Friday, December 26, 2008

The day after Christmas

Since the weather was supposed to get warm and wet later, I decided to run earlier in the day while the ground was still frozen. I always struggle with where to go for my long runs and today I decided to once again, stick close to home and venture over towards Liberty Park. I meandered around the open field at the end of Post road and ventured over towards the park. I ran down behind the park along the ledges and the little waterfalls along there were quite nice with the frozen water cascading over them. To help pass the time as I ran and to keep track of everything I saw, I made up a little song: (to the tune of the twelve days of Christmas)

On the day after Christmas while running in the woods,
I saw a red fox jumping through the leaves.

On the day after Christmas while running in the woods,
I saw two red-tailed hawks and a red fox jumping through the leaves.

(I'll spare you the repetition and get to the items...)
  • three crows a cawing..
  • four little water-falls
  • five white-tailed deer
  • ran six miles with Denise( she called me as I was getting close to home and we ran together)
  • seven colors of the rainbow ( A rainbow appeared as a small sleet storm passed by! )

That's the end of my creativity...

Today was a good 3 hour run and I feel it! I wish I had a couple more of those this fall for the winter 50K but it will have to do. I will take race day easy and just finish. I will not PR like I did last year, that is for sure. The weather of course will be the wild-card, but that is what makes this race so fun.

This has been an awesome week of vacation and holidays! We have shared a lot of laughs together as a family and are ready to tackle 2009!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Catching up! (or at least trying to)

It has been a very strange month with the economic situation hitting closer to home. My employer announced in November that any pay increases for next year would be deferred until April. They also had a small staff reduction. This news was not too bad, we still had jobs, the project is going well, and things in the electronic industry are always cyclical, this is no different. Just taking steps to help ride out the storm.

Then along comes December...

More "cost savings measures"... No 401k match, no raises at all this year, they are offering early retirement packages, and taking volunteers for unpaid leave-of-absences. They are looking for a 7% staff reduction, so depending upon how many people take the buyouts, there will be layoffs in January. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the 10% pay cut for everyone across the board. Merry Christmas...

Good news: Things could be worse...
Bad news: They may just get there...

The more I read about how this financial mess started, the more upset and disappointed I get with our government and 'supposedly smart' business leaders. I guess this is yet more evidence that the world is pretty messed up and there is only one real solution. It also amazes me how the media is playing all of this. It is all doom-and-gloom, perpetuating the spiral... Yes, things are bad, but it is not the end of the world... that is coming later! :) A little common sense can go a long way... but there seems to be lack of that too!

Enough of the bad stuff!

We are planning a simpler 2009 as a family. Sticking close to home and enjoying all that NE Ohio has to offer. We still want to take our annual trip to the Adirondacks, it will just be a matter of when and where. Denise and I have suggested to the girls that we camp this summer.... that did not go over too well, but it does sound like fun! Racing: Denise is thinking either Cleveland or Buffalo as a spring marathon and of course, Columbus again in the fall. See the post below for my schedule...

Gina will run track in the spring and Abby is excited about cross-country in the fall. The dogs continue to keep us busy and this cold weather is a joy for them. Forrest just loves to lay in the snow on the deck...

Well, I hear the family starting to wake up. The best part of the winter break is sleeping in...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I was tagged!

Thanks to Nick, via Clara, I was tagged. This means that a list of questions has been presented and I will attempt to answer them honestly and with SOS (spouse over shoulder!)

1. What was your 2008 running highlight and running low?
Highlight: Finishing my first 100 mile run, the Burning River 100. Honorable Mention: Sharing an awesome trail in the ADK with a 350lb black bear! I am not sure who scared who the most!
Low: Inconsistent running and lack of motivation this fall and early winter...

2. What race are you secretly planning on doing (or contemplating) for 2009 but haven't made it known to the public....until now?
Running w/Scissors double Marathon.
Actually, I am thinking of cutting out the Mohican 50 mile run...

3. Where would you like create and direct an ultra that (to your knowledge) none exists? Our family really enjoys the Adirondack Mountains and to my knowledge, there are very few trail running events up there.

4. What is your "primary" race for 2009? The "Forget the PR 50K" and doing whatever it takes to get JP across the Burning River 100 finish line in good enough condition for his wedding 2 weeks later!

5. What is the most exciting thing about your upcoming race schedule? That training for the races will help maintain my sanity in this crazy and unpredictable economy. Not planning for a huge event for 2009 will provide extra time and energy for me to spend time with my family on the trails. This will help to instill into my daughters a deeper love for the outdoors and help them connect with why fitness is so important to me and Denise.

6. List your planned races for 2009:
Winter Buckeye Trail 50K
Forget the PR 50K
Mohican 50 mile???
Volunteer/pace at Burning River 100
Running w/Scissors double Marathon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Gina had day 1 of the Shaker Sharks swim meet at CSU yesterday morning. The early-morning drive down was uneventful and we arrived at 7:10am. As we waited in line to get into the parking garage, we hear a loud crash/thud. The Ford Expedition in front of us rear-ended the mini-van in from of it. It was just a temporary loss of focus on the driver's part but air-bags deployed and everything. Not a good way to start the morning for them....

During one of the boy's events, a father of a swimmer was sitting behind us in the stands and was shouting/cheering for his son. Now for those of you that swim, you know that you cannot hear a word that anyone is saying while you are in the water. As parents, we always forget this and shout/yell/cheer loudly while our children are swimming.

Anyways, this man was cheering for his son, who I will call Tommy, "GO TOMMY! GO! GET HIM AT THE TURN! GREAT JOB! GO TOMMY GO! NOOOOOO!!! STOP BREATHING!!!" Denise and I started giggling and was almost laughing out loud! I am sure what the dad meant was "Stop breathing every stroke!" But in the heat of the moment, "Stop Breathing" is what he said.... Pretty funny...

I swapped my weekend run schedule with next week and completed 10 mile yesterday afternoon in the woods. Cold, blusterly, but an enjoyable run. I actually had ice/snow in my eyebrows, which was a first for me. Today's weather looks to be similar.

Ah, winter has arrived! Back to CSU this morning for day 2 of the swim meet. At least it is warm at the pool.