Biking and running are the perfect exercise soulmates. At least, this non-medical expert thinks so:) They use enough of the same muscles to complement each other, and when you’ve pounded your running body into the ground biking is a nice, low-impact way to stretch out and still get exercise. I know that when I’m really going after it biking (on a tour, say) I maintain my running fitness even without running–and when I’m running, I stay in good cycling shape.
Doing both is what makes me a happy Honnold.
(see? So happy!:) at the Hagg Lake finish line)
Regardless, I tend to stay away from organized runs. Not for any reason in particular, just that running is something I do over the course of normal life, and I don’t feel like I need the fanfare (or the cost) of a run with starting lines and music and aid stations and finishing medals to get motivated.
That being said, I am a huge fan of the Hagg Lake Mud Run. This is a muddy, muddy run around Hagg Lake, with both a 50k and a 25k option (and, for the running badasses, a 50k AND 25k option, since the races happen on Saturday and Sunday respectively).
Some years, it’s just a somewhat goopy trail run, but this year it was pretty darn epic.
(compared to many, I was actually fairly clean at the end–though some of that is because running through puddles made for a quick and continual wash-on-the-run:)
I managed to fall on my ass twice in the 15 and a half miles, which, all things considered, I thought was pretty good. I certainly wasn’t as crazy muddy as some.
But this kind of run makes me super happy. It’s not a fast course by any means, and it’s not a run to try to get a super awesome time on–but that’s why I like it, because trying to race isn’t what I like about running. I like being in pretty places, enjoying myself outside. And there is something particularly awesome about tromping through mud puddles and skiing down mud slopes in a barely-controlled tumble.
Plus, the people who are attracted to this run tend to be pretty nice. It’s hard to be a pretentious ass when you spend so much time falling on your ass. :)
So for those of you runners or sort-of runners out there, I’d say keep Hagg Lake in mind. It’s the one organized run I consistently consider (and often do) during the year, and it’s a rockin’ good time. Professional pictures from this year’s race should be up soon at the Hagg Lake picture site, should you want to get a feel for what it’s like (and three more pictures from my mom here:) Check it!