I changed my plans from Laurel Highlands to run at Mohican on Saturday. With the weather changing, I didn't want to be on the LH trail-alone-with inclement weather. With inclement weather, there would be no hikers out. Now I don't have a problem with running in bad weather. It's just when you fall down and twist your ankle and there is NO ONE else out there where I think it's a bad idea.
There was a good turn out of runners for this morning-Terri, Thomas, Kim B, Bob, Cheryl, Ron, Julie, and Brian. Brian was a guy out of Akron who wanted to see some of the course before the race. All of us excluding Kim headed up the red (mountain bike) trail. Kim was waiting on a friend to make it all the way down from Detroit!
Bob sets a brisk pace up the hill and I follow. Soon we have to let speedy Brian by. I give him instructions on trail turns, and this turns into what we do all day: he's very fast, so I give him course descriptions, and he runs ahead, and then waits for me when he's at a spot where there is no carsonite markers-he actually did great following a course he's never been on before, with some limited trail promptings from me!
Bob and I pause at the Mo100 course split from the mountain bike trail, then I realize Cheryl and Ron are with this group, they know where they are going! Bob and I go ahead, and then catch up with Brian at Bridle Staging.
At this point, I joy ahead with Brian, as the others haven't caught up yet, to show him the trail off to the left-hidden by horse trailers today. And then I don't see any of the other runners for the rest of the day!
As I continue down the red trail, sending Brian to points ahead, I reflect on how good I am feeling. I am running. I am running sections I traditionally *always* walked. (And folks, I know this trail.) I ran through the icky part where, for some reason, sand has been laid. I'm running everything except the big hills. I have energy and don't feel fatigued. Am I in better shape? Is it because I'm taking electrolytes and a gel every hour? Is that what an athlete feels like when training pays off??
Ok, the weather. I'm probably running a bit quicker because of the weather. It's chilly! In the high forties, but the wind!! It's killer on the hill tops. I've quickly sweated through my shirt, so I go through that annoying hot-cold-hot-cold scenario. I also put on and take off my windbreaker a number of times.
I get to Rock Point and check my stopwatch. 2 hours 11 minutes. Sweet! Considering I just ran 11 miles on roads in 2.29 yesterday, that's excellent time!! (Where is the poky slow Trail Goddess?????)
Brian and I are now off and running the Green Section. I'm still feeling good on this section, despite the muddy trail. I even tolerate the last hill on the section, right before the Fire Tower (although I do mutter "I hate you hill") I'm still feeling good. Much more tired, but not bad.
But now I don't think the longer loop to the Lodge is going to happen. In fact, the four mile loop around the Falls is sounding daunting. Darnit, this is why I should have run that loop first!
I get back to the vehicle, change shirts, inhale some food, and said bye to Brian and head out to Little Lyons Falls. I realize I forgot my music..oh well..it's good to run with out it.
The legs have really stiffened up, and I groan out load as I try to heave myself up on a rock on one leg....owww, that hurt!! Maybe use both legs to get that weight up there, Kimba.
The legs feel better as I hit the dam road and then walk up Goon Road. I'm sad to see Mr Avery Ball's trailer is gone, and it looks like there is excavation for a log home there. I hope the new owners will wave to Mohican runners as they pass, like Mr Ball did.
I'm feeling much better on the top of the road, as I know it's pretty much just all downhill back to the Covered Bridge. With a very light rain falling, there are almost no tourists out. I smack my toes pretty good on the last section of technical trail-ahh, who needs toenails anyways.
I finish the purple loop in 1.16. I'm astonished by this time. In the race last year, I was dismayed to see it be around 1.5 hours. I've also run it, fresh, right out of the car, in under 1 hour, so I'm really happy with the time. In fact, I double check my car clock to make sure my stopwatch is still functioning properly.
I call it a day at this point and start changing clothes to avoid hypothermia. Now, when you want to stand outside your vehicle and change clothes, this is when all tourists return to their cars around you. Today was no different.
A very good solid effort for me today.