Friday, May 30, 2008
Of course I woke up early this morning and decided to make the most of the day by getting in a quick 4 mile run here on Shelter Island while the girls continued sleeping. Instead of the usual deer and squirrels I see on my usual Twinsburg runs, I was treated to sea lions barking and the thrill of watching a naval destroyer pull into the harbor. All the sailors were lined up along the deck and I took a moment to stop and watch the ship as it passed by. There is a nice path along the shoreline that I did two laps of.
We spent the majority of the day at the San Diego Zoo. We arrived just as the park opened at 9am and were able to get some really great views of most of the animals. The highlights were watching the orangutans roll out of bed and start their day, the hippoes swimming around their 150,000 gallon pool, and the beautiful pandas eating bamboo and literally "hanging out" in the trees. Weather was perfect and we all agreed it was an awesome place to explore for five hours!
We then headed to the convention center for the marathon expo and packet pick-up. The parking garage was extremely full and there was a ton of traffic, but surprisingly the expo did not seem very crowded. There was no line at packet pick-up and we moved swiftly through the stops for timing chip and t-shirt. We bought a few goodies and sampled a few products and were back in the car to let DaveDave show us the way back to the hotel!
The girls swam in the pool and then it was Subway for dinner which we ate near the beach across the street from the hotel. To date the girls have each snapped 250 photos on their cameras.
Tomorrow we hope to have a low key day exploring Coronado Island. We will also do a dry run of how to get to the marathon start, parking lot, trolley stops for spectating and finish line. Oh yeah, and I'm going to get up early again and run towards downtown along the harbor and enjoy the sights and sounds of morning along the ocean.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Gina's trip to Cedar Point on tuesday with her class prepared her for the sensation of lift-off. Abby was big-eyed but enjoyed the experience once we were off of the ground. Great flight with clear skies and we actually arrived in Los Angeles on time. We retrieved our luggage and then waited for the rental car shuttle. And waited... It arrived and we loaded the car with our luggage. Many many thanks to Dave for letting us borrow his TomTom navigation unit. We have affectionatly renamed it to DaveDave, even though the voice does not match the name! It managed to get us to the hotel without missing a beat! We tried to fool it with an off-highway excursion to look for a beach access, but DaveDave was patient and let us have some fun exploring before entering "Nag" mode.
Great mexican dinner tonight and we are all ready for a good night of rest. I hope to run a few miles tomorrow morning along the harbor and then we are off to the zoo. We will head to the marathon expo for race packet pickup and more exploration.
The girls are amazed at all of the palm trees that line the streets. Some look like giant pineapples and there are lots of very beautiful plants and trees around! I understand why people want to live here.
Hope to post some photos tomorrow... good night!
Monday, May 26, 2008
We parked at the library and staked out a spot at the end of the driveway. Forrest was looking so 'stately' and proud as he sat and watched the people and parade. People would walk by and pet him and tell him how handsome he looked! He really likes the attention. As the band approached, the drums sounded a bit too much like thunder for his liking and he was a little nervous. Forrest however really enjoyed the kids throwing candy! A couple of people in the parade even came over to say hello to him. He was stealing the show!
The parade was over much too quickly and I started scanning the sky for the plane. We started to gather our things and walk back to the van when I looked up and saw the C-130 flying low right over Ravenna road! (It was pretty hard to miss!) It was pretty cool to see as he make a big left hand banking turn over the square. Almost as impressive as the F16s a couple of years ago...
Fun morning out. Mia, our golden has pouted all day about not going along... We are about to take her out for a walk. That should help.
We gave Forrest a bath yesterday and he looks and smells a whole lot better! His fur always gets so fluffly after we dry him and he looks twice as large as normal! The medication that he is taking now is really working. He is starting to act like a much younger dog than he is.
Abby, Gina, and Kelly had a raucous water fight last evening and I then built a fire to help them 'warm-up'. The fact that there were s'mores too helped a lot! It was a perfect end to a perfect day for all of us!
