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Hi all! So, as you may have noticed we missed last week’s Fiction Friday…to make it up to you all I’ll be reviewing an entire trilogy this week, so stay tuned for that!

Team Slow posing in the redwoods

Team Slow posing in the redwoods

Meanwhile Kati and I survived yet another trail run over the weekend. Our older sister, Rosi, flew out here from Connecticut to run with us – it was her first ever trail race! We were also joined by Kati’s boyfriend, Nick, and together the four of us formed Team Slow! Yes, that’s really what we call ourselves, and yes, it’s very accurate. 😉

This was my first time doing an Inside Trail run, and I was impressed with how organized it was. Not only was the course really well marked, but the aid stations had all my favorites (Mike & Ikes, M & Ms, potatoes with salt, even oreos!), so by the end of the run I’m pretty sure I was actually heavier than when I started…the volunteers were nice, too, and we all got our finisher’s shirts and mugs, so all in all I’m pretty sure I’ll do more of their races in the future.

We decided to run the 30k option, and since there wasn’t really a time limit (the course would stay open for 8.5 hours) we definitely took our time, hiking the hills we felt like hiking and stopping for the occasional photo op. I’d say spirits were high…at least my spirits were high. I took on the role of annoyingly cheerful and optimistic person, and everyone else took on the role of occasionally hating my guts. Ah, well.

Photo op at overlook bench

Photo op at overlook bench. Don’t let their smiles fool you…

Like any good trail run, there were several crazy obstacles to surmount. First there was the “death mountain of sand,” as Rosi coined it – this was an entire stretch of uphill trail covered in several inches of loose sand. Not the easiest thing to run on. I tried putting a positive spin on it, remarking how nicely it must be sculpting our muscles, to which Rosi replied, “I’m about to sculpt your head…” See what I mean? Some people are impossible to please. 😉

Then there was the river crossing – none of us was very good at getting across this efficiently, but eventually we slogged our way through.

Kati and I heading into the cold water

Kati and I heading into the cold water

Running on more loose sand with soaking wet shoes and feet was yet another obstacle, and then of course there was the 3,000 feet of elevation gain to surmount, but eventually we made our way to the finish line, happy and sore and ready to eat lots of food. The best kind of feeling, really. Plus did I mention we all got shirts?

Looking sharp...or at least bright. ;)

Looking sharp…or at least bright. 😉

Anyways, Kati has a whole post planned for tomorrow on how trail running is like writing, so stick around for that. Meanwhile I’ll turn it over to you – how have you challenged yourselves lately? Any other trail running writers out there?