Cayuga Trails 50

Posted: June 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

I always think of clever shit to say while I’m racing.  I forget it all by the end. Then I sit to write one of these reports again and come up with words that mean nothing.

The website said something about ten thousand feet of climbing and descending.  I don’t know a whole lot about these numbers and really don’t care what they mean or how accurate they are.  My quads and calfs care more about them than I do, and I am fairly crippled as of 36 hours after the race.  One of the memories I’ll hold onto the longest is hobbling around after finishing and marveling at the elites as they prance around like they’ve been relaxing poolside all day.  I have much work to do.

I set an American record for bowel movements in the first five or so miles of a race.  I believe it was 6.  It’s hard to count when you are listening to the footsteps pass you by and thinking about how much work its going to take to catch those people that didn’t get shitfaced in the name of love at their best friends wedding yesterday.

There was a section of stairs in this race that we went up and down several times.  I was half expecting a 900 year old Chinese man to be sitting there waiting to give me Kung-Fu lessons when I got to the top. Going up, I thought I might die.  Not like, ‘oh man, I’m gonna die,’ but rather, ‘oh man, I wish I had my phone so I could call mom and tell her that she’s done a satisfactory job and that I like her more than all the other people I’ve met along the way.’  Going down the stairs I simply thought of the American way and a lawsuit that read something like “The People of America v These Fucking Stairs”

I had a long panic attack from mile thirty until I arrived at the Trailsroc aid station and saw my people.  This was brought on by a number of things that I’ve decided to not write about because I am still trying to make sense of what happened.  The heat and severe dehydration likely had a lot to do with it.  What is far more important is the value of the community that I am so fortunate to be a part of. Susan, Mort, Eric, Ron, Heather, Sean, Danielle, Stacy, Jon, Josh, Jacki, Sheila, Elyse, Amy, Ryan and all of the Trailsroc people were instrumental in keeping me moving forward.  This was new to me, as I have grown accustomed to internalizing all of this shit and not looking for external motivation.  After leaving Buttermilk the last time, I found myself depending on encouragement from Mike Bray, Josh Rossi and Dan Lopata as I crossed paths with them. Then I was on my own, so I thought of people back home and how they would want me to finish strong so to just stop being slow and to get after it.  Greg, Amber, Jamie, Matt Bertrand.  I didn’t have my phone all day, but I imagined them checking in on me through the website and probably asking about me.  This was surprisingly motivational.  I thought of Daven Oskvig and Kermit Welden for a while and how I would’ve very much liked to have either one of them at my side for a few miles. I thought of Medved and remembered the first time I went in and bought a pair of shoes in which to run my first 5k. I reminded myself that I work there now and should do a good job representing the reputation of the store by not being named in the obituaries of the D&C. After losing my ability to think for myself, I latched on to a couple of guys for the last 8 or 9 miles.  They finished right around the time I did and I can’t recall their names, but I probably owe most of my going sub 10 to these guys.  Finishing 50th in a time that would have been good for 35th last year felt as good as finishing first in any other race.  Perhaps this is what it will be like as I age into slowness.  As far as the race goes, there isn’t anything I can say that someone else isn’t going to say ten times better in a blog that actually matters, so I’ll stop there and just highlight some lessons that I learned throughout the day.

-I am a better runner than I was before.  I’m not as fast, but I am much smarter.

-Ian is an outstanding race director.  Mature, calm, collected.

-Krissy Moehl and Dave James are 2 of the friendliest mid-race elites I’ve come across since Tim Olson.  This sort of thing is very important to the sport.

-Consider spare hydration options before race day.  My handheld was irreparably leaking for the last 25 miles of the race and completely emptying about a mile out of each aid station.  This was likely responsible for my hallucinations and panic attack.

-Swimming during races is a good way to cool off and keep your body from shutting down.  Swim when you find water.

-Don’t be discouraged by GI issues early in a race.  I firmly believe that my inability to run a sub 10 mile without shitting my pants for the first hour of the race prevented me from going out too fast and jeopardizing the entire day.  50 miles is a long distance.  Be patient with your body and with your mind.  And with your butt.

-Weddings are the best possible carb-load events. 20 beers is an acceptable number for the day before a race if you drink water in between each one and stop by 6 pm.  (results may vary for people that don’t have a problem)

-I bloat during longer races and am not quite as fabulous as I might be on other days.  Electrolyte capsules make for fat fingers and cheeks.   Evidence of this has been viewed way too many times at this link:  Ron’s pictures are wonderful and should be enjoyed by all.

-Using a 50 mile trail race to tune up for a 3 mile road race may have been a bad idea.  See you on Fathers Day.


  1. Amber says:

    Love you Mike! Thank you for writing this, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

  2. CoachDJ says:

    TrailsRoc Mike & so does your blog man! Keep Running Strong!

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