December 4, 2011

Cross Country Challenge Race Recap

I'm a mid-west girl born and raised, but in 24 years I have never gotten used to winter.  In fact, I hate it.  HATE it.  So looking back, I'm really not sure what posessed me to sign up for this muddy December trail race.  The Cross Country Challenge 8K was at the same location as the Chicago Muddy Buddy, a race I LOVED when I did it years ago, so when I got the email advertisement about this race I thought, "Hmm, that could be fun..."  I mean, the muddy buddy was messy.  How bad could this one be??  Oh, and I'm not going to lie--signing up also may have something to do with the fact that runners got a long sleeve technical shirt, a knit hat, and a mostoccoli lunch...what can I say, I'm a sucker for swag.
Last night two friends and I (only one of whom was crazy enough to sign up for the race with me...) enjoyed some yummy pasta, salad, and, oh yes, brownies straight from the pan.

All this goodness was made a million times more wonderful because we were watching, wait for it, BOY MEETS WORLD.  Yes, I snapped up three seasons of this epic show at the library.  WIN.  Of course, every wonderful pre-race food coma is inevirably followed by the actual race...or in this case, AN HOUR IN FROZEN HELL.  Basking in blissful ignorance pre-race..
Katy brought a jar of PB pretzels...see why I like to race with this girl??

Let me present the Top Ten Reasons Katy and I should probably NOT have run this race...

  1. It rained the entire day yesterday.  MAYBE not the best thing before an already muddy trail race...
  2. At packet pickup, race volunteers were providing runners with duct tape to...wait for it...tape their shoes on.  Apparrently losing shoes is a common occurrence of this race.
3. While duct taping our shoes, we were informed that there were a few points in the race when we'd encounter knee deep muddy water. (My reaction was to immediately grab Katy's hand and say, "Please don't leave me behind!")
4. While waiting in line at the porta potties, one runner was commenting to her friend, "I normally don't wear gloves when it's this temperature, but then I remembered that they're kind of necessary in this race, you know, for like grabbing things and climbing and stuff." (I'll let you imagine what my face looked like when I heard this one...)
5. We walked by another couple runners going the opposite direction and heard the words, "...coyotes and wolves..." Now, to be fair, we didn't exactly get a context for this, but these are NOT words I want to hear before setting out on a run in the woods!
6. At least a third of the course involved running through BOGS.  Yes bogs.  As in, "Be careful, you might sink to your death in this quick-sand-esque bog!"
7. Hills.  Enough said.  Like big hills.  
8. The Muddy Buddy involved crawling through a shallow, man-made, watery mud pit.  This race involved schlepping through thick, REAL mud about 6 inches deep.  I suddenly understood the duct tape...
9. Crossing waist-deep streams.  Waist-deep streams in December.  In Illinois.  Yeah, that happened.
10. Did I mention this was at a horse farm?  Sooo imagine what some of the mud was like...
In all seriousness, this race was a blast.  We were mostly laughing the whole time at the sheer ridiculousess of it all.  That, and talking about our general badassness.  We walked a TON up the incredibly slippery muddy hills, but finished with a respectable time averaging about 15 minutes per mile.  Before you judge our slowness, reread those 10 crazy truths about the race.  
Miraculously, we survived, though I'm still not sure how!!
After the race, the only thing that kept us from curling up under beach towels in my car was the post-race buffet in the barn that was calling our names...
Of course, we could only stand around for so long before we were forced to deal with the nastiness that was our disgusting, muddy selves.  Behold, my dirty feet...that is some serious BLACK mud...
Katy was a super badass and ran this race in shorts.  (For real.)  Check out her mud-caked legs...
 All in all, quite the Sunday adventure.  Obviously I've spent the rest of the day cotinuing to watch Boy Meets World while curled up here:
With this:

And lots more of this:
And that, friends, makes 12 total races in 2011.  I think I might be done until Spring... ;)

What did you do this weekend?
Favorite 90s TV show...GO!  Boy Meets World, for sure.  Hands down. :)


  1. You are such a badass. That race sounds fun and horrible, all at the same time.

    Also, I cannot believe you're expecting me to pick ONE favorite 90s TV show. Boy Meets World. Full House. Home Improvement. Basically? TGIF!

  2. What a crazy race but it looks like you both had a great time! Old tv shows while curled up on the couch sounds perfect!

  3. You are badass!! Wow! Looks like you had a lot of fun though and I think your recovery on the couch with Starbucks and old tv is perfect!

  4. Wowza what an adventure! Sounds like so much fun and this is most definitely something you will never forget. Congrats on the race.

  5. Not sure if I would every be crazy enough to do that!

    Oh - I went to your favorite posts and borrowed some of your ideas for teaching a persuasive essay! I will be using them this week b/c I am in 5th grade all week! Hopefully I will be able to post some good pics!


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