Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This afternoon I met Kirk Harrison at Kendall Lake. Once we crossed over Truxell Road our trail run began with some exploring over by the Boy Scout’s Camp Manatoc. We climbed up and slid down many hills in this area. It wasn’t easy because the ground underneath the 3-4 inches of snow was still wet and muddy. We had a lot of fun though and got to see a lot of things inside the camp that I never saw before, such as the obstacle course and climbing wall.
Once we left the camp we headed back to Kendall Lake and ran up to Pine Hollow. There were a ton of sled riders up there today enjoying the fresh snow.
We then ran the Salt Run loop and headed back to our cars just before sundown. Finished with 8 miles and 2 1/2 hours of time on our feet. It was a great day!
Click Here to see the rest of the photos I took along the way….
Sunday, December 27, 2009
This morning I met my brother and Jason McMains at the Happy Days Visitor Center parking lot. The temperature was in the 30’s with a moderate breeze in the open areas. We ran the Ledges Trail over to the Pine Grove loop and then continued to Kendall Lake and Salt Run before heading back. The dam that was under construction for awhile by Kendall Lake is now finished so we ran across it on our way over to Salt Run. Considering all of the hills, we kept a pretty quick pace throughout the run and I felt great from beginning to end. When we got back to our cars we had finished 10 miles.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This morning I met Dan Bellinger at the Valley Picnic Area parking lot for a run on the Oak Hill and Plateau Trails. It felt pretty cold at the start with temperatures around 20 but once we got moving it wasn’t too bad. We ran the outer Plateau Trail first and then mixed in the Oak Hill trail on our 2nd loop. Dan stashed some water and Gatorade at the Oak Hill trailhead so that made for a nice stopping point.
We ended up finishing with a total of 8.5 miles… Now it’s time to put back on the calories! =)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I met my brother tonight at Happy Days in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a 7 mile trail run to Pine Hollow and back. The trail was snow covered but was packed down enough to make for very nice running. There was probably only an inch of packed snow. Just enough to hide any ice underneath. Temperature was around 30 but it felt very comfortable in the woods without any wind.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This morning I met my brother at the Boston Store at 9 o’clock. We headed north on the Buckeye Trail and turned around at Snowville Rd. to give us a total of 10 miles for the day. The temperature was close to 30 but there was no wind so I actually felt pretty warm throughout the run. I had a lot of fun today getting used to the new footing since this was probably only my 2nd run of the year on snow covered trails. There was only about an inch of snow, if that, but it was enough to make things interesting in a few spots. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is always beautiful year-round and today certainly did not disappoint! Here are a few pictures of my favorite section between the Boston Store & Snowville Road….
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This year a new option was on the table after NEO Trail Club member Mike Dobies came up with the "brilliant" idea for anyone interested to run twenty-seven .9 mile out and back sections on the Monkey Trail over and over again until the "Monkey Trail Marathon" distance was reached. For anyone that doesn't know, this section is the toughest part of the YUT-C course and includes many undulating climbs. Coincidentally Mike was unable to join us today, but since the idea was now stuck in the minds of Jim Harris, my brother Jeff, and I, we were committed to the task at hand.
Jeff and I arrived at the parking lot on top of the Monkey Trail hills around 5am. We saw Jim's van already parked there since we were a few minutes late, but after a few quick whistle blasts from the emergency whistle that Tanya Cady gave me two weekends ago at Laurel Highlands, we heard Jim yell back at us. He was on his first lap and headed towards us, so we waited and met up with him.
The first 3 laps or so didn't seem too bad since my legs were still fresh and I was trying to stay warm, but around lap 6 or 7 I could tell that this was going to get real old real fast. By repeating the same hills over and over again it definitely became a mentally challenge. Somewhere around this time Jeff and I decided to get the aid (cookies, Pringles, gel, water) that I brought out of his car and set it on the picnic table located in the middle of the Monkey Trail. This became a great re-fueling point on each lap.
As I approached my 13th lap on the Monkey Trail I started to reconsider completing the entire 26 miles here. I've been putting in a lot of big mileage runs lately and thought to myself that it might not be a good idea to run my body too far into the ground. My main decision for getting off the Monkey Trail hills though was just the monotony of not having new scenery to look at. So, as I reached mile 13 I told Jeff and Jim that I was going to finish the rest of my mileage on the standard URINEO course which loops around Lake Glacier and Lake Cohasset.
I was slightly disappointed to be abandoning my original plan of finishing 26 miles on the Monkey Trail, but once I got off of these hills I could feel my IT band on my right knee starting to get sore and tighten up a bit. I guess my body wasn't too happy with me doing 4 1/2 hours of non-stop climbing 2 weeks after a 64 miler. So, at this point I realized that I had made the right decision. For the rest of the day I did a lot of walking on the URINEO course to give my IT Band a break and it seemed to help quite a bit. Yes, I was slightly disappointed to abandon my original plan for the day. But by the time it was all said and done I was still able to finish 26 miles and live for another day.
