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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Water Crossings at Mohican

Gabe, Regis, and I arrived at 8am at the Covered Bridge. We were going to run the "Blue Loop", a 4 mile loop on the 100 Mile Course. Gabe was a newcomer to Mohican, who is running it in 6 weeks!! with the rest of us, but has never been on the course. We had fun introducing Gabe to this pretty little section, complete with a climb UP, over roots to the top of one waterfall, 2 miles in between, then a climb DOWN the next waterfall!
We finished right in time, at 9 am, to join the two others running with us today, Dave and Kyle. We started up the "red section" and the four guys quickly pulled away from me. I was having problems breathing on this hard uphill section; I don't know whether it was because I tried to use my inhaler without getting my breathing settled. I hit the top of the hill and had to make two bathroom breaks. After this, the last guy was completely out of sight and I knew I was on my own!!
No worries. I knew exactly where I was going, and while I do love having folks to chat with, I was also fine being by myself. That's what is going to happen on race day.
The red section at Mohican has three water crossings. After the flash flood storm of last July, the stream beds have become cut much deeper. It has rained in the area all the past week, so I was confronted with this at water crossing #1:

Hmm. I waded in cautiously. The current was swift. I got midstream and got stuck. I lifted my leg to step onto a flat rock--and the current started to carry my foot downstream. I stopped completely. Now what? I finally summoned the courage to quickly plant both feet on the slick flat rock--since I carry so much natural ballast around, I didn't get swept away. Whew!!
Water crossing #2 comes just 4/10 of a mile further on. (I know, because my Garmin was actually working today.)
The second crossing was not so bad, the water was just up to my thighs.


Water Crossing # 3 was a different story. The stream bed has become much deeper after the July storms. I was actually worried here. There was no way I was crossing right here. So I headed downstream. I walked and walked, trying to find a spot to cross!! I was actually considering heading back uptrail, when I found a spot I could actually see the bottom in. I made my way across, the water again up to my thighs. The guys got a kick out of this crossing, because the water actually came up to their groin area--so they knew it would be about waist high on me. I told them if I hadn't had my camera with me I would have just swam across.
After this, I was walking uphill, eating (of course!!) and I run into a female runner headed downhill. This was Karen or Kathy (in my running brain depleted state I can't remember) who has run Mo before; knew who I was; might sign up this year despite her bout with pneaumonia! I must have spent ten minutes or so chatting with her, then I was getting cold and had to move on. Now I knew for sure the guys would be done WAY ahead of me!!
The red section ends at the Rock Point Aid Station. This is where the green section begins, which will take us back to the Covered Bridge. There is another water crossing here, 1.4 miles into this section:


This one I scan carefully, and wade through. Again water to my thighs. Have I mentioned I am 5'2"??


The water crossings get all the attention on this run. I wore my Injinji socks, with my "Dollar Store" thin socks over them. No blisters!!! Good deal. My feet were wet and muddy throughout the run, yet came through.
I wore my Atalanta Running Skirt and have to give them high marks. The shorts never rode up; totally comfortable; and the two pockets rocked!!! They stashed my inhaler, camera, cookies, and later, my empty Adrenalin shot. I will look to buy a new pair if they happen to be at the Flying Pig Expo; OR I will just buy online.

This was not my best run. I had the breathing issues at the start of the red loop; then I didn't have my normal running pattern on the downhills. My knees felt funny. I have no idea why. I just couldn't flow as well as I normally do on the downhills. I will chalk the run itself as "average" but my usual Mohican experience was awesome, as always!!!

5 comments:

  1. wow! Crazy obstacles :) I've yet to have any kind of water crossings in my runs, and I'm sort of looking forward to my first experience, though, looks like they can be a bit nervewracking at times.

    Great job out there today! Perhaps your body is saving up for the one 'amazing' time at Mohican and wanted to keep it for the race instead of spending it today.

    Can't believe it's coming up so soon!

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  2. Kim,

    Thank you for the awesome report. Some of those crossings look familiar from my day at Mo.

    Addy,

    Don't worry about stream crossings! They can be the funnest part of trail running. If you wear the right socks (wool) and shoes with drainage you don't even know it a few miles later....

    And the streams can be used to cool your legs and/or whole body down if you are overheating!

    Mike

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  3. The socks worked out great for this run. Mike was right, a few miles later, they didn't even seem to be wet.

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  4. What an adventure!
    I love your pictures.
    I haven't tried running with my camera yet, but I'd like to.

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  5. You are braver than I am! I'm a wimp when it comes to stream crossings.

    I certainly don't need more running clothes but I just treated myself to my first running skirt---the Brooks Motion Skort. I bought it online (www.runbargains.com) so hopefully I'll like it!

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