Trailrunning....In the Snow?! (That Means Mud)

Guest Blog from my Husband about his race today

With the New Year came some resolutions, and in an effort to stay active, I broke my number one rule for running - "Don't Run When It's Cold."  I do love trail running, so I signed up for a local race at Alum Creek where I often run in the warmer months.  The options were for 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k, or 50k.  Since I was already breaking a rule, I figured "let's not go overboard," and so I opted for just a 10k.

Mile 1: At the start, we were warned by the race announcer: "if you feel the need to jump over that first puddle, it will be a loooong race for you!"  Truth was spoken by the man with the microphone.  The first puddle was followed by dozens more, each murkier and more expansive than those before it.  My "just a 10k" quickly turned into a mud race, complete with stream crossings in shin deep water, and slippery slopes that made me feel like this guy:

Loosing your footing on a muddy trail makes you feel like a helpless baby elephant

Loosing your footing on a muddy trail makes you feel like a helpless baby elephant

Mile 2: I got the sense that maybe I didn't have the right footwear.  I run exclusively in minimalist shoes, which were a fad for a while, but I don't think running how your body evolved to run is really a fad.  So although my toes got cold, my shoes did rinse clean with every stream crossing.  I think for any more winter running, I'll wear my new balance minimus and add a warm pair of running socks (these Sawtooth performance socks are my favorite, and from a veteran owned company).

Mile 3: The snow started.  Who ordered the snow?!  My visions of a relaxing run on a misty morning along the shore is now slowing transforming into a death march.  Time to zip up the jacket.  I am vaguely remembering why I swore not to run in the cold years ago.

Photo from Fleet Feet Sports

Mile 4: The wind is picking up and the snow is blowing sideways.  Somebody says that gusts are in the 40 mph ranges.  The fingers and toes are starting to get numb, and I can't seem to generate enough body heat because every time I run faster, I start to slide and have visions of ending up like these guys:

I kept slipping and didn't want to end up like this

I kept slipping and didn't want to end up like this

Mile 5&6: I went into survival mode and just tried to finish without hurting myself or anyone else.  I was cold, wet, sufficiently muddy, and the fun factor eroded away somewhere around this time.  But I pushed on to get to the finish, just as the blizzard REALLY blew in.  After I received my medal at the finish, I jogged back to my car (it is way too cold and wet to take the time to walk), brushed the snow off my windshield and got the engine started.  Before shedding the muddy gear, I snapped a quick pic of the silt I now wore:

Apparently I stepped in a puddle 

Apparently I stepped in a puddle 

Back in my car, I warmed up and rediscovered my good spirits.  In the short time span of an hour, I created a memorable experience, one I can laugh about now and say I really enjoyed.  Life is about making messes that help you appreciate the clean.  I can't wait to do it again, and as luck would have it, the race directors have another course for the series next month!  

And of course the morning would not have been complete without stuffing everything (shoes included) into the washing machine with our Dandelion Daisy Detergent.  If you like making messes and having adventures too, don't forget to check us out on Amazon and add a review.