Monday, April 20, 2009
Forget the PR Mohican 50k
Sunday April 19, 2008
I waited all winter to toe the line once again. I registered for this race to remind me what I have to look forward to in June. Mission accomplished!
We arrived in Loudonville early Saturday evening. Just in time for packet pick up. We arrived at packet pickup and received my race number. I had forgotten to sign the wavier along with everyone else that was there. The race director seemed a little uptight and frustrated that he didn’t have blank copies on hand. No problem I was told to come back in the morning when I checked in and take care of it. We left there to do some exploring since every time we had been down there we never had time. After a while it began to get dark so we checked into our room and then headed for dinner. We had a very nice meal and I did something I don’t normally do. I ordered Prime rib, baked potato and a house salad. My comment was well we’ll see how this affects me on race day! Afterwards I also ordered carrot cake! Mmmm.. We got back to the room so I could figure out what I was wearing for the race. The weather was predicting windy, rainy and a high if 50*. Then it was time to get some sleep! I didn’t sleep well, a lot was on my mind all night. I was up and showering before the alarm went off. I ate my typical breakfast of oatmeal, a poptart and Gatorade. Time to leave for the start line.
We arrived and as usual the air was a buzz!! The weather was not bad and it was dry! It was 53* when we started. The rain was predicted to move in during the early afternoon. I checked in, signed my waiver and made one last call to the porta john. I made my way to the start line for the prerace briefing. Minutes later we were off!!! We had to do a ¼ mile on the roadway to help thin out the group. It still was fairly packed when we hit the trail.
Orange trail, the first of many climbs!!!
As soon as we hit the trail it was up, up, up and yep up!!!! People were antsy! I was trying to hold back but, got a little sucked up in the excitement. After the first 2 miles I was able to settle into a pace that felt comfortable. I was talking to people as I went along and one guy was sticking fairly close to me. We made it to the first aid station which was themed the wizard of oz. I began my regimn of eating! I grabbed two ¼ pbj’s, chips I left the aid station munching while I was walking. Eww… as I began eating the pbj I noticed that it had grape jelly (I hate grape jelly)! I had to get beyond that and just eat it! I did! This trail is backwards to what I have run it in the past. So it felt a little different. A ½ hour after I left the aid station I took a gu just to keep calories up. I was also sipping on my camelback along the way. I felt good and headed towards the covered bridge aid station. Still with the guy in tow. As I made my way down and came into the aid station there was Brian with an exchange camelback in hand to trade me! Woo hoo! I hit the food table once again for the same fair. I focused on intaking calories and keeping hydrated the entire way. 11.2 miles completed, Off to start the first half of the purple loop!!!
Purple Loop, hand over hand climbing and running through water!!!!!
This is a fun loop! I loved doing this one and get excited when I start it! This is a fairly technical section of the trail. I began running but there are parts that are just not runnable because of the technicality. Since it is spring the rivers and streams are fairly high. I make my way to the first stream , getting my shoes totally soaked! It felt so good on my feet since the water was icy cold! This was the first of many stream crossings. I get to the hand over hand climb giggling and yelling woo hoo! Telling others around me this is the best part!!! After I get through that it’s off to the Dam. The guy I had with me in the beginning is still hanging with me. I make it to the dam and begin a lonnnnngg climb up the road! I feel confident because I know my way around here well and I know what’s coming up. As I am walking up the hill from the dam I am tortured with gnats and bugs. Then a course marshal at the turn sees me swatting at the bugs and asks if I would like some bug spray. I say yes! He sprays the back of my neck for me . I thank him as I begin the blue loop. This will turn out to be an adventure and I can’t believe how much laughing I do here!! I said I had fun!
Blue Loop- Mud, mud and more mud!!!!!!
