Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Feel The Need....The Need For Speed

I went out for a short run tonight to test out my foot. I haven't been running much since URINEO because the left side of my arch on my left foot has been hurting. I'm pretty sure it's just tendinitis. I decided to run 4 miles out and back to City Hall from my parents' house. I felt great and couldn't hold back (even though maybe I should have). I was really happy and shocked when I got back and looked at my watch: 24:24 (6:06/mile)! I definitely didn't think I was going that fast, but it's good to know I still have my speed. I just have to work on my endurance and getting my foot better for Cleveland. My foot started hurting a couple miles into the run, but never got any worse to the end. I wore the Smartwool Adrenaline Multisport Light Cushion socks my parents got me for Christmas. They felt great!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carlos Jones at the HOB

Tonight my brother and I went over to the House of Blues in Cleveland to see Carlos Jones and the Plus Band play. We both couldn't wait for this concert since we had a good time listening to him at the Cuyahoga Valley in the summer. Plus, the HOB is a great venue to see concerts because you can get really close to the stage.

Before the concert, we ate at The Corner Alley on the corner of East 4th and Euclid Ave. I got 4 cheese macaroni and Brian got 4 cheese pizza. Guess we were both in the mood for alot of cheese :) Their food is really good and the atmoshpere is great! They even have a bowling alley inside with big screen TVs at the end of the lanes.

The doors at the HOB opened at 7 and we got in around 7:15. Greg Murray showed up not too long after and we talked with him. Before we knew it, Mifune, the opening band, started playing around 8:00. They were pretty good and had a different sound.


Mifune played for about an hour or so then Carlos came on at 9:30. Some other runners showed up while Mifune was playing including Steve Hawthorne, Kellie Truesdell and Jim Christ. I never met Jim or Kellie but have seen Steve at VR before as well as the other Carlos Jones concert we saw.

Brian, Kellie, Greg, Jim, Steve and Me (left to right)

As always, Carlos' music was awesome! I love reggae music...it has a nice relaxing flow and is fun to dance to. Carlos played for close to 2 hours!!

After the concert, Brian and I went back to The Corner Alley and bowled a game before leaving.

Below are some videos of Carlos and the Plus Band playing. Enjoy!

Leave A Trail

Catch A Falling Star

Barack Obama, Barack Obama

Sunday, December 21, 2008

6 Miles in 6 Degrees

Thug life meets trail life

This evening Jamie, Brian and I went for a run starting at Boston Store. The temperature was 6 degrees with wind chills from -15 to -20 degrees F!! I wore tights, shorts, a shirt and a long sleeve shirt. I also had a sweatshirt and sweatpants on top that I was going to leave in the car but decided to wear them after I stepped outside.

We headed out towards Pine Lane on the Buckeye Trail. We decided to cut the run to 6 miles instead of 8 and turned right down a road to Peninsula. We ran the last 2 miles on the Towpath back to Boston Store. The trees in the woods blocked the wind very well, but the Towpath next to the river was freezing!! Jamie and I both had bandanas on to keep our faces warm. I never really got cold the whole run except for a few times when we got strong gusts of wind. I had a great time out there knowing we were one of the few kooks running in this weather!

My bandana was frozen after the run

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spring Marathon

Well today, with only two days left to use the $10 online entrant discount, I decided to sign up for the Cleveland Marathon in May. This will be my third marathon and I've been itching to get back training for a road marathon since Boston. Even though conditions in Ohio usually make it very difficult to train for a Spring marathon, I'm hoping to get in really good shape and run a PR.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Recovery Run

Tonight I went for an easy 5 mile run with my brother, Bob and his son Shamus riding his bike with us. Starting out my calf was really tight and felt like it was going to pull, but it loosened up throughout the run. I felt pretty good and recovered from URINEO, just a few sore areas on my legs. We ran around our neighborhood then did some loops around Packard Park.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 URINEO FA 50K

Me, Jim Harris, Joe Novicky, Frank Dwyer and Mike Dobies (from left to right)

The annual URINEO FA at Mill Creek was upon us again and I had verbally committed to it. However, I have only been running 15 to 20 miles tops a week so I knew it would be tough. The official name of the event says it's a 50-mile FA, but you can run how ever many 8-mile loops you want to. Even with the low mileage training, I wanted to at least attempt to do my first 50 miler.

