In light of recent events, I participated in the Bradbury Breaker, but I didn't race. Due to a scheduling conflict, I missed this race last year, so next year, I hope to actually race it. But, this time around, I knew that an easy run would be the best course of action. I convinced Mindy that running easy was better than not running at all, so I had great company the whole way through.
D and I arrived at Bradbury early, so she could help with registration. Since I wasn't racing, I had no need to warm up or sequester myself away from the crowd, so I decided to help, too. Before too long, it was only 3 minutes to the race start, so I jogged over to the start line in time to hear the last half of Ian's pre-race announcements. Then again, I would have heard more of announcements had I not met Chuck and Katy in the crowd. We spent more time making bacon jokes than actually listening. Then, all of a sudden, a cowbell rang, and we were off. Well, we were sort of off. We jogged a couple steps, and then bottlenecked onto the actual trail.
Once we were through the bottleneck, the four of us ran together for most of the first lap. Chuck zipped around taking photos, and we chatted the entire way. At some point on the Tote Road, Katy decided that she wanted to run faster than Mindy and I, and off she and Chuck went. Oh well, no more paparazzi photos. The rest of the run was a mix of serious topics, such as VH1 reality shows, and less serious topics, like running. Mindy and I had perfectly matched pace goals, i.e. none, and aside from the heat and humidity, we had a great time cruising along. Kevin caught us on our second trip down the Tote Road, and he looked really strong as he zipped past. We caught back up to him on the climb up the mountain, but he cruised past us on his way to the finish. Mindy and I joked about elaborate ways to finish, such as backwards holding hands, but opted for the traditional jog and smile. I forgot to stop my watch, which should be the perfect indication of how great a run it was. Thanks, Mindy!
Post-race we had lunch with some friends from the AT: Hairball and Snowbunny, and then it was off to Ian's parents' place on the ocean for a barbecue. Pretty much the perfect day.
As soon as I finished, I knew that running easy was the right choice. I felt great the whole way, and I felt great afterward. That being said, I did feel a little bad about going to a race and not actually racing. A lot of people ran hard, and a lot of work went into putting the race together. The least I could do was hammer. But, I had to do what was right for me long term on this one. I know that if I had gone hard, it probably would have set me back three weeks. If all goes according to plan, I'll be ready to race at the Bradbury Bruiser.
As a follow up, D and I had a great trip over Morse Mountain to Seawall beach on Monday. What a great spot! And, despite the heat, I had a great run today. Just an easy, three mile shake out, but it feels like things are on the right track. Part of that is definitely the dietary change. Apparently, quality not quantity makes a big difference. The secret? Meatball sandwiches: