far away from our car, and with the rain and no friend spectators, we had to leave the camera behind. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of us in our complete muddy glory, but I'm hoping they have some from the event's website. Bert and I were in the first "non-competitive" wave, and we took off up the starting hill at a nice pace. The hill was easy after all the training we've been doing, and I was ready for our first obstacle. We got to some plastic tunnels that we were to climb over and immediately were held up by people having difficulties. So much for keeping a time... The timing chip was really unnecessary. We weren't passing anyone on these obstacles. 

Robert stayed with me the whole time to help me on the obstacles. I didn't need him but once or twice though, but I loved running with him! We climbed over the tunnels as soon as it was clear, crossed some logs, and then zig-zagged our way around a mowed course in a grass field. The next obstacle was wading through waist deep water, and when I came out on the beach I realized my jogging pants were a HUGE mistake. They soaked up every last drop of water they could, and suddenly my slightly less than 150 pound frame was carrying an extra 15 pounds of weight. Running was pretty much out of the question, so I hitched up my pants, gathered them in my fist, and performed a kind-of crippled run/walk hobble towards the next obstacle. We traversed a bunch a mud hills slipping and sliding the entire way until we got to a huge mud pit. We waded through and emerged with an additional 5 pounds of mud. After that we had another mud pit where we had to crawl under logs, a slippery hill we slid down on our butts, a crawl through those tunnels we had climbed over, a second wade through the lake, a hill called "the gut buster" that completely destroyed me, a climb over a marine wall, and finally a belly crawl through a mud pit underneath criss-crossing ropes that was absolutely the worst obstacle. Thankfully, the finish line was down the hill from us at that point. I "Steve Erkle'd" my pants and dashed towards the end. We splashed into the lake to try to remove the coating of red mud, and then took our turn under the fire truck hose's shower. We finished in an hour and 21 seconds and in the bottom of our age groups. We didn't really care though. It was our first time, and there was NO WAY I could run in those twenty pound pants. We even considered trading pants at one point, but decided we wouldn't risk the indecent exposure arrest... Ha! 
Finally we got back to the car and tried to clean off as best we could. As you can see, we were still pretty muddy as my top USED to be grey... I was pretty elated at this point and looking forward to a hot shower, but my elation was short lived. 
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE (4-wheel drive included), was stuck! There was no way we ever thought we'd get up that hill. The marines were pushing cars and a tow-truck with a wench was on the way. We debated calling Mary to come get us and picking up our car later, but we decided to try to get out anyway. Robert ended up pushing two cars out of the mud, then he got some guys and started to push our car. I had to drive and it was terrifying! I don't even like driving when it's not raining, and here I was- stuck in mud for the first time and surrounded by cars I was sure I would slide into. God was looking out for us though, and we made it out of there. Poor Bobert got more of a work-out pushing cars than from the actual race, and I accidentally sprayed him with mud. :(

Poor Guy. He kept his spirits up though, and he was very happy to be back at the house. 
We threw everything that had gotten muddy into the washing machine (Ew.), ran to Panera for lunch, and then sat down to watch what we HOPED would be an easy win for Virginia Tech against JMU. I fell asleep and woke up at the beginning of the 4th quarter to a game score that was way too close for comfort. We were only up by 4! JMU managed to score a touch-down then a turn-over and kept us from catching up. We lost 21-16 to a team we should have shut out. Last time we played them, we beat them by over ninety points! I was sick with disappointment. Our guys may have been tired from the Boise State game on Monday. They may have been hurt by the rain and the wind. They may just suck. I don't know, but I guarantee you JMU will make a t-shirt out of this just like William and Mary did last year when they beat UVA. And I think the Tech football players should wear the shirt so they never forget what this feels like. So this season may not be a good one after all, and that is heart-breaking. But I'm trying to be happy for JMU; it was a huge win for them. And I made myself feel a little better by picking on a good friend from high school, Charlie. :) It's his fault that we lost. Don't ask me how, but it is his fault. 
And just to add icing to the cake of a sucky-comic day, I think I stress fractured my foot again. It was sore before the race, so I don't think it's anything the mud caused. However, I'll be wearing this little beauty on my foot for a bit. But my ouchie meant that Bobert took me shopping for dressy tennis shoes to wear to work so it won't hurt anymore. New shoes? Yes please! All in all, it was a pretty good day. I'd definitely do that mud run again, but next time I'm wearing stretch pants! And as for Tech- we'll just have to see how things turn out next week. We can't win them all! (But I'm hoping we win some!)

And because I can't post without mentioning 9/11- I have cried every year on this day for 9 years, and I will cry every year until I die, I'm sure. 3,000 people lost their lives this day, and that's an unthinkable number. Today before the run, we had a moment of silence and saluted the flag. Even though the announcer proclaimed that everyone knew what had happened today, I couldn't miss the child behind me say "What? What happened today Momma?" I wonder if he'll ever fully understand. I wonder if he should for the sake of the future, or if he should be spared the horrors we witnessed that day. To all the families out there who lost loved ones and to all the Americans who remember- God Bless Us. God Bless the USA. 

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