Author - Muddy Lilo

1
Red, White, and Mud! Patriot Challenge July 6, 2013
2
Mudathlon Indianapolis… Where the mud is!
3
Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.
4
Why do I play in the Mud? And why I think you should too!
5
Indiana Spartan Sprint 2013 aka Ohana is a Muddy Family!

Red, White, and Mud! Patriot Challenge July 6, 2013

5am

The car is loaded, breakfast burritos are wrapped and ready to go (to be forgotten later), and 3 crazy friends set out on another muddy adventure!

It’s time for The Patriot Challenge. 3.5 miles at Lucas Motor Speedway. Mud and obstacles and my way of celebrating my birthday weekend (when you’re birthday is July 4th you can have an extension!).

Heading out we’re all excited. Stitch and I are ready to introduce our friend Chris aka Puppy to our addiction. He questions if he, too, will become addicted…we just laugh! How can you not?

Let's get muddy!

Let’s get muddy!

The sky was overcast and blah with some rain popping on and off as well but it didn’t dampen our spirits at all. For those of us who love to do OCRs rain just means better mud! We arrived excited and ready to meet up with our fellow Corn Fed Spartans and have some fun.

Stitch waits patiently for the lines to move.

Stitch waits patiently for the lines to move.

We made it through registration and hiked to the starting line which was set off with a drag strip light, kinda cool. Once again we were attempting to use the video camera to capture some of the fun. Once again we managed to “oops” that as I learned when viewing the amazing video of….get ready for this….the sky. Video camera, 2. Lilo & Stitch video adventures, 0. Sigh.

Moving along, and we were, there was a LOT of “empty space” aka running/walking in this one before you hit an obstacle. There was an interesting mix of obstacles as well including some “Crossfit” type things such as a weight push, a street hockey/cone set up to navigate through, and a “grenade toss” that if you made it in (I did!) you didn’t have to crawl under a net through a muddy path which I chose to do anyway. Speaking of mud, there wasn’t much. I know not all OCRs are muddy but once you’re used to that addiction you get bummed when there’s not enough.

But when we found mud...we loved it!

But when we found mud…we loved it!

 

Overall we had a great time because we were running with our team as well as enjoying sharing the experience with Puppy (who is yes, now addicted and a Corn Fed member as well). There were good and bad points which I’ll point out in a moment but just being part of the team and enjoying the camaraderie and silliness we managed to create made this a kick ass birthday event! After the race many of us went to a cookout at a local park and continued the fun and merrymaking.

We did it!

We did it!

A toast to Corn Fed family!

A toast to Corn Fed family!

I had “interviewed” Stitch for his opinion on this one as well and here’s the combo of our thoughts on The Patriot Challenge:

FUN things…

The Slide! I think this was by far almost everyone’s favorite. A cool and refreshing 20 foot (ish) drop through cold water into a pit of mucky mud! As soon as you stood you were faced with mud hills and mud crawl to shimmy under (except in Stitch’s case since he decided to belly flop into a slide and almost cleared the whole thing). As soon as you climbed a couple of mud hills there was a little balance beam area to walk over as well. (A pause to speak of earlier balancing acts. As we walked the track to get to the obstacles there were a group of us who, in true Corn Fed style, created our own obstacle by climbing onto the race walls and making it a balance beam trek!).

The tire flip was another well liked moment. The tire flip was sponsored by our team and was pretty cool. There were large tractor tires (Puppy is a bad ass, just saying!) and little tires that I was tempted with.

Go Puppy GO!

Go Puppy GO!

A couple of other interesting ones that we came across were the grenade toss (which if you hit your target you got to skip the mud crawl obstacle, I hit but did it anyway…Muddy Lilo style!) and the street hockey goal. Both were quick but a fun break.

From Pita’s thoughts on other good points “I liked how at some of the obstacles there was someone who explained how to do it. Like at the water slide, that guy took a few minutes to explain so you won’t get hurt.” I agree with that observation. The slide without explanation could have been a bit of a hazard. We also all agreed that having a fire hose at the end of the race to hose you down was awesome! Again from Stitch “It was refreshing watching the mud flow off yourself and run down the track. A sense of accomplishment was achieved.”.

The downsides were there and I’ll just give a quick thought on those. All races are different in their own way and this one was no exception. There was a lot of “empty space” with just getting to the next obstacle BUT the obstacles were good once you reached them. The course wasn’t marked well in spots (I didn’t realize we actually missed an area until I looked at photos other’s had taken that day) and some of the obstacles were a little shaky to navigate. (Case in point, climbing up steel drums that were stacked to the top of a cargo container and across a metal bar over more drums to another container and back down even more drums. Challenge and exciting, yes, but the slippery factor and the stacking made it a little questionable).

