Saturday, August 23, 2014

Big Brad Ultra and then more BBU and then more.

I love the first-fallen harbingers, the deep, red leaves that snap your eye with brightness. Even after the miles have converted my mind into a mirror cloud, the red pierces through it, its voice can be heard. Nighttime temps are dropping now. It's still very much shorts weather but there was no bug spray needed on the run today at Brad.

I set out on the BBU loop, figuring I'd do more than one but fewer than two of them. I started from the park as usual and followed a strangely-large group - Scout, Squirrel, John, Blaine, Nathan, Marble, Matt or Mike and a few others who I don't think I knew. I kept up for the first 7 miles but only because they stopped a couple times, and I scurried. This not-keeping-up thing is an odd phenomenon indeed. 

I'd done 10 miles already in a little over 2 hours which is actually fast for me, especially on BBU terrain. I tried to keep the momentum as I headed over Tryon (Hi Emma, Jeff and Andy) and up the power lines. I slowed down a lot and was glad the group was no longer around so I could go at my own pace without feeling like I oughtn't. In spite of kind of meh sleep last night, I was reasonably well-rested and well rested is, for me, when running feels good.

I found Scout and Squirrel (and much of the big group, still!) on Lunchbreak but kept going in the opposite direction as I was On A Mission. I visited my faux aid station that is DDR but then headed right off to the East Side, again, to see if I could find the loop on my own. After only a mile or so I saw Scout and Squirrel through the trees. I followed them back to the lot and we bid the intrepid Squirrel farewell. (I bet she was going to go tend to her huge gashes* from the plants*.)

Scout was thinking 8 more. I was thinking...yes. She put me in the lead at first so I could continue my navigational schoolin'. There are still places I am sure I'd have gotten it wrong if alone, but there are signs of progress too. 

It was unique to be in front. Scout says that I run faster up there but I wonder if it's just because after 19 miles my parts are warmed up better than they are in the morning, ie, when I am in back and struggling to keep up...  who knows?

"I feel strangely lucid," I announced at mile 21 ish. I had been waiting for shit to get goofy as it always will if I run long enough. A few minutes later my mind would indeed start to sag into the drifty weirdness. I was surprised that said perceived lucidity had lasted more than 5 hours though. (This weirdness was different than that rapid-displacement that I'd felt in VT. More on that later. I am endlessly fascinated by the multitude of distinct ways in which the mind will leave.)

We did a bit of Lanzo at the very end and I finished with 24 miles. Scout had a marathon. Mind goop aside, other parts felt pretty good. I was deeply tempted to keep going. I knew I could have done it...but I suppose ending *while it still feels good* is something it's time I practice... 

Brad always takes good care of us. We are so lucky to have this awesome place in which to run and run and discard unwanted dreams and run some more.

I drove about 45minutes and then pulled off to sleep for probably another 45 minutes before heading to the barn to care for the horses. Being exhausted after a 6 hour run is a really pleasant, though vulnerable, feeling.  I had no choice but to sleep until I was done.

I led all three horses home at once from turnout at Lynn's. Leading three is never a wise or safe choice but that's how we do it. It may actually be safer than splitting up the herd and doing two trips. Plus Bella is semi-comatose so it's sort of like leading two and a half. Leading two and a half isn't so wise either. Our guys are used to it and thus we continue in our lack of wisdom.

I love that I can lead 974lb Shen from the wrong side, down the road, with a barely-functional hand. Such a chill spirit. He never pulls, and he seems to understand that you have to either move, or not move, to figure out where to be. Dream, on the other hand, (literally - her rope goes in the good hand) sometimes pulls or turns around (I blame inertia) without considering that this never does any good. Fortunately she is fine when you get going. Bella, you sort of have to haul her in like a dead weight but we forgive her because she's just Bella. We are so grateful to Lynn for the use of her pasture but it is always a relief to get the kids home and tucked in.

Next weekend, I hope for some lengthy hikes, and the weekend after that, lots and lots and lots of miles.  I am kind of having a fatass on Sept 6th. I might bake something yummy to share and then run all three Bradbury dirt races, plus more. That will be the extent of the excitement. Feel free to join for any amount of time or miles, whoever, where ever you are.  

Notes: 
~24.1miles
~6 hours
Hoka Stinson Evo Trail - great shoes but this pair is shot, new ones arrive soon
Darn Tough socks 
Shorts, tee, hat
Not enough bodyglide...! O_o
Nathan Intensity pack - meh
~90-100ounces of H20, with a total of about 4 scoops Tailwind and 2 Nuun tabs. 1 Luna protein bar and 1 maple leaf because that was what I had that was grabbable.  Lower concentration of Tailwind is less sweet (yay) and seems to be good with the Nuun but it does mean I have to snack a bit again. 

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