I crossed this brook twice.....funny it didn't seem as dark as the picture shows. It was actually a nice slow gurgling brook....kind of peaceful.
I have not been to Pratt's Brook since my son's ran cross country 6 years ago. Funny it looked nothing like I remembered it. I planned on meeting Scott there but I thought I would be late and because he was planning a much faster pace, I told him not to wait for me. As it turned out I was 1/2 early so I hit the trails figuring he would pass me eventually. He did of course.....it was a flash when he went by but I remembered him from the run in Topsham last winter.
I spent most of the day in anticipation of this run. I was excited to explore a different trail, I think subconciously, I worked harder through the day to get there....I suppose that is how I ended up being early.
I had no idea how the trails were and Scott said to just keep left so I headed out and kept left. As it turns out, the trails were not marked as well as I thought they would be by looking at the map and it was much more confusing to me.
I didn't really care for the trail. It was a hard packed uneven clay surface with spots of mud. I was expecting more like a bradbury east side trail surface. I came across my first trail on the left and took it. Immediately I liked this better. it was single track forest surface with some technical roots and rocks.
Unfortunately it ended at the brook and even though I found a spot to cross, I could not find a trail on the other side. I crossed again and doubled back to the main clay trail. I followed that trail for a ways and within 25 minutes, Scott went wizzing by me. I was right, I would not be able to maintain his planned pace.
Not long after Scott passed me, I came across anouther trail to the left and remembering his comments to stay left, I followed it. At first I liked it but after a short while I found it to be very technical and cluttered. I don't know if I was still leg dead from the 50K and track but I couldn't seem to lift my legs high enough.
I ended up tripping a few times and once a root grabbed my shoe and as I started falling I remembered reading about a procedure to tuck and roll as a way to guard against injuries. In the magazine it looked and seemed so easy......that was in my mind....for real, I just didn't have time to do anything but fall flat and then roll.....not the right procedure for sure.
I was starting to feel very tired, my legs were dead, my breath was labored....I just wasn't having a good time. To top it off I found I was on a dead end trail and had to turn around.
I doubled back and found the fork I took so I continued on with the intent to finish the 4 mile loop Scott spoke of. I don't know what was wrong with me, I am usually very direction oriented and rarely get lost. This time I was totally confussed and had to stop and regain my composure many times.
At one point, I rounded a corner and met Scott face to face as he breezed by me heading the opposite direction. I figured he was on his second lap and I was on track to finding the parking lot.
I did finally find the parking lot and was glad to be out of those woods. I can't really blame the course for my discontent because I think I was just not ready for this type of trail today. I was so used to a slower shuffle step from training for the 50k and my muscles were apearantly a lot more tired that I realized so lifting my legs over obstructions did not come easy.
In the end I was tired, I tripped many times and fell hard once, I twisted my ankle, stubbed my big toe and fought off moskitoes. Nothing serious of course but just a bad run all together. I was anxious to get home and clean the dirt off me.
Ths whole run got me thinking about my plans this weekend and wether I might be better off to do an easy road run instead of a trail run. I guess I will decide when the time comes.
5.9 labored miles
58:08 @ 9:52 av pace
8:19....146-159...my most enjoyable mile of the run