Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Bone Showin, Just a Big Fat DNF..........

Mohican Trail 100-Saturday-June 20, 2009.
I got up at 3:45 AM, dressed, ate and headed down to Mohican Wilderness Campground for the start of the Mohican Trail 100. The excitement and the charge in the air with 200 runners milling around for the start of the races.
It was already 78 degrees with very high humidity.
The race started promptly late and after 5:00 AM.
Off we went running into the dark abyss. I chatted and ran with several friends over the first four miles. Terri Lemke who was 2 nd female and Mark Carrol, made it to 80 miles. At the 1st aide station I was 2 minutes off. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, must be the humidity. Got to Rock point (10 miles) and was 4 minutes off. I thought I was running well and should have been ahead of my goal at this point. Now the trails begin. I ran the 1st portion fast as I knew it was good downhill. Before long a started to get severe back spasms. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Made it to South Park and the to the Fire Tower and the Covered Bridge. Way behind schedule.
My back was really hurting, but I knew I needed to get through the tough purple loop. This loop has very steep climbs, rocky, and many roots. I decided to walk much of this portion to give my back a break.
Got beyond 2 1/2 miles when I noticed a group of 7 runners pausing and then going to the left. The course goes to the right. When I got down there I told them the course goes to the right and one runner said are you sure. I said I laid out the course so I am going right and they proceeded to follow me. There were no markings at all through this section. Even worse was at the bottom of the hill before Big Lyons Falls. A horse trail crosses over our trail so the inclination would be to go right. This would be bad as it takes you the Bridle Staging Area, skipping 20 miles.
We all went straight. I know the only markings that were put there was lime. The heavy rains during the night washed the lime away. When we got back to the Covered Bridge I told the Aid Station Captain.
I then got my drop bag and proceeded to reload for the orange loop.
While preparing, Zack Tuggle appeared and told me he was at Butler 5km and Bryan Derr had won. Well this picked up my spirits. So off to the orange loop. My back was still hurting, causing me to slow. I got to the Hickory Ridge Aid Station where the Mansfield Y Running Club were manning. It was good to see many friends out there helping. I thought about dropping at this point, but decided to push on in hopes of the back spasms going away.
During to push to the Grist Mill, Charlie Danielson caught up with me. Charlie finished the 1st Mohican in 1990, I started but dnf'ed. We were the only two originals running on the day.
Charlie and I reminisced and told stories about other experiences. It was a fun time.
However, my problem was still with me and if relief did not come before the Grist Mill, I was dropping.
I told Charlie I would be dropping, but my wife who was waiting for me most likely would not give me a ride home. She said if I dnf'ed, no ride home.
Charlie said his day was done also. I told him she would give him a ride to the start/finish, but probably not me. Charlie said he would return for me and take me home.
A miracle, Betty did take me home after Charlie got to Mohican Wilderness.
37 Miles for the Day.

I have had back spasms 3-times this past winter. Early in the tough Mohican 'Forget the PR 50 km', two long training runs in Mohican. However, I have run several races in between these runs with no problems. My conclusion is the back spasms are caused by the fast downhill running I normally do. Mohican with much steeper hills must cause the problem. Or is it something else?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

41st - Nebraska

6:30 AM Somewhere south of Valentine, Nebraska the start of the 3rd Annual Sandhills Marathon begins. My goal was to complete the marathon for the new state and finish between 3:15-3:30.
One out of two ain't bad.
The morning actually started with the alarm going off at 3:50 AM. Getting prepared with some food, dress, and out the door to meet the cars going to the finish. They were leaving from another hotel at 5:00 AM. Left with the caravan to the finish line some 40 miles away. Once parking the car, got into the shuttle for the starting line.
A shot gun was fired and the 18-19 marathon runners were off.
Since I did not train to run a fast marathon, I felt slow was in order. A group of runners from the prerace meal the night before planned to go for a 4:15 marathon, so I was going to run with them.
After 3 miles I needed to use one of the porta pots on the roving trailer and sure enough it was sitting along the road at mile four. I took a good healthy dump, which did not occur a few hours earlier. Relief and out the door I went. Well the group I was with were gone and some other runners were now in front of me.
From this point on it was me and only me.
The course goes down this road of 25.6 miles and takes a side road to Brownlee, a small (really small) community. The road is single lane so if a vehicle goes by it basically go off the side of the road so not to run over us.
So I'm running along maintaining an acceptable pace when mile 10 comes along. A hill, big one!
It goes all the way to 13.1 miles. Wow! Now I expected some small hills as the maraTHON IS NAMED sANDHILL. This one went on forever. Oh well stop complaining, Don.
After the 1/2 marathon I started to slow slightly, but continued onward.
The sun was out and the skies were clear, but not hot. I plugged along to the Brownlee side trip.
Coming back from the turn around I saw my nearest competion. I little to close. I picked up the pace with 5 miles to go. When I got to 25 miles I noticed a runner ahead of me who was doing some walking. He was probably a 1/2 mile ahead. So I focused on him and pushed to the finish line. I almost got him, but just a little to much separation. My time was 4:39:19.
This is a nice, well run marathon. The weather was great and the day on whole was gratifying.
Nebraska, number 41.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Poised in the Sandhills

I am currently sitting in downtown Valentine, Nebraska awaiting tomorrows start of the Sandhills Marathon.
The race actually starts somewhere else, but we will caravan to the finish at 5 AM. Leave our vehicles there and shuttle to the start. The start is at 6:30 AM.
This marathon is a small field with lot's of nice touches, making everyone welcomed.
The pre-race meal was great (spaghetti, salad, bread, cookies, and drink).
Getting up early in the morning will be the greatest challenge. I am looking forward to getting state number 41 in the books.
I will let you know how it went tomorrow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mansfiled Y Running Club

Sunday morning I finally met up the Mansfield Y Running Club. Eight o'clock sharp a group of
10-12 took off for a run around the Woodland loop. There are several variations of the loop, varying form 6 to 7 miles plus.
I ran the whole distance with Bob S., club creator and editor of the club newsletter.
It was a cool morning perfect for running with clear skies and a stiff breeze.
We ran about 5.8 miles. Always enjoy the friendship these groups have and the many things we can relate to.