- I just love federal holidays. I love them more than ever because for the last 15 months, I've had a federal job...therefore, last Friday was a holiday! Yea! To maximize trail time, I posted an 11 mile trail run at 7am to go from Pine Lane to Blue Hen Falls and back aboard the Buckeye Trail. Going to sleep on Thursday night, I hadn't received any RSVPs but by the time I arrived, 6 others were waiting. The trails were meant to be shared....plus, with this particular group that arrived, good conversation awaited and like we say out there...what's said on the trails...stays on the trails! I got back feeling pretty good with some discomfort around my knee area but I immediately worked the area with "The Stick" and it felt better. I did that a few more times during the day.
- The 4th of July started with sleeping in, for one. Being off my game, so to speak, gave me the excuse to skip all of the local holiday road races. Instead, we headed on over to the Stow Parade, the best local parade of the year. It lasts over an hour and a half and it's one of the few parades that let the fire trucks blast their horns. Most communities have banned this practice. My favorite float, hands down, was this LIVE re-creation of the Iwo Jima, Marine Corps Memorial. Those guys' arms had to be killing by the end of the parade.
- The afternoon was filled with relaxing at Marjie's aunt and uncle's pond/pavilion for a cookout. Good food/bad food (it depends on your perspective, right?!) and just kickin' back and relaxing with Marjie and the girls.
- My youngest brother is a flight nurse with Akron Children's Hospital and works on their new helicopter, "Air Bear." Well, the helo pad on top of the hospital is directly...and I mean directly across from the downtown Akron fireworks launch site. We had THE best seat in the house. Right smack in front of us high atop the hospital under the shadow of Air Bear. Super, super time...and many thanks goes out again to my brother for the invite. It really doesn't get much better than that.
- OK, so we get home after the fireworks, get the kids down to bed (very late by our standards) and hit the sack. Asleep. Not for long, though...at 12:30am, our house alarm/siren goes off. For the 5+ years that we've lived here, it has never been set off during the night. We spring out of bed fully thinking that we were being broken into. We disarm the alarm and open the door. Totally disoriented, we stumble out our bedroom door and Marjie turns on the patio light which is adjacent to our bedroom. Out the window, I see the security light on and my DAUGHTER walking around the corner!!! I open the door, yell for her, and she just stood there stunned. Long story short...she was sleep-walking and didn't remember going out there. Still disoriented, the phone rings just as it should and the security company is on the other end wondering if they should send the calvary to our location. I stumble for the password and let them know what happened. Marjie put her back to bed and we headed back to bed...totally stressed. We just lay there pondering the "what-if's"...what if we had no alarm and she kept walking? What if we were being broken into? I also was afraid for my daughter and needed her with us for the rest of the night...I was just a mess in my head. Marjie went and got her and all was well. In the morning, one of her right toes was all swollen. Fearing a broken or dislocated toe, Marjie had her checked out and no broken toe, thank goodness. Turns out that as she raced out the door...asleep, she stubbed her toe on some patio furniture. Wow...what a night!
- Sunday, my knee really felt much better. I'd been using "The Stick" a lot and drinking lots of water and I believe it was paying off. I really wanted to get on the trails and avoid all asphalt or concrete. I took my running gear to church just in case I could scoot down to the trails afterwards and things worked out that I could get some trail time in. I really felt like a good pain-free trail run was possible. I headed out again from Pine Lane on the Buckeye Trail and felt really, really good. Temps were in the mid-70s and full sun. One of the first things I noticed is that about 7/10 of a mile in, before the water crossing, they (perhaps the CVNP or the Buckeye Trail Association?) have blazed a new trail where a tree had come down over the winter. They went up the hill a bit, created a rise, and did a fantastic job. Thank you! Come around Mile 2 and the entry to the row of pines where Pine Lane gets its name, my right foot either caught an immovable rock or a root. I hit that thing harder than anything ever in my life. I went flying and landed on my right side and wow...my right toes hurt BAD. It really felt like I did some damage but I hopped up and got running again paying no mind to the discomfort. I got to Boston Store at 4.05 miles in 40min, 3sec...quite a brisk pace and an indicator that I really was feeling good. I turned around and finished the 8.1 miles in 1hr, 22 min. That's practically my Winter BT50K race pace so I was super happy with this and ZERO discomfort in my knee. It truly felt 100%. I cooled down for 2 miles on the Valley Bridle Trail to bring me up to an even 10 for the day. Talk about a confidence boosting type of run. I really felt good again. On the way home, I stopped at the ER where my wife was working and luckily, that ugly toe above isn't broken, just badly bruised. Yippee!
- If you are interested, I'm leading a group trail run tonight, July 6th, from the Boston Store at 6pm. We'll be covering parts of the Valley Bridle Trail, stopping by the Brandywine Falls, and returning on the Buckeye Trail via the Snowville entrance which is also Mile 50 of the Burning River 100. Total mileage will be between 10 and 11 miles. Dinner at Fishers or the Winking Lizard afterwards.
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!