Monday, April 5, 2010

M-Cubed for 4/5/2010

Monday Morning Musings for April Fifth, Twenty Ten. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. I was amazed to see how many were out doing things other than celebrating Easter yesterday morning. For my family, we regularly attend church and Easter Sunday is no different. For others, it's the one day they attend out of the year and most churches set up extra chairs on this day or add a service to accommodate the increased attendance. Our small church in Randolph, OH started out with the men serving a SONrise breakfast to the church at 9am followed by a wonderful service. The sanctuary was filled with the aroma of fresh flowers as it was decorated with flowers purchased from members in honor of passed loved ones. The color, the aroma...it was beautiful. Pastor Bill delivered a wonderful sermon, too. Easter: it is the cornerstone of my faith. Without the factual resurrection of Christ on the 3rd day following his brutal crucifixion, the Christian faith falls flat. We read the story again as a family after lunch, working our way through "Resurrection Eggs" that are geared towards children and explain the path to the Cross and how the tomb was empty on the 3rd day. Although made for kids, those eggs have an impact as we passed around the linen, the nails, and crown of thorns...feeling the sharpness of them. It was also great to see that final egg....empty...representing the tomb that was found empty because He had risen. He had risen, indeed!

- April showers bring May flowers. No kidding! The grass needs cut already. Oh well, I much rather get out the John Deere instead of the Toro snow-blower...any day!

- 74.5 miles last week. Wow. For some, that's not a lot. For me, that's really high. My running week runs from Sunday - Saturday so that includes the Fools 50K. Definitely taking a relaxing down week this week.

- About a week ago, I thought it would be fun to run an easy 20 miles on the Buckeye Trail this past Saturday. The forecast showed for lots of sun and warm temperatures so I figured the trails would be in great condition. I got the word out for the "Easter Egg 20" and had about 25 RSVPs. I showed up and somewhere around 40 runners showed up! WOW! That was awesome to see so many out just before sunrise to jump aboard the Buckeye Trail. I had a great run and did my best to make it around to as many folks as possible. As usual, I took lots of pictures. Check them out here.

- Driving down to the Valley on Saturday, I thought about how that trail (or any trail, actually) just sits there 24 x 7 x 365, changes through the seasons, looks different, feels different, but it's always there waiting. Faithful, it is. I thought about how much it gives back to us and changes us. I heard again from so many runners who had a spectacular time out there and how much they loved the trails. It just gives back so much more than your typical road run. Nothing against road running, of course, but the trails really do dig much deeper and have a very deep impact on people. I just think that's great and I suppose that's the main reason I was so excited to see so many folks show up for a last-minute group run. I can't help but think about a friend of mine, Mark Z. and his dog, Benny. Mark hosts the Morning Show on WCRF, 103.3 FM everyday and while Mark does not run, he and Benny get out nearly every day on the trails up north hiking and spending time together. He definitely "gets it" as well.

- Speaking of dogs, there's a chance we may be adopting a black lab. We hope to see him this week. His name is "Gunner." His mom surprised her parents who didn't know she was pregnant and through a tough birth for most of the litter, only 2 out of the 7 puppies lived. One will stay at home with the mom, a English Chocolate Lab, and the other, Gunner, is the one who may become the newest member of our family. Stay tuned...

- I ran my first marathon in 1997. To date, I've got 25 under my belt. It wasn't until 2007 that I ran my first ultra-marathon and got into trail-running. I don't know how it escaped me for 10 years. I then progressed slowly in the length of the races and hit my threshold of 100 miles last year. Trail ultra-marathons are certainly my favorite events to participate in and train for. Anyway, I was just thinking about how some people these days are running a marathon or two, then dive head first into the ultra events. So fast, not spread out or anything. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it at all, but I think there are so many great experiences I had running all those marathons over 10 years, traveling around, collecting the medals...I remember them ALL. Someday, I want to start my collection up again. For this season, though, I'm doing what my passion is driving me to do. I'll never forget the allure and draw of the road marathon, though. Nothing like it out there and hometown events like the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA and modest-sized marathons like the Richmond Marathon are ones I have to return to. Of course, good 'ol Akron will always be one to return to.

- I finally finished my house...6 years later. Nothing construction related, but I finally got my long-wanting flag pole up. I found this telescoping pole through an exhibitor at the Ohio State Fair last year. It has no ropes or pulleys to tangle, is made of high-strength aluminum, has no maintenance on it---ever, it's made here in the USA, and has these D-ring-shaped rotational swivels that the flag attaches to so the flag can go in any direction and never wrap around the pole. I'm very happy with it and got it illuminated with a solar-powered spotlight last night. Not very bright but enough to give Old Glory some light overnight. Here's a video I put together of the installation start to finish.

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!

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