Wednesday, July 1, 2015


At the Catamount Ultra 25K

This summer is my summer of ultra running. I completed my third official 50Kish at The Midsummer Night's Dream Hourly Ultra in Canton, GA and am aiming for the fourth ultra distance at the Finger Lakes 50s 50K this weekend in Hector, NY.  My legs have been burning since I started training in mid-May, but the whole of me is super-excited to push my body beyond its perceived limits. These were some thoughts that I had during the Catamount Ultra 25K this past week---(ok not an ultra but that's what the shirt says so I'm going with it!) and other recent races/training runs:

An amazing aid station at the Catamount Ultra
  • Oh, it's a short long run this weekend- only 15 miles. And tomorrow only 10. Whew!
  • Time for a TRAILFIE
  • I need a sandwich, like NOW. Preferably a turkey club on GF bread, with mayo.
  • OMG how many miles til the next effing aid station??? Oh, only five? Ok.
  • They're just miles. They're just miles. Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.....
  • I think that's a moose. Nope it's a branch. Nope it's a moose. A branch. A moose. A branch. Oh, it's a shadow.
  • I could run forever.

  • If I die while doing this, I'll die happy. And sore.
  • When is this going to end???
  • Where can I poopwhereccanIpoopwherecanIpoop? Oh! That tree looks good.
  • UGH! People pick up your gel packets!!!
  • Ooh! An unused Honey Stinger gel! Haven't tried this flavor yet...
  • That 70 year old lapped me. Again.
  • Time for a TRAILFIE.
  • OOOH! A puddle. I think I'll try to clean the mud off my Altras/Brooks/Hokas/Skoras/PIs/Salomons/Merrells
  • Mud, mud, mud and more mud at the Catamount Ultra
  • I love this mud. I LOVE IT. Wait, where's my shoe?
  • Rain? What rain? This is not a downpour and no thank you, I do NOT need a ride.
  • I'll do 10 more tomorrow so I can get in some more miles.
  • That is such a beautiful CAIRN! Where's the trail?
  • Oh no! A downhill. A hill would be so nice right now.
  • Will I sweep this or that race? OF COURSE! I need the miles!
  • Gross. A sock
  • Blackniss Eboneen is my new trail name. Yep.
  • You don't want to come with me? I'm only running for three hours today. In and out. Real quick.
  • More mud? WTF?
  • I need bacon. Like, NOW.
  • I'll take a short break after I reach 26.2.
  • Food is so gross. Water is gross. Everything's gross. I'm gross.
  • I might just die, right now. 
  • I'm the black Scott Jurek. I'm the black Scott Jurek. I'm the black Scott Jurek.
  • "Sometimes you just do things."
  • That is such a beautiful CAIRN! Where's the trail again?
  • This is great. 
  • This is SUCKTASTIC.
  • TRAILFIE time!
  • This is absolutely the worst run ever.
  • That had better NOT be a snake. IT IS! Time for a snake pic!
  • This is the most PERFECT run EVER.
  • I've only done 17? WHAT?  Oh, 17 laps you mean....
  • What a sufferfest.
  • I only face-planted three times! Nice.
  • This is AMAZING.
  • I wanna die.
  • The finish line. I could totally do another loop. 
  • Where's the free beer?


  1. Love this! I can't think of a better way to spend a day, can you? Have an awesome time at Finger Lakes. My brother moved to Ithaca a couple years ago and I think that's an insanely beautiful part of the country!

  2. It's the perfect way to spend EVERY WEEKEND! I'll TRY to have a good time at FL50s.... ;)

  3. OMG! I think you may be my new best friend! I got my new Runners World magazine today and ready your article. OMG! Loved it! At 225 pounds and slow as a herd of turtles, I've joking called myself the fittest fat girl or the token fat girl of the running community. I've never seen anyone my size at a race. You've encouraged my heart to know that I can do hard things...that I can run a marathon (or more)...that I'm not crazy for trying ...or maybe I am, but at least I'm in good company. THANK YOU!! Cheering you on from Arkansas this weekend for your 50K. You got this!

    1. Thanks so much Gin! We are not crazy! We're just out there doing our thing and the more of us that are out there, the more we will come and be part of this incredible community of RUNNER'S. Happy running and thanks for your kind words!

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  4. Ditto, I just read the article myself. I love your persistance. You are so inspiring. I gotta say tho, I hate looking for clothes that fit and work. Running is just not as easy as it used to be. Reading that article made me wanna try again.

    1. There are options for everyone--it's just that some of us have to look harder than others. Get out there and try again! Keep in touch with your progress--M

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story in Runner's World. I love this most recent post, too, and look forward to reading more. I could write 1,000 words about how brave and inspiring you are, but I just want to tell you that I hope you keep on finding and spreading joy through running. You are what being a runner is all about. Long may you run, Mirna! ❤️

  7. I also just finished reading your story in Runner's World, and WOW it was inspiring. I am a runner and a teacher in St. Louis, and your story was exactly the inspiration I needed to get up tomorrow and go for a run.
    I run from a place of privilege: I am a thin white woman. Your story highlights what I've always loved about the sport: it is inclusive. But we can do better! Having visible diversity in running (racially and in body types) makes it accessible to all. So thank you for being a role model for all of those out there who think they can't run because our community seems like it's not made for them. Running should be for everyone.
    I'll be following your blog, and hopefully sharing your RW story with my online friends (it doesn't seem to be on their website yet.) Can't wait to see what you do next!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Elise
      All things benefit from some kind of diversity and I think we're only at the beginning of what will be a more inclusive fitness community in general. I can't wait to see how it grows!

  8. Thank you! The RW article was inspiring. So many people look at me funny when I say "running" things. Things like, "this looks like it would be a fun place to run" or, "I run there sometimes". I don't do anything like you because honestly, I get discouraged. You have opened my eyes and I so appreciate it.

