Sunday, September 10, 2017

Weekend Adventures

Saturday morning, I got up and out just after sunrise for some miles before Ryan headed over to the Brad for course marking. It was a lovely cool morning with a beautiful sky - I actually wished I had gotten out a tad earlier so that I could have watched the sunrise as I ran, but it was nice to start a morning run without a headlamp. The roots and bog bridges were awfully slick out in the Cathance from yesterday's rain but it was gorgeous along the river and as I ran along the Heath as always. (7.0 miles)

Morning reflections

Once Sam got up, we headed over to Frosty's as I had seen that pumpkin donuts were back on the menu and they are the best! Yum! 🎃 💕  

A pumpkin donut with a cup of Wicked Joe's pumpkin spice coffee = delish! 

Later in the morning, we met up with Anne and family for some fun at the Bowdoinham celebration. Bounce houses, coin search, food carts, balloon animals, oh my!

So cute 💕  Waiting patiently for their turn in the coin search

Coin scramble! Sam came out with $6.25 in quarters!! Wow.

Bounce house fun

My cutie pie

Sunday morning dawned early as I headed over to the Brad in the dark for my UXBBA run. It was hard to figure out exactly when to start the run, as I wanted to finish in time for the start of the Bruiser but not with so much time before the start that I was standing around for too long. In the end, I started at 5:48 am, a few minutes after I had anticipated, but with what still seemed like enough time. It was dark enough to need a headlamp for the first few miles and I was trying to keep the pace an "all day" pace so the combo of the two ended up with 11:00ish minute pace for the Scuffle. Perfect. A quick stop to drop off my headlamp in the car at John's place and say hello to Sam and Ryan and then I was off across the street for the Breaker.

I really enjoy running on the mountain side but I've gotten used to my "own" little loop over there and I honestly avoid most of the Boundary Trail as a rule, so I had forgotten how rooty it was! Although I felt like I was moving steadily and felt good, the Breaker definitely took a bit longer than I had expected, and in the final few miles, I was looking at my watch, thinking, "oh my, this is going to be close!"

And that it was ;) Rolled into John's place while Ian was doing the pre-race announcements, changed shirts, put on my number (badly, I might add, as I lost a pin between the car and the startline and Ryan had to run and find me another one as I was standing on the start line😂 ), had a few swigs of Coke, had Ryan help me re-fill my bladder, stuck a few more gels in my pack, said, "this is stressful" and quickly trotted over to the start and tried to position myself in the back of the middle in what I hoped was a spot that would make sense. It was slow start off the line and I finagled a position with Ally right next to me on the singletrack. Turns out Kelly and Chad were right behind us, so we had a merry train winding through the Island and further out onto the course. It was a lot of fun chatting and catching up as we ran along at a steady but not unreasonable pace. I was so happy to be with friends and it really made the miles fly by. We wound in and out of trains of runners, keeping a steady pace, and passed some friendly faces along the way too, which was fun.

Once we turned to climb up the snowmobile trail, we lost Ally and when I stopped for water at the aid station, I lost contact with Kelly and Chad, but was able to catch back up as we turned into the singletrack. I was feeling decent but was definitely starting to feel the miles. We ran into John just before the O and he led the way into the intestine that is the 2+ mile O. We had fun discussing why it was named the "O" - Oh s**t? F*&kin O? O F*&k? O D@*m? So many amusing options ;) Kelly had never run the O before and as we kept winding around and around, she and I were definitely feeling it! Chad moved to position himself at the back of the train to encourage us and keep us moving - ha ha! - and all the while, he was practically prancing along having run the UXBBA yesterday! So impressive! I was extra glad to have the company and the motivation to keep up as we ran, trundled and complained along the twisty singletrack. When we saw the arrows up at the end of the trail, we all let out a big sigh and yelp of relief and excitement - almost done! - and Kelly and I kicked it in to the finish - what fun :)

I was super happy to finish feeling good and strong and with friends. I haven't run the dirt series since 2013 and I think this was the first time I have ever really enjoyed running the Bruiser. Maybe I just need to run the two other courses beforehand and run with friends every time :) Overall time for the UXBBA was 5:31 with a moving time of 5:18 with my watch showing 27.4 miles. (Official Bruiser time: 2:17:11)

Sam had a great time with the kids and then we all wiled away the afternoon at the Pineland Market after the race was done and clean-up accomplished, eating and catching up further. Definitely a good day in the woods, and so happy to have such good friends to run with and to hang out with afterwards!

Having fun in the hammock with Elise

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