GORUCK Light St. Augustine – June 2015

13 Jun

I did a thing, and I was scared of it.

I’d heard of GORUCK for a while and was intriguted. I honestly wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but I knew it was a challenge I wanted to tackle. I’d seen a few blogs and knew I wanted to do one NOT near a beach. When I saw one was coming up in St. Augustine, so I decided to sign myself up! All I knew coming into the event was GORUCK encourages people to walk with weighted backpacks called rucksacks. GORUCK also offers team building events. A typcal Light event last between 4-6 hours, sometimes 8. It all depends on your Cadre and what he feels like doing. You’re not permitted a watch. No phones.


One of the first things you must do is get two bricks and wrap them with duct tape. I’d driven to a few places until I was able to find bricks. I posted this photo online and was immediately informed that the bricks must be solid without holes. Why? Because holes make them lighter. (Insert manly grunt) Picky, picky. I continued looking until I found two solid bricks and wrapped those. Other than that, there wasn’t much to do before race day except chat with my fellow participants in the Facebook event. Everyone is required to bring the two bricks, a backpack of some sort (preferrably a rucksack or the bricks will shred it), your name and phone number written on the bricks (so you can’t toss them in the trash after), headlamp and water.


Of course, I woke up that morning with a horrible pinched nerve in my back. I wasn’t even sure if I should be doing something like this, but I just couldn’t skip it. I’m glad I went. My back ended up not being an issue after all.

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I met the group in St. Augustine around Noon. I knew it was going to be an interesting day when I saw this in the parking garage. It’s not everyday someone has a large inflatable boat in a parking garage, so I was sure I was going to become very aquanted with this soon. What did we do with it?

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We carried it. Everywhere. All over St. Augustine. Along streets. Down alleyways. Across sidewalks. It took around 8 people to carry – 4 on each side. Considering everyone is a different height, it was challenging at some points.

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We started the day out with some drills. These involved us learning to follow directions and act quickly as a group. Sounds easy, but it can be challenging to get 46 people to coordinate and pay attention at the same time.

If the group didn’t follow instructions, we did flutterkicks while holding our rucksacks in the air.

If the group was too slow, we did flutterkicks while holding our rucksacks in the air.

If the group talked too much, we did flutterkicks while holding our rucksacks in the air.

If the group didn’t stay together, we did flutterkicks while holding our rucksacks in the air.

We also practicing carrying the boats back and forth so everyone knew how to pick it up, set it down and maneuver it to ensure no one got hurt.

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Then we took off to explore St. Augustine from the underside of a boat. It was a nice, warm sunny day so there were lots of people out and about.

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If you weren’t carrying a boat, you were carrying the team weight, flag, oars or ruck sacks of other participants. (Yes, that means some people had two ruck sacks. Think about that before you go macho & carry extra bricks for fun. Someone else might have to carry your bag…)

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We carried them to a small sandy beach (near where that super tall cross is) where we practiced crawling in the sand and some other movements.

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We also practiced a partner drag.

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This was super awkward and I could have done without this part. That’s also kinda what GORUCK is about. Getting comfortable doing things you don’t want to do. 

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We then carried the boats to the Castillo de San Marcos Fort which was packed with people. Here we set down the boats, and our Cadres had us climb into the water. (So much for avoiding the water…) There we sang very loudly a Taylor Swift song. We’d been told to memorize the lyrics to the song earlier in the week. People were staring and curious as to what we were doing.

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Finally around 6:30 pm (I think? We weren’t allowed to wear watches or bring phones. Yes, I survived several hours without my phone…),we finished. Everyone helped unpack and breakdown the boats. We enjoyed some Budweisers and celebrated a successful day.

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Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! It was a fun challenging day. 

Oh, and I skipped over some details… because part of what makes a GORUCK event great is the unknown. Cheers!

Huge thank you to GORUCK for taking a few photos of our day.

Gate River Run 2017

12 Jun

The Gate River Run is my favorite run of the year. A 15k, its 9.3 miles is long enough to be challenging but still doable. I’ve managed to participate in the Gate River Run for 10 years straight which I think is pretty impressive. Unfortunately this year I was fighting another injury (Plantar Fasciitis) that would keep me from participating in the 15k. I was really disappointed but had to keep the streak alive. As a result, I registered and walked the 5k this year. It was interesting to see the race day from a different perspective.


