Tag Archives: running

Race Recap: Brookfield Zoo’s Zoo Run Run 5K

This is one of the races that’s been on my race bucket list for the last two or three years.  I didn’t actually plan on running this year, but I got a discount code in the monthly membership newsletter  (Yes, I’m a zoo member.  It’s so I can go hang out at the zoo with all my friends and their kids.  I’ve taken it as a sign I’m officially old.  Also, I just love the zoo; judge me if you must.) so I figured why the hell not.

The morning of the race I thought I left in enough time to get there, grab my packet, drop it back at the car, and walk over to the starting area.  Unfortunately I didn’t count on it taking me 20 minutes to make it the last mile into the zoo parking lot.  I had just enough time to grab my bib and shirt, put the shirt on and hightail it to the starting line as the 12 minute mile corral was starting to move.  (One day I’ll learn to give myself more time to get to races, but this was not that day.

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As I headed to the starting area I was little concerned about the race itself.  There were a lot of people there both runners and spectators, and since the course was through the zoo, I was worried about it being congested as well as people walking across the course.  I certainly wasn’t trying to PR or anything, but I would have been irritated no matter what if someone stepped out in front of me while I was running.  It turned out this wasn’t an issue at all.  The course was wide enough that congestion was never an issue, and over all people were pretty respectful of the course and watching out for runners.

The race itself went well.  The course was insanely curvy, but I’ve got to give them props because my RunKeeper tracked the distance as 3.16 which is pretty amazing considering all those turns could have easily made the course long.  I did learn running in two shirts will make me uncomfortably warm.

Zoo Run Run Finish

I finished the race in 32:49 which is pretty respectable considering the amount of running I haven’t been doing lately.  Every time I run a pretty decent race with minimal effort, I think about how much better I could have done if I’d actually trained.  Maybe this time, I’ll find me motivation to get my ass back into gear and start prioritizing my workouts again.

I didn’t stick around too long after the race since I was by myself and we had plans to go on a pizza tour later that afternoon, but if I do this race again next year, I’ll definitely be dragging Nik along, and maybe some friends with their kids, for a day at the zoo.

Race Recap: Pretty Muddy

Full Disclosure: As part of the Pretty Muddy Bloggers I was given a free entry to the race in exchange for my promoting and posting about the race.  I did not receive any additional compensation, and as always all experiences and opinions are my own.

This past Saturday I participated in Pretty Muddy.  I heard about this race last year, but not until after I had other committments on race day.  I’d done the Warrior Dash and loved it so the idea of an all-women’s version was awesome.  I decided to shoot for the 2013 race.  Getting to be a Pretty Muddy Blogger and run for free was just icing on the cake I’d already decided to bake.

Pretty Muddy 2013 Medal

On to race day…we’ve already talked about how I don’t do much prepping for race day.  Well, it kind of bit me in the ass this time around.  I forgot which wave I’d signed up for and ended up getting up much earlier than necessary.  (Although, realistically I probably would have woken up just as early regardless.  My ability to sleep-in is pretty much non-existant.)  So since I had a lot of time before I needed to leave, I spent most of the morning screwing around the house rather than getting things together because I had “plenty of time to get there.”  As a direct result, I completely forgot to take extra clothes and shoes.  Because getting covered in mud and getting in my car with cloth seats could only end well, right?!  Of course, I didn’t realize this until turning around was just inconvenient enough that I wasn’t going to bother.  I’d figure something out.  I also didn’t bother to read any of the pre-race emails until I was on my way to the race…oh, there’s a $10 parking fee?!  Well then, it’s a good thing my bank has a branch kind of on the way…

So, minor hiccups of my own doing aside, the race went very smoothly.  Parking was easy peasy.  I had a little bit of concern about my tiny car driving through the field to park, but it was totally little car accessible.  Registration was quick and easy.  Gear check was quicker and easier.  They recommended you get there an hour early for check-in, but that was totally unnecessary.  I was supposed to start in the 10:00 wave.  I got there at 9:30 with plenty of time to check-in, watch the WERQ fitness class that was being demoed and still start in the 9:45 wave.  The wave started with very little fan-fare.

The run itself was not really what I was expecting.  For one, there was very little running.  The event was untimed and billed as a fun-run, but I seriously felt like the odd-man out for running more than the first 50 yards.  There were even a few points were I felt like I was being judged by the other participants for actually running!

I was also expecting the course to be something more akin to the Warrior Dash, lots of mud with obstacles interspersed.  This was more like a trail race with a few kind of muddy pit stops.  The obstacles were your standard climb over walls and up nets, duck under things, crawl through the mud pits, but none of them were really very muddy.  I was trying not to get terribly muddy since I had no clean clothes to change into and staying mud-free from the waist up was pretty easy.  There was a lot of participants who seemed to be actively trying to avoid getting muddy at all.  This was a little aggrivating at points because it caused back-ups at obstacles and well, you signed up for a mud run, what did you expect?!?

Muddy

I finished the race, got my medal, and went in search of the (very well hidden) rinse off station.  I hosed off as much mud as I could from my pants and headed back to my car.  Luckily, I never took my Zooma swag bag out of my car so the race shirt and yoga mat where still in my back seat.  I changed my shirt in the parking lot, and unrolled the yoga matt to cover my seat.  Victory was mine!  Moral of the story?  Don’t listen to your boyfriend when he tells you your car is a disaster and you need to clean it out.n  You never know when you’re going to need a clean shirt and a yoga mat to sit on.

All in all, I had a good time, but I’m not sure I’d do it again.  Well, I definitely would not do it again by myself.  The event was definitely designed to be done with a group of friends.  If I could manage to round up a group of girlfriends to do this with me next year, I would probably do it again.

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