Monday, June 22, 2009

M-Cubed for 6/22/2009

Monday Morning Musings for June Twenty-Second, Two Thousand and Nine. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- Father's Day was great yesterday. The day started out with a present that I had a hint was coming. Marjie, as many people know, is an avid scrapbooker. In past years, she's put different projects together of my running events and such but this year, I knew she was working on something different and with the girls' assistance. The result was a small "booklet" type of thing (about the size of those Hallmark musical cards) that inside had pictures of my girls, some with me in them and some without. The captions, normally written by Marjie, were written by my 8 year old...so darn cute! Overall, it was very well done and I absolutely loved it! Best part is that it's not so fragile and delicate like her other projects so I can take it to work and other places and show it off a bit. Thanks, girls!

- Not too far into yesterday morning, out our back window we notice what you see in this picture. This determined squirrel made it up the super-smooth pole and is thinking about how to get the bird seed from the feeder. In the past, he or she has held on to the pole, reached out and smacked the feeder to get the food to fall to the ground. Today, he's being a bit more bold. Check out the end of M-Cubed today to see how he gets the food.

- This past Saturday, I wanted to take a bit of a check on where I was on the "recovery life-cycle" after the Kettle so at 5:15am, I headed out of Lock 29 and hit the trails en route for the Wetmore area over just north of the Kendall Lake area, via the Valley Bridle Trail. I knew Wetmore would be a swamp because even if we had 2 weeks of straight sunshine with no rain, this trail is muddy. Well, with the 5" of rain that we received in the few days prior, it was worse than I had ever seen before. I headed through the normal muddy area and came to the first water crossing which is usually passable without getting soaked. This time, I had to jump right in. As I left Wetmore and followed the Burning River course through the Butler Trail, 3 more crossings were ahead. Picture knee-deep (remember, I'm 6'2"), rushing muddy water, and a very strong current. There was no way around. The level was so high that any rock to step on, etc. was long covered over. I plodded on through and somehow came out cleaner on the other side each time. Around 5 miles, I turned back to be back in time for the 7:30am VR Training run. I had made it past Robinson Field and had crossed Akron-Peninsula Road. The stream crossings were all higher on the way back. I think the run-off upstream was really starting to fill these streams from all of the overnight rain. After getting back to Lock 29 and 10.5 miles, I changed into dry socks/shoes and headed out for a couple of miles on the Towpath followed by asphalt for a total of 9.5 miles and 20 for the day. The rain started coming down hard during the run which I had been hoping for all morning. It felt so good. I was, however, thinking about the Mohican 100/50 runners down south. This band of storms ran north to south so anything we were getting, I presumed they were as well. It turns out they were in the mud as well.

- I had a little bit of fun with the girls yesterday, too. Before heading off to church, I set up the camera on the tripod and took a series of silly pics. They're all on Facebook so feel to check them out. (Click through them fast and it looks like one of those picture books.) Here's a collage of them all. Kind of hard to see unless you click on the pic to enlarge it. Good, wholesome fun!

- Getting home after my "recovery" 20-miler, things were achin' that normally don't ache. I started to and continue to question doing 20 miles only 2 weeks post-Kettle. I'm convinced that while I seem to recover very well and quickly, 100 miles did take a piece of me and hasn't quite given it all back yet. This morning, some places hurt and ache that never do so chalk it up as a lesson-learned. TAKE IT EASY! Still, the 20 was not difficult and was easily executed but I just don't think my body appreciated the 2nd half of the run on the roads, much of which was uphill or a fast pounding downhill. I plan to really rest this week with a decrease in mileage...except for the Saturday, that is. This Saturday, I plan on running the final 30 miles of the Burning River 100 course starting from Mile 70.3 at 7:30am. As I always preach: "Listen to your body or your body will put you in check. I promise." Remember, this is an experiment...how to treat my 8 weeks between 100-milers. I don't believe I need a lot of distance training, though. I think my time would be better spend re-building and recovering for the next 100. Without that, Burning River could be yet another disaster for me. I do, however, believe I need to get out in the heat and humidity more. Traditionally, that's what I can expect on August 1st.


- I wasn't at Mohican but I've been reading as many reports as I can find. I know it was humid, rainy, muddy, and nasty. I've also read a consensus of reports about poor markings on the trail. Granted, with all the rain, trail markings will wash away but directional pie plates and streamers will not. While all I have read is not direct knowledge, there seems to be agreement in frustration over this as well as some aid station unhappiness. I honestly feel bad for the runners as nearly all trained so much for this event and for it's execution to fall short is a shame. It was the 20th running of the event so basic things like trail markings seem inexcusable. Maybe I was just spoiled by a first-class event at the Kettle. On the positive side, though, I've heard about some phenomenal performances like Kevin M. running his first 100-miler and finishing FIFTH!!! Awesome job, Kevin! I knew you were fast, but dang!!!! Regardless of your outcome (if you were at MO this weekend), please recover well and get back out there on the trails as soon as you can. They're waiting for you!


- Back to that squirrel: as you can see, true grit and determination can be found not only on the trails by us humans, but atop a bird feeder by a squirrel. This guy used his tail for balance and sticky hind legs to hold on while he wrapped his body down and stuck his face in the food...all while the feeder swinging around from the non-bird weighing it down. Funny stuff!

- And lastly, for those of you with an appetite, prepare to lose it. "Losing it" is just what I may be doing. That right big toenail of mine that took a beating at the Kettle two short weeks ago is going in and out of soreness right now and changing colors...all pre-cursors to a most-likely departure from my right big toe in the near future. Don't worry...I'll have the camera ready. :-)


Have a great week and Happy Trails, everyone!

1 comment:

Sensationally Red said...

Happy Belated Father's Day! Your gift sounds absolutely precious. That squirrel is something...
Everyone has been talking about the muddy calamity that is Whetmore trail. Missed you again for another VR training run last Thursday!