Friday, January 29, 2010

Wolf...err...Fox Moon

Tonight in the night sky was what they call a Wolf Moon. This is a full moon that occurs in January. I decided to do a run after work starting at Pine Lane and running to Boston Store for 8 miles. The sky was clear, the ground was white, and it was cold as hell!! During my run, the temperature dipped down to single digits near 8 degrees. However once I got moving, I warmed up quickly.

On my way out, I saw plenty of deer scurrying about. At about a half mile until the Pine Lane section, I saw a dog-like animal run across the trail. I thought it was a husky at first, but then saw it was a fox!! It looked at me from about 35 yards away, then ran away into the woods. Very cool! The CVNP Association had taken the photo above last Wednesday when a fox was outside of their office. The one I saw tonight looked very similar to this one.

The rest of the run went by pretty fast. I was glad I brought my headlamp since I started after 5 o'clock and it was now getting dark. The moon was huge and had a cool orange tint when it was close to the horizon. I probably could have navigated without a light due to the moonlight. I picked up the pace on the way back and felt great finishing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Richie Havens

For my dad's birthday, I got him a ticket to the Richie Havens concert at The Kent Stage. Richie is a folk singer best known for his intense rhythmic guitar style and for playing at Woodstock in 1969. I had never heard of him until my dad mentioned seeing him play awhile back with Arlo Guthrie.

So tonight we met in Kent and ate at Rockne's beforehand. We got to the concert about a half hour before. The place was almost sold out. Richie's opening act was Harry Manx. Neither of us had heard anything about him and weren't really expecting anything great. However, he sure surprised us!

Harry was born on the Isle of Man, which is between Great Britain and Ireland. He calls home Canada, but has traveled and lived in many places including Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. His music is best described as Indian folk mixed with slide guitar blues and gospel. His voice sounds very similar to Bruce Springsteen (he actually covered one of his songs tonight). Harry had 4 or 5 guitars he switched between, but one of his most interesting ones was the veena - a 20-stringed sitar/guitar.

After about an hour, we had a short intermission and then Richie came on to play. Richie had another guitarist accompany him for the riffs and notes. It was interesting how Richie only played a few chords during the whole concert, but made it work very well with his intense strumming-style.

Richie was on for an hour and a half playing some covers including Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as well as his own song, in which he improvised at Woodstock, "Freedom." Both of us had a great time!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

Brian and I met at Happy Days and went for a run this afternoon. We ran around the ledges, by Kendall Lake, and on some trails I have never seen before over by the Octogon. The trails were pretty icy due to the warmer temperatures we've been having. It was around 40 degrees during our run. We finished with an easy 6 miles for the day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Human Bowling

Tonight my brother, Steve Booth and I went to the Lake Erie Monsters hockey game up in Cleveland. It was Shaq bobblehead night and dollar dog/pop night, so we knew there would be a big crowd.

Before the game, a couple Monsters cheerleaders came up to Steve and I and asked if we wanted to do a promotion on the ice after the first period. The promotion was human bowling! Whoever knocked down the most pins, out of 5, won a Labatt hockey jersey. We both ended up knocking down 4 pins each, so we both won a jersey. It was pretty cool being center stage, especially since it was the largest crowd ever at over 18,000 people.

The game turned out to be a good one too. It went into OT and we won it with less than a minute left!

Click here to view all the pictures from tonight.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hills, hills, hills

This evening I went for a 6 mile run. I ran a 4 mile out and back by the lakes then added a 2 mile loop. The temperature was close to 40 and felt pretty good. The route I took has a lot of hills, some steep climbs, others rolling hills. The route reminds me of the Newton Hills and should be good preparation for Boston.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Piste Off

Brian and I met this evening at the Happy Days parking lot for a trail run. After talking for a bit we decided to do an off-piste run tonight. We started down the steep hill at the far side of the parking lot. The snow was perfect for getting traction going up and down hills. It had partially melted, then froze again, giving it a crunchy texture.

We saw alot of deer tracks and game trails during our run, so we followed those. Deer seem to take the easiest, least obtrusive path through the woods. Just had to keep an eye out for the expresso beans they left behind!

