Tuesday, June 23, 2009
MOHICAN 100 WHAT AN ADVENTURE ALL THE WAY TO THE END!!!
Well, the weekend is here and gone. I have to start from the beginning so that you can get a feel for everything that happened leading up to and after the race. The action was non-stop and I'm sure down the road I will laugh about all of this but, not right now.
GETTING THERE WAS ONLY HALF THE FUN!
Friday morning arrived and I was ready to go! Everything was packed in the motor home and all we had to do was jump in. Cara will tell you it all started when we went out for doughnuts and I saw a penny on the ground. Of course it was heads up and I picked it up! Knowing that good luck will be had. The plan was to pick up Matt and Jimmy and Matt' s boys they would ride down with us and Julie would arrive down there later. Everyone was picked up and we were on our way, I was excited! Lunch plans were made to stop in Dundee and get Applebee's. We made it to Findley before Brian had asked me to find a rest area. I looked on the map, no rest areas for a long way! I asked why and Brian said a light was on and he needed to figure out what was going on. We ended up stopping on an exit ramp. Diagnositics were being done and nothing was found. When the RV was put into drive it no longer moved forward. Time for a pow wow to discuss the next move. While we were discussing this a state trooper knocked on the door to tell us we could not have lunch here. After explaining what was going on he gave us a number for the post and they found a tow truck for us.
While waiting for a tow truck the decision was made that Matt, Jimmy, Matt's boys and I would continue to Mohican in my car that was being towed by the motorhome. We grabbed everything we thought we would absolutely have to have for the race! My car was packed to capacity.
We jumped in, I kissed Brian goodbye and away we went with Matt behind the wheel. After about an hour and a half Matt says nothing looks familiar to him. This led to the discovery that we were officially lost! We got out to get directions only to find we are somewhere near Columbus! Way south of where we need to be. We did finally make it to the race to pick up our numbers and drop off our drop bags. Craig was there waiting for my arrival. We ate the pasta dinner and left to find a room for the night. Julie had made reservations at the Mohican Lodge. We arrived there only to find it was $230.00 a night! Yikes and it was way out of the way from the race. After a short discussion I found a Chuckwagon that would sleep 16 people for a more reasonable price. We did have a laugh about staying in a chuckwagon! The accomodations were fine and we may even consider it for future Mohicans! We finally climbed into bed by 11:00p.m. knowing that we had to be up by 3:30 a.m.
Race day came with warm temps and lots of humidity! The air was so humid you could see the wetness in the air. Julie drove us to the start line and saw us off! Once we began the journey it was an easy jog thru the campground and up to the road to begin the first of many climbs. THe morning was easy and the first 10 miles were spent chatting and getting used to the heat and humidity! Within the first 10 miles I was soaked from sweating! We arrived at Rock Point and would begin the journey on the trails!! Yes! People were starting to spread out now but, it was still crowded. The red trail was greasy, wet, muddy and there was no avoiding it! It was amazing that I was able to keep upright! The next check point was called South Park, I still pretty much sailed thru here just grabbing water and a PBJ sandwich and I was back on the trail.
The morning was pretty much uneventful. I kept trying to hold back the pace and remembering all the advice that was given to me from friends. When I arrived at Fire Tower Craigs wife Pam was there and I was able to exchange out hydration packs with her. I had a 2 mile downhill run to get to the Covered Bridge, this went by rather quickly and before I knew it I was there and headed for the purple loop! This is my favorite part of the whole race. Alot of people got lost on this trail and had trouble navigating their way around because the rains had washed away the lime markings on the trail. I had no problems and made it thru.
Arriving back at Covered bridge and grabbing more water since I was craving ice cold water. I saw that Brian was up and was there!! I told Craig that Brian was there and he went over to introduce himself to him only to see he was talking to the wrong person! I said NO, he's over here!! That gave me a big laugh!!! Brian asked how things were going and I said good. He saw me off and I knew he'd be waiting at the Grist Mill for me. This is where I really started having fun! NOT! My stomach was starting to act up and I felt as if I was going to be sick.
On my way to Grist Mill I ran out of GU and Gatorade about a mile to 1 1/2 miles out. All I wanted was a drink of water! I heard of others running into the same problem. I got to Grist Mill and sat at a picnic table trying to get a glass of water down but, my stomach was not happy! As I sat there someone came up to me asking if I would like a ice cold bottle of Ensure. I have never tried this but he was pretty convincing saying it was loaded with calories and good for me. Okay, I took one swig and was headed for the grass. My stomach had had enough! I was throwing up and my abs cramped. I got done and knew I had enough time to let things calm down. I sat at this check point for about a 1/2 hour and yes, I did get the ensure down. Craig had waited for me and I said it was time to get moving. He was right there with me! But, I think I only made it a mile before I told him to go on without me and I took care of business. This is where I did the rest of the race alone.
I was on the yellow trail headed back to covered bridge and the river crossing. I power hiked a good portion of this section. Once I arrived at the river crossing I knew the cool water would feel good! This river is hard to negotiate with big rocks on the bottom. Yep, I went down and got totally soaked! I will say it felt really good!
Lots of lonely miles ahead!!!
