Sleet, snow, and a crazy ass mountain.

Here are my conclusions after Sunday’s 15-mile trail run

1. I have a lot to learn. In the past I was a bit of a loner who would hit the Sunday long run by herself. But recently I found a trail running club which is made up of truly fantastic people and talented runners. Running for hours with someone is a great way to socialize and also a great way to pick up some good trail running tips and techniques. For example: Have you tried eating a GU before you start a long run? Oh, my goodness! Why have I never tried this? Starting a long run with a jolt of sugar and caffeine isn’t such a bad thing.

The Trail Factor Group

The Trail Factor Group

2. Bad weather = better stories: The weather on Sunday was perfect for sipping hot chocolate in front of a fire, not for running 15 miles in a forest. But nasty weather increases the bad-ass factor of a trail run and stories get instantly more street cred, Here’s a picture of the first pitstop. Beautiful, right? In a snowy, arctic tundra kind of way.

only 3 miles into the run!

only 3 miles into the run!

3. Running up hills is hard work. Running up mountains is even harder. The trail was Steep! Steep! Really, really steep . At some point during the run I felt that if I got tired enough I could have just stopped nd leaned against the switchback. It took over 2 hours and 40 minutes to get across 15 miles and included about four thousand feet of climbing. That’s a lot! At some point around mile 9 I think my legs decided give in, not because they loved the uphills, but because they couldn’t find the energy to complain anymore.

Steep, followed by steep, followed by more steep!

Steep, followed by steep, followed by more steep!

4. Great runs = great showers = great post run meals. This is truly my favorite part of the weekend. I finish a disgusting, long, difficult, muddy trail run. Yuck! I am a nasty mess and you won’t get anywhere near my armpits if you know what’s good for you. But then I get home and stumble into the shower where the tiredness and the mud melt away. It’s a weird mix of feeling exhausted and elated. After the shower comes the post-run mega feast. No food that I eat all week tastes as good, feels as satisfying, and is consummed with as much joy – especially if the post-run meal happens to be copious amounts of thai food.

A little cold, a little tired, and very ready to eat.

A little cold, a little tired, and very ready to eat.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in portland, running, Trail Factor, weather and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sleet, snow, and a crazy ass mountain.

  1. Edward says:

    OMG yes! Post-long-run feasting is the best! If only I could be smart about it, but I usually gorge myself on fatty, greasy, starchy comfort foods. I figure… heck… I just ran 1.5 to 2 hours. I earned it.

  2. Ana-Maria says:

    I love running with other people, particularly when they have the same pace as you.
    I do mainly trail running in the summer, on trails with crazy elevation. It took me a while to get over the frustration of running 8 steep miles in 1:45! Once I got over that, I started to enjoy every minute of each run (well, almost..)
    Great pictures. The guy in the last picture…is he someone we might hear about in the future:) ?

  3. Aileen says:

    That elevation chart made me a little queasy! I’m hella impressed.

  4. aron says:

    WOW that is one serious run!!! I know a lot of people who take a gu before runs and I have actually been thinking about it lately. I always feel better after my gu in my long run, so why not take one before?? I will have to give it a try 🙂

  5. Marvin says:

    There’s no way I can stomach a gel pre-run, but shot-blocks, fig bars, and breakfast bars are good alternatives. Wow! We don’t have anything in LA that steep or that cold, thank goodness. Tell me why I should visit Portland again? 😉 J/K That actually looks like a fun and challenging trail run. I’m jealous.

  6. Great run! The pics are incredible.

    I should try GU before a run. Thanks for the tip. Should be good before a marathon too, no?

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