Well. I just ran my first and last trail race.


(Those were my brand-new shoes. They’re broken in now.)

Erin Gunn, Sarah Whiting, and I spent the morning up at Bear Mountain for The North Face Endurance Challenge. Erin and I ran the 10k; Ting (short for Sarah Whiting) ran the half. To be more specific, while Ting was enjoying a little 13+ mile jog (just kidding — Ting, you’re amaaaaaaazing and I think maybe superhuman!!), Erin and I painstakingly tried to run 6.3 miles of hiking trail through muddy rivers, slimy rocks, and steep inclines.

I’m actually pretty pleased with how I did. I was expecting to end up walking the whole thing because I haven’t really been able to run since pulling all my leg muscles at the end of March. For this race, I focused on keeping my pace verrrrrrry slow, and the treacherous nature of the course forced me to walk for quite a bit of the race to pick my way “over the river and through the woods” while remaining upright!

** Edited 5/12 to add these pictures from the race website.

Feeling energetic early in the race:


Finish line in sight, yet still so far away (all of 50 feet I think):


Happy (?) finish line dance:


I finished the race in something like an hour and 35 minutes (I was second to last!!! I was kind of disappointed when I heard someone else finished after me. If I was going to be last, I wanted to be last), but I finished running! Surviving this race actually gave me a lot of hope for the Brooklyn half at the end of May. Ting finished about 10 minutes after I did (but to be fair, the half did begin an hour before the 10k). Here we are at the end:


There was a tent with cut fruit and peanut butter. I had many pieces:


Erin and I were cold and tired and sore and wondering how the heck Ting had roped us into over 90 minutes of voluntary torture. We agreed we don’t have to do this again next year. Ting stuck around with some of her other friends to watch the 50k runners start to come in; Erin and I busted out of there to head to her apartment for showers and lunch. Which leads us to the food …

Featured Contributions: Thursday through Saturday

Thursday’s linner: homemade tortillas with homemade chicken mole and beans left from the Parent & Me cinco de mayo event at work on Wednesday:



Ginger chew from Beryl on Friday:


A chopped apple, an orange, cool whip, and peanut butter left from Myrna and Mildred’s afternoon group:


(I had another orange and seconds of cool whip and pb later, too!)

I headed straight up to Yonkers after work, and Erin Gunn picked me up for some bridesmaid dress reconn at David’s Bridal, followed by Indian food, her treat 🙂

Papadum and chutneys:


Baingan Bhartha (eggplant):


Channa Saagwala (chickpeas and spinach):


We ordered spicy. We needn’t have. The spiciness necessitated lots of tissues and lots of rice:


Anise crunchies on the way out:


This morning, I made us pre-race breakfast cookies with the contents of Erin’s cupboards.


Each cookie included 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chocolate chips, 1 tbsp sweetened coconut, 1 tbsp mixed chopped nuts, and cinnamon.


The frosting involved plain yogurt and half of this baby jar of heaven:IMG_9396

Our post-run lunch was Indian leftovers with tons and tons of yogurt to cut the heat:


And a very very exciting treat from work yesterday:


Rosey’s mom (who I think is Puerto Rican) made pasteles — kind of like tamales but with plantain on the outside and meat on the inside — this past week, and Rosey brought them in to share on Thursday. I missed this first delivery because I don’t work on Thursdays, but Nydia gave me a couple of hers yesterday since it was my last day until June, and they all wanted me to be able to try them! I brought my tied-up package to Erin’s with me, boiled it for an hour in salted water per Rosey’s instructions, and set to unwrapping it.

In paper:


In banana leaf:


Finally ready:


Mmmm, it was yummy. I loved the texture of the plantain on the outside. Here’s the filling:


I dozed off a bit after lunch, and then Erin deposited me at the subway. Two hours later (grrr, construction), I was finally home.

Now, “vacation” is over, and it’s time to rededicate myself to the finals: one paper due Monday and one due Thursday. Then, I will be free!! (Errr, for two weeks until it all starts again …)

To conclude, here are Ting’s battle-scarred legs:


Would you ever in a million years choose to spend your day off participating in a trail race?

