I finally got my night training run completed!!
Regis and I arrived at Mohican late afternoon. We checked out the new section of course for the Grist Mill area, then Reg convinced me to run the 3/4 mile loop (which goes uphill and then comes downhill)...funny, the hill didn't seem so steep anymore.
We then headed over to Camp Nuhop which was the HQ for the other Mohican 100 Race the mountain bike trail race! We got our volunteer duties for Saturday morning, proof part of the trail early on Saturday, to make sure signs weren't stolen, and marshall a crucial intersection of where biker meets biker.
That being done, nothing left to do but go for a little night run..
We started at the Campgrounds and ran along the river. It was still light out here, so no lights were needed. It wasn't until we had turned onto the mountain bike section where total darkness fell and we needed the lights.
I dropped back a little behind Nick and Regis. I wanted to get the full effect of being alone in the woods, where I wouldn't have the runner in front of me light.
First thing I noticed was a reduced pace. There is added concentration of focusing on the trail. The Orange Loop is the most technical, with roots and rocks along the way.
The second item I noted was a reduced perception in the trail. People, I know the orange loop. And some of now seemed rather unfamiliar to me in the darkness.
The third item was a distorted perception of distance. Some sections seemed shorter, others seemed farther away. I was still able to guage the turn off to the Hickory Ridge Aid Station rather successflly when I noticed the foliage change.
But then the fog hit!! (Actually it hit as soon as hit the ridgeline.) This was crazy!! It was hard to see one foot past your own foot. It made the going even slower.
With the slower pace, and the downhill on the ridgeline, which I normally just love to fly down, I found myself breaking much more. This took a toll on my quads. I also think my stride shortened up too. This was tiring me out much more than a normal stroll along the orange loop.
I took a good spill on the orange. Whuuumpph!!! Went the body. Was I ok? Yep, just got the breath knocked out of me. But it made me run a little more cautiously. I think I was down to a shuffle out there.
We finished the night loop of the orange in about 4 hours-13 miles in 4 hours. Not too bad. This was a great learning experience. I learned how to use my light (once I turned it from upside down) and that maybe a hand held torch could come in handy with fog out there. I am going to need to double Adrenalin and get some calories in for this section; this was tough and tiring at night. This is the most technical section that we will hit at night. The next section after this is the Red, which is on a wider jeep road for the most part.
Trail Conditions: Orange is in great shape. Nice and dry out there.