Monday, April 25, 2011


What an awesome run tonight! I did my usual Pine Lane to Boston Store route. This is definitely one of my favorite routes to run because it includes many hills, a couple stream crossings and beautiful scenery.

Right from the start, the trail was a mess! With all the rain we've been getting, the streams were filled to the max and there were huge puddles everywhere along the trail. I ran a pretty fast pace surprisingly, despite the bad conditions. I think I run faster in the rain and mud because it gets my mind off running. Whether or not it was actually a fast pace didn't really matter to me though. I was getting in a great workout since every step was a struggle. I only saw one other runner while I was out there. I told him "perfect trail conditions huh?" and he said "doesn't get much better than this!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

Tonight I went to the Crooked River Trail Runner's Easter Egg Hunt Run. They got over a hundred people for the run this year with a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. We did a short 5 mile loop starting from Lock 29, going up towards Pine Lane and coming back on the Towpath. I met a few new people during the run that were really nice. The trails were a little muddy but not too bad.

After the run, everyone met at the Winking Lizard for some food, beers and a raffle sponsored by Vertical Runner. During the run, we picked up an easter egg filled with chocolate and jelly beans. On the egg was a number for the raffle. My number was called at the end, so I got a t-shrit. I had a fun time tonight and will probably make it a point to go to more of these runs. Running with other people sure makes runs more fun and go by faster.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

Tonight I met my friend Sara, who goes to Kent, for a run at Pine Lane at 5 o'clock. Sara's an awesome athlete. She's a duathlete/runner/cyclist/mountain biker... you name it.

It was cloudy and drizzling outside. I knew there was a chance for some storms tonight, but I hadn't checked the radar. A couple miles into our run, it started pouring, hard! There was some thunder followed by some flashes of lightening. It's been awhile since I've run in a big downpour, and it was fun! The trails were beyond muddy. It looked more like a river than a trail. We decided to turn around right before the big downhill to Boston Store.

On our way back, all the stream crossings were rushing with water. It was a great time and it didn't feel like we ran as far as we did.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Miles and miles

Tonight I headed over to Boston Store to do a long run. I planned on doing at least 10 and up to 20 depending on how I felt. I started out to Snowville Rd to do the first 10 miles. The weather was great - pretty warm and blue sky. I had shorts and a t-shirt on which is awesome after a long winter. When I got back to my car at Boston, I felt pretty good and saw the time was a little after 6 o'clock. So I got something to drink and headed out towards Pine Lane.
About two miles into that out-and-back, I saw two familiar faces - Moose and Slim Jim! I ran with them for a little while then continued on trying to beat the sunset. It ended up that I had plenty of light still available when I finished...guess I'm still in winter mode!
The way back from Pine Lane to Boston was a little rough. I had not brought my camelback since it needed cleaning. My mouth was getting pretty dry and my legs and calfs were becoming pretty tired. I really had to pay attention not to trip over any roots. I finally made it back to my car and was glad to be done! Not sure if this was the smartest thing to do coming back from my injury, but it felt good. I plan on swimming the next few days and giving my legs some rest.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Portage Lakes

Beautiful rainbow and sunset on the lakes tonight...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kent Campus Loop

Tonight I ran my classic 4-mile loop around Kent campus that I used to run when I went there. It's a fun loop with a few hills, a lot of nice views of the grounds, and plenty of cars and college kids to keep the run interesting. After the run, I lifted with my legs in the rec and then swam 16 laps in the pool.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

After work on Friday, I drove over to my sister's apartment in Shadyside in Pittsburgh to visit. We went and saw the movie Source Code on Friday night. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and we both thought it was a great movie that kept your attention the whole time. It was one of those movies that kept you thinking and could have multiple meanings. Afterward, we went to Dave & Busters for some appetizers and air hockey!

The next morning, we went on an 11-mile run on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail down to PNC Park and Heinz Field. This trail has multiple sections, but the part we caught was a couple miles from Jamie's apartment. It was a nice route along the river and gave a great view of the city and bridges along the way.

PS - Hi Melissa

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Run, Swim, Burger

After work today, I drove to Pine Lane and ran 7.5 miles out to Boston Store and back. Along the way I saw Wild Bill, Steve Hawthorne and Greg Murray. From there, I drove to the Kent Rec Center and swam 16 laps in the pool and went in the jacuzzi. Afterward to balance it all out, I got a burger at Five Guys. Mmm...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Mill Creek Park

For the second Sunday in a row, I ran a big YUT-C loop around Mill Creek Park. The loop is 11.75 miles and has plenty of hills throughout. I got up early today and started my run again at the wetlands at 6:30.

I've always thought it was so peaceful waking up before everyone else, before the sun rises and starting a run. The only thing breaking the silence is a few birds. It's also cool to see the different colors as the sun rises. I like bringing my camera because the scenery never looks quite the same each time.

I started out counter-clockwise around the lakes towards Shields Rd. When I got to the Monkey Hills, I saw someone running them. There's a good chance whenever I see someone that it's a NEO Trail member. My guess was Dan Kuzma and for the second weekend in a row it was him, doing hill repeats. He's going to be tough as nails if he keeps those workouts up. We talked some then continued on with our runs.

I felt great on my run today. My breathing is still a little heavy at times, but I'm pretty happy with my progress so far. I have to continue being careful not to come back too hard, but I'm getting excited for my fall race(s).

As far as races I have in mind... I'm looking at running one or more of the following: Pikes Peak Ascent, Columbus Marathon and Akron half or full marathon. The plan is to get in killer shape and tear it up. I would also like to get a new PR in the marathon (under 3:05) since they lowered the Boston qualifying times by 5 minutes.