Windermere Kids Run

April 14, 2012

The City of Windermere held its 11th Annual 5k Run Among the Lakes this morning. They also had three different lengths for kids races. Little Monkey has been begging to do another run, so when I found this one a few weeks ago, I signed the kids up.

This morning we headed out to the race and arrived just after the 5k had started. We parked and checked in at town hall to get the kids race bibs and shirts. Unfortunately, many other kids had already checked in (most who hadn’t registered ahead of time like we did) and they were out of kids shirts. The staff was nice and helpful and did get us one shirt, though it was a ladies medium. Looks like I have a new running shirt, or I can do a little sewing to it and make it fit Little Monkey. We waited around for the 5k to finish and checked out some of the vendors. Before the kids race ever started we ended up with two bags filled with free stuff! We got frisbees, flat water bottles, bam bam sticks, lollipops, Chick-fil-a cows and a coupon, popcorn and I’m sure I’m leaving something out! Mimi arrived (after getting stuck in race runner/walker traffic!) and we waited for the kids races to start.

Little Monkey and Little Monkette before the race!

The kids lined up for the first race (and the shortest). Mimi went with Little Monkette to help her along and then Little Monkey decided he wanted to run the short race too. They both did a good job and Little Monkey was right near the front of the group with the bigger kids. The next race was about 1/4-1/2 of a mile long. Little Monkey said he didn’t want to do it but then changed his mind after they already started. Mimi convinced him to do the longest kids run, just about 3/4 of a mile. She offered to run it with him.

Mimi and Little Monkey starting off for the long run!

Little Monkette wasn’t too excited to sit and watch for them to come back around but she did alright once some kids started coming to the finish line. When she saw Mimi and Little Monkey, she got very excited!

Little Monkey leading Mimi to the finish line!

Little Monkey did a great job running the 3/4 of a mile race. Mimi said they stopped two times for a short walk and then kept running. Little Monkey was very excited about it and is already looking forward to finding another race to run.

Little Monkette and Little Monkey showing off their medals!

The kids had a lot of fun and did a great job in their race. It was a great start to what turned out to be quite a busy but very fun Saturday!

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Warrior Dash Weekend

April 3, 2012

This past weekend we went camping…and ran the Warrior Dash! First we got to camp a day before the race and explored a little bit.

Hanging out with Big Monkey along the Suwannee River.

We found the river and the one geocache in the park. There are lots of trails and we were a bit sad that there was only one cache to find. (If we lived closer, we’d add some more caches to the park.)

Saturday morning we got up and moving to head over to the race. We were in the second wave (10:30) but wanted to get there early enough to get checked in and get our stuff back to the car. On our drive down it was POURING rain. We got to check in and it started to clear up, but we were already soaked.

Our 'Before' shot...not actually dirty yet, but soaking wet from the downpour!

We had a little bit of time to just hang out, use the porta potty farm and get ready for the fun. It had stopped raining until just before our wave was going to start and then the clouds opened up again and POURED. The clock counted down and the flames went off and our group started moving towards the starting line. I wasn’t too concerned with the rain…it just seemed like another obstacle. The only problem with the pouring rain was that it just kept making my glasses hard to see out of! We went through a trail in the trees and it was quite tight getting everybody through so we were just crawling along for parts of it. The pouring rain and the loud thunder and bright lightning was an interesting additional mix to the course. People were hollering and running faster because of the lightning. I told the people around me that God was just taking a picture of the event. 🙂 I think that’s what I was trying to convince myself so I wouldn’t be concerned with being a forest with all that lightning going on!

Once we got through the trail part of the run, things spread out a bit more and we made our way to the obstacles. I had been concerned mostly with the obstacles over the run but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. When I was about halfway through the race, I missed a section of the run because I was following everyone in front of me…who also missed it. We saw a big arrow and headed the way it said, then we noticed people were joining us and we could see obstacles we hadn’t done. By the time we figured out we had completely missed something it was too far to try and get back to it. Plus we were being told that the obstacles had been closed because a girl broke her ankle going down the fireman pole. (This turned out to be half true. A girl did break her ankle, but they didn’t close the obstacles completely.) I am sad I missed some of the obstacles but hopefully we’ll do the race again sometime and I’ll be sure to get to everything.

When I came down the a-frame cargo net, I noticed my friends D, M and N going up it. Then I really knew I missed a lot…because for me to catch up to them was impossible in the real world. We all finished up by jumping over the fire and going into the mud pit. It was a LOT of fun and I would do it again.

