Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday July 22 and more

I guess I need to post my strength training workout from Wednesday evening.

First, I rode my bicycle for one hour. I am not riding very fast because I have yet to invest in a good bicycle. Still riding the old Wal-Mart standby.
As soon as I got home, I started the strength training routine:
upper body: (15) seated dumbell triceps extensions, 21's bicep curls, (15) pushups with knees on stability ball, (15) dumbbell lateral raises; 90 second rest...
core: (15) crunches on ball, (15 each side) dumbbell side bends, (15) back extensions face down on floor, (15 each side) oblique crunches on ball; 90 second rest...
lower body: (15) stiff legged dead lifts; (15) wall squats with ball; (15 each side) standing adduction; (15) dumbbell squats; 90 second rest then repeat the whole sequence.

After the weight training, I do a full body stretching routine including some yoga poses.

Thursday July 23
I was supposed to walk 8 miles this evening, but ended up working in the mattress store. I really don't like driving to Rosenberg, and this is no secret to my boss, but if it is necessary for me to work there, then I go. There was a dissatisfied cutsomer at the end of the day, and I really wanted to help her. She left happier than she arrived, so I scored one up for the day!
I was just too tired to do 8 miles by the time I got home, after 7pm, so I ate the wonderful fried chicken that Raymond had cooked for dinner and postponed the walk until Friday.

I woke up this morning at 4 am with the worst charley horse in my left calf muscle. No more shoes with heels for me. The sandals I wore to work only have about 1 1/2" heels, but I was on my feet the whole afternoon. Lesson learned.

I'll check back in later and edit this post to report how my walk goes this evening.

Friday, July 24:
Walked 7.2 miles in trail shoes on mixed surfaces: dirt, grass, asphalt and gravel. I did not carry anything with me because I was walking to the little league park where there are plenty of water fountains. I am at work right now so I can't report the exact time it took. All I know is it was still hot outside. Raymond called me when I was stopped for a second to drink some water at the fountain, and whatever he told me made me angry, so I forgot to restart the garmin when I walked away from the water fountain. I do know that the loop I walked is 9/10 of a mile, so I started the gramin back up at the start of the loop and added that much to the total. I wish there was some way to edit the workout in the training center software. If there is a way, I am sure it is much too technical for me to figure out. The city is still not finished with the new retention pond and walking path they are working on, but I use it anyway, because it is the only place I have to walk that is not asphalt or concrete roads.

Someday I may go to the local state park, but it is too dry right now and the park is right along the Brazos river. There are a lot of snakes there because we are in a severe drought this season. Where there is water, there are snakes. There have been lots of reports of snakes in yards where people are watering...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Again, more workouts, or not.

I didn't walk Sunday afternoon like I thought I would. I guess I will call it the weekend off in what is starting to look like a 4 week cycle. 3 weeks hard workouts, then a weekend off. I saw an ultra racing training schedule (I don't remember where) that suggested such a training schedule and it seems to work for me.

Monday, July 20:
I am back on the bicycle! Yes! I rode for an hour, then came home and did two sets, 15 reps, of 12 strength exercises for upper/lower body and core.
the workout looks like this: upper body: shoulder press; tricep extensions, curls, pushups; 90 second rest; core: crunches, plank, oblique crunches, crunches on ball; 90 second rest; lower body: wall squat with ball, lying abduction, single leg squats with chair, lying adduction; 90 second rest then repeat the whole sequence. I change exercises with every workout so that all muscles get the same attention.
Stretched everything when I was done. Now I am having my favorite post workout snack: partially thawed frozen strawberries topped with yogurt and free cool whip. I was so far out of whack with my eating program this weekend that most of what I ate today was fruit and vegetables.

Tuesday, July 21:
I went to the track fully intending to do a ladder workout. The gates were locked and the track was closed due to pesticide spraying. So, that made me almost as angry as having to fight the children for 1 lane of the track while their parents stroll along talking on their cell phones.
Instead, I fartleked around for 6 miles. The average pace through the first 4 miles was 12:18 with an average HR of 78% (I believe that means I could have gone faster), then a mile at marathon pace 13:08, then one slow mile for cool down.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More workouts... or not.

Skipped the workout on Thursday, I was just too tired after going to the concert Wednesday night... that was a 5 hour workout in itself.

