Friday, August 16, 2013

bradbury mountain breaker 9 miler

while i was practically mountain climbing last sunday, wondering why i continue to make decisions like a trail race up a mountain with no trail or hill training, i smiled. no matter how difficult the terrain was, how steep the hill(s), i smiled because i was out there. i was running. air moving in and out of my lungs.

i also decided that i should wear some sort of recorder while im out running because i had a great blog post written about this race, and now, almost a week later, i cant remember shit. go figure.

but i remember smiling. a lot. i was having so much fun. i had been nervous that morning that i was going to suck, be last, end up lost (that thought again crossed my mind around mile 7 running alone through the woods), but none of that happened. and my official thoughts on the day: this race was awesome.

orange and yellow- descent
red- up.

im not exactly sure what enticed me to want to sign up and run this race. i knew a few people (members of the trail running club that puts the race on) and they helped convince me that i would be ok (although i might want to hurt them at the end) if i ran this race on no training. 

i had thrown this conversation out to them on twitter...

i may or may not have been registered for the race already

i also tried to convince a lot of friends to make this bad life decision with me, but to no avail. i was going to die. scared, and alone. buuuuut really, i had liked the pineland farms 25k trail race for the most part, although i knew this race was bound to be a bit more difficult than that one (more technical, a lot more UP)... so i had no expectations other than to just try to enjoy it, and of course not die. 

mission accomplished. 

ty, brayden, duke, henry and i all left the house around 7:30am to head to the start. i had eaten a piece of pb toast, and brought oatmeal with granola and some coffee (race day norm). i had even done race braids, which i havent done in a long time! i picked up my bib number and tshirt from jamie at the picnic table and stretched before going to the start. the boys missed the start since henry decided he wanted to eat, but i knew that we would come through the park area near where we started twice so i told them i would just see them then.

sexy pre race attire, awesome race wear (thanks sarah for letting me borrow!!)

when the race started we climbed a little bit but it was overall fairly flat and even some downhill for a little bit. i knew right away that this was going to be a long run (time wise), and i would have to keep my eyes wide open and on the ground in front of me to avoid falling or getting hurt with all the rocks and tree roots on the ground. i dont think i even put my sunglasses on, the trees in the woods made it very shady, which helped keep it cool as well. they had said in the pre race speech that we would know when we were on the climb to the summit, so i kept waiting for that. at about mile 1.5 i was sure we were on that climb. i asked a girl next to me, as i reached out and touched the ground in front of me as i climbed, if this was the one they were talking about... "oh, no. this isnt it. it gets worse". sweet.

after getting to the top of that climb, we went down down down weeeeeeee. i felt like i was flying, but it was so weird since you had to maneuver all the roots and rocks. i definitely wasnt used to this. we came into the park area and there was an aid station, but i had my handheld and gu with me so i ran through it. ty and brayden were right after the aid station and i dropped off my sunglasses on the first time through. i told them i was having fun and i took off into the woods again. little did i know what was just up ahead (emphasis on the "up" part).

(the 2nd time through i dropped off my water bottle)

and as i ran into the woods.... we went up. and up. i looked ahead of me and i saw people climbing. literally it looked like they were rock climbing, just without ropes and harnesses. i had to grab onto trees in some places to help myself up. there was absolutely no running up this mountain. this was the summit trail. well, i hoped it was anyway (it was).

and then a few minutes later....

the summit.
(the climb to the top. obviously this is not me.)

to say that i love maine and think that its gorgeous is an understatement. i have never been to bradbury mountain, but i absolutely want to go back (and soon!). i might not want to run to the top again anytime in the near future but id love to go and hike for the day. anyway, we got to the top, i took a few seconds to look around and catch my breath, and we were off again. there were a few trails that led down, then a few more ups, and then we were back at the base again passing through the aid station. my legs were burning like they havent done in a long time (or ever) and i knew i had to do the summit trail again, but i was oddly looking forward to it. i was feeling amazing.

(photos courtesy of maine running photos)

i grabbed a gu, dropped off my handheld, and took off for the top again.

this IS me climbing to the summit. i told this guy i would race him to the top.

with two miles left to go, i took off. i was all alone and for awhile thought i was lost (i kept thinking i was going to be the next character in the book "lost on a mountain in maine"). i hadnt seen an orange flag or a red arrow sign for awhile, nor had i seen any runners... probably half a mile went by before i saw a runner ahead of me. then i knew i was on the right track and just kept truckin. despite it having taken me almost 2 hours to complete, i knew i was going to be finishing soon and just kept smiling.
nothing quite like small races in the middle of the woods on a mountain in maine

yay dirt! and my poor ankles were toast.

you could tell my legs were tired on the summit during mile 7

bradbury mountain breaker
9 mile trail race
111th out of 157

apparently i was the 2nd crow athletics member to finish (according to the results, but there might have been people who didnt put their team down when registering). this race was so much fun, and i cant wait to do it again next year. this race is actually #2 in a 3 race series... the first is a 6 miler, and the third is a 12 miler. and when you do all three you get a hooded sweatshirt! now thats my kind of series! i have to work next month on the day of the 12 miler or else i would be there.

recovery was quite different than other races ive done... i woke up monday morning and felt like i had run 6 marathons on sunday. i had pain in places i didnt even know existed. i worked more muscles in my body than ever before. i wore my pro compression socks all day at work monday and slept in them for the next two nights. i ran a few shake out miles tuesday, and really didnt feel fully recovered until yesterday. i think i will be adding some more trail running (and maybe even hills.... ugh) into my remaining marathon training weeks! i definitely recommend this race to everyone!


  1. This is so beautiful! You are INCREDIBLE! Congratulations!!

  2. Congratulations!!!! You are one tough lady to take on that race! My friend, Joe, came in 2nd. He said it was SOOOO hard!

  3. GREAT JOB Danielle! Love this recap, almost made me want to try trail running again... almost.
    You're a rock star!

  4. Done. I'm in next year. Promise I won't miss the registration deadline next time :)

  5. I saw your pictures on Facebook and though, geez that trail looks tough. And then I ran my trail race today and wow! Great job. Way to be tough out there. I wish we lived closer near each other so we could do these races together.

  6. THat sounds very hard! Two summits. OUch! I write great posts while running and biking that never happen!

  7. Next year I will do this! maybe even all three..... screw this triathlon shit.