Thursday, September 9, 2010

i'll admit i've been slacking lately

my intentions of this blog were to update it every one to two weeks but life can be carzy! Summer has come and gone and we are now entering fall, i love the fresh crisp air, and getting back out on the trails to see the welcoming of a new season.

I'm still experiencing the joys of working real hours 9-5 and that lets me enjoy my time at home more,and its nice atually to be able to spend time my wife maria for a change. i never realized how much i miss out bc i worked nights, but nothing last forever and i'm afraid my gig is gonna be up mid october :( but life goes on... and on..and on.. oh well. maybe some change is on the way who knows?

I've been feeling great i 've had a great summer , finished a 100 mile run, raised money for the national MS society,and even taken in some fun summer fetivals this year. But the improtant thing is that i am not burned out, or injuried and i'm healthy. so looking into the future for the fall and winter i want to keep doing what ever i have done different so far and keep my momentum to stay fit and healthy.

We have joined a new gym Akron wellness center which is so nice, and even closer to us,they even did a fitness assessment on me, wow i dont think i have ever had that done.but it gave me some real benchmarks on what i need to improve on.

so next big runnnig adventure is the Akron marathon which i am running the full and the 1/2 marathon that maria is running. i will be her pacer for the first 11 miles then we will split and we will both finish our distances respectively.

full race report and pics to come psot race so stay tuned.

thanks for reading my rambling and thoughts and i'll do better to keep this more frequent.

Friday, August 13, 2010

working 9-5!!

hey everyone,

It's so hard to believe that its been almost two weeks isnce the Burning River 100 mile race, time flies! since running the race i would say alot has happened.

1st: Recovery:
this time last year i was still a walkig wounded mess, but this year my feet have already healed up for the most part, minus the one black toenail that is hanging on for dear life. i've been running a few miles mostly in the 5 mile range but nothing much longer. In fact this year since i started incoporating weights and cross trainig specifically crossfit , i feel much more inshape. On the monday followwing the BR100 i was in the gym lifting weights and getting back into the 3 to 4 times a week Crossfit routine that i had started. it felt great and i thank myself for sticking with it. I really can't say enough good things about Toby and the gang at SPC crossfit. they are my third family. 1 is mine, 2 is my running family 3 is my crossfit family.

2nd new job(well sort of):
i have had the chance to well get a life! if you will and work real working people hours 9 to 5pm. i'm bascially filling in for two nurses that are out of the office due to personal reasons. its at the Cleveland Clinic's mellen center which is the MS and ALS clinic. very interesting for me and i am really learning a ton. Basically i'm screening patients , refilling medications, taking pt history, etc. it is just a real nice change of pace for me and i don't work weekends that a huge plus. this looks to be short term till mid September but could possible turn into a full time job.

3rd: married life,
Its now August 13th,and it is so hard to believe that maria and i have been married almost one year. its been a roller coaster year for us both and we have been super busy but for the most part all is good. we have had disagreements, fights etc, but we haven't killed each other and overall are like all newly married couples , clueless and trying to figure this whole thing out. i could have never asked for a better wife, and best friend, plus she lets me do crazy things like run a 100 mile run! more to come on us later but life is an adventure and i'm loving every minute of it.

Well i hope you all have a great weekend and i'll talk/blog to you later

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I trained, I ran, now what? A look back at the 2010 BR 100

Hey Everyone,

I know it has been way to long and I need to get better at these posts, but life is hectic and busy sometime, so give me some slack.

Today is August 5th, and it's the 5th day post-BR 100. Not too sure what to think yet but it is so hard to believe that the run is over. So we will start from the days before the race.

I had worked Monday through Wednesday leading into the race weekend and was feeling pretty good about where I was, mentally and physically, compared to last year (where I had DNF at mile 86). First thing was that I was so much more nervous this year; maybe it was the added stress from last year or not letting myself down? Either way, I had a mix of emotions to deal with.

Thursday night, I had all my running gear broken down into piles and it was all over our house. It looked like a tornado had gone through our casa, but sort of a way that I do it and was able to double check and triple check what I packed. By Thursday night all items were sorted and in bags, etc., where they belonged and I had printed the directions for my crew (instructions of what to give me at the different aid stations, etc.).

Ok, one thing off my mind - great! Now the sleep issue. Well, no issue really. I managed some how to go to bed early and bank about 11 hrs of solid sleep which I needed because Friday night I tossed and turned and couldn't catch a wink. I was like a kid waiting for Santa Claus, just wound up with excitement.

Saturday Race day Aug 1

Up and at 'em at 2:30 am to mentally figured everything out, and do all the pre-race things "us runners" do. Some call them habits, I like to call them quirks! Foot care, re-checking socks for creases, did I have my sunscreen?, mixed energy solutions etc. I ate a quick breakfast which consisted of oatmeal, juice, a bagel and a banana. Then Maria and I headed out the door to go gas up the car, get a coffee, and head up the road towards Squire's Castle.