Click here to see the final results and other blog reports. Congrats to Slim Jim for being the first and only finisher of the Monkey Trail Marathon! Also congrats to Todd Hanks and Gavin White, who both completed their first ultra marathon distance today!
Afterwards we all enjoyed hot soup and beverages in the Lily Pond parking lot and had a great time talking about trail running and anything that came to mind. This fun run is just one of many NEO Trail Club events that truly exemplify what ultra running is all about!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
After my 64 mile ultra marathon last weekend I really wasn't anticipating that fast of a time today. I figured I'd get about halfway and my legs would suddenly turn into concrete. Well, I hit the first mile in 7 minutes flat. I thought to myself... Hmm, I'm probably starting off the race too fast again as usual. However, I hit the second mile again on a 7 minute/mile pace. At this point I was beginning to near the turnaround point and was anticipating a gradual slow down, but I tried to continue focusing on the pace that I was moving at and see how long I could hold it. Once I reached mile 3 I was surprised to see 21:30 on the clock. At this point I told myself, OK... let's try to turn this into a race now.
I knew the 4th mile would be the toughest, both mentally and physically, since it brings you just about to the last long road to the finish. In my head I kept thinking about the David Goggins video I watched last night where he says, "In a race you will hit a wall and you have a choice to make. You can either stop right there or you can go parallel left or parallel right. You're looking for that door and when you reach that door you have a decision to make. Should I open it? Or should I keep it closed? If you keep it closed you've made the decision to quit. If you choose to open it then you've decided to continue on with your plan or mission."
Thinking about this quote and the fact that I've done many races much longer than this kept me mentally tough at the end. There have been times when I've decided to take the easy way out and ended up regretting it afterwards. So, I told myself... not today. Before I knew it I was making the final turn to the finish and was able to sprint in with a time of 35 minutes, 50 seconds. I was very pleased with my finish and glad to be able to share this day with my friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving! I definitely have much to be thankful for!
Tami, Jeff, Me & Jamie
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Brett and I got back to the parking lot after our first loop just as everyone was beginning to gather for the official start. It was awesome to once again see so many familiar faces and be able to catch up with those that I haven't seen for awhile. After a brief course overview from Chef Bill Bailey he gave us the go ahead and we were off.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Once I got further into our run I felt surprisingly pretty good and we decided to add on a little more by doing the Salt Run Trail. While running on this trail I noticed something fly over us that I first thought was a bat. But then I realized that this was much larger and once it perched itself on a tree branch right next to the trail I discovered that it was a huge owl. We both thought this was pretty cool and stopped for a minute to check it out before it took off into the air again. At this point we turned around and headed back the way we came. Once we got back to our cars my watch said that we had run 10 miles in 2 hours. Pretty good pace for a night run on hilly, technical terrain. Very happy that I got the phonecall tonight or else I might still be sitting on the couch!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This Saturday I'll be running in the 1st Annual Oil Creek 50 Miler in Titusville, PA. This trail event also has a 50K, which my sister is doing, and a 100 miler, which many of my N.E. Ohio Trail Club friends are participating in. Right now it looks like we're gonna get a lot of rain on Friday but the forecast shows Saturday to be just mostly cloudy with a high in the mid 50's. Hopefully it stays that way!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
We started the run off easy and gradually picked up the pace. It never seemed like we were going that fast, but when we reached Snowville Rd. I saw that my watch said 1 hour and 15 minutes. I guess the beauty of the day made the run seem pretty easy. It was so enjoyable, in fact, that we made it all the way to Brecksville and had lunch at Heinen's before turning back. Once we arrived back at our cars at the Boston store we had finished with a total of 22 miles and close to 6 hours on our feet. I was very happy to get in a long run with the Oil Creek 50 Miler coming up next month.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Fast forward 8 months later.... I'm volunteering at the Covered Bridge aid station during the YUT-C 50K/25K this past weekend and another one of my friends Mike Keller comes through, sees I have a camera, and gives his best imitation of Rob's horsecall....
So, the question is.... Who has the best horse call??
New contestant - Video submitted Friday, Sept. 25th.....
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
When we got back to our cars we then ran the mountain bike trails for awhile and included the rocky "expert only" trail. I was curious to explore this area again at night after the strange experience my brother and I had here a few years ago. Click here to read about it. You can also check out this link that was forwarded by one of our running friends this past week. Kind of makes you wonder about the area. Jim and I, however, had no such encounters tonight and finished up with a total of 12 miles in a little over 2 hours. We kept up a good consistent pace tonight and I was very happy with how good my body felt.