In majesty of mud

28 Jan

I’m reaching that age in life where some people buy fast cars, dye their hair, wear age-inappropriate skirts, give up high-stress careers to weave baskets in Hawaii (is that an option?  feel free to send me leads) … and take their health more seriously.  Hey, I can’t spend all my time baking.  What does this crumpet do, when the tick of time beings to tock very loudly?

774843_4783409657292_610856118_oGet muddy.

It’s a great way to get to know England just a little bit better.  The camaraderie of a muddy trail run is hard to beat — even when you are at the back of the pack, like me.  (Back of the pack may be an exaggeration.  I’m more like a whole other pack, all my own, that trails behind the real pack like a lost asteroid.)


A muddy lost asteroid.

All the fast people are well, well along ahead on this trail.  More mud left behind for me!


See those logs right there?  I came up over these little hills and thought to myself: “I didn’t realize there were obstacles on this course.  Cool!”  And I clambered over a few of them … before I realized these were not obstacles.  These were permanent fixtures for horse jumping.  Because this is a horse field.  And I jumped over them because I am a moron.  But, hey, extra exercise, right?


This particular hill was about five miles long.  (Okay, maybe 400 meters.)  And it took me seven years to get up it.  (Maybe four minutes.)  But look at the sunshine glinting off that snow!  Yup, I was definitely feeling alive.


A shoe full of icy water put a giant smile on my face.  Even seeing my closest ‘competitor’ shrinking in the distance didn’t take away the joy of splashing in puddles, sucking in fresh air, and enjoying the challenge of putting foot in front of foot until your mind says stop.

(Yes, I did pause my run to take photos for my blog.  Because I’m that kind of crazy.  I probably lost two minutes altogether taking these photos, but it was such a lovely day, I didn’t mind a bit.)

I had such a great time on this particular run, and was so pleased with the organization and the cheerful encouragement of the race marshals, that I want to give a proper shout out to F3Events, who organized this series of trail runs.  Check ’em out for a 5k, a 10k, or even a duathalon or triathalon.  Whoo-hoo!

Now don’t get too excited about me running marathons or triathalons or nonsense like that.  I’m happy to be ‘running’ 5 kilometers.  (More like walk/run a la Jeff Galloway.)  I’m thrilled to be seeing more of England through a variety of smaller running events.  It’s been great to feel the welcome from more experienced runners who could care less about country of origin or anything at all besides the willingness to get out there and go.  And if you’re looking for a muddy run … or might give you some ideas.  While you’re out, if you happen to see a roly-poly woman who smells like muffins and is laughing in the mud, give her a high-five.  She’s splashing through Camelot.


25 Responses to “In majesty of mud”

  1. Andrea January 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    This may be my favorite post ever! I love your optimism 🙂 Did you really climb over those obstacles? If so, this rivals driving the wrong way around a roundabout!!

    • Monique January 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      It should be no surprise that I jumped over a few fences thinking they were obstacles for the runners. The surprise is that I figured it out before I jumped over *all* of them. I suppose that’s a disadvantage of being so far behind … I didn’t see what everyone else did. Then again, I had a little extra fun the others missed. 😉

  2. Jeanne January 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    I like that you stopped to take photos. When there are roses, we assume you’ll stop to smell them.

    • Monique January 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      And, true to form, I’ll likely stumble in to them and wander off bloodied … with photos, of course.

  3. Zazzy January 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Good for you! What a happy, muddy, sunny run!

    • Monique January 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      🙂 I won’t even imagine what it would have been like had it been frosty, snowing, or sleeting. As long as the sun is out, I’m happy.

  4. greatscott3 January 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I know you are knocking yourself throughout, but I am impressed. I am world’s worst about exercising. Always hoping to get better and failing. And I’m a weenie about the cold – even after living in Cleveland for five years. So I am duly impressed. Well done you! xoxo

    • Monique February 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      I really lucked out on the day — it had been very cold, frosty, and rainy up until that morning. Whooo, gratitude. I think you are pretty busy growing a human these days — best workout in the world. 😉

  5. Aubrey Price Pettyjohn January 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Awesome, Monique! You manage to make a joke out of being last and smelling like muffins, but I am just in AWE. You’re OUT THERE. In the FREEZING COLD. Climbing over HORSE JUMPS. But don’t think for a minute that I am going to flatter you with imitation. I am not even a little bit tempted to join you — just imagining that shoe full of icy water made me cringe, not smile — but I gotta let you know that I am rooting for you! From the comfort of my own home…with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and a yeasty sweet cinnamon roll in the other. 🙂

    • Monique February 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Not even a tiny bit tempted? So much fun! Mmmmmm, cinnamon roll, I think I have a recipe for one of those around here somewhere …

  6. satnavandcider January 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    You go, girl! 🙂

  7. Erin February 1, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Monique, you must move back! I’m sure we can find some horse jumps and mud in Pasadena;)

    • Monique February 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Oh, I have a feeling there might be a couple of horse jumps in the Dena. Mud, blue crab, garden ‘maters, all things I miss. 😉

  8. Rebecca Forbes February 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I want to be one of your children. I would have turned out completely a better person if I’d had a person like you to help me through my life. Please don’t demur. I know you are crazy weird muffin stinking like all the rest of us, but yet in special way. (or in my case, scone stinking)

    • Monique February 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Oh Rebecca, you don’t want to be one of my children. For one thing, I restrict their internet use. 😉 Let’s be glad to be scone-lovin’ grown-ups in charge of our choices together. 🙂

      • Rebecca Forbes February 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

        see what I mean, Monique? Just the right advice….I am actually at that age when I wish someone else would make the decisions once in a while, much to the chagrin of my lovely daughter….I suppose if I live long enough and regress to that childish state, I’ll get my decision wish.

  9. Living Life as an Expat Parent February 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Monique, I have been absent forever. I have sucked at life since I have taken a new position on at work, but I love this post. Hilarious and true and really, really hilarious.

    • Monique February 17, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Oh, feeling like you suck at life is a crappy place to be! Hope this gave you a smile, then, and you are turning a corner towards feeling better. Winter is always my down time, here’s hoping spring renews us all.


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