Too much fun!

Finishing with smiles on our faces

I told you Friday that my Saturday long run plans would include 30k on trails as part of a 50k relay. All I can say is that Saturday’s 20-plus miles were some of the most fun I’ve ever run.

The conditions couldn’t have been worse. It had rained and dropped a tiny bit of wet snow the night before, so the trails were nothing but mud. And when I say mud, I mean sometimes shin-deep mud. My leg of the relay, which I ran with my friends Jess and Janelle (sounds like a band, no?), didn’t begin until the 3rd loop of the five 10k loops, so it already had the impact of hundreds of feet all over it. Read: super slippery! I’m pretty sure each loop took us more than an hour to slog through.


Just staying upright was a challenge. By some miracle I managed not to fall, but Jess fell once and poor Janelle was on the ground five times. By the last loop, she had had her share of kissing the mud. We were all slap happy at that point, and I laughed until I had tears in my eyes.

A few comments on people who run ultras–what a fun, laid back crew. They’re out there for the joy of running and many don’t get caught up in their times (the way, ahem, some of us road racing peeps do). And can you beat the aid stations at ultras? Cookies, pretzels, PB & J sandwiches, the works. Gotta love it. Big props go to Phil Lang and Bullseye Runningfor pulling off a first-class event in the first year.


And of course, since it was Feb. 11, I ran with my Sherry Arnold bib on. I didn’t know her, but I can imagine that as a runner who lived in a beautiful state like Montana, she would have appreciated the quiet peace that can be found on a trail in the woods. It was an honor to wear her name and see many others doing the same.

Run for Sherry

How was your weekend run?

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  1. says

    I had a good run on Saturday- finally back on the trails for the first time since a 50k in October, and since the leg muscle injury. It was so peaceful- though most of it was either an inch of snow or an inch of mud. I was the only human who was out there! I’ve only done two ultras and I can tell you that you are absolutely right in your assessment of the people and the food! I had also done a 15k during the summer that was road vs trail runners scored cross country style. We trail runners lost the race by quite a bit, but we beat the roadies badly when it came to the beer consumption contest at the halfway mark!
    Erik the Running Moose recently posted..4 Weeks Into My Plan…Mwah, hah, hahhhhh!!!My Profile

  2. says

    I am so glad you had such s good time.I can see by the mud and smile on your face that it was a good time. Hope you ate lots of that yummy ultra food. (pickles, gummy bears, Pringles) don’t get that at a road race, eh?
    I love the ultra peeps as well. In fact the few times I have done part of an ultra race I have said, “I need to convert”. I did an 18K in the Santa Monica Mountains last November, it was dumping rain, the course was a vertical climb for about 3/4 of the race and it was difficult to stay upright as well. I had the same emotion across the finish line… pure joy.
    Have a great week MZ!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..15 Minute Chicken with Agave Balsamic Fig SauceMy Profile

  3. says

    Sounds like a great run you and your friends had. And the look of the shoes afterwards tells everything about the mud :)

    I didn’t run at all this weekend for several reasons, main reason was the bitter cold. I wasn’t brave enough to face it. Thankfully as of today it’s getting warmer, no more freezing temperatures at night and during the day.
    Fran recently posted..Wednesday February 8 – 2012, The workout editionMy Profile

  4. says

    I agree – ultra runners are so much more laid back. At the start of my first ultra, it was like nobody wanted to be at the start line. There was about a 5-foot gap between the line and the first line of runners!!
    Sounds like a great way to honor Sherry – glad that you didn’t fall and had a fantastic run!
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..Do Yasso 800s work?My Profile

  5. says

    Sometimes it is just soo fun to play in the mud! :-) That sounds lovely.
    I hear ya about ultra runners. I think I could really get behind a group like that. If I don’t have to worry about pace and I know there will be snacks, I could go for days. Maybe after Ironman…….like a year or two after, heehee.
    Missy recently posted..14 miles for SherryMy Profile

  6. says

    Sounds like your mud run was a great time and that you guys needed a good hose down after you finished! I always hear great things about ultra runners and love how the races are filled with some of the yummies snacks ever, maybe one day I’ll venture into that realm of running.
    Britt @ Chicago Runner Girl recently posted..CHM Training Week 2My Profile

  7. says

    Saturday I did a walk (behind my running group) in honor of Sherry. Sunday I ran a 20 mile training run with members from my running group…my longest run to date! Most of it was on road, but my favorite part was the 6 or 7 miles we did on trail. Love trail runs!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..A Virtual RunMy Profile

  8. says

    Five times!! That’s a lot of times to fall! Glad you all had a blast anyway. This reminds me of a trail race I did last year. It was only 10 miles, but the runners were so much friendlier and laid back than what I’m used to seeing at road races (not that road racers are rude or anything like that). Sounds like a fun way to experience an ultra without having to actually run the whole ultra!
    Laura recently posted..Place your betsMy Profile

  9. says

    Who’s car were you in? I please you weren’t climbing into my car after that run!!! looks like you have fun, we only got wet for the 1st 10min, then it was only the wet cushes we ran through…
    Coach Dion recently posted..CROSS TRAININGMy Profile