Friday, September 19, 2014

Bradbury Mountain Bruiser 12 Mile Trail Race

I'm not sure why it's taken me until Thursday to begin writing this race report, just lazy I guess.  Anyway, Sunday was the last installment of the Bradbury Mountain trail running series.  The first race was the 6 mile Scuffle in July.

beginning of the scuffle---oh so happy!

The second was the 9 mile Breaker in August.  

at the summit.  not as happy here.

My friends, Danielle and Jim, had signed up for all three and we were all going to complete the series and earn the "Bad Ass" hoodie that you get when you finish the series.

The race started at 9:00, which is a pretty perfect start time for me.  It means that I can get up at a reasonable hour (read:  not ass crack of dawn), leave my house at 7:30, and still have time to arrive early.  

As I was collecting my things for the race--my hydration belt, fuel, fluids etc, my phone buzzes and it's Danielle telling me she's sick.  wah.  She is smack in the middle of training for Chicago and MDI Half Marathon and was just feeling like crap.  She had also had an episode of breathing difficulties and a racing heart rate at an earlier race and didn't want a repeat of that.  I was sad that she wasn't going to be there, but glad she was taking care of herself.  I left for the race a little bummed out that I wouldn't have a chatting partner for what was looking like a 3 hour run.

Elevation chart with all three races.

The elevation profile for this race (in blue) was looking fantastic compared to the previous 9 miler (in green).  I had hopes that this one would not be as difficult as this previous race.  It turns out that this race had difficulties of its own.... but that's for later.

At the start I found Cathryn, who I had run with last time (see pic above at the summit) and it was great to find her and be able to run with her and her friend.  Ready, set, go! and it was time to run.  The start was crowded because the trail was really narrow and just wide enough for one person.  It took a mile or two to thin out the crowd but everyone was really nice and friendly about passing and allowing others to pass.  I love trail runners!  

Mile 1:  13:19
Mile 2:  13:34
Mile 3:  11:51
Mile 4:  12;01
Mile 5:  12:30

I really had no thoughts or difficulties during this part of the race.  The terrain was technical in places but the elevation was comfortable and I didn't find much about these miles difficult at all.  I think there was one stretch of walking at about mile 4.5 to take some water at the aid station and chew a gummy gel thing.  I spent time talking to Cathryn and then when I lost her briefly, I was talking to Kayla, a field hockey coach of my daughter's.

Mile 6:  11:33
Mile 7:  11:45
Mile 8:  12:19
Mile 9:  13:29

These miles were, dare I say easy?  and fun.  I chatted with another woman, Pam, who it turns out I had scheduled lacrosse games with last spring, AND her daughter was the girl we helped out at the last race.  So weird.  This world is really small sometimes.  I really felt like I could do this all day.

Then came the hard part.

See that last little bit right near the end that looks like brains?  It's called the O-trail.  And it sucked.  I think it may have gotten it's name from how you feel when you are on it.  

For example:
~Oh shit--these rocks are everywhere and I twisted my ankle again.
~Oh--where the hell is the trail?
~Oh--didn't we just go that way?
~Oh--sweet baby Jesus, are we done yet?
~Oh--seriously.  Where is the trail?  Follow those guys.  No, wait, they are going the other way.  Shit.

There were times (multiple) when I came to a complete stop to try to figure out which way I was supposed to go.  You could NOT look up from your feet to see the trail ahead because that would be a sure way to trip on something and break your leg.  However, looking down at your feet made it super hard to see this non-existent, barely used, trail and which way it was going up ahead.  Very frustrating section of the race. 

Even worse, you could hear the cheering at the finish line for what seemed like forever.  I kept thinking I was almost done and then the trail would switch back and we were going the other way.

Mile 10:  15:28
Mile 11:  17:02 Pretty much walking around saying where the f**k am I?
Mile 12:  8:45  My Garmin had the course short a half a mile.