I sit here typing, listening to the approaching thunderstorm, trying to keep Forrest calm. He is very thunder-phobic and will probably at any minute bolt for the "protection" of the upstairs shower... He is a funny boy..
I had a great running week. 47 miles total with a 25 mile run saturday followed with 10 miles with Paul yesterday! I completed a nice 6 this morning while the rest of the family was sleeping. I figured that I could run and then make pancakes with Abby when she wakes up. They are still asleep but the storm is close... Time to rescue Forrest!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I changed and started. As I entered the woods, there was not really a trail, it was a small creek with water flowing into the mud holes. Oh well, I just slopped through and had a blast!!! It was really fun and I got pretty muddy. It was funny, no one else was out enjoying this with me...hmmmm
The rain stopped after a while and I decided to stop at 8 miles. I did not want to go too far even though it felt good. As I returned home, I met Denise as she started her run. She asked "4 more?" I thought why not?! I ran in the grass along the bike path with Denise. It was wet, of course, but I was already pretty muddy so it did not matter. At one point, I stepped into a hole and created a huge splash. Again, big fun! Denise was not amused, but I was having a good time.
I completed 11.5 miles for the day. 46.5 miles total for the week, making this the biggest week since early April. It feels good to be back!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
We started by traveling the BR course backwards to Pine Hollow. We passed a goat farm on the way and I chuckled at the babies and mother goats scampering about. Several parts of the trail were muddy and Andy abandoned all hope of keeping dry feet very early in the day. Instead of calling our muddy sections to the group, we would call out dry sections. There were a lot fewer of them... We also called out fallen trees for Kurt so that he would not trip! Ask him sometime for the story.
We made a couple of wrong turns but recovered before too much time was lost. Before we knew it we were at Pine Hollow. We returned the same way and after we waited for Kurt to retreive his shoe from the mud, we arrived back at the cars for fluids and food. We decided to go to the covered bridge and travel the Perkins/Riding Run bridle trails. JP warned us that it was very muddy there earlier in the week and we discussed options for alternate routes. We started up the climb from the valley and it was not too bad. Andy and Don turned back for a 15 mile day while JP, Patti and I continued on.
These trails were pretty isolated and very scenic. JP said that the fall colors are very vivid and that the woods are even nicer with a fresh covering of snow in the winter. I need to get back here again to experience the other seasons.
We arrived at the covered bridge again and none of us really wanted to run along Ira road per the original plan so we instead headed back into the woods towards Oak Hill trail and Furnace run. These were a couple of short loops but they contained some steep sections of trail. A few loops here would make for a good hill workout.
Back to Bolanz road for a total of 20 miles and 4 hours 15 minutes of running. Not a fast day but I am feeling good and felt like I could have gone farther. I hope to follow up with 10 miles in the morning to complete a good week. Thanks to JP, Patti, Andy, Don, and Kurt for the company. JP, lets get a night run planned soon!
Denise and I walked the dogs in the park this afternoon and a red fox crossed the bike path in front of us. Pretty cool..
Friday, May 16, 2008
I had changed into a pair of my older running shorts and a long-sleeved shirt for our run. Gina came down from upstairs and said to me, "Dad, you have to change your shorts!" I asked why and she said "They are too short!". I said that they were fine and she said "put you arms down at your sides. See? They are too short! You would not be allowed to wear them in my school because they are not longer than your reach!"
I changed my shorts...
Thursday, May 15, 2008
We brought the bike path back to the grassy path where Gina ran hard to Glenwood. The dogs and I walked the path and met Gina as she jogged back. A very nice evening. I hope to be able to do it again soon.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I felt very tired today at work. I slept well last night, it just seemed like a short night...Maybe Mother's Day took its toll on me with the stress of planning, preparing, and cleanup of 3 meals. How do you mothers do that day after day after day???