So, I decided to wake up early and start with the 5:00 group to give myself ample time if I decided to go the distance. There were 5 other early birds at the Lily Pond including Jim Harris, Mike Dobies, Joe Novicky, Frank Dwyer and Bob Combs who arrived a little late and caught up to us. The temperature starting out was freezing around 15 degrees, but other than that the weather and trail conditions were great. Other runners were starting at 6 and 7 also.

The full moon provided alot of light but headlamps were still very useful in tree covered areas. We did the first loop purposely slower in 2:00 hours. About a couple miles into the first loop I see Bob running up from behind and find out he had a pretty vicious fall back a little bit tripping over a rock and landing on his chest. He had a wicked gash in his hand to prove it.

I felt good after the first loop and sped up on the second. We finished this one in 1:40. I had a good time running with people I usually don't see too often and met a couple of new people. I ran with Frank for most of the run and he kept my pace in check!

Frank Dwyer

I can't really remember the 3rd loop much, just that it seemed to take forever to finish! We got back to the cars in 2 hours. For a majority of this loop, I ran with Bob, Kim, Frank, and Rich Vrboncic. I knew at the end of this loop that I only wanted to do a 50K today. The lack of training mileage and lack of motivation contributed to this decision. I think Frank was a little disappointed as he tried to convince me to go a couple more loops.

Going down a Monkey Hill

Before I started the 4th loop, I took a much needed bathroom and fuel break and then headed on my way. Since this would be my last loop, I wanted to see how fast I could do it in.

At around Pioneer Pavilion, I met up with Frank and Pat Dillon. Pat was also on his last loop so he decided to join me. I knew any pace I went would be alright with him since he seemed to be feeling good. I also see him at many local 5Ks and know he puts down some great times.

Wild turkey (or something) we saw on our last loop

I didn't feel too bad pushing it this last loop. I had to stop a few times to stretch, though, when I started to feel my calf pull. That's the last thing I wanted was finish the last loop on a pulled calf!

We finished at 12:35 PM, running the last loop in 1:35 and a total time of 7:35 for 50K which is a new PR for me. So far I have run 4 50K's including 2 URINEOs, 1 Art Moore's FA, and 1 Covered Bridge FA. Congrats to Slim Jim for being the only one completing the entire 50 miles. What a beast. Also, congrats to Pat Dillon for finishing his first ultra.

I had a great day running with so many different people. It was a great turnout of 18 people!! Afterwards, Mike, Brian, Bob, Jim and I hung around to rehydrate and talk. Then once Kim completed her 50K, five of us went out to Jib Jab to chow down on some dogs. A nice finish to a great day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

More Swimming

Tonight I ran 2 miles at the rec then stepped it up and swam a mile in the pool (64 laps, 1600 meters). I was able to swim longer intervals this time by pacing myself and controlling my breathing. I swam 30 laps consecutively, took a couple minutes break, then swam 34 more. What a workout!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mill Creek Group Run

(From left to right: Chris, Kyrsti, Taylor, Stacy, Me, Eric, Jamie, Brian and Bruce)

I haven't run at Mill Creek probably since the summer, so it was good to get back! This morning at 8:00, Brian, Jamie and I met Eric Deutsch, Bruce the Moose, Mark Sorrentino, Chris, Tronk, Taylor Sowers and Kyrsti Sowers at the log cabin. We ran clockwise around the lakes to the Mill on the YUT-C course. We saw Christmas at the Mill was going on today and tomorrow. From there, everyone but Brian, Jamie, Eric and me turned around at the covered bridge for 8 miles. We continued on around Lake Newport and headed back to our cars for a total of 12 miles. It was great to get in a long run and have a big group to run with!