Also on the not as fun side but a challenge in a way…we climb up and over chain link fences I don’t know how many times. While I love climbing I felt that it was just set up kind of odd. There were a couple that had sharp edges and if you weren’t paying attention that might have been a little rough to scale.

My final not so loved part. They had timing chips on the bibs but out of the 3 of us the only one who showed a time was Stitch, and his was 23 hours! There were some photos, not many, and I appreciate that the Patriot shares those for free therefore I won’t complain at the lack of. We had people with cameras with us so that didn’t hinder really.

Overall however the race was fun and a challenge and it was a great part of my birthday weekend! We were thrilled to introduce yet another person to the OCR addiction as well as to our Corn Fed family! I added more bling to my wall (granted this was some tiny little bling but hey, it’s another one to hang) and great memories that I will smile about for ages!

Next up in the wonderfully muddy world of Lilo….the Super Spartan! Myself, Stitch, and the newly addicted Puppy are going to be tackling 8 plus miles of mud and obstacles on July 20th! I can’t wait!

Find your passion and embrace it! Get muddy! Have fun! Live Life!

Oh, and those breakfast burritos? Found those 2 days later in the trunk of the car! Typical!

Peace and Muddiness,

Lilo88

Corn Fed Love!

Corn Fed Love!

Mudathlon Indianapolis… Where the mud is!

I hope everyone has had an amazing weekend and had the chance to get a little muddy and have a little fun!

June 29th I was signed up for the Mudathlon Indianapolis and I was excited! This was a race I hadn’t had the chance to experience before and even though I had to change venues due to a conflict in scheduling I still planned to have fun. This was the first race I had my Corn Fed Spartans jersey to wear so that was happy excitement for me as well!!

 

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CFS jersey and Lilo style hot pink boots!

CFS jersey and Lilo style hot pink boots!

Due to my schedule change I had a crazy sort of plan going on to start with. I worked 12 hours the night before, changed clothes and hit the 3 hour drive to White River Paintball in Anderson, Indiana for the course. Rain along the drive slowed me down and I missed out on my team’s start time but hoped to catch them along the way.

Arriving at the site of the race the downpour of rain continued but I didn’t let it dampen my excitement. I trekked through the muck to head to the registration area and get my packet and bib number. I was pleased to see that both the start and finish were located along the same path so spectators could watch and enjoy. There was a huge, long mud pit that I looked forward to experiencing later.

Registration was a little frustrating, they didn’t have me listed so I had to stand in a long line and cost myself even more time filling out papers again (I was on a time schedule because I had to be back at work for the evening as well). But finally I had my number and my bag of goodies (t shirt, beer coozie, and bumper sticker) and after trekking back to the car to put those away I headed for the starting line.

There wasn’t a big gathering at the start but I’m thinking the rain might have been a factor (though, it’s a mud run and rain just makes it better!). I met two awesome ladies who were doing their very first OCR and were a bit nervous about it. We talked a bit and since they were new and I had missed the Corn Feds that were there I decided to just hang with them. I’m not in these for the time anyway and helping people who were new was much more fun!

T & Em

T & Em

 

DOC Nurses...trust me, we appreciate them!

DOC Nurses…trust me, we appreciate them!

 

About the race itself…

The good…

The mud! Oh the mud was so slick and slippery and everything you want when you’re doing something like this. The obstacles were okay but the mud was perfect!

New faces, new friends! I was so excited to be running with T & Em who I met at the start and hearing how much fun they were having. Crossing the obstacles together and helping one another is what it’s all about for me!

The rope crossing was a favorite obstacle. It had two ropes, one for feet and one to hold onto and you had to shimmy across. It might not seem like much but when caked with mud it was a fun challenge.

The mud pit! This was one of the best mud pits I’ve been in yet. The terrain underneath was unpredictable, it was long enough that you had to work your way through it and it was deep enough that it gave everyone a workout. Nice job!

Free parking! Thank you! And a great job by those who were directing us to the parking.

The showers…though they were cold the set up was nice and spaced out and there were quite a few showers so wait time was very minimal. The only thing that would have helped more would have been to maybe have some boards or something set up to walk on so you didn’t go right back into the mud.

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The not as good…

I personally felt there was a lot of obstacle repetition, but that’s my opinion. We climbed over giant wooden spools at least three times and hay bales a few as well. One “obstacle” was a log, you walked over it. It wasn’t really a big log or one with lots of branches, it was just…a log.

