Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ruck Review: GoRuck Light Baltimore Class 119

Hello everybody! I am finally getting around to reviewing my GoRuck Light experience! We had such a great time! Jill and I are already planning on doing another Light in preparation for a GoRuck Challenge next year (perhaps the Independence Day or September 11th ones--they're the popular dates in DC).
GoRuck was unlike anything I had experienced and I liked the fact that it was team focused. Our group consisted of people of various different fitness backgrounds. There were some people that had never done a GoRuck before, while others had done several. About a third of of our group were former military, another third were into ultra-sports (e.g.: Spartan Death Race/World's Toughest Mudder), and another third were crossfitters like myself. Of course there was some overlap between those categories and there were also some that didn't fit into any of those categories (like my sister!) but you get the idea.
Now that I got some photos, let me walk you through some of things we did!
We had to get up super early in the morning to make the 7AM meetup time in Baltimore at the steps of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Here is a shot of us getting our weight checked by Cadre Chris.

After getting our bricks checked it was on to our first challenge. One person was assigned our team leader and it was his job to guide us to our next destination. Of course, the Cadre threw us a curve ball and said that we had five casualties that we had to carry along the way. That meant five of our team members had to get on another person's back and be carried for part of the way (the girls were in high rotation for being carried). There is a certain technique behind carrying someone like this. 
"GoRuck--Where you put your hand between someone's legs and then ask them their name." LOL
That's pic above is me. And boy is it uncomfortable (I'm sure for all parties involved!). Here is a shot of Jill being carried, too. I actually carried another female, but I couldn't carry her too far :(

Along the way, the Cadre would announce that we would have to pick up additional weight (aka: demo) in the form of sandbags found along side the road.

Me being a road guard!

Cadre Chris with his family (aka: the "Soul Crushers")

Here we are lined up doing push-ups. I don't know what they are called but they were freakin' hard! Basically the person in front of you put their legs on your back, then you put your legs on the back of the person behind you and then you push-up at the same time. I had never done them before so they were super challenging!
Doing the flutter kicks. Man was PT rough! Need to work on that for next time!
Jill walking along the guys' abs of steel!

After our first PT session we were on our way to our next destination with a new team leader. One of my teammates enjoying some ACRT--Advanced Cellular Repair Technology (aka: beer) along the way :) And yes, he's wearing a suit!

This newly assigned mission didn't require as many casualties, but we still had to carry some people.
Here is a picture of our team awaiting our next instructions.
One of my teammates who had completed a GoRuck Selection (the hardest of the GoRuck events with the lowest pass rate) said that he had carried more people during this GoRuck Light than he did during the Selection (which can span over a few days!) I guess it depends on what Cadre you get and what he is in the mood for. ;)
Here's Nicole being a bad a$$!

Here's a shot of me holding one of the many team weights--a sandbag. We had several team weights including a 65 lb sandbag, a weighted pvc pipe (which was super awkward to carry), the GoRuck flag, the American flag, and various sandbags we picked up along the way.

So that is just some of the things that we did. We did a ton more but if I talked about it all it would take an entire day! Plus, wouldn't you want to experience this fun yourself? ;) What was supposed to be 4-5 hours, 7-10 miles turned out to be almost seven hours and about 11 miles of good livin'. Under promise, over deliver indeed! We explored various neighborhoods of Baltimore all the way down to the Inner Harbor and back up again. We got wet (via: Harbor water), got dirty (via volleyball court), and had a lot of fun. I can't wait to do it again!

Easy Day...All Day!
Easy Day...All Day!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Review: Some Good Livin' and Pearl Jam

Hello Everybody! I hope you had a good weekend. As I've told you all before, I have been training for a GoRuck Light for the past month or so and it finally happened on Saturday. It was pretty fun and unlike anything I've done before. I'm still waiting for people to share their pictures (since I didn't take any) so once I steal them, I promise that I'll do a blog post solely on my first GoRuck experience.
In the meantime, here is one pretty cool pic we took in front of an Easter Island head!
Post-GoRuck Jill and I were famished, in the midst of our preparation (hydration bladder: check! gloves: check!) we were starving because we didn't eat breakfast and forgot to pack snacks. Whoopsy! Some of our fellow GoRuckers shared their food with us, but we were still very hungry at the end! We looked up a brunch place on Yelp and came across this place
--Paper Moon Diner. It was located a just few steps away from where we parked!
This diner was featured on the show "Diner Paradise" on the Travel Channel for its tasty menu and eclectic decor. This window/opening was pretty cool.
Jill (surrounded by bright decorations) waiting for our food...
Since we were really hungry we started off with the gravy and egg topped fries as an appetizer.
Jill ordered the bacon blue cheese burger with avocado and a side of onion rings.
I ordered the crab cake melt (which was a fun take on a tuna melt) also with a side of onion rings. Our meals were super tasty and we even ordered some of their fabulous desserts (red velvet cake and peanut butter pie) to go. My only gripe is that it got to be really expensive since everything was a la carte and each item started to add up (e.g.: the coffees, onion rings).
The next day I headed back to Baltimore to see Pearl Jam in concert! Here is a shot of Justin and I waiting for the show to start. We had never seen Pearl Jam before and my husband is a big fan of the band.
For being so high up, we still had a pretty good view of the stage!
Our friend Bill (a die hard fan) is somewhere in the crowd below:
Eddie still looks great after all these years! Apparently the rocker life has been good to him! :)  
It was a full house! It was neat hearing them perform their really popular songs (e.g.: Alive, Black, etc.) because the whole crowd would participate, almost like a sing-a-long! :)
So that was my weekend! I promise I'll post more about my GoRuck experience soon! And the concert on Sunday was a blast! Driving up to Baltimore is always a nice little getaway! Interestingly enough, a lot of parents had brought their kids to the show. I thought it pretty neat, but I thought the show ended kind of late, even for me!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Farewell to the ACC!

