Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap through the Snow

My plan for the week was to get 50 miles in. I still might be able to do that, but it's going to be tough with all the snow! The good thing is that this week has Leap Day in it, so I'll have 8 days this week to get 50 miles (right???). Anyways, I planned on doing 11 miles today, but once I got out there I realized it was going to be impossible. All the roads and sidewalks were covered in slush and snow. I found this little park that I never knew existed. There was a trail in it that I took that led to the Kent baseball fields. It was really slow going because there was probably 8 inches of mostly fresh snow up past my ankles. I ended the run in about 45 minutes and figured I must have gone about 9:00 pace (5 miles) with all the snow. Really tough workout today! I'm starting to realize that mileage isn't as important through these winter months as much as effort. I'll have to eventually get a longer run in, but these winter runs are definetly making me tough.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snow Day!

I woke up a little late at 7:15 this morning for my 7:45 class. It usually takes me 15 minutes to walk all the way to the business building, so I contemplated just skipping it. I checked my computer and saw that classes were cancelled till noon. Woohoo!! So I went back to bed, then woke up around 10. My brother called and he told me all morning, afternoon and evening classes were cancelled at Kent Main for the day. Double woohoo!

Later on in the day I decided to go for a run outside. The sidewalks weren't terrible on campus, but were pretty bad in the neighborhoods surrounding it. I cut it short at 5 miles, but was happy considering the weather. Afterwards, I warmed up in the hot tub. The rec was packed! There must have been 100-150 people on the basketball courts alone.

I took some pictures along the run. I always think the snow on the trees, especially pine trees, looks beautiful.

Sledders on the hill in front campus

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mill Creek Park Group Run

Last week, I only got 12 miles in the whole week, so I was pretty excited to get a long run in especially at Mill Creek Park since I haven't run there in awhile. My brother Brian and I met up with Stacy and his son Taylor at the Lily Pond parking lot. We weren't sure how far we were going to go, but figured anything more than 10 would be good.

We got on our way down the trail and my brother wasn't sure if he locked his car so he turned around to check. The trail, with 4 inches of snow on it, wasn't very suitable for running a quality long run on, so when Brian caught back up we decided to run on roads today (which weren't cleared either).

We ran around the East side of Lake Glacier and continued South to go around Lake Newport. You can view a map of the park
here. By the steel bridge, we saw Bruce McMurray and ran with him for awhile. He was going to meet up with us at the beginning but missed us since we took the roads. The scenery was beautiful with all the trees covered in snow.


After we got past the mill, Taylor and I picked up the pace a little. The snowy road made it hard to get good footing or traction so every step required an extra effort. We stopped for a bit to stretch our calves since mine were a little sore and Taylor had a knot in one of his.

We made our way around Lake Newport and back towards the Lily Pond. Both of us were a little sick of the road, so we decided to get on the trail for a bit. We ran on the trail between the mill and the covered bridge and from Pioneer Pavilion to the Lily Pond. There were a couple times in which we slipped by the edge since the snow disguised everything.

When we got back to our cars, Taylor and I decided to call it a day since both of us were a little tired and sore from the conditions. Brian and Stacy showed up about 10 minutes later. We figured we ran about 13 miles, so I was pretty satisfied.

Afterwards, Brian and I went to get some chow at A&W in Boardman. It always hits the spot! I ate two footlong hot dogs and wasn't phased. Nothing like working up a hunger by doing 13 miles on a winter's day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

U23D

One of my favorite bands is U2 and I would love to see them in concert sometime. But since that is highly unlikely considering prices and availability of tickets, my brother Brian, his wife Tami and I went to see the movie U23D at the Cinemark theater in Valley View. This movie uses the new technology created by 3ality Digital to make viewers think they are actually in the show. This new 3D technology uses cameras with high-resolution and an artificial technology to align the "eye position" of the camera.

I thought this show was amazing! You really felt like you were at the concert. It was almost better than being there just because of all the cool camera angles they showed. At one point, a lady at the concert stood up in front of the camera. Brian and I both thought it was someone in the theater standing up in front the screen! It really felt like the images were jumping out of the screen, especially when
Bono reached his hand out towards the audience. The glasses were also alot bigger and better made than the old 3D glasses. I wouldn't mind seeing this again and can't wait until they start making more movies with this technology.

