- It's great when the grocery shopping and the lawn can get mowed BEFORE the weekend so the weekend is free for everything-family with no to-do lists. It was one of those weekends highlighted by my family's first trip to Kent's 16th Annual Art in the Park. 95 local artists, 2 stages with local musical acts and artistic folks, a kids' craft area, and some good food. We had some kettle corn and bought a few pieces of $1 pizza to support the local Boy Scout troop. I think we spent about 3-4 hours out there. It was a really nice, relaxing time on a brilliant day.
- Another 4-day work-week this week. I love these non-5 day weeks. Friday is my normal every-other-Friday off and the day before Objective #1, the YUT-C 50K. YUT-C is a really fun ultra-marathon with the cream-of-the-crop in local ultra talent. It's got a different "feel" to it as compared to some other local events. Not a good or bad thing...just different. I'm looking forward to 3 trips up and over the Monkey Hills, circumnavigating the lakes of Mill Creek Park multiple times, and seeing new and familiar faces of good friends. After YUT-C, I'll employ a week of recover/taper to the Akron Marathon 7 days later, Objective #2. No time goals for Akron this year. If I dare race Akron, which is hard NOT to, by the way...I should be shot on site. No better way to sabotage Objective #3 and the grand prize of 2009, a 3rd 100 mile finish at Oil Creek two weeks after the Akron Marathon. Ahhhhh.....this is exciting.
- Anyone see the sousaphone player dot the "I" at the Ohio State Buckeye game on Saturday night? It's a huge tradition at "The Horseshoe" in Columbus. I guess someone didn't pass the memo to the cameraman about the actual "dotting" procedure as he got a bit too close to that big 'ol sousaphone as it dove south to the turf. Funny stuff. Unfortunately, our Bucks got run over by a bunch of Trojans...so much for all that trash-talking I was doing to some good friends down south!
- It's hard to forget to mention it when it doesn't exist, but guess what...I continue to remain injury free! Nothing has crept up on me since Burning River and I continue to be blessed with an incredible track record in 2009 absent of any real injury. Sure, I've had some nagging knee issues and little things here and there, but nothing to sideline me and cause me to drop out of any event. All in all, I head into these next 4 weeks in great shape both physically and mentally. How will I come out the other end???
- I nearly missed Grandparents Day yesterday. I normally count on my well-labeled Hallmark calendar on the fridge but it's not up anymore. Luckily, I remembered in time to go see my grandma who is 84 years young, my last surviving grandparent. She fortunately only lives a few miles away now so I was able to drop in as a surprise, have a cup-o-tea with her and just catch up. She is going quite well but will probably require another knee replacement surgery real soon. I can't help but see the irony in her getting her knee cut open while I bash mine in these endurance events. But hey, I'll lean on the researchers who preach these events strengthen my knees instead of the naysayers who preach the opposite. I love you, Gram!
- A big shout-out goes to Vince, owner of Vertical Runner who outright won his first ultra-marathon this past Saturday at the Groundhog Fall 50K in Punxsutawney, PA. Beating out Mark Godale who finished 2nd, Vince finished in 4hrs, 3min., a respectable marathon time but instead 5 miles longer than a marathon at 31.2 miles and on hilly trails. Way to go, Vince! Full Results here.
- Tell me once and I may or may not listen. Tell me again and my ears will perk up. That's what they did when Tom Jennings, Oil Creek 100 race director recently sent out another extremely detailed race-update e-mail. Turns out bears are becoming more and more common out there in the former oil country in PA. He recommended getting a "bear bell" yet again for those of us who will be trudging through the night and have better chances of stumbling upon one of those big 'ol creatures. Enough said, Tom! I finally picked up one on eBay this morning. It has a magnetic silencer so it's quiet when it needs to be. I'm one who does travel very quietly through the woods at night and will be especially so at Oil Creek since I'll be alone the whole way. It's going to be a long night, too, with the sun setting earlier and earlier every day now and the sun rising later every day. Sunset will be at 6:45pm, moonrise is at 11:35pm with 58% of the moon visible (pray for clear skies!!!), and sunrise will not be until 7:25am with first light at 6:58am. Note to self: BATTERIES!!!!
- To many of you, be smart this week, eat a bunch of carbs, drink lots of water, and I'll see you at the YUT-C 50K on Saturday! It's a record for participation this year, too! 113 registered as of this morning! YEA!!!
Happy Trails, everyone!