Once again it has been awhile since I wrote, life was certainly busy at the end of the school year, add in 2 boys playing baseball, and packing up our current home. Free time seemed nonexistent and when it was I spent it with the family. After we are moved and settled, I plan to blog regularly, I have a list of topics I am already brainstorming!
However I felt it was important that I take the few hours to sit down and write a recap of this weekends Mohican 50 miler, so here it is.
Training went ok for this race, due to weather conditions I did not run on the trails as much as I would have like from January - April, but I still made it work and got in all of my long runs. The longest run I had done for this cycle was 32 miles (on trails), along with a 26.2, a 23, some 20's, some 18's and a handful of 13-15 miles. The two weeks before Mohican I did not run though, my nagging shin pain had returned and I was not confident I would make the starting line if I kept just "pushing" through it. This break probably was harmful to training, I did not do any jumping and only a few short runs and mainly focused on Isometrix & Yoga from p90x3. The break however did help the shin, and I was able to run with only a minimal amount of pain at the beginning of the Mohican 50 miler. Looking back I should have figured out a way to run a few more hills, even if it meant some parking structures or just trekking up stairs.
Packing/What I took:
Since I was going solo and without a crew I packed a little more then I needed just to cover every basis.
- Long sleeve jacket
- Capris Pants
- Extra Pair of Running Shorts
- 2 complete running outfits (tank/sports bra/socks/skirt/hat)
- 1 head lamp & Headsweats Headband (left in Covered Bridge drop bag)
- Fruit/Water/Peanut Butter & Jelly/Pickles/Peaches
- Marathon Stick
- Beach Towel to change under/sit on
- Ultimate Collection Jenny Ultra Vesta
- Orange Mud Double Barrel HydraQuiver
- Rain Poncho
2 Bear II Drop Bags and both contained:
- Bug Spray
- Body Glide
- Monkey Butt Powder
- First Aid Kit (bandaids/neosporen/liquid bandaids)
- Tailwind/Nuun/Picky Bars (portioned into ziploc bags so I had enough for each section)
- Hair Ties
- Colgate Wisp Portable Toothbrushes
- Baby Wipes
- Gin Gins
Friday: Day Before
I spent Friday afternoon driving down in a rain storm. What should have taken 3 1/2 hours took roughly 4. I got into Mohican Adventures around 5:15 pm and picked up my packet. They had a nice little set up under a pavilion, which is a good thing because it was pouring at one time. At this point I was unable to get a signal on my At&t phone, I knew service would be spotty but did not know it was nonexistent. I know it sounds silly but I am rarely out of contact with either my husband, my family or my children. So as I started to worry, I knew that they would be worried at home as well about whether I arrived safely. (Friday was not as relaxing as I had hoped). While I was still trying to find the two people that were running the 100 that I knew from one of my running groups, I met Amanda from Twitter and chatted with her and her friends for a bit and enjoyed the pre-race pasta dinner that was included with our registration fee. There was also the Great Lakes Beer truck there for anyone that wanted to enjoy a nice cold one. By the time the pre-race meeting had started, I had found Lindsey and Glenn from Out for A Run. Both run with the Rusted Bears in Indy (which you may remember from last years epic Red Eye Relay adventure) and Glenn was doing the 50 miler on Saturday. We chatted for a bit and listened to the pre-race instructions, and I followed them to the Mohican River Inn where they had also booked a room. (Good thing to because there was no service within miles of this place and I did not have directions to get there!)
|Just a "little" rain-despite the downpour the course was surprisingly "dry" the next day|
|"Beer Truck" Provided by Great Lakes who is a race sponsor|
I checked in and the desk let me use the hotel phone to call home and let everyone know I was safe and in basically the middle of nowhere! I got everything organized, layed out, bought a bag of ice and filled up my bottles and coolers, watched a few innings of the Tigers game and then I was sound asleep.
I woke up before my alarm, after what was surprisingly a restful nights sleep. I changed, brushed my teeth and loaded up the car. I headed down to the race early because I remembered passing a McDonalds in the other direction, and I had hoped they had free WiFi like the ones at home. SCORE!!! Even though Katie was the only friend actually up and I was able to chat with quickly, I was at least able to send messages to the family and let them know I was ready and would contact them after the race since I now knew where to find WiFi!