I grabbed some food and was quickly headed to the red trail! I know this is a tough section and it's a 2 mile climb all uphill to the next check point. As I power hiked along I chatted with a young guy, he was asking me if there were bears here. I could have played this up soooo good but I didn't want to scare him and told him he has nothing to worry about. No bears! After what seemed like forever climbing the hill I notice a 10 time Mohican finisher behind me. I asked him how much further we had to go. You would think he would know by heart but his reply was let me get my map out! I laughed at this response. We chatted briefly but, I was out power hiking him and continued on my way. I was hitting another low and saw I was still climbing! I really wanted my dog with me or at least my I-pod, I had neither. I looked up and saw Brian at the top of the hill! Yeah! He was glad he didn't have to go any further also! I said how much further to the next check point. Brian's reply was about 20 mins. Okay, let's go! I was walking pretty fast and have gotten efficient at this. His comment after a few minutes was holy cow, you can walk fast! Yes, I can! We talked and walked it in.
He got my pack ready while I changed clothes and shoes. I also got the biggest turkey sandwich here. I got back on the trail headed for Rock Point and the halfway mark of the race! Woo Hoo! Before getting there I had three river crossings. This was also the area last year I got caught in the storm! No storm this year just lots of heat. I went by the cemetery and looked down on the ground to see a huge snake! Good thing it was dead because I would have freaked! I felt good again and was able to run a bit of the trail. I guess more than I thought because I came into Rock Point right behind Brian! He was surprised to see me come in so early and looking good! I sat down to make some more adjustments and I had some potato soup (probably the best on the course!) and I was off to Fire Tower and meet my pacer.
I was feeling okay and came into the check point before Fire Tower happy! I yelled my number so they could check me off and the guy says I didn't ask for your weight, I need your number! I could have kissed him! I smiled and they said I looked good. I said at least I didn't come in crying like I did last year! I grabbed some things and got out of there headed for my pacer, Julie!! I was ready for some company and someone I could talk to.
Now, the work begins and it's getting harder!
I made it to Fire Tower in plenty of time before dark and was able to grab my headlamp. I sat in a chair just relaxing for a minute. I was asked what I wanted and I wasn't sure. Julie asked if I wanted pizza and I said sure there it was a slice of pizza, it wasn't really hitting the spot and so Brian asked if I wanted a cheeseburger. I tried that and got more of that eaten. I just wanted to sit!!! I didn't seem like long before Julie was pressing on me to get moving. We got up and walked out of the check point. She asked how things were going and I was close to tears! but, the walking helped and before I knew it I was back to myself and we were chatting it up! We made it to the covered bridge and I knew one more time thru here and I would be on my way to the finish! It was so dark!!! We had a long hill to climb again and once we reached the top I got a second wind and was able to run again. Almost all the way to the next check point!
On our way we did something special that we do every time Julie and I run Mohican together. We stop for a minute and turn all the lights off and look at the stars!! It's just so awesome! And it's almost an expected thing to do now. We arrive at the check point and I grab another sandwich and watermelon. Julie spots a new bag of peanut butter M & M's and opens them! I think if she could she would have taken the entire bag! Now we are headed for Grist Mill the place I dropped last year. My feet are sore and blistered and I'm hitting another low again but, I'm still moving forward.
Now it's tough!!!
We make it to grist mill and I sit down once again! Only this time I have my head in my hands really having to think about getting up to continue one again! Brian gets me some Potato soup to eat, it's okay just not as good as Rock Points was. My feet really hurt and even the slightest touch hurts. Brian decides maybe to help get me going again he duct tapes my feet for protection. Brian knows, Julie knows and even though I'm not thinking clearly I know I cannot drop here, I have to keep moving! Julie grabs my arm and says come on, we're going for a walk. She promises me that if I can't make the first mile then I can drop but I NEED to get out of that aid station! We start walking and Brian is very concerned and tells Julie he is going to drive to the mountain biking parking area. She says okay and we are on our way! It's painful at first but once I get my feet moving I can keep them going. Somehow we get on the subject of childbirth. I am preoccupied and not even thinking about what I'm doing. Thanks Julie! Brian is waiting for us and asks Julie how I'm doing, Julie says she's fine meet us at the covered bridge.
He takes off and we get on the scary yellow trail. This is the same trail that Julie freaked out on when she ran he 100 miler he a couple of years ago. We both were looking for rodents, snakes and trying not to fall into the river. None of that happened!!!Once we got off the technical part of the yellow trail we had to go thru a campground and a parking lot. I was hurting but, made mention that I wasn't wasn't sleepy tired at all! Once we made it to the parking lot and I saw Brian's truck I pretty much threw in the towel. Had the truck not been there I would have felt pressured to keep going since I was stuck! I went to the aid station captain and told him I was dropping. He told me to wait before I tore my tag off. He asked once again, are you sure you want to drop? I said yes, and tore my tag off, handed it to him and we climbed into the truck at around 4:00 a.m.
After picking Matt up at the finish line we all headed for the chuck wagon to get some sleep.
We all fell asleep just as the sun was coming up. I didn't sleep very well, my legs and feet were very tender. I did get a couple hours of sleep before we all were up and packing the cars for the long ride home. Once everything was packed we headed to the finish line, Matt got his finishers buckle and I had my feet tended to by the podiatrists.
The ride home was somewhat uneventful. Brian drove his truck while Cara drove my car. I was sleeping off and on the whole way home. I did wake up a couple of times to eat but, was fast asleep soon after. We arrived home, tired and worn out. So relaxation was on the schedule for the rest of the day. That is until Cara went to the basement for something. We heard her say "Dad, there's water in the basement". You don't want to know what Brian muttered!!! We are hoping that this is the end of our bad luck. I woke up on Monday only to find every muscle in my body had froze up and my feet tender. By Wednesday I was feeling better and by Thursday I had a pair of running shoes on and was back out and walking!! And thinking about the next adventure in store for me!!!