Saturday, January 31, 2009

Silent, Scenic, Solitary Saturday

10 degree Saturday
18 inches on the ground at North Chagrin Reservation
Very little wind.
Multipurpose paths cleared to about 2 inches ..with many foot prints already on..
Much easier running surface that down on trails in the Cuyahoga Valley Recreational Area.

One Man. two shoes... various clothing articles including the new boffy Buckeye Winter Trail Blue Jacket.

"scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
(sounds repeat...hundreds of times...)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"


scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 1 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"Cute dog you have". Can I pet him?".
"Hey buddy!! Good Boy"
(dog panting sounds)
"Okay, have a great day"!!"

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 2 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 3 Mile) scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 4 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

(keys jingle..door opens)
"Chug, Chug, Chug"
(door shuts, Horn sounds--door locked

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 5 Mile)

"Morning...Suns pretty bright right now". Isn't it awesome"?
"Take Care"

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 6 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 7 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 8 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 9 Mile)

scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"
scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff, scrunch, scrunch, swiff swiff"

"beep Beep" (GARMIN 305 10 Mile)

"Keys jingle"
"door Opens"
"Chug, Chug"
"Car engine starts

Reality Returns.

10 miles, 1 hour 50 minutes.. average heart rate 133. Elevation Climbed 1,700 feet.

Life's a Blast!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Back again. Hope all your training is going well. I have kinda set out there some of the races I am thinking about for this year. Its a wild mix. Half Irons...Sprints,...Olympics... Swim only's. Ultras... See the list on my sidebar I am not sure if I will race in all those races...but its just good to get that stuff down somewhere. (in this case...cyberworld).

Training is going well. I have to have a strong weekend to meet my running goals this week and I think you might have heard...we got slammed....about another foot of snow. That hasn't stopped me from trying to run outside, however this week.. 3 of 4 runs were on the treadmill.

I will be running Friday Am at North Chagrin after I give a speech at a 6am breakfast at Landerhaven. The theme???? Relating an exotic coffee and how its harvested to the sports teams in Cleveland. No kidding. I'm twisted that way. Google Kopi Luwak

Folks at SofSole sent me another pair of Yaktrax Walkers. I just put those on over my running shoes when I was shovelling snow and they worked fine. I ran on hard packed snow with them too and they have worn okay.

Sending best wishes to Mickey Ryzmek, the cool race director of the Greater Cleveland Triathlon. He took a spill around Christmas. Fractured his tibia, fibula and dislocated his ankle...

Mickey sent me the newest U.S. Sports Event Guide. Included was a great article about the Freedom Run done with Original Ironman Tom Knoll, his son Warren and Hubie K. I had a chance to run with those guys and the article talked about their swing through Cleveland and even had a pic of us!!!! Cool Stuff. Thanks Mickey!! Good luck mending.!!!!
Everyone...great training to you...and of course...remember...Life's a Blast

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Hi folks. Just returned from a very short, 3 mile run in the balmy 17 degree weather.
Confession. Its the first run since I ran in the Buckeye Trail Winter Run. I would like to think my excuse was that my left knee (patella tendon) is a little sore..but to be honest, I just backed off the training and enjoyed strapping on the feed bag and eating everything in sight.

I am thinking of 2009 races. I have decided to try to get my full 50 k in the Fools 50k in early April. As I write that, my left knee is barking .Generally speaking...I will do more trail runs... about 3-4 sprint triathlons..and likely one Half Ironman. I am even thinking of a 50 miler. First however, I must complete the 50K before I go any further. I want to thank two authors for re-kindling my desire the past couple days.
Jeff Horowitz wrote "My First 100 Marathons". I read that puppy in one day. Very interesting book on his experiences as he has run races all over the world. Its an introspective book too.

New York Times writer Liz Robbins, whom I remember when she wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great book that looks behind the scenes at the New York City Marathon. "A Race like No Other" Fascinating, how she details the exploits of the great runners, and follows some "average" folks who have real interesting stories. Her account of the Marathon as an event is so much more descriptive than a book that tells you how many cups of coffee are served before hand...if you get my drift. Both books are entertaining and motivating. Thanks alot!!!

