|Really much muddier than you can see here|
As I mentioned before, I love to run (actually jog slowly) and the camaraderie of running in races. But entering races can be a fairly expensive hobby. My solution to this dilemma has been to volunteer with a small family-run racing company at events (usually shorter road races, which I don't enjoy as much) where I can earn credits, and then participate myself in their very well-run and not overly commercial races as a runner (usually the mid to longer distance trail races, which I love).
So…today was a day of redeeming race credits! The event was held in a beautiful state park, next to a river, on flat, soft (VERY soft) trails. Runners could choose from a 5 mile, 10 mile, 15 mile, or 30 mile option, with everyone going around the same big loop multiple times (or once). I did the 10 mile distance, to the mild relief of UFF Dad, who I dragged out of bed to go with me (to volunteer and earn…more credits!)
It was great. I know that spending hours in the drizzling rain, jogging in remote areas of a state park in ankle-deep mud while fording streams and dodging piles of horse poop, is not everyone's idea of a perfect Saturday morning…am I right? But it's actually way more fun than that description conveys. First, there are the runners. Almost to a one, the people I crossed paths with made a point of making eye contact and saying "Great job", "You've got this", "Way to go" as they passed and looped other runners, or at least acknowledged each other's efforts with a smile and wave. There were runners between the ages of 14-69 participating in one of the events (interestingly, more older folks in the longer runs). Second, mud! How often do we get to go play in the mud as adults? I did even more than most, since I hit a tree root and face planted within the first mile. I was completely unhurt, but spent the next mile amusing myself thinking about how much fun it would be to post a picture of my mud-soaked self with the hash tag #dresslikeawoman. It also meant that I really didn't have to bother trying to go around future mud puddles, since the damage was done. Finally, delicious food and drink at the end, while experiencing post-run euphoria (or post-volunteering relief). Both UFF Dad and I had an ample lunch before leaving--a bowl of soup (broccoli cheese and Southwestern tomato corn), bagels, trail mix, chips, fruit, and cookies. We even took home a bottle of local craft beer each, which I plan to save for later.
The rest of the afternoon has been a nice, mellow, home day. I made a big batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies to try to make it up to UFF Dad (he is infinitely supportive, but not really into running), did laundry, washed dishes, and hope to spend some couch knitting time (with Grantchester Season 2) once the other weekly home tasks are finished (mopping the floor and cleaning the bathrooms, if you are interested to know). Normally UFF Dad and I split these, but again, he was such a good sport about getting out of bed to go stand in the mud under drizzle for two hours….
Money spent today: $0
Money spent today: $0
What kind of frugal weekend fun did you have today?