The 'After' Shot! Muddy and wet but happy!

When we finished the race, we grabbed some water and granola and watched for the other people in our group to finish too. Once everybody was done, we got in line to take our picture with the cool set up Warrior Dash had provided for a great photo op.

Almost everyone in our group. D got cut out of my picture....sorry D!

Part of our group decided to stick around for the party for a bit while the others hung out for a little while before heading back to camp to clean up. Every one (of age) gets a free beer for turning in their timing chip (Great idea to get their timing chips back!) so we turned in our chips for some beer. In addition to our free beer, we all got a medal for finishing, a t-shirt and a fuzzy warrior helmet! We went to the car to put on dry, cleaner clothing and got our chairs so we could hang out and enjoy the event. It was crazy! People watching at its finest level…I cannot even begin to explain it! Big Monkey and I shared a big turkey leg for lunch. The waves were getting close to being done and the awards ceremony and costume and beard contests were going to be starting in a little while when the skies opened up again. We decided that was enough for us and we packed it up and headed back to camp. I wish we had tracked the distance from the car to the event and back. We made that walk at least three times and it was quite a walk!

Once we got back to camp, we got cleaned up and just hung out, enjoying everyone’s company. It was nice that Big Monkey and I didn’t have to worry about dogs or kids like we normally do (Thanks GrandMom for watching all of them!). We just relaxed and had a great time.

Here’s the short of the Warrior Dash Experience-

  • The folks who put the event on-Red Frog Events-know what they are doing. I was impressed with how well everything went.
  • The only suggestion I have would be to make the waves every 15 minutes with half as many people. That might help with the bottleneck in the trail section and the time spent waiting for the people in front of you to do an obstacle. (I don’t know that my idea would solve those problems though.)
  • We had a great time and would do the race again. Even with the rain and lightning!

If you are interested in knowing more about Warrior Dash, check them out here! There are no more Florida races this year but plenty of races in other states and even other countries! (Oh and they don’t know I’m writing this…I’m just letting you know about our experience!)


Kids Fun Run

November 5, 2011

Last week the kids and I went to a food truck event in Ocoee. While we were there, the nice lady from Chick-fil-a let us know that today there was going to be a 5k and Kids Fun Run. I basically brushed off the idea because it meant getting up early and driving over there. I certainly wasn’t going to run in the 5k (seeing that I haven’t been running since July!). A few days before the event, we found out the Big Monkey was going to be working on the day of the race. I asked Little Monkey if he wanted to go run in the race or go build something at Home Depot. He said, “I’ll make you a deal. We can run the race and go to Home Depot after.” Smart boy…and while it was probably a possibility, I figured one was enough. He decided that he wanted to do the race. I registered them both online and prepped them Friday night for an early wake up today. They both did great. We got up, had breakfast and got in the car. We got to the race while the 5k was still going on, so we got our stuff for the kids race and cheered for the 5k runners/walkers.

Wearing their shirts and bib numbers!

When the race was about to start all the kids lined up under the balloon arch. I told Little Monkey that he needed to hold onto Little Monkette until they crossed through the start line and the crowd dissipated some. After that I would be right there to help Little Monkette get to the finish line and he could run off and finish ahead of us. I told him to cross the finish line, get his ‘medal’ and wait next to the fire rescue truck (right next to the finish line). He was a great big brother holding onto his sister!

We're ready to run!

When the countdown began, I was waiting on the other side of the start line to get a pic of them. It was so cute…off they went.  Little Monkey was holding Little Monkette’s hand but trying to get her to go faster.

Come on Little Monkette!!!!

I told Little Monkey that he was free to finish the race and wait for us. He took off! Little Monkette ran/walked/ran. I tried running with her, ahead of her and cheering her on. There were so many people watching and cheering and everyone thought she was so cute. A long line of spectators and volunteers started cheering and putting their hands out for a high five. She didn’t know what to do but figured it out. She was so cute giving them all high fives!

High Five!!!

Eventually we got right up to the finish line and she got her ‘medal’ (a lanyard with a Chick-fil-a cow clipped on!) and goodie bag. She was so excited to see that Little Monkey finished and got a medal too!

We finished!! 🙂

After the race we enjoyed walking through the craft vendors and riding a few carnival rides (thanks to the free ride tickets the kids got in their goodie bags!). The kids got the shirts, the ‘medals,’ stickers, pencils, free face painting, carnival rides, water, etc all for FREE! It was a great event and I’m glad we decided to give it a go. Little Monkey was very excited to show his ‘medal’ to his Mimi. He says he wants to do it again. Looks like we’ll be trying to find some more short kid fun runs! Thanks to Ocoee Founders’ Day Event and Chick-fil-a for a great free family day!


