[gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="4784,4785,4786,4787"] Gerit stopped by. Loved it. He's excited. Now the outside cat's name is Pringle.Read More »
Put your seat belts on folks. This was a fun one!!!These races are kind of interesting in that you really don't know what you're going to be doing. You have this LONG list of items that you need in your backpack. Matches. Knife. Repelling gear. Rain gear. Warm clothes. Food for the day. Bike shoes. Hiking Shoes. Compass...You have team gear, and gear that each individual needs to have. The folks that set up the race can be creative and give you the coordinates and map early. Or at race start. Or add more later. Fun stuff. This race started out in Little Rock right along with river. Race start was at 6:00am. In the dark. It was sort of cold but not too bad. You layer up. At 6 we started out with a short run over a pedestrian bridge to get our map, coordinate and directions. Then a short run back to our transition area to map out the race. Mark showed me how to do the coordinates. I liked that part a lot. Though...you know me...directionally challenged. Come to find out, I'm good at navigating to landmarks and what not. Need to be careful here, could end up with a bad day if you got some coordinates wrong. At each of the checkpoints, you punch your passport. Basically just a piece of paper with squares for each check point. And each checkpoint has a different punch. These punches hang from a foot long piece of 3" pvc so hopefully easier to see. Most weren't too bad to locate. There were a couple that proved to be challenging. After we got the coordinates all mapped. And double checked. We got ready to take off. The first part of the race was biking, on our mountain bikes, through beautiful neighborhoods of Little Rock. The city is a bit hilly so there was an element of work. We traveled a bit in town, getting to checkpoints and what not. At about checkpoint four, we were lucky enough to catch the first checkpoint at the entrance of a nice park. Very beautiful. And the beginning of our single track adventures. It was pretty easy to lose your way in this park as the leaves made the paths hard to see. The below video was a bit of an example of the type of terrain found in the park. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/_agklQZaMlQ?list[/embed] After the first park we road on some streets again and came to the second park. This checkpoint was HARD to find. Here's a bit of what it looked like. Notice. Just a super fabulous beautiful day! [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/xSt5wPQDnrk[/embed] They had a person there giving hints. Good thing too. At one checkpoint we had to climb down a pretty steep ravine to look for the check point. If you got lucky and the team in front of you wasn't lost, you could get clues as to where the check point was. Or if they were totally lost, you could spend a lot of time looking in an area for NOTHING. So back to the ravine. And back out. Back on the roads and heading to the dam checkpoint by checkpoint. Here's Heidi in some really cool bamboo. By the way. The first section of the race had 26 checkpoints. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/QFQOrJHVGLw[/embed] Checkpoint 12 was REALLY hard to find. (and would come to haunt us) Took us a long time. I think it took most people a lot of time. It was WAY off the bike path. We had left our bikes and started trampling around in the woods. We got split up here so... [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/ydUGi6x_Wew[/embed] After this checkpoint we continue our adventure into a different part of this big park area. Up a fairly big hill. And we ended up traveling up said hill a couple of times, much to my legs' dismay, due to not finding exactly where we needed to be. We did have a super exciting event happen! A siting of...check it out... BIG FOOT... [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/xecBPRUMfpE[/embed] We finally!!!!!! get ourselves to this place we are calling the "bike drop off". The plan is to get off the bike and hike a bit to find 4 or 5 checkpoints. I'm sort of glad that I didn't have the map because I would have been more aware of how much up and down we'd be doing. So at this point, ignorance is bliss. The a big problem!!!! Mark has lost one shoe. You bikers know that hiking in bike shoes isn't the most fun thing to do so...some guy says he saw a red shoe at checkpoint 12. O M G! Seriously. So on the bikes we go. (at this point is when I duck tape the video on my backpack) BACK TO CHECKPOINT 12. Which is about 2 checkpoints behind us. (anyone remember that hill in the middle? my legs did!) We looked for that darn shoe for awhile. We even recruited St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. Heidi found a ceramic kitty and I found a key. But no shoe. So back to checkpoint 14 we went. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/BF9sfgYHNIY[/embed] At this point we did A LOT of hiking around looking for the checkpoints. Mark's navigating was generally spot on. Checkpoint 14, remember, was the bike drop, so for those of us that had hiking shoes, on they went. Thank goodness. Took about an hour or so of moderate work to find all the check points. I got to tell you, at this time...my legs were hurting. Especially going DOWN the hills. Something in my right knee was barking to me. I assume that Heidi and Mark were just peachy! Heidi was super smart girl and walking pretty close to Mark, in his foot steps. With the amount of leaves on the ground, it was hard to navigate all the rocks. We get back to the bikes. And there are SPECIFIC instructions to follow the orange flags. Which led us along some single track that was "FUN" to Heidi and Mark. And really hard to me. At the point I'm really paying the price of having a very heavy, generic bike. I won't bore you with the video of me falling behind, them stopping at a checkpoint, me catching up. WASH RINSE REPEAT. On one of these I fell pretty good. Right on my right hip on a big rock. About three tears came out. I lay there looking up thinking "you are all by yourself, in the middle of no where, what are you going to do" "suck it up princess" "wonder how long they will wait until they come back for me". But I get up and make it out. Which at this time I'm VERY tired and not sure I can do much more. Then to get to the next checkpoint to find out (remember that ignorance thing, I'd have just stayed laying there if I had known how hard the next part was going to be). Or not. :) [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/W-MEow2ZBKk[/embed] We make it to the top. It was awesome! Going down was pretty fun. This is a long video, you can get an idea of the bits and pieces of the race. Mark took a tiny spill here on one of the turns. And Heidi went "Ass over tea kettle" doing down. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/oBE6wf6LHXI[/embed] After the big down we ride a bit of straight away back to town. Heidi was a super awesome person and pulled me back a bit, let my legs recover from that craziness. We get to the bridge that we are crossing the river at, and having carry our bikes up some flights of stairs. That was awesome. NOT. We actually fit four bikes and four people into an elevator that we ride up. COOL. At this point we are back in town and heading toward repelling. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/RqDOxS-uWJU[/embed] Once done with the rebelling we make our way back to the transition area. To get more check points. Where we discover that we are not done. And there is a significant amount of checkpoints left. We figure out that we won't be able to get them all, so we strategize on what we are going to do. You get awarded on how many checkpoints you get in a certain time. With the cut off time of 6pm. 12 hours. So we plan. And off we go. We had a great time. We even got Mark to sing. Twice. [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/jZ9Ev-BdnMM[/embed] [embed width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/embed/jZ9Ev-BdnMM[/embed] And more lovely sites on our way to done.
