Monday, October 15, 2018

Wooster Brick Run - Unrace Report

The 25K Wooster Brick Run isn't much of a race. You start whenever you want, anytime between 7 and 9 A.M. And with everyone so spread out, it would be easy to cheat, if one is so inclined. As you may suspect, there wasn't a whole lot of support along the way - I only saw people at the four or five aid stations. Of course I saw other runners as well; at least four or five of them as well.

Coming a week after Northern Ohio, I didn't expect to set the world on fire. And lo and behold, there was indeed no world fire to be had. I ran comfortably and very slowly. Except for the last four miles, which are downhill back into downtown Wooster. I was finally able to pick up my pace a little bit there.

The important take-away here is that it was fun. A lot of fun. I ran alone on those scenic country roads on that cool, autumn morning and enjoyed every minute. After I finished, I talked with friends and enjoyed that as well.

So no, it wasn't much of a race. It was better.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Why You Should Always do a Tapir

Ah, The Importance of the Tapir.

One should always do a tapir before a race. I didn't tapir this time around, and it came back to bite me. I was so lucky that the pace guy came by to scoop me up just as was beginning to drag my proboscis in those waning miles of the Northern Ohio Marathon. That was the only way I was able to ungulate through it all.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Northern Ohio Marathon Race Report

The Northern Ohio Marathon was going to be a 'B' race for me. Inland Trail, coming up in early November, was going to be my 'A' race. Two challenges would be: a) the weather (warm and very humid), and b) my own personal fitness (old, fat, bald, slow, and ugly).

But then, there was also a somewhat conflicting goal today. I'd run a 3:55 at my last marathon (Whitefish Point). I thought I could run at least that well today. Why try to beat this time? Heck if I know.

The light rain at the start ended quickly, but the mist, fog, and high humidity never left. This was actually about as good as we runners could have hoped because although said humidity made the running difficult, it would have been far more so had the sun come out to further heat things up. As it happened, the temperature along the lake never made it out of the upper 60s.

Headlands State Park is an awesome location. It's too bad that only the start and finish occurred there. Much of the middle part of the marathon is along the side of busy, concrete roads. I didn't care for those parts. The final miles, where runners return from the west, are the most scenic.

For $26.20, the Northern Ohio Marathon is a real bargain. It's what attracted me (I hear you snickering there). The race organization is excellent, and the volunteers - mostly cross country kids - are fantastic. I ran the race a few years ago, and I believe my sentiments haven't changed.

How did the race go, you ask? Okay, I suppose. The good: I finished. I maintained a fairly steady pace. And I beat that goal time by a whole minute or so. The bad: It was difficult - more than I'd have liked for a 'B' race. I had to struggle to maintain that pace in the final few miles - luckily the 3:55 pace person provided encouragement, without which I probably would have faltered.

Cool Finisher's Medal and M&M's for 1st in AG

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Running with a Champion

Larry Orwin informed me the other day that Phil McCarthy would be running through northern Ohio as part of his run across the Continental United States. Larry planned to try to meet up with Phil and run a bit with him.

I knew Phil from his exploits running of the NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance Run. He won the race outright two times, and he placed well other years. I was vaguely aware that this former National Champion was doing a cross-country run, but I'd lost track of where he was and how he was doing.

Then Larry posted that he did indeed meet up with Phil in Clyde, OH. I still didn't think a whole lot about it, until my Tuesday Track run. There, for once, it hit me. I should see where he's at and see if I could meet up with him myself. (I would need to leave work to work from home, minus a short running break.)

Facebook is really handy for stuff like this. I was able to learn that Phil had started in Norwalk, OH, and was currently on Ohio Route 303 in Lagrange, OH. He would be coming right by my street! Further, I could message him to let him know I was coming. And finally, using his tracking mechanism, Debbie was able to drive right over to where Phil and his support car were having a quick break in Valley City.

Running through the remainder of Valley City, Brunswick (by my street) and into Hinckley, we had a grand time discussing old and new times, and old and new friends, and old and new adventures.

Speaking of adventures, running across the country certainly is one. Phil has recently been doing 60 to 70 miles per day. At the time of this writing, he's in central Pennsylvania and will be back in New York in no time. It's amazing.
Debbie is dropping me off for my run through northern Medina County with Phil

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday Track Tedium, and Nearly a Stinker

Track workouts have to be on Tuesdays. I don't know why, but I will try to guess: let me see. Mondays are too close to the preceding weekend, and Wednesdays and Thursdays are too close to the succeeding weekend. Weekends are special because they contain long runs. There. Now you have it.

Yesterday was Tuesday, and I was at the Mayfield track. I managed to stagger through a Yasso workout of 10 800 meter efforts. And they were efforts indeed. That workout took a whole heck of a lot out of me.

Today, Wednesday, I arrive at the track for the second consecutive day. Two in a row, you ask? Yes, two in a row, I answer. Today it would be 6 by 1600.

It's 5:00 A.M., pitch dark, and I'm alone, of course. I am on my first lap in a middle lane when I notice movement in the outside lane. I look closer and see that it's a small furry creature running in the opposite direction along the inside of the inside fence. It is a skunk, of course. I hope that it will manage to find its way underneath the fence, but it doesn't seem to be having any luck.

I come around again. The skunk had managed to get outside the inside fence and is now trying to escape underneath the outside one. As I go by, it manages to do that. It scurries away into the nearby woods.

The rest of the workout is uneventful. Exhausting, but uneventful.

I've had some runs that I've called stinkers. This one came close, and not in a good way.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Let's Get Sirius

Orion has been around during my morning runs for a month or so now. Can Sirius be far behind?

No, it can't. I have been witnessing it's rising for a couple weeks now as well. The three stars of Orion's belt point directly down towards Sirius at this time of the year, and being the brightest star in the sky**, it's hard to miss. Once it rises, that is.

**This is often a trick question. What's the brightest star in the sky? The answer is the Sun, of course. But Sirius is the next brightest. It's also not as bright as the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter. But it's still brighter than all the other stars.

Sirius reminds us of two things. One is that Fall is coming. In fact, it'll be here in a matter of days. You wouldn't know it with the hot humid summer-like weather that is still afflicting us runners. The other thing is that it's time to get serious about running.

Yes, with Fall come some of my favorite running events. And to do well at these, it behooves one to train. And in case you've forgotten, nothing runs like a trane.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What race are you Not Training for?

"How far are you going today?" asks training partner extraordinaire, whom I've probably run more miles with than anyone, Michelle Wolff.

"Twenty-four." It's more than I've done since Buckeye Woods, but we're here on the Lester Rail Trail where I've done other 24-milers, it's early, I've been dancing around the twenty mark during other recent runs, and I think I can.

"What race are you not training for?" asks Michelle. This is interesting since I recently posted about this. Michelle knows me well.

Now the pressure was on. I had to actually semi-commit to something. Okay, I thought. I'll come clean. "Out of all the upcoming races, I suppose the one I've ruled out the least is Inland Trail," I answered. Inland Trail is a good one; I've done it several times in the past. And it's true, I've been thinking about it a little. I haven't registered yet, mind you; I've only been thinking. Maybe I'll think about it some more before committing for sure.

Did I get my 24 in, you ask? Why yes, I did. Thank you for asking. Michelle and other-training partner Debbie Scheel joined me for various parts of the run. It wasn't an easy day, with warmth and a great deal of humidity. But as I say, I made it. And with a good deal of humility as well.


Wooster Brick Run - Unrace Report

The 25K Wooster Brick Run isn't much of a race. You start whenever you want, anytime between 7 and 9 A.M. And with everyone so spread ou...