Monday, August 24, 2009

M-Cubed for 8/24/09

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

- First, I thought it might be appropriate for a little explanation. A very short time ago, I blogged something along the lines of "Nothing longer than a 50K for the rest of 2009." Yea, yea, yea...I know I said it but hey, things change! My recovery from Burning River has gone exceptionally well with no ailments of any kind. I've been watching Tom Jennings, race director of the Oil Creek 100, all year design, organize, and put together an amazing event. The registration numbers agree, too. The 50K, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile are all sold out which is amazing for an inaugural year. So, I decided to "strike while the iron is hot" and go for my 3rd hundred. In a future post, I'll write about the event, what race weekend will look like, and how it differs from the Kettle 100 and the Burning River 100.

- Seen (500) Days of Summer? Grab a date and GO! The movie was 'found' at the Sundance Film Festival and has been picked up by the mainstream theater chains and is doing really well. I won't spill the beans about the movie as that really would ruin it but true to the statement made at the beginning of the movie (this is NOT a love story), this movie is a blast and is all so true. Recommendation: see the movie before going to dinner as it will provide lots to talk about. Guys: you'll get frustrated near the end. Ladies: you'll be smiling with a devilish grin. ARGH!!! We saw it on Saturday night, enjoyed a dinner at the Pufferbelly in Kent where I had their blackened Grouper Reuben sandwich, then enjoyed some one-on-one time at Riverside Wine & Imports in Kent at sunset. We had the perfect seat on the back deck above the Cuyahoga River and watched the bats come to life as dark set in. All-in-all, a rare evening together and one we greatly enjoyed, all within 20 minutes of home.

- It was a great weekend of running, too. Friday, Lloyd T. led myself and 3 others through almost every trail in the Brecksville Reservation. Gombu (13 one-hundred mile finishes), Dave P. (9 one-hundred mile finishes), Slim (3 finishes), and Lloyd and I, both with 2 finishes. It was one of the funnest group trail runs I have ever been on. We took it easy and covered 13 miles in about 2.5 hours and ended it wading upstream IN Chippewa Creek for about 3/4 mile. With water up to our knees, it was both refreshing and a lot of fun with other 'like-minded' ultra-runners. Just for the record, it was Gombu and Slim's recommendations about the Oil Creek 100 that sealed the deal for me. Hey, I'm no fool when it comes to getting the answer I want! On Saturday, I ran with Maria and Amy from the summer BT50K starting line in Brecksville and did 18 miles on the Buckeye Trail. They are both going to cross the finish line of their first 50 mile trail race at Oil Creek in October so it was a great time to share the trail and fueling/nutrition strategies. Afterwards, I met my brother (Jim) and his wife (Bekah) at Happy Days and gave them a running tour of the Ledges and Pine Grove Trails for 5 miles. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful areas of the park and a great introductory area when getting into trail running before tackling the more technical trails. So together, 36 miles of trails over the two days and I feel great. Onward and upward to Oil Creek!

- I'm a HUGE fan of Keen footwear. So much so, that I can't get away from their trail running shoes. Usually this time of year if you see me, I'm either wearing their sandals or trail shoes. Well, their Wasatch Crest trail shoes were discontinued about a year ago. Up till now, I have 3 pairs of them. One has screws for winter racing (426 miles on those), another is identical without the screws (415 miles) and the 3rd pair, I bought from Brett S. who didn't like them and they have 426 miles on them as well. Those I wore for all 100 miles of the Kettle 100. They did come out with the Keen Powerline which I wore from miles 43 to 84 of Burning River but I found out that day that the upper must be cut differently because it kept hitting my left ankle bone....BAD. That got really sore over 40+ miles! That soreness lingered for the following week. So, I searched and searched and found one pair in my size of the Wasatch Crest on clearance at Zappos.com. ONE pair. I searched many other sites and usually, they had none or a couple not in my size. So today, I'm a happy runner because a pair of zero mileage Wasatch Crest trail shoes are on their way, this time waterproof (but breathable). I'll test them out at the YUT-C 50K to make sure all is well then put 'em into action at the OC100. This should get me to the Spring of 2010 without having to find a totally new trail shoe which I'm not looking forward to. Months and months of training and over 1300 miles in this model says something about finding the 'perfect' shoe.

- Don't be caught loafing around on Labor Day morning this year! There is a great race in Akron at The Chapel called the Labor of Love Run. It is a very family-friendly event, has LOTS of homemade goodies every year, a nice tech tee for race entry, and one heck of a hill to challenge your lungs twice during the 5-miler. The event kicks off with the 1-mile fun run. Last year, I ran it with my daughters for their first race ever. Both ran the whole way without stopping and have their ribbons to prove it. Then, I raced the 5-miler. The 5-mile course is two 2.5 mile loops with one monstrous hill about the 2 and 4.5mi point. Afterwards, everyone kicks back on the comfy grass outside the Chapel while Mark Zimmerman of WCRF radio hands out age group awards and draws names for the raffle. I've got a couple of nice fleece blankets for awards in past years and some great freebies in the raffle as well. It's a great event not to miss each year for the whole family. Pre-registration is $15 for the 5-miler ($20 day of race) and the 1-mile fun run is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Details here.

- I think I'm all set on fall registrations. Labor of Love > you betcha! YUT-C 50K > paid. Akron Marathon > done. Oil Creek 100 > you know it! Bobcat Trail Marathon > of course! (Bobcat goes up in price SOON!)

- Slim has some great quotes. Here's one I'd seen before but he sent it out again after the run on Friday morning. Oh, how true:

"A morning spent in the woods with friends is time well vested."

-Ben Franklin ( not really from Mr. Franklin, but I like to think that he would agree)

Have a great week, everyone and Happy Trails!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Ah, Gombu and Slim have the gift of blarney in talking folks into races!
See you in a few weeks!