Dirty Girl Mud Run Recap

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I have so much I want to say! But isn’t that always the case?

I keep saying I plan to post more regularly and then half a month goes between posts…and here we are again. Blarg.

But, I’m starting a new job (well, old..new..job… it’s complicated) in a week and I’ll have a freer schedule which hopefully means more blogging and more stuff that inspires blogging, like working out and cooking.

Anyway, you’re all here today for the run recap, so let’s get to it.

This weekend I was a blog ambassador (fancy, right?!) in the Dirty Girl Mud Run! The folks over at Dirty Girl contacted me a few months ago to see if I would be interested in doing the run and writing about my experience – of course I said yes – but I was still nervous. I like running well and good enough, but obstacles……climbing on ladders, nets, walls….super scary to me.

What won me over was the philosophy of the Dirty Girl Run:

I am not in the best of shape, can I still participate?

Absolutely. Dirty Girl Obstacle Run is non-competitive and will not be timed, so there is no need to hustle to get through the course. We do recommend some light cardio a couple times per week paired with some upper body strengthening to help you get up and over the obstacles. However, you’ll have the option to bypass any obstacle you’re not comfortable tackling.

Sign me up!

I roped two girls onto the run with me (one agreed to do it the night before after a few drinks and seriously KICKED butt at the run!) and we had a blast!

We left about 8:30 a.m. to make it to Trenton a few hours later for our 11:30 a.m. start time. We showed up late and without wavers but Dirty Girl was prepared and we were able to fill out electronic wavers. It also wasn’t a big deal at all that we were late to our start time.

We got our bibs, swag t-shirts, and free beer tickets and headed over to the bag check.

The race was held at a paint ball course and it made for a fun 3.1 miles. Before going out onto the course a Dirty Girl dancer pumped us up with music and dancing. I was surprised how few people were in each wave, but I think it made for a better experience overall because some of the obstacles were shaky and I think I would have been more nervous if there were a bunch of people all doing it at once.

Within a half mile of the run we came upon our first obstacle and all scampered up a big inflatable bouncy wall and bumped our way down on our butts. Next we dived right into a mud pit to crawl under ropes.race_309_photo_3638228

The obstacle I was most nervous about – the wall climb – came early in the course and I was able to get up and over the 8-foot wall with only a little bit of protesting and whining. Thanks friends!

The course wound through fields and woods and we alternated running and walking the whole way. Turns out, running with sneakers (and undies..gross…) full of mud isn’t all that hard or uncomfortable.

We passed big teams along the way dressed up with tutus and hair bows – I would definitely put more thought into my outfit if I were to do it again.

We climbed up rope ladders, hopped through tires, went through tunnels of love mud, climbed down and out of a few different mud pits all leading up to a giant slide that landed you butt-first in a pool of mud.

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Overall I thought the race was really well organized and the course route was never boring. There were mini bridges and little mazes that broke up the stretches without obstacles. There were water stops at mile 1 and 2 but honestly we could have used more because it was so hot out.

Now… for the cons.

We finished the race running through a final mud pit and I immediately went in search of water only to find that there was nothing but warm Sparkling Fruit2O.

HUGE fail. I don’t drink anything carbonated to begin with (unless of course its tonic… with gin…) and this was sticky sweet and warm and the complete opposite of what you want when you finish a race.

There were places that you could buy water, but at that point we were still covered in mud and would have to wash off before getting in our bags to dig out some money. What were they thinking?! Ugh.

With dry mouths, we got our stuff from the bag check and then waited about 45 minutes on the line to hose off. No one seemed to care much about modesty at that point so I stripped off my muddy clothes for shorts and a new t-shirt after a quick rinse in some freezing cold water.

After getting as clean as possible, we went in search of food. There were a few food vendors but honestly I was unimpressed. Usually after races there’s some healthy stuff – bananas, granola bars, yogurt, bagels – this was stuff you would find at a carnival like zeppolis and corn dogs and the food was super expensive! I ended up getting some sausage and peppers and splitting a huge plate of fresh potato chips (those were wellll worth the money..mmmm…) and relaxing a bit with our free beers before heading back to North Jersey.

All in all I would say the race was a huge success. I conquered some fears (looking at you 8-foot wall) and had a great time with my friends in the course. The dirty girl staff was friendly and and the other runners looked like they were having a great time, but the lack of post-race amenities was disappointing. Dirty Girl seemed to really think through all the details, I’m surprised that they would provide warm, sweet Fruit20 and no water after 3.1 miles of sun and mud.

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WOULD I DO ANOTHER MUD RUN? Eh. I enjoy being pushed past some of my physical fears, but I get more out of it in a setting like CrossFit where I know I’m being supported. Also, the price tag is quite hefty for these events. I was provided a free entry and my team members received 50 percent off their entry, so it would have to be something special to make me shell out the whole ticket price.

