Birthday Bash and Beach Beast

October 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Saturday afternoon I went to a great birthday party for my friend Kimi. Can you guess how old she is?

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It was a great party because they had one of these amazing machines…

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and because tons of my IRunMommies friends were there.

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Kimi is a wonderful, sweet, hilarious person…

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and judging from the hundreds (only a slight exaggeration, seriously) of friends who wanted to chip in for some group gift cards…

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everybody loves Kimi. Thanks for inviting me to your birthday party Kimi!

On Sunday I faced the beast. The Beach Beast, that is, at the Tradewinds resort on St. Pete Beach.

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I got four free passes for this event, thanks to Yelp, so I invited three of my friends to do it with me. Yelp had a booth at the event, so we said, “Hello!” to my Yelp Tampa Bay friends…

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and covered ourselves with Yelp stickers to represent.

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20120930-100_0334(Team Yelp: Margarita…a fellow blogger at Cupcake Cardio, Tisha, Nikki, and me)

Tisha and Nikki are IRunMommies and we also ran into another IRunMommy friend, Dawn, who works for Fit2Run and had been manning their both on Saturday. On Sunday, she and her husband were doing the obstacle run.

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It was super hot out there and we were in the very last wave of the two-day event, at 11:30 a.m. We sort of parked ourselves by the water coolers and concentrated on hydrating before our wave started. We heard that there was no water on the course. We also watched the previous wave coming in from the run and scrambling over the final obstacle:

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Chad and the boys arrived before the start, and Chad took this picture of somebody doing the jetpack thing that the Tradewinds offers.

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The boys want to try that so badly, but you have to be 18 years old.

Finally it was our turn to start. At the very beginning of the race there were just some over/under hurdle obstacles:

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Here’s Cal urging us on at the beginning of the run:

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Then it was tons of soft sand running (running/walking for me):

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The soft sand was brutal to me. I am totally out of shape for running at all, but the soft sand just makes it so much harder. All of the three miles of the race were at the very beginning. We ran south on the beach until we came to a guy in an orange vest, then we turned around and ran north on the beach until we hit the jetties where they are doing beach replenishment at Upham Beach. I totally cut off the corners at both ends. My friends were way ahead of me and I was dying, so when my friends turned around and caught back up to me, I just turned around and stuck with them for a while. Yes, I cheated. Whatever. I was DYING. It was so hot. If they had had water at the turn-arounds, maybe I would have gone all the way to the ends. Whatever. I was doing this for fun people! That’s really the only reason I do anything.

While I was running the boys went swimming at the Tradewinds.

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It was so hot on the beach that I think it would have had to be measured in Kelvin units. Even some of my hard-core friends like Dawn and Caricia were walking.

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Chad was out there with the boys and got these of me “running”…

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I am smiling because I only started running for the camera after I saw him. I definitely walked more than I ran.

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Margarita, on the other hand, was doing great on the run and she passed me really early on her way back into the obstacle course.

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Close behind her was Tisha…

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And then I joined Nikki when she got back to me.

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The first part of the race was all the running, the last part was all the obstacles. After doing 5K in the grueling heat, the obstacles seemed insurmountable to me. Chad staked out the first obstacle and got some great shots of Margarita getting over it.

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He missed Tisha, but then got Nikki and me approaching the first obstacle…

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where both boys met us to give us tips on how to get over the thing after watching tons of people do it.

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Nikki did it!

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I gave it a try, but after sliding back down the front of the sandy, splintering wood on my forearms, I bailed and walked around. I felt like a total wuss, I promise. Weak ass. The second obstacle was exactly the same and I didn’t even try it.

20120929-DSC_0079(Nikki up top, my friend Caricia in the blue, Dawn in the black and pink, and my lame-ass walking around.)

Next up were these ladder boxes, where Cal joined into the course.

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Various other obstacles (there were a bunch not shown here)…

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Me, feeling like I could collapse at any second:

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Finally we were at that very last row of vertical walls. This is Nikki and me conferring about the tallest obstacle before we attempted it:

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Nikki had no problem.

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I had a little boost.

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I was really nervous about falling on the way back down.

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Finally, the last set of vertical walls. I made it over the first two on my own…

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And then I was DONE. I leaned on the next wall trying to regain my senses for a couple of minutes, and just knew I didn’t want to scale those last walls. They should do this race in the winter. I’m just not tough enough for Beach Beast at noon in the summer. But they gave me a medal anyway!

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Thanks to Nikki, Margarita, and Tisha for doing Beach Beast with me, and special thanks to Nikki for giving me a ride out to the beach. Thanks to YelpTampaBay for the free entries.

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Thanks to my boys for cheering me on and being proud of me even if I didn’t make it over every obstacle.

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Thanks to Chad for bringing the boys out to the beach to spectate and for taking lots of great pictures.

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I enjoyed Beach Beast, even though it was too tough for me. I definitely think I enjoy the natural adventure runs more than these man-made obstacles (I like when water is involved), and I just have a total phobia of trying to haul my body over a smooth vertical wall. I am not happy about strangers having to boost me (or touch me, pretty much ever). But give me some mud or roots to grab onto and I can get over it.

After we were all done I left with Chad and the boys and we went to Ted Peters Smokehouse for lunch.

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Ted Peters is sort of a St. Pete institution.

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I got the smoked Mahi lunch plate.

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Always delicious, and their smoked fish spread is amazing. We got a pint to bring home and I had it on crackers for lunch today.

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I was exhausted all afternoon yesterday. Every joint from my hips down hurt and I’m guessing it was from the sand running/walking. I don’t think I would do another beach race this early in the season. It’s still the dead of summer here, really. It doesn’t cool off at night. It’s 85 degrees after the sun goes down. I was pretty miserable the entire time on the course and was definitely not in good enough shape for it, but I’d still say I had fun. It’s the curse of race/event addiction. You just never get enough. I’ll probably do another one some time. Somebody stop me, please.