Official time: 2:32:51

Very pleased with that finish time.  I had expected to finish around 3 hours, so a full half hour sooner was a big deal for me!  I was so happy to get to the finish line and pretty proud of myself as well.  Cathryn and I finished together and crossed holding hands.  What a great running buddy!  I wished she lived nearby.  

Right as you crossed the finish, a volunteer was there to give you your Bad Ass sweatshirt if you had completed the series.  I was psyched to get it and have something to change into right away.  It was a chilly day to start but when you are all sweaty, it's even worse!

See?  I am officially a bad ass.  my sweatshirt says so. 

This time I finished early enough to get some watermelon!  Yes!

All in all, I really enjoyed this series and would consider doing it again next year.  I think I could improve on all my times now that I know what to expect.  Plus, Danielle needs to get her bad ass hoodie so I'm sure she'll want a running partner.

All my scheduled races are finished for the year.  It's weird to have nothing on the agenda.  I feel like I might have to squeeze in one more half.....  Anyone care to join me?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Musical Monday--My Life Soundtrack

Today I was tagged by Jen Small to compile a group of songs that would be my soundtrack to my life (thus far).  Music can be so many things to people, for me, music helps me through whatever I'm going through at the time.  One song can bring me right back to that moment in the past when I was at a school dance or at a football game or at that college party.  I can remember exactly what was going on and almost exactly the feelings I had.

Music can be pretty powerful.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to try to figure out what would be my soundtrack.  Here's what I came up with.

Childhood:  Shawn Cassidy--Da doo run run (wtf does that even mean?)

oh my, I had the biggest crush on him.

KC and the Sunshine Band--I'm Your Boogie Man

I can remember playing this song over and over on my record player (for those of you not 40, it's this plastic disk that you put the needle on and it would play music.  If you were lucky.  If you weren't it would skip and play the same line over and over again.).

Tweens:  Soft Cell Tainted Love

One of those songs you just never forget.

Teens/High School:  Poison and Bon Jovi (or really any other hair band of that era).

Talk Dirty to Me--not because I was talking dirty to anyone, but just because I can remember singing this song at the top of my lungs with my friends.

Living on a Prayer--I think we wore out that cassette on the way to and from football games.


Hair bands were all of a sudden super uncool, (even though big hair was still da bomb).  I quickly tossed my metal and hair band music and replaced it with more cool college-y type music.

REM  Losing my Religion

U2--Pride in the name of love

omg did I love these songs and bands.  Rattle and Hum basically got worn out in my early 20's.

Oh wait!  One more for college, it was basically our sorority's theme song.

B52's Love Shack

30's--Simple Plan Welcome to My Life

I lost myself a bit in my 30's.  New marriage, new job, kids...  I let myself become unimportant, forgot who I was and what was important to me.  It's a hard thing--becoming a mom and not allowing that to be the only thing that you are.

40's--I found myself again.  Kelly Clarkson What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Sarah Bareillis--Brave

50's and beyond are chapters left to be written.  Stay tuned.

What would your life sound track be?

Monday, September 8, 2014

July AND August Review

Wow.  I am the lamest blogger ever.  I haven't even done July recap yet and it's already part way through September.  ugh.  #lazylazylazy

July--64.07 miles.
August--77.85 miles.  My highest mileage months ever.

This included two trail runs at Bradbury Mountain--a 6 miler and a 9 miler.  The 9 miler just about killed me!

Misery at it's best.

I also had two, YES TWO! 13 mile runs in August.  One a training run and one the Harborfest Half. Both of which just about did me in.

                         looking all happy and wonderful pre-race.                       guest of honor Gary Allen!     

   post race with #allthebling

Oh and a Color Me Rad event!  

I never thought I could get monthly totals like these, but I guess I can.  Good running friends and fun races to attend make all the difference.  

July--210 minutes on the bike
August--180 minutes

This includes a tri relay which our team came in 6th out of 200 teams.  So much fun!