The trip up there had me calm, excited, and unsure of what to expect but I knew whatever was ahead of me was gonna be great this year!

We arrived at the Squire's Castle about 4:15 and I got checked in. I looked for some familiar faces to chat with but came up empty. It was just too hard this year because of all of the extra runners. This year it was a National 100-mile trail championship, which was awesome because you could live off the adrenaline at the starting line - totally awesome!

I made my way back to Maria and her family. Took some pictures and then lined myself up. "I got this, I got this" I kept telling my self... Then I heard "Runners ready 3.2.1...BANG!" We were off and it had started!

5am race start all. All the excitement really spread us out quick, but I had no plans to budge from my run-10 walk-5 strategy which worked really well, I must say. I was feeling great chatting with people from all over, and best of all, I was in control. Not the person next to me, not the other paces, just me and my plan.

As the early miles rolled out, I was amazed with the sound of morning birds, the sunrise, you name it. Running at peace with your self in the early morning is really special and many people never get to experience how lucky we are and what we have around us (because of life, family obligations, commutes, conference calls, etc).

Mills Gate mile 8.... nothing fancy still trucking along by myself.

Polo Fields mile 13..... saw Maria and her family for the first time since the start and what a sight - they really are a fun group! Cheering me on, wishing me the best. I headed for the aid station where I got some fuel and some EFS drink from Maria and off I went. But this time we veered from the road we had been running to get on the trail - yeah baby, this is it - now the race is starting!

Shadow Lake came up quick for me at around mile 18. Same as before, crew was there, words of support, fuel and out. I really wanted to make an honest effort not to spend too much time at the aid stations because it all adds up and I figured I might need that time down the road. The race now went out to some Buckeye Trail and asphalt mixed use, but it was fine for me. I caught up with Wild Bill and my friend Chad from the Clinic along with my knee doctor Jack Andrish (sadly though all three would later drop for personal issues).

Bedford Reservations Egbert shelter mile approx 23ish? ... Cleveland Clinic sports medicine was the sponsor. Tom Bauer, a Doc at the Clinic, and Jack's wife Sue Ellen with their son Sean were running this aid station. Nothing fancy except Popsicles! These are great and the team offered great support. I had Tom take a picture of Jack, Chad and myself but now realize we forgot Tom. But we joked back and forth... we are some of the "Cleveland Clinic's finest and toughest workers." I think that fits the bill rather great.

Mid-morning had come and gone and the Bedford trails were in great shape. Dry gravel and sandy horse trails with plenty of shade. These trails gave way to Alexander road, aid station mile 28ish. Same old great volunteers and saw a familiar face, my friend Barb Broad. She is a super fast marathoner and she and I ran Laurel Highlands together, four years ago. She gave me some needed encouragement, fluids and food, and I headed back into the woods.

This next section was on the Buckeye Trail but was more like jungle running at times because of how overgrown it had become. However, the miles flew by. It was now approaching noon-ish, I think, and I was at the Frazee House getting ready to get onto the towpath for a 2-mile jaunt into Station Road Bridge aid station, mile 33. Not my favorite 2 miles, but I got through them because I knew my crew, food and non-sweat drenched clothes would be waiting.

Station Road Bridge mile 33:
Clean clothes - check, new socks - check, tend to my feet - check, stuff my face - check. I was feeling like a million dollars. Surprise - my friend Melissa who would pace me later, at mile 64, showed up and her words along with the support of my crew really got me fired up and I knew at that point that I was ready for this race!

Once I left Station Road it was a bit of a mixed purpose trail until I got to the 'real' dirt trails again. These trails are so fun, twisty, hilly, shady - you name it, these had it. Brecksville Reservation is so beautiful. These trails took me through the woods and creeks for about 6 miles then 'ta da'....Ottawa point mile 39.6

Ottawa Point 39.6: the crew access that should have been left off. This aid station was just too small and packed for all the cars but, oh well, my crew was there and that was good. More fluids, food and encouragement from friends, family and others - and off I go. You know, I was really digging this run. I was gelling and all things were going in my favor! Even my feet felt good. Next stop, Snowville Road aid station. Then up to the crest of the hill that over looks the ski resorts. I never get tired of the view and the trail here because it is unique each season. Although these miles weren't too eventful for me, I enjoyed them because my goal of getting to the Boston Store aid station, mile 49, was right around the corner.

Boston Store Mile 49: I think I made it here around 5ish. Plenty of time to get the next 5-mile Brandywine Falls loop done. This loop sucked this year because we had 2 miles of Towpath to run on before getting to the bridle trails so we could run up a big friggin' paved hill to get back on to the trails. But once on the trails again, it was all good - rocky, hilly, dirty, and sandy. I mean, enjoyable for us that don't mind dirt, that is. The view of the falls was amazing. Then it was on to some groomed trail and 'easy does it' back to Boston Store.

