The Mohican 100 this past Saturday reminded me just how tough these 100 milers are from both a mental and physical standpoint. Small (or large) mental mistakes often lead to other mental errors and ultimately lead into a viscious downward spiral. All I can say is “thank god” it was a beautiful sunny day as I had a VERY LONG bike ride in the woods.
At the end, my finish time of 11:06 was over 2 hours longer than my 8:51 time from last year. I started early on the Mohican Mistake Train, as Mistake #1 happened at the start when I neglected to insert my two large water bottles into my cages...stupid. I realized my mistake about 15-20 minutes into the race and turning around did not seem like an option especially after DJ Birch offered me a 12 ounce water bottle. As a result, I rode the first 25 miles (most of which was singletrack) with only 12 ounces of water.
The Mistake Train continued as I did not stop at Aid Station 1 to get back on top of my hydration. I rolled through and grabbed two bottles and kept rolling…stupid. Somehow I had myself convinced that 3 bottles over 3 hours were sufficient even in very humid and increasingly hot conditions…..delusional. Despite taking lots of Endurolytes, the leg cramping commenced as I was heading into Aid Station #3 at mile 43. In hindsight, I should have rested for a bit and tried to drink more fluids.
I proceeded to Aid Station 4 at 73 miles and was feeling ok on the flat roads and on the Mohican Trail. At Aid Station 4 I pounded a bottle of heed, filled my bottles and drank half a cold Pepsi. I was rolling out of the Aid Station and next thing I know I was puking off the side of the bike. It was weird, because my stomach felt fine. As I am going down the road there was more puking and drive heaves. I probably blew about 20 ounces worth of liquid, which did not likely help my dehydrated state.
The cramps were coming and going but mostly coming at this point. I continued to take endurolytes but they were not keeping the leg cramps at bay. Miles 80 though 91 were as slow as I can ever remember riding with lots of walking up climbs. At Aid Station 5 at mile 93, I knew (or thought) the worst was behind me, just some single track, some ez riding along the river, a hike a bike along the river, the confounded dam, the paved climb and the last bit of single track.
Then about 2 miles after the Aid Station, I went off trail and both my front and rear tires punctured and Stan’s sealant was blowing everywhere. The front eventually sealed (after I used 2 of my 3 CO2) but the rear was no cooperating. Rather than fixing the flat, I kept re-inflating the slow (or not so slow as it turned out) leak. The last 5 miles probably took me an hour, however, going this slow at least kept the cramps at bay. Yeeaahh for small victories!!
All things considered it was still a very good weekend. It proves to me that even the worst day on the bike is still frickin awesome. It was good to see some old friends meet some new ones and best of all I got to spend 11 hours in the woods with my favorite person:)