LIST OF INJURIES
Bonnie:1. bruise inside of left knee - bike fall 2. Left 2nd toenail ouchie - trekking in bike shoes 3. Bruise on left arch - rock climbing in bike shoes 4. Contusion inside/outside right shin, right hip - Bike fall
Heidi:1. Diaphragm. Breathing 2. Ass over tea kettle - left shin bruise, left quad bruise, left neck, contusion on l shoulder blade, left ring fingernail (which survived) 3. Face plant when running. Left palm heel abrasion, right knee cap 4. Rock climbing in bike shoes - jammed right big toe
Mark1. Blister on right heel - doing entire race in bike shoes
Things we lost.A shoe. Bike light. Portion of cliff bar. Latte.
Gained.Ceramic kitty, golf ball, key Over all. It was A LOT of fun. Serious fun. Can't wait for the next one!!! Thanks Mark! Go GCAR! Read More »
Running is passion. The freedom of the it. The drive. The zone. I use to run a lot. I played soccer. EVERYDAY. Twice a day. None stop. I was in love. That's where I felt free, where I belonged. And then injury brought it all to a SCREECHING halt. That was a hard one to stomach. And now, looking back, it didn't have to end that way. There were options, though being young and inexperienced without a good mentor, coach, etc... well, water under the bridge...pick your fav cliche...Here I am. I learned a lot. And my passion has shifted a bit. I can't run anymore but I have found this thing called yoga. And just let me say this: It's not just stretching folks. There is a ton more to yoga than stretching. You haven't made it to the right class or teacher if you're bored, if your runner's heart hasn't been challenged. Yoga is about balance. Balanced action. On the physical level, joints that are SUPPORTED and ALIGNED. Strong hips muscles and loose hip muscles. Long hamstrings and strong quads. Strong back and strong abs. Injury comes when something gets out of balance, then a joint experiences too much wear and tear. Yoga is about warming up the body and muscles, then stretching and strengthening, a big key in injury prevention. Warm muscles stretch and work better. Yoga is about consistent activity leading to consistent results. Muscles have memory, so that short hamstring will want to stay short for a while. Consistent and nurturing stretching will encourage the hamstring to remember longer, not feel like it's being abused which can lead to rebellion and injury. For example, in your triangle pose you'll learn to respect the limitations of your inner thighs and hamstrings, use your quads to help the hamstrings loosen. You'll find the back stretch and the upper body strength and mobility to align the body in a wonderful expression of strength and freedom. Then when you have that down, you could progress to really deepening your core strength by using your own power to align. What does that mean...barely touch the floor or block with that bottom hand. Lengthen that bottom side. There will always be room to grow. Each yoga pose will have it's challenges. It's a super cool thing to find the openings and the strength which leads to a new level of body and mind awareness. On other levels, yoga will help with mental focus and breathe awareness. This is where a deeper, more steel like ability comes into play. And wisdom. Remember balance. We learn how to stick with it and when to pull back. We learn more about our bodies, where we are in space and how to be solid in some of those crazy poses. It can get real juicy. It's always a dance, but when you learn to dance well, your performance goes up and your injuries go down. And you feel like a ROCKSTAR! Bottom line. Here's what yoga will do for the runner. With consistent and teachable effort. Injury Prevention, Better Performance, Flexibility/ Range of Motion, Lung capacity, Mental Focus, Longevity, Endurance and Strength It doesn't matter what you know about yoga, how flexible you are, what clothes you wear, how old you are, how young you are, if you are man or woman. Yoga is so flexible in how it's taught. Find yourself a GOOD teacher. And stick with them awhile. You'll learn some really cool things, get stronger. Calmer. More grounded. Might learn things that will totally blow your socks off if you want. It's not just about mastering a certain pose, it's about the fun that you'll have getting there!Read More »