Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November NEO Trail Night Run

Left to right - Jim, myself, Mike, Kurt, Corey & Heath (Bob in background)

Well, it's that time again for our monthly NEO Trail night runs which take place in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As the day progressed I could feel myself getting more and more excited to run this evening. After work I stopped by McDonald's and picked up a double cheeseburger and six chocolate chip cookies... all for only $3... how beautiful is that?

The plan tonight was to meet everyone at the Lock 29 parking lot in Peninsula around 6:15 and get somewhere between 3-5 hours of time on our feet. When I arrived at Lock 29 I took my running stuff into the bathroom, which is open 24 hours, and got ready. Not long after I started changing Mike Keller came into the bathroom and it kind of startled me because I thought he was out of town on work. We chatted for a bit and then waited for everyone to show up. Mike pointed out that we were both wearing the same socks.. that's right, we're Darn Tough!

Around 6:20-6:25 we heard some turkey calls in the distance and immediately knew that our buddies were here. Once everyone used the facilities and filled up their water bottles we were off... Tonight I was borrowing Bob's Camelback to get used to wearing it in preparing of next week's 70 mile run. It seemed to work out really well and after wearing it for awhile I could barely tell that it was on.

It's hard to describe these monthly night runs and I don't want to ruin it for others by getting into all the details right now, but basically there is a lot of running/wandering in the woods with slipping, sliding, major hill climbs, hopping over downed trees, dodging branches, getting scraped by briars, running through small streams, balancing yourself on logs that stretch across ravines, and much more... Ready to join us on our next night run? I thought so! It's a great time and I really enjoy spending trail time with my buddies and meeting other adventure seekers. I must say that we have a great group of runners in the NEO Trail Club and we have enjoyed some awesome experiences together.

When we got back to Jim's car at the Happy Days Visitor Center we enjoyed some food and drinks and then Mike and I left to run back to our cars at Lock 29 (yes, we did run the whole way back Jim!). On the way back Mike and I kept a somewhat fast pace. He has to run a 50K race in NY this Saturday so he didn't want to push it too much, but I tried to motivate him and I was glad to see Mike go a little bit outside of his comfort zone. This stretch from Happy Days to Lock 29 is approx. 2 miles and when we finished we definitely felt good about our effort.

As I head to bed, I leave you with a quote from Catra Corbett's blog which pretty much sums up the incredible fun we had in the woods tonight.....

"Take all opportunities to break old habits and old patterns as this is a time of rebirth and re-invention. Sometimes patterns are hard to change so perhaps the easier way to is to discard them altogether. Certainly there will be mini-endings and beginnings around this time, so don’t hold onto the past, allow new situations to be drawn to you and to flourish. Evolution, like the passage of time, is not within our control. So go with the flow and allow yourself to be guided." © Stephen Haynes


Anonymous said...

Dude, I just watched the video on the NEO home page and couldn't stop laughing. That was as good as Napoleon Dynamite!
Nice blog, and nice run. Thanks for pushing me the last few miles.

Brian said...

Yeah, that's a classic video. Good job on the run!