Friday, October 12, 2018

Bradbury Mountain Bruiser 2018 (Summer goal of becoming a BADASS achieved!)

Well, considering that I managed to check off my goal of reaching "badass" level at this event, this certainly is a delayed reaction post.

Several weeks ago (September 9th, to be exact) on what I believe was the first day of the year cooler than 90 degrees, Eric and I tackled the infamous Bruiser.

How quickly it goes from 90 to 40. And back to 80.

This is a tricky 12 mile race, on the"non mountain" side on Bradbury State Park. Don't let the "non mountain" statement trick you- it is a winding, rolling course, that finishes up on the rather dreadful "O-Trail". A trail so menacing, that it looks like intestines when you look at it on Strava. Gross.
This race always measures short, but it because it is LITERALLY so twisty, that no GPS in its right mind can keep track of what you are up to.

So. The day arrived. THE BIG DAY! I was not feeling fit at all. I really broke up with running this summer (temporarily... we were just on a break) and I was wondering how 12 miles would feel to my out of practice legs (spoiler: not great.) Regardless, I was determined to complete the race and collect my prize. I was NOT going to let the Badass sweatshirt escape my grasp, even if it meant I had to crawl, gasping and sobbing to the finish.

( you might be saying ....all this drama for a sweatshirt??..... and I will answer. YES. YES!!!!!!........)

Shockingly... We were quite late to the start and had to run to get there on time.

We are running to the start. But there's always time for me to take a pic!
Luckily, we made it in the nick of time. We started and made sure to be closer to the front of the pack than last year.
Which makes perfect sense, when one is in absolutely dreadful running shape!

But listen, what happens on the very narrow trails is a complete bottleneck. And if you are in it, you are IN IT. So we avoided it and were happy.

We ran mostly alone for quite a while. The weather was nice, we were winding and twisting around the trails, hopping over roots, and generally having a good time.

The thing about a 12 miler, is that eventually you aren't going to be super happy if you haven't been running more than zero miles at a time.

Overall my suffer score was moderate. MODERATELY HIGH. (JK. it was only moderate)

I had some really unpleasant stabby left ankle pain for the majority of the race. It was pretty nasty, but I am pleased to say that I haven't had any issues with that since (but I also have not been trail running since.) So who knows what that was about, but it was distracting, ouchy, and stupid.

Eric and I ran together until just before the O Trail, when I went somewhat ahead in an effort to run with some people who we had met the previous year. They clearly had been training more that I had, and I was not able to keep up with them.

But... I was lucky enough to find someone to follow through the dreaded labyrinth of the big dumb O.
Basically, on the O Trail,  you run around and around, and back and forth, and up and down until you get dizzy (all to the tune of "if you're happy and you know it." you think I am kidding, but I am not.) It's bad enough to run it with people to draft off of- and would be miserable to run alone. I was very, very glad to have a leader.

THIS IS SHIT (photo cred to Eric)

And then. 2:05:49 later, I was done. Thank the lord!
Sweatshirt in hand!! A real, honest to god badass!!!

A pair of badasses
And shockingly, inexplicably and undeservedly I was about 25 seconds faster than last year. I attribute that solely to the avoidance of the bottleneck in the first mile, and nothing more (because seriously, I ran about 13 miles in September. 12 of them on this day...)

I'm looking forward to doing this again next year. I REALLY love the Trail Monster races, and think that they are a great organization and that they put on really special events. If I ever decide to woman up and run summer miles, I would love to do the October ultra that they host. I feel like if a 12 miler is this much fun, a 30 miler would be even better (with better fitness.. and a non stabby pained ankle!)

The most remarkable thing about this race is that I did not fall!! (miracles do happen)
The second most remarkable thing is that it was a cool day (this summer was a pain in the ass)
And the third most remarkable, is that one can actually run 12 miles without practice. Although I do not really suggest this!


No comments:

Post a Comment