29 thoughts on “Dirrrty

  1. Susan says:

    CONGRATS on finishing the trail race running!!!! I am SO impressed that you were able to get through it after all the injury issues you’ve had lately. And yes, I would spend my day running a trail race. Actually, I think it’d be more fun than a road race!


  2. Erin says:

    I don’t *do* races. 🙂 But I like hiking and chit like that, out there, on the trails.

    Good for you for trying it!

    The Mexi tortilla & Indian food look bangin.


  3. Erin says:

    I think I’ll pass on the trail race, it kind of looks like torture. But the eats do not. Good luck finishing finals…it feels wonderful!!


  4. Rose says:

    You are totally hardcore, girl. That’s an awesome accomplishment. Not sure if I’d do a trail run – I’ll say this though, I wouldn’t say I’d never do one – I’d probably just do a road race first 🙂

    (Looks tough!!)


  5. Linda says:

    I have so many things to comment about…
    First and foremost, congrats on your race. You should print out the first photo of your muddy shoes to serve as a souvenir. It’s a great picture that tells a story and it is nicely photographed with the bright green clovers in the background.

    All the food looks amazing and so diverse from Indian to Puerto Rican to tacos to healthy nutty cookies. And you ordered spicy dishes to boot! If this is how you eat in a few days… can I hang out with you? These are my types of foods! 🙂


  6. homegirlcaneat says:

    hey girl HEY you did amazing in this race!! I would actually love to run a trail race just because I run this cross country trail everyday and love all the hills and jumping over random ditches that could possibly be the death of my ankle..but other than that, I would be so down!


  7. Krista says:

    Good job on finishing the race! At least now you know what they’re like! 😉

    Love the food…of course!! Wish I could find that cacao bliss around here!

    The pasteles look really tasty!


  8. Ashley says:

    That looks like awesome fun! I love getting dirty (and I mean that in a nice way). I want to do a trail race now.

    The pasteles look really cool – you always eat such interesting food!

    Good luck with your finals!


  9. Melissa says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Amazing amazing job! I don’t think I would do the trail run in after a big rain, slippery rocks scare me. last night I found out one of the girls that works the organization I intern for did the bear mountain half and came in third. you guys are rock stars. I have always wanted to do the empire state building run up, but that may be as crazy as I get.

    indulge yourself today, perhaps a nice bath!


  10. Danielle says:

    First of all, congrats on the trail race! That is absolutely, positively fabulous, and something to be very proud of. I would definitely do one if I thought I was ready but at this point I’m not sure. Hopefully one day I’ll reach your level 🙂

    Secondly, mmm pasteles! My father’s side of the family is Mexican so I’ve definitely had my fair share of tamales but those look and sound great as well. I should ask my puerto-rican fan to share!


  11. Alison says:

    I don’t like trail running – I’m constantly afraid that I’m going to twist my ankle on uneven ground. But congratulations for making it through a race!
    I love your meals – especially thursday’s “linner” and Friday’s ginger chew.


  12. mom says:

    Happy Birthday tomorrow! As soon as the pressure’s off,let daddy and me know,so we can discuss present options. John and I wish you a wonderful day,even tho you have a paper to write. Love and hugs, Mom


  13. Vani says:

    Congratulations, Sarah!!!!! Amazing! I love the way you mentally bounced back from this injury, even if it meant learning to run a lil slower 🙂


  14. Andrea (Off Her Cork) says:

    Oh goodness, congrats! I ran my first trail race in Jan and it was crazy hard. I was so under prepared that I was furious with myself. ha! Maybe I’ll think about doing another one but I’m not sure. Looks like you guys had a blast though!


  15. Kerri says:

    Aw, I miss you ladies! Not enough to go trail racing though. I did get roped into a 7-mile trail hike this weekend though, so it’s kind of like I was there in spirit!


  16. runnerskitchen says:

    Congrats on the trail race! Your muddy shoes prove how bad-ass you are 🙂 And I am very jealous of the Indian food you had the other day – I could really go for some chana masala and naan…


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