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?


Anonymous said...

Nice run again Don, and nice way to convince runners to follow you..."ummm, I laid out the course, YOU decide!!" I can just hear you saying it to them.

Kim said...

Hmm, maybe it is the fast downhills that is doing it. Body is in a different position and that might be causing the spasms?

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

I think you were well prepared for this race and that you would and should have finished. The back spasm sucks that it keeps showing a ugly face. I looked up and found that back spasms also happen without muscle injury, as a reflex phenomenon from irritated deeper structures, including torn ligaments, infections, tumors, or chronic disc irritation, or hernia ion. The way you move, your posture, and other tests permit the doctor to separate a primary muscle spasm from that caused by some underlying cause. So might just be that a MRI before July 1 (insurance deduct) would be of benifit for you to make sure that there is not something more going on so you can treat it.

Serious Running: Chris Barber said...

Back spasms do suck. Sometimes you've got to know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. Glad you got a ride home!

Don: said...

Thanks for the thoughts. I will have to do some runs in Mohican and see if I can make the adjustments in my running.
Rob I got till Jan. for MRI.

Nick said...

Is this consistent with the shoes you were wearing at Mohican?

That's not cool doing a race and dropping out knowing you can go further.

Anonymous said...

The shoes I was wearing felt great, comfortable, and great traction.
The previous times I got the spasms I was wearing a different trail shoe.

Mark said...

Again, great visiting with you. You were ready for the race but different things happen on different days. I am sorry that you didn't have better luck. I hope we get a run in soon. Peace. --Mark

Luc said...


Sorry to hear about your race. Apparently hanging out with Rob has it's side effects. :) I heard you hung around and helped the other runners after your DNF though, and that's just great. Hope to see you on the trails soon!


BTW: You're audio clip on your blog freaked me out "b-b-b-bird bird bird, bird is the word, b-b-b..." :)