 

Feel good weight

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Hello, hello.

I don’t mean to go so long between posts, ack!

Things are going great here in Fat or Not land. My blog for the Dirty Girl Mud Run went live on May 13 (there’s still time to sign up!) and you can read that here. It’s a good introduction to what I’m all about and why I started running.

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I’ve been going to Crossfit three times a week…and…I LOVE IT. I did NOT expect to enjoy crossfit. To be fair, a lot of the time I am terrified of the workouts. I don’t know if it’s just my box (heh) but everyone is so nice and that’s what keeps me coming back. We did a really hard WOD (ugh, I’m now that person) on Tuesday (4 Rounds: 400 m run; 15 box jumps *I do step ups*; and 15 burpees) and I finished at least 10 minutes after everyone else but the whole time people were counting my reps and cheering me on. There is so much support, quitting is not an option.

On top of crossfit I’m trying to run as much as possible with couch to 5K to prepare for the mud run and just to up my overall stamina. I also finally bought a foam roller and it has been a game changer. Hurts so good.

Basically, fitness is back in my life in a BIG way and I couldn’t be happier! I have more energy and I’m so excited to be out and about doing active things again like hiking and running. This year when winter comes around again I’m going to need to have a more substantial fitness plan in place so Netflix doesn’t take over my life. Frealzies.

Overall, I’m doing a better job at balance (I think), which has always been a huge issue for me. Since the start of losing weight, I never really grasped how to be healthy and have a social life. Although I’m not losing weight right now, it’s also not my focus. I’m enjoying eating out with friends and family and not stressing about it while working out 6 days a week. I still feel like I’m recovering from a year-long backslide into disordered eating with an extreme pattern of binge eating/restricting so losing weight is NOT what I need to be focusing on right now. I’m happy, I’m moving, I’m enjoying life.

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A few weeks ago I took a long weekend to drive to Ohio to visit my dear friend Louis. While there we ate out a ton (Have you been to Jeni’s Ice Cream? Go. Eat. Rest. Eat again.) but I also went on a run and did a lot of walking. When I got back, my weight was up a few pounds, but it was nothing like the huge fluctuations I experienced when I was binging/restricting and that’s a huge success to me.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my mindset two years ago when I was still losing weight pretty steadily. There were times I would get frustrated and want to try a fad diet or something, but then I would ask myself: “If you never lost another pound, would you still be doing what you were doing?”The answer was always YES. I’m cooking for myself (hello self love!), I’m exercising in enjoyable ways that I look forward to, I’m not letting my weight/body image get in the way of trying new things or enjoying life, I’m putting myself out there to new experiences, people, situations, etc. When I think of what I wanted to accomplish from losing weight, it’s those things, and I’m doing them, so why does the scale matter?! It doesn’t.

When I was in the thick of my depression/binge eating last summer I remember being so scared that I would just disappear into a numb state of drive-throughs and chocolate and my friend Tracey (eternal soul mate/best friend/lifesaver) reminded me that it was not possible to go back to the same place. Even though I didn’t feel it at the time, I really had changed in a permanent way, and she believed that I would find my way to the other side somehow.

I hear a lot of bloggers talk about their feel-good weight. It’s something that’s supposedly easy to maintain and a place where their clothes fit well, blah blah blah, and I honestly don’t ever know what that will look like for me. But, right now, I feel good, and my weight is what it is, so I’m going to go ahead and declare a feel good weight.

Actively choosing to NOT believe in the fantasy that losing weight will change my life has brought me to where I am now and it’s what I think of as my secret to success.

A few days ago mega-blogger Carla Birnberg posted this quote on Instagram:

“Be stubborn about your goals, and be flexible about your methods.”

It made me think about what my goals are (happiness, movement, love) and also made me realize that since I’m constantly evolving, so should be my approach to these goals. I think I had been stuck in a place of trying to replicate what I first did to get healthy and that’s just not realistic, in the same way that I could never go back to who I was before getting healthy at all, despite feeling like I was for those few months.

Anyway, this is a long, rambling post just to say that I feel good, and right now that matters more to me then my jeans being a little tight. Happy Friday.

 

Dirty Girl Mud Run Coupon Code

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I’m back with another fun race opportunity!

Dirty Girl Mud Run contacted me a few weeks ago about being a blog ambassador and I said yes immediately!

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I’ve been wanting to do a mud run for a while, but honestly the ones that are out there scared me. I’m not really the Spartan type.

Dirty Girl is the total opposite of all those other mud runs though.