Friday July 17, 7.41 miles... the first 7 at 12:54 mpm. The last 3.41 miles were in the dark with the headlamp on. I really need to get some night walking done for this midnight marathon next month. I don't think walking all night is going to be too much of a problem for me, heck I may even go for another marathon pr. I only need to do the marathon at an average 13mpm pace for a decent pr. The moon will be a few days past the full moon, so it won't be completely dark.

Saturday July 18 - spent the day with mom. We drove to Grapevine Texas (just north of the DFW airport) for the paper show... Not much paper which is really what my mom was looking for. They had tons of rubber stamps and related supplies. She did find some unique stamps... but the only paper they had was card stock. Not at all what she was hoping. So we drove all that way and only spent about an hour at the show.
The best part of the day was our stop in West on the way home. It is an interesting old Texas town with lots of Czech restaurants, bakeries, etc. We ate authentic ethnic food for lunch... stuffed cabbage, sweet sauerkraut, locally made sausage, and fried potatoes with onions. The pickled beets on the salad bar were really good in addition to a cold salad made from sauerkraut. Great stuff!

We finally got some rain on the way home, so a walk was out of the question for me. I only have roads with no shoulders to walk on and since this is our first rain since May... the roads were too slippery for me to feel safe walking. People just drive too carelessly and I don't feel like getting run over.

I plan a little shopping trip in a little while today, then I will get a 12 mile walk done later this afternoon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Clutch Concert Wednesday July 15

Jonny and I had a great time at the Clutch concert at House of Blues in Houston. We started out by checking out the new mall that is being built in that area of downtown Houston. It is multi level with large circular openings above the streets in spans over. Kind of a cool outdoor concept. There are some shops open already with plans for lots more to open soon. Also lots of great restaurants.

We chose to eat dinner at House of Blues, just because. The food was not all that great, but the service was good and the atmosphere was interesting to say the least.

So the show opener was a band called Lionize. They were really good for a show opener. Kind of a reggae/blues mix. Later we found out that the guitar player is also the Clutch guitar player.

Band #2 was horrible. They are called Baroness and hail from Savannah Georgia. I guess it was supposed to be heavy metal. It made no sense... Each musician was playing their own thing and it just did not come together. I absolutely had to turn my back so I was not trying to figure out what was going on. Periodically the singer would scream into the microphone. It made me feel nauseous and dizzy like I would puke and pass out. I was ready to leave. Finally they had mercy on us and finished their set.

Clutch, of course, was fantastic. I don't go to a small venue so I can sit on the sidelines, so Jonny and I were a little right of center in the mosh pit. I was warned that Clutch fans can be a rough crowd. A man brought his +/- 12 year old son down to the front and I warned him that two guys directly to his left were getting ready to get it on. A minute or two into the first song, the beer throwing slugfest started. I got out of there and watched the fight from the sidelines. When things cooled down a couple of minutes later, I went right back to where I had been when the fight started. From that point, I was able to enjoy the show and only got jostled around a few times by the crazy college kids who were slam dancing. Jonny always stands between me and the action and he got shoved into me a couple of times... and I got to help him shove back a couple of times. Anyway, I was able to take a few good pictures with my cell phone.

We got home really late, and of course I had to get up and go to work the next morning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Catching up the workouts again

Monday, July 13:
I think this is week 3 of consecutive completed Monday weight training workouts. Upped the sets to 3. So, 3 sets of 15 repeats of 12 exercises for upper/lower body and core. I also did a full stretching routine afterwards including some twisting yoga poses.

Random thoughts:
I am only going to taper 2 weeks for ET. That seems to work best for me when training for a marathon. If I try to taper 3 weeks like I did for Mohican, workouts seem to cease rather than taper off... Besides, I don't need to taper to be crazy... because…"It's better to be crazy than lazy!"
This weekend, I will walk 12 on Saturday after I get back from a scrapbooking and paper convention in Dallas, and then 10 on Sunday. My only 20 miler for ET will be a week from Saturday.
Btw, I might get to go to a rock concert Wednesday night at House of Blues in Houston. I am keeping my fingers crossed. In case anyone is interested, the band is Clutch.