Since my friend, Elena, has moved to China, I had to drive to this race on my own. That too was odd. Running races has alwasy been a very social experience for me. I love running into friends at the races and meeting up for beers afterwards. This year I did manage to sneak in a meetup with my fitness friend, Anna, at the portolets!


I also ran into my Tropical Smoothie Cafe friends Margo and Nick which was a nice surprise! Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a sponsor of the 1st Place Sports Running Grand Prix Race Series so they were there to participate in the 5k run as well!


Just like the 15k, everyone lined up at the start eager to get going.


We started at the fairgrounds and headed West towards downtown. There were many walkers in the 5k so I thankfully didn’t feel too alone here.


We walked just passed Hemming Park. It was an interesting course because I’d never run this route before. I’m used to running 5k downtown that start from the Landing with a similar course, so this was a nice change.



Walked passed Sweet Petes and Candy Apple Cafe! Makes me think of their delicious bacon!



This whole race was a struggle and not that much fun. My foot was cramping and really bothering me. I just couldn’t stretch it out. Frustrating to think I was struggling just to walk 3 miles.


But I got my medal and kept the streak alive, so at least there’s that.


Afterwards I headed to the Cora Rehab tent inside the Personal Running Solutions tent for free ASTYM from Kasey. I should warn you. If she’s over caffinated, avoid at all costs! haha This was the most needed yet most painful ASTYM I’ve ever had. She was an ASTYM machine that morning and very popular with all the runners. I was so glad she was there!


Afterwards, I snuck over to the Gate VIP area. Thankful I managed to get a wristband this year. It’s great because they have chairs, beer, food and ice cream!



Gate River Run 2016

12 Jun

My 9th Gate River Run was a blast! I’d been fighting an injury to my knee since October prior. I had ‘runners knee’ where the knee cap clicks when you run due to an imbalance in the quad and hamstring. I had to keep the streak alive and run though!


Several of us met up at the Jaguar statue prior to the race because traditions… We hoist the GRR newbie up for a picture. First it was Elena, then Ed, now Sean!


Me and my girl, Elena!


I’d convinced my crazy running friend, Joe, to drive up for the race! He loves running so I knew he had to check the nations largest 15k off his list!


Gotta love seeing the firemen running in full gear. Amazing!


The Main Street Bridge was waiting for me!


I love seeing friends cheering people on along the race including running friends Jason and Ashley! Jason was one of my first running friends and really helped motivate me when I first started running!

I also ran 3/4 of the race while on the phone with my friend, Doug, who lives in Michigan. You can see the ear bud. This definitely helped pass the time too!


My fuel choice for the day. Gotta love gummie bears.


Yeaaa… the finish line was still 5 miles away at this point…


I love the River Road portion of the race. The water looks different every race.


The Gate has the best crowd support of any race I’ve ever seen. There are people that setup and tailgate the entire race. They hand out free food and booze to people as they run by. I’ve always turned this down (except for the year Smoothie King handed out free smoothies) because I don’t want to get runners trots and ruin my finish time. With my knee issue this year, I wasn’t gunning for any particular time so I decided to try everything that was offered. I started the day with a delicous mimosa.


This is around mile 6 every year. They always setup a big bbg party outside and hand out beer, sausages and more. They also hose the runners down as they run past. I took the opportunity to cool down.


They handed me a freezie pop which was delicous.


How cool to have run the race for 38 years in a row!


This was interesting. There was a short line for whatever alcoholic beverage this was. I tried it. It was some sort of peach which I hate peach. Got a good shots worth though. So gross. At least it was cold.


Gotta say “Hi!’ to the Mile 7 Banana! Jello shots were accomplished.


Gotta love this view.




Finally finished! What a sight to see this beast at the finish with beer in hand!


9th year in a row was done!



Have you run the Gate River Run? What’s your favorite part?