Friday, November 28, 2008

West Branch

Jamie and I parked at the boat docks at West Branch and went for a short 5 mile run tonight. We ran down Snowmobile Rd. and turned left onto the single track mountain bike trail along the lake. I like this trail because it gives alot of nice views of the lake and has alot of turns. After that, we hopped on an advanced mountain bike trail south of Snowmobile Rd. We ran on that until we got to the creek crossing and turned around. We got back to the car just as it was starting to get dark out.

Definitely a very scary moment was driving out of West Branch towards Rt. 5 when a deer crossed the road. This happened to me once before around the same area not too long ago and I had to slam on the brakes. This time, I was actually thinking we might see a deer as we left. I luckily saw it crossing, slammed on the brakes, then fishtailed and slid to the left, then to the right towards a ditch, and finally gained control as I jerked the wheel left again. Phew! That had my heart pounding the whole way home!

Below are some pics from the run.

Very nice maps that CAMBA put up along the trails.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

30th Annual Warren Turkey Trot

Just like every Thanksgiving, the Musick family woke up early to get ready for the Annual Warren Turkey Trot at Kent Branch. Mom Musick was already in the kitchen getting food prepared for our Thanksgiving feast. Between Brian, Tami, Jamie and I, none of us really knew what time we would finish in. Brian had just ran a 50K at Laurel Highlands, this was Tami's first 5 miler, and Jamie and I haven't been training too much.

Before the race, I saw a bunch of people I knew including some ultra-buffs Bob Combs and Bill Losey. Bob was running the 5 with Shamus. It's always great going to the Turkey Trot and seeing so many familiar faces.

Before we toed the line, Ted Rupe gave his speech, a prayer, and we were off! I felt pretty good for the first half. When I got to the turnaround, I could feel a slight cramp coming on. Luckily it never got too bad. I finished in 32:13 (6:27/mile, 4th age group) and was very pleased with that time. My splits were: Mile 1 - 6:32, Mile 2 - 6:35, Mile 3 - 6:11, Mile 4 - 6:46, Mile 5 - 6:07. Jamie finished with a NEW PR of 33:13 (6:39/mile, 5th overall)! Brian ran about 37:30 and Tami ran around 50 minutes. Photos can be viewed here and results can be viewed here. It was a beautiful day for running! If I remember correctly, Ted Rupe said there were 1,900 runners between the 5 mile and 2 mile races!!

After getting home and cleaned up, it was time to chow down!! My grandma and uncle came over. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry jello, biscuits, sweet potatoes, stuffing, hot cinnamon apples, salad, and pumpkin pie. After we indulged ourselves, we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I am so thankful to be able to enjoy another Thanksgiving with my family!

Me finishing

Jamie finishing

Brian finishing

Tami finishing

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Run and Swim

Tonight I went to the rec center to do some running and swimming. On the track, I just ran 2 miles at a quick pace. Afterwards I put my Michael Phelps Halloween costume to use and swam 24 laps or 600 meters. Swimming uses completely different muscles than running and is quite a workout for me. I hope to do more of it mixed with running next semester.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

DII Cross Country Nationals

This weekend I went over to Slippery Rock to watch the DII Cross Country Nationals race. Almost everyone from my former team at Clarion was going to watch including a friend from NY and one from Colorado. Chris Clark, who I used to live with and was on my team, transferred to California University after Clarion dropped their programs and was going to be running today.

The weather was terrible with wind and a high in the 20s. The officials cleared the course of snow as best they could. Chris ended up finishing 4th overall in a time of 31:12, outsprinting a guy at the end. Interviews of Chris Clark and my former coach Daniel Caulfield are available on Flotrack. Below are some pics.

Chris Clark

Aaron Braun, the winner, in 30:23

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Headwaters Trail & Main Street Brewing Co.

Brian and I decided to try out a new trail called Headwaters Trail. It is an eight-mile limestone-paved trail built on the former Cleveland-Mahoning Railroad line between Mantua and Garrettsville. We parked at Hiram and ran East towards Garrettsville. This section is almost exactly 3 miles out according to Brian's Garmin. The trail wasn't anything too spectacular, but I did enjoy the change of scenery.