Boston Store #2 mile 54 approx 6pm: I changed clothes, shoes, and got some fuel. It was time for my first pacer, my wife Maria, to keep me company and help guide me to Happy Days at mile 64. Maria's brother, his wife, and their daughter Emme were there to support me along with Jae's dad Guy and Maria's mom Annika and Maria's step dad Jim. Awesome people and best support group/crew ever! But it was Emme who stole the show, as usual =). She was going 'potato for potato' with me while I was eating and she was being the best mini crew there was. She even ran with me and Maria from our crew location to the check out table. She had everyone clapping and cheering - that was really amazing! I forgot to mention that she clings a mean cowbell and kept me encouraged by her "Go Uncle P" cheers when I came into and aid station.

Boston #2 to Happy Days: Welcome to the dark side!

Although I was feeling great thus far, this stretch would provide me with my first hurdles and stomach issues. We ran up the towpath/multi-use trail and 'bam,' right on to the Buckeye Trail and straight up we went. This was Maria's first real trail run, surprise! She did great. We were able to carry on a conversation and it was good. She was having so much fun. We made our way to Pine Hollow, mile 58ish, and all was good. I was still eating and my legs felt great BUT... as we turned the corner to the bridle trail, my left knee really started to hurt me and my pace slowed - not a good thing. However, Maria got me through this as any good pacer would and we came out to a few miles of paved section. My forward motion at this point was looking ugly and I was having doubts. Maria kept me going. It wasn't pretty but we went on... I finally made it to the bike and hike path and this was the worst. It was getting dark, I didn't really bring a headlamp except this mini pretzel lamp I carry for emergencies. The light was ok for one runner, but for two, well it was stretching it. My stomach was giving me fits and I was in quite some pain. This went on for a while but finally, nature called and all was right again.

We made it to the Happy Days loop that lead us out to the aid station field. I swear I hit every friggin' rock and root along the way, but in the end, we made it to Happy dDys, and back to the crew. Phew...

Happy Days Mile 64: Must have been around 9pm now. I fought off the pain, took some ginger and ginger snaps, tums, and Pepto to ease the stomach and had some broth. Here I saw another familiar face - it was Nick Billock checking in on me. He was volunteering this year at the aid station. Nick has run some 100's and is a super fast and talented runner but is unfortunately a bit injured this year. He was so helpful to me and it was great to see him and get some more encouragement.

Happy Days to Pine Hollow mile 74:

At Happy Days I picked up my final pacer Melissa. I have know her for a while from running and she finished BR100 last year. This year she did a Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim, Grand Canyon run, so she is tough. She is smart, witty, and can be unconventional at times, but she told me that if I gave her the clear, and wanted to finish, she would do what ever it took to get me to finish! Well she didn't have to do much except encourage me and remind me to eat and drink - thank god or it could have gotten ugly! LOL

This trail winds along Kendall Cliffs and is rocky but very runable, which we did a fair bit of. It then winds down to the bottom of the cliffs and through a pine trail for about two miles. We saw all sorts of runners now and it was now that people were paying for their speed earlier in the day. Once we made it out of the pine trail we cross Truxel Road and went over to Kendal Lake - one of my favorite places in the daytime to jump on one of the XC-ski trails though the woods! My stomach was coming back and the knee, well it came and went but I had to keep going. The coolest thing with this section is the part when we run up the two hills before the aid station. They are called the Sound of Music hills (I guess you need to see the old musical), but trust me, this was uber taxing on my legs but really cool to experience. Although not as cool as in some past years when you were surrounded by fireflies. Only a few made it out, but oh well, mother nature was napping I guess!

We made it the aid station and to my crew. Did the usual - eat, fuel, etc., and were off for the infamous 3.2-mile Salt Run trail. Perhaps one of my favorite trails because of it's diverse footing of roots and rocks with a mix of sand and mud. It also offers varying ups and down and extreme stairs that go on forever... at least it seems like they do. Either way, it's a great trail! We headed into the dark and into the woods. We had a good time and made decent time doing it, but the results were mixed - other runners were hating life and though it was cruel. I guess it's good to be a local and know what your in for, but if they hated this loop what were they gonna think at Perkins Trail Mile 85? We made it back to my zombie crew. They were getting sleepy but, god bless them, they ware such troopers. More refueling and filling water bottles and off we go the much talked about Wet More Trail section.

Mile 74 to 80 Wet More trails:

Let me start by saying these trails are bridle trails used by heavy horses, all gnarled up and never NOT muddy - even this year with no rain and hot temperatures for 4 weeks leading up to the race. Hence it's name, I guess!? Wetmore was a stretch of trail that was more like a 'mud puddle here' and 'mud puddle there' trail. Off we go and we are still keeping a good clip, passing people, having good conversation, sharing stories about runs, babbling about anything that came to mind and just having a good time on the trails. This section was bittersweet for me becasue last year I was so nauseated and I could hardly move. To be honest, that was sort of holding me back because it was in the back of my mind the whole time.

