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 :)