My buddy David Moss, who is the entertainment reporter at Fox 8 gave me the advance copy of "The Wrestler" and so The Bride and I watched it. I thought it was a tremendous movie. The general theme is.."what the hell do you do with your life, if all you've ever done is one thing".?? Can you break away from that life??? It spoke to me about people needing to have balance in their lives!!.

Had a great time this week doing some coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships here in Cleveland. Its amazing how much power these skaters have when they are launching themselves into the air. Fearless too!! Man, that ice is very hard ,.....and unforgiving.

Discovered a blog this week Dirt Diva. Thanks Shannigans, for lettingme know about Catra. Very fascinating. This woman is an ultra-marathoner who is also really into Cross-fit. She's very spiritual, adventurous and tough. Basically, she lives the theme.."Live for THIS Moment".

Thats it for now. I will check in early next week with a clearer picture of what events I will be doing. In the meantime...Happy Training.
Life's a Blast

Monday, January 19, 2009


Theres the Garmin and its heart rate monitor strap all fired up and ready to go for my attempt at the Buckeye Winter 50k. They are formed as a cross....humm...coincidence???? I think not.

Race morning dawned with temps in the low 20's..absolutely tropical compared to the 8-15 below we experience in days leading up to the race. I had on 4 layers plus my faceguard with the Festivus Hat on top. 3 different people said I won the Best Hat Award!!. Thats Great. Would I get all 31 miles in????

Thats me on the far right with TriEric...Aimee and TriSaratops. Missing was Janet..aka DaisyDuc who had wandered around the garage to chat. I trained with Eric and Aimee a few times. They were a big help to me. Thanks!!!!

I loved the atmosphere and met a whole bunch of folks. I was assured by all that its very low key and its all about the experience.

We took off at 7:27am and the folks going 50 k did the A loop..5 miles Settled into an easy pace and had to work on making sure I wasn't sliding all over or tripping. The snow was packed down but in a rut about 2-3 feet wide...obviously we would have to move over for folks coming from the other direction. I realized 15 minutes in that I had one layer too much..I took my Festivus cap off for a while to cool. Soon it was apparant with the work I had to do in these conditions that the heart rate was getting up there.

Snapped that shot about 3 miles into. I finished the first loop in about one hour, 4 minutes. I knew that the B loop...8 miles is a real tough section and I made sure to get my gels in take enough water etc.

I had done the 8 mile section last week in somewhat virgin 10 inches of snow in 2:25. This time it took 2:35. It was grinding...I saw my buds coming back from their loop as the Half marathoners began on Loop B. Ran into Kim, the Trail Goddess. Nice to finally meet her. She snapped a few pics.

Ankles got a super workout and I am sure every racer can say they nearly wiped out many times and that their ankles were stressed. Thats cool...but I was starting to wonder if I could make the entire distance... At turnaround of the 8 mile loop, I saw Brian. He was volunteering. Thanks!!! Tom Riley (hope I spelled it right) and he gave me some ibprofen pills. I really fueled up with pb and j and bananas and cookies. Heading back to the Boston Store is not as punishing. Creek crossings were not bad as they were nearly frozen over. Snapped this pic as I was couple miles from the end of Loop B. By this time, I was debating whether I could even finish before the cutoff. I was also thinking it would just be cool to get in a Half Marathon in these conditions...but I kept moving.....

I got back to the Boston Store..checked the shoes...all gunked up with snow..I hydrated...took 3 more ibprofen pills...some more bananas..cookies and few pretzels. At that moment I was talking myself into doing the 5 mile loop and finishing with a solid 18 miles...

The 5 mile loop was trudgery.....I saw the eventual winner, actually doing his 3rd A loop. Thanks to the volunteers at the Brandywine Falls aid station for coming up with even more pain was I medicated...haha.....