But 2010 is not 2009 and Melissa assured me to have faith in her pacing and faith in my training and things would work out! My stomach felt much better now, my feet feeling ok besides some blisters that I would learn of later. The Wetmore section takes you to the Covered Bridge, which in years past has been like an oasis of partying, music, and runners in the middle of the night. We knew we were getting closer, but the vibe was different. Sure, the bridge was decorated with the lights, but once we entered you could see the carnage people all over, devastated and ruined from efforts too hard earlier in the day. Oh well, I'm here and I'm ready to rock this loop and settle my grudge from last year.

Covered Bridge Mile 80 to 85:
Maria and here brother greeted us and got us ready for the next 5 miles on the Perkins Trail. They said 'we will see you in about an hour and a half to an hour and forty-five.' We said ok and didn't think anything of it. My knee was still killing me but my stomach was fine and we pushed through pain and some mud to get it done. Melissa even told me that this was her low point last yer but somehow she motored through it, and it turned out to be one of that faster loops she had ever done! It must have been karma, because at about half way through the 5-mile loop my leg and I both felt fresh and new. So I dug deep to give myself some time in the bank and we ended up doing the loop in 1 hour, 10 minutes!! Wow, I was so excited! But when we returned back to the aid station at the Covered Bridge, my crew was nowhere to be found. They were tucked away sleeping in the car. So I stayed put and Melissa rushed over to them to get them moving and said to Maria "Watch out, he is gonna be so pissed! Hurry up - he busted his ass to make up this time!" Well, I wasn't mad but my crew was amazed at the time we made up and, like a Nascar pit crew on steroids, they had me fuel up, new rubber (shoes) and feet fixed, and off we went. As we left the aid station I couldn't believe it - I had just overcome my fear and defeat of the year before in blazing style and speed! This is when I realized that no matter what, I would get my buckle. It wouldn't be easy but, dang it, it would come true this year!

Covered Bridge 2 to Oneil Woods miles 85 to 90ish:
The first 2 miles or so where on the roads heading to Hales Farm. It was so cool because there was a weird light, but no sunrise, and a heavy mist and no noise except those bullfrogs who always have to be making noise, but none of this mattered. I was beat up but hungry for my goal. At the end of the road we got onto familiar territory again. We were back on the Buckeye Trail, yeah! My body thanked me, but not for long. Ahead of us we had about a mile of a climbing, beautiful, green, lush, single track, and all I could do was to push on. We knew of the cut off time and were about 45 minutes ahead, so no worries. Melissa kept telling me "you've got this shit man, this is yours, keep moving!" This wasn't the first time I heard this, but oh well, it kept me motivated. We made our way to the aid station, mile 90. Checked in and left, no fuel needed, we still had plenty.

O'Neil Woods mile 90 to mile 93 Merriman Road mile 93:
Once through the aid station, we headed onto a nasty little down climb that was anything but easy on the quads and legs but we finally made it to the smoother trail. From this trail we exited out to the road for about 1/4 mile to the crushed limestone bike and hike/multi use trail. This was flat and had no hills - thought this would be great. Well, it felt ok actually and mostly because I had changed back into my Brooks Glyercin8 road shoes to help dampen the impact on the legs.

Not even 15 minutes on the trail we hit the infamous sewage treatment plant and the smell made us so nauseated. However, this was fine because it made us run faster and get past the stink faster. Once this obstacle was clear it was just 2 easy miles - yeah! - to the next aid station at Merriman Road. This was some of the longest, most boring miles I had to run. But Melissa and I entertained ourselves with lines form 80's songs and hooted and hollered and just basically pissed off all of nature along the way. Come on, nature got to sleep over night and we didn't, so rise and shine! Finally, like an oasis, mile 93 came into view.

Merriman Road mile 93 to Memmorial Parkway mile 96:
This was basicially a 3-mile stretch of boring towpath. Nothing special, just flat and open. We did mostly a brisk walk on this section, knowing that we were safe and ahead of all cut offs. My feet were killing me from the pounding they endured so far, but my mind was set and spirits where high. At this point we no longer were the only people out, but lots of cyclists. We kept getting "way to go" and "keep it up" which made me smile even though they they had no idea how hard this was. It felt like I was frozen in time at points as people whizzed by, but you know what, I was fine with that because I was still moving, getting closer to my goal.

Finally, the aid station I never thought would come appeared in the not so far-away distance. I decided I needed some caffeine gel or something. Why not an Espresso Hammer gel? Boy, it was like heaven. I had that and some sort of candy and a plain glazed doughnut. Even better, Maria and her brother Andreas were there which surprised me. They had stopped by even though it wasn't technically a 'crew access' aid station. Although I didn't need anything form them, it was good to see them and hear the cheers of encouragement from them. At this point I knew I could do it and would do it!

