Monday, September 28, 2009

M-Cubed for 9/28/09

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

- I am so thankful the Akron Marathon is behind me. I loved the local buzz building up to it, standing at the starting line, and shaking Jim Barnett's glove-covered hand yet again. Pretty cool finisher's hat, too! 3rd Akron in a row! The only other marathon I've run 3 times is Richmond. That race from 2000 still holds my PR captive: 3:21. That's the one marathon finish that actually got me to tear up! My goal was to break 3:30 for the first time that day. Thanks to Chef Bill for the pre-race photo on St. Bernard's steps. That's my reflective stripe on my tech tee giving you the light beacon up top. So many good friends in this photo!
- So did standing on my feet for over 9hrs at the marathon expo cause my troubles at Akron. Perhaps. Would I work the expo again? Oh yea! I had a lot of fun seeing everyone and helping newbies with their marathon questions. With Booth #1, people couldn't get by me without making eye contact so it was cool to see so many friends there. The number #1 question? It had to be about lubrication. I sold a ton of BodyGlide. Easy to sell something I've been using for over 12 years and is the reason my nipples bled only the 1997 Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, first marathon. Like I always say: "You only need to bleed once before you start using this stuff!" I also sold all of VR's handheld water bottles. I tend to know a lot about those, too. Oh yea, I got a promo Bobcat Trail Marathon cotton t-shirt, too. Gotta promote the new trail marathon here in Ohio! (yes, I will be there ready to get dirty)

- My girls were with Marjie's parents most of yesterday on a mini road-trip so we just went lazy around the house. I took the opportunity to kick up my feet on the ottoman and work on October's WRTR Newsletter. I really thought September was the biggest to date but October is chock full of more information than I've ever put out at once since the newsletter started in January this year. No preview-nuggets today, though. What's really cool is that I now have over 400 who directly get the newsletter and it also goes out to hundreds via the UltraList nationwide. People have really fallen in love with trails here in NE Ohio. It's really fun to be a part of it all.

- Speaking of the trails in NE Ohio, did anyone else see the PBS special last night on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park? I think I fell in love all over again with that place. It was so cool to see the history of the area, how it became a National Park, and everything that is going on today...much of which I had no idea about. Heck, even our own local celebrity, Vince Rucci, owner of Vertical Runner in Hudson, was interviewed for it! There are more showings this week before it is released on DVD and On-Demand. Here's the link to their website which includes remaining showtimes this week. It's final broadcast is this Sunday at 9pm, by the way.

- One cool thing about writing the newsletter each month for WRTR is getting to learn more and more about not only local trail runners but also the gear I feature each month. Last month, I talked about injury prevention. To do that, I went up to Vertical Runner and tried out the stuff I was going to write about. I knew about most of it but only had experience with "The Stick." The thing I fell in love with and have since purchased was the overly simplistic foam roller. I absolutely sold myself on it. So simple to look at but so effective in its use. By slowly rolling your muscles across it, using body weight as the pressure, it breaks up the scar tissue in and around your muscle fibers thereby flushing the toxins into your blood stream which promotes healing of your muscles. This combined with steady water intake creates the optimum environment for healing. I've now made the roller part of my regular routine and immediately started using it after the marathon on my right calf. It's already made huge improvements since Saturday and I'm hugely optimistic about how I'll feel at 5am on October 10th. Go get one! Prevention is the key!

- I might go "asphalt-less" for the next 12 days. We'll see. I'm going to go a bit overboard on rest which will surprise many of you...if that actually comes true. I'm confident in this: I can achieve absolutely nothing from running in the next 12 days except for warming up the muscles. Zero training benefit can come from it. However, I could do lots of damage. So, I may just head out to the trails for a few 45min - 60min runs just to get some soft dirt beneath my feet. To that end, I'm hoping Jim C. posts a good CRTR Trail Run for this Thursday night. I'm in the mood for that plus a little Winking Lizard afterwards. Perhaps we could have a HUGE showing this week as we all return to the trails after Akron? Yes?

- I love not working Fridays. I haven't worked one in a month and won't work another one until late October. I still dislike going to work on Mondays. It simply stinks. Period. Oh well, my co-workers could possibly endure one more "foam roller demonstration," I suppose. :-)

- I'm finally starting to dig in deep to the Oil Creek website and learning about the area and the course. Drop bag planning is on tap and I'll share my plans as they develop. I'll wrap up the race for you now in one sentence: It takes a 3.5mi trek from Titusville Middle School (race start/finish/headquarters) to the trails where it does a 50K loop three times with one-way 1.25mi treks to the middle school each time we pass, and ending on an almost 8mi final loop to finish off the 100 miles. Total elevation gain of 17,785 feet, too. I CAN NOT wait!!!

- Did you see the 64% "waxing gibbous" Mr. Moon last night? Since I love the moon so much, I thought I'd better talk about it correctly and learning the names of the phases. The "waxing" phase is the one where it's growing in brightness every night. The "waning" phase is the sad part...when it's going away. :-( For Oil Creek, it'll be 58% waning gibbous. Curious, too? Here are the "phases of the moon" and here is the spot you can plug in any date for any area to see what it will be along with rise and set times. Pretty cool, eh?!

- My Dirty Girl Gaiters should be here any day!!! Woo hoo! I'll be wearing them for the first time at Oil Creek. Hopefully, I can keep out all of the debris from getting in my shoes and not have to take them off a single time. I got the "blue flame" pattern and you can be sure I'll post a pic once I get them on. You won't be able to miss me with those things on! Hopefully, they'll scare the bears away at Oil Creek along with my handy-dandy Bear Bell.

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails! Let's get out there and get dirty!!!


Sensationally Red said...

Love the picture! I'm stealing it for my collection. Anyone know who has the cheapest foam roller? I used to have one, but my kids ruined it by smashing it flat one side by standing on it. It really was a handy thing...the gaiters, on the other hand--they remind me of horse hooves and really don't see the point...

Nick Billock said...

There are fancy foam rollers out there but the simplest and best (IMO) is the one at Vertical Runner. It's blue. Retail is $25. He's been selling them like hotcakes.

The gaiters' primary mission is to keep the little pebbles and crud out of my shoes. A couple of fellow runners who have run the Oil Creek area highly recommended them. It beats having to stop often to remove shoe, search for pebble, possibly remove sock, etc. I've learned this year that if my feet feel good during a 100 miler, DO NOT MESS WITH THEM! Just untying and retying shoe laces can change something and possibly start a blister. The gaiters are just another tool in the almighty toolbox!