Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Savage Race 2014 -- Recap

Last Saturday, a group of 11 of my friends and family headed out to Dade City, FL to complete the 2014 Savage Race.
Savage Race is a 4-7 mile mud run with 25 obstacles in between.
We had the absolute time of our lives!

Savage Race was physically and mentally challenging (for most of us) and personally, I had to face a few obstacles that I really didn't think I would be able to complete. One I did, one I didn't... more on that later. We wouldn't have been so successful if we hadn't all stayed together and I'm proud to say all 11 of us crossed the finish line at the same time.
This may not be every ones cup of tea, but I figured I would go into detail on each obstacle we had to complete and give my thoughts on it.
If at the end of this post, you think this is something you would like to challenge yourself with, Savage Race 2015 is open for registration now. We haven't set our team up yet, but I think ALL of us are prepared to run it again come March.
Our course was set at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City and ended up being 6.5 miles or a little over a 10K. It was on a horse farm, so the mud we were pulling ourselves through was pretty smelly and disgusting. We got over it pretty quick though ;)

Now, here are the obstacles, in race order.
-- I apologize in advance for some of the obstacle names. They certainly got creative with them. --
Side note: I don't have many pictures of the first half of the race. My mom and aunt met up with us about 3/4 of the way through and was able to snag some pictures then which is why you will see a photo dump towards the end of the post. Thank you Aunt Patty for such awesome photos!
Shriveled Richard: Once the race started, we were taken on a 1/4 mile (approx.) run to the first obstacle. We arrived at SR sweaty, and ready for a cool down. But we got way more than that. There was a lot of anticipation doing this one because there was a bit of a wait. We walked up to an area that had 3 ice trucks and 3 pools of water, with a 15 foot distance to the other end. We had to JUMP into the ice water, where there was a piece of wood so kindly placed in the middle so we were forced to go under the water, submerging our entire body and then swim the to other end and get out. The only way I can describe this is by saying, 'Imagine you at your coldest... and then triple it'. It was colder than any of us could have ever possibly imagined. Billy and I jumped in together but he almost had to leave me at the end because my muscles cramped up and I couldn't get out. He helped pull me out and we started running around in circles, trying to get the feeling back in our limbs. Come March, this one will be a hard one to convince myself to do again. It was that bad. But in some weird way, SO FUN!

