My training consisted of pre-dawn jaunts, runs filled with fun including blueberry picking and unexpected finds and the typical slug fest runs, all I would have no other way. I did ignore the fact, I really needed some new shoes which probably wasn't the best idea.
Although the real back of the packer of the Trail Monster crew it was tons of fun to represent. One of the volunteers at the start/finish aid station was asking how many had descended upon the hallowed grounds of the infamous Stone Cat event. He particularly enjoyed seeing the FB post on the TMR page, ''We're here, ready to kill it''. Thanks Volunteer guy for the props! Kill it they did, great day and beyond amazing runs for all! PR's all around, well except for me. :)
The pre-race vibe was awesome. Seeing all the TM's excited to run and seeing friends made from years past, it was great! I was pleased with the later 26.2 start, as I really didn't need my headlamp. I dropped my headlamp and I said to ''the crew'' (Triple S), ''it will be light by the time I get in there'' worked out perfectly. Ryan's remark when I said this made me smile for quite awhile into the start/run, ''that's awesome!'' Thanks Squirrel for taking the headlamp from me.
The start amazingly fun, filled with awesome vibes. It seemed many of ''my peeps'' weren't running this year. Maybe this was contributed to the fact the race filled up in record time or maybe some have retired, due to age, from the distance. I tend to think it was the registration filling up. :)
First lap was great, I arrived half way to be greeted by the TMR aid station crew. Mindy ran out to meet me, loved it! Val took a pic, loved it! Ryan served me pancakes and bacon, loved it! I opted to skip the bacon, but dreamt of it throughout the second lap.
Although I got a major pain in the lower left butt, Bio-Freeze totally took care of this when I got to the half. The first loop was fun. I broke the race down by aid station miles and this worked well for me. I ran behind a friend from last year and this was fun. I also ran with Stu for a bit and we had some interesting conversation. I enjoy this race, as it seems I'm able to stumble upon MA connections and it's fun to catch up on life in MA. Stu was a cool guy.
Second loop my feet started to kill and I tried to channel into all my running idols. I wondered how 100's are accomplished with overall foot pain which of course is part of a 100. Today as I type they are still burning. Bio-freeze on feet might be a plan.
Five miles to go, I had a coke, and it was near done. I was happy. I knew my time had dropped considerably, at one point, Stu told me, I was on pace for a PR, but it wouldn't be. I teared up with 2 miles to go as I saw Wash doing the course and asked him for some inspiration. He slapped me five, offered it was one section of single track and then onto to the double and you are there...perfect, unimaginable moment to guide me to the finish.
I finished as I started, filled with good vibes, happy, back of the pack! Totally awesome!
GAC crew, great race, great course markings, great volunteers throughout, awesome hoodie!
TMR's amazing people, amazing races, amazing fun gathering at the finish, perfect day!
OK, that's done, time to send in the Bradbury Snow Series app!