Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Race Report: Muddy Buddy Arizona!

Stephanie Tiger and friends, Char, Mary and Rob went to race in the Muddy Buddy Arizona! After I saw these pics, I greeted Stephanie with a "Welcome Back Oh Fierce Warrior Woman!" Her team took 5th place! Stephanie will be a guest blogger for us and give us a race report.

The Muddy Buddy is a mud-liscious race . Here is the description! Each race features a 6-7 mile course and 5 obstacles. At the start of the race, one team member will run and one will ride the bike. At the 1st obstacle, the rider will drop the bike, complete the obstacle, and begin running. The runner will arrive, complete the obstacle, find their bike, and begin riding. Teams will continue leapfrogging each other through the entire course. At the end of the race, racers will crawl through the infamous Mud Pit crossing. See Below:

Hey there Internet! My name is Stephanie and Cece has asked me to do a guest blog post. I recently participated in my first Muddy Buddy event in Phoenix, AZ. If you are not familiar with the Muddy Buddy event, this event is an obstacle course race that you run and bike for 6 or 7 miles and it benefits the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). You do this event with a buddy. One person starts on the bike, the other starts with the run. You both take off and get to the first obstacle. The biker drops the bike, does the obstacle, then takes off running. The runner comes in to the obstacle, does the obstacle, finds the bike then takes off to the next obstacle. You leap frog this entire course then finish together going through a mud pit, hence, Muddy Buddy.

As mentioned, I participated in the event on December 13th in Phoenix, AZ. It.Was.COLD! Not as cold as Albuquerque but cold for Arizona! My buddies (Rob, Charlotte and Mary) and I arrived at the event, got our race packets and waited for our wave to take off. We decided I would take off on the bike first and he would run. There were 7 waves

and we were in the 5th wave. Bikes were taking off first then the runners would take off 2 minutes after the bikes. Each wave was separated by 6 minutes. Oh yeah, did I mention that there was close to 1000 participants! So, we finally get to our wave. The butterflies have made their presence known! 5…4…3…2…1 “Boom” and we are off!

The first leg was 1.5 miles and it was tough! All up hill! The first portion was on pavement then we turned onto singletrack trails. The trails were phenomenal and boy is 1.5 miles a lot longer than I remember! I thought I would never get to the first obstacle. Finally, I make it to the first obstacle. Crawling under nets on your hands and knees. This event is so well organized that they actually have 2 of the same obstacles. One course for the bikers and one course for the runners. This way we didn’t crash into one another. Splendid! My buddy and I decided that we would drop the bike at 11:00. He figured people would go to the left or the right and boy was he right! 11:00 was perfect! I found the bike every time! Even before the volunteers found it! Well, it also helped that I wrapped orange, electrical tape all over my bike frame ;) Anyway, under the nets, no problem!

Off running I go. That first run was tough! If you are familiar with mountain biking at all, you know what washout conditions are. Well, this portion was 80% washout, which means I may as well have been running on the beach! I was glad I wasn’t biking this portion ;) Sorry Rob, just keepin’ it real LOL! Second obstacle, what I was dreading the most…….THE WALL. You see, I have very strong legs but consider myself more like a Tyrannosaurus Rex in my upper body and I just dreaded do a wall. Well, the wall wasn’t that bad. There was no rope to climb but there were pegs like at a rock wall climbing facility. Still had to pull myself up and I did it! Then had to shimmy down ropes on the other side. Done! Found my bike that Rob had dropped off, and I was on my way. I had to climb a hill out of that obstacle and for those that know me, I LOVE HILLS! What a kick!