Prairie Dog: We went through a patch of mud before this one, but I don't think it was an actual obstacle. If I have one complaint about this race, it would be that the obstacles weren't labeled very well. We weren't sure which  one we were doing, so on a few of these, I am playing the guessing game. Prairie Dog wasn't too bad, even though I had a slight panic attack in the middle of it. You had to crawl through the dirt underneath a piece of plywood. Doesn't seem like much and looking back on it, it wasn't. But I am severely claustrophobic so I had to be coached through it.
Thors Grundle: This one entailed crawling through mud water and having to go underneath wood barriers so that you had to submerge yourself (including your head) under the water. There were two parts to it. The first one we were able to keep our heads out of the water, which was nice. The second we had to go fully in. Again, being claustrophobic, this wasn't my favorite. The water was gross and it was painful to open our eyes after we were done.
Sawtooth: The jacked up Monkey Bars. I had no intention of even trying this event. I didn't want to waste any one's time, knowing that I wasn't going to be able to do it. But, my adrenaline got the best of me and decided that I wanted to at least TRY every single event. So I did. And I only made it to the first bar before I was swimming in the water. It was a lot of fun though and 3 of our guys made it completely across! And the water, granted it was dirty, was awfully refreshing ;)
Swamp Ass: Lot of mud. And slipping in mud. And losing my shoe in the mud. And screaming 'AHH MY SHOE!'. And more falling. This obstacle wasn't hard, at all. Just gross.
Nutt Smasher: There was a water stop right before this event and I think that had an impact on the wait time. We waited for a good 20 minutes to complete this one. Nutt Smasher is a balance beam above a pool of water. The trick is that once you hit the center of the wood, everything starts shaking. And shaking HARD. It was difficult to keep my balance, but I'm pretty proud of myself for getting across! Most of our team did, actually!
Lumberjack Lane: Walking through a lake, filled with mud and presumably alligators and water moccasins, holding logs of wood. You were a 'badass' if you took too... so naturally, I found the two lightest logs and got moving. Not a hard one.
Block Party: I thought this one was a blast and I think it was new to the event! We came up on a set up of cinder blocks that were attached to ropes, probably50-75 feet away from us. We had to pull the cinder blocks up towards us and then carry them back down for the next person. And of course, the first time Savage Race presented this obstacle in a different state, people complained the cinder blocks were too light, so they filled them with cement for our event. Thanks, guys! ;)
Low Crawl: Army crawling through the mud with barbed wire over the top of you. This one was hard only because my foot kept cramping up which made me want to put my ass in the air. Not good when you've got barbed wire over the top of you.
Slippery Incline Wall: Just like it sounds, this was a large inclined wall with ropes hanging down them. We had to get a running start, run partially up the wall, grab the rope and climb our way to the top. The other side was a ladder of sorts to get down. This one wasn't bad, except I slammed my knee into the wall on the way up and it hurt like a bitch!  
The next obstacle, 'Mud Walls' through 'Me So Thorny' was the longest, hardest stretch to get through. The obstacles were spread out, there was a lot of running (which none of us were awesome at) and it seemed to drag out a lot.
Mud Walls: Exactly what it sounds like. Walls of mud that we had to climb up and down. It wasn't bad. The mud was sticky and very slippery so we were all kind of a mess.
Big Ass Cargo Net: I typically don't like cargo net obstacles but this one was pretty pleasant. No complaints and it was pretty easy.
Back Scratcher: Woof.. this one was a doozy. A row of 6 (I think) 4 foot walls that we had to climb over, when we got to the bottom of each one, there was barbed wire we had to climb/roll under.
 I think I got over the first one by myself and after that, I had to have Billy or someone else help hoist me up and over.
Wet Willy: Going through a good distance (have no idea exactly how long) of water, pulling yourself through on a wire above the water. The consensus between the group was that this was one of our favorite obstacles. We all felt like we were gliding through the water and even though it was gross water, it was still pretty refreshing.
Mud N Guts: This obstacle produced some of THE BEST photos. It was a man-made lake of sorts that they had dug MAJOR holes into. DEEP holes. We would be ankle deep walking through dark mud and then all of a sudden be up to our neck in water and dirt from stepping in one of the holes. This one was tough to get through only because we couldn't see where we were stepping, how deep things were and mud was being splashed in our contact filled eyes.

(( ^^ please look at where Billy's right leg is (up by his chest) and his other leg is 5 feet deep in mud ^^ ))
Barn Doors: Climbing up and over a high wall with barn door slats in it. Not hard. And our whole team was able to sit on top of the wall for a minute so that one of the photographs that the event provided could take a team photo. But we are all a little disappointed that the photo hasn't shown up in any of our accounts.
Me So Thorny:  This event was a zig-zag pattern of crawling through the mud with barbed wire over the top of you. I think I got caught on it once or twice, but remained blood free ;)

Pipe Dreams: This is similar to Sawtooth in that I had no intentions of actually trying until I was actually in the race and got the motivation to at least try every event. There was a metal pipe hung vertical across water and you had to get yourself to the other end. My upper body had no plans of making that happen for me. I couldn't even really reach the pipe and I think my dad ended up just pushing me in the water after I couldn't grab it.

Colon Blow 5000: In the water and mud, we had to crawl under barbed wire, into and UP a water sewer pipe, then crawl down a sewer pipe and then crawl back into water and mud under barbed wire. I was most afraid of this obstacle and really didn't think I was going to be able to do it. I have a fear of being trapped in a tight space and this really wasn't my jam. But when I got there I was in the mindset that I wasn't doing the race to accomplish easy things, it was to do things I never thought I could. So with my dad in front of me and Billy behind me, encouraging me to keep going. I did it. And it was the best feeling to come out the other end... even if I look like I'm in pain.

