Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reverb 11 is On!

Okay, after declaring at the beginning of November I was cutting down on internet time, I stayed up late last night (for me) looking for enough prompts to host my own Reverb 11.

What is #Reverb11?  It’s a month-long prompt-driven blogging activity that encourages people/bloggers alike to reflect on the past year and manifest great things for the year ahead.

What I did was use the Google Document that KimberlyMichelle began, along with Kaileen Elise own prompts for 2011. I copied and pasted into a document on my own. I think I've got at least 50 prompts.

Now, while it was way fun getting an email prompt every morning last December, I will just have to go the old fashioned route. I'm going to print my document of prompts, close my eyes, and point to a prompt.

And that will be the Reverb Prompt of the Day.

There was some talk on the net about what to call this, and it seems like Reverb 11 is the most logical.  If interested, look for the hashtag #reverb11 on Twitter.  That may be a good way to get additional prompts for reflection.
I think Gwen Bell did us a favor by not hosting this year. It's turned the creative juices on quickly in the blogging community. I'm looking forward to my own Reverb11 prompts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I participated in #reverb10 last year.

What was #reverb10?

Reverb 10 (#reverb10) is now an annual event, an inspired response to (and evolution of) #best09. It’s an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead. We’re connected by the belief that sharing our stories has the power to change us. We look forward to reading yours.
But it appears that the hostess of Reverb 10 is not going to host Reverb 11.  She has invited us to create our own prompts for December.

A little googling, and I acually *gasp* ventured onto Twitter to see if the reverb community was grinding gears.
They are, and it does appear a Reverb 11 will go forward.  It may be via a Google Document, but I've already seen some prompts that I look forward to responding to in writing.

Treadmill Time

This is my week for working out-inside.  It's deer gun season in Ohio, and I just prefer to stay out of the woods and off the roads for this single week of the year.

I walked 2 miles on my treadmill on Sunday, mainly to just work out some kinks in my quads from my romp in the woods on Saturday, just at a very relaxed slow walk.

Monday I also walked two miles on the tread. I set the incline to 2%, and then started out at 3.8 MPH, and then to 4.0 MPH.

I was happy to see my normal walking pace has improve, as the 4.0 MPH was comfortable and I was not "pushing" it to stay at this pace on the tread.

When I did increase it to 4.1 and 4.2, I did have to work a bit to keep the leg turnover going.  But pleased with this unexpected positive benchmark.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quad Shreddage

My legs have taken quite the beating the last seven or eight days.  I've had the residual tightness and soreness in my quads since Sunday, since Slim Pickins.
It has not gone away with a climbing session on Tuesday, and then a good hilly 10K on Friday.
So for my long run  Saturday, I planned on running the  BigFoot loop once, then running adlib after that.

The Bigfoot Loop is pretty sloppy with mud right now.  My right quad started hurting with a twinge about 8 miles through the loop.

I finished the Loop-well I got back to mile 9 or so, where the Bigfoot course turns back toward the Lodge, and then I merrily took off on  the Red Shadebush Trail. Which took me to the Campground Road, where I took the Green Connector Trail, back over to to my "traditional" purple Bridle Trail.

The Purple Bridle Trail, which I have not been on in months, has still not improved. Meaning it's muddy and slow going in many places.

I did not fuel myself properly on this run, and I could have used an S! Cap or two, considering the weather was around 60 degrees.  I didn't care.  I was so happy to be on the trails, in sunshine, peeling layers off, that the quad issues didn't start to really bother me until about mile 14 or 15.

Then they really started to ache!

I actually ran into two runners on my way back to the Lodge-Bigfoot 50K runners from Zanesville, previewing the course. We chatted about the course and mud, and I wished them well, and finally got back to the Lodge.

Very pleasantly tired after 4.5  hours on the trail. But it was of those situations where I 'could not'  not take advantage of the morning on the trails!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Morning Run

One of those great early morning runs. It was not that cold out, and the sky was a brilliant blue. The two old farm dogs barked out a welcome from the top of their hill, but then continued on their rounds-there are routines to be kept to, obviously.
I kept my head swivelling for the blood hound puppy and was a bit disappointed when he didn't come hurling over the grounds at me.
I was lazy on the first two miles, and then amused myself by running up the Gump Dogs Hill.  They were not around either! Was the dog packs all out shopping this fine morning?
I smiled when I started up the biggest hill, as first one deer, then number two, and then deer three scampered across the road in front of me.
I spent most of this run thinking of future running events. Getting very psyched for February.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Slim Pickins 2011 Report

This was my fifth year of attending Slim Pickins.  The only year I missed was the first year, in 2006.
I did a short little write up on the History of Slim Pickins, which was fun to go back and read my old run reports.  I plan on rewriting this in more detail, with all the pics I have, over the course of this winter.  We’re at the point with our club that we now have history.