Appalachian Trail Hike – Max Patch to Hot Springs – Day 2 & 3

11 Jun


Catch up with Day One

Once in my tent, I snuggled up in my sleeping bag and used my pack as my pillow. I surprisingly fell asleep quickly only to wake a few hours later freezing. I ended up putting on every article of clothing I had brought and sleeping in that. I guess the sleeping bag I’d purchased from the resale rack a few weeks prior in Asheville wasn’t rated for cold weather. Oops. At least I stayed dry!


I woke up to a new beautiful slightly foggy morning. After using the privy, I came back to find Jenni wrestling her tent. I told her I’d grab both of us water while she got things set for breakfast. I came back to some lovely brown water (aka. coffee) which was amazing because it was warm.


I made two engligh muffins with peanut butter and honey (that I’d picked up from Chick fil A the week prior) with granola on top. I stuck these in a ziplock bag in my pocket. We finished packing everything and set off on the trail. I was sore starting out, but not bad.


One memory I will not forget was hiking down a trail with Jenni behind me. I’m not quite sure what happened, but I lost my balance. For a second, I thought I was going to tumble down the mountain. Thankfully I clicked my hiking pole in a reaction and ended up falling into the mountain… into what may or may not have been a healthy growth of poison ivy. Jenni and I laughed uncontrollably for quite a while about that. In defense of the poison ivy, I used some purell on my hands. I have no idea if that would have helped or made it worse, but at the time, it made sense.


We had a few mini CrossFit adventures when we came across situations like this. Stepping over isn’t a big deal until you consider the 30# dead weight strapped to your back that is pulling you backwards. We had a few laughs watching each other tackle these.


The majority of the day was spent hiking downhill. One would think this would be easier, but it certainly takes its toll if you’re not accostomed to it. (aka if you haven’t trained at all for a hike).


About 4 miles into the hike, my knees were over it. I pressed on and distracted myself with music on my iPhone.


I had my phone in airplane mode the majority of the hike and was surprised at what apps were still usable. I love that a paid plan on Spotify allows you to save music and playlists to your phone to listen to without cell service. I knew spotify would still work because I used it for running frequently.


For directions on our hike, we used an app called AT Hiker: Guthook’s Guide. This offered a map with details for each shelter and resting spot along the way. It also offered a crowdsourced aspect in that people could leave notes on whether there is water or tips to a better experience along the way. It’s pretty helpful and I highly recommend it. Even in airplane mode, our blue dot continued to move along the map. Not sure how that works, but it was great!


Another thing that was pretty helpful was my navigation ziplock. Thishsd our trip broken down by landmarks and stops so we knew the mileage betwen them. I put it in a ziplock and carabeanered it to my bag so I could easily glance at it.


As the day went on, it got warmer as it dried up. From there, the gorgeous views emerged.


There were quite a few moments where we paused just to relish in the fact we were there among all those trees!


I loved the manmade bridges that we came across. Jenni wasn’t a huge fan but she did a great job!


Finally we made our way to Deerpark, our shelter for the night. I was really struggling at this point. My left knee had started some tendonitis issues and was very painful with every step. I was looking forward to stopping for the night but also dreading it. Stopping meant more work in order to setup our tent, get more water, restroom, dinner etc.


Well to our surprise the shelter was quite a ways back from the trail. Over 0.2 miles away! Doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re hiking with a 30# bag after a long day, it’s far!


We explored the shelter a bit and selected a spot for our tents and hung our food.


We then took off to replenish our water. I knew from reading the notes in the App that water was a bit of a ways away. It was nearly impossible to find.


There were several moments where Jenni or I would say ‘maybe this is it…’ and walk down what may or may not be a path and then walk back. Eventually we found it.


One big takeaway I learned on this trip was to make sure you don’t have exactly the same thing for both hikers. Jenni and I are both fairly independent. We collaborated on several things regarding the hiking. Easily split up duties (I was navigation, she was accomodations.)