Freedom Four Miler

July 9, 2011

After we ran the Stop, Drop and Run 5k, my friend D tried to convince me that the Freedom Four Miler on the 4th of July wouldn’t be too bad. It was earlier in the day and ONLY .9 miles more than the 5k. I wasn’t convinced that I could do four miles but eventually, after being harassed about the race and the fact that I would be out of town during another 5k they would do, I decided to do the four miler. I kept training and gave it a go. I had never even run four miles before the Freedom Four Miler.

The night before the race, the kids, Big Monkey and I headed up to spend the night at D’s house since the race was much closer to their house than ours and we had a 7:30am start time. We were up by 6am to eat, change and get in the car. The littles did better than I expected them to. We put Little Monkette in the stroller at the race and she and Little Monkey hung out with D’s kids that weren’t running in the race. I gave Little Monkey the camera so he could get some pictures. This race he only took five pictures total! (The last race he probably took about 20 pictures.)

We somehow ended up starting the race at the very back of the pack (maybe 300 people total). I ran the entire first mile (at just over an 11 minute mile pace), plus a little bit more. Then I started doing a little bit of walking, running, walking, running, until I finished. I was very excited to see a homeowner spraying water across the road just after the three mile mark. I ran straight through it. It felt great! As i was approaching the finish, D and her son Z were waiting for me and they both ran me in to the very last turn before the finish line. I finished with an official time of 47:12 for the four miles. My tracker showed I only ran 3.9 miles but D’s tracker showed she ran 4.1 miles. Who knows, all I know is that I finished! 🙂 I am happy with that. No awards for our group this time around but that’s okay. I came in 10th in my age group and I’m just happy that I made it to the end and wasn’t last! 🙂

Approaching the last turn...

Unfortunately, when you give the camera to the five year old, you are likely to get out of focus, blurry pictures!

Going to the finish line!!

Now D is trying to convince me that a 10k is not that much more than four miles…but I’m not convinced yet! 🙂 We are all registered for the Warrior Dash in March 2012 though (3.09 miles with obstacles!).


Stop, Drop and Run 5k

June 13, 2011

For some strange reason, my friend D thought it would be a great idea for us to run a 5k. I was not as thrilled about the idea but we finally did decide to register for the run. We ended up running with four other people (three of D’s kids and another friend, K). Since the run was in Ocala and Big Monkey was going to be working, we had a sleepover at D’s house. It got us much closer to the race, so we only had to be up at 6:15 instead of probably leaving at 6:15.

Our group before the race K, me, D, Z, M and D

Stop, Drop and Run was a benefit run with Marion County Fire Rescue’s Union. They have two families within their department that are fighting cancer. It was also in memory of another family member that had passed away because of cancer. This run was the first 5k benefit run they were holding. Overall it went very smoothly and we will likely do it again next year if they have it. The only way to make it better would be to start the run earlier in the day (It was scheduled to start at 8:30 and didn’t start until 8:45 and it was getting hotter and hotter by the minute.) and to have more water on hand at the various water stations.

We all started out the race together but VERY quickly separated out mostly. D’s daughter (also a D) ran with me most of the time. We ran the entire first K and then some but then started walking and then running. I honestly should have been able to beat he but I let the heat and my brain get to me….and I came in last out of our group. Four of our six group members placed either first or second in their age group (once again, not me…I was 14th for my age group). I tracked my run on my phone with Endomondo. According to it, I finished the 5k in 39:08 but that also included me crossing the finish line, walking through the ropes and then over to the side to throw up. (Bummer but I think it was the Gatorade I drank mid-race because that was all they had by the time I got there and I needed something.) My offical time was posted but I honestly don’t remember what it was. No matter what though, even the 39:08 was a personal best for me, so I was happy with that. (Updated: I was able to look it up online! My official race finish time was 38:32!)

Little Monkey took this picture of me after I was crossing the finish line.

The Pink Heals fire truck and police car were there (along with a handful of local fire trucks). Little Monkey loved the trucks and took many pictures of them while waiting on us to cross the finish line! 🙂 There was a three legged dog that ran the race with his owner (and beat me in of course) as well as a firefighter in full bunker gear running on his air tank (until it ran out of air). He finished the race with all the gear and the air pack on too (he also beat me).

