Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best Invention

A bunch of us met outside of Boulder for a trail run this morning.  It was so windy and cold that I  cried tears of despair when I had to get out of the car.  There are few things I hate worse than being cold. Okay, maybe when people imitate characters from Monty Python – that’s worse than being cold. Fortunately, no one has ever imitated characters from Monty Python while I was cold. That would be  simply cruel.

I should have just brought my camper like this guy did because then I could just roll out of bed, put away my joint and banjo, and step onto the trail.


I forgot how much I love to run with a bigger group. I am usually either by myself or with one other person. There is always someone running your pace and always someone to talk to. I like to run ahead so I am the winner. Yes I am that person.


The only drawback to being with a big group is that it’s a bit awkward if you have to excuse yourself off the trail to take a leak or crap. It’s not like there is any secretive way to do that. Fortunately, the poop gods did not visit me today.

Let’s play “Where’s Bambi?” We saw some deer, but do you see some deer?


We got to the top and did a loop around. The views are amazing, even on a dreary day like today:


The miles flew by as we chatted away. We all finished up and I was introduced to the best invention since the goldfish carrying case:

funny gadgets gifts

Charmin To Go toilet tissues. The guy behind me likes them too:


Hello, lover. Where have you been all of my life?

In the end we did 8 miles in 1:30 with about 1,000 feet elevation gain. I am so fast that pictures of me are always blurry. Either that or my phone camera bites.


We stopped for hot coffee on the way home. If you don’t have a Vic’s in your town, I am very sorry:


At home I whipped up a plate of French toast bigger than my head:


If you don’t trail run or have never done it, you are missing out. You just are. It is completely and totally different than running on the road, bike path, etc. You have to focus constantly so you don’t fall on  your ass. You dodge rocks, roots, horse poop, snow, fallen trees. You climb until your heart is beating out of your chest. No cars, no noise except for the wind through the trees and the roar of the occasional mountain lion. The whole landscape is your bathroom. These are the very reasons I want my next marathon to be on the trails. I was just kidding about the mountain lion, although that did happen to me once.

An update: I am working out details for the virtual run for Sherry. Stay tuned. If you missed it, People Magazine did an article on Sherry this past week.


Do you trail run? Which do you prefer – roads or trails? I’m not sure. I love the trails, but I also love some of my go-to road runs. Dirt back roads are another favorite for me.

What’s your favorite post-workout food? I love donuts, but my French toast rocks the house.

Do you prefer to run solo, with one other person, or in a bigger group? I like all three. There is a time and place for each.

What’s the best invention there ever was? The remote control fart machine or Charmin To Go.


PS: Check out the latest Refuel video from the finish line at the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas race. You would never guess from my annoying, perky voice that I was about to either puke or crap my pants.


  1. I love trail running; I was so spoiled with the mountain trails when I liked in Calgary. Now that I am back in Houston, there are not as many options within the city to trail run :(

    Post Race food - I love breakfast - so eggs, sausage, pancake/toast. If I were good, a good black bean soup will be good as well (for a cold day).

    I am glad you get to trail run today! Love the pics! and Love the Charmin to Go :)

  2. Nice job on not sharting your pants with the group.

    Yesterday after riding for a couple of hours I had to pee so bad but we were in front of my buddy's house in a nice neighborhood. Finally I said to him I can't hold it and need to just let it go and so I kneeled down and pee'd under my truck and it was a river.

    I am typically on my own but I do enjoy running past a crowd and wave to say hello and smile.

    After a long run I love french toast or pancakes....just a great go to staple food.

  3. I've never been trail running, I'd love to go though. I am going to have to find some people to trail run with. I have only ever run alone so I can't say which I prefer, someday I'll find people to run with...
    Post run food I'm not sure about, I eat different things all the time. Although I do love my hot chocolate made with milk (and glutamine) that I drink while in the ice bath after my long runs.
    Love the trail run pics, glad you found out about Charmin to Go, we keep it in the van, just in case.

  4. We carry the TP you buy at Bass Pro for camping. It's small (no cardboard tube), it's dry (comes in a watertight container), and it's biodegradable. We're environmentally conscious like that.