Tuesday, July 14:
I just got home. 6 miles including 42 sets of bleachers. There are 14 full sets of stairs at the stadium, 10 on the home side and 4 on the visitor side. I walked a mile to the track, three laps with all the stairs each followed by a regular lap in lane 8; slow racewalk 1 mile; regular walk 1 mile; walk 1 mile home. I did a full stretching routine concentrating heavily on hamstring and ilio flexibility followed by some twisting yoga poses with slow easy breathing.

Wednesday, July 15:
Going to do my upper body and core exercises at lunch today so I will have the evening open to go to a concert with my son... we might go to see Clutch at the House of Blues in Houston.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12

I went to bed at 8:30 pm last night instead of going out for my 18 mile walk. The alarm set for 4 am. The coffee pot was ready, I just had to turn it on when I got up. I did not have too much difficulty getting up, eating breakfast (3 small blueberry pancakes and a pre-cooked turkey sausage patty) and getting dressed to go out for the walk this morning. I walked out the door at 5:13. I wanted to be on the road by 5am, but this is about as good as it gets for me early in the morning, unless I'm traveling or racing. I have been known to get in the car at 3 am to drive 100 miles to a race.

My main concern with getting out so early in the morning are spider webs. There is a type of spider that lives in the oak trees. Every evening, they descend from the trees and build new webs. No one gets out that early in the morning in my neighborhood, so I am constantly dodging spider webs. If there is anything I really loathe, it is the thought of a spider crawling on me.

I usually start my long walk with a large loop outside of town, but since it was dark, I walked up and down all the streets in my neighborhood first until about 6 miles, then headed out of town for a 4 mile loop. I stopped at my house for a quick restroom break, then back out the door. I did a good job of pacing between 13:30 and 14:30 and in that range, the HR also stayed where it was supposed to. I always like to put in a quick mile at the end of a LSD walk if I am feeling up to it, so mile 17 was the fastest one. It helped a lot that a crazy Butthole Surfer song came up on the play list. It was fun walking to the beat. I haven't gotten so obsessive with the music play list that I plan it for the distance. I have a huge library of music, and I let it play in alphabetical order of song titles. The list includes everything from Johnny Cash to The Kinks, to Opeth, Korn and Metallica. Anyway, I finished up the walk, stretched and headed right to the shower.

Once finished showering and getting dressed, I headed over to my Mom's house. She was having company. Aunt Cathy, cousins Lynn and her daughter Gracie, Dana, and Jonathan and his girlfriend Megan. My niece Charlotte, her dh Jeff and ds Joshua, and nephew Tim, his dw Channing and dd Kailei, and my dd Emily and ds Jonathan also came along. We had a really nice visit! Jonathan has been living in Katy for a while now, and Lynn, Gracie and Dana are moving to either Spring or Tomball. It will be so nice to have family in the area so that we can get together once in a while. As usual, Mom had a huge spread... homemade black bean salsa, cold cut tray, pasta salad, veggie tray, and best of all; homemade peach and blackberry cobblers with Blue Bell ice cream.

What a great way to spend a Sunday. Walking 18 miles... and not feeling any guilt about the cobbler I ate.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

more workouts... the purpose of the blog.

July 8, 2009
I am really on a roll! Just finished the strength training here at home. Upper/lower body and core followed by a full stretching routine including some yoga poses. I know it's kind of late, but oh well I did it!

July 9, 2009
I guess 13 seconds a mile faster than marathon pace counts as a tempo walk in this heat. 7 miles average pace 12:57; average HR 78%; max HR 86% by the end of the 7 miles, then I walked an additional mile to cool down. Nice and slow and easy. Now to towel off and stretch before a shower. I am, yet again, drenched in sweat! I always like to complain about how hot it was when I started my walk... 96 when I started and 90 when I finished. High humidity as usual. I think we reached a high temperature of 102 with heat index of 108 this afternoon. I could fry an egg on the hood of my black car.

The after workout refuel snack for the evening was yogurt with slightly thawed frozen mixed berries and some fat free cool whip! What a treat!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday, July 7

I just got in from my interval workout. It went pretty well even with all the ducking and dodging I had to do on the track. I'll bet there were 50 people out there and 99% of them had no idea what to do when they saw me. I had to ask folks to let me have lane one over and over and etc.