This was an interesting loop and I have never run this loop. We were headed to the resort for the next aid station. I start off strong and shortly into this loop I see the first returning lead runner. Halfway out to the resort I encountered MUD! Not just a little mud, it was up to my ankle and there was no way to avoid it. I think I had about 1 ½ miles of shoe sucking mud! People were slipping and sliding everywhere. I was able to just plow through it!! Laughing as I was going! When I got closer to the resort the mud stopped but I think my shoes weighed about 20 lbs apiece!! I had a series of stair climbs. I made it to the aid station!! Woo Hoo!! 16.1 miles completed so far. The aid station captain asked how things were going. I answered that I can’t believe none of these men would remove their shirts to put down in the mud for me so I didn’t have to get my shoes muddy! One of the guys answers “Hey, all manners are out the window and it’s every man/woman for themselves!” The aid station captain says he would have done it for me! Ha! I leave the aid station with about 4 guys in tow. Talking along the way. Oh yeah! Back in the mud!!! It really makes things interesting because you have two way traffic on this loop. More laughter. As I finish up the blue loop I see the guy who is making sure people are getting on the right trail when leaving the blue loop. I yell” hey bug man!” he yells “you’re back!” I thank him again for the spray. I’ve left all but one guy behind me. I head to finish up the purple loop.
Purple loop- Big falls, sick people & scary drop offs!!!
I have 2 miles left to go before I make it to the next aid station. I looked forward to getting back on the purple loop. I knew what was ahead. More adventure! I made it the Big Lyons waterfalls!!! This was another really technical section!! I climbed another hill and was greeted to a steep, straight down descent. You have to be careful when going down and only one person can do this at a time. I was right on another guys heels. Once I made it down, I had to go under the waterfall. It was flowing pretty good. I rounded the corner to see the guy I was behind standing next to a girl sitting down , she had a bloody knee. I asked if she was okay. She said she's light headed and having stomach issues. We both noticed she had no water or food on her. He gave her some water to drink and I handed her a gu. He also gave her some trail mix to eat. I left her and so did the guy but as we came into the aid station we warned them she was out there. Brian was there waiting for me and we exchanged out backpacks again. More food in hand and I was back out on the trail. Still feeling great, smiling and joking with the course marshal. 20.2 miles completed so far. Green trail here I come!!!!
Green trail- it’s all uphill!!
This was a tough section! I knew this was a short section but, it was going to take some time. It was all uphill the entire way. So for the first time I got out the i-pod and started getting into my music. It kept my mind off of what I was doing since I was by myself for this section. The only bad thing on this section was the markers were green and they blended into the green grass on the ground. I saw the juvenile correction facility through the woods and knew I was almost there, this did make me walk a little faster!!! Yeah, I made it to the fire tower!!!! More food and 22.7 miles completed so far!! I don’t waste anytime and get out of the aid station with more food in hand.
Red trail- more ups and downs!!!
I cruised along walking the ups and cruising the downs. All the mud and water was starting to take a toll on my left foot. But, it wasn’t horrible I just knew it was there. I was catching people and passing them, I was on a mission! The last ¾ of a mile were a severe downhill. Brian was out on the trail and saw me coming through the upper switchbacks. He yelled and I acknowledged him by waving and not taking my eyes off the trail. I made it to the aid station feeling good, my quads are starting to get sore but overall I’m so happy. The course marshal saw me and made a comment. I grabbed food, told Brian I was going to keep my camelback for the last bit. He said he couldn’t believe how awesome I looked and sounded! That got me going. I left the aid station with more food in hand and Brian walking next to me for a few minutes! 27 miles completed and heading for home!!!!!
Yellow trail- technical and why not one more huge hill!!!
I was happy to know things went smoothly for the day. This section was along the river so it was rocky and rooty. You really had to watch where you put your feet, if not you could end up in the river! I was still passing people along the way. I ended up going back and forth with 3 others for the last 2 miles of this section. One of the guys was struggling and his friends were coaching him to keep going. I was with him encouraging him along the way too.
I made it to the finish and I was happy!!! I was greeted by the race director congratulating me and asking if I had fun. The answer ABSOLUTELY!!!! Finish time 6:53, just barely missing my PR.
This was a great day and I had fun. It’s NOT an easy course by any means. As I sit here I’m really sore!!!Now it’s time to focus on Ice Age 50 miler!!