Monday, November 28, 2011

Buckeye Woods 50K

I was the Race Director as well as a runner for the 2nd Annual Buckeye Woods 50K yesterday. What a blast!

There were 27 starters and 13 finishers, and the conditions were every bit as challenging as last year's. Last year it was a snowstorm, and this year it was rain, wind and mud.

I tried to stay in contact with the leaders (Dan DeRosha, Frank Dwyer and Bob Pokorny) during the early laps, but Bob and Frank got ahead after a while. Although I eventually caught up with Frank, Bob increased his lead and cruised to victory.

My main focus was to hold a steady pace. And I did so, at least for the most part. Most of the 5-mile laps were around 45 minutes, along with an additional minute or two at the aid station. My final loop was a bit slower at 48 minutes, but I'm pretty happy that I didn't crash. My finishing time was 4:50, good for second place, and a few minutes slower than last week's time.

As always, it was wonderful to see the even unfold, and to be out there with all my friends. Yeah - what a blast!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Glass

Why is it always half-something? Can't we just get that glass all the way full?

Speaking of Half-Somethings, I ran the CWRRC Fall Classic Half-Marathon yesterday. It was a great day for running in a lot of ways (the weather, seeing friends, etc). I ran a steady pace with splits of about 46.5 and 47 minutes to finish in 1:33:43, good for second in the Geezer division.

The glass is half-empty view: this is 5 minutes slower than my best half a year ago (1:28 and change at Stomp the Grapes).

The glass is half-full view: this is 5 minutes faster than the last half I did a couple months ago (1:38 and change at Sam Elpern Memorial).

If one wanted to consider the glass 3/4 full, they could say that I'm on the upswing, and that I'll be a holy terror in 2012. Watch out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


In 1914, the world had yet to witness:
-two World Wars, and dozens of smaller ones
-the Great flu pandemic of 1918
-the Great Depression
-Nuclear power and bombing capability
-the Internet
-Global Climate Change due to Human activity

On this date in 1914, Cecelia Horvath (my Mom) was born. Today we celebrate her 97th Birthday. She has led, and continues to lead a rich and interesting life.

What makes her most special is her optimism and enthusiasm. She is always positive; I simply cannot remember her ever saying anything negative at all, except for some occasional self-deprecating humor.

Cecelia has a bunch of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoys being with her family above all else.

Happy BirthDay, Mom!

Monday, November 07, 2011


A friend who is not able to run due to recent surgery let me know that I ought to be thankful that I can run at all, much less manage a 3:22 marathon. This was in a response to a link I posted in FaceBook to my recent Blog entry about the Inland Trail Marathon. My FB message announced the link as, "My sad story." My friend understood that this was intended to be tongue in cheek, but still let me know that I ought to be thankful.

He's right. Anyone and everyone who is able to run at all should be thankful for that capability. All of us have different inherent talents and all of us train at some level. We should all give thanks for these things.

In case you didn't know, I happen to love running. I love virtually all aspects of it, and there certainly are many. And I don't think I take it too very much for granted. This appreciation was enhanced this injury-plagued year of mine. This is not to say that I couldn't be even more thankful - I'm sure I can. I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Inland Trail Marathon 2011

Blame it on Ladd and Bob. They ran with me for the first 7.5 miles or so of the Inland Trail Marathon. And of course I wound up going faster than I had planned. I did inform them that I'd be blaming them for something, no matter how my race turned out.

Expectations were decidedly not high. Although I've been saying that I'm on the upswing, I was still certain that I still lost a bunch of fitness in the past few months. So the plan was to go out at an 8-minute pace, and possibly try to pick it up in the second half. Negative splits always feel good. A sub-3:30 would be fine with me, thank you.

Except Bob, Ladd and I didn't go out at an 8-minute pace. We went out at a 7:40 or so pace. I didn't complain too much. The cool temperatures and slight headwind felt fine, and I wasn't hurting.

When Ladd and Bob turned around to run half-marathoner Marsha in, I maintained the same pace, more or less, for the rest of the first half. It was fun seeing Marsha and the other MCRR half-marathoners go by. I turned around with 1:41:20 on the clock. Near the turnaround I saw Michelle, Dan and Jack. Cool.

Now I began to think I might be able to run 3:20 or even slightly better. All I needed to do was to maintain a 7:30 pace for the entire second half, and I'd have it in the bag. Now the wind was partially to my back, and I did do several consecutive 7:30's. It felt good to run strong and pass people.

Somewhere around mile 20 or 21, the math started to not work out quite so well. I hate when that happens. There I was, running with the same, or slightly more effort, yet those 7:30's were slipping north. With a couple miles left, it began to appear that a sub-3:20 was out of the question, and then my hamstring began to cramp. Not a total knot, but almost. I knew that I had to slow it down some more or risk winding up with a hamstring turned into a pretzel.

The wind was in my face for the tough final 3/4 mile, and I slowed even more, coming in at 3:22 and change. This was good for first in the Geezer Division and 13th overall. The medal says, "First Place Overall", not "First in Age Group".

I do really love this race. It's straight, out and back, usually great weather, straight, flat, fast and straight. Some folks don't care for the straight part, but it don't make no nevermind as far as I'm concerned. I only wish I had been in slightly better shape today.

So what can I blame Bob and Ladd for? If I'd gone out at an 8-minute pace, I'd have done much bigger negative splits (as it was, my second half was faster than my first by about 20 seconds). But I probably would have still been slower overall (but perhaps felt a little better physically). So maybe I should thank them. Nah.

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...