This was the least epic weather ever for SP and also the most attendees at the starting line.
18 runners lined up at the Brown Gate in around 30 degree weather, with no snow and temperatures promised to be in the 50’s. 


We had a goal for this year’s running.  The Ohiopyle 50K, or the “Gate 2-8x2”  Challenge.  It’s very simple.  Start at the Brown Gate (mile zero for our purposes) go out to Mile Marker 8 on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, return to the Brown Gate; and then repeat.  This gives you 32 miles and 7400 feet of elevation.

It sounds simple enough.  And it’s not usually the 1.5 mile climb OUT at mile 6 that affects people. It’s the Mile 5 and 3 Hills, as I call them.  What you go down on the way out, you must climb again.

The mile marker three ended up being some of the runner’s turning point, since once you passed MM# 3, and went downhill, you were more of less committed. In other words, once you go down Mile 3 Hill, you might as well trudge on out to MM8 and make the turn.

There was a good group of us sharing trail time on the way out to MM8, me, Tara, Bill, the Musick brothers, the Harris Boyyzz, so the time really went by quickly.  It’s amazing how trail time can pass when you are with a group.

We stopped at the overlook right around Mile 7.5.  If you are on the LHHT, you need to keep an eye out for the boulders to the left of the trail and hop up onto these for the photo op.

We made the turn at MM8 and headed back.  Eric and  Slim had taken off, and I got ahead of the group because I wanted to run the long downhill.  Jeff eventually caught up to me on the big downhill, and then Brian caught up.  We then swept up with Slim, who wasn’t feeling his best, and headed back into town.
The Musick brothers went to refuel at the market in town, and Slim and I just refueled at our vehicles.
kimohiopyle I started out just a bit ahead of Slim, and caught Tara and Bill just coming off the trail. Tara indicated that she was done with 16 miles, and I didn’t try and argue with her.  She and Bill are experienced ultra runners, so they know what they can do, or want to do.

Slim stopped to give Tara a pep talk and ended up perking himself up, so he caught right up to me. We then encountered Chris.  This was Chris’ first time on the Laurel Highlands Trail, and the most technical trail she’s encountered.  She informs us she is not going to do the full 50K, but will turn at the gate and get some more miles in. 
Both Slim and I had independently came to the same thought earlier-we would finish our 50K, then go back out and run in with Chris.  We told Chris this, if we encountered her on our way back, we’d go the full distance out to MM8 again with her.  This also gave Chris pause to figure out how far she could go out, without running into us.

Slim and I continued down the trail. He had benefited from his own pep talk, and it seemed like no time at all we ran into Lloyd Thomas. LT was our enabler.  He had hiked out with 200 oz of water and his gear, and had spent much of his time around MM 5 and 6, getting some studying done, and wandering up and down the trail with folks.  He was also keeping track of who we still had out there.

Out of the full 18 starters, the OP50K finishers were dropping like flies.  Cam Baker, Paul Lefelhocz, Rich Vriboncic, and Chris D   were in front of us and would finish.  The only ones behind Slim and I were the Musick Brothers, and we didn’t know if they would come out for the full second loop.

The wind had died down as we got to the summit almost to MM8.  It was great to be hitting that Mile  Marker and now know we had the full 1.5 mile downhill.  We ran into the Musick Brothers not that far behind us, just about the mile 7 spot.  We continued down trail, and picked up LT around mile 6 for the trip home.
Darkness did catch us about mile 2, and Slim went into his power  march, which meant I had to go into a run and then a jog to keep up with him.  But we wanted to break the 10 hour mark for the 50K, which we did, in 9.55.
This should show you how tough the OP 50K is, when a sub 10 hour 50K is an okay time.  Cam Baker finished in 7.35.  I’m not sure what Cam’s ‘normal’ 50K time is, I’m sure it would be around 5 hours.  This is not your typical 50K-nor a 50K for just anybody.

We had 8 finishers of the OP50K, now known as the “Gate 2-8-X2”  Challenge.  This challenge is open to anyone, we are working on a website for this.  All you have to do is follow the pretty simple rules: Start at the Brown Gate at the LH sign, go to mile 8, come back, and repeat. Do this in one 24 hour period. Time spent refueling in Ohiopyle counts, you can’t subtract that. Report results of time and date achieved. 
I really enjoyed the 50K challenge, and it was great to spend all the trail time with everyone.  Already looking forward to next year’s Slim Pickins!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 21

How I am Doing:  I'm not.  I'm Done. DNF!!! 

Word Count: 9285

Workouts:  Up To Date

Maybe if I had not gotten the stomach bug back on Day 5 or whatever, I would still be on plan.  But after I got behind on the word count, I was getting very stressed at trying to keep up with my writing.