The plan was to do 8 repeats of: 400meter x 2 minute recovery. My HR was not coming down enough in 2 minutes so I adjusted to 8 repeats of 400meter x 400 meter recovery, preceded by 1 mile warm-up, stretching and flexibility drills and followed by 1.25 miles cool down and more stretching. All the speed intervals were under 3 minutes with an average pace of 11:30. The recovery portions were very slow with an average pace of 14:37 for recovery.

The total workout was 6.17 miles average HR 80%; max HR 93%.

Who said these clothes were quick drying and moisture wicking??? The sweat was running down my legs when I got home. I had to towel off before I could even stretch!

Catching up the workout history.

Now time to catch up with workouts since Mohican, since that is why I started blogging, to record my thoughts about my workouts.

June 22 - Mom and I walked about a mile after lunch, and then I went for a walk with Uncle Bill and Aunt Shelly while they walked Kirby. It seemed to be around 4 miles, though I am not sure and did not wear the Garmin. My legs and glutes were real sore at first, but felt better later into the walk.

June 23 - Mom and I went for about a mile walk after lunch.

June 24 - Travel day, so the only walking was in the airports carrying the luggage. That was enough of a workout for me.

June 25 - 5.2 miles. I walked from my house to the track and walked laps with an average pace of 13:32. Flexibility is returning as I was able to stretch really well during and after the workout.

June 27 - ok, got the 6.1 miles done. I checked the weather when I got in the house and it was 99 degrees; heat index 101 with low humidity of 30% when I finished. I sweated like a pig. No exaggeration there. 1:22:51; average pace 13:34; average HR 75%; max HR 84%.
June 28 - 12.05 miles this morning! Left the house at 7:20 am, temperature was 77 with 96% humidity. I was soaked within the first two miles. As it got later in the morning, it got warmer and dried up some of the humidity so that it was 85 with 74% humidity (heat index was 98). I guess this is something I just have to get used to if I want to walk; along with anyone else who lives in coastal areas. Average pace today was 14:32 including about 3 minutes stopped to refill a water bottle and get a rock out of one shoe; and the last two miles were real slow on dead legs. Average HR 71%; max HR 78%. Good work at your 20k, Rudolf! Have fun while you are away in the mountains! Seems like masters racewalking in Australia is getting as bad as it is in the US. I have been to some races where I won because I was the only woman present. I'll take the win, however, because the others chose to stay home while I was working it pretty hard!

June 30 - I decided to follow the advice I got from someone at Mohican and do the bleachers at the track for strength on the hills. My 6.09 mile walk included 35 sets of bleachers. I am defining a set of bleachers as once up and once down. I am not sure how accurate the Garmin is when going up and down the bleachers, but I think it is close. So, my average pace tonight was 16:03; average HR 77%; Max HR 86%. I am showing elevation gain and loss of around 950 feet total for the walk. The stretching is getting easier, seems like my flexibility is returning.

July 1 - Getting out the weights and the ball, changing into workout clothes. Gonna do the upper body, core workout right now. Maryann edited to add: Yes!!! did the strength training for the first time in a long time. I only did upper body and core because I think the bleachers last night were enough of a workout on my legs to last until next week. Now I just need to start riding the bike to work again.

July 3 - Morning: I didn't get to walk last night. Locked out of my bedroom by dd who works all night. I did not want to wake her up, so, when she got up, I politely asked her if she was going to sleep in my room, please don't lock me out. I need to be able to get to my walking gear. So, I will walk my 8 miles tonight after work, and 16 tomorrow morning before going to work. I was gently reminded this morning that this will satisfy my back to back long distance walk requirement on the schedule for ET.
Evening: So, it was 97 degrees when I started out for an 8 mile walk. I reached the little league park at about 4.4 miles and stopped to stretch. Some guys were playing ball and they asked me if I was having a seizure because I was lying on the ground doing some yoga twisting stretches. LOL I told them they should worry if they see me foaming at the mouth. I finished up most of my walk at the park, and then walked through the cemetery on my way home. There is just something interesting about walking through the cemetery at dusk. Anyway, 8.27 miles total, average pace 13:43, average HR 78%, max HR 87%. It's now 91 degrees after I stood outside talking to my dh and some of his friends for a while. I am somewhat of an oddity around here. There he was bragging on me again. He should say to me some of the things he says to his friends.