Brian had bought some new Powerbar Gel Blasts at Vertical Runner so we tried these halfway through our run. They were delicious! We tried both the Coke and lemon ones. They have gel on the inside and remind me of gummies a used to eat awhile back. Six of these blocks is the equivalent to one gel pack. Brian and I got back to the parking lot and finished with 6 miles.

Afterwards, we were both starving so we decided to find a place in Garrettsville. Brian's GPS said there was an Italian restaurant, but when we got there it was closed. To our surprise, a little further down on a corner, there was a brewery!!! We both yelled in joy!

The brewery was called Main Street Grille and Brewing Company. It was nicely located overlooking a waterfall that reminded me of a mini-Mill Creek waterfall. They had 2 or 3 levels of decks outside for warm weather. The inside had a nice high ceiling built out of wood. Brian and I both ordered 25 cent wings and beer. I got the Reluctant Reverend (ABV 6%). It is an English-style pale ale named after the owners best friend, Kevin, who developed the recipe. It's brewed with English malts & English hops providing a deep gold color, balanced malt flavor, and a crisp, dry finish. Mmmm. Brian got the Toxic Toast (Barley Wine), an intense ABV 9% beer and the Nightmare on Main Street (Pumpkin Cream Ale).

Nothing like relaxing on a Sunday running, drinking and watching football. Looks like the Headwaters Trail will become a regular favorite due to the closeness of the Main Street Brewery.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Monsters Hockey Game

Tonight my brother and I went to the Lake Erie Monsters hockey game. We went to one last year and it was a blast. Tonight we were playing the Hamilton Bulldogs from Canada. The refs missed an obvious goal call in the first period, but the Monsters never gave up. Going into the 3rd period down 4-2, the Monsters scored 4 straight goals in an amazing comeback and won the game! Brian and I had fun taunting the Bulldogs' goalie. We both think we got into his head and had an impact on the game :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Browns-Broncos Game

Tonight I went to the Browns-Broncos game with my friend Mike. I drove to his apartment at Case and we took the rapid to downtown. I had never been to a Browns game so I was pretty excited. Our seats were up in the nosebleeds, but then again our seats only cost $29. Brady Quinn was making his first career start and did a good job with 23/35 completions for 239 yards. Unfortunately our defense blew it in the 4th quarter giving up 3 TDs and we lost 34-30.

Brady's first play - not a pass :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Eve Night Run

Brian and I met at the Pine Lane parking lot at 6:30 tonight to go for a run. The plan was to run towards Boston Store until we met Trevor, someone Brian ran with before, and Jamie. We got half a mile out until we saw them, so we turned around with them to run back to Pine Lane. From there we ran to Boston Store and Brian and I turned around as Jamie and Trevor were done with their run. We decided to run on the Towpath back since it was dark, cold, and we wanted to drink beer & eat at the Winking Lizard! We ended up with 8 miles exactly on Brian's Garmin when we got back to our cars. I didn't have a light tonight, so I just used everyone else's light to watch out for roots. Luckily I didn't fall once. I'm going to have to buy either a headlamp or hand light soon before I have a serious fall though.

Deer by Pine Lane

Jamie & Trevor

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

West Branch BT Night Run

I met Brian, Bob and Slim Jim tonight at West Branch to go on a night run. We headed out on the Buckeye Trail which I've never run on at West Branch. The trail was interesting and a nice change of scenery. Everytime there is a night run and it involves Gombobu, something crazy will happen and you better not expect to stay on the trail. Tonight was no exception! We got to a point where there was a decent-size stream and the trail on the otherside. So what do we do in 35 degree weather and snow flurries? We cross the stream of course! And then we slosh around in it for a bit, then head upstream towards the lake. The mud got pretty bad, almost like quicksand by the lake. A few times I sunk down to my knees in it! After we got back, Bill Losey was in the parking lot waiting for us and we hung out for awhile.

Jim Harris


Stream & Tunnel