Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No more meat...

We have decided to give up meat for Lent. We normally don't do anything for Lent as a family but this year decided to use Lent as an excuse to turn vegetarian. The girls are very excited about this new adventure and we have been collecting recipes all year to use.

I know that I will be craving a huge hamburger after my long run this weekend, but will have to settle for something else. This will be a great opportunity to purge some bad eating habits and to make a real run towards getting back into shape.

It was great to see the sunshine and feel the warmer temperatures. I took advantage of this for a mid-day cleansing run from a very stressful work-day. I was able to meet Denise and Abby as they finished their run together. I went back for just over an 8-mile run and it felt really good to blow out some stress.

After over 3-years of development, my employer decided to cancel the project I was working on. Needless to say, the project team was decimated and most were let go. I was fortunate? to be moved into another group within the company, so, I still have a job. Although I should feel relieved, I don't feel that way. It hurts....bad!!! We devoted a lot of time and energy to this product and now it will not see the light of day.

I feel the need to run...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snow, wind, and beaver damage...

I met JP at lock 29 today for a trail run. We both just wanted time-on-feet and miles really did not matter. We left and headed up old Akron-Pennisula Road toward the Buckeye Trail. Hit the trail and it was not in as good of shape as we hoped. It was pretty icy and with the new snowfall, hard to tell where the ice was and was not. I wore my screw shoes, which helped, but both JP and I each managed to take a fall.

We crosssed 303 at Pine Lane and took the bridle trail towards Salt Run. Just after the golf course, there was a section of the trail that passed close to the river. There were several trees that had been fallen by beavers. Lots of bark eaten off of the fallen timber and several trees in process... The beavers have certainly been busy! Neither JP nor I had a camera but I want to go back again. There was one tree that was at least 12 inches in diameter that had fallen. That must have taken a while to chew through!

We traveled the Salt Run trail to the Kendall Hills. The snow was very pretty as it fell here and several people were taking advantage of it and enjoying a great day of sledding. We headed down the hill and circled the Cross Country course and compeleted the other half of Salt Run. We retraced our path back to Lock 29 for almost 3 hours.

The snow kept falling and the wind kept building as the day progressed. It was a nice day out and our mission of time-on-feet was accomplished. This was my biggest weekend so far this year mileage-wise. Pretty lame compared to where I was last year, but I'll take what ever I can get!

I'm just thankful for being able to get out and enjoy the day!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

6 miles and a coyote

Managed to sleep in til 7am this morning. Thanks Forrest!!! Fed the dogs and cat, while the rest of the family continued to sleep. I changed clothes for a run and as I was lacing up my shoes, Abby came downstairs. Chatted with her for a while and then I departed for a 6 miles of Twinsburg trails. I ventured up to the new trail and blazed a set of foot-prints in the newly fallen snow. A nice sunny morning and very quiet with no one else out.

I returned home and as I was eating breakfast, Denise said, "There goes that coyote again!" I looked out our patio door and a coyote was just strolling through our back yard! He was very healthy looking with a thick coat of hair. The other coyotes that I have seen have all looked shaggy, maybe because it was summer and their coat was shedding?... He continued to meander down the hill through the neighborhood backyards.

Tomorrow is another run in the valley with JP. We are planning on 15-20 miles. It is raining as I type this and starting to turn to snow... Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and possible snow flurries. At least it was sunny this morning!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

...heavy breathing...giggling....sweat....more giggling.... over 2 hours of joy running with Denise in the Cuyahoga Valley! An awesome way to start our valentines day. We started from Station Road and headed towards the Carriage Trail since Denise has never ventured there. We happened to meet the VR group at the base of the climb and watched them quickly pull away from our relaxed pace. We finished the climb out of the valley and started the winding trail.

As I was approaching the first of the three bridges, I stepped on what I thought was hard-pack snow and quickly realized that it was ice! I told Denise to 'watch out for the ice' as I found myself sliding and realized that I was going down, and hard! I landed on my butt, (lots of padding) and right shoulder. (Not so much padding) It was a strange kind of fall in that I felt as if everything was in slow motion. I slid a bit down the hill, jumped back up and checked for any damage. Just my pride was hurt a bit and I realized that my shoulder would be sore tomorrow...

We completed the loop back to Station road and then decided to venture into Brecksville Reservation for another 6 miles. Neither of us liked the fact that a light covering of snow had fallen, making it difficult to see any ice on the asphalt trail. We turned around and went back to the towpath and headed towards Frazee House. We then retraced our path back to Station road and completed a nice 12 miles.

I cooked dinner and we watched Mama Mia to close out the evening... Fun and relaxing day.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I sent my race application in today for the "Forget the PR 50K" race at Mohican. My back is feeling much better and I have been able to get some consistent 4-5 mile runs w/o any discomfort. (At least from my back!) Now it is time to get back into shape...

The current thaw is really helping to lift my spirits. Although the snow is pretty, I was getting tired of looking at it and driving through it. I know that more is coming but this week will be a good chance for things to clear out and get ready for the next batch.

I was able to get the Christmas decorations put away last weekend! I have also started Phase II of the basement project. Phase I was finishing a corner and moving the laundry room downstairs. Phase II involves finishing the rest of the basement. This will probably take a while to complete, but will provide another means of stress relief! Hammering nails and hammering trails are both good ways to forget about work!

Denise's marathon training is going well and we choose a good winter to invest in a treadmill. Denise, Abby, and even Gina have all been using it.

We have decide to run the Lake Placid Marathon as a family in June. They have a 4-person relay option and Denise and I will each run the 4 mile legs with the girls, and then run our own legs. I will take the 11 mile finishing leg and run up the hill to the Oval where we will all finish together. The course will cover the Iron Man run course along with a lap around Mirror Lake. A beautiful course and just the excuse we need to get back up to the Adirondacks again. We also plan on tackling another 46'r this summer. We are thinking that Giant Mountain would be a good one...

The economy is still crazy and probably will be for a while...It took a while to get into this mess, and will take longer to get out. I am going to stop listening to the news. I mean, how many times do we have to hear about layoffs and how bad everything is... Let's hear some good news for a change, or even better, let's make our own good news!

Spring is coming! Daylight savings time is coming!!