Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting Ready

After many days of procrastination I finally decided to get my act in gear and start preparing what I need for this weekend's Burning River 100 miler.

The photo above shows my pace "cheat sheet" that I will carry with me during the race. Basically what I do is tape 2 notecards back to back and then cover it with packaging tape to protect it from the rain. This idea was given to me by my friend Bob and works very well. The first column on the left lists each aid station name, the 2nd column lists how long that section is, the 3rd column lists the cumulative distance traveled thus far, and the 4th column is divided into 2 parts. The top section (highlighted) shows the time that my friend Paul Lefelhocz came through each station last year, finishing up with a final time of just over 28 hours. The bottom section lists the cutoff times for each aid station in order to finish the race in under the 30 hour time limit.

Tonight I also labeled each of my drop bags that will be out on the course. The four aid stations highlighted in pink in the picture above show where each of these will be. Tomorrow I will finish packing everything I need and then hopefully I'll be able to get lots of much needed sleep. It will be hard to get much sleep Friday night though since I'll be waking up around 2am to drive to Cuyahoga Falls in order to catch the bus that's heading to the race start line in North Chagrin.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Last run before BR100

I'll be passing through this parking lot, which is the mile 70 aid station, on Saturday

Tonight my brother and I ran an easy 5 miles, starting from Happy Days and turning around near Kendall Lake. This was a final tune-up before the Burning River 100 miler, which takes place this weekend. My body felt great. Very rested and felt no tendonitis in my right ankle. All systems are go!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Firestone Metropark Night Run

This evening I met my brother at his new apartment in Coventry Oaks and we went for an easy 4 mile run in the Firestone Metropark. There aren't too many trails in this area but enough to go for a short run. There definitely wasn't a shortage of wildlife though as we witnessed bats flying above our head, ducks and frogs making noises, and a creepy raccoon that stared us down.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Boston Store to Snowville Rd.

This morning my brother and I met at the Boston Store for an easy 10 mile run on the Buckeye Trail to Snowville Rd. and back. Before our run I noticed a lady inside the M.D. Garage with what looked like a dog in front of her. I saw it was sitting very still and didn't appear to be moving. Well, the closer I got to it I realized that it wasn't moving at all because it was stuffed! And it wasn't a dog but rather a coyote. Jeff and I both thought it was pretty neat how realistic it looked.

We also saw some pretty cool looking mushrooms on our trail run today. There was a huge cluster of bright orange ones and after looking online I realized that this was a "chicken mushroom". Click here to read about them.

Once again it was another great day to be on the trails. Sunshine and mid to upper 70s. My body felt great after today's run and I was happy to feel no tendonitis in my right ankle. Good confidence booster for the Burning River 100 that will take place in a couple weeks. Life is good!

As Randy Newman once said...
Burn on big river... Burn on!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2 Weeks To Go!

Only a couple weeks left until I begin my 2nd 100 mile attempt and look to earn my first 100 mile finisher belt buckle. Bib numbers and an updated entrants list are now posted on I will be known as runner #126. The live raceday webcast is also now up and running in test mode and will allow anyone to track myself and other runners on August 1st and 2nd.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carlos Jones at Shooter's

After finishing my run this afternoon I headed downtown to check out Carlos Jones & The P.L.U.S. Band play at Shooter's on the west bank of the flats. It was a picture perfect day along the Cuyahoga River and as always, Carlos put on another high-energy reggae show. Here are a couple videos...

One of my favorite songs - "Music to the Rescue!"

Looking towards downtown from the west bank of the flats

Happy Days to Kendall Hills

This morning I called around to see if anyone wanted to join me for an easy short trail run. After no such luck, my last call was to local runner Mark Anson. He quickly agreed and we decided to meet at the Happy Days Visitor Center in the Cuyahoga Valley around 11:45. It was another beautiful day to be on the trails. Sunny and upper 70s. Finished up with 6 miles and felt good!

Friday, July 10, 2009

23 Miles in the Heat

This morning I drove over to the Boston Store in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park around 10am. When I arrived I saw Kellie Truesdell, who was finishing up a hill workout. We talked for awhile as I gathered my gear for the day and then I was off. My plan was to head north towards Brecksville on the Buckeye Trail and do an out and back in preparation for the Burning River 100. The temperature was already in the mid to upper 70s at the start and ended up getting into the upper 80's later in the day with high humidity. Underneath the trees it didn't feel too bad though, especially when the wind would pick up.

Just before I reached the power lines near Snowville Road I came across a neat looking turtle that was sitting in the middle of the trail...