(( ^^ the look of pure exhaustion ^^ ))

Davy Jones Locker: Climbing up a (lets call it) 3 story dock and jumping off. Totally didn't think this one would be an issue. I have no fear of heights and thought it sounded fun.... until we got up there. I don't think any of us were prepared for this one. The free fall was insane, hitting the water and not knowing how deep it was, was terrifying and it's another obstacle that come March, it will be hard to get me to do again. Just thinking about jumping makes my stomach do a back flip!

Colossus: A half pipe ramp that you run up, grab a rope, pull yourself up and try to get to the top. I would say about 50% of the people at the event were successful. As were most of the people in my group. I however, was not successful and I am still very disappointed. I ran, I grabbed the rope, I climbed my way to the top, I had the guys grabbing my arms to help pull me over and I just ran out of steam. I wasn't helping them enough, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get my legs over the top and I knew if they tried any harder, they would have broken my wrist. So they let me go.. and I slid alllllllllll the way back down the half pipe. Pissed was an understatement.  

Colossus (slide side): The second half of Colossus is a huge slide on the other side. I was able to climb a ladder on the side to get myself up there with the group so I could participate (they were already up there since they successfully completed the first half). The slide was terrifying. It was fast and bumpy and so fun!

Missionary Impossible: Laying on your back with a cargo net on top of you, you had to pull yourself up a steep hill with water pouring down on you. This wasn't too hard and it was refreshing because for the first time the entire race, I think it was FRESH, CLEAN water! We were all trying to rinse off a bit ;)
Kiss my Walls: I'm considering this event a 'filler' because that's what it seemed like. If you have ever been on a rock wall, this is what this was like. It was a wall, with pieces of wood on it for hand and foot grips. You had to get across it vertically. I was last in line and got 3/4 of the way through and realized everyone was waiting on me, so I hopped off because I didn't feel challenged. It would have been MUCH better had it been over water.
96" Stiffie: Climbing over an 8 foot wall. I attempted it once (with a boost) and didn't get over and gave up. And then I saw my sister do it (who was hungover the entire race!) and thought to myself 'get your ass over that wall!' so I tried again and got over. And I'm so glad I did :)

Blazed: The typical, ceremonial jumping of the fire. It always makes me giggle that in pictures, it looks like the flame is 6' tall when in reality, there usually isn't a flame at all and it's just hot.

And there we have it! We all crossed the finish line together and I am SO proud of everyone in our group for sticking together! 

& I have to give a special shout out to my Dad who not only did the race with us, but kicked most of our asses!!

We ended the day with free beer and expensive food before we hit the road where we all took the most thorough showers of our lives.

We are bruised, sore and sunburned but I don't think ANY of us are complaining!

Thanks Savage Race for an awesome day!

This post is not sponsored in any way by Savage Race. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post whatsoever.

Monday, October 27, 2014

the weekend.

Happy Monday, guys!
I'm popping in super quick today to chat about our weekend.
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@jenniferhuff13) then you already know that I (with 11 others) competed in the Savage Race on Saturday in Dade City, FL.
I will be back tomorrow (hopefully!) with a COMPLETE recap of the race. Photos, obstacle descriptions etc. It will be like you were there, minus the bruising, soreness and sunburns all 12 of us are rocking right now.
In the meantime, here is what we did this weekend before and after the race.
Abigail and I hung out at my parents Friday night while they and a bunch of others (Hi Aunt Patty  & Kim!) got ready for the annual Halloween parry we always attend.
Billy and I opted to skip the party this year, since we had the Savage Race the next day and Billy usually always works late on Friday nights.
My child, ladies and gentlemen....

Saturday was an early one. We met half of our group at 8:30am to make the hour and a half drive to Dade City for the race.
Here are a few of the 'before we left' photos...

More to come tomorrow!
My brother stayed home with Abigail all day on Saturday for his first all day babysitting extravaganza. I'm pretty sure Abigail was mad when we got home because I think she had the time of her life... these are a few of the pictures that we received while we were out all day.

Thanks, Matt! You are a total lifesaver!!