When it came to a few things, we went our own ways especially with gear. She used hiking boots. I preferred running shoes. Most importantly, our water filters were complete opposites. Mine involved filling a bottle, attaching a filter to it and squeezing it into another bottle. Hers was different and this ended up being a very good thing. Water sources weren’t just walk up and filter. Some where deep, some were shallow, some where a trickle from a PVC pipe coming from a hole in the mountain. Sometimes mine was faster and more efficient. This time, hers worked and mine was barely usable because of how the water was. Luckily we were able to use each others equipment to get water as we needed it. Plus with us each having a filter, if one got clogged or broke, we had a backup. Highly recommend considering bringing different equipment for some things for future hikes.


After we got our water, we walked back to the shelter to setup camp for the night, cook dinner and relax. We were only about 3 miles outside of Hot Springs, so it wasn’t a very popular shelter. In fact we were the only ones there until about dusk when two teenage boys hiked through looking for somewhere to setup camp. They saw us and decided to keep hiking.


Right after I finished cooking dinner, my fuel canister ran out. Talk about timing.


Most shelters have a log book as well. I liked to flip through them to see what people wrote and where they were from. I was thrilled to see a post from Smiles and Ghost Chili who had passed through the day before.


Someone else had the same idea as us to hit up the hot springs after we were done!


This post was a little unsettling. Spider Shelter?


After dinner, I crawled into my tent. It was still light out, but I was exhausted and wanted to rest my legs.


I laid down for a bit and couldn’t sleep. I decided to read for a bit, clicked on my headlamp and was a bit surprised to see this guy. Oh. Hey there.

And then came all his friends. All of them. They covered the tent and climbed between my tent and the rainshade. This is why you always, always, always zip up your tent whether you’re in it or not.


After that discovery, I decided it was best to just shut off my light. I fell asleep only to wake up to the sound of wolves. Pretty close too. I called out ‘You okay over there Jenni?” and she called back. Interesting evening. At least it was warmer than the previous night.


I managed to fall asleep by the gentle coos of my new spider friends.


The next morning was a gorgeous morning. The spiders had disppeared and we got an early start eagerly heading down the final 3 miles towards Hot Springs.


The last 3 miles of the hike were entirely downhill.


As soon as we made it back to the trail, we ran into a new friend! A hiking pupper!


His humans mentioned they were hiking to visit a gravesite nearby, so Jenni and I decided to take a look.


George and Eva Gragg had owned land alongside the Appalacian Trail in the 1920s. George’s headstone says ‘departed but not forgotten’ while Eva’s says “absent but not dead.’  Interesting.


We hiked a bit more until at one point I heard loud panting behind me. I braced as a large dog squeezed past me on the trail. We spoke with this fun gentleman for a bit. He hike the trail every day with his two pups.


We cruised along down the hill toward the tow. My knee was objecting to everything I was doing. I let Jenni hike ahead and took things one step at a time.


Finally. we finished our hike!




Celebratory beers!


Officially finished my first section hike of the Appalachian Trail. Eternaly grateful to Jenni. If it weren’t for her, I never would have accomplished this! I can’t wait to go again and tackle another section.

What section do you recommend I explore next?

Appalachian Trail Hike – Max Patch to Hot Springs – Day 1

29 Oct

After planning my AT hike for almost a year, I finally took my first step with my friend, Jenni, the morning of Saturday, September 12, 2015. Over the past three years, I had heard various people mention the AT occasionally. Initially, my reaction was “Why in the world would someone want to do that?” which slowly turned to “How could someone NOT want to try that!”. Once I had “drank the kool aid”, I quickly read several books about hiking and watched a few movies too!

I had mentioned my hike to several people attempting to find a hiking partner. Most people gave me that same crazed look I initially had. Eventually one dreary day in September of 2014, I met Jenni and a friend for lunch at Mellow Mushroom. I casually mentioned the hike and Jenni immediately signed on board. From there I started researching and gathering my hiking gear. I’d never actually hiked before so I didn’t have anything. I posted online about the upcoming hike and my friend, Amanda, commented that I could borrow several hiking items from her. She ended up loading me up with a pack, pocket rocket, pack cover, sleep sack, sleeping pad, pots, and a bowl. My friend, Elena, also loaned me her green rain coat last minute. (Holy life savers!)