There were a few walls as well and I like walls usually, they give me a chance to see just how short I really am (very!). The only issue I had with the walls was the top grip was so wide that it was hard to get a good handhold on. I will admit to skipping around them after the first ones. I just could not get a grip to pull over.

The MC was ok but the enthusiasm felt a little lacking. I love when you have someone up there who is pumping you up and getting you excited to start your race. However, that could have been just the one heat and it was raining. The MC at the finish line was excited and encouraging us along the last bit so that helped as well!

My camera died. 5 minutes into the race. Sigh.

Hay Bale Hell!

Hay Bale Hell!

But on other notes…..

The medal is awesome! Heavy and a beer bottle opener..that rocks!

BLING!

BLING!

Overall it was a fun race despite the few minor issues. I got to get muddy and have fun and meet new people and that’s what it’s all about for me!

 

Next up ….the Patriot Challenge on July 6. It’s my birthday weekend and there is no better way I can think of to celebrate it then playing in the mud! More to come!

 

Until then believe in YOU! Get muddy and have fun!!!

Ohana!

Lilo88  Muddy and Lovin’ it!

 

Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.

Those who know me have learned I’m always up for an adventure so when my friend, Sara, asked me if I would be interested in joining her for a couple of days hiking in Starved Rock State Park in Illinois I jumped at the chance. I had heard from a few people that it was a beautiful place and since it was just a couple of hours away I didn’t want to miss this.

After working a 12 hour shift I came home, grabbed a bag filled with what amounted to too much clothing as always (hey I may hike and run in the mud but I’m a girly girl and I pack like one!), said goodbye to the furkids and headed out. Sleep be damned, I wanted to hike!

2 hours later after a beautiful drive with perfect skies and surprisingly little traffic I arrived at the campsite. I don’t even think I had everything out of the car before we were heading out to explore. We started off trekking to the namesake of the park, Starved Rock, which gave an amazing view of the area surrounding.

View from Starved Rock

After that I can’t even begin to remember all the places we visited by name but I had the wonderful experience of standing under two waterfalls and just feeling all my stress and cares being washed away.

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We hiked for most of the day and then went in search of firewood at one of the local “camp stores”, Jack’s. Now Jack…yeah, he was a character. You pull up to his home which has a garage full of odds and ends to purchase as well as clothes baskets with firewood. You have to honk your horn if you don’t see anyone. For $5 you get approximately five or six pieces of wood AND the treat of having to fill up a new clothes basket as well. Yep, you pay to work. I didn’t quite catch this at first and I’m sitting in the car as I see Sara head over and load two baskets!

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After the camp store we headed out to dinner at a tiny little place called the Cajun Connection. When you walk in it’s just like any little hole in the wall restaurant (well, other then quite a few alligator heads and such) and we sat down to what has to be one of the best meals I’ve had in ages! Alligator and crawfish both deep fried but light and tender, hushpuppies like none I’ve ever had that melted in your mouth, and shrimp etouffee that was amazing!
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Full from our wonderful dinner we head back to camp for a little bit of fire and relaxing before the storm came in. I was exhausted and slept through everything including the attack of aluminum foil by a raccoon into shiny things in the midst of the storm.

Morning light breaks through the trees and we were up and ready to explore more after a trip to town. We stopped and hiked in another nearby park for a bit and be still my heart it was a trek through mud! Lilo came out full force as I happily slipped and slid though the muck (and crossed a bridge that was beyond sideways; learning after I had completed my crossing that it was on one leg and the bolts were coming out of that one!).

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After what felt like a training for the next mudrun was completed we ended up at what might have been THE most beautiful area we found in those two days. The waterfall we found could have been enough all on its own but the reflections dancing on the walls from the water looked like liquid fire. I was in awe. Stunned and silent awe. The photos do not do this justice at all!
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I could go on for hours about the beauty that I was able to explore and the amazing journey we had but I think that the best thing I can do is to tell you….go! If not to Starved Rock just go, find a place to hike and explore and let everything just disappear for a while.

Live and Love Life!
Thank you Sara for allowing me to be a part of your journey as well!

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Ohana my friends!

Lilo88
Muddy and loving it!

Why do I play in the Mud? And why I think you should too!

I was asked the other day why I like “playing” in the mud so much. Considering I’m the dress up and put on heels girl they were a little surprised by my obsession with Obstacle Course Races! Trust me, I never thought I’d be ‘Muddy Lilo’ either! But here’s how it all came about….

