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Monday, May 24, 2010

Mohican Training Weekend Recap

Eric summed it up perfectly. "You don't even need to be running Mohican for this weekend. It's still a good solid three days of running."

Someone else chimed in with "running, eating, sleeping, repeat. It doesn't get any better than this."

Although I am not running the Mo 100 this weekend, the draw of lots of miles on my beloved trails drew me to Mohican.

I missed the Friday night run, which happened on trails, at night, in rain and fog-perfect training conditions, right? It sounded like great fun.

I showed up for the Saturday run. It started to rain on us as Roy Heger, our organizer and Obi-Wan runner, got us into groups. This was the "road section" day which I wasn't real fond of, but I just wanted the miles.

We start on the road section out at the "Rock Point" AS. I'm running ahead with Ted, who is a really good (and fast) and (quiet) runner.He doesn't seem to mind as I chat away as we go.
The road section is familiar to me. It's back country roads. It's dirt and..mainly dirt,not gravel. Rolling hills. This is "old Mohican" course.
Ted and I get to the "new part" of the course, and we pause to make sure the runners behind us follow us, and not take the "old course" turn. In fact, we're not that quite sure either, but I was listening to Roy and see the pink markings at a road turn, so I know we're still on route.

After a huge downhill, and being passed by a manure spreader, we see the turnoff for a short trail. This is all new '2010 course" for about 2 miles. Then it spins us back to "traditional Mohican course" which includes the climb up "Big Hill" Road, aptly named.

I've been keeping company with Terri and Mitch as this time, ridiculously fast for me. After we hit the Mohican Wilderness Aid station (Roy Heger's car of rolling Aid) we ascend the Big Climb.

In last year race (and many years prior) we hit this race at mile 2'ish in the race. It's barely sun-up, we're all excited, chatting, seeing old friends and new. You *barely* notice the big hill climb.

However, now, after a 10 mile run (and it will be farther in the actual Mo race), this hill seems bigger and longer. And everyone agrees!!!!!

After we summit the hills, and direct everyone the correct way: (old ultra saying here, which is true: when in doubt, go uphill!!) for even more of a climb, I begin to bonk a bit. Which means I get to now catch up with everyone I've been in front of for the first 10 miles.

My old running buddy, Cheryl Splain, and I are together, when we hit the Buckhaven AS area. We run a bit, then nothing looks familiar. We retrace, and run into Tara and Bill. They think we should go the exact way Cheryl and I had found to be the wrong way. Bill performs the ultimate male act: he goes back downhill to ask directions!!!

It turns out all four of us are wrong, and should have turned a few steps earlier. We find the trail section, and run it back to Rt 3, where we're turning off course, for just a few more miles back to where our cars are parked.

This last little (3 mile) section of road is the worst part of the run for me. All asphalt road, on a state route, with lots of vehicles going by. All day, we've been on back country roads, with barely a vehicle, and now it's rush hour!

The rain begins in earnest here too. The bad part of this is, I know exactly where I am, and know the distance to my vehicle. I'm starting to tense up in my shoulders, from the vehicles passing, and my IT band, on my right knee, is starting to sing.

I'm finally back at the vehicles, doing the Recoverite drink, talking with the 'gang'. The rain has ended, of course. It's been a good day of running...even on roads.

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