Jenni and I met up two times before our actual hike for a short “test hike”. The first time we met up at the Julington Durbin Creek Preserve. I put my GORUCK bricks in Amanda’s pack to weigh it down. Two miles in I was miserable! The pack just did not fit me.

For our second “test hike”, we headed to the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. Before this hike, I’d snagged a new pack during an online REI Outlet sale. This hike went MUCH smoother.

Fast forward a few months and I found myself up at the crack of dawn riding in the car from Asheville, NC to Hot Springs, NC where we planned to leave her car. We had arranged for a ride to Max Patch, NC with Dan from Bluff Mountain Outfitters. We ran into him when we were grabbing breakfast at a local shop that has these amazing sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches.

When we were almost to our drop off point, Dan slowed down and pointed out a cute little gate in the fence. He explained casually that if we see this gate while hiking, we had hiked the wrong direction. (We were hiking northbound, NOBO, and this would mean we’d gone southbound, SOBO, on accident!) Next thing I knew, we pulled up into a parking lot at Mile Marker 253.8 along the trail, hopped out, tossed him our cash and were staring at each other. Welp, I guess this was it!


Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t quite cooperating with us. We had chosen Max Patch as our starting point because it was supposed to have these 360 degree panoramic views.


Here’s a shot of my new pack I nicknamed Beeker. Do you see the resemblance?


Jenni with her pack she nicknamed, Bessie.



The plaque at the very tippy tip top of Max Patch.


“Hike Max Patch!”, they said.


“It’s gorgeous!”, they said.


“The views are amazing!”, they said.


Despite the disappointing weather, Jenni and I made the best of it and had a blast.




We were cruising right along until Jenni tapped me on the shoulder, pointed ahead and said…


“STACEY! Oh my gosh. Isn’t that that gate we’re not supposed to see??”



At this point we’d walked about a mile or so. We routed around the patch back to the parking lot and trekked back out again.


This time we took a left instead of a right over the mountain, and headed into the woods.


It wasn’t too long before we saw this sign confirming we were finally in the right direction. (Why don’t they have these more often???)



Some cool greens along the trail. Jenni and I were sad that Brea and Elena couldn’t join us on the hike. They were originally supposed to join us but due to some rescheduling, they were unable to. They both have strong biology backgrounds. I’m positive they not only would identify this plant immediately, but also tell us no less than three facts about it.




A few hours into our hike, we came across our first shelter, Roaring Fork Shelter at mile marker 256.4.


Since it was the first one we had seen, we had to check it out! Plus it was right along the trail, so it was easy to get to. Each of the shelters seem to be very unique, so I imagine we would check out almost every one we hike past as long as they weren’t too far out of the way.


This is an extra gear drop inside the shelter. There was one of the mylar blankets they hand out at marathons. I REALLY wish I had grabbed this when I saw it. It would have come in handy later on and they’re really light and don’t take up much space. I need to get my hands on one before my next hike.


Another good thing about shelters on the trail… privies! There are a few different types, but the ones we came across were all self molting, meaning after we used them we were supposed to throw some leaves in. (that’s what the basket is for to the left)


There were several neat stairways and bridges throughout our first day.



Some were a bit higher and longer, and had hand rails for us.


Some were short and sweet.



I loved this stretch of the trail where the trees covered in a spooky hallway.



At this point, we’d made it to Lemon Gap, Mile marker 260.0 officially making it 6.2 miles in on our hike (plus the extra 1.8 miles our earlier detour added on).


We stopped to rest here for a bit. This is what I refer to as the calm before the storm. We had NO clue what was in store for us. If we had, we may have stayed here for the night.

The next 1.3 miles was the most treacherous of the day. I was fairly unfamiliar with elevation changes given the fact this was my first time planning a hike. Lemon Gap was located at an elevation of 3531’.

The next 1.3 miles brought us 710’ higher in elevation ending at 4241. 700’ in 1.3 miles is significant.

Jenni was a great hiking partner though. We could each go at our own pace. We would take 10 steps or so, then take a break, then 10 steps more, then take a break. I was glad I had hiking poles because I would just lean forward on them to break giving my back and legs a break.