    Nice to see you back. :)

  5. :) Great to see the Boulder trails so clear. I'm hoping the weather holds so I can get a little time in Roxborough next weekend. Love the Charmin to go - I usually just tuck few kleenexes in my waistband before hitting the trail ... but it does get a bit soggy.
    Post race food ... a Coke followed by chocolate milk.

  6. I haven't had the pleasure of trail running yet, I am still trying to master running on a paved surface. Since I am not fast and don't go very far yet, I tend to just eat oatmeal or a banana after a run. If I run harder or longer than usual I treat myself to some chocolate milk. The best invention is the universal remote- I only have to deal with one remote to watch tv, a movie, or listen to the radio. I love it! I really enjoy your pumpkin muffin recipe. Can you post or have you posted your french toast recipe? It looks terrific!

  7. I absolutely love trail running. My favorite post run food is pizza or eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and toast (now I'm hungry :-)). I run alone, would like to try a group run some time. Charmin to go is a great idea.

  8. I only run on trails or gravel backroads. I haven't run on a paved road in over 12 years (aside from races). I have chronic shin splints so I save the road running for races only. Luckily, CO has an abundance of trails!
    I always run alone. I've actually never run with a group. I don't think I'd like it. I always listen to my music which is super upbeat and fast paced -makes me move faster! I don't think I'd want to have to make conversation or worry about keeping up with others or have to stay with others if I want to run faster. Every run is part of a training schedule for my next race so I always have an agenda. Although I've been thinking about Sherry every single day since that Saturday she went missing. Now I want to take self defense classes and bring my new dog with me on every run.

    Post race food would have to be a big cheeseburger!

    Funny that you mention Charmin to go, because I've been using that for years for raft trips/camping, etc!

  9. Trail running is more fun than anything...even more fun than crafting. Unfortunately, we could never trail run together because all those trees make me break out in song... I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...I work all night and I sleep all day...

    Favorite post-workout food... scrambled eggs. Used to be latkes.

    In agreement on the running with or without other people in different numbers.

    Best invention ever? Hello! A toss up between the XLBand and the Rundihat...both are customizable and eco-friendly :) Also can sub for TP in a pinch ;-)

  10. Just like my comic heroes, you never want to hear their real voice............ HA

  11. I was on a snowy wooded trail run today in northern Ohio. I thought a lot about Sherry and the virtual run for her in the future. I prayed that her body will be found quickly. And I was grateful to be out there, with the ability and confidence to do so. Keeping Sherry and last year's stress fracture in mind, I never want to take running for granted.

  12. Sadly I've only run on the road. I hope once I work up to a longer distance I am able to find trails to run on.

    I love running solo to be alone in my thoughts and push myself to the max and then I love the social aspect of running in a group and supporting eachother.

  13. We took a remote control fart machine to my dad's wedding. There was another wedding that day at the restaurant. We took turns waiting in the bath room stalls and then the rest of us waitied in the hall. We had so much fun grossing them out. Later, when we all got together for a family reunion a few months later, we brought it again. We sent my beautiful young blonde cousins into the elevator and waited on various floors to see who they chased out. HILARIOUS! Everyone should have one of these! We pull it out whenever my son has guests.

    Post run - a cold icy Coke and an egg and cheese sandwich.

    Virtual run - I am in and will gather a gaggle to join in. We will be honored to participate.I thought of her all the way through my Half last week.

  14. What are you using to take all those cool pics as you run? Reminds me of that movie "Yes Man" in which there's a running/photography group.

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun today. Group runs and trail runs are a blast!

    There has got to be some seriously cool trails in the Springs - I need to find them.

    Love running solo and letting my mind wander. But running with a buddy is a whole different kind of therapy. Even if we're silent. I'm a bit lonely on the treadmill. Just realized that.

    Favorite post-workout food is my husband's frittata, which contains turkey sausage, and little chunks of potato. I'm a salt whore after a long run.

  15. I feel the same way about them! especially in Colorado... my sister lives in the mountains behind looks like you were taking her pictures from her yard! They live up on Lee Hill. I am coming out this May to run the Boulder of my favorite.

    You and Sherry's family continue to be in my thoughts. Hoping your trail run cleared your mind for a bit. Deep condolences to you Beth.

