Friday, June 26, 2009

Life is Good

Surroundings: I'm sitting on my back patio, sun is rising just off to my left to high in the sky to surely make it a hot/humid mid-80s kind of day, different kinds of birds are singing in the woods and all around, a light breeze is blowing, the goldfinches are fighting over the last 2 inches of thistle seed in the "sock," colors abound all around me thanks to Marjie's efforts in making the rear of our house very "summery" and full of blooming flowers and foliage, the mama cardinal just had her babies around the corner and my weekend has begun. It started with a 8 hours of rare sleep and sleeping in until just past 7am, the time when I have normally have got in an hour run, and checked into work in Canton.

Well, my toe tingling has nearly disappeared. Earlier this week, I shot out a message to the UltraList which consists of 100s of like-minded ultrarunners who range from very experienced to novices. Mostly, I just sit back, read, and learn. Occasionally, though, I have a question and throw it out there so I asked about the tingling toes post-100 miler. It turns out I am the fortunate one. Many have NUMB toes for up to a few months after a 100-miler. I only have had tingling in my right toes and have maintained complete feeling in them. Many also get nasty blisters which I did not. In fact, my feet looked pretty darn good immediately after the finish. They swelled in the immediate days thereafter but have since returned to normal. After last night's trail run, my toes feel even better this morning.

Last night was a blast. The newly named "Crooked River Trail Runners" Thursday night group run was at 6:30pm in the Brecksville Reservation. We ran the Deer Lick Cave Trail (a virgin trail for me) and soon after starting, the clouds opened up. Lots of booming thunder, lightning, and torrential downpours quickly soaked the trail. On a day that reached into the upper 80s and was hot/humid, it was suddenly comfy and cooled down...perfect. The trail system out there is an absolute maze and if you're not familiar with them, you can easily get lost...which some did. After we got back, we went out some more and gathered up the stragglers before heading down the road to the Courtyard Cafe in Brecksville. If you were driving through Brecksville looking for somewhere to eat, you'd never stop here. They are nestled in the corner of a strip plaza with practically no signage to speak of. However, inside it has a real homey, local, pub-like decor and super good food. I probably spent the better part of a 1/2 hour trying to pick something off of the menu. I resolved to the Grouper Wrap with their fresh-cut fries. Wow! That wrap was so good. You may or may not know that my favorite sandwich on the planet is the Grouper Reuben at The Pufferbelly in Kent so when I saw this, it was a must-have. Excellent choice, it was! The group run probably had 20-30 folks show up and about 20 or so headed out to dinner. (Message to Red: stop avoiding me!!!!) It was a great time for all last night and great to catch up with others I don't see too often outside of Facebook and e-mail. Eventually just before 10pm, I headed on home.

I wake up this morning to a surprise...our small, local newspaper here in Portage County published a story on me for running and completing my first 100-miler. Truth be told, I did contact the sports editor with links to my race report and left it at that. Not even 24 hours later, they contacted me after reading the report and really wanted to publish a story on the sports section's front page. By Thursday afternoon, I was being interviewed and wham, there it is this morning. Just one little mistake spelling my last name under the picture on the 2nd big deal. Here's the link to the online version of the article. Very cool. I wasn't seeking fame, by the way...that may come if I'm in USA Today or the New York Times...not in our local paper. More so, I figured if they are going to write about the occasional 5K (3.1 miles) race, they could at least cover a 100-miler...right?!?!? Stories like this are cool especially when I live in a small town of just over 7000 people and I grew up in the area. Moving on...

Well, just about 3 weeks have passed since the Kettle and I'm continuing to pay close attention to how I feel physically. I feel really, really good! The big question mark lies on how I'll do 5-6 hours into a run at this point..the energy tank has been a bit low since my return from Wisconsin. To test it, Jim Chaney and I are leading a familiarization run of the last 30 miles of the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run tomorrow morning. We're stacking everyone (literally!) into a passenger van at the finish line and getting shuttled to the Happy Days Aid Station at Mile 70.3 and will begin the run at 7:30am and finish early afternoon at Falls River Square in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Forecast is perfect...well, perfect in preps for an anticipated hot race day in August: mid to upper 80s, sun, and humid. Not so perfect for hydration and the 'ol energy tank, but perfect training. Assuming no forecast of rain, I'm going to take the camera and try to take pictures tomorrow. My picture-taking has been non-existent lately on the trails and I miss it.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Happy Trails, everyone!


Greg said...

I like that trail system, especially since it's in my backyard. It took a few weeks to get used to though and I got confused more than a few times! It's a small area, but there are so many trails that intersect.

Sensationally Red said...

Oh goodness...I'm the one with the complex! I suppose you won't be at this Thursday's trail run either, since it's one that I plan to attend? That is..if my ankle feels better. Glad you're toes are feeling better.