By this time, I am totally pumped! I pass Rob who is now running (Go Rob!) and get to the next obstacle. Balance beams. No problem! Drop the bike, run across beams and start running. This run for me was excellent! I am enjoying the course and the scenery so much! Everyone is so friendly and having a great time! Rob passes me (Go Rob!) and he is flying on that bike! I get to the last obstacle and it is a HUGE tower! I am terrible with heights but someone figured it was 30 feet high! Had to climb netting to get to the top and slide down the other side.
WHAT A BLAST! OMG, I was a little kid again just flying down that slide! One of my other friends ended up getting burns on her arms coming down that slide and that made me realize that I think I actually held my arms up and went “Whoo Hoo” down the slide! LOL! Okay, off the slide, find the bike, get some water and I’m off again. This time, the hill got me. I bonked! Had to walk my bike up that hill.

I see the finish line and vendor tents and hear the crowd cheering! I drop the bike, find my buddy and we proceed into THE MUD PIT. Holy smokes, the mud was FREEZING! I was so cold I didn’t think I was going to make it out! My buddy helped me through the mud pit by being the Marine that he is and barking at me “Get on your belly and crawl!” “You can do it!” (Thanks Rob! I really did need that encouragement at that moment!)

We crossed the finish line in 1:03! My buddy Rob kept telling me that he thought we did really well with that time. Well my friends, he was right. We came away with a 5th place medal for our division! I can’t even tell you how surprised and happy I was! Our first time as buddies and coming away with a medal! My other buddies, Charlotte and Mary, did really well also and had a blast! We are all looking at next year already!

What an awesome experience! Awesome buddy! Awesome friends! This event is very well organized and if anyone is interested in doing it, by all means DO IT! I am already looking at next year.

I would like to thank my other cohorts in grime! Our dear friend Barney took all of us in his RV from ABQ to PHX. Thanks Barney (and Quigley)! Also my other friends Donna and Judi came along for moral support and ended up volunteering at the event. Thanks guys! You all made this a very special time!
Next time, you’re going Cece! LOL ;)

Stephanie Tiger

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How Do you Lose Weight in an Italian Family? Arthur Avenue Revisited!

I am sure that many of you saw my "cookie expose" recently where I was going to implant a Navy Seal into my home to restrain me from making cookies. Well, believe it or not, I got a reply from that post saying that this new friend was trained by an expert in the "Secret Navy Seal Cookie Maneuver"..... so .....he thought he could qualify to restrain me both pre and post cookie making. LOL. I had a good laugh at that! He was very clever!

But none of us really suspected that my sissy was the one that needed the NAVY SEAL...because just 2 weeks before my birthday rolled around (it is today), I was told by my sissy, that a package was coming and it had cookies in it! She read my blog...but what good Italian girl would not want a cookie, she reasoned!

So, I waited and waited for this package to be delivered to my work place.....called my nutritionist frantically shouting "Cookies are Coming! Cookies are Coming!" and quickly developed a plan to deal with them once they arrived.

But they did not arrive. Day after day I waited....but no cookies. My birthday was approaching and still no cookies! I kept asking at my office if they had arrived, and I even saw a big suspicious box, but alas, it was not mine. On Thursday, I called the office again and low and behold, they had opened the suspicious box and it WAS mine...only now my name had morphed in Lucietta Navalle....a good Italian girl!..finally..... this was my box!

I opened it up and inside....I favorites......taralli's! A wonderful spicy pretzel like "cookie" that are addictive...everyone says they are and I have had the ultimate taralli eating addictive experience...I cannot stop eating them. They came from Little Italy.... a wonderful Italian deli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx called Teitel Brothers.

So now I was faced with a dilemma. It was Thursday afternoon and almost 5pm. Would I take the taralli's home and eat them (2 bags) or would I eat a few and share the rest? I decided the latter as my emergency plan.

I started handing them out in my office. The social worker told me I looked like a priest. He was probably in a euphoric state created by eating too many taralli's! Joel said I was holding the taralli up and saying "" He was rolling on the floor telling me I was acting like a priest handing out communion! It was a religious experience giving away my taralli's!

Needless to say there was more in the box..huge olives , provolone cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, aborio rice, porcini mushrooms and more.
Well, I decided that I would invite a few friends over to share the wealth! I am making a wonderful Italian meal to enjoy with them. Abondanza!