No swimming and no tennis to speak of in the last two months, I suppose that's part of the reason my run miles have gone up so much.  Less swimming leaves more time for running.

There has been some of this:

and a little of this:

and OMG is there anything cuter than this??  I think not.

And then this happened:

I have a 9th grader, a 6th grader and a 4th grader.  I'm not sure how that is possible since I was just in high school just a few years ago.....

Races in July and August:
~Bradbury Mountain Scuffle
~Bradbury Mountain Breaker
~Lobster Roll 5K
~Color Me Rad "race"
~Harborfest Half Marathon
~Tri for a Cure Relay

~Divergent series--Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant.  All good, quick and easy reads.
~This Side of Brightness, Colum McCann.
~Game of Thrones series--late to the party, I know.  I'm on the second one.
~The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure all by James Dashner.  If you like Divergent, you will like these books too.
~The Secret History, The Goldfinch both by Donna Tartt
~The Color Purple--thought I had read this already but realized I hadn't when my daughter started reading it for summer English.

wow, guess I've been reading a lot this summer too.  Running and reading.  That is a good combination.

My kids are on a country music kick lately so that's what I've been listening to.  There is good and bad with that.  One can only stand so much country music.  The same holds true for pop music.
~Sunshine and Whiskey Frankie Ballard
~Maps Maroon 5
~All About That Bass Meghan Trainor

Otherwise, music stinks lately.

On deck for this month--field hockey, field hockey and football.  One more race at Bradbury Mountian, a 12 miler this weekend and no other races scheduled as of today.  I might squeeze in one more half marathon in October if it is agreeable with the fall sports schedule.

Enjoy the cooler weather as it arrives!  I know I will!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon--hills from hell

The weekend was finally here.  The race that I had been working on and waiting for all summer.  It wasn't my A race, but I was certainly excited to have a brand new half marathon that *literally* went by my driveway.

All the things that I worked on for this race had come together.  Gary Allen was the guest of honor, there were cool finishers medals and there were unique overall winners awards.

I felt attached to the race because of all the work that had been put into making it happen.  So many people other than myself had so much more to do with it, but I really felt like this was my race, cause I was a part of making it happen.

We had over 70 runners preregistered for the half and 110 for the 5K.  Plenty more came that morning to register on site.  I got to the registration at 7:00 a.m. to help check people in and sell t-shirts.  There were so many volunteers for this event that my help probably wasn't needed, but I was glad to be there anyway.

I got to see Gary and snap some photos before things got too crazy.  Gary had just flown in from the Burning Man Ultra in Nevada.  Yes, folks.  He ran a 50k (came in 3rd) and then flew across the country to run this half.

And meet up with my friend Jim too.  He won the race entry for his donation to my Tri for a Cure fundraising earlier in July.
between the blues and yellows, we all match very nicely

The day was more humid than what we had been having, but thankfully, the sun stayed away and it remained overcast and cloudy until the afternoon.  Good thing, because a little heat would have made an already challenging course so much more difficult.

ok, truthfully, this elevation chart does not do the route justice.  It was God damn hard and hilly.

pre-race shenanigans.  The dude photobombing won it all.  

The race got started right on time at 9:00 a.m.  My plan was to run with my friends, Lauren (#27) and Jim (#5) until I couldn't anymore.  My legs had been feeling very fatigued all week after Lauren and I ran the race course last weekend.  I had two 4 milers during the week, and both felt labored and hard.  In hindsight, I probably should have either taken the whole week off or run the course two weeks before the race rather than just one week before.  13 miles is still a long distance for me and is not really a training run, but rather a LONG ASS RUN.  And thus, my legs told me so.

Mile 1:  8:48  We rock!  Running is great!  Maybe this is too fast?  Nah.  We rock!

Mile 2:  9:14  Still rocking!  I love life and running!

