Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bradbury Badass

At the finale of last year's Bradbury Mountain Trail Running Series I presented all the runners who had completed all three races of the series with shirts declaring them each a "Bradbury Badass". My plan for this Saturday's run was to become an Ultra Xtreme Bradbury Badass by running all three race courses in one day, in order, for a total of 27 miles, and of course ending on the O-Trail.

Unfortunately it turns out that I'm not as much of a badass as I thought I was. It's not that things ever got that bad, it's just that after about 4 hours of gnarly trails stopping seemed like the right thing to do. I could have sworn I was that badass, but apparently not.

Katy, Chuck, Brooke, Emma, Ian, James, Jim, Alan, Stephen, Rick, Valerie
Thanks to Blaine for letting me steal his photo.

Emma and I were surprised to see so many people show up at the earlier time of 7am for this run, especially some of the notoriously late sleepers. It's nice to know the company we keep is so badass. At this relatively early hour the weather felt perfect for running and we set off on the Scuffle course at an easy pace. Apart from Alan sprinting off within the first few hundred feet of trail the group hung together for the entire race route in a single file line weaving through the single-track.

We finished the Scuffle in about 63 minutes and returned to the parking lot to refuel and found Dave, Mindy and Lily waiting. A few people decided that the Scuffle was enough and stopped here and the rest of us continued on to run the Breaker course. In my opinion this is definitely the most challenging of the three races even though it's shorter than the Bruiser, and this is definitely what took the most out of all of us. Emma decided to stop running midway through the first lap of the Breaker, the steep descent off of the South Ridge really aggravated her knee which has been in bad shape ever since running a very fast 50 miles at Pineland two weeks ago.

The big spikes in the middle of the elevation profile are from running up and down the mountain over and over again. The steep climbs felt particularly grueling today, not sure why but my energy level wasn't quite where I expected it to be. I was drinking plenty of water, taking SCaps and gels but the whole run felt like it was taking more effort than it should.

We finished the first lap of the Breaker in about 46 minutes and the second, slightly longer lap, in 48. A few more people decided to stop here so it was just James, Chuck, Blaine, Lily and I who headed back across the road to take on the Bruiser. Despite being quite flat in comparison to the Breaker course the pace didn't pick up much, if at all, on the tight single-track of the Lanzo trail. Even when Blaine took over setting the pace on the Island Trail we weren't going that fast, and it still felt like a relief when I took over leading the way again and eased the pace back a notch.

About 3.5 miles into the Bruiser course Blaine caught us by surprise and decided to take a shortcut back to the parking lot, about 2.5 miles back as opposed to the 8.5 miles we still had ahead of us. I think this planted a seed in the rest of our heads that cutting the run a bit short might actually be a good idea. In the past few miles none of us had really said a thing, and although it was actually quite nice running through the dense forest with only the sounds of nature and our own footsteps I think this was an indication that all our energy levels were getting low and we couldn't even spare enough to make conversation.

A mile after Blaine left the rest of us started talking about cutting the course short and finishing early. I suggested skipping the middle few miles of the course and still finishing on the O-Trail, which everyone reluctantly agreed to, but after another half mile I started to think that was a bad idea and when I suggested that we just take the shortest way out of the woods possible everyone agreed that was the best idea.

So even though I didn't complete the Ultra Xtreme Bradbury Badass run I still got in a solid 4 hours of rugged trail running on a beautiful day with a great group of people.

time: 3:56:50 (running time not including stops)
distance: 22.0 miles (average between my GPS and Chuck's)
pace: 10:45

weather: 60's to 70's, sunny

conditions: dry trails, occasional mud pit

gear: Inov-8 Roclite 315, Wright Socks, shorts, t-shirt, hat, Nathan HPL #20


Blaine Moore said...

Hey, it shouldn't have been a surprise that I cut off - I said before we started and after the Breaker that I was only looking for 15 miles but if I felt good that I'd probably only run until we got the snowmobile trail on the Bruiser.

As for me taking the lead - I purposefully kept us at an easy pace and at least for the first quarter mile after you started leading again you'd picked up the pace, heheh.

All in all, it was a good time. If we had started at 6:00 I'd have done all 3 courses; I felt pretty good. I just didn't want to be running past noon since I had a lot to get done over the weekend.

Sparkplug said...

Sounds pretty badass to me! :-)

pathfinder said...

I wasn't even "badass" enough to show up in the first place. Good thing because I think I am struggling a bit because after the 50k and my last rack workout, I ran a "half-ass" trail run that "kicked my ass".

So I guess I was "wimp-ass" Though I would prefer to call it "tired-ass"

middle.professor said...

badass lite?

pathfinder said...

more like ultra lite!!!

Anonymous said...

Speaking for myself, I felt pretty beat up after the run, despite the fact that we were short by five'ish miles.