Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fools FA - Preview

The details are coming together. Here's a preview of the maps. Essentially, the Fools FA is a tour of all the major trails of the Virginia Kendall Unit:

Below is an overlay with the order of trails. The course is the same as last year with two loops: 12.5 miles and 3.25.

Monday, February 25, 2008

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Week of February 17-23

Another frigid week. Tuesday's interval set was a PR for coldest speed workout: 18F, winds 25F, chill -2F. Amazing what the body and mind can endure with a motivated group and good layering. The footing on the track was okay, so we went for it.

Sun: No real run; ran/hiked a few slushy trail miles, but not counted.
Mon: 13 miles easy on rolling hills (9:15) with a Hinckley newbie. Finished with 4x strides.
Tue: 10.75 total, with 4.5 at I-pace (9x800m; with 400m recovery jogs)
Wed: 5 easy (8:31)
Thur: 7.25 easy (8:08)
Fri: 4 easy (8:32). Cooled down with 4x strides
Sat: 17.5 miles easy (8:27)

Total: 57.5 miles on 6 runs
800m splits: 3:06-3:20

A better week of running with 8 weeks to go before Boston. We have one more week of interval-pace training before moving to the next phase: threshold pace workouts.

Looking ahead to the Spring and Summer:
  • April 6 - Plans for the Fool's Fat Ass are coming together. Save the date.
  • May 3 - I am hopeful to gain entry into the new Green Jewel 100k. 
  • August 2 - Once again, Second Sole Running Group will man the Station Road Bridge aid station at the Burning River 100. I had thought about entering the race this year, but decided I'd rather work the aid station. The groupies are already asking. Yes, we're back!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Once again this year, February seems to be the coldest month. Temperatures, in degrees F, during my runs over the past 10 days:

8, 35, 21, 19, 19, 30, 18 and tonight 14F.

I don't mind the occasional training run in the cold. But after a few frigid days it starts to grate on me. I remember back to last February, where the high did not top 20F for nearly three weeks. This year it has not been nearly that bad. The group dealt with it then and is dealing with it now.

As an outdoor runner, I'd like it just a bit warmer, but not too much. I'll take 30-40F, with light wind, any day of the week. Yet it's amazing to me how the body adapts to the extreme elements if dressed in adequate layers. Weather at Tuesday night's group workout: 18F, winds 25+, windchill -2, at 6:30pm. I wore two long sleeve shirts, pants, hat and gloves. Add jacket for the warm-up/cool-down.

A group of six doing 800m intervals, with several others running laps. Although frigid, I felt warmed up enough and motivated by having the groupies. Workout was 8x 800m, with 400m recovery jogs. Still fatigued from the weekend race and 13 at Hinckley the day prior, my legs felt heavy in the first few 800s. Even on this ridiculously cold night with wind chills near sub-zero, we were still out doing I-pace intervals. And the body dealt. Splits were about 5-10 seconds slower than on a warm summer day, but we hit the number 8 and accumulated about 25 minutes of coveted I-pace training. I retrieved my frozen and undrinkable water bottle. No worries since there was no danger of over-perspiration.

Dealing with cold runs is part of the Cleveland I know. Having the April marathon as a goal makes the winter season fly by. I'm hoping the worst of the weather has past and with March comes warmer temps and better quality running.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cold Cleveland weekend

The view from Cliff Drive. Cleveland, Ohio. February 16, 2008.

Numerical symmetry at the Chili Bowl 5k: Ran 19:19 in 19F temps. The challenge was crossing the Detroit-Superior bridge twice: Once each in the first and last half-mile of the race. Performance rates 51 on VDOT scale, two notches below training level of last summer/fall.

Spent some time on the Ledges trail on a slushy, icy day.

View from the Ledges Overlook in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula, Ohio. (February 17, 2008.)

News of the weekend: Date was announced for the Green Jewel 100km. It's road/path ultra that follows the entire Emerald Necklace of the Cleveland Metroparks. The run starts 3 miles from my house at the mouth of the Rocky River and finishes 62 miles away at Squires Castle in North Chagrin Reservation. The May 3rd date fits well with my training plan for Laurel. I'm tempted!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Reggae Brunch

A frozen Cleveland night would not deter this local tradition. Reggae fans gathered at the Parkview Tavern for the annual Bob Marley birthday reggae brunch. While nine degrees outside, Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band delivered us warm vibrations in a uplifting five hour set.

Reggae Brunch is part of the Cleveland I know and the scene of my first Carlos show 4 years ago. I remember describing my initial PLUS Band experience as one where the body moves to the rythym without even trying. Not exactly sure how many years -- at least a dozen -- that the Parkview has hosted this event, but Carlos mentioned to me last night that this year marks thirty years of playing out in Cleveland. To me, he's as much a local institution as Chief Wahoo.

I snapped a few photos and captured a several video clips, include this one titled, "Leave a trail."

Click below for the rest of the photos and videos. Irie!

A few videos.