About Dirty Girl Mud Run

Dirty Girl Mud Run is the largest women-only 5K mud and obstacle run series. Dirty Girl has inspired tens of thousands of women across the country to break out of their comfort zones by completing this empowering event. At Dirty Girl, it’s not about who finishes first. All obstacles are optional and all fitness levels are invited to participate. Dirty Girl proudly supports Bright Pink, the only national non-profit focusing on risk reduction and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

I just joined crossfit (I’ll have a whole separate post on that soon) and am definitely pushing myself physically and mentally. The hardest thing about things like obstacle runs and crossfit for me is getting out of my own head and past my FEAR.

I’m not the competitive type. I played team sports as a kid, but I liked hanging out on the sidelines with the team more than I liked actually playing in the game. In my adult life I’m finding that my best motivation for fitness is myself and that I do get a lot of enjoyment out of pushing myself.

I started couch to 5k again a few weeks ago so I’m planning to run as much as the mud run as possible.

As part of my ambassadorship I’ll be writing a couple posts for the Dirty Girl blog that I’ll share here as soon as they’re up. I also get a coupon code to share with you!

The run is on June 7 in Trenton, NJ. If you want to start your own team or go as an individual, you can use the code BLOGFRIEND for $10 off registration. If you’re interested in joining my team (TEAM FAT OR NOT! obvi haha) send me a message at jodeexi (at) gmail (dot) com and I can send you an invite with a code for 50% off registration.

Here’s some more about it:

Dirty Girl Mud Run challenges women to break out of their comfort zones and get dirty with an untimed, obstacles-optional course that welcomes women of all athletic abilities.Obstacles include the Utopian Tubes tunnel crawl, PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff) mud pit and Dirty Dancing giant slide.

As part of its mission to empower a healthy lifestyle, Dirty Girl proudly supports Bright Pink,the only national non-profit organization focusing on risk reduction and early detection of breast and ovarian cancers in young women. Since inception, Dirty Girl Mud Run has donated more than $475,000 to breast cancer charities and will donate at least $125,000 in 2014 to Bright Pink. At each 2014 event, 300 free registrations are reserved for cancer survivors.

 

I’m so pumped.

 

An important discussion about fat acceptance

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Hello!

I’m hoping to write a longer post about this soon, but there’s been a great discussion happening on the internet about fat acceptance.

It started when a blogger for Thought Catalog wrote “6 Things I Don’t Understand About Fat Acceptance.”

In summary the post was….awful. It was fat shaming (America accepts fat people! Actually, no, because discrimination.), dismissive of health at every size (yes, you CAN be HEALTHY and FAT), and drags in a WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN element. Just, ew.

To be clear to anyone whose new to this blog, fat acceptance saved my life. I don’t mean that hyperbolically. If it wasn’t for the movement, the great writers who are apart of it, I never would have come to learn to love my body and even care about myself enough to care about my health. People that are fat care about their health. For me, that resulted in weight loss, but that doesn’t happen for everyone and it doesn’t mean that it should. Fat acceptance gave me self worth, self esteem, and got me to see my own value. I’m not sure where I would be if I hadn’t discovered Lesley Kinzel and (RIP) Fatshionista.

Anyway, many fat acceptance bloggers wrote wonderful responses, and I wanted to share them here:

From Marianne Kirby at xoJane (formerly, The Rotunda). Because xoJane, all caps:

I’VE ONLY GOT 1 THING TO SAY TO FOLKS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND FAT ACCEPTANCE

An important takeaway (emphasis added):

Here’s the deal: Hall’s article is about her own lack of fundamental understanding. But it’s also about her discomfort with a tool (that’d be fat acceptance) lots of fat people use to feel good about themselves — or even to just not hate themselves 24/7, which is — honestly and tragically — a very real challenge for many fat folks. She doesn’t understand it because she can’t conceive of fat people who don’t hate themselves. And she probably wishes we’d stop with the self-esteem and get back to loathing ourselves for our own good.”

From Jess at The Militant Baker (my new favorite blog): 

6 Things I Understand About The Fat Acceptance Movement

An important takeaway:

“The author obviously confuses ‘profits from’ and ‘takes advantage of’ with ‘accepting of’.  US companies make tremendous amounts of money by both creating a ‘problem’ and then attempting to sell us a solution.  Weight loss and dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry.  If we were ‘accepting’ of fat there would not be nonstop efforts to sell us things to ‘fix’ fatness.  Additionally, I am not sure how one can propose that while people are bullied, tormented, shamed and ridiculed throughout our society as a result of weight, that somehow that is “acceptance’.” -Sonya Renee, Founder of The Body is Not an Apology

From Tony at The Anti-Jared:

Explaining 6 Things To The Author About the Fat Acceptance Movement

An important takeaway:

Actually, you can be healthy at any size. I was 417 pounds when I was healthy. Sounds silly, right? Well, it was day two of my diet in 2008. I felt like I did not want to die. I felt successful that I ACTUALLY lost weight. I was happy to finally breathe. And yes, I was healthy.