Mile 3:  9:16  Ran by my family at the end of my driveway.  Still love running!  Loving the notes I wrote in the road with chalk last night.  Saw the one my son wrote--Go Mom!  Love it!  Feeling great!

Mile 4:  9:31  Lost Jim here.  He just took off and that was the last of him.

Mile 5:  9:28  Nothing memorable.

Mile 6:  10:41  Walked the first hill of death.  Had to run again when the volunteers at the top were taking a picture.  wtf.  Told them they needed to delete that walking photo.

Mile 7:  10:14  Starting to lose Lauren here.  She is feeling bad about leaving me behind, I can tell.  But I tell her to keep going.

Mile 8:  10:38  I'm walking all the hills now.  I cannot even make my legs slog up any more hills.  Walking feels good.  Until I'm getting passed by everyone.  ugh.  The sheriff keeps driving back and forth and finally I tell him through his window that he's making me feel like I'm the last one.  He assures me that, no, I am not, and there are WAY more people behind me.  I think he's a big fat liar.

Mile 9:  11:22  Mentally, I have checked out here.  I'm done.  Legs are done, body is done, mind is done.  I want to be done.  I try to convince myself that I can do anything for 3 more miles.  Then I realize how shitty my math is in that moment cause there is actually 4 miles left.  fuck.  4.1 miles to be precise.  I hate the notes I wrote in chalk on the road.  Suck it up buttercup, is NOT what I want to hear right now.

Mile 10:  11:07  Hating all things running right now.  People who were nowhere near me are now catching up and passing me.  I'm cursing myself cause I can't/won't go faster.  Cramps everywhere--leg, stomach.

Mile 11:  11:40  Fuck you running.  I hate this race and I hate this course.  Oh goody.  Another fucking hill.  Who the fuck designed this course of hell, anyway?  Walking more than running.  Even slogging feels like hell.

Mile 12:  11:32  One more mile.  I feel a bit happier now because if I could slog through the last 5 miles, I could certainly slog through just One. More. Mile.

Mile 13:  11:40  The end is near.  I can see the entrance to the brewery where the finish line was last year.  But wait.  There's more?  I don't finish here???

Mile 13.1:  F'n pissed that I have to go down the road, THEN turn, THEN up another f'n hill to finish.  WTF.  Worst look on my face.  So mad.  So done.  So sore.  No time cause I didn't shut off my watch for another 30 minutes.

Official time 2:15:58

I crossed the finish line, got my finisher's medal, grabbed a water and basically died on the grass.  I stayed there for probably 15 minutes.  Not moving.  Cause my legs didn't want to.

finishers medal when I could stand up

Really cool medal if I do say so myself.  Since the race was sponsored by the brewery and ended at the brewery, they were kind enough to put a token in each race bag for a beer or flavored soda for after the race.  I had the blueberry soda and it was delicious!  Jim and Gary had beers and I believe that they thought the beer was delicious as well.

I hung around to hear the awards even though (surprisingly!) I was not one of them.  The fastest man was 1:25 ish and the first woman was 1:40 ish.  Upon getting their award, each of them mentioned how tough the race was.  The third place man said it was the 2nd or 3rd hardest race he's done.  That made me feel a little better about my time and my race.  Even the fast guys thought it was hard.

Gary giving out the awards

One cool extra prize they had was a raffle for the Trek bike you see in the picture above.   Whoever won the bike raffle also won a beer glass and a free beer for life if they rode in on that bike!  Now that's a pretty good deal!  I don't think a local won which is good for the brewery.  They could lose money on that depending on who won!

Once my legs had recovered a bit, and I was feeling a little less crappy, I actually felt a bit proud of my result.  The time is not too embarrassing and I didn't quit.  I did the best I could that day with the legs that I had.  Another day, I could do better.  But that day.... that was my best.  And I didn't quit, even though I wanted to so many times.

Thank you so much to Gary Allen for coming and making this event a special one.  It turned out to be a very good first half marathon and I hope that everyone comes back next year and brings a friend!