It seems almost coincidental with Maryland leaving the ACC and that amazing win against ranked Virginia over the weekend, that I run across an old, unposted blog post from Maryland Midnight Madness last fall.
 A Testudo statue in Stamp Student Union...
A blurry picture with our best player (Justin! D'oh!), Dez Wells! Here's funny story. The guy in line in front of me wanted the players to sign his poster with a blue sharpie, but Dez expressed his dislike for the color blue and refused, signaling his forced departure from Xavier a few years ago...

Me and Charles Mitchell with the 2002 National Championship trophy, woohoo!

Now on to the Madness! The iconic Cole Field House...
There was a lot of nostalgia since we were in Cole, but the program seemed a little long, especially for the attention span of undergrads!
Introduction of former coaches and players
On to the scrimmage!
Unfortunately my presence at at pre-season events doesn't bode with my teams. Attending training camp for my Skins and Maryland Madness for my Terps have both amounted to less-than-stellar seasons. Womp womp.
What do my fellow Terps think? Are you sad/glad that Maryland is moving to the Big Ten? Think we can make a run in the ACC Tournament and make the Big Dance? Nope.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wedding Weekend: Queen City Nuptuals

Bill is one of Justin's roommates from college (there were a total of eleven guys in one house, so you can imagine the stories...), and one of the most frequent visitors we've hosted in our DC home.  When it came time for him to tie the knot with his long time girlfriend Jenny, Justin and I had to make a visit to Cincinnati, in order for us to return the favor and indulge in some shenanigans.

We started off the morning of the the gym.  Yes, we were on vacation, and it is a time to relax; however, Justin and I knew we would be making some bad decisions throughout the weekend.  Besides, we had to "mitigate the damages" of our first meal of the day in the Queen City, the breakfast of champions, Skyline Chili! If you've never had Cincinnati-style chili, it is a must try! Hard Times Cafe in the DC Metro area makes a decent 3-way, but nothing compares to the original!

Here's a shot of my partially eaten 3-way (that means it's topped with chili, onions, and cheese).

A 3-way is not complete without some chili cheese coney dogs on the side! Yummy!

After our hearty breakfast (or was it lunch?) we got ready and met up with the rest of our friends. Because the wedding ceremony took place ten to fifteen minutes away in Ault Park, we boarded shuttles at the hotel and enjoyed a little scenic drive to our destination.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the beautiful sights, but I guess I was having too much fun getting reacquainted with some old friends.

As I had mentioned, the ceremony and reception took place at Ault Park, inside a beautiful pavilion hall. Here's a shot of the bride and groom surrounded by their bridal party.

The gorgeous wedding cake with beautiful cascading flowers!

The food was awesome and filling.  The meal was served family style and there was plenty to go around the table.  Here's a shot of my tasty salad topped with popcorn, yum!  

We sat at table 8, and yes that is Justin's hand demonstrating "the shocker." We're a classy pair ;)

I swear, Ault Park looked like something out of the English countryside! Very picturesque and pretty!

Afterwards, we went to a karoke bar that was near our hotel.  

Say Cheese!

James and Rich smiling for the camera!

Bottoms up!

Of course our night didn't end there. Because the DC area does not have the actual restaurant, we just had to get some White Castle.  As Justin always says, "the frozen kind is not the same as the real thing." Determined to get our fix, the fellas in the picture below made a White Castle run, via taxi cab. Although the chosen mode of transportation made us wait a little longer for this tasty treat, at least the guys chose to be responsible with their late night trip.  The rest of us that stayed behind piled into our friends' (i.e. the Jones') hotel room, to await the arrival of the slider/chicken ring goodness!

We had such a great time in Cincinnati with Justin's college friends. It's always hard to say good bye and head back into reality.  I think Cincinnati wanted us to stay a little longer than we had planned because our flight home was super delayed! By the time we got home, it was well past midnight. Our dinner options were very limited for a Sunday night, so we went to one of the few places that would be open on the Hill-Tune Inn of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame!

I got the Tuna Melt with Tater Tots...

And Justin got the Country Boy Omelet (ham, sausage, bacon, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cheesewith a side of Tots.

Yes, our diet during the trip was very unhealthy, but we had so much fun!  Eating "awesome food" only once in a while won't hurt us :)