Monday, March 30, 2009

Washington, D.C. Trip

Last week was my spring break, so I decided to go on a trip to Washington. I had never been there before since my 8th grade class went to Toronto instead. I booked a hotel room Wednesday in Silver Springs, MD (8 miles north of D.C.) and left that morning. It was about a 5.5 hour drive and traffic only got heavy for about 10 minutes near Silver Springs.

I arrived at around 3 PM and got on the subway to look around for a bit. I checked out the Washington Monument and the Lincoln, WWII and Korean War Memorials.

On Thursday, I woke up early to get tickets at 8:30 to go up the Washington Monument. The view at the top was amazing. There are 2 windows on each side of the tower. I also went to the Engraving & Printing Department where the U.S. currency is made. It was unbelievable how much money was in the place. They had a stack of $20 sheets and a sign above that read "$30 million in stack." The tour guide told us that 95% of the money printed is used to replace old bills while only 5% adds to existing amounts. A funny sign by the printing machines read "Just think how I feel, I just printed my lifetime salary in a few minutes."

After that, I went to the Holocaust, Art, and Air & Space Museums. I then took a tour of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol. The Rotunda was breathtaking looking up at. It was also cool to see the different department buildings of the government such as the Treasury, FBI, and the IRS.

On Friday, I took a tour of Ford's Theater where Lincoln was assassinated. I also visited the house across the street where he died. Afterwards, I took the Subway to Arlington Cemetery seeing Kennedy's grave, the eternal flame, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Seeing all the white tombstones flowing across the hills at Arlington was sad knowing that each one was a man or woman that died for our country. Below is a video of the Changing of the Guards.

After, I took the subway to the Pentagon to see the 9/11 Memorial. It was a little eerie being so close to where the plane had hit.

I then went back to Washington and visited the National Archives. This place seemed to always have a long line and I saw why when I went in. Inside they have the original Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Articles of Confederation and many other documents. It was cool seeing the actual documents that you've read about in school.

As I was walking to the Vietnam Memorial, I saw a helicopter flying really low and towards the White House vicinity. I saw people running over there so I headed over. A large crowd of people were looking at the president's helicopter that had just landed in the front lawn. I waited for awhile and then took this video of it taking off.

Finally, I visited the FDR and Jefferson Memorials which were a long walk, but definitely worth seeing. I ended up leaving on the subway back to Silver Springs at around 9 PM. Washington at night is beautiful. The monuments lit up and the Washington Monument reflecting off of the water are something everyone should see at some point.

Needless to say, my legs were really tired after this trip. I ended up walking everywhere and found out that the National Mall is a pretty large stretch of land. I didn't have the time or energy to get in a run, but I'm going to pick up my training this week.

Click here to see all the pictures from my trip.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

20 Mile Run

This morning at 9:30, I went for a long run around Warren. I ran from my parent's house to 422 (10 miles), repeated the section from City Hall to the upper set of railroad tracks (that have been removed - 2 miles), one Riverwalk loop (2 miles), some in my parents' neighborhood (2 miles), and finally to City Hall and back (4 miles). Phew!! I was happy to be done. I felt strong for most of the run, but started feeling pretty tired the last 4 miles. This gave me 50 for the week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clear Blue Skies

I went for an easy 5 mile run today around Kent. The temperature, sunshine and blue skies were great!! Afterwards, I drove to Towner's Woods and walked on the trails. I found alot more trails to run on and I think one goes all around the lake. Below are some photos I took at the park.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2009 O'Donold's 5K

Today I kept my streak alive running the O'Donold's 5k race every year since it started in 2004. O'Donold's didn't hold the race last year since they were busy moving to their new location on 422 by the mall.

I wasn't sure how I would do today or if I would even race it since my quad was hurting a bit earlier this week. Luckily, it didn't bother me the whole race. I finished 4th overall in 18:53 and 1st in my age group (20-29). It was nice seeing alot of familiar faces. This race is run very well by Ted Rupe and has become a favorite of mine. Click on the links for the results and photos.

Below are my results from past years:
  • 2004 - 20:48 (2nd Age Group)
  • 2005 - 19:38 (3rd Age Group)
  • 2006 - 18:08
  • 2007 - 18:40 (2nd Age Group)
  • 2009 - 18:55 (1st Age Group)

It always makes me laugh about the awards at these small local races. In 2006, I ran a PR at the time, but didn't get an award. It all depends on if the hotshot high school runners decide to show up :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My 5 mile run yesterday was a bit too fast for running 20 on Saturday and afterwards I got that pulled feeling in my quad. Ugh! Today, I went to the rec to lift with my leg and swam a mile in the pool (74 laps). I'm going to take time off and hopefully it gets better so I can continue training hardcore for Cleveland.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Covered Bridge FA 50K

I left my house this morning for the 8 AM start of the Covered Bridge FA 50K in Mill Creek Park. I wasn't planning on running the full distance so I opted for sleep instead of getting up for the 6 AM early-bird start.

When I got up this morning, I saw it pouring outside and really hoped it would stop by the time I started running. I didn't get anything ready the night before, so I was looking all around for running clothes to wear. I looked in the washer and saw most of my clothes were still wet! Great!! I found some clothes to wear and then headed out the door. As I was pulling out, I heard some thunder and saw lightening.

I arrived at the parking lot by the old log cabin and waterfall a little before 8. The parking lot was full of cars and the first group had already arrived. We were quickly off and running. It wasn't bad once you got wet and ran on the muddy trails. Some parts were pretty slick, but it was fun going through the mud. It was a little unnerving to see lightening while we were on the first steel staircase by Tod Ave.

I ran from the old log cabin to the covered bridge with a pretty large group. From there, Brian and I ran around Lake Newport. After doing a loop with him, I split off and sped up since I was running less. I continued around Lake Newport again and then headed back to the old log cabin on the west side of Lake Cohasset and Lake Newport. The rain stopped on the second loop around Lake Newport and things started to dry up a bit.

I saw Bob by Lake Glacier near the Rose Garden. I ran and talked with him until we got to the cars. He sure was in a lot of pain from pulling something in his back. After we got back to the cars, I ran a little more than 2 miles out to YSU to give me an even 20 for the day. Bruce and I waited for everyone to get back. He shared some pretty funny stories while we were waiting.

Afterwards, Brian, Brandon, Courtney, Lloyd, Nick, Bruce and I went to the B&O Station to have some Rust Belt beer and brats! Ken Blair, the owner, even gave us a personal tour of the brewery. The brats and beer hit the spot and completed a great day of running in Mill Creek Park!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hike & Bike to Towner's Woods

Ran about 9 miles on the Hike & Bike Trail today. I found out that past the orchard parking lot the path switches to crushed limestone. I ran to Towner's Woods and explored a trail that went to the Hopewell Indian Burial Mound overlooking Lake Pippen. This mound is evidence of the earliest known residents of the area some 2,000 years ago. Wasn't much to see though...just a hill!

View of Lake Pippen from top of Indian Mound

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Portage Hike & Bike Trail

I was pretty excited today to run on the Portage Hike & Bike Trail. I've seen signs around campus, but never actually found a long path. Yesterday as we were going to the hockey game, I saw a paved path off of Crain Ave. by Rt 43. The path goes all the way to Ravenna and the section from Ravenna to Warren will be completed in 2009. Sounds like a potential 50k from Kent to Warren.

Today I ran 6.5 miles in 44:06 (6:48/mile) and felt great. I ran from my apartment and caught the trail on Crain Ave and ran to a parking lot by an orchard (northwest of Brady Lake on the map). I can't wait to do a long run on this path and explore more of the area.

Below is a video about the Portage Park District.