July 4 - 16 slow, miserable miles for me this morning. I won't elaborate, I'll just call it time on my feet, building heat resistance and overall endurance. The only thing I need to say here is that at 6am the temperature was 78, the humidity was 76% and the heat index was 89; when I finished the walk some time later... the temperature was 86, the humidity was 73% and the heat index was 104. On to the showers and now, I have to work the rest of the day selling mattresses. Oh Boy!

July 6 - Watched the Ultramarathon Man movie when I got home from work today. Even though I never run a step... Dean Karnazes is an amazing inspirational person. When I need a little push, I plan to put the movie in to remind myself I can do whatever I choose to push myself to do. As a matter of fact, strength training was the last thing I felt like doing tonight, but I did it. Upper and lower body and core exercises, so I don't have to do the bleachers tomorrow evening during my walk, I will do the 400 meter intervals at the track instead. Hopefully I can get the 400's down under 3 minutes for 8 repeats. We shall see.

Mohican race report

My trip to Ohio, June 2009 &
Race Report Mohican 100 (30.4) mile trail race

Mom and I left for Ohio on June 16. We had a nice flight and picked up our rental car as we usually do. The drive to Stow was nice; everything was so green and beautiful! We have been experiencing an early, hot summer with drought conditions and burn bans in place in our area of Texas.

Kirby (the yellow lab) was glad to see us when we arrived at Uncle Bill’s house. He always remembers us, even after a long absence. My bags were heavy with all the race gear I brought along, even though I purchased new trail shoes and had them shipped to Ohio months ago. Uncle Bill and Aunt Shelly are fantastic hosts… they just give mom and I a key to the house, and we come and go as we please. I greatly appreciate that as I also have family on my dad’s side in the Akron - Tallmadge area.

Day two was breakfast out with my 93 year old grandpa. He is a leather craftsman and still lives on his own. Right now, he is working on a saddle. He insisted on picking up the check for breakfast. Funny, when we walked into the local establishment where he likes to eat breakfast, all the wait staff know him and are glad to see him.

We got to spend a little time with him after breakfast, and then I had some errands to run. I needed to get over to Vertical Runner in Hudson and drop by Second Sole in Cuyahoga Falls. Each store had ordered supplies for me. Mom and I always go to the huge Joanne’s fabric store on the way to Hudson. She is a true crafty woman and is always on the lookout for new things in paper and fabric. Then there is Pat Catan’s; wow, that is a true bargain store for the crafter!

Ok, now back to getting the drop bags ready for the race. I laminated all my materials for the race, pace charts, maps, etc. before leaving home. I still needed a few things from Wal-Mart, including zip loc bags and some personal hygiene products. Oh, by the way, I also had to purchase a small tent and sleeping bag for the weekend, as I planned all along to be dropped off at the park Friday and have the family pick my back up on Sunday morning after the awards ceremony… or possibly watch me cross the finish line. I got all my things organized on Thursday evening. We went out to dinner at a cute place in downtown Akron; The service was fantastic. Our server never let my get to the bottom of my coffee cup, and the coffee was really good and the food was fantastic! The valet was a young guy, and it looked like he was trying to see what the rental car had under the hood as he brought it back to the front for us. The rental was a bright red Dodge Charger.

Friday and I was starting to get nervous about the race. Heck I have been nervous about this race ever since I signed up. The trip down to Mohican State Forest was uneventful except for the fact that the closer we got to the park, the steeper the hills became. The cell phone stopped working due to the terrain, and severe thunderstorms were forecasted for the whole weekend. As a matter of fact, it rained every day we were in Ohio to this point. I went through the packet pickup line and got my tech shirt and bib number; #111! I really felt like it was a lucky number and immediately marked my drop bags and put them in their designated places so they could be delivered to the proper aid stations in the morning.

Mom seemed reluctant to leave me at the park, but I reassured her I would be fine and told her there was a concrete and steel structure (restrooms and shower) we could take shelter in if the weather got really bad. When she and Uncle Bill left, I found the friends I had been corresponding with online (thanks, Kim!) and set up my tent. I found Colleen, dressed all in purple, and introduced myself to her. She was very busy circulating through the crowd and making sure she met all the first timers. I also met Norm Carlson, who volunteered to pace me if I made it past 60 miles. He and his wife Carolyn are awesome folks, and she was going to have knee surgery right after the race. I really appreciate their coming to Mohican, and I’m sorry it wasn’t meant for me to finish this year.