I finally hit the Boston Store at 5 hours, 3 minutes for the 18 miles. I told the officials I was done and several told me that alot of people ...maybe 50 percent of the 50k hopefuls opted to not go the full distance.

I got the chili(loved the veggie chili) my fritos and some coffee...Thanks Caribou!!! But best of all I got the jacket...Love it baby!!

Some info from my trusy Garmin. Elevation climbed 5,000 feet. Calories burned....2,200. Heart rate maximum.(reached several times) 169. Average Heart rate in the low 150's. Folks, I was at 90 percent or above alot in the race....

Officially of all the races I have set out to do over 24 years of triathlons..from Sprints to Ironmans, thats the first race that I did not finish what I set out to do. However I look at it this way.

1. It was incredibly tough

2. I am tough, but need to be tougher

3. I will be back.

4. What doesn't kill you..makes you stronger

So, if you see me this coming winter on the trails...say Hi. I will likely have that silly hat on. I will be training as best as possible and I will do a 50 K.

But in the meantime..Have some great training everyone..

Life's a Blast.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Best Hat Award

Hi...What an incredible experience in the Buckeye Trail Winter Race... details to follow..
Snow...sliding...elevation climbing...heart rate name it.
We be along soon with post and pictures....
Paradise is where you are!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Yes, we were slammed by Mother Nature on Friday night and Saturday morning. I still wanted to meet Aimee, Dale and Eric at the Boston Store and do the 8 mile Pine Lane loop and get more familiar with the terrain for the Buckeye 50k. So I drove out there. 9 inches of snow had fallen. My legs were a little tired as I did an 8 mile trail run at North Chagrin the day before as well. However the ability to move well Friday morning was a stark contrast to running well Saturday Am. Took an hour and 15 minutes to drive what is usually about 40 minutes.

There was about 8-10 inches that had already fallen and it was still coming down. Absolutely gorgeous. Snapped a pic as I wore my festivus cap while waiting for the guys to arrive.

Once Aimee and Dale got there. (Eric was away on business).we started our watches and got going. All that snow and only a handful of guys were already on the trail and so our footing was real hard to establish. I was using my Yaktrax Walkers. We trudged and we trudged.. It was real slow going. About 3 miles into the outing..I stopped and fired off a pic of Aimee up ahead. Then waited and got Dale coming up on me. Once we crossed the second road and rejoined the Buckeye Trail, we came upon this creek.

Thats roughly 3.5 into the run. Dale decided to stay at that point and Aimee and I crossed the 3-4 inches of water and ran-slid-trudge-hoofed it to Pine Lane turnaround. Since it was the first time I went to the turn around point, I kept asking Aimee "Are we there yet"? Surprised she didn't wack me.

We hit the turnaround and returned to the Boston Store. It was extremely slow going and I was doing the math in my head...worried that if these conditions remain next Sunday, I might not make the 50 K in the available time.. We finished the run...8.4 miles on my trusty Garmin 305 in 2 hours and 23 minutes. 2600 feet of ascending on that run. My average heart rate 142 with a high of 159. Great workout..but not as fun as driving home with all the goofballs on the road.

For the week...29 miles run. Sunday, I picked up a pair of trail running shoes and will break them in a little this week..but mostly I am gonna take it easy..Do a bunch of upper body stuff and try to be ready for 7:15 next Sunday AM. Forecast is for very cold and obviously snowy conditions. I am looking forward to the challenge. Thanks to all the veteran trail runners who have emailed advice ...I appreciate it alot.

Best in training to you.. Life's a Blast.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


It has come to my attention that its winter. I got subtle hints. The Cold. The wind. The Sun leaving town on the last train out. Those kinds of things..