I was inhaling my lunch, then writing, and then not feeling relaxed or rested when I had to go back into work.

I wasn't feeling like writing after working 10 hours, then working out, then coming home to write.

The getting up early to write was okay, but I have been trying to work on my sleep-i.e, get more, and decided sleep was more important than a hobby project-that was stressing me  out.

The project did cull me off more internet time, I am happy to say.  I have not posted in Twitter for about the month, and the few times I check it, I can't even recognize most folks in the feed. 
I'm actually writing more for the NEO TC blog, which amuses me.  Do what makes you happy.

Slim Pickins was this past weekend and it was awesome.  I will get some writing done on that soon.
But first I got to get the dogs out for a walk between raindrops.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Slim Pickins Time

Hey, I already wrote about Slim Pickins, over here  so if you haven't been following along, this is what I have been doing, the weekend before Thanksgiving, for the last four years.  That makes it a tradition,don't you think?
Another weekend of running trails with my friends. On the ultra cool trails of the Laurel Highlands.  I've been thinking about buying a little real estate, or a little bunker over this way. That way, the husbands and dogs could come along, and I would have somewhere to crash after running in the Laurel Highlands.  (And NEO TC would have somewhere to crash also..)

I am planning on meeting Cam, Jim, and Eric around noonish in Ohiopyle to do some trail exploration on Friday.  Then to inhale dinners and beers and meet up with more runners, for the big push on Saturday.

Saturday is the Ohiopyle 50K, the double out and back.  Run from Mile Zero, to mile 8, back to OP. Then do it again..  Sounds easy? Well, maybe so, maybe not.  There is about 7400 feet of elevation on this section of The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.  This is the portion we like to use for Massanutten training, since it's the hilliest trails we can get without travelling farther south.

It's going to be fun.  Should be a post Sunday, with pics to follow later!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ohio Marathon Slam

So, on my 10K around the block the other day, I was thinking about the many Buckeye marathons, and was wondering if anyone had run them all, perhaps in one year,or two years.

There is the big city marathons: Cincinnati's Flying Pig, Cleveland Marathon, Akron's Road Runner, Toledo Glass City,Columbus Marathon. Coming in 2012 is Canton's Inaugural Marathon, held June 18 2012.

Looking for a nice warm toasty marathon in January, in Ohio?  Check out Ohio Northern  University Polar Bear Indoor 1/2 and Full Marathon January 29 2012.

Or you can weather the outdoors and run around and around on a one circle mile, in February, for the "Last Chance for Boston" Marathon. For anyone who  new to the running and marathon world, Boston did not used to close out in hours.  In fact, Boston hardly ever filled up until right about race day, if that. So late in the season, less than two months out, you could try and get your qualifier here, and then fly off to Boston just a few months later.

So for you folks, wanting to join Marathon Maniacs, here's your Buckeye Plan for 2012: 

ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon January 29 2012

Last Chance for Boston Columbus Ohio

Just one entry in March,you best rest up for April

 Ohio River Runner's Marathon  Xenia  March 25 2012

Athens Marathon April 1 (Athens Ohio)
Glass City April 22 Toledo
Earth Day Challenge  Marathon April 22  Held at Kenyon College, Gambier

Run The Pig May 6 (Cincinnati)
Cleveland Marathon 5-20

The inaugural Canton Marathon is June 17
OR, same day, run dirt at Mohican.  The Mohican 100 also has a marathon option now. Loudonville

July it appears July and August are your down months.  Do your laundry, get the lawn mowed, get reacquainted with the spouse and kids. 

September is another busy month.

Run the Air Force Marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base on Sept 15

Then  Run the Bird at Akron September 29

Since you're now in prime racing shape, take two (or 3!) more races in  October:
Red White and Blue 26.2 Marathon October 7 2012  Findlay Ohio

and then run Columbus on October 21

Don't forget about the Towpath Marathon  also in October!

Haven't had enough? Come don a costume and do a  very scary trail marathon at Run With Scissors, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, last weekend of October.

November is still running time!

Run a small marathon in Elyria:  The Murray Ridge Center Inland Trail Marathon  the first weekend of November.

December is reserved for the Jingle Bell 5K Trots.  If you have made it through the Buckeye Slam of Marathons, congratulations!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 8

How I am Doing: The first week is done. I'm still writing!

Word Count: 7165 (as of 830 pm November 7)

How Are Workouts Going: Very well. Haven't sacrificed one for the other.

I am just happy I am 'still writing'. I caught a stomach bug late Wednesday, and did not write at all Thursday or Friday. I felt I was getting into a hole, but Saturday I felt better and just thought I should write. I could have written more over the weekend, but the weather was beautiful, and I took advantage of that. I spent my lunch time today outlining some future chapters of my novel, so I have a better idea of what I am going to sit down and type.

