Age: 26 State: WI
Experience: Iron Woman
Age: 46 State: NY
Age: 29 State: NY
Age: 22 State: CO
Age: 26 State: CO
Age: 25 State: WI
Age: 34 State: WI
Age: 32 State: WI
By Jessica Balanza
Me, back row, fifth from right, with my Dirty Girl team in Tampa
A run, is a run, is a run, right?
For some this statement isn’t necessarily true. You add mud, colors, tutus, glow sticks or anything somewhat adventurous and it is no longer a “run”.
Die-hard runners question the necessity of such incorporations into running events. I have heard it time and time again from some of my friends, “I won’t run at any of those events, they aren’t real races.”
Who defines what a “real” race is? And why does it matter?
I will admit that I don’t typically sign up for a mud run such as Dirty Girl or a color run with the idea of breaking a personal record or racing my little heart out. But I do run and play around with my friends. These events are meant to be fun, which is why they’re great.
And for some, these events are races. A mud run like Dirty Girl might not be a race in the traditional sense, but it could be a personal race to get healthy or to conquer the entire obstacle course. Just because a race isn’t a pure run from start to finish, or because it’s untimed, doesn’t mean it isn’t a race of some sort.
Actually, the fun appeal is what may have gotten a future runner off the couch and out the door for the first time. Often I think of these fun runs as a lure. They promise a workout in an entertaining environment surrounded by friends and sometimes lots of families. Some of my family members who never even fathomed running in public are now training for a run, thanks to the idea of mud runs, obstacle runs, and events that others might call “novelty.”
There are all kind of runners these days. Running is no longer a sport for just men or skinny people who have “runners’ bodies.” Running is an activity that allows anyone –your mom, grandmother or child– to enjoy, even if the run gets muddy or glows.
Visit Jessica’s blog, Cuban Running Crisis, at http://www.cubanrunningcrisis.com/
May 13th, 2013
by Melissa Kirkham
Me in 2010 Me in 2013, at Dirty Girl San Diego
This summer I will turn 40. At this age, I’ve found, life has settled into somewhat of a groove. We are identified by the various hats we wear as wives, mothers, and working women. You have kids, and life just sort of takes over. Everyone else becomes a priority and you do what needs to be done. The kids are young and keep you busy, so it’s ok. The pounds slowly creep on, but you’re still getting things done and taking care of business. Fast forward a few years later and you wake up one day with the realization that your little ones are not so little anymore. In fact, you weigh what you did nine months pregnant with the son who has outgrown you and is on the verge of starting his own life. You have two choices. You can continue on this path and no one would fault you, it’s just part of the aging process. You look at the women in your family and while genetics don’t determine all things, you can get a pretty clear picture of where you’re headed. Or you can choose to change your life.
I can’t say I “chose” to change my life, but ultimately, that’s what happened. I was the inactive, asthmatic, allergy ridden, anemic girl full of excuses for not liking exercise. I made one choice. In January, 2011, I decided I would run – ok, walk/run – the one mile to my office and back. It. Was. Awful. But I did it again the next day. And again a few days later. That June, I ran my first 5k race and the experience flipped a switch in me and I was hooked. Just about a year later, I ran my first half marathon and wrapped up 2012 by running my first full marathon! Early this year, I kept up the momentum by doing a Dirty Girl Mud Run in San Diego. That’s the drive-by version. The main question is: how do you get started when everyone else is half your age and twice as fit?
1. Make a choice. Today. Just one. It didn’t take you overnight to get in the shape you’re in (yes, round is a shape, too!) and a healthy body isn’t going to happen overnight. Start with something simple like parking your car on the other side of the lot. Skip the soda today. Take the stairs. I promise you that while it may not seem to make a difference, it’s a start and doing one easy thing for your health will make the big picture less overwhelming.
2. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, including yourself. What you “used to be able to do 20 years ago” is irrelevant.
3. Enjoy the journey and make it fun! Get sweaty trying something new, whether it’s lifting weights, rock climbing, or getting some girls together to do a Dirty Girl Mud Run!
4. Celebrate the victories with non-food rewards. A massage, new workout clothes, or the perfect little black dress!
Live your life, don’t just survive it!
Almost 40 and still awesome!
Visit Melissa’s blog, Melissa Running It, at http://melissarunningit.com/
April 22nd, 2013
by Marcela De Vivo
A mud run is one of the more exhilarating weekend exercise options you can participate in. You’re set up in an obstacle course that demands you get dirty — exactly what you’ve been taught NOT to do since day one of childhood. But, just like with any exercise regimen, you should get to know your equipment.
In this case your “equipment” is mud. Wet dirt. All over the place. So what exactly do you need to know about plain old mud?
How Mud Can Affect Your Skin for the Better
The fact of the matter is that mud is a great exfoliant. This is why spas all over the world use it as masks –and sometimes for the entire body. Mud dries out your skin, especially that oily T-zone on your face, which can help improve acne and clogged pores in many women.
Beyond that, taking a mud bath at a spa or experiencing a mud run is just plain fun. You laugh, run, de-stress and relax and it has been proven that people who de-stress on a regular basis have more glowing skin when compared to their stressed-out peers.
The mud you encounter on a run is au-naturel and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that come directly from the earth.
However, the mud you encounter at a mud run isn’t necessarily the same stuff being mixed up for you at your local day spa. So what’s the difference?