Billy had to work all day Sunday, which meant I was flying solo with Abigail. Which would be totally fine under any normal circumstance. However, I woke up not being able to move more than my eyelids and Abigail isn't really one for sitting still. So I packed us up and headed over to my parents house for the day so my mom could so all of the playing and kneeling on the floor and walking and pretty much anything that didn't involve a couch.
Once we got home for the day, I spent a couple of hours trying to clean our washing machine of the piles of dirt that came off of our clothes and letting Abigail play with 100 plastic forks because it made her happy, and it didn't involve me moving.
& that takes us to Monday.. I'm sore and slighting cranky, but I just got a text from Billy that we are meeting some of his family in town from Virginia at 4Rivers tonight. And if you live in Central Florida and know 4Rivers, you know that it could turn any type of Monday into a fantastic day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

kitchen fires.

If you know me outside of the blog/computer world, you probably know that my skills in the kitchen are less than desirable.
I can't cook.
I don't like to cook.
& cooking scares me.
To solve that problem, I married a chef.
++ it's worth mentioning that I really enjoy baking. there is a huge difference ++
I am in fact, SO bad at cooking that I have set my kitchen on fire not ONCE, but TWICE in the time that Billy and I have been together (almost 8 years, what?!).
You see, the first time I had a mishap, all I wanted to do was have some soup. Ramen Noodle Soup to be exact (we were poor, don't judge me).
Now, I don't know about you but I cook my Ramen in the microwave, because I'm lazy and it doesn't require taking about a pot to boil water. So, I grabbed a bowl, smashed up my noodles and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
Notice I forgot to mention a key ingredient? If you said WATER, you would be correct.
Please pass GO and collect your $200.
I forgot to add water to the bowl of noodles and nuked it to oblivion causing flames to erupt and panic to ensue.
Strike one, folks.
The second flame inducing episode occurred the first time I attempted to cook a meal for Billy.
We were living in Tampa in a tiny apartment that he shared with two of his friends. I was the only person home and decided I would surprise him with a meal when he got home from work.
Seeing as how I don't have many recipes up my sleeve, I chose to make breakfast for dinner.
I was cooking away, cracking eggs and hashing potatoes & one thing led to another and I started a grease fire. I have no idea how it happened or what I did, but I saw flames. A lot of flames. So I did the only thing that came to my mind.... grabbed a glass of water.
Yeah, now I remember the water.  
You guys, do you know what happens when you dump water on a grease fire!?
I think I blacked out after that & vowed to never cook again.
And for the most part, I've held up my end of the deal.
Until last night.
I had an idea for a recipe in my head and decided to run with it.
Billy was home and he was ready to grab the fire extinguisher at a moments notice, but to our surprise, we didn't need it!
And dinner was actually really good.
Because this is such a rare occasion, I figured I needed to share the recipe in case any of you out there are just as 'kitchen challenged' as I am.
Gnocchi & Spinach Soup
What you need:
2 cans of Cream of Potato soup
3 cups of chicken broth
3 cups of water
a container of gnocchi (we get ours from Target)
A handful of spinach
A handful of kale (if you have it on hand, we did and it was delicious)
Garlic powder
Red Pepper Flakes
(I didn't add salt because the chicken broth has a good amount, but if you like it salty, go for it!)
What I did:
Brought Cream of Potato, broth and water to a boil
Seasoned with pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes
Added in spinach and kale until it wilted down a good amount
Added in the gnocchi (which only takes about 3 minutes to cook)
Once everything was in, I let it simmer for about 20 minutes to get it nice and thick.
& that's it!
And then I made a grilled cheese, because why not, right?
I made edible food, ya'll!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Weekend.

Our weekend started on Friday when I stayed home with Abigail while she played hooky from school. She came down with something, so we kept her out just to be sure she didn't get any of her friends sick.
We spent a lot of time cuddling and watching Mickey Mouse and finally got ourselves dressed and out of the house in the late afternoon for a walk around the neighborhood and to Michael's to buy us some outside fall decor!
((Please ignore the weeding that clearly needs to take place))
On Friday night, I gave Abigail her very first bath WITH bubble bath in it. She had no idea what was happening but kept yelling 'Bubbles! Bubbles!' throughout the duration of the soak session.
Saturday involved cookie cutter waffles and fresh juice that looks like the pretend food from the movie Hook. Please tell me you know what I'm talking about...!?
No? Ok, moving on.
Billy wasn't feeling great, so I made him a concoction of carrots, apples, oranges, beets, kale and spinach before he left for work around 3pm.

