Saturday, January 12, 2008

Great Run at Bradbury

Yesterday morning dawned perfect and so was the run I joined with the Trail Monsters, picture below. We set out just after 8 AM from the parking area of Bradbury Mountain State Park for a run up to the mountain lookout area and then onto the Bradbury Bruiser trails across the street onto part of the extensive network of snowmobile trails that define Maine in the winter. The snow was somewhat hard from the overnight freeze but softened considerably as the run progressed, ending in some wet feet at the conclusion of the run. About midway through the run some of the group decided to forgo the inconvenience of skirting the caving in "snowbridges" that provided some dry passage around the sides of the streams in lieu of just running directly through the middle. It was quite funny for us that decided to stay dry (me included) and a little uncomfortable for the wet feet later in the run. The run was quite eventful as the scenery was constantly changing from wooded trails to fallow corn fields with a great sighting of what appeared to be a Barred Owl. After about 5 miles on the snowmobile trail we ended at a wide swath of power lines and turned around at that point. Chuck Hazzard decided to jump on the power lines to return home while the rest of us headed back to the mountain.

The trip back was eventful for a couple of the pack who fell into the water (Emma, I won't mention any names), but otherwise it was mostly about battling the constantly softening snow. Near the end on the Knights Woods Trail James pulled away from the group with his dog Maury (sic?) and I hung with him for awhile until I fell back a few paces and could never catch back up due to the fact that every time I tried to open my pace I started heal striking more fervently which just sunk me deeper into the snow, making it nearly impossible to run much faster. James won the day - nordic skiing is definitely paying off for him. All told I ran just under 13.5 miles in a little under 2:10; an average pace of near 9:20 or so. My average heart rate for this outing was 157 bpm, really high for such a slow pace, but understandable considering the soft surface. I wish there was someway to put an objective numeric value to fun on a run (being a numbers guy this would make me more comfortable), but since there isn't I will go ahead and rate this one a perfect 10. Thanks guys.

It was great being together with the whole group again. While my friendship with James and Jamie is relatively new (since last summer) the tough miles and hours we have spent together on the trails has forged a pretty strong bond between us, making it seem like we have been buddies for years. It has been a couple months since we have all been out together so yesterday's run was pretty special. I was thrilled to talk to Jamie about pacing him at Western States and it looks like there is a pretty good shot I will be able to do it. To me, the is almost better than winning the lottery myself. To be able to help a friend accomplish something as big as this is enormous. I can't wait. And on top of that, I just learned that my baby brother is going to make me an uncle again. And the due date of this baby is...WS 100 weekend. Pretty special.


Trail Monster Running said...

And don't worry Blaine, Chuck and James, I won't mention any names either.

Anonymous said...

I for one will mention my own name. I have a nice gash down my left shin and a very sore hematoma right above my left ankle. Both of these nice injuries were do to my slip and slide on one of those not so runner friendly snowmobile bridges. I am just glad I did not snap my leg. Now that would have made for quite the story.