    I look forward to reading your blog. You've already got me laughing out of my chair.

    1. It's funny the disbelieving looks that people give you, or the awkward silences when they're trying to figure out if you're really a runner because you "don't look like a runner." Keep doing your thang, Sheila!

  9. Saw your post in RW; you're awesome. Congrats on your achievements and your general fantasticness

  10. I read your story in RW last night. So inspirational and motivating! After months of not running, you helped me get out the door this morning and run 2.5 miles. I'll be following your blog - hilarious and uplifting!

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  12. You are here to inspire and you are doing a great job at it.
    Keep it up.

  13. Saw the RW article about you. You're so inspiring - so much strength, spirit, bravery, and determination! You've touched a lot of lives with that article and your amazing story. Keep it up, runner!

  14. Just got a copy of RW in the mail (I was bewildered as to why since I have not had a subscription since I stopped running three years ago). I was (eyes rolling) headed to throw it out and I dropped in on the floor and I saw your picture. I sat directly down and read your article and am now subscribed to your blog. I am a teacher as well and you have inspired me to sit down and really think about what choices I have been making. Death is forever and I am just not ready for that type of commitment. Thank you for your wit, your strength, and your bravery.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I'm so happy that the article touched you in a way that made you self-assess, something that we can ALL benefit from, from time to time. Thanks for sharing that about yourself.

  15. Outstanding! Great list. I hope the Finger Lakes treated you well.

  16. Great post! Saw the article in RW and am now a follower!

  17. I also just read runners world -- almost cried! I've been running for 5 years, went from 300 to 240 lbs... still fat, but perfectly healthy and strong. Annoyed that I'm still fat, but stoked that I'm perfectly healthy and strong. and that there is ANOTHER strong healthy runner out there! You may even inspire me to start blogging again... my blog is called gift of fat... it's been a while since I've been on tho.

  18. Haha! I've had all of those same thoughts! I found your blog through RW article. I am inspired by the toughness of trail runners! I just finished my first 30k, Bighorn Trail run (top notch race). I hope to complete an ultra in the future. I just need to be confident I can be so tough! Keep moving forward while inspiring us all to do the same! Cheers!

    1. I'll have to check out Bighorn--I hear it's a great run. Sign up for an ultra and you'll do it--that's all it takes.

  19. Another reader of your RW article. I was 317 lbs four months ago, am now at 264, and hopefully still heading down. I've been afraid to even try running (although I "trudge" a few miles a day as best I can due to some chronic health issues), but found your attitude so wonderful and motivating, I will have to give it a try (and try again).

    Haven't had time to read all of your older entries, but could you please comment on where you find appropriately sized running clothes? I am "thick through the middle" and am having a terrible time finding affordable, comfortable, somewhat stylish clothes.

    1. Hi Terri--Have you tried REI, Backcountry, or Sierra Trading Post online? I find these retailers really forward thinking in terms of not just having XS, S, M, L. Many times they will have XL-XXL with some items being available in larger sizes. I've also found that Zappos and Amazon carry sizes beyond skinny. Some of these things are expensive, but I'm of the mind that you buy one piece at a time and then when you can, get another piece. The North Face and Under Armour are my absolute faves. Their capris and tights last a long time and don't rub out btw the thighs. As for tops, I really love Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas. Otherwise, I'll just go for the men's stuff. They're cut more generously, and seriously, I just wanna work out. Hope this is helpful!

  20. I too just found you through RW, and you are such an inspiration! I've been in a running rut lately, and reading your blog posts is making me finally want to get back out there.

  21. I also saw the article in RW. Should be #StrongGirlRunning! You go, girl.

  22. OMG I was in tears a little reading the article in RW. You are such an inspiration - I started running three years ago and gained weight that I cannot lose and am up to 200 pounds. I figure better strong than skinny, and my 6 year old thinks his mom is strong. I get remarks from my own doctors about my weight now; have to stay positive. Anyway, your tremendously beautiful spirit shines, lady! Lisa Marie

  23. Also here after reading about you in Runner's World. Love your voice--can't wait to read more!

  24. Here I am in Saskatchewan Canada finding the same sort of thing. I've been running for 2.5 years now. Winter and Summer (trust me, a 5km at -26 in a blizzard is kinda fun). I'm rather comforted to know that sometimes, no matter how hard you work and try to watch your food, weight loss isn't so easy. I've stopped weighing myself. Especially since I can now say my running has taken me to triathlons. And I rarely finish last too!

    I love the energy and humour I get from your blog and the RW article. No doubt your inspiration goes further than you know. Happy Trails!

    1. I actually did DFL during my last 50K last weekend, but you know what? I didn't get pulled off the course and many other people DNFed because of the mud, so I'm really stoked that I finished. I weigh myself from time to time but that is not what drives me--I know my body and I know if there's extra weight or less weight on it. If there's a problem, I attack it. Congrats on your triathlons! I think that's my next thing.....Thanks for reading the blog!

  25. A big THANK YOU for being such an inspiration. I come from Iceland and my runner husband pointed out the interview with you in RW and I read the whole thing to him in the car yesterday.
    My husband is a 240 pound runner who does 10K on regular basis and 7K every other day. He's done two half marathons and loves running.
    I'm not as much of a runner, but even at 265 pounds I do enjoy the occasional 5K and have once done to 10K in a street race (Reykjavik marathon). We are both doing those 10K again on August 23rd and your interview and blog have inspired me to tie on my shoes and go for a run!

    Is there any type of shoes you would recommend for a heavy beginner?

    Sending you lots of warm thoughts from Iceland and if you ever come to visit this country, be in touch, I'll accommodate you and your family for free :D