Jul 142010

by Valerie Abradi – I don’t think anyone was more prepared (if prepared means having run the course a lot). I ran the course A LOT! Mostly at a relaxed pace with a lot of back and forth, but a couple of times at a pretty up-tempo and straight through. It was the only of the Bradbury series that I felt I blew last year. In 2008, I ran it in 56:25, but last year my time was 1:00:30.

I had gone out way too fast last year. My first mile was 8:20, my next 1/2 mile was at the same pace. Then the stitch that had been growing in the background became full blown. I found myself walking on the Bat Cave Trail, definitely a place to be pushing, not walking. I never really recovered. No way was I going to do that this year!

Yeah, right. Maybe I should have had a clue I was doing the same thing when I was still with Danielle and Chuck at the one mile mark. I was feeling good, though. But, not long after we got onto Fox East after the detour, I started to fight a stitch. I held it off till about 2 miles, but then – WOW. I walked a bit to try to reign it in. I got it to a manageable point and ran as fast as it would let me.

It was nice to see TM Dora at the water station (about 3.78 miles into the 6 mile course). She’s so upbeat and positive. I’m pretty positive I griped about my stitch. Took a water and the time for a few swigs. I knew it was time to push it on the way back down the snowmobile trail, just have to get over the two hills and then it’s all down to the Knight’s Woods Trail.

The rain the night before ensured that the big mud puddles on the return were just that – big and muddy! Ian, during the pre-race speech, had given us instructions to run right through them and think of Chris. I wouldn’t have needed to be told; Ryan and I made sure we put the flags down the middle to indicate that was indeed what was expected. I even yelled at the guy ahead of me who skirted the two biggest. OK, and I didn’t like that I hadn’t been able to reign him in and enjoyed yelling at him. And, Chris, I did think of you as I splashed through and I know Rick yelled “for Chris” when he also took the muddy (read, best) path : )

The run down is fast and fun. Though it’s not single track, there are lots of loose rocks to trip you up if you don’t pay attention. I felt I was pushing about as hard as I could through there. The stitch crept back and, unfortunately, made me feel like I was justified in walking up that last hill on Knight’s Woods. From there I was able to finish fairly strongly. I didn’t have a “breakfast review”, but not for lack of trying…I got myself away from people and had the dry heaves for a few minutes before I could rejoin the fun.

I want to be happy with my time: 57:10. The data from Chris’s Garmin indicates I ran for 4.33 miles at an average of 8:36 min/mile, jogged (it considers anything above 10 min/mile to 15 min/mile jogging, above that, walking) 1.64 miles at 11:09 min/m and walked .11 miles at 27:33 min/mile (that included my post-race wretching however, since I forgot to hit the stop right away). I still feel I didn’t have my best race. Lots of Trail Monsters had amazing races though. Just click on “my time” above to see all of the results. Blaine set a course record; he must have been flying!

And speaking of great results, Bethany finished about 15 minutes faster than I thought she would! Goes to show what a race can do for you. Great job on your first (of many) trail race!!

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