Prison Break Mud Run Tampa 2012

June 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Last night and this morning I was so nervous getting ready for this event. I’ve never done a mud run or obstacle race before, and I just didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure what to wear or what to bring. My friend Jenny, of Run Hot Momma, was doing the race with me and we kept texting all night with plans.

One thing I knew for sure…I was bringing my waterproof camera and planned to carry it in my sports bra.


Ah, I look so clean and dry and unscathed in that picture.

The Prison Break Mud Run was held at In The Breeze Horse Ranch in north Tampa. It’s amazing how rural Florida is once you get outside of Pinellas County. As we were getting near to the farm we had to drive around people riding horses in the road…


and dodge kids on dirt bikes going the wrong direction on the shoulder of the street.


Eventually we found it (there was NO signage for the mud run, but it wasn’t too hard to find).


Somehow we managed to park right next to the registration table, even though there were already tons of people there. Parking karma, I guess. We made our way to registration, where I was told we would be “on the list”. I got free registration for this event through Yelp (for me +1) and not for being an Elite. Anyone could have gotten them…you guys gotta get on Yelp! Tickets for this event were $60 and up. I love Yelp!

Here we are in line for registration, still clean and dry and thinking we could wear our own sunglasses as eye protection. Also, the first of many bicep pictures of me. I guess that’s my thing.


There were people right next to the registration table filling baggies with paint. Nice.


They told us our sunglasses would not fly and we had to buy the $5 eye protection goggles they were selling. Cute, huh? That bump between my boobs is the camera, btw.


We did manage to find a REAL bathroom, though. Love that.


Horses were everywhere. So sweet.



After we got our wrist bands and goggles we headed down to the start. This water hole was the starting line.


To begin the race you had to swim across that pond and scale the sand and root hill on the other side. We just sort of stood there looking at it for a few minutes.



They were just letting people go in waves so we grouped up with people also standing around just looking at the water hole, and finally somebody said, “Okay, go!” and we went. Immediately getting completely wet and covered in dirt and sand was probably a good thing. The course was completely wild…just a trail delineated by a piece of orange string for miles through the woods. We were told to keep the string (they said “rope”, but it was string) on our right.


Here’s a good shot of every one of my teeth!


More biceps! Come on, they look pretty good, right?


There was lots of tromping through creeks and scrambling up mud walls.


We got shot by airsoft gun snipers many times, and occasionally hit by a bag of paint.


At one point we had to walk across this fallen tree, and this was pretty scary to me. The creek below was probably six or eight feet down and the tree was wet and muddy. The span across was probably 20 feet or so. There was a rope to hold onto, but it was really no help.


It was almost as scary as seeing my back fat on the blog. But I did it!


Lots of my pictures are terrible because the camera and I were both covered with water and sand and mud. Plus, I really haven’t used this camera much yet so I’m not used to it.


This is me after getting stuck in knee-deep mud and having to claw my way out with my hands. Oh, and I’m pretty sure the mud was at least 80% horse manure.



I ran for quite a while covered with this mud.



There were parts of the trail that were open and we ran when we could. But lots of the course looked like this:



We were really happy that we wore long pants. There was so much brush and bramble to trek through. Our arms and hands got pretty scratched up and I can only imagine what our legs would have looked like if they were not covered. The long pants did make walking through the deep water more difficult, but it was worth it. Even through the water, you would often encounter a root or a stump. I got a pretty good scratch on my shin bone even through my pants. The website recommended long pants and I agree! I would say nylon track pants or running tights would be best. I wore some old t-shirt weight sweat pants and they were pretty heavy when soaked and covered with mud. I kept having to pull them up, but I’m still glad I wore them.

I’m pretty sure we ran and scrambled completely around the perimeter of this little lake.


Parts of the course were very pretty and it was fun to run through the woods.

Don’t take another picture of my back fat, Jenny!




Here’s a crappy picture of part of the trail where you can see the orange string we had to follow:


Whenever it was open like this we tried to run.


There were many places with tons of deep, slick mud that made for slow going.



Generally you would get totally muddy and sandy and then hit a water crossing to rinse off.


They had several water and Gatorade stops along the course.


At one point we ran into a sniper walking on the trail. Guess he was out of ammo. I took two pictures and they were both crappy.


My turn to get paint-bombed:


It felt like we had been running and trekking and swimming forever.





I kept handing the camera to Jenny so that she could take more pictures of my back fat.



Finally we were at the end!


We had so much fun! We kept talking about how much fun we were having throughout the whole thing.

It was kind of anti-climactic at the end. No finish line. No medal. Just sort of…we’re done! We were talking about this and overheard another group saying the same thing. This nice lady said she would give me a congratulatory hug for finishing, which I definitely took her up on.



Thank you so much for doing this with me Jenny! You are the best. Thank you also to Yelp Tampa Bay, In the Breeze Horse Farm, and to the Prison Break Mud Run for giving us a super fun afternoon. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Goodbye old crappy shoes!


My hip held up well during the run. It’s not perfect, but it wasn’t really painful either. Just sort of tight and I was aware of it after about half-way through. There was really more climbing and trekking than running. I did jank my right ankle up the first time I got stuck in the mud, then again when I tripped on a root in the sand and totally face-planted. So now I am icing my hip and my ankle. Worth it! I will definitely be doing another run like this some time. #welldoneTBO tweet-up

June 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Yesterday afternoon I picked the boys up from camp and we booked it straight to karate. I think they tried to get extra dirty today, since we had dinner plans after karate.


They cleaned up in the bathroom a little before changing into their karate clothes.


After karate I cleaned them up even more and made them put on clean clothes. I hope they passed as presentable because we were headed to an event at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Tampa.


It was a tweet-up for, the online presence of the Tampa Tribune and WFLA, the local NBC affiliate. I am a news junkie and follow all of the tweeps, so when I saw this tweet-up announced about a month ago I immediately put it on my calendar. I realized it was a Thursday night and that the only way I could go was if I could take the kids. I try really hard not to get a babysitter on a Thursday night, since that is Chad’s long-standing pool night and therefore I should not schedule events on Thursdays. However, if I can take the kids, it’s all good. I figured a pizza place was okay for kids and Thursday night is our pizza night anyway. I warned them to be on their BEST behavior.

When we got there right at 6:00 the place was already hopping with TBO tweeps. We signed in and they told the boys they could have one of the cool “Newschannel 8” pens that looks like the reporters’ microphones.


They had one long table set up next to the bar area and told us they would be bringing food out to that table, but that we could sit anywhere on that side of the restaurant.


We grabbed a smaller table right next to that one so that I could kind of keep the boys out of the grown-up bar area.



Everyone was so nice at the event. The social media guy for Anthony’s, @fsuToby, introduced himself right away as we had seen each other on Twitter as the event approached. He was really funny and took it in good spirits when I accidentally tweeted his handle as @usfToby (big oops). Turns out his wife went to USF, so he’s used to the rivalry.

I was kind of bummed that they did not serve liquor (I would have had JUST ONE, I promise), but I guess this is a thing in upscale Italian restaurants? I got my usual drink from “only beer and wine” places…


I was having a great time talking to some Yelp friends (hey @carloseats!) and meeting people. Cal was really not into the scene.


Even though they were going to be providing free food, I decided to order off of the menu since I brought the boys. While we were waiting for our order they started bringing food out to the main table.


Salad and Anthony’s special wings, which are smothered in caramelized onions:


I snagged a little salad and one wing each for the boys, and suddenly Cal was much more into the whole event.


I kind of felt guilty for taking food off the main table (even though I had been told to do so) when our server brought us a tasting plate of all the goodies just for us. Seriously, Anthony’s was AMAZING last night with the customer service. Our server, Leah, was super sweet and took good care of us.


Our tasting plate had a meatball with a dollop of ricotta, one of the amazing wings, a rib smothered in peppers (spicy!), and some sort of rolled up marinara thing? Not sure about the item in the foreground there, but it was tasty.


Mack is the best sport ever. He is always willing and happy to pose for a photo. If I ask him to stand next to a glass door and hold a plate so that I can get a picture in the good light, he just does it with no question. He’s my sweet potato.

For the pizza that we ordered, I let each boy decide what toppings they wanted and we got half and half. Half with just sausage (for Mack) and half with sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms (for Cal). When it arrived, we could only ooh and ahh over how awesome it looked.


Well, we could only ooh and ahh until we started stuffing our faces with it.


They kept bringing more and more food out…I think they brought out multiple items of every thing on the menu. Cal had really wanted to order the “Philly Cheesesteak” pizza, but Mack didn’t want that, so when they brought that one out to the main table I got a piece and we each had a bite. I forgot to get a picture, but it was really good. We also each took a bite of a piece of the vegetarian cauliflower pizza…


crappy picture, but it went like hot cakes. I had heard from my friend Meghann (of Meals and Miles) that this pizza was amazing and she was right. Very buttery and garlicky and really delicious.

Everybody seemed to having a great time. See the tall guy in the gray shirt?


Like, taller than everyone else in the room?


That’s Steve Jerve (@sjervewfla), the WFLA Newschannel 8 meteorologist. Yeah, Mack and I met the weather man.


So cool! I am a WFLA news addict, so I was excited to meet him. Total annoying fan moment, but that’s why he was at the event…to be on display. He was really nice, even though I interrupted him eating and then dragged Mack into the picture. Mack had no idea who Steve Jerve was, but like I said, Mack is always a good sport. I had to lift him up or I was afraid he wouldn’t be in the frame with Steve Jerve.

We had eaten more than our fair share of food and the kids were starting to turn into pumpkins, but I was holding out for my friend Laurel who had a GPS problem and was running late. Right as I was texting her that we were leaving, she arrived.


Sorry we didn’t get to hang out Laurel, but it was good to see you!

Thank you so much Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and for hosting such a fun event! Definitely #welldoneTBO! Well done to the boys also, who were very well behaved and didn’t embarrass me at all. Cal kept all of his spitballs on the down low.


Luckily for Laurel the party went on for more than another hour, and I kept following the fun on Twitter after we got home. I have been having fun ever since tweeting with some of the TBO people who I finally got to meet in person. I even sort of geeked out this morning when Leigh Spann (@leighspannwfla), the morning meteorologist on WFLA started following me on Twitter. I promise not to refer to them as “weather charlatans” again, now that we are friends IRL.

So that was last night. Fascinating stuff continued to happen today…don’t change the channel.