Late Friday, as I felt bad physically, I felt bored with my novel idea-already.  But that notion did go away as I recovered.
It's been interesting, today, waking up and sitting down to writing for one solid half hour.  That's why I felt it was important to get more  outlining done, so I can wake up and just write. 

I also decided it was not that important for my protagonist to be a "nice" person, so we'll see what will happen next.

This has been a good excercise so far.  Writing 50000k is like finishing a 100 mile race. You either do it or you don't.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grab It While You Can

As this weekend, we either adopt or abandon Daylight Savings Time (I don't know which,I really don't care) which means we "fall back". Most people gain another hour of sleep, as I think the time officially changes at 1am back to midnight. Or something like that.
For me, that means I wake up around 730 am, and whee, it's now just 630 am! Time to get productive.

I managed to write about 1500 words for my novel. I am a bit behind after being sick the end of the week, I didn't feel like doing anything.  So I am still a day or two behind on words, but I plan on writing more today.

I sorted through the running kit in my downstairs dresser, and retired some items for the winter.  Swapped them with more of the winter running clothing.  Actually threw out some worn out socks.
After taking the dogs on their walk, it was so sunshiny and beautiful out, I cleaned out both vehicles. Then I vacuumed them both out. Other than they both need a wash, they are much cleaner than they've been in a long time!

I finally got some lunch and then went for my 10K around the block.  Absolutely gorgeous weather.  Sunny, blue skis, little wind. I took the opportunity to wear shorts and short sleeves-there may not be many days left like this.
The two old black dogs were at the neighbor's farmhouse in the road, and I could hear more barking up on the hill.  Yep, here he comes, my bloodhound puppy. I managed to glance at my watch as he jumped me-it took me about 49 seconds to get him under control.

Of course he accompanied me down the hill.  He actually was just fine once I started running again, he just walked along beside me!  He stayed around for about one mile, then as I climbed the next hill to where the Gump dogs live, I lost him.  I don't know whether that is the edge of his territory, or the Gump pack is too much for  him, but he went elsewhere.

The Gump dogs were nowhere to be seen today.  I saw alot of squirrels out and about today, getting ready for winter. It was just too nice of a day to not spend outside, as I sit out on my porch in the sunshine and type this blog post.  I have the sneaking suspicion that the evening is going to be upon me must faster than I care for, so I'm going to sit here in the sun as long as possible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Orienteering Day Two

It was such a nice day out today, I went down to Salt Fork for a little off piste time and compass work.

I've had a stomach bug for Thursday and Friday so did not work out-and managed to lose two pounds.  However I would not suggest this route for anyone's weight loss.

I felt okay on Saturday, so I donned my backpack, new pants, and headed to Salt Fork with the compass.
My husband suggested one hour out, one hour back, and that sounded good to me.

All I was doing was following the compass due east; then turn around and follow it due west.

I could tell from the climbs that I still didn't feel that great physically.  It was cool being off the trail and kicking it through the leaves all by myself.

On my way out, I managed to get on the ridgeline, so I didn't have that much ascent/descent, but coming back I went a little farther south and got in some much better climbs.

A beautiful early afternoon in the woods.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recovery Run

I need to revisit my mileage on my little 11 mile loop around the block.  I was at mile two or so, when I did "not feel the love" out there on the run today. So I thought, if I cut off one side road, I could complete my loop in about 8 miles vs 11 miles.  Apparently, my side road isn't that long, since cutting off the road still had me finishing 10.9 miles (vs 11.7 miles.)

It was a recovery run, and a beautiful day outside! Too bad my body didn't feel that way! I did take Monday and Tuesday off, from working out. I even slept in on Tuesday, getting maybe 9 hours of sleep or so.
But the body wasn't feeling it on this gorgeous Wednesday.

I decided to run my loop backwards, as it was a lollipop design, the last two four miles kind of my out and back.  This is more of the "uphill" and I walked all of it. Not that fast.

Ran the flats and the downs, and avoided the side road, thinking this would give me several less miles.
Finally got to the top of the ridge, and started on the big downhill, about a mile of downhill. Now the quads were complaining..I couldn't catch a break!

Back on the out and back, 'flat like' section, the hamstrings and calves were complaining that I did not follow through on the promised stretching.  I again promised to do better with this..

Only one dog jumped the creek and slowed me down, and  I gave directions to two elderly ladies in a car where Taylor's Orchard was located..glad for the stoppage.

I was amused to see my loop, minus the side road, was 10.9 miles. When I checked my log for the longer loop, it was only 11.7 miles, so my side road doesn't add that much mileage on.

It was a great day to be outside, blue skies and sunshine.  My run kind of sucked, but that didn't bother me. It tells me I still haven't recovered from my 6.42 hours of mud on Sunday. At least I got out there and got moving.