Category Archives: Trail running

Sunseeker, Wildsleeper

One raw night of wildcamping in the forests around “die Haard”.

I remember with lucid certainty that several people walked by down the path at night while I was tossing and turning in my tent trying to sleep, but I am also quite sure that they were on the way to a kind of ball-like birthday party in an old ruin lit by fires, so…

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I know I know, my obsession with having the sun as an element in my pictures is getting out of hand, but I can’t help it. For now.

fly, run, walk

Dear legs,

Today was the first time in a long long time I asked you to run for me on my regular home round around the Promenade in Münster. It was fabulous to have you work together with my heart and lungs to let me forget myself, and enjoy as simple and raw a sensation as fast, self-sustained movement.
For the most part we flew, and it was only towards the end that we slowed to a run to cool down, and finally walked when we met Terry at the end.
Maybe we can go back to doing this more often again.

With love, and gratefulness,
Judith


flyrunwalk
the prized possessions, pictured with the north face’s ‘better than naked’ shorts – not pictured: my sweatyashell face

Running the Sauerland Höhenflug trail half marathon

On 14th June, we (that is, Terry, Ole and yours truly) ran the Sauerland Höhenflug trailrun half marathon! It spans 21,1 km with 540 m in elevation gain and 540 m in loss in the beautiful Sauerland. What a magnificent race!

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Yours truly during the race; I think the on-course photographer did a great job!

The course consists of about 8 km epic single trails (the same 4 km run both at the start and on the way back) and 13 km broader forest ways. In June, some of the single trail is partly overgrown by long swaying grasses and prettily framed with broom (probably Genista scoparia) in full bloom. There is many a great scenic view along the trail, varied landscapes surrounding the trail and a few crisp inclines and downhills; albeit without those being too technical and steep at the same time.

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Race day was a waaarm sunshiny day
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Super downward sloping meadows (aka pretty assholes as far as running them goes) (taken by Terry)

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Thankfully this photo looks more graceful than the actual running probably did (taken by Terry)

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On towards the finiiish!

Despite all the beauty of nature around, I had a hard time during the race. This was primarily because we three had been so busy renovating and moving together in Münster the past weeks that we did not even get one little run squeezed in, so we came to the race hyper untrained and unprepared. Consequently, I felt real sluggish and warm.  It did not help that many folks around me were of this typically German older running population that has been running casually but consistently for at least a decade, easily overtaking me like WOOSH. Usually I am happy for those people, but that day they just made me feel like a slow noob. I guess that is its own kind of humbling experience.

But I finished nonetheless, I saw a lot of beauty, and I lapped everyone on the couch, you know the saying 🙂

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Wooooo! (Thanks to Ole for sort-of-solo-cheering for me at the finish line, it was really good to see your face!)

The race organisation was really good, the course was well-marked, and I love when races have a photographer hired for taking pictures of the runners free of charge (aka included in the entry fee but distributed across all runners). While we’re at this topic, I want to mention how much I liked the sponges they had at some aid stations. Nothing like squeezing some liquid goodness on hot skin during a race, no?!

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Yeah, I liked the sponge enough to carry it all the way to the finish to proudly wave into people’s faces

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… good race organisation leads to a happy-faced finisher-snap shot Ole

As a bonus, here’s me stuffing my face with post-race yummy goodness:

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I’m fairly sure this orange slice was my happiest moment this entire summer

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Eat all the fruits I can get

The route of the Sauerland Höhenflug is great even in winter, for there are more numerous and broader views around the landscape viewable from the bare ridges. And I think there are few things as beautiful as the delicate hoarfrost covering the plants and grasses along the singletrail parts on cold sunny days… But this is for another day and blog post!

to treat myself to dirty feet

to treat myself to dirty feet

Beneath my bare feet, the ground comes alive. Or maybe my feet come alive? There is so much to sense, and to react to and so much to be adjusted accordingly while I walk. The feeling of fresh wind gliding over naked toes is so out of the ordinary; it fills me with childlike wonder and joy each and every time!