Since I have been busy training for the Buckeye Winter 50 K, I barely noticed it wasn't 65 and sunny. However, in an effort to go with the flow, I am trying to get accustomed to using the Yaktrax sent to me. Last Saturday, I did not bring them to the Boston Store to use on any of the trails we ran. It was snow packed. Ice packed. Just about any kinda-"packed" you can imagine. I just ran gingerly and watched my steps..(Though I did trip once). My friends said its not smart to use Yaktrax on the trails. I did see some runners with the Yaktrax, but I would venture to say most had trail shoes with screws or something to that effect. Bear with this old time triathlete as he assimilates into the trail culture.

This morning was perfect time to try out the Yaktrax. It had rained overnight, laying down a nice sheen of ice . I went to Chagrin River Park. The trails there are crushed gravel but the ice was pretty nasy in many spots. Still I first set out running without the Yaktrax. Not a good move. I slipped about 90 feet from the start of the run. Perfect.!!!!

I went back to the car and strapped on the Yaktrax. (I was sent a size Small, which I realized was not the right size. I stretched the Yaktrax over my shoes.. They felt secure enough but I feared they would just Boing!!! and come off. They didn't. Off I went.

I maintained an easy 10 min per mile clip on some very slight rolling terrain...did 4 and a half miles and encountered no problems at all. I was pretty pleased. Many spots were like running on an ice hockey rink and I came through okay!!! I think with the right size, I should be in business.... Even on parts that were not totally ice, I felt the Yaktrax working well...mostly comfortable.. All in all..very encouraging..

Recall my previous post about baking the Sofsole Performance insert. I have had two runs with the insoles and so far good. I felt a slight stretch of the instep when I was doings some sprints on a track, but other than far...I am pleased.

This week, I will put about 28 miles in the books..with about 8-10 miles on Saturday ..then 8 days from that, I will be running (not racing) running-shuffling-sliding- in the Buckeye Winter 50K.

Good training everyone.!!
Life's a Blast

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Yes, I know I am a triathlete. Yes I know I can swim-bike-run for long distances. But I have to admit, I am loving this trail running and the thought of being in the elements and running for long distances...

Maybe I am built for it. My resting pulse is 45. My maximum heart rate is supposed to be 165. On Saturday am I ran just under 8 miles on the trails that are part of the Buckeye 50K. According to Mr. Garmin, my Forerunner 305. I climbed about 2,000 feet of elevation. My heart rate was mostly in the 140's. It was a blast getting familiar with the terrain. I count it a victory I fell only once. Haha!!

There was a huge group of runners that were out there that morning. Many are racing the Winter 50K. With the 8 miles , I reached 25 for the week. I know its not alot by many folks standards, but I am feeling confident, I can maintain a certain level of effort for a long period of time. Props to my buddies, Aimee, Eric ( AKA. Media Whore) and Dale for having the patience to teach me some of the nuances of the trails. Brandywine Falls is spectacular!!!

I mentioned in previous posts that the folks at Yaktrax sent me some stuff to test. I already have used their socks. The product is called SOFSOLE..made in part with some kind of bamboo. They are super light and very supportive. I have not used the Yaktrax as the trails have been very uneven with tons of ruts.(which caused my fall). But I will check them out. They also sent me a pair of their Sofsole Adapt Performance Footbed.

Which is why I am in this silly chefs get-up. (Hat: courtesy Benihana)
You may have seen my buddy Rainmaker or Steve in a Speedo or others do this same thing. However, the product works best if you bake the sole for just 2 minutes in 255 degrees. So I did.

The soles came out slightly warm... I slipped them into the shoe and then put my feet in to mold them to the SOFSOLE. So far , so good. I will head out in next few days to see how the footbeds do. I will update you as best as possible..

Allow me to show just one quick shot of The Bride as she worked on the 750 piece puzzle we got for Christmas. Got me thinking. Life is a dog-gone puzzle. So many shapes of people we run into..shapes of tasks that need to be done. Our schedules fill up fast, but do we put the right pieces into the puzzles that make up our daily lives. Of the resolutions we set for ourselves this time of the year, are the tasks compatible with the puzzle??? Its worth stopping to think before we rush into something we might not want to do.
Hope your training is going well....Life's a Blast!!!