I went into the bruiser race this year fully knowing I was not in the shape I wanted or planned to be. How does one let this happen? The mind makes plans, such elaborate plans, A big timeless vacuum happens, then race day comes and I find myself wondering what went wrong.
Last year I prepared by running the 12 mile course many times and actually doing O-trail repeats 3 and 4 laps at a time. This year I ran the east side only a few times and the O-trail only once ......I guess I can say I was not very prepared. On top of all that, I ran the 40 for 40 last week (well 16 miles of it) and put some serious hurt on my knees and elbows (note to self, sliding on the elbows and knees down a gravel path really hurts!)
I went into this race knowing full well I was not going to be a Badass this year (takes a bit of the excitement out of it) knowing that I wasn't in that great of running shape and hoping like hell that I didn't fall onto the sore knees.......please not the knees.
So..........why did I have such a great race? I started mid pack to have a conservative start and to my surprise, there really was not much of a bottleneck for the first mile. The pace was quick but manageable and only a few runners trying to get by. One of which was Jeremy.....I thought what the hell? He should have been way up front. (second note to self, you can start in the back and still finish top ten if you run super human fast like Jeremy)
My goal of running steady, careful and not walking .....all without falling and still not being too slow seemed unreachable, yet I accomplished it with ease. I felt pretty comfortable with only a few moments of fatigue strong enough to cause concern. Just as sudden as the fatigue came, it went away. I can only assume I was running very smart and balancing on the edge of my conditioning.
The whole race was very manageable, my two worries, the knights hill..hill and the O-trail posed very little trouble as I was not reduced to walking either one. Though not a PR, this race was my second best time on this course and I didn't fall once.
I felt really good at the end of this race and perhaps I left a little on the table, but with no injuries, it felt good to realize I enjoyed the whole event. Of course Ian and Ryan ( and all the volunteers) did an outstanding job (as usual) I did however hear a person on the trail mention that Ian's description of a relatively flat course equalled moderately hilly to the average runner......it's all a matter of perspective I guess.
In the end I feel the Bruiser is a great training start for the Stone cat marathon and can only hope to feel and do as well running it.