Usually I have a running partner with me but today I was by myself, so I started off listening to my iPod and it got me into a good groove. My legs and body were feeling pretty good and I was enjoying every minute of this gorgeous day. There's something to be said about solo runs. Lots of thinking time to yourself, the silence of the woods, the wind blowing through the trees, and every once in awhile you get startled by an animal. As I approaced the Brecksville Stables I came across a fairly large deer...

I stopped for a moment and began walking towards it. Apparently it wasn't too happy with me and made a pissed off sound and then ran away.....

Soon I arrived at the Oak Grove picnic pavilion, which is the start & finish for the summer Buckeye Trail 50K. I went over to the water fountain but for some reason there was no handle on it so I continued on towards Brecksville.

I decided to take the park road out and stop for lunch at Heinen's. When I got inside I saw Lloyd Thomas' girlfriend, Andrea, who was shopping. We talked and then I sat down to enjoy half of a turkey panini and some potato chips. This was a great break and allowed me to re-fuel for the second half of my run.

After about 15 minutes or so I stepped back out into the heat and headed towards the Boston Store. The 2nd half of the run was definitely tougher but I made it back without any soreness or issues and finished with a total of 23 miles in 5 hours (after subtracting time stopped for breaks).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Brandywine/Buckeye Trail Run

Tonight I met my brother and Nick Billock at the Boston Store at 6:30 for a 10.5 mile trail run. The weather was perfect for running. Sunny and mid to upper 70's. Dave Peterman, Marty, and Chris also showed up and joined us. The route that Nick had planned for everyone was....

"We'll head up to the Brandywine Falls counter-clockwise and head down the rocky hill to the water crossing then take a right on the asphalt road that leads to the Hostel. We'll pick up the Valley Bridle Trail at the 90 degree turn in the road and take it past Jaite and pick up the Buckeye Trail at Snowville Road (also the location of an aid station for Burning River and the BT50K). Then take the BT back to Boston Store."

I was happy that I could barely feel any soreness around my right ankle. Just a little bit during the middle of the run but that went away totally later on, so hopefully my 5 days of rest are paying off. This was my first run in my new pair of Brooks Cascadia trail shoes and they felt great. They're a lot lighter than my previous Montrail Contintental Divides but still have a good amount of protection for rocks, etc. They should work nicely for the Burning River 100 Miler which will take place on August 1st.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Well, I haven't run since this past Tuesday but I can tell that the rest is doing my right ankle good. I can barely feel any lingering tendinitis soreness and with good luck I'll hopefully be back on the trails tomorrow. It did feel nice to relax and enjoy this 4th of July weekend though. Yesterday Tami and I went to downtown Akron for dinner at the Ohio Brewing Co. and then watched fireworks from the top of a nearby parking deck. They were pretty good and lasted about 20-25 minutes.
Today I hung out at the pool with my brother and then we met my parents at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula for some food and beer. Alex Bevan was playing inside but we sat out on the deck and enjoyed the beautiful weather which is supposed to continue throughout this upcoming week with temps around 80 and mostly sunny.

After leaving the Winking Lizard we then headed over to the Oak Grove parking lot in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and went for a short hike to the Ice Box Cave and back. Here are a few pictures I took during the day...

Dad enjoying a tasty microbrew

Mom & Dad on the ledges trail

Dad wishing he had ate less at dinner

In between this corridor we noticed that someone had carved three nice looking pictures on the wall. Two of them were faces and the third looked like a horse. I wonder how long these have been here?

Later in the evening my brother and I headed to Sunny Lake Park in Aurora for their annual fireworks display. This was our first time checking out their show. We thought it was pretty decent, but the main excitement came at the end of the night when we were waiting in traffic to head home and this motorcyclist thought he would be cool by passing everyone in the left lane. Well, a few seconds later we saw him in a small ditch on the left side of the road, revving his engine like crazy to get out of it. I'm not sure if he hit another car or if he was drunk and accidentally went off the road but it was quite the scene. Residents came running out of their house to help him but then I heard this guy yelling at him and telling him that he didn't know how to operate his motorcycle properly. I was careful to drive past because this guy's bike was horizontal to the road and he was revving his engine so hard that once he hit pavement it was not going to be pretty!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ankle Soreness, Tendinitis?

I noticed during Tuesday's run with my brother (and through today) that I could feel some soreness every once in awhile on both sides of my right foot (underneath my ankle), primarily on uphills and downhills. Therefore, I'll probably wait until this weekend to get in some more miles. It's not a major issue right now but I figure the smart thing to do is to rest, rather than aggravate it and turn it into a bigger problem. I assume that the soreness I am experiencing is probably due to a combination of an increase in miles last week, worn out shoes, and a lot of towpath/road running that I'm not used to towards the end of last week's 34 miler.