Monday, May 25, 2009

Mohican Training Weekend

Mohican is such a magical place. I was so nervous going into this weekend. Up to this point the most I had ever run in a weekend was 40 miles and I was really hurting on the second day. I had no idea how I was going to survive 60 miles over three days.
The plan Friday was to run an easy 20 mile night run, roughly following the first and last 10 miles of the Mohican 100 course. I knew it was going to be a long weekend so I started out slow with Roy Hedger, who was coming off a Massanutten finish just 5 days earlier. We took are time and eventually caught up to the main group at sunset. It was incredible running through the wilderness in the dark...only your headlamp to guide your way. The run went really well and we finished up around midnight having completed our 20. We shuffled back to out cabin and quickly headed to bed; knowing that in only 6 hours we'd be up again for another 25 miles.
We started Saturday with a breakfast at Mellor's, the home of the all you can eat pancakes for $1.99. After eating all I could stomach we headed to the covered bridge to start our 25. I started off the purple loop slow, pacing my dad through the loop. When we got back to our cars after finishing the purple loop we were way behind and Kevin and I worked together to try and catch the group in front of us. Coming into bridal staging we were just behind the next group and would soon have other runner to guide us through the trails, since neither us knew them very well. Well we never did catch the group right in front of us because we got lost, skipped an entire section of the trail and came upon Ron Ross and his possee, which was about 10 strong. It was just our luck that the whole group then headed down the same trail Kevin and I had just run but in the opposite direction. After about a mile down the trail we ran into another group of runner who informed us we were heading in the wrong direction. We didn't believe them and kept running, but soon realized that they were right. We turned around and headed back up the trail...this was the third time Kevin and I ran this section of the course, but we were still a little shot. The rest of the run was great. No wrong turns, no aches, no pains and we finished strong. A few of us ran to the dam and back to get in our 25 so we weren't short for the day. After chatting for a bit with the runners I went back to the cabin and rested up for Sunday.
Sunday's run as uncharted waters...three long runs in a row. We started at the Covered Bridge again and the plan was to run the entire orange loop. Not much to report here because the run went like clockwork. We completed the loop without getting lost, I felt aches or pains. In fact I felt better Sunday than I did Friday or Saturday. I think think ultra trail running agrees with me. I was feeling so good that I ran the last 2.5 miles along the river at 8 minute pace. Man is it fun to fly through the trails at a faster pace. I felt like I was going 80 mph... After finishing the orange I was still feeling good so I decided to get in a purple and without too much trouble was able to talk Michelle into joining me, Brandon Russel and Courtney, for a grand total of 21 on the day (66 over three days).
Jen joined me at the campground on Sunday and it was nice to have some time with the Mrs. after a long weekend of running. I was so pumped up at how well the weekend had gone that I agreed to meet Michelle on Monday for another 10 (purple, 50k green and 50k red). Jen hiked the purple while we ran and I think she got a little taste of why Mohican is such a special place. What a great weekend. 76 miles, four days, and not a single ache or pain. I went into the weekend thinking that a finish at Mohican would be a long shot but I have quite a bit more confidence in myself after a great weekend of running. I can't wait until the big day!


  1. I'm so jealous I couldn't be there!!! Dangit! I'm glad you had a great time and confidence booster. How are the trails? Not as scary as they sound??