When you decide to visit your best friend for a weekend do you always schedule a race while your there? Oh is that just us?
Let me also say it wasn't MY idea to sign up for the race, but hers. Well, that will happen when your BFF is a born runner and actually was on your college track team. :P
My best friend moved away from Boston earlier this year to Bar Harbor, Maine for Med School. Bar Harbor is a 5-hour drive from Boston so you can expect we don't make it up there as often as I'd like.
The wife and I decided to head up there the first weekend in November and there just happen to be a Frenchman Bay Conservancy Trail Run near her place. Sweet!
We embarked on our 5-ish hour drive early Saturday morning (November 2) and had to take a stop when we saw this awesome rest stop sight.
We must be in Maine. ;)
It is a gorgeous drive from Boston to Bar Harbor so we really took in the scenery ... and the lack of traffic. Adios tourists! :P
We pull into Bar Harbor, do a brief catch up and Sarah and I are out the door for a run. Like we do.
I was still sick so we had to slow it down so I could actually talk and hear her as we ran. Since we are in Maine, we were able to do a little baby trail run to get myself ready for the next day.
And when someone is your BFF, they understand why you need to end the run on an odd distance resulting in running past the house to hit the mileage because you need to round out your total miles for the year. ;)
After our run it was relaxation time baby. We took a lovely walk around downtown Bar Harbor, seeing all the places that are only open during the summer, hit up the grocery store and it was time to head back to their place for dinner.
It was the needed break that both Tori and I needed. It was relaxing and awesome to see this little face.
My little Joanna is getting sooo big. I miss seeing this face every week.
The race didn't start til 11am (score!) so we were able to get a nice breakfast in before taking the 40-45 minute drive to the Start. The race was actually taking place at Sarah's high school.
Oh the other great news. We thought the race was 7 miles and it ended up being 4. So I enjoyed more breakfast than I normally would have. :P Priorities right. Mmmm bacon.
We arrived at the high school and headed to pick up our bibs and gift bag.
It was coooold that morning. The day before we were basking in mid 60s while race morning was mid 30s with real feel of 20s. Yay! Not! But it was time to break out the Under Armour and tights!
The race began on the field next to the school and looked to be an intimate crowd of about 100 people. I was nervous with my breathing, the cold weather and the impending elevation, but was ready to give it all I had.
It was not a chipped timed race so I made sure to start my Garmin when the horn went off.
Immediately I felt it hard to breathe and was nervous from the get go. I decided to slow it on down to make sure oxygen was making it through my body which would be necessary to run. :P
It is tough to have people pass you from the get go, but I knew there were many trail runners along the course and I wasn't at 100%.
We hit the top of the first elevation and I had to stop and take pictures.
I couldn't pass up catching that view. Beautiful.
Sarah was waay ahead of me, but was nice enough to hang back with me so we could enjoy the run together ... and thank goodness she did.
Why was I really so glad she was there?
Well as we were going through the hills I was bobbing and weaving through the rocks and other such things you find on a trail. Doing my best to keep my footing. Boy I could feel it in my ankles and knew I would the next day as well.
As I was descending down one hill. I was losing my footing and reached out to grab the tree in front of me, which was at my eye level...
... and BAM!
Blood everywhere!! I had hit the tree at such an angle with my hand that one of the little branches went through the palm of my hand. OUCH!
If you don't remember from earlier, Sarah is in Maine for med school so she quickly went into work mode. We applied pressure to the hand, used my sleeve to catch some of the blood and quickly moved out of the way of the other racers. I don't even know how long we were standing there, but it then became a look out for a volunteer.
And we weren't even 2 miles into the race yet. There goes any semblance of a pace if I was looking to have one. ;)
We finally found the volunteer nurse/EMT person at the water stop and Sarah went into action of getting a band aid on my hand and using some tape to get it to stick since the band aid wasn't adhering to all the blood on my hand. We put her glove over the hand, I elevated my hand and we were back off.
I was on a mission to Finish strong. Again still having trouble breathing, but I knew I could make it through.
We made friends with other folks on the course since it is a single lane you have to make an effort to pass someone. With the injury break, we ended up near a group where we took turns passing each other it seemed like. But I loved the positivity. Every time you passed someone or someone passed you there was a "Great job," "Keeping going" or "Looking strong!"
I can tell you that 4 miles feels a lot longer on a trail than on the road.
Finally we saw the trail we entered on and were out of the woods and back at the field. It was a great sight as I was ready to get my hand cleaned up.
Thanks FBC for this shot!
As Sarah and I approached the Finish Line, we decided to cross holding hands and were able to get this awesome shot.
Thanks FBC for this shot!
It is my new favorite photo!!
My Garmin put the total mileage at 4.16 miles and we finished in 1:00:26 (64 out of 98 overall). Respectable time with all the stops along the way.
Despite the hand injury, which just threw me off a little mentally more than anything else...
... it was a great race. I owe a big thanks to all the volunteers along the course and the organizers for doing a great job marking the course with blue flags.
As I've said before I need to practice more on the trails, but it is truly a great entire body workout and a good compliment to road racing.
So if you are in the Bar Harbor, Maine area, check out these trail runs. The course was beautiful and well-organized. Plus for just $15 you got the race, a t-shirt and post-race food. Yay snacks! ;)
Do you trail run? Ever race in Maine?