We did many stream crossings and climbs up and down valleys and ridges. It was fun exploring the area. It always seems easier to do off-piste runs at night when you can't think too much about the huge hills you're running on. Early in the run, we crossed the Boston Run trail but decided to continue going off-piste.

After going up and down 3 or 4 more ridges, we got to a huge valley with a light on the other side that looked like a house. We wanted to continue on, but turned back since we had already been out for an hour.

We ended up running a big loop and a total of 1.5 hours on our feet. Even though I need to get in more road training runs for Boston, off-piste runs like these are too good to pass up!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Portage Lakes

Today I went for a short 4 mile run around Portage Lakes. I started at my apartment, ran through "downtown" Coventry, and then explored some of the hills overlooking the lakes. There were some really cool houses I had never seen up here including a nice log-cabin style house (below). The way the houses are positioned on the side of the hills reminds me of Sausalito by San Francisco (except for the snow and cold of course!!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kendall Lake

Brian and I met at Kendall Lake today for a 7 mile run. We did a little off-piste action as well as some time on the trails to get the miles in. We ran on some trails I have never seen before, which led us outside of the park boundaries. We came across an area that looked like it was used as a Halloween haunted house. Below is a picture of the skull bags we saw. We also saw a couple of small crosses in the ground. Weird. We quickly got back in the park and finished our run. The snow was even more melted today than yesterday and there were some icy spots on the trail that made for a slippery run.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Towpath Run

After work today, I really didn't feel like running, but I thought about how Boston is getting closer and closer. I plan on taking it easy (like last time) but I would like to be better trained so that I can feel good the whole race.

So tonight I drove to Boston Store and ran 7 miles on the Towpath. It was a pretty tough run since the snow was melting into slush. Every few steps, my feet would slip off the narrow path of packed down snow. But at least I could wear shorts! I only saw one other runner during my run.

On my way back, I saw 10 deer on the right-side of the Towpath on the other side of a fence. I couldn't believe there were so many!! Almost all of them were looking at me wondering what my next move would be. As I got to the end of my run, I saw 6 more deer in the field by Boston Store! Below is a video I took of them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Andrew Skurka at Happy Days

Tonight Brian and I went over to Happy Days to listen to backpacker Andrew Skurka. I missed this last year, but Brian had gone and said it was really interesting.

Andrew has hiked the nearly 7,000-mile Great Western Loop, which passes through 12 national parks, as well as a 7,778-mile sea-to-sea route from Quebec to Washington. He spoke about these adventures during his presentation and showed some pretty cool pictures and videos. He also talked about his hike in Alaska in which he showed a video of him right next to a whale while paddling in his pack raft and one of a bear near him. Also, in 2008 Andrew placed second in the Leadville 100 in Colorado. He said he trains for his hikes mainly by running up to 100-mile weeks.

Tonight he told everyone about his 2010 endeavor in Alaska which will encompass the 4,500-mile Great Alaskan-Yukon Loop. This loop is not an official trail or route, has never been attempted and only crosses 10 roads the entire length. Below is a map of the route he plans to take. To read more about this adventure click here.

Afterward, Brian and I were pumped up and went for a run by the ledges and on the Pine Grove Trail. The snow was easy to run through since it was really powdery. It was a very cold night with a clear sky, but it didn't take long for us to warm up. We finished with 5 miles.

Following the run, we went over to the Winking Lizard in Peninsula and had a couple beers with Jim Christ, Andrew Skurka and a few others. Good times!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Icestone Metropark

Tonight I ran a short 4 mile run in Firestone Metropark. The ground was covered in 4 or 5 inches of snow, the wind was blowing, and it was pretty cold. It was tough getting out the door but I was glad I did. Running outside beats the treadmill any day. The usual route I take around the park has some good size hills. These combined with the snow made for a tough workout!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Camp Manatoc Off-Piste Run

Today Brian and I braved the weather and went for an off-piste run. We started at the Kendall Lake parking lot and headed towards Camp Manatoc. Brian ran with Kirk a couple days back around the camp, so we followed the same loop.

I never realized how much land the camp took up! There was just enough snow to be able to run up and down valleys without having to worry much about roots and rocks.

We headed back to Kendall Lake and did a short loop up and around the sledding hill. This gave us only 5 miles for the day, but a great workout!!