  16. If my trails looked like those, I would never leave them! I do like both though. I will do whatever it takes to not run alone. Luckily I have a supportive husband and great running partner.

    After long runs I love to have chobani with granola.

    I am loving my Simple Hydration water bottle. Sits nestled in my lower back. So light I forget it's there. Greatest thing ever for a thirsty runner! (I have to get some TP on the Go)

  17. Charmin to go is awesome- I carry it on hikes, and hadn't thought of taking it running. Thanks for that.

    Oh, and because of you I'm making French Toast for dinner. Love me some French Toast but once again- Paleo fail. *noting that this may not be the eating plan for me*

  18. Beth, I'm running a trail Half in February and knowing about the 2-go Charmin will definitely come in handy when I pack my race bag!

    Another great invention: those 5 for $5 mini bottles of hand sanitizer from Bath & Bodyworks. Perfect for awkward post-portapotty handshake moments, and to smell good and be *relatively* germ-free after wiping snot from your face throughout a chilly race.

  19. I have never been on a trail. I am so clumsy that I am scared it would be all over with for me. Maybe this will be one of my goals this year.
    We are anxious to hear about Sherry's race. Please keep us posted.
    xo from NH!!

  20. I look at your pics with total envy. No running for me - trail or otherwise - for the moment. But I know how good a trail run can be. And running with company - even better.

  21. Started out on trails in area and have hit every peak in this town-so went up to do Pikes and then a couple Grand Canyons and then a double grand canyon and I still get out on them but not enough. Once you go "trail" it's hard to go back to the asphalt. Plus there are more places to poop in the woods/desert/forest.

  22. I absolutely love trail running! I think that's why I haven't done a marathon yet- they're usually on the road. I have done a 50k and have at least one planned for this year as well.

    Post run food? Granola cereal with almond milk and raisins or sliced grapes in it after a long run or a hard race is one of my favorites. I also keep a cup of coffee in my car so I can drink it right after a long run, too (hot or cold- I don't care). I usually cut back on coffee the day before a long run (1 cup instead of three) so I don't need my TP to go (I just keep the last bit of a roll in a ziplock bag).
    Better invention? That's tough...But I'd have to say Charmin to Go is pretty cool!

  23. I am sorry but my 8 miler today was brutal. I live in the Chicago suburbs, and we have no trails here. It was 24 degrees with a 15 mph wind out of the SE (off Lake Michigan). Accompanied by drizzle and fog. I ran at a retention pond that has a 2 mile loop, 4 times around. The path was icy and snow packed. When I finished, I got in my Jeep and just sat there, trying to feel my face. The seat heater didn't even penetrate the cold in my bottom. When I got home I ate a big bowl of oatmeal and took a hot shower, mostly to try to thaw myself out.

    Feel better?

    The things we runners do to get in a workout!

  24. I really do love trail running, although, as you know, it's not quite the same here as out west. All that said--i don't do it nearly enough. It's just hard to coordinate times to go w/ friends for that when we can meet up so easily for a road run.

    Glad you got out there! Looking forward to the details on the virtual run.

  25. Toast looks amazing! Nice job on your 8!

  26. looks like heil ranch. and yes is was cold and windy today - i was glad my plan had today as a rest day - so I rested by going to Ikea.

    As a mtn biker i would love to run more trails but my boyfriend has a broken arm so he won't run i'm regulated to the running the roads until he's all healed up. he's thinks the odds of him falling are higher on a trail than the road...he can be a wuss sometimes! ;)

  27. HI Beth
    Just like the Universe to have you write about Trail running when my friend and I went out on our first 'trail' run Friday morning! we have only done road running before and completed our 2nd Houston 1/2 Marathon a week ago (I thought of Sherry all the way round) - we decided to have a little change in our usual running routine and although It is quite hard to find trail runs in Houston - we managed a sort of trail run - it was great - nothing like yours however, now that looked fun!
    Choccy Milk is my usual post race drink, and any food that doesn't take much preparing!
    Take good care -

  28. btw - if you haven't tried a Dizzy maple donut topped with bacon - you should swing by Boom yogurt (next to Vic's on 30th) and grab one. right up there with french toast as a post run recovery food! ;)

  29. Trail running - all the time. Nothing beats it and it makes you stronger. And a blueberry strawberry protein smoothie post run is hard to beat!

