Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snowshoeing at Pine Hallow

This afternoon I took a half day and went over to Pine Hallow at the CVNP to go snowshoeing with Dan Bellinger and Brian. The big snowfall we got this morning made for perfect conditions. The snow was heavy, yet very powdery so walking through it was fun. We made a big loop around the Kendall Hills area and got in 3.3 miles in 2 hours.

Afterward, Dan, Brian and I got a bite to eat at the Winking Lizard. Pulled pork sandwich and a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot hit the spot. From there, Brian and I went to the Happy Days Lodge to listen to Andrew Skurka's presentation about his 176-day, 4,680-mile Alaska-Yukon Expedition. We went last year and, as always, it was very interesting. They got a record crowd this year since word must have spread. The place was packed with over 250 people.

After the presentation, we went back to the Winking Lizard and enjoyed a few drinks with Andrew.

Click here for photos of our snowshoeing today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lock 29

I drove to Lock 29 tonight for a run on the Towpath. I didn't know how far I was going to go, but ended up cutting it short at 2 miles. I felt some aching in my knee during the first mile, but it went away for the second. I probably could have kept going, but still playing it safe. Beautiful night in the CVNP with some light fog and partly melted snow on the Towpath. I wore shorts for the run and felt fine.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've lived in Ohio my whole life and am used to the snow and bad drivers. I expect winter to last until April every year, despite what the groundhog says, so that every year I'm happy if it ends earlier. I realize that there is not barbed wire around the state and that I can leave at anytime. I enjoy the four seasons even if winter does seem to last longer. I've learned to like the cold winter mornings and crisp fresh air especially when doing a 20 miler.

The grass is always greener on the other side, unless you learn to open your eyes and look around. I've always thought it would be cool to live somewhere else, but then realized a place just becomes another place the longer you've been there. For example, I'm from Warren and have never been to the National Packard Musuem. I've been to Cleveland many times, but have never been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I live in Akron and have never been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We have a Great Lake and a beautiful National Park right in our backyard. We are one of the few places where lake effect snow occurs...lucky us right? Well at least we don't live on a fault line and fear earthquakes or live in Florida and fear hurricanes.

It's easy to take for granted the treasures you have right at home. Take a moment each day and remind yourself of this.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tonight I swam 1.5 miles in the pool at the Kent Rec Center. This is the farthest I've ever gone and I was surprised how well I felt. The pool is 25 meters, so that's 96 lengths. After I got past the first half mile, I got in a groove. I definitely could have kept going, but decided that was good for tonight. Plus I was getting a little bored.

During the summer last year, I swam a few times at Munroe Falls Metropark. They have a nice lake with a long lap lane roped off. Season passes, which go from May to August, are only $25 for Summit County residents. The length of the lake makes it a lot better than doing flipturns every 25 meters. Although, it is definitely harder - small waves, can't push off a pool wall every lap, and harder to stay in a straight line since you can't see in front of you unless you lift your head out of the water.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Back Into It

This past week I went on two runs totaling 10 miles, swam half a mile and lifted. The highlight of the week was making it past 2 miles without my knee hurting.

On Tuesday, I did my longest run since August - 4 miles, yes I said August. I ran on the Towpath to avoid any hills or uneven ground. However, the Towpath wasn't melted yet despite warmer temperatures and the surface was pretty uneven.

So Saturday morning, I tried a bit further running 6 miles on the Towpath, starting at the Boston Store again. This time the path was a bit icier from the snow melting then freezing again. I was able to run on the sides for most of the run without slipping. Again my knee felt good.

After a big injury, you always feel paranoid about every little ache and pain. These runs were different, however. I felt that the slight discomfort was just from lack of training. I think it's crucial for me to continue to strengthen my quads and core as well as mix in swimming. Swimming really interests me anyway and is a great workout. I've gotten to the point where I feel l could swim a couple miles in the pool fairly easy. In the Spring, I hope to buy a bike and get into cycling.

I don't think I'm completely out of the woods yet with this injury, but I've learned a lot from it. You aren't invincible no matter how old or young you are and what races you've done. There's a reason endurance athletes are considered the toughest athletes out there. They train. They train hard. Training is tough and no one likes to feel pain or discomfort. Accomplishing a big goal doesn't happen from one big effort on race day. It happens from a bunch of great efforts during the weeks and months beforehand. Race day is just the day you showcase your training.

Anywho, that's enough rambling for now. I haven't posted in awhile so I had a bit more to say. Moral of the story: Don't be an idiot and train.