Friday, March 9, 2012

Tough Love

My amazing, older brother Brennan was in town from Afghanistan for two weeks last month and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with him. Last October, he had called me up while overseas to ask if I wanted to run a race with him when he came to town in February. I said sure, asked which one and was told he was thinking of signing us up for a Tough Mudder. I had learned about this race over a year ago and told how horrible it was and that some obsticles included electric shock, barbed wire and mountains....yeah, that about sums it up! A Mudder is a 12 mile race filled with obsticles, mud, water, hills and difficult terrain to push your physical strength and endurance. It promotes teamwork and supports a great cause, the Wounded Warrior Project. Races aren't new to me, I have completed a number of 5K's, 10K's, a half marathon, mud runs, triathlons and road bike events over the last 10 years but this is in a league of its own. It was exhausting, painful, extremely difficult and tons of fun. Brennan made the whole thing look easy and was such a big support for me. I thought I was going to tap out before completing the first mile because I was so tight from not being able to warm up. After mile three, we were a well-oiled machine climbing over walls, diving into ice filled water, crawling thru tunnels, swimming in a lake and getting zapped by electric wires. Our finishing time was roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes, which felt more like 2 hours because we had such a fun time. I'm so glad we were able to do this together and he knows me so well-it was one of the best birthday presents I've gotten. Thank you broski!!!!

Unfortunately, we didn't take many pictures before or after the race but the two below crack me up! Pre-race, we look excited with our numbers on our necks and not sure what to expect. Post race, I was shivering, soaked to the core, scraped up and tired. I look horrible and he looks the same but I know we both felt accomplished. Here is a video from our race, unfortunately I didn't see either of us in it. 2/25 SoCal Mudder



Since Brennan was in town for two weeks, we were able to do a lot including:

Celebrating his birthday (horrible picture)

Dinner at my house with him, Arin and the kids.
Breakfast for dinner or BforD as bro calls it.

Spread Dinda's ashes

Family dinner at Roscoe's, not sure what they're doing...

Brennan's combo
(fried chicken on top of a waffle with butter then covered in syrup)

The time went by so quickly but we were able to pack a lot in. I miss him already and looking forward to his safe return in August. The weekend after the Mudder, I went to a REI garage sale which was a perfect way to follow up the previous weekend-with a focus on fitness and the outdoors. I am a huge fan of all kinds of workout and sports clothes, gear, tools, etc. I am always searching for new running clothes, snowboarding pants and cycling gadgets. This was the second sale I have been a part of since I got my membership last year and I think they are so much fun! I had been calling the store since January to get a date for the first one of the year and was told they do the sale once a quarter. Last time, I didn't get to the store to until 9AM which is really too late to try to get first dibs on the best gear. This time, I was one of those crazy people that got in line at 7:30AM and waited until 10AM for the store to open. I found out the first guy in line started camping out at 2:30 in the morning! I love the store and I love deals but I was not going to sleep on concrete outside of a store for half off a tent!

My setup for the morning next to the trash can.

The sale is on the loading dock behind the store and only returned (used), damaged or dead stock gear is available. Since I can't get anything from my regular websites this year, this REI sale was a perfect opportunity for me to grab some new things I need like running shoes and snowboarding gloves. It is a mad house when you first get out there. People just start grabbing things and pick thru it after. I did the same and only held on to two of the items I initially grabbed.

I paid outside with another mobile app to avoid the line. Green tags meant 50% off the written price and blue was 75%. Each tag included information about why items were returned so you can check the gear to see if it is really damaged or worth the buy. I scored some pretty good deals and ended up spending just under $125 but saved at least $200! My buys are all good quality, relatively unused and all great deals. I have already planned go to the next sale after Q2.

This is my mother modeling the Patagonia sweater...I guess it's hers now.

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