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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Right in my Backyard


So I was on the quest for some new running routes. I finally thought of Woodbury.
Woodbury is the largest wildlife area in the state of Ohio. Beginning with an initial purchase of 779 acres in 1934,
Woodbury remained a wildlife area of less than 2,000 acres for 55
years. The original tract was the site of a small mining town and
a coal mine that was integral to the making of soap for the
Woodbury Soap Company. The area was managed as a game
refuge until 1948 when it was opened to public hunting.
During 1987, an agreement for wildlife management and public
hunting and fishing was reached with Peabody Coal Company
and the Hurst Trust, owners of land adjacent to Woodbury.
Further negotiations led to the Division of Wildlife’s purchase of
this land totaling 14,615 acres in 1991 and 1992.
Prior to state ownership approximately 50 percent of the
Peabody-Hurst Trust lands were affected by strip-mining.
Mining began in 1963 and concluded with final reclamation
efforts completed in 1987. The older mined areas contain
highwalls and spoil banks which were originally planted and now
contain pole-sized trees. More recently mined areas (after 1972)
are open grasslands. Since acquisition, emphasis has been placed
on the development of small wetlands and the planting of trees.

So I have this huge area of deserted township roads to run on, old jeep trails through the area to run through!!

It was a perfect running day. I had a makeshift horrible map off the internet, but I had pencilled in all the township and county roads. I just kept making right hard turns, and ended up right back at my vehicle for 10K. Just a bit short of the 8 miles I wanted, but I now have more running options!

The only drawback is, this is also the biggest hunting area in Ohio, and bow hunting will start soon. From a safety standpoint, I won't run there once all the hunting seasons commence.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Chick Run at Mohican


We had a blast. We ran the "orange loop" part of the Mohican 100 race course. It was just the three women, Cheryl, Nancy and myself. Nancy had just ran her first 50K at the Buckeye Trail, where I met her. Cheryl had volunteered at one of the aid stations for the Mo Race and was training for her first 50K, the Youngstown 50K Race.

The weather was great, in the 80's but not bad in the woods. I'm back to triple appreciating the great trails at Mohican, after running in WV and in Salt Fork State Park, it was so nice to be on the smooth dirt path of Mohican! It seemed like I spent much more time not watching the trail and gazing around the beautiful woodland.
Nancy was much happier about the trail too than her first ultra experience. I think she now understands she picked a very tough race for her first 50K, and not all trails are like that one!

The girls did great on the run too. I yelled at them just once, they were running up a small hill at the start of the run-I had already started walking that one. We had a great time talking and laughing, it was a nice change of dynamics with other women. I ran first about the first half, and then let Nancy go ahead, because I wanted her to get her own pace, what she was comfortable running at. It turns out the three of us were pretty well paced, and stayed pretty close together the whole run.

The last part of the run is down by the river, where there was a bad flash flood in July. There were many trees down, we had to climb over about 10 or so. At least 10 or 15 trees had already been cut and cleared from the trail. I will be monitoring the
Mohican Trails Club to see when they have another work day on the trails scheduled. It's hard work, but I use the trails and like to give back.

Just another great run in paradise!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

North Fork


I had a great time down in WV. I really needed the getaway, no cell phone coverage. Beautiful country, and really friendly people. I arrived on Friday afternoon, hung out with everyone, a bit surprised at the amount of beer being drank.
We got up to the mountain about 8am, and the run was on.
While I had a great time in WV, I really did not have a good run. This was a 12 or 24 mile fun run. The only aid station was 11 miles into the trail. I fully planned on running the entire 24 miles.

I found myself outpaced almost right away-not a problem. But I also found myself having a bit trouble breathing, a 1/2 mile into the run. Can that be blamed on the elevation? I have now been told that yes, if I have not been in any sort of elevation, it can play a factor. This was at 3520 feet. I live at 980 feet.
It just was not my day. I tripped and fell at mile 1, cutting my knee. By the time I walked it off, I was comepletely alone. Now I was a bit worried about getting lost.
I also had some "baggage" issues which I may or may post about later. I left some things out on the trail, which I think was a good thing.
It took me three hours to go 11 miles. I knew the remaining 13 miles would take closer to four or so. I didn't want to make people wait for me. I didn't want to be last-but actually it was more about making the other slow people sit there for an hour for me.
I thought if the aid station was still there, I would drop. If not, if the vehicle was gone, I would go on--because there was no alternative, and someone would just have to wait around for me.
The sag wagon was still there, and I dropped. Embarrassed a bit, felt like it just wasn't my day. I almost felt like leaving and going back home that day, and then decided that was a big baby move.
I got back to the campground and got a shower, and when asked, told everyone the truth, I dropped after 11 miles, it just wasn't my day. And, as really expected, everyone nodded and said those days would happen.
We had a big cookout, huge amount of food brought by everyone, and I had fun sitting around the rest of the evening enjoying the beautiful weather.
I think I will go back next year and conquer the course!!