I made my way back to the pavilion where the dinner was being served and there was to be a pre-race briefing. The pasta dinner was a little slim, only pasta, sauce and salad (no protein) with breadsticks, but adequate. I met lots more interesting people, Brad, Nick, Lucas, Glenn, Nofal and Shirley (from Houston), Mike, Mark, Mike, Salvador, Filiesha, Fred, Rob, and countless others. Lots of people were really interested in my story and the fact that I was planning to walk the whole race. Everyone was very accepting of the fact that I am not a runner. You won’t always find this kind of acceptance when walking at a road race. The trail running community is just a great group! Ryan greeted all the racers and Leo gave instructions about the trail markers. During the dinner and meeting it began to pour down. You could barely see the driveway from the pavilion entrance it was raining so hard. The rain did not last long and I was able to go to my tent and try to get some sleep. Later on mom told me she had talked to my sister who was watching the weather channel. She was concerned so she called mom and told her to get me out of there, or call me and tell me to come back to the house. Remember I said the cell did not work at the campground??? It was nice not to have to worry about the phone ringing all weekend! Anyhow, I was fine, along with all the other people camping for the weekend.

I was awake at 3 or 3:30am and finished getting my race duds on. Thank goodness I kept one of the 99 cent rain ponchos with me, because it began to rain just before the race started. It rained pretty hard, and then it stopped after about 10 minutes and did not rain again for the whole weekend. I was introduced to the Mohican hills during the first mile of the race. I was warned; I expected hills, just not that steep! It was unreal, and I had lots of company at the beginning of the race. I wish I could remember names of some of the folks I walked with that first few miles, but it is not possible. The first 10 miles were pretty uneventful, all on either asphalt or dirt roads. I was ahead of my pace chart at the first two aid stations and got in and out quickly as I had planned to; even changing shoes from road to trail shoes at the second stop. Then we entered the green trail section. It was all single track and some parts were extremely muddy, you know shoe sucking muck. I was having a blast! I would crest a hill and ask myself, because I was mostly alone at this point, where is the suspension bridge to the top of the next hill??? Ok, so, no bridge; just trudge to the bottom where the muck is then climb the next hill. I was already wondering what the hell I was thinking; entering this race as my first 100.

I was still pretty much on schedule at aid station #3, 4 and 5. I needed to check my feet at this point and chose to let the podiatry student put a moleskin patch on the bunion on my left foot. I lost enough time here to put me right at the cutoff leaving the covered bridge to start the purple loop. Lucas was talking to a race official here and was told he missed part of the loop and would have to do it over in order to continue with the race. He accompanied me through the whole thing, and believe me, I would have certainly fallen down an embankment and into the river had he not helped me regain my footing. There were lots of runners who got lost on the purple loop as there were no markings at critical intersections in the trail. Several of the faster guys went back on that trail and placed limbs and sticks across wrong turns to help guide the runners still to come. So, let me get back to the purple loop description. The trail crosses back and forth over a small stream with huge fallen tree trunks to climb over or crawl under and then there is the climb up Little Lyons Falls. I don’t know for sure how tall it is, but it is straight up from the creek bed using roots of a tree for hand and foot holds. If you have ever gone up one of those rock walls at a county fair, you will get the picture, except that the tree roots were wet from rain and mud from runners’ shoes and I was holding a water bottle in one hand. So, grab a tree root with one hand and look for a foot hold, climb, repeat to the top. I was STOKED that I was able to make it to the top! The next section was road over the dam and then back on the trail to the descent to Big Lyons Falls. The first part was really slick, and then the remainder of the descent was constructed of concrete steps. The trail continued under the waterfall where I took off my cap and put my head under the falls to cool off! The trail met back up at one of the trail intersections near the start where I had almost fallen earlier, and then we exited back at the covered bridge.
I was now 5 minutes late for the final cutoff but was encouraged to continue to the orange mountain bike trail. This is where things went south for me. The trail was pretty much switch-backs up the side of a really steep hill. I began having cramps like electric shocks in my calf muscles about 15 miles into the race from the steep climbs, but I continued to hydrate and stretch periodically, and kept moving. Now this orange loop was just too much for me. I had to stop several times and I was getting slower and slower, not feeling sick from the heat or anything, and just having too much trouble with the hills. I stopped to pee in the woods, knowing full well I was in dead last place and going to miss the cutoff by a long shot with no chance of making up 30 minutes with more climbing to come, so I pulled out my cell which is also a music player, and turned on some music. It was not long before I found myself at the Hickory Ridge aid station, at least 30 minutes past the final cutoff at a distance of 30.4 miles. They would have let me continue, but I felt it would be stupid to go on at that point, knowing there was no way for me to gain 30 minutes back in this terrain. I know now that it was a mistake for me to choose Mohican as my first attempt at 100 miles, but I am still glad I tested myself.

