|Ultra Runners ready to blaze the trails|
I decided to to run Mohican in my Altra Superiors which are the shoes I have worn for a majority of training for the Burning River 100. The nice thing about the Altra Superiors is they are still considered minimalist shoes because they have a zero drop (no heal raise), but they also provide a little bit of cushion which I found out I need for high mileage training and races. In the past I always ran with VFFs or Vivobarefoot shoes which had no cushion and my feet would get weird pains late in races and that usually lead to me
|The Hardbarger RV..that's how we roll!|
|The first pair of Altra Superiors|
|Jennifer Pharr Davis, world record holder hiking the App.trail in 46 days!|
The alarm went off at 5:00 am and I got up after only a few hours of sleep and got ready to hit the trails. Lucas and myself made our way over to the starting line and before we knew it the 6:00 am start was under way! We took it really easy for the first 10 miles or so as we were weaving down the switchbacks and talking about everything and anything. This notion of taking it easy was very difficult for me even though I knew I could not attack this course like it was a regular race because I was using it only as a training run. I noticed that this course is different from the Forget the PR course and it was nice to experience some different trails in Mohican. Another thing I noticed which was very strange, there was not any mosquitoes, which was awesome!
|Luke and I at the pre-race meeting|
|Me, Luc, and Nick partying a little bit on 50 miler eve|
So, since we had been walking for the last 15 miles I was chompin at the bit to do some running. I took off after saying goodbye to Luc and about a half mile later I rolled my freakin ankle again!! It didn't seem to hurt to bad so I kept running on it. I really made up some time on the decent down to the covered bridge aid station. Then I did the climb up to Hickory Ridge and felt like I made some good time there as well. Feeling pretty good as I cruised into the Hickory Ridge aid station which was the last stop before the 6.5 miles back to the finish line. My pace slowed down quite a bit after leaving this aid station. I think I was pretty tired from not sleeping much the night before. I pushed on knowing the end was near! All I could think about was Trail's End Pizza and some good craft beer! This last section certainly dragged on for a long time, but I was pretty happy that I passed a few people in this section on the way to the finish. As I got closer to the finish line my friend Tyler came running out, it was awesome to see him and it helped to secure the thought that I was almost done and ready to party! As I came around the corner toward the finish line I seen that Luc, Luc's wife Jen, and Tyler's girlfirend Liz were also there. It was nice to have a cheering audience as I crossed the finish line and got my Mohican 50 mile medal! It was a well deserved medal because this Mohican course was really tough. There was some awesome ascents, river crossings, and great trails. I was glad that Luc was with me during this race until mile 35. If he was not running with me then I would of surely ran too hard and injured myself worse then I already did. I also had a lot left in the tank at the end of the tough 50 miles which was a good sign. Lucas took this video of me coming into the finish:
We sat around the campsite and partied until late. I could hardly keep my eyes open but the beer and pizza were tasting great and we were also having some great conversations so I fought the sleep as long as I could. My ankle was really swollen that night and actually it took a couple weeks to heal. As I sit here writing this blog my ankle is at 95% which is a great sign. I have completed all of my super hard training weeks and I am tapering for Burning River. Lucas is coming out to pace me and hopefully the next blog I write will be the story of me training for and completing my first 100 miler with brother Lucas pushing me to the finish line. I am nervous and excited at the same time, but I just need to take comfort knowing that I have put in well over 1,150 miles of training since late January and I have done all I can do. So whatever happens....ummm...happens! Until next time I bid you adieu!