Gettin' Dirty 2011

Merrell Down & Dirty out at Folsom Lake
I don't know why I love dirt. And I have a very sensual relationship with mud. Maybe that's the reason I prefer to run trails and not the road. Yeah. The road feels like torture these days. I would suspect that smearing tar and gravel all over my body just wouldn't give me the same euphoric feeling as the mud pit does. But, then again, I've never smeared myself with tar so I'm not one to judge.

It could be that the mud just makes me happy. And there's scientific evidence to back up my theory. But whatever it is, the lure of mud and dirt grabbed hold of me this past weekend at the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run.
Me and my friend Caryn

I ran a whopping 5k as part of the barefoot division mostly in my huaraches and then the last mile or so completely barefoot.

I tried to run the levy a week ago barefoot just to see if I could do it, but it was WAY too gnarly for my feet. I ran about half-way on the smoothest section I could find and finally had to put my huaraches on. My soles just aren't as conditioned as they were about a year ago when I was running up to five miles barefoot on asphalt three times a week. As part of a very calculated plan to maintain uninjured status I just don't run anything longer than maybe one or two miles in sprinting intervals. My longer, slower runs are few and far between at maybe six or seven miles of trail running.

I'll take the shorter runs and less conditioning of my soles if it means I can free myself from my ITB crap. So far so good. I'm still nervously holding my breath and wondering if my latest achievement of pain-free marathon distance was just a fluke or the real deal.

So I dressed up as usual for this race, but instead of being a Dirty MILFF this year (with a very inappropriate mud pun on the back of my shirt) I decided to be a skeleton. I know. BORING. But I found some cute skeleton socks, painted a rib cage on my shirt and completed the look with a Halloween feather boa around my waist. I wasn't spooky, but I was festive!

My husband and some friends joined us this year for a fun-filled group event. My husband and his friend Mark are not runners so we knew this would be a slow, but fun event for all of us. My husband dressed up in his usual Nascar drag. A business-in-the-front-and-party-in-the-back wig and some VERY tight jeans which we were sure would split while climbing the first wall. Lucky for him they didn't.
Post mud beer

We were about a mile and a half in when Mark decided to do his motivational clapping. Think Michael Scott from the Office in the fun run for rabies episode. Yeah. It was hard not to laugh at our crew as you passed, which was happening a lot. Lots of people were passing us. Which was totally good. We were having a blast. Then the clapping turned into a sorta cheer and we all added our own part to it. I laughed so hard on that run that I nearly peed my pants. It was cold. There was lots of water and I had to pee. Ha!

So we all finished together, no man was left behind! And we did it in a record time of what? Like an hour or more? I still have no idea. I didn't even check the stats.

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This post is part of the  Run:) collective.


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