I had some fun with the a/s volunteers and Mike, who also dropped there. It was a long wait for a ride back to the campground and some hot food, but I didn’t care. I actually got a cell signal (we were on a ridge) and called a friend to tell her I was done and not broken up over it. When our ride showed up, I had no idea we were so far from the campground… 30 miles on hilly country roads. I rinsed off the mud in the showers and ate fajitas for lunch. Another Mike said he was going out to the covered bridge aid station to volunteer, and I asked if I could go too. He took me back up to Hickory Ridge to retrieve my water bottle and so that he could make a phone call. One of the runners who had been working the aid station was talking to someone about how he wished he had his picture taken with that crazy lady from Texas, so I posed for a photo; then we went down to the Covered Bridge. That was what made the weekend a great success for me.

Runners come through that aid station 5 times during the race and they all need something. It was very gratifying for me to be able to help people who were still in this race. We were grabbing their drop bags, filling their bottles, telling stories, making sandwiches, there were even volunteers helping runners with their shoes and socks. It was awesome. One guy was very sick during the night, and his pacer and the a/s workers, one in particular that is the wife of a runner who has finished Mohican numerous times, made him lay down and tried everything to get him moving again. It was finally when his pacer asked for coffee with cream that the runner began to feel better. He left the a/s with iced coffee in his water bottle. Of course I was made fun of unceasingly for my Texas accent, but all in good fun! I stayed out there until about 1am then caught a ride back to the campground. I slept for a few hours, and then went back to the pavilion for breakfast and to watch the last of the runners finish the 100 mile race. It was so gratifying to see the young man who had been so ill during the night finish with his father as his pacer! He looked strong as he finished.

There were lots of great stories at the finish line, and it was awesome seeing the last of the Mohicans make the finish! Great job Nick, making it farther than you have ever run before!

I talked to a few other people and found out that the lead runner got lost after he left the covered bride the last time. I was still down there at the covered bridge and heard someone tell him he was at least 20 minutes ahead of the second place runner at the 83 mile mark. When he went out on the last trail section (red) he got turned around and met the second place runner coming toward him. I don’t know how that happened, because I never made it to the red part of the trail. He ended up coming in third place. I read the winner’s blog and he said he ran stealth (with headlamp off) for a good portion of the last part of the race. It was possible to run without the light because the last 10 miles are on roads and gravel roads, just like the first 10 miles.

I guess that is enough about the race. I will tell you all that it is a shame that local people in the area of the park are known for going out on the trails and removing trail markings after they are so painstakingly placed. It seems like after 20 years of holding the race that some sort of compromise could be reached. My race outcome wasn’t changed by the missing trail markers, but lots of other people’s races were. Even people familiar with these trails missed turns and lost time. I can not imagine being completely new to the park and trying to find my way from one aid station to the next, especially in the dark with no moonlight at all. I am glad I chose Mohican for my first attempt at 100 miles, and almost glad I was not able to finish. It was better for me to tackle something with a higher level of difficulty than I am used to and fail, rather than fail at a race on a course I am familiar with.

I still plan to walk 100 miles, where and when, I don’t know for sure.
The rest of the trip to Ohio is kind of a blur. We visited with more family and then too quickly it was time to return home and get back to work.

Anyone having any questions…; just email me, or post a comment below, I will answer as soon as I can.

btw, malvs2walk!