Saturday, March 28, 2009

60 Degree Trail Run

Heading uphill towards Pine Hollow
After last night's trail run I decided to get some much needed rest by sleeping in this morning. In fact, I probably could've layed around all day but as the day went on and the temperature continued to rise into the lower 60's I realized that it was just too nice of a day to pass up. So, I drove over to the Happy Days Visitor Center and did a trail run by myself that included the ledges & overlook, the Pine Grove trail, Kendall Hills, Salt Run, and the Lake Trail. I took it nice and easy today and made sure to enjoy the scenery and warm sunshine. Click here to see more pictures that I took from today's run. I finished up with a total of 12 miles and then headed over to the Winking Lizard for some food/beer and watched Villanova beat Pittsburgh right before the buzzer sounded. If they can just win 2 more games I'll get 1st place in this pool that I'm in and collect over $1,400!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Boston Store Night Run

Me, Chris, Nick, Courtney & Bill
Tonight a few of us met at the Boston Store at 9pm for a night trail run. The temperature was perfect all night - low 50's to start and then gradually dropping into the upper 40's. We planned on running to Snowville Rd. and back (10 miles) and then once back at the Boston Store everyone could figure out if they would like to do more. At this point everyone decided to head home, but Nick and I hopped back on the trail and headed towards Pine Lane. Our original idea was to do an out-and-back to Pine Lane and finish up with a total of 20 miles, but just after we crossed the Turnpike Nick said he wanted to get some sleep and wasn't feeling too motivated. So, we decided to take the gravel path that follows alongside the Turnpike back to the Boston Store to finish up with 13 miles.
Once Nick was gone though I decided to head towards Snowville Rd. again by myself to get in some extra miles. However, the question of how much farther I wanted to go would soon be answered. When I reached the "Piano Keys" staircase I heard some rustling in the leaves near the bottom and when I shined my light in that direction I saw a pretty large black and white animal pacing back and forth. Can you guess what it was? That's right... a skunk! Just what I didn't want to see. I shined my light back and forth and yelled at it some but he wasn't budging and I didn't want to get sprayed, so I decided to turn around and call it a night with a total of 15 miles. Everyone had a great time this evening and we all enjoyed the many small things that make night trail running so awesome. The stars were out, the woods were extremely quiet, and the sound of streams and waterfalls around us was very soothing. I'm already looking forward to our next group night run!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easy 5

This evening I met up with Bob for another one of our usual after work road runs through the streets of Warren and Packard Park. Got in an easy 5 miles wearing shorts. The air felt pretty good (upper 40's) and we were able to dodge most of today's on and off rain, but when it did rain we felt a lot colder.

Friday night my plan is to meet up with some runners at the Boston Store in the Cuyahoga Valley around 9 and run/walk through the entire night, finishing up sometime early Saturday morning. The pace will be slow. Just looking to get time on my feet in preparation for the MMT 100 miler. Let me know if you want to come along...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Boston to Snowville Night Run

This evening I posted a message on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in going for a night trail run and surprisingly minutes later I received a response back from local runner Heidi Finniff. Gotta love technology! We agreed to meet at the Boston Store @ 9pm and ended up running to Snowville Rd. and back, which is a total of 10 miles.

It was a great night for a trail run but a little cool with temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees. The clear sky was beautiful and the stars shined brightly. We wondered where the moon was, but after looking online I saw that we are getting close to a new moon which happens on Thursday.

The strangest thing of the night was on our way back to the Boston Store. We were on top of a ridge just before heading through this thick section of pine trees before Columbia Rd. and I noticed an orange light in the distance off to our right side. At first I thought it was one of those warning lights connected to a street sign but the longer we looked at it we could tell it was flickering and came to the conclusion that someone must have a fire going. Then we remembered these 2 cars parked next to the trail head on Columbia Rd. that we passed on our way out to Snowville Rd. and thought that maybe there were some people camping out. As we made our way down through the thick section of pine trees by the stream we could tell the fire was a lot closer but decided to continue moving on even though we were curious. I'm sure if someone was down there they were probably wondering what we were up to also.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Run

This evening I met Jim Christ at the Happy Days Visitor Center around 6:30 for a trail run. Spring was definitely in the air with temperatures around 65 degrees and lots of sunshine. It felt so nice to head out the door with just shorts and a short sleeved top on. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be even warmer but then Thursday and Friday will be around 40. Another warmup looks to be on our way though for next week.