Look at marathons. Do all the people look the same? Or the gym? Do you only see obese people in hospitals? All sizes of people get diabetes, cancer and other horrible diseases. There are many people who are larger than others that eat well. They take care of a body they might not have for a long time. Maybe they are not your size, but they can be healthy.

There are also more responses here and here.

For me, fat acceptance is important because I know women who are a lot smaller than me and hate their body. Fat acceptance is important so I don’t feel like shit when I go try on clothes. Fat acceptance is for everyone. It’s a movement about love, and when something starts with love, only good things can come from it.

Run or Dye Race Recap

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Y’all. I had a BLAST this weekend at Run or Dye.

Seriously, thank you Run or Dye folks for hooking me up with two free entries to the race in East Rutherford.

And when I say race, I mean, a sincere effort to run for a few minutes, followed by a few minutes of self loathing at my complete lack of fitness right now, followed by total enjoyment of a beautiful spring day.

In short, the Run or Dye race was everything I could have hoped for in a color run. It was an exciting, no pressure race event that left me sufficiently covered in colored fun. That doesn’t sound awkward at all.

Yes, the race fee was a little high, but I honestly would have done it (and felt good about it!) had I not been gifted the entries.

Packet pick up:

From the start, it was obvious this race would be more about having fun than going for a PR. I headed to Road Runner Sports in Paramus on the Friday before the race and was greeted with a short line and blaring music. Everything moved swift and smooth and in no time I was hooked up with two bibs, two draw string backpacks, two shirts and a couple of tattoos and rubber bracelets.

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Race day

I had read online the night before that runners would be let out in 5-minute increments between 9-11 a.m. so there was no rush to get there for the 9 a.m. start time. I made it to MetLife stadium around 9:10 a.m. and paid $10 to park. People were already covered in color when I showed up to the start. There was a small area to buy water and swag, but otherwise no vendors like I’ve seen at other community races.

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Even though I was only there a few minutes after the official start, we were at the very end of the line. I think there must have been over a thousand people in front so I ended up waiting about an hour between the time that I got there and the time I made it onto the course. However, everyone was in such a good mood and there was music and we were taking pictures so I didn’t mind too much.

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It was a beautiful day out and after such a long winter it was honestly good just to be outside. We hung out, made some friends with the people around us and eventually made it to the front of the pack. At the start there was a DJ who kept the crowd entertained and threw out more swag like t-shirts and sun glasses and also kept track of the time to make sure groups went out every 5 minutes.

After all the waiting we were excited to get going and so I ran the first few minutes of the course before my months of non working out set in and I had to walk. The course itself was nothing special. It was laid out with orange traffic cones and zig-zagged through the Met Life stadium parking lot. We came up on the first “color station” pretty quickly and were soon covered in pink.

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The best part was approaching the dye area, a haze of color surrounded everything and volunteers threw the color on you as you went through. People were also rolling around on the ground to get even more covered. The whole scene was pretty surreal.

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All kinds of people were at the race, from little kids in strollers to teens in costumes. It’s definitely a very family friendly event and totally doable for anyone at any fitness level. There is no pressure to run, no elbowing or anything to get through the course.

About half way through there was a water station with bottles of water which was great to see. I was a little bummed there were no bananas or bagels after the race, but I guess I can’t complain considering I didn’t actually run it.

Anyway, we went through a couple more color stations and just enjoyed being in the fresh air and emerged completely covered in color.

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I had to stop on the way home to get gas and got some strange looks from the gas station attendant…

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Post race thoughts:

I have no idea if the race was even a true 5k or not, but we really took our time walking through it. I thought at parts the course could have been better laid out, we saw a couple people abandon the course just to cut through to the dye stations and that was kind of discouraging.

I would definitely do this race or something similar again. It was a fun event for a Sunday morning. It hit all the requirements of being relatively inexpensive, outside, and involving some kind of activity. And, I have to give props to Run or Dye, it was really, really well organized for such a big event.

Also, the energy from the Run or Dye staff and volunteers really made it more exciting. There was what looked like a huge dance party after the race and everyone was so friendly and in such a good mood, the people throwing the dye seemed like they were having a great time. Maybe we just lucked out, but the crowd was so pumped and energetic it made even standing in line waiting to get the start a fun time.

I would definitely do it again but be even sillier with it with costumes and such. I was so worried about post-race cleanup, but the dye came out of my hair and off my body pretty easily and didn’t rub off on my car at all on the way home, though in retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea to bring a towel to sit on.

I’ve been wanting to sign up for a color run for a long time, so it was awesome to be given the opportunity to check out what it was all about and be involved with a positive fitness event that truly is made for people of all abilities.

Did I convince you to go sign up? Have you ever done a “race” like this before??