  30. I have never been trail running, but I think if the temperature warmed up, I could handle it.
    Thanks for the update on Sherry and the virtual run.

  31. I like trails over road, I like people but even as an extrovert it's hard for me to break in to a new group. WHERE DID YOU GET THE CHARMIN??!! That might just be the best. invention. ever. I need some.

  32. Trails, but sometimes I run on streets to the trails to mix it up.

    PS Unless that is some really large french toast bread, you have a very small head (TWSS).

  33. Don't knock the Westy til you've tried it! Ours (Helen) has saved us literally hundreds on hotel fees over the last 3 or so years! That's an 80's era van...the 60s/70s era vans are the stoner ones. The 80s ones are for families.

  34. I do both, trail and road running. I'm currently training for my 4th Ultra Marathon-Way Too Cool 50k in Cool, CA.
    I'm usually road running solo, but prefer trails with a group, in case I get lost or come across a critter.

  35. I just started trail running last January. I just transitioned to Vibram ff Trek shoes.
    I tried doing that street thing, it was so boring!
    Post food: BEER.
    Best invention: It hasn't been made yet, but it will be a whistle or something on my shoes that scares snakes away.
    I run with my first ex husband and my second ex husband's first wife. (I think I uploaded a flow chart!! ;)

    It started as hiking...turned into running. Goal: Western States 100 mile endurance run...before I die, or I kill myself training.

  36. i wish there were trails close to my apartment in boston! i love trail running!

    mmm french toast - that looks A-mazing.

    looking forward to the virtual run details. i am definitely in.

  37. Do you trail run? Which do you prefer – roads or trails? I love my trails! I love to get down and dirty, love the water crossings, love being away from people. Roads have their time and place and if I have a choice, I'll pick a trail race over a road race any day.

    What’s your favorite post-workout food? Juice and a heavy carb soup for winter. Ice cream with fruit on it for summer (9 months of the year here, LOL) :)

    Do you prefer to run solo, with one other person, or in a bigger group?
    100% agreement on the there is a time or place for all 3. I run solo way too much, somehow I even end up running most races with myself no one visible in front or behind me.

    What’s the best invention there ever was? The foam roller, LOL! Actually freeze dried fruit is pretty dang awesome! Great for a run!

  38. Love your ode to trail running here:

    "If you don’t trail run or have never done it, you are missing out. You just are. It is completely and totally different than running on the road, bike path, etc. You have to focus constantly so you don’t fall on your ass. You dodge rocks, roots, horse poop, snow, fallen trees. You climb until your heart is beating out of your chest."

    I so love the trails the best. Some road running is necessary to keep your turnover quick, or you'll get very slow. But there's simply nothing like the changing scenery, terrain and sounds of the trails.

  39. Never really been trail running, but keep saying I want to...soon, very soon!

  40. I've never run on a trail. I don't have a running partner so I guess I prefer to run solo...for now.

    Best invention: Washable markers.

    Just so you know: Because of Sherry (and you) I watched the rainbow with my babies today until it faded away completely instead of the 3.5 seconds that I normally would have watched. Because of Sherry (and you) I sat and chit chatted with my 8-year-old at lunch today instead of surfing on my iPhone. Because of Sherry (and you) I played the tickle monster game over (and over and over) until THEY got tired of it instead of me.

  41. Hey! I ran 8.1 miles this weekend. On the street. Took me 2 hours and I only have a 200ft climb and I was with my dog.

    I'm not sure which I prefer. I tend to avoid groups because I don't want to embarrass myself but I need to bite the bullet and put myself out there.

    The best invention for me has got to be the smart phone. I know, I know I'm "Miss Top 40". I like the same things the rest of the world likes, but it's got my music, security, GPS, tracks my miles and if I run goes *way* sidways, I can just stop and play Bejeweled. It's probably the one thing I would absolutely turn around an go get if I left for a run without. I don't feel safe out on a run without it.

  42. HA! love the Charmin to go. My mom used to carry it when we traveled overseas and knew we'd be out all day. So useful!