Operation Jaybird - Mission Accomplished

*WARNING* You may not want to read this at work. Partially nude photos to follow.

And now, for the run report you've all been waiting for - Operation Jaybird 2010! Last Friday we picked an undisclosed park and ran 3.5 miles in nothing but socks and shoes. Me and 4 of my most naked friends met for a few pre-run drinks and the girls surprised me with t-shirts for organizing this crazy run! They are easily my new favorite "race" shirt.

The weather was a little humid but perfect. First, to answer the questions that most people have: 1) There was no chaffing. Actually, I almost think there was less chance for chaffing than in running clothes. 2) There was some bouncing, but not too bad and the 3.5 miles was fine. We weren't moving very fast due to the mud, so that may have helped. Logistically, everything was fine. And I have to give major props to one girl who did this while pregnant! What a story for the little one!

We showed up to the park and everyone wanted a picture as proof of our silly endeavor. So the camera (and tripod) came out and a spontaneous naked photo shoot ensued! This was not planned, and I'm pretty sure it couldn't be duplicated. Obviously I'm not going to post everything, but here's a few. Everyone was nervous at first, but when everyone around you is naked and giggling, you eventually drop you inhibitions and just have fun. Oh yeah, we're hot.

We had a close call with one car, but luckily they drove past without pulling into the parking lot we were at. We took that as a sign to get on the trail and get moving. So we packed up the tripod, hopped a barrier and started running. Clearly this was a night we had no intentions on following the rules. One of the other girls forgot her light, so I gave her mine. So I was completely naked running in the dark. It was surreal.

For the most part, the woods were completely dark. All the trees have leafed out and the moon was only half full, so not much light made it to the forest floor. We were moving slow but steady, laughing and giggling most of the way. We made it a mile or so and came out into a clearing. The grass all around us was about waist high, with lightning bugs hovering above the tips. We were surround by trees on all sides and the moon and stars above were clear and bright. It was nothing short of breathtaking.

The miles went fast. That happens when you're having a good run with better company. We all decided that this was way more fun than we had anticipated and it should become a yearly event. After running through the woods completely naked, there is no doubt in my mind that humans were born to run. There is something so primal and natural about it.

I think naked running is something every runner should experience. If you're ever in a private spot, preferably at night, drop your drawers and take off. Take pride in your hide.


Girls on the Run Pictures!

My running buddy sent me pictures! What a great day and what awesome girls!


Girls on the Run

Saturday was the Girls on the Run 5k and I had the pleasure of running it with three 6th local 6th grade girls. It was hot, and the course ran through the parking lot of Garmin, so little shade and sweltering pavement. But I had fun and more importantly, the girls had fun.

GOTR is an organization for 3rd-8th grade girls. They meet twice a week for 12 weeks and learn about diet, exercise, making healthy decisions, and having healthy self-esteem. The lessons cover bullying, media pressures, and help the girls train to run a 5k. The whole goal of the program is to help pre-teen girls learn to make healthy decisions, have positive self esteem, recognize negative influences, and have active and healthy female role models, all before they reach high school. I think it's an awesome program and I wish there had been something like it when I was a kid.

I volunteered as a running buddy. I was teamed up with three girls who I met a few weeks ago. We ran a practice 5k at their school and I made it to a few other sessions to get to know the girls more.

One of the sessions really left an impression on me. They were discussing advertising and how it can be misleading and things like air brushing and photo shop. When asked what they thought about an ad for prom dresses, I was really surprised at their answers. The coach asked them what they thought and how the ad made them feel. The girls said things like "Why would you want to wear a dress that short? You couldn't even dance in it" and "She looks really uncomfortable in those shoes" and my internal teenage was saying "Why aren't my legs that thin?" It was just amazing that these girls haven't felt the pressure to look like the girls in the magazines.

But that's the whole point - reach these girls so the learn early on that they DON'T have to be stick thin to be beautiful and their self-worth is NOT tied to the number on the scale. This is definitely a group I will volunteer with again.


A good day for debauchery

Home computer caught a cold, work has been chaotic, weather has been crap. But the sun is out, I'm done for the day (had my 40 hours in some time ago) and the weekend looks perfect. I've been busy planning Operation Jaybird, climbing at least once a week, put the MN Border to Border tri on the schedule for next year (canoe logistics and training, and a dedicated crew person prevented an attempt this year), have a Tiki Party planned, and I finally broke down and bought tickets to go see Mumford & Sons in June! Hell yeah!

Summer is almost here and it's going to be a busy one! More to come, and hopefully the computer will be feeling better. Time to play!


Operation Jaybird (AKA Super Secret Naked Night Run)

The team has been assembled. The date has been set. The rendezvous site has been chosen. The official time will be sent via text message, after which it will self-destruct. Unfortunately for you, those details are released on a need-to-know basis and if you don't already know, you don't need to. If any unauthorized people show up at the start of the operation, the information-leaking offender will be duct-taped naked to a tree and left to fend for herself. This is serious, people.

There are risks involved, including (but not limited to): poison ivy, insect bites, abrasions, chaffing, bouncing, public indecency, and blinding (my tush hasn't seen sunlight in, well, I couldn't even tell you). Team members are responsible for where they aim their flashlights.

I personally have assembled some of the best naked runners around. The main qualification for finding good naked runners is: they want to run naked.

For those participating in Operation (Naked as a) Jaybird, be prepared. For those who aren't, pay attention. You just might catch a glimpse of several streaking ladies sometime in the near future.


Enough with the Rest!

Ah yes, the week (or two) after a race I like to kick back and take time away from training. Don't worry, it's a fake cigarette and empty martini glass at a charity function. But gin and tonic was involved in the photo shoot.

Enough already. I took one week to rest and then I got sick, so I am ready to get back to training! My only problem is that I don't know what to do next. I have a 5k with Girls on the Run in May and of course there is the Super Secret Naked Night Run (or Operation Jaybird, if you're in the know). But those are little events that don't require training.

I'd like to get up to a 50k trail race by the end of the year and I want to do another 1/2 Ironman this fall, but it's too early to train for that. There are tons of trail races, road races, and shorter triathlons in between now and then, but nothing at the moment has me excited.


OK, so when MO first sent this to me, I thought "No way in hell." But then I looked some more and started thinking about it. And curiosity set in. An adventure race is on my Bucket List, I had just been planning on something a little, well, easier. I don't even know if he is serious about it or just sent it on for shock value.

So check this out and tell me how crazy I really am. It is, after all, just another triathlon. Biking? Check. Running? Check. Canoeing? Believe it or not, I've raced a canoe before, check. But more importantly, it's an unknown. And that makes me excited. There would be the minor detail of getting a canoe for practicing and racing. There would be bugs. Huge, relentless, blood-thirsty bugs the entire way.

One of my favorite quotes is Prefontaine: "Runners often straddle the line between crazy and insane." If I do this, I think it will launch me clear over the line and straight into the Looney Bin. Just one more thing I can check off my list!