Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Burning River Tune-up

Brian and I ran tonight at 8:30 starting at Happy Days. We ran to the Kendall Hills area and back for an easy 5 miles. We talked about Burning River pacing and strategies. We both felt good and ready for this coming weekend.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pine Lane Group Run

Tonight Jim Harris planned a run to start from Pine Lane at 5:30. I got there and was surprised to see Bob "struck by lightening" Combs and Wild Bill Losey were joining us. Bob showed me the battle wounds from when he got struck by lightening at the Hardrock 100. Pretty amazing!

So the four of us went out for 30 minutes or so on the Bridle Trail and then came back to meet up with another runner, Dan Dunlap. Dan, who was an All-American in college running, told me about his fast times.

Jim, Dan, and I pushed the pace ahead until we got to Boston Store. We went off-piste a few times down steep hills through brush, leaves, and streams. At Boston Store, I had all the fun I wanted and headed back to Pine Lane. I ended up with 11 miles total and had a great time running with the ultra buffs.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gin Blossoms Concert

This weekend I went to Pittsburgh to visit my sister Jamie who is living in Shadyside and getting her masters in occupational therapy. Tonight Brian came up also and we went to the Gin Blossoms concert on Walnut Street. We all had a blast and the band still sounded great! It was also awesome since the concert was free!! Below are some videos I took.

"Found Out About You"

"Allison Road"

"Hey Jealousy"

"Till I Hear It From You"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Firestone Metropark Night Run

Tonight Brian came down to check out the Firestone trails. We ran an easy 4, not pushing hard since BR isn't too far away. Things got weird in the woods when it got dark out. Bats were diving at us, ducks were being attacked, swarms of mosquitoes were attacking us and a raccoon stared us down...crazy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Apartment, New Trails!

Tonight at 8:30, I went for a short 4 mile run around my apartment complex. I moved last Saturday into Newport Landing apartments in Coventry Township, just south of Akron. The area is great with tons of fishing, trails, and boating available. Plus, my drive to work is cut in half and the drive to the Cuyahoga Valley is about the same as it was from Kent and maybe even shorter!

I decided to check out Firestone Metropark across the street from my complex. I was excited to find that there are tons of trails to run on there. I ran a loop on a CC trail and then hopped on this dirt trail and ran a loop around the park back to my apartment. The trails have a good variety of hills, grass, dirt and flat sections. I will definitely be doing some more training runs here!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Boston Store to Snowville Rd

Brian and I met this morning at Boston Store for an easy 10 mile run to Snowville Rd. and back. The main parking lot was filled so we had to park in the overflow lot. There were tons of bikers and a few runners enjoying the great weather today. The temperature was pretty cool, especially under the shade of the trees. We took it pretty easy the whole way and walked up all the hills.

After the run, we stopped by the Trail Mix store, got some ice cream and a drink, and relaxed on the front porch. We then headed over to the Winking Lizard for some good food and beer!

Monday, July 13, 2009

5 Miles

Tonight I went to West Branch to relax and read Once A Runner. I've read the second book Again To Carthage and part of Once A Runner in college when my roommate lent me his ratty old copy that you could tell had been passed around and read by many others. So I was thrilled to see at Borders that they republished the book. About time!!

After I got back to Kent, I ran 5 miles a little after 9:00. I ran downtown then to the track for a fast mile. The temperature felt nice and cool!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson & John Mellencamp Concert

A couple months ago, I heard that Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp were all going to be playing together in concert at the Lake County Captains baseball stadium in Eastlake, OH. I knew I HAD to go!! I don't particularly listen to Willie much, but I love Mellencamp's music and Dylan is a legend who is getting up there in age and I wasn't sure if I would have another chance to see him in concert again. Another reason was my dad had a chance (but missed it) to see Dylan at Conneaut Lake Park back in the late 70s when he was at the bottom of his career for only $5!

So, I bought one for me and one for my dad for Father's Day. It was really tough holding in the secret, but I told him he would have to wait a month for his present. When this Saturday finally came around, my dad and I drove to the concert with him still not knowing where we were going.

When we got to the stadium, traffic was a little backed up. We parked and he was now really curious. I told him to open up the glove box and get the envelope inside. He looked at the tickets and saw "The Bob Dylan Show."