I returned home from work to find Denise and the girls frantically preparing for what might have been Gina's "first date". Her friend called to see if she wanted to run with him on the Bike path. Now what could make two parents who run happier than that? I was invited along as well as the dogs, to ensure that everything went well. The kids ran, and we walked behind, like two doting parents. I am not ready for this....
I want to run again tomorrow morning and am starting to plan saturday's long run already. I want to park at the covered bridge and run portions of the Burning River 100 course. There is a 6 mile segment to Pine Hollow, a 4.1 mile loop, and a 3.5 mile segment to O'Neil Woods. Total distance would be 23.1 miles, making for a nice run. Pace will be easy and I am going to post on both the VR web site and BR100 sites for some company. A lot of people will probably be running the Cleveland marathon this weekend, but maybe I can get someone to join me to help pass the miles.
Here is a photo of Abby, Denise, and Gina at the Botanical Gardens in Cleveland. We decided to go visit there since the weather was not very nice for an outdoor hike as we had originally planned. We are so glad that we ventured down there. They have a huge green house with a Costa Rica Cloud forest habitat which contained hundreds of butterflies and assorted colorful birds.
The butterflies were feasting on the nectar from the flowers that were blooming and it was amazing to be so close and observe them floating about.
We started the day with the girls making chocolate chip pancakes for Denise. Abby presented Denise with a poem and Gina, a collage of Adirondack photos. Both were a huge hit with Denise.
Off we went to the Botanical gardens for a great visit. We will return on a sunny day to enjoy the outdoor gardens this summer.
I prepared dinner and chocolate casserole for desert. (do you sense a chocolate theme??) It was a very good day and Denise had her wish of staying out of the kitchen for a day.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The men's winner set a new course record! 19:59 for 4 miles!!!! He was simply beautiful to watch run. He made it look effortless, like all good runners do, and I was simply amazed at how fast he was going without looking like he was going fast! The women also posted some smokin' fast times. ~25 minutes and change.... wow!
Abby and I then unloaded the tandem and started for home. We had a Starbuck's Gift card burning a hole in our pockets so we stopped at the Twinsburg store for cocoa and coffee. A great 12 mile ride together and even better conversation and laughs!
I then followed this up with a 6 mile run though the woods. Overall, a fantastic day for everyone! Now, it is time to spoil Denise for Mother's day!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I was able to turn off my headlamp after a while and was able to enjoy the sun rise. I saw one person running on the bike path as I crossed for a connecting trail. I made it home in time to say goodbye to Gina as she walked to the bus. She said that someone on the bus was telling her about some crazy nut they saw running one morning with a headlamp on. Gina did not say that it was probably me...
I took the girls out shopping tonight. It is always an adventure with them as I listen to the pre-teen jabber and with Gina constantly changing the radio stations. We had a nice time out together. I need to do these trips more often.
We are preparing the mother's day menu. I will not say what it is since Denise will probably read this, but I can say that it has been fun planning with the girls. It will be a great day!
Another run tomorrow morning. Did I mention that I like the mornings?
Sunday, May 4, 2008
My main goal of the day was to keep moving and see how my leg feels. After my warmup, things felt ok. My pace was slow, but I really did not care. I just wanted to see how 15 miles would feel.
Suprisingly, there was no one else out in the woods except for a ranger near Happy Days! The rain was coming down just hard enough to keep me cool, but not too hard to get me soaked! The sky got real dark and the wind picked up just as I got to the Ledges Overlook and I thought to myself, "I am about to get soaked!" But, a few harder sprinkles, and it was over.
The woods were filled with song birds and wood-peckers! It was nice to run and simply listen to the birds singing and the rain hitting and dripping from the trees. Very quiet and relaxing.
The 15 miles went well and before I knew it, I was back at the van. A quick change into dry clothes and I returned home.
I followed up with 6 miles today. My leg is not getting worse, I think it is better... One thing is for sure, I am scared to death about 100 miles... But, fear is a good thing, right?