Run and Bike

I went over to the rec after class and a haircut today. I did 5 miles on the track and 5 miles on the bike. I mixed the bike in, so I ran 2 miles then hopped on the bike for 2 miles, 2 track, 2 bike, 1 track, and 1 bike as cool down. It turned out to be a good workout because everytime I got off the bike my breathing felt good so I ran pretty hard. But my legs were tired from the bike so it made each mile harder. I finished off the day with the hot tub and sauna. I should be able to get close to 40 miles this week which is alot better than the 12 I ran last week!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Here's a few pics I took of the lunar eclipse tonight:



Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidents' Day



My brother Brian didn't have work today because of Presidents' Day and I had a big break between class and work (2:00-6:00). So we decided to go over to Happy Days Visitor Center for a run. Before we hopped on the trail, we goofed around by the steel worker statue in front of the visitor's center. I couldn't think of a funny caption for the photo above, so just enjoy!

After too much time of messing around, we headed out towards the cliffs. We took the trail on the left side of the cliffs on the way out. The weather was pretty cool! One moment it was clear and sunny, the next it was a blizzard.



The Overlook

Here's a video that shows how hard it was snowing at some points:

video

Brian and I decided to do the largest of the Kendall Hills and then turn around and head back to the parking lot. I guess Akron's Cross Country team trains here sometimes because I found this online. Anyways when we turned off the trail to Kendall Hills, we saw one hill to our right and wondered if that was the one. I didn't think so since it was so small, but hoping that was it. We ran a little farther, looked to the left, and knew right away that that was the hill! It can't be mistaken...Looking up at it feels like looking up at a monster or a tidal wave about to swallow you whole.



We ran on the other side of the cliffs on the way back, which is a little shorter. When we got back to the parking lot, Brian's Garmin said 6.68 miles. So of course we couldn't stop there! We ran around the parking lot until it said 7 miles. That's one good thing I like about the Garmin is that if you're close to another mile, it pushes you to run that little bit more.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You Can Dooo It!

I woke up this morning and didn't really feel like running. I was trying to think of every excuse and then I thought "Hey! All my running clothes are in the wash" (which they were since I came home for the weekend). So I thought maybe I'll run tomorrow.

My parents and I went out to eat around 12:30 at Blazin' Bills which is located on 422 about 30 minutes from Warren. Their sauce is amazing! My dad and I both got full slabs and my mom got a half slab. It was funny because their sauce didn't taste good alone, but once it was on the ribs it tasted delicious. The atmosphere is also really nice inside with wood beams and a sunlight window towards the ceiling.

When we got back home, I finally was in the mood to run and had some clothes to run in. I ran to downtown Warren to a sign on East Market St. that says "David's". This is a usual route we run known as "David's Sign" and is 7 miles on the dot. The sidewalks got pretty bad with snow plowed up on the paths. My legs got pretty tired scampering through the half-melted half-ice snow that was built up. I began the run feeling really fast on the cleared roads by my house. I was actually wearing shorts since it was near 40 degrees and sunny out. The sky was a beautiful clear blue.

I thought for sure the snow would really slow me down, but when I got back home and looked at my watch it said 47 minutes which equals a 6:43 pace. I was thrilled considering the conditions.


After the run, I went to Jillian's in Boardman at the Southern Park Mall with some friends to watch the Kelly Pavlik/Jermain Taylor fight on HBO. I've never been to Jillian's before and, I must say, it was pretty cool. They had three bars, probably 30-35 TVs, 10 billiard tables, 8 bowling alley lanes, and a huge arcade room inside. As for the fight...it didn't disappoint. The match went to the full 12 rounds. Pavlik had never gone past 9 rounds in any of the fights he fought during his career. He ended up beating Taylor on a unanimous decision by the judges which really capped off a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Third Eye Blind Concert



My sister Jamie and her friend Amber came up to Kent today and we saw the Third Eye Blind concert at the MAC Center. The weather was terrible with 6 inches of snow falling during the day along with freezing rain later at night. My brother was also going to come up but decided not to risk the icy roads. Jamie came up earlier to beat the freezing rain. I was pumped when I heard classes after 12:00 were cancelled!! So Jamie and me just hung out until the show at 8.

Lead singer Stephan Jenkins up close & personal

I thought the show was awesome! 3eb is a group from the 90s with famous hits such as "Semi-Charmed Life", "Graduate", "Jumper", and "How's It Going To Be." They probably aren't my favorite band of all time, but I do enjoy their music and it brings back good memories of the 90s. During the middle of the concert, they told the crowd to get out and vote and showed their support for Obama (which got the crowd really loud). They also said the concert was being recorded for their new live CD, but I had my doubts even though a microphone was hanging from the center court scoreboard. They had an awesome encore playing about 5 more songs. Below are some videos of the concert.

"Graduate"

video

"Jumper"

video

"Hows It Going To Be"

video

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where In The World Is Gombobu?