A few years ago I saw an article about the Warrior Dash and thought it looked like a fun idea. I talked about doing one off and on but didn’t make much of an effort at the time. I talked about a LOT of things I wanted to do but had a tendency to not follow through very well. Fast forward another year to the news that an Uncle had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Though devastated Uncle Tom ‘Mud’ Moore used his journey to take his bucket list and rock it out til the end. As his time neared he refused to give up his positive life attitude and encourage everyone to  “Stop and smell the roses and all that the Lord has given us; never have a bucket list full of things you want to do, start working on it now as life is to short, be able to turn the bucket over and start adding wonderful memories.”. I decided that he was right….it was time to start creating my own list.

As I worked on my ‘Livin’ Lovin’ Life List’ (for some reason I have never liked the bucket list term and hey, I have to be different anyway!) I added mud runs to it. As I added it I realized how fitting it really was, you see he became Uncle Mud because he had a habit of referring to me as “Hey, hey you, Mud” and it became a joke between us. I knew that he’d appreciate the amusement of it all as he watched from above.

Time went by and my list was worked on but then a major life change happened and I put it all aside for a while. My partner of 16 years and I were no longer together and for a little bit of time I just stopped everything, those who have been through this understand. But time heals and eventually I picked it back up again and started living.

In April of 2012 I made the decision to move 5 hours away and restart my life where I knew no one and had a new career to enter into. After I settled I saw that there was a Warrior Dash coming up in August, looked at my list and in my head I heard Uncle Mud telling me to get off my ass and go for it so I signed up. The addiction was just beginning!

A 3 hour drive with a wonderful new friend and I arrived at my first OCR ever. Nervous, excited, not in the best shape ever, but ready to try. Standing at the starting line and feeling the excitement around me I knew I was hooked. I made it through the Dash and by the time I made it back home I was already signing up for the 2013 one.

As you have seen from my previous blog I also signed up for the Spartan Sprint that recently occurred and what was a minor addiction became full fledged after that one. I have 6 more races on my schedule for the year, an amazing group of people (the Corn Fed Spartans) that I’m on a team with, a great friend who I’ve also started on the addiction, and a passion and zest for continuing to try new challenges.

Every race…at the starting line…I make a point to look up and say thank you to Uncle Mud for his bucket list suggestion and for the support (and laughter) I know he sends from his new home.

I encourage everyone….everyone….find something new to try. Explore the fun in life. It doesn’t have to be OCRs but look into your soul and find something that brings you to life and just LIVE. Believe in yourself and appreciate all that life has to offer you! Create your list and go after your dreams.

Have FUN in the Mud! And take a moment to become a part of an awesome family…join Corn Fed Spartans!

Lilo88

For you Uncle Mud!

For you Uncle Mud!

Warrior Dash 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

Indiana Spartan Sprint 2013 aka Ohana is a Muddy Family!

Ohana

Ohana

Two weeks ago today I was standing in the cold morning air with a smile on my face as my friend Matt (aka Stitch) and I did our volunteer time at the Indiana Spartan Sprint at Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana. This was my first Spartan and second OCR (Obstacle course race aka mud run) and his first OCR.

We had left around midnight for the four hour drive and arrived super excited and ready to start our shift. As volunteers we “earned” a free race so after 7 hours of working we’d be heading to the starting line for our own chance to yell AROO (the Spartan chant).

As people were coming in and signing up you could feel the excitement in the air. Unlike other “mud runs” the Spartan doesn’t have a map of the course up so you can see it in advance, you go into it not knowing what to expect! Stitch and I were assigned to the spear toss which consisted of a stick with a long nail on the end being thrown at a bale of hay set a bit away. This one seemed so easy that it made it harder and I was part of the crew who had to count (cheer you on) burpees for those who missed. (If you’re clueless on what a burpee is check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa53r_FvgM and then attempt 30, the amount you have to do at each obstacle you don’t pass!). I tried to make the burpee area fun by cheering and chanting “remember, once you do the first one you’re in the 20’s” and “it’s only 29, the other is a bonus because you’re just that tough”. It seemed to help or at least brought some chuckles.

Practice makes perfect, until it's your turn for real!

Practice makes perfect, until it’s your turn for real!

I won’t lie, when the team we recently became a part of, the Corn Fed Spartans had their heat I tried to put extra cheers and applause into. This is my race family and I wanted to make sure they knew we were proud of them even when they had to hit the burpees!

Corn Fed

After finishing our shift we went and did our race sign up (I was #5958 and he was #6005…we were officially in!), wandered a bit and got into our race garb. My hot pink hair and hot pink boots stood out needless to say but I was being “me”! The call to the start line came across and we headed to get in line. Motivational speech and chants of “I am a Spartan…I am a Spartan” lead to goosebumps and crazed excitement! After looking to the sky to say my hi to Uncle “Mud” and a “this is in honor of you” the Spartan chant of “AROO” “AROO” “AROO” started us down the course!

