One of my absolute favorite Brazen Racing Races is the Bad Bass Trails Run held every July. Not only is it held at my absolute favorite park, but it’s a bit sentimental to me. Bad Bass is the first ever Brazen Race I participated in way back on July 11th 2011.
Pulled from the archives! Bad Bass 2011.
I remember that day, and how blown away I was by all things Brazen! The courses, the aid stations, the post race buffet, and of course the It’s-It’s! But most of all, the amazing race directors and fellow runners that make up the Brazen Family. I’ve participated in every one of the bag piping, fish chasing, Scottish themed races since 2011, with the exception of 1 and plan to continue with it.
Back to the present… yesterdays start line!
The difference with yesterday’s race, is that it’s the first time in all the years that I went to it by myself. In all the years past, I had my main running buddy with me, as well as friends who joined in on the fun. Unfortunately over the years my running circle has both grown, and shrunk! Being a Brazen Streaker, I met many new people, so anytime I go to a Brazen race, I run into someone and never feel completely alone. But my close running group has pretty much dissipated into nothing. My cousin stopped running a few years ago and admitted that it was never really her thing. (Although truth be told, I really feel like she could have excelled as a runner if she hadn’t stopped running once she met her current boyfriend…) My sister kind of fell out of love with the sport after streaking last year.
(Insert super sad face here.)
Admittedly doing just shy of 30 races in one year does cause major burnout, on top of that she has been busy with other adult life things like buying a home and stuff. Hopefully soon, she will be running again once she gets settled into her new town/home. My friend had her first baby last year and has to adjust to her new life as a mommy. She does make it out with her daughter and the baby jogger on weekends, but races are just a bit too early still! Another friend is super busy with her kids baseball and soccer schedules, and lastly another friend is currently packing up all her things and preparing to move all the way to Oregon!
(Insert another super sad face here.)
Even my life is getting ready for some big changes in the next few months, but I am confident that i can continue running with Brazen and on weekends with the group.
Anyway, back to the recap: It’s kind of funny, because it seems like every time I run this race, the night before is a rough one. This year wasn’t any different. I ended up with a migraine that hurt so much, I couldn’t even lay down. I ended up staying awake until 3am feeling miserable! When my alarm went off at 5:30am, I actually felt a little better, but was looking forward to my post race nap, more than my race itself.
I got to the park, and was surprised at how many people have caught on to the fact that you have to arrive super early to get the best parking. Luckily I still found great parking. I went through the packet pick up routine that Brazen makes so incredibly easy, and then waited to find other friends that were running, which didn’t take too long.
Brazen friends, photo courtesy of Brazens Photo albums.
All my friends were running the 10k or half. I chose to stick with the 5k because the course is pretty hilly, and the 10k course ends up on trail with a hill that is pretty much a mile of UP. My foot still doesn’t handle hills well, and I just didn’t think it would be the best thing to do right now. After my migraine from hell…the 5k was a blessing.
I saw my friends off at their races, listened to the bag pipes and set off for my own race. In my hast to get out the door on time, I forgot my Garmin, which meant I couldn’t use the timed run/walk feature that I have been using. I decided, since I was at my favorite place and running along the paved part of the trail (the uneven terrain of dirt trails causes more movement in my foot that causes pain these days) I would just run a long at a leisurely pace, until I had pain or couldn’t breathe – whichever came first.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my run yesterday from start to finish. The weather was absolutely perfect, cloudy, overcast, and cool! I found a good place on the trail that didn’t feel too crowded. And best of all, I just ran for the fun of it! I didn’t feel any pressure (from myself!) Everything felt good, even though there were a few times I apparently forgot how to breathe. I just went with it, and I was able to run the entire course, which happened to be 3.35 miles as opposed to the normal 3.10 distance!
I came in with a time just over 39 minutes. This was incredible because it was the farthest distance/time that I was able to continuously run without pain since my injury happened. Even more awesome, was that I was running on pavement – and not the cushion of a treadmill! When I made it to the finish, I had a feeling similar to the one I experienced the very first time I crossed a finished line. Pride, gratitude and amazement for what my body allowed me to accomplish. I didn’t PR. I didn’t even beat my old Bad Bass times – and it didn’t even matter! It still felt like the best race to date!
I happily picked up my medal and promptly went home so I could take my post race nap, which ended up being 2 hours long. I totally felt like I had earned it though. I have another Brazen run next week, and I am looking forward to it, since it’s on a completely flat course!