Sunday, June 27, 2010


Great weekend! It started with running a loop at Salt Run with Abby friday evening. The storms that blew through last week wreaked havoc on the trail. There were lots of limbs and trees blown down, making for some interesting running. It was warm and humid, just like the end of June in Ohio should be!

Saturday morning I drove back down to Happy Days and ran 25 miles of the BR100 course. It was warm, humid, and the bugs were out in full force! At one point I swatted 4 deer flies off at once! I tried to run faster, but that did not help much... :)

I followed the course from Happy Days to Pine Hollow. I skipped the Salt run trail and headed over towards the Covered Bridge. My plan was to turn around at the visitors center on Bolanz Road and retrace my route back.

I was following a 10-minute run/2-minute walk strategy since 1) it was hot, and 2) it is what I think I will be using for the race. Nutrition: I was using power bars and Chia gel. Also, I stopped at the occasional raspberry patch for extra goodies!

The run went well. I kept to the 10/2 plan as much as possible and I think it will be a good pace. I have said it before and I will say it again, the chia seed gel works really well for me and helps to keep my energy level constant. I did not have any 'swings' in mood like I typically do and I felt pretty good throughout the morning.

I was starting to get a bit bored on the return trip until I ran into Wild Bill just before Robinson Field. We spent a few minutes catching up and it helped to break the solitude. The bugs kept me occupied and gave me something to do while I was running!

Today, I followed up with an 8-mile 'heat-acclimation' run in the 90-degree afternoon. I really did not want to go out and sweat again, but I am glad that I did. After the first 3 miles, I felt pretty good and completed the run faster than I thought I would. Confidence is growing for July 31!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nice and Hot...

Whew! It was a hot and humid weekend here in NE Ohio! Hats off to the folks running the Mohican 100 race. I was glad that I only had a 23 mile training run to complete, not 100 miles. I know that July 31 could show the same type of weather so I did not mind getting out there yesterday.

I met Andy and Mike at Pine Hollow and we ran the BR100 course to Covered Bridge, completed the Perkins Trail loop and then started off towards Hale Farm. We turned around and headed back to the Covered Bridge to watch the Jim Klett 10K runners come by. Denise and Abby were running this event today and I wanted to see if we could offer some encouragement.

Abby completed her first 10K but had quite a time of it. She is fast on her way of becoming an Ultra-runner by mastering the knack of puking and running! Denise has a race report here. I am very proud of Abby in that she did not quit and that she kept on moving! The perfect mantra for a lot of things in life...

The temps kept climbing as Mike, Andy, and I retraced our path back and before we knew it we had returned to Pine Hollow. Andy had to get home and called it a day with 20 miles. Mike and I then headed out onto the Salt Run trail for another 3.3 miles. We had followed a 10 minute run/2 minute walk pace for the entire day and it was working. We felt pretty good and were careful to keep up with our nutrition as we went. I used Chia seed gel again and I really like it!

I felt pretty wrung out yesterday, but I have felt worse... I am pleased with how my training is going and I know that more heat training in my future.

Abby and I took today as a non-running day and went kayaking on the Upper Cuyahoga river. It was a nice change-of-pace and we had a great time laughing and soaking up the sunshine.

Time to get back to running tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Run Up Whiteface Race report

We have vacationed in the Adirondack Mountains for the past several years and enjoy the clear air and great hiking that area provides. Denise and I fell in love with that region when we passed through on our way to Bar Harbor Maine on our tandem bicycle. Then, a couple of Ironman Triathlon races at Lake Placid sealed the deal. We are hooked!

This year, our vacation coincided with the annual Whiteface Mountain road race. 8 miles, 8% grade, 3600 ft elevation gain. Denise 'suggested' that I enter this for a fun thing to do. There is a road that goes up to almost the summit of Whiteface mountain. The course simply follows the road up, and up, and up... Did I mention that the race is 8 miles?

We have driven to the summit a couple of times ourselves and I know that the views are specatular and that the mountain is pretty big. I was looking forward to the day.

I woke up sunday morning to the sound of a torrential downpour of rain! I was worried about Denise having to drive up to the summit to pick me up and was wondering if they were going to cancel the race. I drove to packet pickup and heard people talking about a couple of years ago when there were thunderstorms and the year before that where there was sleet and snow at the summit! No, they were not going to cancel the race because of a 'little' rain shower...

I went back to the cabin to get my family and we drove to the starting line. I grabbed a poncho and said goodbye to Denise and she drove up the road to meet me at the summit. Before long, I was shedding the poncho and the Race Director said "GO!"

The course passed by the trailhead for the Whiteface Summit trail and I commented to the guy next to me that we should take the trail since it is only 5.2 miles to the summit. His comment was "Yeah, but it is a whole lot steeper!" Good point.

I was feeling good until mile 4 when the wind and rain shifted into our faces! It was pretty wet, visibility was pretty poor, and I was not feeling so perky anymore. I kept telling myself that this is only 8 miles, it is a great training run, and that it will be over soon!

I finally saw the sign for mile 7 and knew that I only had one more to go. The rain was still coming down, I still could not see anything, but I was starting to smile again... I could hear cheering ahead in the fog/mist and could just make out Denise, Gina, and Abby standing at the side of the road. I handed them the poncho that I carried up and looked for the finish line. I did not actually see a line, but I stopped running at the end of the road.

I noticed that the path to the summit was closed....bummer.... :)

Good experience, not sure if I would do it again. I think that we will hike to the summit next time! Oh yeah, 1:32 mintes. 8th out of 12 in my age group. There was a 71 year-old man who completed the race in 1:37!!!! I want to be him...

Here is a photo of my dedicated crew waiting for me! The next one is of me appearing out of the mist. The last one is afterwards! I have not been this wet in a long time!

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