Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend in WV

I just got back from West Virginia. I travelled south for the annual West Virginia Trail Runner Club meeting.
What a great time. Dan and Jody open their house up Friday through Sunday for a bunch of runners to eat, sleep, run, party at their house. This was my first visit to their home and I love it there, they have a great place out in the woods. Seeing old friends was good and I met alot of new people too. After spending one day together makes you feel like you've known them a long time.
Three of us did the shorter 7 mile run, while the others (probaly 12? or so) opted for the 12 mile loop. It was in the fifties, with light rain. This was a great trail run, partly on Dan's property, then some timber land. It was muddy!!!Lots of water crossing, lots of running in water due to water coursing down the road. I took a wrong step in a puddle and ended up wet to my knees!
I almost took a full face plant in a huge mud puddle when my foot sank into the mud and the mud didn't give it up. A hand planted into the mud puddle (the one with the Garmin 205 naturally) saved me. Hopefully the Garmin can handle a dunking!
Once we returned to the house for cougar stew, deer meatballs, and
a keg of microbrewed beer courtesy of Dan's son, Willie, it was time for a quick shower and meeting. Then we started popping corks off the wine, and much talking, drinking, eating, and friendliess flowed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I’m running a marathon! I haven’t run a marathon in over a year!

I’m kind of excited about it. This is the " Last Chance for Boston" Marathon in Dublin Ohio, which is a suburb of Columbus. This is a one mile loop on a side business road. There will be very little traffic and there will be aid station every mile. The price goes up January 15 so I decided today to enter it. The weather could be very iffy February 11 in Ohio; but hey! I’m an ultrarunner, I can take weather conditions. I think I can also tolerate asphalt roads, after running 41 miles on asphalt last week.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Birthday FA

My birthday FA was successful: I ran my age, 41 miles. In good time for me, in about 8 hours (there was a watch malfunction; and I waited at the start for ten minutes for people to show up). My 50K time was 6.09, which is incredible for me!!

Wearing shorts in Cleveland Ohio in January is also amazing. It rained for two days prior to Saturday, flood warnings were issued. We were running the Rocky River Reservation, between two rivers, the Cuyahoga and the Rocky River, and many parts of the Cleveland metroparks roads were closed due to the flooding.

I arrived at 615 right when Kurt and Mike showed up. They were out to run their first 50 miler today. They also had the brilliant idea to just run and out and back and link up with everyone else at 7am back at the parking lot, so I decided to do that too.

We did two miles out and back. Other runners warned us that the road was closed ahead due to flooding. We met up with lots of other runners for the 7 am start. The Cleveland West Road Running Club also meets there at 7am, so along with the ultra runners for the FA, the parking lot was full. There must have been 30 runners or so milling around.
I got some looks since I got too hot in my windshirt and had already stripped down to a short sleeved shirt and my shorts. In fact, once my friend Tom showed up from Erie, PA, we left in advance because I had been standing around too long and was starting to get chilled.

It was a good solid run. Tom ran the whole run with me, what a nice birthday treat! We run pretty well together. He was only planning the 50K, but added a few miles on to the end. When we got to the 40 mile mark (we were both pretty tired) I remarked “I bet you wish I was just turning 40 instead of 41”. He replied “I wish you would have said you were turning 29….”

Best laid plans and all…Colleen had sent out great maps, I’d plan to run 8.5 mile out and back loops. The first water flooding was at 3 miles. It was only ankle deep. It did stop a lot of the road runners, but you know us ultra runners…but in fact that was the only water crossing we attempted.

Luckily, on this flooding, the bike trail went up the hillside and we bypassed the floods. Some of the more hardcore (I think the synonym for that is crazy) ultrarunners merely waded on through. It was only thigh high after all.

Roy had caught up with us on one loop and told us about the bigger water puddle another mile down the road, so on our next loop we thought we’d go look at it. No, it was pretty long and looked like a current was flowing so we didn’t attempt it. Roy and Frank reported later it wasn’t too bad if you were going with the current, and didn’t get swept into the Rocky River.

It rained on and off most of the run. The only bad time was where it was coming down rather heavily and windy. I was thinking of turning back on that loop and getting my windshirt, but then the rain quit a ½ mile down the road.
After we finished, it was on to the party at Colleen’s. She had tons of fun set out, a birthday cake for me!! Debby showed up soon with the hot pasta, and it was great fun to sit and chat for actually hours afterwards.
I got a great birthday card signed by everyone, a button that said “ageless wonder” and Mike and his wife gave me a present, some SmartWool socks-that was so great!

That was actually my second longest run to date. I felt a bit beat up afterwards, but I blame that on road miles. I did experiment with some Perpeutem on this run, and it seemed to work well for me. I also supplement that with my usual supply of Payday bars, PB&J;, some gels, and salt & vinegar potato chips. I also tried an Adrenaline energy drink about mile 32 or so. This originally tasted nasty, but not as nasty as the RedBull. I did manage to drink the whole can of it. It did cause some burping and there was one moment when I thought it was coming back up, but it stayed down, so I will try that again on some training runs, and that might be a good snack for a drop bag.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Plans for 2007

It's time to pull out the calendar for January. It is always nice to have one date already marked in, one run in for the year already.
I have busy weekends in January. There is the FA this weekend, the annual meeting for the West Virginia Trail Runners (yes I belong but live in Ohio) January 13. Then I have a whole weekend at home, and the Buckeye Trail 50K in Cleveland January 27. I hope to have decent weather for these events so I can travel to them.

New Year Run

I got out for a short 4 mile run around the neighborhood. It was a nice run, in the 40’s-I wore shorts for my run today!! Also a windshirt which came in handy, because it was very windy out.
I go by an Amish house about mile 1.4. Today a dog ran out from the house, barking at me. I gave him the usual “hi buddy” but he kept coming and uh oh!! I saw hackles up!! I gave him a sharp “hey!!” and he stopped, glaring at me. I kept going, although I knew I was going to have to run right past his house again. On the way back, I picked up some good sized rocks, but the dog was nowhere to be found. I think it’s time for me to invest in some pepper spray-this road is part of my normal running route, and I’m not changing it for an overzealous dog.
It’s hard to believe this wonderful mid weather we are having. I just hope it will last long enough for our FA on January 6, which is also my birthday. I am planning on running 41 miles, since I will be turning 41.
I guess I am middle-aged. I think that’s funny. I don’t feel middle-aged. Of course, I should live to be about 110, so actually I really am not at the half-way point of my life yet. I got plenty of years and adventures to go yet