Monday, June 20, 2011

Mohican 100 Mile Race Report

0/2 on Mohican attemps, darnit! Bernie and I made it 71 miles; I think we stopped after 18 or 19 hours. Mohican is hard!!!! I don't know if I'll ever finish it. I'll try my best to not be so pessimistic on my recap.

Last Friday morning I met up with Bernie and his fam in Bluffton and we drove three hours to OH.






We met up with Bryan and Chris and camped out.

Ya...the whole queen size mattress in kiddie tent doesn't really work anymore.








It poured down raining that night but I still got to bed okay around 8pm. Woke up at 3am and got ready for the race. Note to self: Will stay in hotel next time before a race. Too hard to get ready for a big race with everything in the trunk of your car and only a flash light to see.


Our race plan was for Bryan, Bernie and I to stick together as best we could, and then have Chris pace us at mile 53. We were going to try to meet up with Bill and Marit as well, but knew it'd be hard for the big group to stick together. We also weren't going to try intervals since that didn't really work out at Gnaw Bone.




I saw Bill and Marit at the start but somehow immediately lost them before the race began. I also ran into Randy whom I had run with a little bit at the end of my last Mohican attempt in'09. It was good to see he will still out there truckin. (I believe all three of them finished the 100 miles- great job!!)

They changed the course this year and it consisted of four loops: they were all the same except the last two had different middle sections. About two miles from the end of each loop was a set of four long-arse hills of each .5 miles or something and they SUCKED. Why would they want someone to want to kill themselves right before the end of each loop?

They also said no water crossings. Don't let that fool you in the future. Your feet still get wet. If not from the puddles from the rain from the night before or not from the tiny creeks, they will get wet from the sweat from the humidity. I changed my shoes and socks at every drop bag location; I think seven or eight times total.


So as we started the first couple loops we felt pretty good and were making a lot of progress. We kept wondering if we were going to fast but we decided to cover as much ground as we could while it was daylight. Bad idea, I guess. There were tons of hills and larger climbs than I remembered but we were still able to go up them with not too much pain.



Bryan wasn't feeling too hot at the end of the second loop and so with five miles left of the loop, Bernie and I sadly left him. We told Chris to hang back with him and convince him not to quit and Bernie and I would be fine without the pacer. (Turns out Bryan just rested for 20 minutes, ate some food, and was able to keep going with Chris- all the way til 83 or so. Awesome job!)


So Bernie and I started the third loop (mile 53) and we felt pretty good until around mile 62. I could feel just a few blisters at that time but nothing too terrible. I was so nervous because it wasn't until this point in '09 that I really felt the pain.



We passed the Fire Tower and these two HS girls asked if we wanted pacers so we said they could stick around. I guess their cross country coach was running the race and they tagged along to help runners out. They just ran behind us for about five to ten miles and said about five to ten words the whole time. One girl told me to think happy thoughts about butterflies and rainbows but unfortunately that didn't do the trick.

During the third loop we hit the middle section that was different and it was full of downhills with tons of rocks and roots. It may have been nice with fresh feet and some sun light but it really sucked when you felt blisters on your heels and had sore knees and quads and could only see a tiny circle of light in front of you. Uggh! I hated it.



We were all out of words at that point and the HS girls couldn't come up with any stories so all I thought about was quitting. I tried hard not to but I couldn't help it. It took us foreeever to reach the next couple aid stations and finally we made it to mile 71. I told Bernie I just wanted to rest for a little bit (knowing in my head I was done) and so we slept for 10 or so minutes. I looked up and those poor girls were just sitting on the side waiting for us. I thought they would have left by then.



Randy met up with us at the aid station and he and the aid station workers tried yelling at us to keep going, tried cussing, tried playing loud music- everything to get us to stand up and go but we couldn't! We were well on track in terms of time and we could have walked the rest of the race and still finished under the 32 hour time limit...but who the heck wants to walk a marathon?? I sure didn't. It already stunk walking two hours just to get five or six miles; I did not want to walk for ten more hours while I was in pain and couldn't see anything and then to go up those huge hills again. Ugggh! I'm sure we painted a really pretty picture of ultra running to those girls.


Bernie and I quit at 71. When I got back to the campsite and was about to take a shower, my body scared myself! I had huge scrapes all over my chest, back, thighs, armpits, and stomach from chafing. It was so humid during the whole race that my short and shorts were constantly wet and I guess it jacked me up. Next race I will definitely be switching clothes throughout it.

What's hard is when I was out there, I was DONE and didn't care if I didn't finish. I was hurting and knew more blisters would come and bla bla bla. Now at home, even just one day later, I forget the pain and wish I would have finished. Dang, I thought it would have taken at least a month for me to say that.


I make myself feel better by knowing that the winner of this race finished it three hours later than in the previous year, and that only 33% of the starters actually finished (58/174). Now that is crazy. Too bad I wasn't part of the 33% though. Boo.

They already said they're going to change the course again for next year and will cut out some of the harder hills they had right at the end. I wish I didn't know that because it tempts me to try it AGAIN, just in case the course is a little easier.



Below's a few short clips from the race up until mile 40 or so. I wanted to actually get footage past this point (since I didn't in '09) but I didn't get to. You just start feeling so crappy that you really don't want to pull out the video camera.










Last but not least- big thanks to Chris for being such a huge help before and during the race! He was constantly asking if we needed anything and even tried popping my nasty, dirty blood blisters that had Glide all over them. He was fantastic and it's too bad Bernie and I didn't get any miles in with him.


Also thanks to Bernie's fam and Bryan's fam for being so helpful at each aid station. You guys made it very enjoyable and fun!

6 comments:

Chief Tim said...

UGHHHHH!!! How frustrating that next day would have been?! I know i feel the same way when I leave a spin class early. During the class I'm all tired and whining and then I'll quit. Five minutes after I leave, I'm like "Why didn't I just stay?"

I can't imagine that for a bigger race like yours.

Great job for what you did accomplish!

White Wolve said...

I am very impressed with you, with what you do and with your energy. I used to be like you but now I am very lazy ... but I still trying to shake up.
Good look for you I continue reading your blog, it may inspire me. ^_^ Bye.

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

I hope it was not too tramatic for you two when I walked away from the aid station and left you two!. LOL

Clara said...

Thanks guys!

Good to see you out there, Rob, and sorry to disappoint! :) You guys tried really hard to get us going- we just didn't have it.

sparlingville bill said...

I wanted you to know that your video has gone viral around here. It is so cool to be able to see those sections of the race again. thanks for taking the camera.
I just know you're going to try again, and stubbornness will pay off. It's a good thing you're young and strong.

Clara said...

Ay Bill- tan fuerte eres! Eres mi motivaciĆ³n porque nunce te rindas!