Mile 96 to the finish at front street mile 101:
This was gonna be 'cake' right!? Only 5 miles. First off, a nice brick road incline that seemed to climb into the sky (actually it wasn't that steep, but everything seemed worse on my legs at 90 plus miles). From there it was into the Chuckery Park area and onto a nice grassy path for a bit that took us beside a creek. I am not sure at what point along this path it happened but Melissa got her hands on some orange course ribbon and decided to tie it around her head like a headband. She followed that up by saying "Come on, just follow me. I'm a moving course marker!" Well ok, maybe, but to me she looked more like a trail warrior rambo. But ok, I'll go along with her.

Now here is what can get you. Some time ago, along this nice trail, people were not content with being along the creek so they decided to build STEEP, STEEP stone steps to climb up. Really not my favorite option, but up we climbed ever so slowly to a trail that would wind up, looking over the creek. This trail is called the "High Line" mostly because of the high point-of-view but also because of the high voltage line that run above from the power station dam that was below us. We kept moving forward and time was moving great. We came out to a parking lot only to be greeted by random people just hanging out and cheering us on. Ok, this is sweet now. I'm only a mile and a half to the finish - this is it! The only downside was that it was on all roads and mostly a nice uphill. My legs were about done but Melissa told me once you see the finish line in your sight you're gonna be a different person and surprise yourself. I thought "ok, whatever," but she was right. As soon as I could see the finish, my legs didn't ache and the speed came back and I was flying. Running as fast as I could - I was on such a runner's high! End result, I blew by another runner in the final stretch and I felt amazing!

High fives to my friends cheering me on from the VerticalRunner tent, the joys of my family and friends cheering for me and "bam!" - it was all done.

I stood there for a minute looking at the clock - 29:24:54 - and it seemed like a dream. It was all over. I now had my 100-mile finish...and fancy belt buckle! However, I don't run for the buckle. Instead, I run for the memories and friendships that i form along the way.

Soon thereafter, I got huge Congrats from my good friend Jerry W. who killed it this year and ran sub 24 hrs. Congrats Jerry! Ran in to Wild Bill and his wife, and too many others to mention. But no matter what, people said and told me how good I did, and how good I looked - I was speechless. I had just ran 100 miles! And I didn't feel that bad, looked great for just having finished an Ultra, and was just overly Happy!
This race really puts into perspective for me what the human race can achieve and I will take away memories and lessons from this experience and apply them to my daily life long into the future. I have realized how lucky we are to have the special gift and talent of running, our families, and other friends and loved ones.

In closing, I'm sure there are lots of bad spots and words that I have left out, but not intentionally. After all, this is the best recap of my amazing 100-mile journey that I undertook and sometimes the mind blocks things out, for better or worse. So stay tuned, because if I remember any of the 'bad,' it will get referenced in later post.

Lastly thanks to all those who never gave up on me or on my goal. My family and wife, my pacer Melissa Cairns, the people I work with, Toby @ SPC Crossfit, and all my Running Friends (especially Jerry W and his family).

I'm not sure what's next but I'm sure its gonna be great!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Amazing Race "crossfit style".. june 26th 2010

The day of “The Amazing Race” had arrived saturday june 26th,and I was off tomy home away form home gym SPC Crossfit early in the morning, arriving about 8:30AM. When i arrived the parking lot was already almost filled up with all the cars. I suspected at that point that the response to “The Amazing Race” might be more than all of us at spc had expected.

When the final count was in I there were 22 teams of 4 people which means 88 CrossFitters were getting ready face whatever would come with “The Amazing Race”.

There were no prizes, no awards, just the opportunity to try something new, work hard, meet other CrossFitters and face the unknown. Also, it was an opportunity to donate to a popular CrossFit cause, “The Wounded Warriors Project”. i met up with my fellow spc crew of Dan, dan and joe, we gathered all the needed equipment that we would need have to haul to the locations ( weights, 45lb bar, 2o lb med ball, gymnastic rings, abd mat, and off course are bad ass selfs.

The race consisted of 5 WOD (work out of day) for those of you infamilar with crossfit you do one WOD each day you go to the gym but only 3 a week , we would doe 5 total WOD as team, and this was all our fourth day of the week. here we go....oh boy oh boy....

The first WOD happened in the parking lot. 7 snatches, 20 push ups, 30 squats, 3 rounds. 3 team members work, one rests as you rotate through the movements.

Once we finished the WOD we were able to get a clue for the next location. Then is where the real work started.

CLUE 1 : You have just started your DAY down the TRAIL of HAPP(Y)NESS. We figured out that we needed to go to the Happy Day Lodge area in the Cleveland Regional Park System. We figured all that out and actually made it to the venue.

When we arrived at the venue we were pointed down a path and told to run the 3mile trail, and with a “Run Forest, Run” we were off. Big fail on my part because at this point i knew the trails but forgot my team members were not runners my bad we regrouped and of we went.

As the run progressed (and we were moving as fast as we could) we started to get an every increasing feeling of doom. The first problem was no one else was passing us. Could we already be dead last? Then there was some confusion and a fork in the road. As I have statistically proven throughout my life the probability is that without clear direction I will pick the wrong way. Nothing has changed with that.

