The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

I’m a HAG (Hybrid Adventure Gamer)

OK, so let’s talk about this weekend. You know, that Mid-Life Crisis/event I was woefully under-qualified for/Hybrid Adventure Games/Death March into the desert? Let’s talk about that.

I tend to think pretty much everything in life can be broken down into The Good, The Bad and The Weird, so let’s go at it like that.

The Good

1. I didn’t die. (We’ll go ahead and elaborate on why this really deserves the top position under The Good later on in The Bad.)

2. My sister finished the run in third place for the women and 15th place over all. Sorry, did you hear me? THIRD PLACE. I’m still not sure how we’re related as it took me NEARLY TWICE AS LONG to finish. It seriously is kind of a problem for me that she’s so awesomely hardcore in the athletics department. I keep thinking because we’re related I should probably be able to step it up and kick some ass if I just really try a little harder, but then at the end when I’ve laid everything I have on the table and the best thing I can say about my performance is that I didn’t die… well it’s a little deflating for my ego. She could try a little less hard sometimes for the good of the rest of us, is what I’m saying.

3. Sarah decided running in a tutu is her favorite thing to do ever and she’s just going to run in a tutu all of the time from now on.

4. One thing my ego is totally not deflated about is my team recruiting abilities. If nothing else (OK, and I admit it, there’s nothing else) I am awesome at talking seriously rad, committed and hilarious people into doing ridiculous and life-threatening things with me. I mean, really, not only did they let me convince them to dress as Carebears for our team costume, they completely committed to their costumes:

Matador Bear, Mustachioed Bear, Bear Down Bear, Dance-a-lot Bear, Beers-a-lot Bear


It also turned out they were all pretty spectacular athletes, despite all of the humble discussion about ‘needing to train’ and’ being nervous’ in the weeks leading up to the event. I should have guessed it would go like this when I was like ‘Oh, we can do this, it will be awesome! We’ll kick ass!’ and they were like, ‘Um, this is going to be really hard. Are we sure this is something we want to do for fun?’ It turns out I was overcompensating for lack of skill with bravado, or just possibly delusional, and they were being modest.

5. The non-run events were actually super fun. I liked the obstacle course the best. I was pretty good at the barbed wire part. Mostly because it was exactly the right height that I could kind of skitter under it like a spider, but most of the non-shorty-mcgee people had to actually crawl to get under it.

6. My dad was really a superb Carebear Starer:

7. All of the people involved in the event seemed super nice and out to have a great time. No fewer than 3 people who were running with me (non-volunteers) offered or gave me water during the run. I like to think it was more because they were just awesome and kind people and less because I looked like I was actually going to die in the middle of the desert and that would sort of harsh the buzz of the entire event.

The Bad

1. The ‘run’, or as I like to call it, the ‘hour and thirty-three minute, 5.4 mile death march through the desert in 100+ degree temps’ was the worst thing I’ve ever done, in my life. And I’ve given birth three times. I was not in the slightest bit prepared for what occurred. Like on 11 different levels. The trail was an up and down bike path that meandered out into the middle of the goddamn desert. There were two water stations. The heat was unbearable and there was not a speck of shade. I’m having PTSD flashbacks just describing it.

By mile 3 I had constant goosebumps all over my arms. Which apparently is what your body does when you have heatstroke. Twice, when I ran by a clump of slightly taller bushes, I stopped and huddled beneath them thinking the tiny amount of shade might cool me down just a bit. It didn’t, and then when I stood up I had to fight the spins worse than freshman year in college after a night of drinking in Nogales. It was not OK.

2. In an attempt to pre-hydrate I downed a bottle of Gatorade right before we started the run. So of course I had to pee most of the entire run. And again, we were out in the middle of the god-forsaken desert. My choices were: A) hold it or B) find a saguaro and figure out which direction was least visible to people running from any possible direction and squat, not getting close enough to actually puncture myself. So I held it. But that resulted in this exchange between my sister and my husband immediately after I crossed the finish line:

Sarah – Where did Mini* go?

Jason – I don’t know… she just flipped me off and headed straight to the bathroom. I haven’t seen her since.

To be fair, my husband totally didn’t deserve being flipped off at all. I just have an irrational anger reaction to people trying to cheer me on when I’m in pain.

3. At one point during the run I was so out of it from the heat and dehydration and having to pee and everything that even though there was an arrow that very distinctly pointed to the path on the left, I took the wash to the right and wandered that direction about 50 yards. I likely would have continued until they found my bleached skeleton, still wearing a tutu and sparkly black leg warmers, 2 weeks later, but the boys dressed as fairy princesses who were just behind me for the first half of the run saw me wander off course and yelled that I was going the wrong way. So you could say my Guardian Fairy Princess Boys saved my life.

The Weird

1. I’m not a beer drinker when there’s any other option. However, when I haven’t really eaten anything the whole day, and am in need of something, anything, to dull the pain and heat of what I’ve just been through, I can down a PBR tallboy (or 3) with the rest of them. I learned the key is to drink them fast, because if you don’t, they get warm and taste even worse.

2. There was a guy in a full banana costume that was amazingly lithe over the obstacle course. And my mother was kind of obsessed with him. “Oh my gosh, that costume is kind of obscene, don’t you think? Oh it’s just embarrassing, I mean really. I wish he would stand still so I could get a good picture of him…”

3. There was a girl who threw a pony keg 35 feet. I threw mine 15 feet. Even Super Athlete Sarah only threw hers 17 feet. I think that girl must have been a shot putter in college. I wish I had seen her do it.

4. The tire flip was way harder than it looked. And kind of an ab workout to boot.

All-in-all, I’m glad I participated. Would I sign up for it again knowing it would be exactly like that? HELLS TO THE NO, MY BITCHES. Sorry, I was just possessed by Tyra Banks there for a second. No, I wouldn’t wish that run on my worst enemy. If temps were 20 degrees cooler and I had trained for another month, things might be different, but not in that heat again. That said, I still want to do the Warrior Dash in April. And I’m planning to keep running. It’s not so bad, after all.

*Childhood nickname I will never get rid of.

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