Monday, September 7, 2009

M-Cubed for Labor Day 2009

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

- Day 4 of a 4-day weekend for me. I'll be running in the 25th Anniversary of the Labor of Love Run 5-Miler at The Chapel in Akron this morning. It's certainly the most family-friendly event I've ever done and has become a tradition on this holiday much like my Turkey Day 4-miler has become. My girls love the 1-mile fun run and well, the 5-miler is brutal twice during the run with the same lung-burner of a hill. I'm not so optimistic about my time this morning. The last 2 years, I've kept my times sub 35min but I don't believe I'm in that kind of shape anymore. I'll shoot for 35min but highly unlikely I can crack that barrier this year. That's OK, though! Anything close will be a reminder my "road legs" still work!

- Saturday was another one of those days where I stood in awe. I posted a group run about a week ago to run on the Blue Line, the Akron Marathon course, as we are now less than 3 weeks to race day. I mapped out a 20 miler which covered the whole course with the exception of the south part of the course as well as the part that winds through the University of Akron. I projected 40-100 runners (kind of liberal, I know) and we certainly hit the 100 mark. Seeing that many people out from just a simple internet post was pretty cool. A great day with friends and another day to spur the buzz surrounding a great marathon. The northeast Ohio running community is certainly alive and well. We also saw many, many others on the course outside of our group. 19 days to race day!

- After the 20 miler, I packed up my family and hit the road for Cleveland. We've had perfect weather for quite some time now and Labor Day weekend has been no different so why not a Cleveland Indians game?! Yea, they stink this year, but it's one of those things I hope my family remembers for awhile. Before the game, I found some free parking over near 6th Street by the Starbucks then took a walk, a L O N G walk. I had no idea my 30min walk would be over an hour...to Great Lakes Brewing Company. They are located across the bridge near the ballpark. I've always wanted to visit there and have lunch or dinner and with a game time of 4:10pm, we had plenty of time. Well, with blazing sun and legs much shorter than my own, other members of my family were great troopers and enjoyed the walk. Icing on the cake was flyovers by F-15s above us for the Cleveland Air Show while we crossed the bridge. The brewery was really good, super good food and atmosphere, and a band playing on the square outside. Afterwards, we slowly walked back over the bridge to the ballpark. I noticed this billboard on way back. I'm sure many of you have heard of the Hoyt's. Great inspirational sign, eh?

The game was great and everyone enjoyed themselves. We got bleacher seats (in my opinion, the best in the house) and enjoyed...get this...FOUR flyovers by the Air Force's elite Thunderbirds! I'm a Navy guy so of course, I love the Blue Angels but in "Air Force land," the Thunderbirds are it. 3 times, a single Thunderbird blazed right above the stadium, afterburners on, and bringing the crowd to its feet. The final and greatest one of all was all 4 of them, in close, tight formation doing a slow flyover right over the stadium! That's 4 times more than what NASCAR fans get!!! Even cooler was that they kept flying directly over the bleacher section in left field so they were directly above us. Ahhh....the pure sound of freedom roaring overhead. Roaring fighter jets always bring back the memories of when I stood in the "Crow's Nest" onboard my previous aircraft carriers watching F-14s and F-18s roar off the flight deck for missions over Iraq. My blood still pumps red, white, and blue...

- Training related, it's time to put my game-face on. 12 days from now will be event #1 of 3 that will take place between now and October 10th. After this past Saturday's beating on asphalt on the Blue Line, I'll be taking a very heavy down week this week and will run nothing over 10 miles and will totally take this Saturday off. Maximum rest is my goal but also staying limber through my mid-week runs. After the YUT-C 50K on September 19th, I'll have only 7 days until the Akron Marathon. No goals are being set for the Akron Marathon as any racing would be "100 mile suicide." I simply want to enjoy the event and enjoy seeing so many friends during a super-fine event. I do expect 26.2 miles of asphalt to require focused rest and repair. I gotta tell ya, that 20 miler this past Saturday did beat me up a bit. It reminded me of how much I love the trails and how they are so nice to my body regarding recovery. Anyway, after the Akron Marathon, I'll only have 2 weeks until the Oil Creek 100 Mile Trail Run. The goal? Get through 157.4 miles of "racing" over 3 events in 4 weeks injury free and 3 succcessful finishes. It will be a true test of smart running, smart recovery, and how well I can "listen" to my body and respond appropriately.

Happy Labor Day and Happy Trails, everyone!

2 comments:

kron said...

Nick,

Always nice running with you. Glad to hear I am not the only one who has asphalt legs and thats after pounding 5 consecutive 18+'s on the tar. Stay healthy I want to read another 100 mile race report.

Nick Billock said...

KRON, you know I want to write that report with a picture of me and a flashy new buckle in one hand and shaking Tom Jenning's hand with the other. (he's the race director) I'll try to keep you morning cup-o-joe interesting.

Taper well!