Long story short we took the extended loop which we didn't have too and were both pisssed and suprised when we emergerged to a pack of runner from other teams, whom we thought had missed a turn and them out and told them they missed a turn, or so we thought...

Eventually we were able to hear traffic and then actually see a road to the left of Us, dan,dan and joe never looked happier! IT IS Route 303 JOE said thank god! Ie truck so my teammates would have to find me to move on.

we came to learn later that getting lost in the woods was one of the most popular part of that WOD and that my team and I were not alone in not being able to find their way down a path in the woods.

Recovering what little dignity we had from our error

we now earned the right to see Clue 3:

1st things 1st, the MAIN reason for this event is community. I was able to come up with “It has to be at 1st and Main”. But what city? we all said must be hudson since the gym is there. off we went and w ended up in a little community park at 1st and Main St, Hudson, Ohio.
Poor residents and shoppers must of thought What the heck is going on here, as this is what conclcusion i drew from their expressions.

This was another suck fest of a WOD. It was handstand push ups and burpees. I can’t remember the number or reps or how we broke everything up, but I do remember dan and dan did the most handstand pushups of us four. basically it went like this 15 HSP, then 50 burpess, repeat HSP and 50 burpees till 75 HSP were completed, then get your clue and get the heck out of dodge.

Once we finished that we had the next clue which almost did us in. We had a cage fighter, poker player, , a Teacher and a me a nurse to figure out the following:

The key to unLOCK the workout is in the equation:
15 X 3=___+20=___-7=___X2=___/4_____

Although it seems impossible to believe all four of us were able to come up with 4 different answers, none of them correct. The actual answer was 29 so we finally figured out we had to get to Lock 29 on the Erie Canal.

We made it to Lock 29 along with the other CrossFitters and every fool in town with a bike, all in a parking lot that holds about 30 cars. I found a parking spot in the over flow area and dan,dan and joe took the equipment to the workout area. At that point the team had learnede j that we got to start this mess out with……a run. Straight up a mountain aka intiation hill. Well, it seemed like a mountain, after these workouts so far, but at least i was on familiar ground. then on to the WOD number 4:
Workout 4: Lock 29
* x 100 Power Cleans . .
x 100 Wall Balls . .
x 50 Muscle Ups
* This is where things got a little sketchy. The “park po po” showed up and shut us down, sort of. We had to bring the rings down (so we improvised and had to do 150 dips). Next time ,i hope toby at spc will get a permit for us. t

WOD 4 done now the pesky CVNP train.. well decided to park and block the drive,s o i ran inthe ditch along side o f it to get the car , when i got back we threw the equipment under the trian to me i loaded, then as you have it, the train decided to move finally after what seemed like hours, (when actually it was just about 20 minutes) but come on now we are in a race! team loads in the car and off we go.

Final clue: was a number scramble with a meaning

this thing thre wus for a loop but we ended back up at spc crossfit for the last WOD,
cant recall the last WOD excpetit involved 200 30 inch box jumps, 100 pull ups and 100 sum sor tof clean lifts. we gave it our all had a blast and met a ton of cool people.

Then the reward was food , fun and pictures afterwords in the parking lot.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Misc thoughts and catching up.... crossfit, running, my baltimore trip and life in general

hey everyone i know it been a while almost three weeks, which is way to long so where do i start....

Crossfit update: now going into my sixth week, its has been hard and punishing but well worth the effort. i am already starting to see the benefits of this total body workout, especially in my running form, and the way my body feels and reacts to the trails. well for those of you whom don 't know crossfit has two weeks that start the summer out, that they deem "hero and bitch" week.

the "bitch" part are all workouts named after female with names like fran, annie, mellissa, julie, etc. these workouts are intense ,they push you to the edge and then you realize why they are called "bitch". i survived that week and did really well but the next week which finished today, would be the most challenging. the "hero" workouts.

the "hero" these are named after service men killed in the line of duty and these make the bitch workouts seem lame and easy. its hard to explain these except as hell but once you've tamed them it feels great, here is a link to the break down of these workouts, read on to appreciate the toughness of these!

and please if you want info on crossfit please check out the main website: to read and get more info and lastly a huge thanks to Toby and all the gang at in hudson for the support and pushing me through these workouts , even when i want to stop, they motivate me to continue. thanks to all of you.

Burning River 100 training update:

its hot outside and still trying to get acclimated to the heat and humidity but so far so good, no complaints, my miles are a bit less than i would like but they are quality over quantity at this point don't want to get injured bf the revenege takes place on july 31. i mean revenge bc this race beat me last year and i DNF'd did nothing fatal and has to call it quits at about 84 or 86 miles its a bit foggy to me but watch out here i come!