Note the video camera...it was on then...sigh

Note the video camera…it was on then…sigh

We were the final heat of the day and it was getting cooler by the minute. The first splash in the mud was a system shock but we were going to get through this! At that time we had no idea that we would encounter our own physical and mental obstacles but even when we did our determination made us keep going.

I could detail this until I drove you nuts but I’ll go with the highlights and lowlights!

Top Spartan memories:

~ The starting line goose bumps and the sounds of AROO AROO AROO as we headed out….that moment when you’re like “Yeah, we’re here and we’re doing this”

~ When we realized the course we thought was a little over 4 miles was actually 5.2 miles!

~ Learning about determination and perserverance with 3 other amazing people…we were the Last 4 of the race….we fought through a twisted ankle (around mile 2), hypothermia, a handful of thorns (twice), shoes lost in the mud, muscle cramps that were unimaginable, and more. We still….even though it took us over 4 hours to complete…we never gave up. The other 2 with us we met on the course and we all stayed together til the end.

~ Ohana….gained a new meaning as we bonded with one another along the way. None of us were going to give up…we wouldn’t allow one another…we were going to finish and we did. Along the line Lilo and Stitch became our race names, it fits!

~ There were 5 (I believe) people who were with us through most of the last few miles. They had already did their heats and they were there supporting us, cheering us on, offering hands and words and support. Those people (I know at least 3 were Corn Fed Spartans and those 3 who stuck with us…I’ll never forget that) were part of what kept us going and no words will ever thank them enough!

~ Doing this with a friend…there was a cargo net that stretched up 2 cargo containers…across the width of 2 more and down an additional 2…I reached the top and when I went to go across I froze, literally. I was NOT going to do this and that was that. I generally don’t mind heights but something just snapped off in me for a moment and there was no way. Stitch talked me across step by step beside me even though he could have already made it across. I don’t know that I could have made it had I not had that encouragement.

~ “I got you” “If you fall then I’m falling with you” “Walk towards the sound of my voice” “Rocky didn’t have to do burpees” “Who’s hands are on my butt” “I got this, oh shit!” “it’s the two minute mark, hit the red button to turn on the video camera” …..quotes of the day. (Note, 2 people can read directions for a video camera and still manage to turn it OFF instead of on resulting in no race video but a great laugh later!).

~ Climbing under barbed wire and trying to keep your ass down and your face out of the mud all at once!

~ Over a wall….under another wall…..through a…did he really do that….I can’t explain the whole story other then if you’re going though something falling back out and on your back does slow you down

~ Camelbaks are awesome…until the mouthpiece and mud meet too many times!

~ Mud …dried…flaking….I have experienced many painful things in my life but the feeling of dried and flaky mud rubbing off your skin is one of the most painful! It was like little needles being jabbed in my skin over and over and over!

~ I thought I wanted to do a Polar Plunge at some point….after chugging through freezing creeks over and over…I think not!

~ The moment you’re holding hands with 3 other people that you have just been through a 5.2 mile piece of hell with….and you’re crossing the finish line…feeling those medals as they are placed around your neck ….there is nothing like that…nothing!

I don’t think this even begins to describe how much that day meant to me but I will say this….I wouldn’t change one single moment….. not one. I am so grateful to those who were a part of it with me and to those who encourage me….to those who walked those miles with us and to those last people who stayed, who were there at the finish line applauding us and hugging us and just….wow, just wow.

What I am most proud of is we didn’t even acknowledge not finishing this. We were going to do it no matter how long it took, how cold it was, or if we had to hobble the entire way. We planned to go home with our Spartan medal and we did. We will not make excuses and we will not accept defeat and we will Not quit!

earned it Yeahthe aftermathSwag

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This was only the beginning of a Summer full of mud run fun! I personally have 5 more to go (maybe 6) and Stitch will be doing 2 of those with me as well. More to come as I continue my journey. And keep your eyes open for any of the Corn Fed Spartans at the races you might attend or be a part of. Say hello and come join us! (You can’t miss the badass jerseys we wear…look for Lilo 88, Stitch 13, or anyone else wearing a jersey with a Corn Fed Spartan on the front!)

Corn Fed Proud

As the motto says “If you want to know, run with us.”

Now….go get MUDDY!

Much Love~ Lilo88

Copyright © 2015 Corn Fed Spartans. If your want to know....run with us.