I proceeded to start, and on the way dropped off my bag for the Covered Bridge Aid station and my finish line bag. I was uneasy, not because I was nervous, but I knew I still had no contact with my family and that was very unsettling to me. After a quick restroom break and a quick before race picture with Glenn, we were lined up and headed out.
|Glenn and I before the start|
Loop 1 (Miles 0-26.8)
The start includes a small run through the camp ground on pavement before entering a single track, and it did not take more then 100 yards for my shin to start aching. At this point I immediately went to the "what are you doing, this is stupid, why are you running this if it hurts" place. I knew that if I was really serious about Woodstock 100, I needed this run, I needed to know how my body would handle 50 miles. I needed to know how my stomach would hold up, how my nutrition would work. I told myself to slow down, take my time and run when I could, walk if I had to and play it safe. With a 31 hour time limit I knew that I could take a nap if I needed to before finishing. I made it through the first two aid stations right on target for the 13-14 hour finish I had secretly been aiming for despite the nagging shin issue. However between the Fire Tower and the Covered Bridge the wheels fell off for the first time (Yes the first time, this race was not a positive experience for me like Woodstock was). I was physically feeling fine, but emotionally I was lonely, even though I had found several people to chat with along the way, I really just wanted to talk to home. For a small portion of this section I was distracted by the beauty of the course and the amazing waterfall and hand climb.
|Just a little muddy, this was actually better then I expected|
|One of the many hills|
|Down the steps to re-enter the woods to get to Covered Bridge|
Upon arriving at the Covered Bridge aid station, I changed my socks and used the restroom again for the 3 time in the race. It was really humid, so I was drinking 24 oz of Tailwind and 24 oz of Nuun (2 tablets), between each aid station, but this meant I was also using the restroom every time there was one, because I did not want to have to use the woods. As I headed back out into the woods I actually threw in one of my ear buds and started listening to a little bit of music. I rarely listen to music when I run but I really wanted to bust out of this funk and have a good race. However, it seemed every song made me miss home even more and wish that I had someone there for me. (I was the one that thought it would be easier to go alone, since 5 people in a small hotel room is often more work for me, I did not however anticipate being that lonely) When I got to about mile 18ish, I was at what appeared to be the highest point in the forest, and took a chance that I could get a signal. Sure enough, one tiny little bar on my phone, but it was enough to call home! At this point I did not even care how much time I was wasting, I did not care if it was a race I needed that conversation. I needed to express my desire to quit and I needed to be talked out of it. I needed to hear the voices back home and know that they were ok. At this point I was seriously considering dropping after the first loop, I did not care I had made the trip, I was just done. I felt defeated as my time had gotten slower after the first two aid stations despite the terrain being tougher, and me taking it safer. At that point a DNF was looking better then a ridiculously slow time. After the chat with the husband, who specifically told me not to quit and just finish, I knew quitting was not an option, I had come to run 50 miles and I was going to give it all I had, even if all I had was slow in comparison to so many out there.
As I continued on my first loop and ran when I could, walked when I had to I was lapped by Glenn. He was flying! (I later learned he finished 6th at 8:06!! AWESOME!!) As I came through the first loop and passed the finish line heading to the Mohican Aid Station, Lindsey (who was cheering at the finish and sitting with Glenn who was already done) spotted me and ran across the street to walk and chat with me for a while until I made it the extra 1/2 mile to my drop bag.
I decided I needed to switch my hydration vests, I liked the Orange Mud Double Barrel, it was the first time I had ever worn it, and it was working great, but it was so sweaty and gross I want something dry. Same with clothes, I wanted dry clothes, everything was drenched (I love being a heavy sweater it's great!). I had my Ultra Vesta in the car and decided I did not want to wear the shorts I packed but wanted the skirt instead, so I made the trip to the parking lot, not ideal, and at Woodstock this will not be an issue since my car will be right there, but I was not going on until I changed and swapped vests.
To be continued....