And lastly my baltimore trip.
i have a good friend from college whom live in baltimore MD and i had the chance to go visit him around june 11- 14th. the drive was rather easy about 7 hrs and beautiful, i made great time, and got in about 8pm. he showed me around his place and off to the harbor we went which was only 2 blocks away. Awesome views and great restraunts everwhere.
son on friday jeff had to work but told me of this harbor trail which is a collection of brick paths and boardwalks that follow the harbor from one end to another so i thought what the heck sounds great. so i geared up and off i went follow said path, i thought it was shorter but round trip back to his house 18 miles! along the way i saw the many great water front neighborhoods, attractions and tons of boats, absolutely breathtaking. Just to much was seen ,i could go on for a long time but, i managed to kill a friday jsut being outside and seeing sights all while running, it was so peaceful.
even more strange was that the people were friendly, they all say hi and hello as you pass and i even managed to runa few miles with some random runners really fun.
Friday night was uneventful, just hung out and check out some local bars with some of his friends called it an early night.
Sat: this was the day of the crab cake! wow incredible we had a crab cake that was all crab no filling number one in Baltimore for 12 yrs in a row still going strong and voted best in maryland at a little place called G and M here is the link, awesome and i jsut found out they do mail order, i think i might be in heaven. after lunch we went to clipper city brewing company loved the tour so much fun and met lots of great people there also. sat night wasinteresting we had a cook out then did local neighboorhood bar crawl, it was rough but so much fun, it was organized by the local bars and jeff even met some of his neighbors that he never met, but one bar stood out.

it was call JP's i t was the biggest hole in the wall but the name got me! nothing special but it is a great pic of me outside of this bar.
Sunday: relaxed, harbor, some sights and a water taxi tour and that was it, a short but very exciting weekend.

today: am run 5 miles, before the heat, crossfit, rest, lunch run with my friend brett for 6.5 miles, then the fun stuff lounging by the pool for a few hours, not to bad of a start to my weekend, to bad i have to work the rest of it. till next time....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

what a week!

first off thanks to all of my family and friends who support me through all my adventures, even if they do think i am carzy at times.

#1 finished my second week of crossfit which has not been easy but i have found that i enjoy the challenges it teaches me and how i can push my self through pain. this in return thus far has helped me in daily life with a better attitude daily towrd challenges and also with my training for my 100 mile race which is approaching very fast July 31 will be here all to fast. for those who don't know what crossfit is, please google it, as it is very hard to explain, BC when i do people think i';m crazy but they may be right...... the jury is still out on that one.

#2 the heat and humidity

that's right the heat and humidity have made a come back to good ole ohio and boy has it been a bear.... coping with it again is like learning to walk or drive a car from scratch. slow and steady is the way.
i found this out on my first couple of short runs and crossfit workouts,hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, is all i can say or you'll pay.

#3 Night owl 50 mile fat ass

on friday night may 29th, i met my running friend Jerry for a semi organized/unorganized 50 mile fat ass night run. it was gonna be a blast and it was.
So i showed up at 8pm at happy days like discussed and was pleased to see about 10 people total! what a plus. some i knew some from running and some i would meet for the first time. all i can say about first timers is way to go. one in particular was a girl named lindsey this girl ran with us the first 17 miles and she never took the smile off her face it was awesome, it was also her longest run and first night run. great job to her.
in my usual sherpa fashion i showed up like a traveling aide station 3L golite rush hydro pack on, and two bottles of my favorote endurance drinks,one of clip and one of amnio both gret products ( from the makers of s caps). i also had my headlamp, sternum lamp, and a bunch of s-caps, and misc goodies in my pckets. i took the jokes form the crew and we headed off, into the night
the pace was fast and furious for the first 17 miles mostly due to the rabbits aka fast runners whom joined us. us slow ultra folks later paid the price for this but boy was it shaping up a great run.
happy days to the Xc trail, to the sound of music hills to the parking lot, refill rest. by this time i was soaked bc of the humidity and so was everyone else. then off into the woods to salt run loop and back to the lot. then off to the wet more trail that was...supposed to be accross the lot but we seemed to have a hard time finding it, maybe it was the darkness, who knows so that took a hot second, but we were like bloodhounds and found the trail. so off into the woods we ventured again, this time on wet more trail. they call it wet more for a reason, the thing never dries out, but to our suprise it was not that bad, lucky us. we made are way to the covered bridge and then the fast people called it a night and the die hards pressed on.
we departed onto perkins trails which was muddy dark, humid but other wise enjoyable, we mostly walked or slogged through this portion though. back to the covered bridge to get some much need water, and food then off to oneil woods. we heard the frogs singing, and boy what a chorus.then the mysterious fog rolled in, it was thick, and mysterious. we made it to oneil woods and now turn ed around to repeat it all over until back to happy days.
The Return:
was slow , and even painful at times due to our fast pace at the start but we adjusted. we made it back to the covered bridge where my wife had agreed to meet up with pizza and it was like an oasis! it was so good and just the pick me up we needed. then departed and off we slogged, as the dawn came we noticed features of the trails we had not noticed earlier bc of the dark, but i was enjoyable.we felt aches and pain ups and downs. i overcame some nausea and other overcame hallucinations and just plain tiredness.
i made it back to the car in 12 hours 30 minutes tired, muddy and dirty. but i love a good muddy trail! this run was a confidence booster i needed, no injuries , and only tow blisters one on each of my small toes. not to bad. thanks jerry for organizing the run, and to everyone else who showed up to run, it wouldn't have been the same experience with out you all. now back to training for the BR 100 this july. it will be here before i know it.
Lastly happy holiday everyone , and hope you enjoy your memorial day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