Jenni at one point exclaimed “All I keep telling myself is… ‘5 more, Jenni, 5 more’ just like I would tell myself during CrossFit!”. That really resonated with me. At this point, it didn’t really matter how fast we went as long as we were moving forward.

About halfway through this section of our hike, we were passed by two guys hiking a bit swifter than we were. Then we were passed by two more… and one shortly after. They were friendly all saying “Hi!” and chatting along their way. They asked if we’d seen a guy hiking in a pink tutu. We learned there was a group of 8 guys hiking for a bachelor party… I’m guessing the tutu was the groom. :)


This is my struggle bus face.


We were trudging along until I realized it was starting to get dark… and we still weren’t at the shelter. I started to get a little nervous. We came across this odd lone apple tree.

My legs were beat. My back was aching. I wanted to be done with walking for the night.


Finally, we walked through some trees and saw Walnut Mountain Shelter. Halleluiah.


This really doesn’t do enough to describe my excitement at finding the shelter. One might think at this point we finally got to relax, but you would be wrong. In reality, that meant it was time to work.


We setup our tents. The grey one is “Smiles” and “Ghost Chili”, Jenni’s is the orange one and mine is the yellow one.


It looks tiny, but there’s a decent amount of room in there for one person. When we were setting up camp, we saw the pink tutu hike past us. There was an additional flat space about 25 yards past us for additional campsites which is where the bachelor party setup their camp.


Next we had to find and filter water so we could cook. According to Guthook’s iPhone app, the water was a piped spring located about 0.1 miles down a side trail. Honestly, if I hadn’t followed some of the bachelor party, I might not have found this. I had to slide through some sticker bushes to get to it. It was a slow trickle. My Sawyer Water Filter worked best for this situation. All I needed to do was fill the blue bag with water from the pipe, screw on a filtering cap and squeeze it into my water bottle. Didn’t take that long. Would have been faster but the spring was really slow.


Me and “smiles” getting dinner ready. At the top of the mountain, there was a decent breeze and it was pretty cold up there!



The shelter had some bear bag hangers for us. I missed the class at REI where they explained how to hang a bear bag, so I had no clue what to do. Thankfully when we were setting up our tents, I saw another hiker walk up and hang his bag. I secretly watched him and figured it out. Everything went into these bags from food to cooking items to toothpaste.


Once we were settled, we headed back out to the apple tree to take a glimpse at the sunset.



I’d heard the boys had made a fire, so we managed to snag an invite up. They were seriously a hoot. So much fun and they were generous with their Fireball too!


They were only hiking one night, Max Patch to this shelter and back. They weren’t all that experienced. In fact, one guy brought his regular camping tent they affectionately referred to as the Taj Mahal. Can you guess which one it is?



We hung out with them for about an hour as they told stories about one another along the campfire. Then Jenni and I retired for the night. Shortly after I was snug in my tent, it started to rain and the temperature continued to drop. Brr.

Day 1 of our hike was a success. Can’t wait for Day 2.


Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run

23 Aug

First time running the Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run. I’ve avoided this race because it’s a 5-mile beach run (beach runs suck) in the middle of summer, but I got a free race entry through work earlier in the week. Plus they give you an award at the finish! Who can turn that down?

Surprise to me, I ended up PR’ing my 5 mile time… on a beach run! Makes me want to run a 5-mile road race now!





Valentine’s Day Massacre Competition at CrossFit 904

27 May

We have a fun couples competition at our box around every Valentine’s Day. Mainly it’s a boy/girl competition where you partner up with someone of the opposite sex. You don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship with them. In fact, I think most people that do it are just friends. It’s also Sadie Hawkins, so the girl traditionally asks the guy. Ugh


The calm before the storm.

I partnered up with Brett for the competition because his wife who does CrossFit with us couldn’t do the competition. He was such a fun partner. A few weeks prior to the competition, Brett came by the box on a Saturday morning while the advanced class was working out and started cooking bacon. No real reason other than he had a ton of extra bacon to cook. Ever since then, he’s been known as the bacon guy!

They do a costume contest before the competition begins to build some excitement in the morning. It’s fun to see everyone and the variety of costumes.


