Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mud Run

So it all began a few months ago. Through Christy, Orit found out about this mud run event and it sparked an inner flame that started burning. The burning for a challenge and getting dirty was compelling. She told me about it and in so, had made the decision to do it. Forget the fact that she can't run without getting what we later found out to be called "stitches" A common problem with people cramping cause of not breathing properly. People have been telling her that for years, it's just that apparently no one has actually shown her a technique to correct it. I'll step in and say a word about this here. About one year into our marriage of 11 years, we made an attempt to go jogging together. I specifically remember saying "in through the nose, out thought the mouth," and showing her. She does not recall, so ultimately that's what goes. Here, this is my blog. I tell MY objective truth. Anyway, we are stronger than any one small disagreement, so we move on. She will do this thing and she will get past the "stitches." And I say, go for it - get dirty! So the decision was made. The team of women was organized and the training began. Kickboxing has become more of the routine for her of late. The plan - to step it up in stamina through kickboxing and introduce running in between. Squeeze that between being a mother, wife, photographer, and caretaker of all and hope for the best. But most importantly, it's about having fun. And checking one off the bucket list (skydive - check, shave head - check, run a 5k mud run - now I'm getting a little ahead, but check, not at liberty to mention others...). Hell, i wanted to join. Registration is open till  the day of, but my bum knees. Bummer! I've been in pain from my torn meniscus. I'm sure the inevitable day will come you will hear about my knee surgery. For now it's just a source of anxiety. Just went through the whole surgery thing with little man. Back away from me for now. Mud. Individually and as a group, they stuck to the plan as much as their daily routines allowed. Did I mention the "stitches" are no longer an issue. Not that she remembered what I claim to have said 11 years ago. Thanks to a trainer (husband of team mate) that showed her what I claim to have shown her 11 years ago. Again, I say here, we are stronger than any one disagreement (and by the way, if you are able to do that, the disagreements don't pile up or linger - chew on that for a bit. There's more advice if you want it...). Bottom line is, she's over the stitches and she can run now. Problem solved. There are walking breaks, but there is a definite building of gradual stamina. She went running on the beach the other day. Yet another benefit of Southern California life.
Today was race day. The much anticipated day finally arrived. Christy is staying with us for a few days. The ladies woke up early and went to the event to begin the process of signing in, getting their numbers, yata, yata, yata. Orit wakes me up to say goodbye and adds, "Theo is making batter, make him crepes. Goodbye." Now those of you who know Orit, know her crepes. And there is nothing else that needs to be said. Those who don't know her crepes, don't have any idea what you're missing and there's nothing I can say to get descriptive enough in what it does to people, especially little man. He can live on them every day, twice a day. And he has this control over his mom in getting her to make them for him at any given moment (almost) and with the shortest window of time. She has them down to an art form in speed, finesse, but mostly taste and texture. With that said, this morning... I get up after finally little man wakes me up a second time with a "crepes?" and a smile. I get up and walk to the kitchen and see the blender and batter in it, ready to go. Mom's expertise has not gone unnoticed by little man. He just needs me to do the pan-to-fire negotiation. So off I go, heat the pan, get it ready... "Theo, does mom use anything in the pan?" He answers, "butter, only on the first one." Ok. So I make them (I've learned from seeing Orit as well, though I'm better at this part. Glad little man can make the batter). He tells me they're ok and eats two with Nutella. And we quickly get our shit together to see mom race, and possibly, possibly, join the kids race at 11:45am. A half mile obstacle mud run. So armed with all I think is necessary gear, we went. Of course not as well prepared as mom would have been. But nothing, a quick stop at Starbucks wouldn't fix (water and a snack for a growing boy and an ice coffee for me). And I won't mention I remembered to bring a towel, and extra clothing, but forgot the flip flops to wear after the muddy shoes. Whatever. Builds character and callouses, walking barefoot. We made it to the race just as they had started and found our spot to wait to see mom and her team as all the hard core of the 5000+ people expected, began to pass by at the second of as it turned out only two mud baths in between some obstacles and marked off areas around the property of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. We waited. We were quite in awe of the whole spectacle. A few polaroids. And there she is. Running in a sea of wet, muddy people, some in costumes, running through a strange situation.

We exchange our yells of acknowledgment and encouragement and moved on to the next  position of viewing the runners. It's hot. And we've had a taste of a little mud as it splashed us by the runners and I could see little man had his head and his eyes on the fact that he was gonna do this too. One more vantage point as they snake around their path for little man to high five his athlete mom. Then we saw her crawl through rows of hoola hoops, run over what should be a slip and slide, kick her way through beach balls and go off into the distance around the stadium property, back around the other side, over hay stack stairs and there we got one more high five opportunity and off to the finish line over there yonder. Well, we didn't actually see the finish, cause we were running around looking for the place to register him for the kids race in time. But Orit finished proud and strong in 1hr 27secs and made her way to see little man numbered and ready at the starting line for his race. And off he went. Over a few little traffic barriers, around a turn, in through the mud bath, over some more walls, another turn, hoola hoops, slip and slide, turn and straight away. Half mile. Was that really half mile? I don't know how many ran in his category of 4-7 year olds. I was too hot and concentrated on him to notice. He ran the whole way. Good stamina. Fifth place, not that anyone (except him and I) are keeping score. And that was that. A few more polaroids. And the mud run was done. 

He and I headed home via In-N'-Out Burger. little man gets the meat, cheese and bun only. I decided this time to go purist as well and forgo the sauce, lettuce, tomato, onions... There is something to be said about about a burger that tastes good in it's absolute purest form. No dressing, no fries, no nothing. I may have been converted to the less sophisticated, more simplistic palate of my kid. Made it home just a bit before the dirty girls came home. We all took a nap today. Woke up for dinner. Tonight, we have breakfast for dinner. And a walk of our collective dogs (Christy has her dog Toki with her and she's pals with China and Roody). The ladies are exhausted. Orit fell asleep watching a movie officially at 10:00pm or so, but unofficially we lost her already at around 8:15pm. She was floating in between. I asked her at this point how much she actually ran of the course. Her answer was about half. Run, walk, run, trot, walk... I know she's proud of herself and had fun. I know she's already planning on checking off the list the larger Camp Pendelton Mud Run next. I am proud of her and Theo. They know it as do you all now too. Proud of Christy and all the other crazies having fun out there too. Speaking of Christy, she manages to let work lure her to her portable office for a few more hours of a workaholic fix. But that light went out too now. And that is the story of the LA 5k Mud Run 2010.  A vignette into the story of a mom (and a kid) taking on a challenge, by a writer who is taking on sort of a challenge of his own. The writer is always the one left awake in the middle of the night. I fear to see and hear the aches and pains the ladies will experience tomorrow. Not worried about little man. He didn't think his challenge was very hard. So why am I the one with ice on my knee? Goodnight. New Theo Progress Report coming next... 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so this is what you were doing in the Man Cave until 2am! What a beautiful recollection of your better half's training adventure...and I love that you came out to the event to cheer us on! Thanks Gal - we love you!