HOW your dollars are spent for MS

How Your Fundraising Helps
i run for MS right now so that future generations won't have to. i runfior MS because this is a battle we can, and should, win. it's through your support and participation in my run MS event that men, women and children stay connected to the dream of one day finding a cure. i RuN for them, for their families and caregivers. this is what your money goes to:

$25 will provide a reacher for someone with MS.
$60 will provide a shower chair with a back for one individual with MS.
$150 will provide a cooling vest kit for someone with MS.
$240 will provide a day of respite care for a family affected by MS.
$500 will provide a manual wheelchair for one individual with MS.
$750 will provide a portable ramp for one individual with MS.

please help out.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Misc thoughts about how my training for the 2010 BR100 is coming along

as yo may or may not know, i have set out to complete and compete in this year Burning river 100. this race is a 100 mile endurance race that cover 100 miles on trails through NE Ohio. this year it is also the USA track and field 100 mile championships which is pretty cool! great way to get the word out that NE Ohio has a great trails to run on and an even greater community of dedicated trail runners.
My motivation for the race this year is mostly of revenge for unfinished business from last year's BR100 that i DNF "did nothing fatal" i had to drop at 84 miles bc of stomach issues. this year is different. i run with more passion better prepared but also for a cause. my cause is for MS. MS has touched my life personally this last year and it is now what keeps me motivated to keep moving and to keep running.

Infact it MS has opened my eyes about things we take for granted and bc of this and my connection i am using the BR 100 as a fund raiser to raise funds for MS research. i also am touched bc one of my best friends from college, his mom had MS and recently passed away, so this race will be for her and all those people living with MS in their life.

my fundraising page can be found at :

BR100 training update:
nutrition: better thought out and targeted and also tried and tested at old pueblo 50 miler in Arizona that was in march... success

Mileage: on target and happy with averaging about 45-60miles a week a bit low but very happy. focus is on quality no quantity this year. feel great about this, especially since i am a night owl and work 12 hr nights training can be hard to get sometimes.

injury: none to speak of nock on wood healthy this year no aches or serious pain or injuries. Blisters are my only foe, and have ataget these issues with new socks and better foot prep so far so good,thanks to the book "fixing your feet" a must read for any endurance athlete.

Equipment: tested and got a new hydration pack golite Rush lots of storage with 3L capability and has waist pockets for goodies and two bottle holder on pack. this is great for my Amino and clip 2 drinks. ( both by succeed! the makers of s caps)

new sternum light works great, shoes sticking with and love the inov8 flyroc 310's last a great time and excellent tread life.

to be tested still kineysis sunscreen got sponsored this year seem s like a good product so far will post more later.

Cross Training: started a crossfit endurance (cross training program) so far so good i ache but it is a good ache, its only the second week but feel i will see great returns if not by the BR100 but for future utlras. huge thanks to SPC crossfit in Hudson OH and toby the owner. its a solid program!

"survial" the end of my first week of crossfit

i am very excited and proud of my self this week as it is the end to my first of many weeks/months to come of my a crossfit training program. this first week was by no means easy but very rewarding, i found ways to be sore that i never new existed but overall had great satisfaction in knowing that i could do this. crossfit is nothing special but totally unique for me, especially as being a runner and only doing the typical running and some cross training to keep in shape that runners require.

this week i gues coild be summed up as a total ass kicking for me, bc of the pain and soreness that i felt,unlike typical aches and pains from running. i must say that i do look forward to these 3 to 4 workouts per week and can't wait to go back for and start my second week will start monday!
best of all everyone there are from all walks of life and everyone is totally supportive of each other and very motivating, i may be a beginner but i already feel like i am a regular and fit in. this is very important to me!

thanks to everyone at SPC crossfit in Hudson, see you all again soon

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My newest adventure "crossfit"

recently i was browsing the local running store's message board and under the training section and came about a very intersting link. the local crossfit gym in hudson had issued a challenge of sorts to all runners, that went something along the lines of this. we will train you for free, for your next race, improve your overall conditioning, speed and well being and if you aren't satisfied the owner would buy you any pair of shoes from the local running store for free. Not a bad deal i thought but the catchwas this was only open to the firstperson to reply to the post.
So i thought well why not so i replied on may 9th , thinking no way i was gonna be the first, well i was wrong the next day may 10 i had a reply and i was indeed the first.
So on the that firiday i headed down to SPC crossfit in Hudson to their gym called "the barn" to get the scoop of what i was in for. I was now really excited but at the same time a bit anxious. but we will have to see how it plays out!