Of course Brett and I had to get bacon costumes! We found these beauties on Amazon.  [affiliate link] These were actually pretty awesome and perfect to wear for this. Plus no one works out in their costumes, so we didn’t have to worry about that.


Of course Brett rocked it!

I REALLY wasn’t prepared for this competition. I never practiced the workouts or even really think of how we should execute them. Ultimately, I believe we ended up doing it in the wrong order.

For the first WOD, we had Brett go first and then I went. If I remember correctly, I got through the wallballs but that was it. This meant I really only did part of a workout when Brett did the whole thing.

  • WOD #1
    Both team members must complete the following for time:
    50 Double Unders
    40 Wallballs (20,16) thrown to (10′,9′)
    30 Clean and Jerks (135,95)
    *Teammate 1 must complete the entire workout before teammate 2 can start. There will be an 11 min timecap for your team.
    Competition- Exactly as listed
    Performance- (115,75) for the clean and jerks, all else the same
    Fitness- May do 100 Single Unders, (16,12) wallballs, (95,65)
    *Remember this competition is designed to see who has the best engine!

Then for the second WOD, I had to find my 1 rep max of a snatch to overhead squat. Then Brett had to do as many overhead squats as possible in two minutes with this weight. Brett has been suffering from a shoulder injury, so I spared him and only did a 55# snatch to OHS. As a result, this meant I walked up, did a 55# snatch to OHS and was done. (essentially not a workout) Then Brett had to do a ton of squats with that weight. So by this point, Brett had done two workouts and I hadn’t done a full one. Ooops.

Then we had to do max burpee box jumps in 4 minutes. This was so much fun. We were really trying to cram in as many as possible for this to raise our score up. We had watched the teams before us compete, and picked up on a new technique from one of the teams. Unfortunately I’m really bad at counting or remembering quick patterns when working out. Plus we didn’t practice it beforehand. (there really wasn’t time) As a result, I screwed up a few rounds. I really loved doing this though. We set it up so we each did two burpee box jumps and then switched. This kept us moving really fast and not burning out. This was so much fun.

  • WOD #2- Three scored parts
    A. In 4 Mins- Ladies will find a max complex of Snatch + OHS (One snatch from the ground either power or squat, stand fully up then complete one OHS)
    B. In 2 Mins- Guys will perform max reps of OHS with the Ladies max complex found in A. Score will be total LBS lifted, not reps.
    C. In 4 Mins- Both team members will complete max Burpee Box Jump Overs (24,20) only one box and team members can alternate as many times as they like.
    *Fitness will be allowed to do step ups, Performance and Competition must jump each rep.

The last WOD was a blast. Since we were scales, we did situps instead of TTB which meant it was a fast workout. I was basically trying to keep moving as fast as I possibly could.

  • WOD #3
    8 Min AMRAP
    8 Thrusters (135,85)/(95,65)/(75,55)
    8 TTBPartners must alternate complete rounds. Teams will receive two bars.
    *Weights are listed by division for guys and girls.
    *Competition and Performance must do TTB. Fitness will sub out 12 situps.


Then there was a bonus WOD we had to complete at anytime throughout the day. If I remember correctly, we had two minutes to row for as many calories as possible. Brett and I decided to do this in our bacon costumes for fun.


Such a fun day. I just wish I’d gone first in the first WOD so the effort between Brett and I was more equal. I can’t wait to do another competition like this one!

Superhero Competition at CrossFit 904

24 May

This was my very first CrossFit competition. It was hosted at our box, CrossFit 904, which was great for my first plunge into CrossFit competitions.


This was a team competition, and each team was encouraged to dress as a superhero. My team, Aimee, Ed, Danny & I picked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The competition consisted of three WODS (or workouts) that we would do spread out between approximately 9 am – 3 pm (I don’t recall the actual times. That’s approximate.) knowing this, I also knew I needed to prepare ahead of time and bring food to eat throughout the day. I stopped into Publix that morning and brought an avocado, 1/4 pound boars head turkey breast, apples, grape tomatoes and some cheese. (Mmm cheese)


Overall it was a great fun day. I PR’d on the second wod with the squat clean. I was super sore before the last wod and was dreading it, but finished strong. I’m looking forward to the next competition I can participate in, and eager to work on some of my weaker movements (pull-ups!) so I have more opportunities to participate in even more!

