Tampa Paint Wars Adventure Mud Run

August 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Yesterday this happened:

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So today, this happened:

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I made sure to fuel up with a big stack of blueberry Baker Mills Kodiak Cakes and scrambled eggbeaters with veg this morning.

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Nikki picked me up and we headed to rural north Tampa for some fun. The adventure run was being held by the same organizers (Mud, Sweat, and Beer Adventure Runs) and at the same location as the Prison Break Mud Run that I did in June with my friend Jenny.

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This horse farm hosts all types of events and parties in addition to having horseback riding. The first thing we had to do when we got there was sign a waiver for the farm.

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Then we headed to the registration table and signed a waiver for the race and got our wristbands and drawstring bag, which was the free schwag for the race.

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Once we hit up the real bathroom (which Jenny and I had scoped out at the last mud run, and not many people seemed to know about)…

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we got our stylish protective goggles on…

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had somebody snap a “before” photo of us…

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walked past the goats…

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and horses…

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and we were off!

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But apparently our wave went the wrong direction right at the beginning, so we got a little bonus quarter mile run in there at the beginning. As we ran by these guys, they told us that they were actually the finish line and that we had all gone the wrong way.

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Oops. They did give me my first paint of the day, though.

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Thanks to all the recent rains, there was plenty of mud (probably 90% manure, but whatever)…

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and we slogged through it until we found the correct beginning of the marked course.

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The first part of the course sort of wound around and through the parking lots which was a little strange, but we weren’t worrying about a thing. We were just having fun and randomly getting sprayed with paint water guns or hit with paint water balls.

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I really love these “nature runs”. We did a little running here and there, but it was mostly walking and climbing and slogging through creeks and mud.

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A fork in the course:

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Of course we took the “hardcore” route because we are badass.

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Time to get REALLY wet…

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and try not to think about flesh-eating bacteria.

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The “hardcore” course eventually came to the big water hole that was the starting line of the Prison Break mud run. However, the water was much higher now with all the rains, and the current was fierce.

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Nikki has been working on her swimming skills and was a little nervous about getting across this deep creek with the swift current…

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but she did it! I was really proud of her (and us) for choosing the hardcore course despite not being totally confident in her swimming. She did awesome.

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More paint.

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There were a few times we had to cross deep water with a swift current, and they had cables beneath the water to hold onto to help you get across.

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Lots of steep, rooty, sandy, muddy banks to climb.

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More paint.

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Water/Gatorade stop. This is Ellie holding one of the paint water guns.

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I remembered her from the water stop at the Prison Break mud run. She took this photo of Jenny and me:

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Onward through the water…

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We had to follow orange flags tied along the course.

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At times this was challenging because the course had lots of switch-backs, so it was occasionally easy to get confused as to which way to go.

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We managed not to get lost in the woods, however.

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We followed orange inner tube girl for a while.

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She warned us of a drop-off just past this little dam:

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I think I went over this thing on my butt:

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Then we ran into this guy:

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He was totally hidden and Nikki asked, “Where did you come from?” He answered, “My Momma!” Then he told us to put our goggles on because there was a big paint war spot coming up.

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Yep. My prettiest paint of the day.

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The paint was just tempura mixed with water and whenever we had to go through water it would mostly all wash away. Next obstacle:

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I apologized to this guy for having to look at my butt all the way through the tunnel:

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The next big water crossing had this sort of horizontal Jacob’s ladder thing happening.

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Nikki looks thrilled on this obstacle:

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You had to fight the current the whole time. This is my idea of a good race course:

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Next obstacle:

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Right about where the guy with the black sleeves is in the next photo was an unfortunately placed sharp protrusion sticking out of the log that I think may have ripped a hole in my running tights.

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This sandy root hill was particularly challenging:

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Next up was hay hurdles.

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Sandy pants.

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At the finish line paint war zone:

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These guys again…

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and Nikki lost her shoe in the last mud hole:

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We did it! And then we rinsed off in the horse showers.

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I had a blast and I’m so grateful to Nikki for the invitation to join her! She had planned to do the run with another friend who was not able to make it, so I’m glad I could do it with her.

After heading back to the car to get our dry clothes and changing in the “staff only” restroom, we hit up the Evos booth to get some lunch.

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I love Evos! I got the buffalo chicken wrap and a strawberry/banana fruit shake (vegan…made with orange juice).

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It hit the spot.

I was really grateful to Nikki for driving so I could relax on the way home. Thanks again Nikki! Once home, a hot shower felt awesome. Of course my hip was hurting half way through the mud run, and after sitting in Nikki’s car all the way back to St. Pete is was pretty stiff and painful. After my shower, these guys were my friend:

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I am hobbling around now, but it was worth it! A fun event is worth a few days of pain. A two mile training run is NOT. I was pretty sad for a few days when I made the decision to withdraw from my Ragnar team due to my hip, but once I thought about it I decided that I could still do shorter races, like family 5K’s and short adventure runs. I can do these events just based on my general fitness (and run/walk) and don’t have to train for them. The thought of giving up events all together is just too depressing to consider at this point. I know at some point in my life I probably won’t be able to do these things any more, and I am extremely grateful to be able to do them now. I definitely don’t take it for granted!

Thanks for a fun morning Mud, Sweat, and Beer Adventure Runs and In The Breeze Horse Ranch! And Nikki!

Slogging through mud builds up an appetite…afternoon snack:

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I love that spinach & artichoke hummus, and the chips were free with the purchase of three 8-packs of the 12 ounce caffeine free Diet Cokes that I am addicted to. Free is good, and so are those chips.

The boys ran errands all morning, including Publix, and came home with a gift for me:

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Thanks guys!

Now they are off to see ParaNorman at the movies and then they are going to Panda Express for dinner. Chad’s going to bring me home a Panda Bowl. I love the Panda Express website where you can create your meal online and see all of the nutritionals.

I think I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon watching Dawson’s Creek on Amazon Prime streaming. I’m near the end of season five. I never watched the show when it first aired. The teenage angst and over the top dialogue and drama is strangely addictive.

Cya.