Tonight our plan was to head up through the ledges, to the overlook, and around the Pine Grove loop en route to Pine Hollow, before turning around. We originally agreed to keep the pace easy, but the warm weather got the best of both of us and we continued to pick up the pace on our way to Kendall Hills. We ended up running 2 to 3 miles in under 10 minutes/mile without even subtracting our time stopped.
The sun shined brightly through the trees during our run and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the way back before finishing up a total of 7 miles. Afterwards we stopped by the Winking Lizard in Peninsula for a couple beers in honor of St. Patrick.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fools 50K/25K Familiarization Run

View from Pine Hollow, overlooking the Kendall Hills area

Even though I didn't feel like getting out of bed this morning it was going to be too nice of a day to pass up. So, I drove over to the Pine Hollow parking lot and met a large group of runners that showed up to take part in Lloyd Thomas' Fools 50K/25K familiarization run today. Lloyd is the RD of this race which will be taking place on April 5th. For more information, visit the race website.

The weather was almost identical to yesterday but today warmed up faster and the high temperature got close to 60, making the trails very sloppy by the end of our run. Everyone began running at 8am and we covered the entire 25K course. When I was all done I walked up and ran down a couple hills in the Kendall Hills area to finish up with a total of 16 miles. I'm very happy with my back to back effort this weekend and most pleased that I have no soreness anywhere. I need to continue getting as many miles as I can in the next month before tapering for MMT and today was a good step in that direction. Here are a few more photos from today's run...

Heading towards Kendall Lake

Greg, Rob, Jim, and Lloyd

Read the sign Jim!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

20 Miles in the Valley

This morning I met Greg Murray and Dan Kuzma at the Boston Store in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park @ 8am. The temperature at the start of our run was in the mid 20's but today's high was supposed to get up to around 50 with sunny skies.

We started off by running to Snowville Rd. and back, which is 10 miles roundtrip. Luckily the night was cold enough to freeze most of the mud on the trail, but it left a lot of frozen ruts that were tough to navigate. This took a toll on everyone's hips and knees and then as the day went on we began slipping and sliding in the mud as temps warmed up.

Me, Greg and Dan

Once we got back to the Boston Store we then did the 8 mile Pine Lane loop. Just before the stream crossing Greg had to turn back a little early since he had things to do today but Dan and I continued together. On our way to the Pine Lane parking lot we saw a couple interesting things....

An ironcicle

This section of trail after the broken log crossing must have collapsed after a tree fell over

After getting in 18 miles Dan and I then walked 2 miles on the Towpath to stretch out our legs. I felt good after the run and am looking forward to getting in more miles tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

North Face Venture Jacket

Well... after researching a bunch of online winter sales and comparing different products, I finally decided to purchase the North Face Venture on My friend Jim Harris infomed me of this sale when it became available and I was able to buy the last large they had in stock in the Basin Blue color. This jacket retails in store for $99 before tax but I was lucky enough to get it for $75, which includes shipping. Even though I'm looking forward to better weather here in N.E. Ohio, I can't wait to get this jacket delivered and be able to use it in extreme weather conditions!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recovery Run

I met Bob after work tonight for a 4.5 mile recovery run through the westside of Warren and Packard Park. It felt good to get the legs moving again after a couple long runs this weekend. Looking forward to some more miles with Bob tomorrow...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Boston Store to Snowville Rd.

Blue Hen Falls
I met Kurt Osadchuk, Jim Christ, Rob Lisy, and a few others at the Boston Store around 1pm today and ran the Buckeye Trail to Snowville Rd. and back (10 miles). I was surprised how good I felt after yesterday's 17 miler in Ohiopyle and ended up negative splitting today's run. Jim and I reached Snowville Rd. in 62 minutes and did the 2nd half in 60 minutes.

Finally... blue skies!