We sat along the third base line close to the field with the stage set up in the outfield. First up was a folk band from New York. They sang some funny songs accompanied by the banjo.

Next, a huge Texas flag dropped down and Willie Nelson came walking out. I actually enjoyed his music and will have to download some of it. A lady behind us let us use her binoculars to get a closer look. Willie's son played with him on guitar and also sounded great.

Willie played for an hour and then John Mellencamp came out. His concert was probably my favorite. He played some of his hits and some new ones which were good. He had the place rockin' for the full hour he played.

And finally for the grand finale was Bob Dylan himself. I convinced my dad to go down close to the field with standing room only. We ended up getting about 30 feet from the stage. Dylan came walking out with a black suit, tie and a white brimmed dress hat. Looking pretty snazzy! His band members also came out wearing suits and looking like the Blues Brothers.

Dylan's voice is now raspy and has definitely taken a toll from all the singing and smoking. I didn't mind though! It was cool just to see him sing. He played a little harmonica and keyboard along with the singing. Willie Nelson's son also came out to accompany on guitar for half of Dylan's concert.

Below are some videos I took.

Willie Nelson

"Beer For My Horses"

Willie Nelson's Son

"On The Road Again"

John Mellencamp

"Authority Song"

"Ain't That America"

"Small Town"

Bob Dylan

"Working Man Blues"

"How Does It Feel"

"All Along The Watch Tower"

Monday, July 06, 2009

Brandywine Group Run

Tonight I met my brother and Nick Billock at Boston Store for a run at 6:30. Dave Peterman, Marty, and Chris also joined us for the run.

The plan was to do Brandywine, Valley Bridle and the Buckeye Trail for about 10 miles. The trees provided shade for most the run so things stayed pretty cool. It was fun meeting a couple new people, Marty and Chris, and hearing about their running.

Once we got to the Brandywine parking lot, I was really regretting eating pierogies less than an hour before the run! I decided to slow down and let Nick, Dave and Chris go ahead. I ended up meeting with Marty and Brian and ran with them for the mile or so we had left. We finished the run with about 10.5 miles.

Brian, Nick, and I went to the Winking Lizard afterwards for a few brewskies and wings. They had thirty-five cent boneless wings tonight. Can't beat that!! We sat out on the patio and the cool summer temperature felt great. One highlight of the night was Brian reaching the halfway mark in the Winking Lizard World Tour and receiving his foldout camping chair with their logo embroidered on it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July

Yesterday for the 4th of July, I watched the fireworks display in Warren with my parents from behind the old St. Joe's Hospital. We found a great spot on a grass hill where the bushes seemed to be cut down perfectly to see the display across the Mahoning River at Packard Park. The show lasted about 30 minutes and had a great grand finale!

Today, I drove up to my brother's apartment and hung out at the pool. Before we went to the pool, we watched the end of the Wimbledon men's final match with Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. The match was a classic with the longest fifth set in history with Federer winning 16-14, giving him the most career Grand slam wins in history at 15.

We finally got to the pool and relaxed for an hour. We then met our parents over at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula for some food. Alex Bevan was playing inside, but we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Afterwards, all of us took a walk by the ledges to the Ice Box. We found an area we've never explored before. It was a skinny hallway with tall rock walls on each side located a little past the Ice Box. My mom pointed out these rock wall carvings below which we thought were really cool!

Later that night, Brian and I went over to Sunny Lake in Aurora to watch their July 5th fireworks display. We couldn't believe how many people were there. The location was great for watching fireworks! They had music and some lights to go along with the show. The display was decent but nothing too spectacular.

Right after the grand finale, we rushed to our cars to try and beat the crowd. Everyone else was trying to do the same, including this guy on a chopper-style motorcycle. When we were on the road, he was flying past everyone on the left-side. Just 50 yards down, he must have lost control and gone off-road in a ditch. A bunch of people ran over to try and help him out. They got him out a little bit, but he must have went back into the ditch because when we got closer he was pointed towards the road angled upwards in the ditch again. He was revving his engine trying to get out while some guy standing next to him was yelling at him saying, "You obviously don't know how to operate this thing buddy!" This gave Brian and I both a good laugh. It was just a good thing that no one got injured or he didn't plow into someone's car!