WOD #1
“Fantastic Four”
Teams of 4
400M Run
80 Wallballs (16, 12)
60 KBS (53, 35)
40 Burpees
20 Pullups
40 Burpees
60 KBS
80 Wallballs (16, 12)
400M Run
*Teams may split the work any way they want.

WOD # 2
“Poison Ivy”
5 Mins at each movement to find a 1RM
Jerk- From the rack
Thruster- From the rack
Squat Snatch- From the ground
Squat Clean- From the ground
*Each team member will only complete ONE movement. The other members can help their team member put on weights and rack the bar if it falls. The clean and snatch must be a squat but the bar can be caught high and ridden below parallel.

WOD #3
“Flash Gordon”
Deadlifts- RX (185,125) and Scaled (135,95)
Box Jumps- Both (24,20) but step ups will be allowed for Scaled or Injuries
Double Unders- Both have the option of 3:1 single unders
Front Squats- RX (115,75) and Scaled (75,55)

Gate River Run 2015

23 May

Every Gate River Run is a unique experience. Even after now having run eight of them, they’re all so different in my mind. Different weather, different people, different fitness levels and sometimes even a slightly different course.

We started a new tradition this year. Last year several of us from CrossFit 904 that were running the Gate met up at the Jaguar statue for a pre-race picture. Elena was the noob to the race, so she was held up.


This year, Ed was the noob, so the crew held him. All I remember is lots of laughing and saying “feet first! feet first!” several times as we all did a horrible job communicating how to set Ed down instead of dropping him on his head.


After the pic, things kicked into fast forward. We lined up in our corral. Race started. We took off.


Quite possibly the best timing of any photo I’ve ever taken. (Thanks to Elena for pointing this out as we were running by) Keep looking until you see the joke..




Saw Courtney again at the water stop she volunteers at every year!


River Road was gorgeous again this year. My favorite part of the course.

This is when the race took a wicked turn. I struggled this race. I hadn’t been running consistently (I hadn’t been running). The year before I at least had been going to CrossFit consistently so I did fairly well. This year I was barely making CrossFit more than two times a week. Then I made a horrible rookie mistake.

Around mile 5 or so, I tripped on a reflector in the road. Started to roll my ankle. Felt and heard a loud crunch. I sat in the middle of the road for a second as everyone ran by and did a mental assessment. Was something broken? What was that crunching noise? My foot hurt. I knew that. It felt like it did when I had fractured it years back. Great.

This was the eighth year in a row that I had run this race. The first year I ran the Gate, I walked the entire race. It took over three hours, but I knew it was possible. So I trudged on. I finished the race with a horrible walk/run pace.


Can’t forget the “Mile 7 Banana”!



I worked hard for this one. Next year I vow to work hard before the race (in my training) so the race itself isn’t such a horrific struggle!

Go Here: Big Talbot Island State Park Blackrock Beach

21 May

For years, I’ve occasional come across pictures of this gorgeous oceanfront area with huge tree sized driftwood along the shore. Absolutely breathtaking.


I was shocked when I finally realized this beautiful escape was located just a short car ride away.



Black Rock Trail is located in Big Talbot Island State Park in Amelia Island, Florida. The parking for Blackrock Beach is on the east side (beach side) along A1A north of Kayak Amelia and just south of the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park.

Here’s a Google Maps Link in case that’s just too confusing of an explanation.


You do need to pay $3 cash to park, so be prepared. It’s the honor system, but there was someone there ticketing cars when we left so I recommend being fairly honest.


From where you park, walk to your right and a pathway will appear.


The path is maybe half a mile long and takes you to the beach area where the beautiful driftwood awaits!


There was a bit of a cliff when I was there, so you do need to be a bit limber if you wish to get out onto the beach. You can still enjoy the view from above without climbing down.





I don’t want to spoil the surprise by posting too many photos. I highly recommend blocking out an afternoon and visiting Blackrock Beach. It was truly an unforgettable afternoon.

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