With her sickness, Abigail hasn't had much of an appetite, so I made her a collection of some of her favorite foods for an afternoon snack.
Raisins, Goldfish and 'applesawww' (Applesauce).
I love her little hand.
Once Billy was off to work, we headed outside for a long walk to the park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we needed some Vitamin D in our lives.
This little girl is getting SO brave on the playground. She kept asking to be pushed on the swings and then she would run over to the jungle gym and climb up the side of it all by herself, find the slide and slide down saying 'WEEE!' the whole time.
 My little mama heart was beating fast every time she climbed up and pushed my hands away because she wanted to do it herself. And she did just fine. But I, of course was envisioning our first trip to the ER.

Snack-time in her teepee ;)
On Sunday, we woke up early and brought my grandpa his morning paper and coffee & muffin from Dunkin' Donuts. After a quick visit with him we headed to a local pumpkin patch.
We had originally planned on going to one that was a bit of a drive from our house, complete with a corn maze and hay rides but decided at the last minute to scrap that plan and keep it local and go all out next year when Abigail is a bit older (& not grumpy sick).
The patch we landed at was super cute and had lots of activities for kids. Which Abigail may have participated in had she not been on the verge of a 'IT'S MY DAMN NAPTIME!' meltdown.
We walked around for a few minutes, snapped some pictures and called it a day.

After a THREE hour nap, reading books and getting some kisses, Billy and I had a sitter come over for a couple of hours so we could have ourselves a little date night.
We ended up going to dinner at The Vineyard and going to see Gone Girl.
I don't even know what to say about the movie.
I hadn't read the book so I knew nothing about the movie but it was absolutely fantastic!
Billy & I left the theatre looking at each other with 'what the hell just happened' expressions and came to the conclusion that it was probably top 3 movies we've ever seen.
If you get the chance, GO SEE IT!

& that about does it for the weekend.
How was yours?!

Friday, October 17, 2014

all the FALL things..

3pm yesterday, daycare called me and told me that Abigail wasn't feeling well. So I hightailed it to school and picked her up. I knew she really didn't feel good when we got home and all she wanted to do was watch TV and cuddle. We are heading to the doctor first thing this morning and then most likely heading back home for more snuggles and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
I'm working double time today and doing a few favorites and a few confessions.
Favorite: Abigail had her Fall Pictures at school on Tuesday. They had a cute setup with pumpkins, scarecrows and bales of hay so naturally, I dressed her in overalls. I added in some pigtails for good measure and called it a day.
Confession: I don't even care how the pictures turn out. She looked so damn cute in her outfit, I'll never forget it anyway ;) Also, those might be the worst pigtails....ever. Also, can someone please buy and send me a new pair of Freshly Picked Moccs? Clearly, those have seen better days. #buzzyourgirlfriend #woof
Favorite: Wednesday night, I was at home with Abigail and I was getting her dinner ready while she was eating a snack at her table. #piglet
All of a sudden, I heard our garage door start to open. Once I put the thought that a murderer had magically figured out the code to our garage door opener out of my mind, I muttered the words 'NO WAY' somewhere in the direction of Abigail and in walks Billy, fully loaded with wine and steaks to grill for dinner. He was home a full two hours early which meant I got help putting Abigail to bed. It may not seem like much to most people, but when you are rocking night 5 riding solo, it means the world.
Confession: I snapped this picture without Billy knowing. He doesn't get to experience moments like these often because his work schedule keeps him away most nights around bedtime. He was so happy to sit with her and read her book after book after book.
Favorite: I finally had Billy take down our fall themed box from the attic and was able to add some festive things to the house. I'm loving the way things are starting to come together.
Confession: That metal tin is filled to the top with candy. The best kinds of candy. Candy that is made for trick or treaters... in two weeks. Candy that probably won't make it until October 31st.
Just keepin' it real, ya'll.

Favorite: I made Abigail a festive snack yesterday after she came home sick. Boo Bananas! She loved them and I added the straw/stick so she could eat it like a popsicle.
Confession: I hate bananas.

Cheers to the weekend, loves!