Little Monkey with the Pink Heals Fire Truck

Everyone in our group that ran! 🙂 Me, K, Z, D, M and D.

D has almost convinced us to do a four mile run on the 4th of July. We’ll see if we sign up for that one! 🙂 Another friend, J and his wife L, has convinced all of us to do the Warrior Dash next March. Should be crazy and dirty but so far we have eight people agreeing to do it so we’ll have a good group!


The Princess 5k at Disney

March 9, 2010

Saturday was the big race, well ‘fun run.’ Fun run? Seriously? Who came up with that idea? I don’t really think FUN is the best way to describe getting up at 5:40am in the COLD to go RUN 3.1miles. But we still did it. After Amy had run in another Disney 5k with friends, I was thinking that I could do it too. Surely if she could finish, I could manage to make it through too. I also thought it might help me get back in shape and lose some of the weight I had hanging around from Little Monkette. I started “training” in late November.

I really could have trained more and better but it is what it is. I didn’t really like to run and it was impossible to go unless Big Monkey was home to keep the kids. We did borrow a treadmill from my parents, so some days I was able to use that. Before the race, I had never even ran/walked 3 miles in my “training” so I was a bit worried. I decided that I would stay back with one of Amy’s friends who runs slow (like me). The night before though, she told me that she runs as far as she can before walking and that was about 1.2 miles. I told her that was not happening but it sure did! I was certain I wouldn’t make it an entire mile without walking but I did. Let’s start at the beginning-

On Friday we had to go pick up our race packets and get checked in for the race. We met up with Amy’s friends and went to the Princess Expo. There we found some fun shirts and I ended up getting one. I got a long sleeve shirt because it was going to be about 40 degrees when we were to start running. I was running in shorts, so I figured I better at least have a long sleeve shirt too! After that we went to the hotel and fed Little Monkette who was with us. While some of the girls napped, the rest of us went to the outlets. For dinner we met up with my parents and had Olive Garden to ‘carb up.’ After dinner we went back to our hotel and tried for an early night. I think we were in bed shortly after 10pm.

Dark and early on Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 5:40 and Dad and I started moving. On our way to the parking lot to meet Amy, we saw two rabbits hanging out at the hotel. We got to Epcot and found our way over towards the start line. We waited for our other friends to show up too. It was VERY cold. There were lots of people dressed up as princesses and in crazy get ups!

Ready as I'll be for the race...HAD to have this shirt!

When the race started, with fireworks! it took us over three minutes to even get to the start line! There were 3500 people registered for the race! I brought my stopwatch so that I could get an accurate timing of how I did. We started the stopwatch when we hit the start line and again when we hit the finish line. Three of us stayed together (within about 20 feet more or less) the entire race. There were so many people, it was hard to get around, but we ran, rather slow, but still running and got around a bunch of people. We ran the entire first mile! I could hardly believe it. I didn’t think it would be possible, but we did it. Once we got inside Epcot, there were characters that you could stop and take your picture with. We, of course, didn’t stop because we just wanted to finish! There were plenty of people who did stop though, even making lines at some of the characters. It actually was kinda fun and it was cool to have so many people running too.

We were coming back around Spaceship Earth at the front of the park and an employee let us know that we just had to go out the gate and then a little farther to the finish line. We picked up our pace just a bit. We saw the sign for the three-mile mark and discussed sprinting to the end. We had already picked up our pace and I really didn’t think we could go any faster. We were almost there when one of the girls in our group said she couldn’t make it and started to slow down. I assured her she could make it and stuck out my hand. She caught up, grabbed my hand and our other friend’s hand and we all ran together. I saw my Dad and her husband at the top of the bleachers cheering and taking pictures. I pointed them out and waved but she wasn’t having it. She just kept watching her feet and we made it! 44 minutes and 30 seconds. It was her fastest 5k time (this was her 3rd 5k). I have to say it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Of course, I’m still feeling it a few days later. I don’t know that I will do another one for sure but we’ll see.

Hand in hand to the finish line!

I was a little disappointed that we got vinyl ‘medals’ because Amy actually got a really cool one at her Tower of Terror 5k. Oh well. We had a good time and we survived. The goal was to finish and we did! I’m glad to say that I did it.

Most of our group with our medals.


The Big Race!

March 6, 2010

Today is the race that I’ve been training for. I could have/should have trained better but hopefully all will go well. In fact, by the time you are reading this, the race will be over. Possibly LONG over depending on when you read my blog! I hope to have another post later today with pictures if I have the chance. Little Monkey will have also run in his race today too. Hopefully he did well too.