Monday, December 31, 2007
It was a beautiful day to run. The skies started out cloudy, but quickly it became a clear sunny day. The temperature hovered around the freezing point or maybe a little cooler, but it felt perfect once we worked up a sweat.
We turned right this time at the cliffs and went on some new trails I've never been on. I'm not too familiar with all the trails there since I only run there once a month, if that. It didn't take long into our run before Jim saw a deep valley we would go down, up the other side, then head back to the same trail we came from. It was pretty fun navigating through the brush and sliding downhill and your back.
We ended up running on some cool Boy Scout trails by Camp Manatoc. One of the trails went along a ridge jutting out into the lake with water on either side. It dead-ended and at the end was an Indian carved out of wood.
We continued on and decided to do a loop around Kendall Lake. Along the way, we got some pretty good hill work in (as if we didn't already) at the cross country course. There are some monstrous hills here that would be great for hill repeats.
We finished the loop around the lake and then headed back since everyone was pretty tired. We ended up with a good 13 miles for the day.
On the way home, Jim said "We have two choices: I can either take you home or we can stop at the Hot Dog Shoppe and then take you home." I couldn't pass up the second choice, so Jim, Heath and I got a bite to eat.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The footing wasn't too bad except for the footbridge that connects our neighborhood and Packard Park. It was covered in ice. I felt pretty recovered from the ultra and probably ran around a 7:30 pace. As I ran down the sidewalk in front of Packard Music Hall, I got the begeezus scared out of me. I had almost stepped on a dead cat that must have gotten hit by a car!
I continued down to City Hall and ran the Riverwalk loop. It is exactly 2 miles long if you start from the telephone pole at the bottom of the hill at the Perkins Park entrance. The mile-mark halfway through is still there from when we ran it in high school. The part under the Summit St. bridge was flooded from the melted snow so I went around off the path.
I stopped at the YMCA to use the restroom and, as I was going up the steps, this black guy said "Man, you must love running!" Haha, this made me feel good that someone appreciated that I was running outside in the cold.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Today I planned on doing a loop or two of the 8.3 mile loop around Mill Creek which is pretty much the 3rd loop of the YUTC 50K but, I ended up getting more than I bargained for! My brother Brian and I got going around 6:00 this morning. Brian's pre-Ultra ritual seems to be to go to McDonald's and get a couple sausage and egg McMuffins. So I decided to join him. We drove separate so that he could get going straight back to his place right after the run to avoid the snow storm that was expected.
Before we got to the Lily Pond we stopped at the gas station to try and get rid of the egg McMuffins in the bathroom, and Brian got a few gallons of water which turned out to be a good idea. I had only brought one water bottle full of water. While we were there, we saw Mike Keller, Josh, and Kurt O (aka "OPOD"). We talked a bit and then headed over to the Lily Pond to meet up with the rest of the NEO Trail Club members.
As we started, I had the idea in the back of my head that I might possibly go for the 50K distance and complete my 1st Ultra. But first I would just run a couple loops and see how I felt from there.
I ran the 1st loop with mostly the whole group and split off ahead with Frank a little ways before the Monkey Trail to go a little faster. He told me he had a long drive back (Medina), so he would run until around noon so he could beat the storm. For some reason, I didn’t even notice that he was wearing shorts, but realized how funny this was after looking at some pictures. We ran until we got to the Monkey Trail extension and then waited for the rest of the group since I couldn’t remember where the trail went. All the leaf-coverage hid the trail.
On the 2nd loop, I ran with Josh and Dan Kuzma (Brian's friend). It seemed to go by pretty fast since we talked about a range of subjects from training workouts to the movie "Into the Wild" to people who are totally against running on the roads. I mostly run on roads, but would probably run all trails if I lived closer to Mill Creek or some other nice trails.
Dan & me starting the 2nd loop
Anyways, I finished the first 2 loops and decided to go on. From the beginning, I decided that I would either do 2 loops or 4, not 3. Also in the middle of the 2nd loop, I picked up the pace a lot to catch up to Bob and the group after taking a URINEO in the woods. Bob told me not to go too fast since I wasn’t even halfway done. In my head, I hadn’t made up my mind to do the full distance, but after Bob said that, I had to go the 50K!
My brother showed up while we were hanging out after the 2nd loop at the parking lot. I waited for Brian to fuel up and soon we got going. The 3rd loop was pretty tough knowing we still had another loop left. We did a lot of running and walking in intervals and walked most uphills. I learned a lot about the techniques used in Ultra trail running to conserve energy.
We finally got back to the parking lot and saw Bob sitting there in front of his vehicle done with his 50K. He told us to get some stuff to eat and drink, but to get the hell out of here and try to do the last loop in 2 hours or less. So, we headed out for our 4th and final loop! It started to snow lightly halfway into the loop. It didn't seem like it would accumulate to too much, but soon it covered the ground and made things slippery. I had worn my screwed shoes for the first 2 loops, but I could start to feel the screws so I switched to the only other shoes I had. A pair of Puma Phasis III (shown below) that had tons of miles on them and no traction whatsoever.
These shoes made things a bit tougher and I'll remember to bring an extra pair of GOOD shoes next time!!
As we neared the last stretch towards the Lily Pond, we saw Bob coming up the trail. He congratulated both of us, and we walked back to the finish with him. Bob, Jim, Brian, and I hung around for little bit after the run, but we soon left since the weather was rapidly declining. Brian’s car wouldn’t start so he had to get that jumped by Bob using Jim’s car.
I had a really fun time out there today and look forward to future trail runs. I am glad that I stuck with it and finished the full 50K. Congrats to everyone else and hopefully I’ll see you soon for a Christmas run!!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Running towards the finish!