Check out Bob's new blog at http://www.gombobu.blogspot.com/. He's going to post all the adventures he encounters on his way across the country as well as his stay in California. Looks like he's done some interesting stuff already!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Happy Days to Kendall Lake & then some

This run was planned for last weekend, but since it was too busy and the Dirty Dog 10K race was going on, we decided to move it to this weekend. I spent the night at Brian's apartment in Streetsboro last night since we would be waking up around 7:30 to head out to Happy Days. Wilma from Youngstown met us at Brian's apartment this morning and we all left together from there.

The temperature wasn't too bad in the mid 30s. The only concern we had was the rain since the radar looked like there might be alot in the morning. The only thing I had with me was a cotton long sleeve shirt, so I decided to put band-aides on my nipples to play it safe! It ended up not raining much luckily.

We got to the Happy Days parking lot around 8:35 and waited until about 9:00 in case anyone else showed up. No one else did so we got on our way. We ran on the left side of the ledges going out towards Kendall Lake. The tall sandstone ledges always seem to amaze me everytime I run out there.

When we got to Kendall Lake, we decided to run a few hills at the cross country course and use the bathrooms as well. The first hill is pretty tough where people go sledding, but the second hill we ran on is INSANE!! It starts out like the last hill and then halfway through it kicks it up a notch. It almost feels like you're climbing up a wall rather than running up a hill. I tried to run most of the big hills today pretty hard to get good hill work in. Also, the faster you run the hill, the faster you get it over with!

On our way back, we ran on the other side of the ledges for a different route. At the end, the trail goes downhill quite a bit only to go uphill the same amount to finish. I pushed it up this last long hill and didn't feel too bad once I got to the top, just breathing a little heavy. Wilma said, "I couldn't run that fast up the hill if I tried!" So that made me feel good!

We got back to the car and were thinking about calling it a day with 7.5 miles. After talking some, Wilma said she was up for more if we were. Well there was no backing down now! We decided to run on the loop by the parking lot on the other side. Some walkers we saw at 8:30 when we first started said it was really muddy over there, so we were a little leary.

We ran a pretty decent pace on this loop. It was nice because most of the loop, it seemed, was a gradual downhill. We got halfway through the loop and didn't run into much mud. We figured the walkers were just wimps. Well, the second half was a complete change. In some spots your foot would sink about 4 inches into the ground. I knew we couldn't finish the run without getting a little dirty. We got back to the car, ran a little extra around the field to get 11 miles on Brian's Garmin, then called it a day. I was really happy with the run and glad we did the extra 3.5 miles!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Getting Some Miles In

Well, yesterday Brian came up here late around 8:30 and we went over to the rec center to run (mostly go in the hot tub & sauna though!). Students get one free guest per semester, so Brian got in free. We decided to run around the track on the top floor. We didn't go very fast or very far -- 3 miles -- but it was good to get in an easy slower day.

Then today after class, I decided I better go on a run. So, I did the big loop around campus that I usually do. But near the rec, I veered off and did a little extra around Allerton Apartments to give me 5 miles. I ended up figuring I ran 7 minute pace or slightly under.

It would've been easy not to run yesterday and today, but I knew I needed to get the miles up for Boston. And you don't get miles in by sitting around watching TV unfortunately! I've been steadily doing more and more miles each week and plan on continuing to out-do myself each week:

2 weeks ago: 23 miles
Last week: 25 miles
This week: Aiming for 35 miles

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Around Lake Hodgson

Last Monday I ran to Lake Hodgson and then turned around. Well today I decided to run all the way around the lake and back to my dorm. I mapped it out online and calculated the total run to be 11 miles. So I headed out, a little reluctant this morning to go for a run.

I felt pretty sore from playing 5-on-5 basketball at the rec on Friday and then doing some fast incline stuff on the treadmill yesterday. It's amazing how sore I always get from playing basketball when I haven't played for awhile, all the stop and go and sprinting.

The views were pretty nice at some points around the lake where you could see across the whole thing. There were also a few nice homes up on hills overlooking the lake that would be nice to own.

On the way back, I saw a bunch of buses and a group of guys running by the fieldhouse/stadium. It looked like a high school track meet was going on. Then all of a sudden I see this dog sprinting at me. I was scared, one that he might bite me, and two that he might get hit by a car since I was on the other side of the road. He sprinted up this tall ditch and across the road. Luckily, I was standing there and waving my hands at some cars to stop or else they probably wouldn't have seen him. He ended up being friendly and just ran around on my side of the road for a bit. Then before I could do anything, he sprinted across the road again, causing some cars to slow down. I saw the owner yelling at the dog a little ways away across the road and then he waved his hand at me to say thanks.

When I got back, I was sure I didn't do 11 miles since my time was about 61 minutes. I looked back online and saw I had miscalculated it. It was only about 8.4! Oh well!! I was happy with the run today.