There are not many things which are as easy, surprisingly satisfying and healthy as simply taking off those shoes and going barefoot, no? How nice it feels to actually experience the ground. It is like being given a whole new sense. The possibility to walk and run like this is one thing I love summer for; on soft grass, on sun-heated concrete, on slightly wet earth.


Have you tried walking or running barefoot lately, or have you had any sensations that felt all new?
How did you feel?

Summer’s Glory

Summer's Glory
To look down towards the sea, and to bathe in beauty (Anaga mountain range, Tenerife)

Alcest: Summer’s Glory

Ce matin j’ai vu réapparître
L’immense soleil qui nous nourrit
Juillet s’en vient enfin
Ainsi que ton sourire
Nous avons dormi toute une année
A présent réveillons nous
Allons recueillir l’ivresse
Qui vogue dans l’air de l’été

Juillet s’en vient
Notre cœur dégèle
Je me sens si léger

This morning, I saw reappear
The immense sun which nourishes us
July is finally approaching
As is your smile
We have slept for the whole of a year
Now let us awake
Let us go and collect the euphoria
which drifts on the winds of summer

July is approaching
Our heart thaws
I feel so light

Anaga Mountain Range – To Bathe in Beauty

Anaga Mountains
Anaga Mountains on Tenerife and my favourite picture

Chamorga round map
The Chamorga Round on my Movescount

Our first adventure on Tenerife was a round way starting from the mountain town of Chamorga, over the pass of the Casas de Tafada, passing the light house down near the coast, going the optional way down to the ocean through the little abandoned town of Roque Bermejo and then back up through the corresponding canyon Barranco Roque Bermejo all the way until Chamorga.

The way the trail started off going up a ways into the mountain is perhaps the most beautiful trail beginning I have run so far.  Continue reading Anaga Mountain Range – To Bathe in Beauty

The Birds are Back

The birds are back, and spring is coming!

Today, Ole and yours truly accompanied Terry to his Luisenturmlauf 21,1k trail race in Borgholzhausen. Since the two of us did not feel like racing, we went for a little exploratory run around Borgholzhausen instead. I never really notice what it is that makes winter feel so lonely and empty, but one of the things that makes spring felt everywhere is the sound of birds chirping and singing merrily in every corner of the woods. The birds are back, and spring is coming! Marvellous.

The Birds are Back I

The Birds are Back II

Hail!

Nothing quite as fun as breaking in a new pair of trail shoes in the woods during a surprise hailstorm.

the initiated
before & after

I’d been working on a thesis all day and the skies had been overcast, so when the sun broke through all of a sudden and the sky was all clear blue optimism, I did not hesitate. I put on my new lovely then-shiny Salomon Sense Pros with new foot orthotics, grabbed the Salomon Park Hydro Handheld with a few things and headed out to the nearby woods for a run.

Continue reading Hail!

Autumn and Snow // Two Year’s End Runs

The last days of any given year always have an air of tension and finality to me, like something fundamental will definitely change before the last day of the year is over, whether I end up noticing what it is or not. It’s weird, really, hard to put into words.

Such it has also been this time, but the days were a neat experience because Terry, Ole and Erik stayed with me in my little flat for a few days. Besides a lot of N64 and Assassin’s Creed II gaming, my favourite experiences were our two little running adventures: one in autumn colours and one clad in freshly fallen snow. These are the pictures, two little overviews first!

Continue reading Autumn and Snow // Two Year’s End Runs

Merrell Bare Access Trail women’s Review

Welcome to my review of the Merrell Bare Access Trail women’s trail running shoe, the trail version of Merrell’s popular Bare Access barefoot running shoes! My goal in this review is to tell you as much about the shoe as I can to help you find out if this is a shoe for you.

General
Materials / feel
Ride / running impressions
Overall impression / verdict
Gallery of all pictures


Continue reading Merrell Bare Access Trail women’s Review