The Dirty Part of Mud
Since mud strips the skin from oils, your skin could easily be left feeling very dry after your race. Use a moisturizing body wash in the shower and a thick cream right away, post-shower. It is best to apply cream onto wet skin so the lotion will lock in those little water beads still lingering on your body. You can use all the moisture you can get after a mud run!
Use an exfoliating body scrub to get a seriously deep clean after a mud run and help rid yourself of residual mud underneath your fingernails and in your cuticle beds –especially if you’re prone to nail biting.
So what’s the verdict? Mud can be good and bad for your skin, but most importantly, it’s lot of fun. And that’s what really matters, right?
April 8th, 2013
Team Zombie at the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Tampa. I’m the zombie in the lime-green shirt!
WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?
By Stephanie Garcia
Fat. Yup, I said it. I’m not scared of the word. I’m not embarrassed to use it as an adjective to describe myself. That doesn’t mean my personality is fat. My goals are fat. The love that I give is fat. My job is fat. My athletic ability is fat. It means I’m carrying extra “fat”, and that’s about as much power as I’m going to give the word.
Carrying extra pounds doesn’t stop me from getting out there and doing triathlons, 15Ks and even playing softball. It didn’t stop me from participating in the Dirty Girl 5K mud run, even if I initially had reservations about being able to climb, crawl and shimmy through obstacles I had never done before. Of course visions of muddy clothes clinging to my curves crossed my mind, but in the end, none of that mattered. I realized that out on the Dirty Girl obstacle course. It’s all about having a blast. No one is watching you, waiting for you to make a mistake or fall. No one is noticing those limitations that you’ve placed on yourself. No one is noticing the flaws you think you have. In fact, expect people to lend a hand as you’re climbing over the cargo net, or grab your butt as they help to lift you over a wall.
Believe it or not, being a plus sized athlete is an amazing experience. Participants, spectators and volunteers are on YOUR side. Races and events, no matter what size or type, are filled with positive, encouraging, and motivating participants who WANT you to succeed. You see, the thing with seasoned athletes is that when they notice new racers and participants, they instantly become proud just because you’re there, giving it your all and trying. After all, they were once beginners, too. Participating in a race isn’t defined by how fast you can go, how long you’ve been doing it, or how many times you have to stop to walk or take a break in between miles (which, by the way, is perfectly ok). The last thing you should feel is embarrassed or out of place as a newbie or someone in a body that you think isn’t ideal or athletic enough for a race. Everyone is welcome, and you feel that positive energy as soon as you pin your bib number.
You don’t know how often I have shuffled passed a seasoned runner- huffing, puffing, out of breath and sweating so much you would have thought I had just stepped out of a pool- and heard phrases like “looking good, keep it up”. Believe me. There are NO feelings of sarcasm, jealously or negativity towards newbies or people in the middle of their fitness journey. Everyone is welcome, whether it’s a mud run or a marathon. That simple mentality has given me courage and will continue to give me courage to try longer distances, different races and challenge myself because, after all, we’re all in a race against no one other than our past selves, and they are the only ones holding us back.
Visit the author’s personal blog: www.orangespoken.com
April 2nd, 2013
By Dirty Girl Ambassador, Gloria Massi.
The hard part is over. You signed up. You’re committed. April 6th is going to be the muddiest, most fabulous day of the year. You and your girlfriends are getting ready to join a couple thousand other awesome girls at the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Charleston.
Remember, it’s not just a Mud Run. You signed up to be a part of something awesome and to support a great cause. If you have the chance, you should always try to suck out a little more fruit punch out of life’s big juice box. Whether you live in Charleston, live close by and are planning on heading in for the run, or making plans for a real girls weekend event, take the time to check out what Charleston has to offer.
First of all, you’re about to get muddy. Why not get a little pampered to balance it out? Head to Spa Bliss for some excellent body and skin treatments. A full body wrap and a facial in a spacious and elegant environment may be just what the doctor ordered. Then line up with the sisters for a gel manicure session and you’ll be right as rain. Once you feel fresh and rejuvenated, head to The Folded Leaf Yoga Studio to get your ‘Om’ on. They have walk up meditation and yoga classes for all levels, just what the body needs before…or after conquering some epic obstacles while giggling uncontrollably.
And, what goes perfectly with new skin and a renewed spiritual outlook? How about a new exercise outfit? Seek out Moxxee Coffee to get what could be the best cappuccino in the Eastern United States, sample a tasty little biscotti, then head off to the Charleston Town Center for a touch of shopping in one of the country’s largest indoor shopping meccas. Walk. Shop. Get some ice cream. Enjoy the day and work up an appetite.
Once you and your girls are nice and hungry, seek out Charleston’s best pizza joint, Lola’s Pizza, for a pan seared goat cheese salad or (my personal favorite) a roasted beet salad with baby spinach, candied walnuts and gorgonzola tossed in a citrus vinaigrette. Then feast on a fig and fresh rosemary pizza or a spinach and feta pizza with roasted red peppers, sweet red onions, and a delicate balsamic reduction. It’s heavenly.
Time to hit the town, find a bar, sip a martini and relax. Good thing. The Bridge Road Bistro is just a few steps from Lola’s and offers fabulous cocktails in a quaint little bar area. Looking for some people watching and a bit more excitement? Go back across the river and find the Vandalia Lounge and share a pitcher of sangria. That is definitely the BEST way to end a true girls day out.
Enjoy life and remember, what good is being clean if you don’t get muddy every once in awhile?
March 27th, 2013