Sunday, April 22, 2007

The inaugural “Yeah, there’s a gas station 2 miles up the road” Marathon +

28.23 miles, 7:30 total time (including all breaks)

Mike and I woke this morning at 5:45 to drive to Kurt’s house where we then drove to the start of the BR course. Actually, I woke at 5:45 while Mike was still asleep on his couch downstairs because he couldn’t hear his alarm! We meet Kurt, Debi and Cindy at about 6:30 for the drive to Kurt’s mom’s house where we would be ending our run. We dropped off Mike’s car and piled into Cindy’s “Mom Van” and drove to the start of our run at Squire’s Castle metro park. Our original plan was to run the first 18.6 miles of the Burning River course, as Mike, Kurt and I are all training for that race coming up in August. Cindy and Debi are training for the Cleveland half so they went the first 6 miles with us and headed back for a total of 12.

The first 9.6 miles of the BR course are on Chagrin River road, so we started off on our jaunt down the road. After making the 30 minute drive to the start and taking pictures in Squire’s Castle I could tell the personalities of Cindy and Mike were sure to make this an interesting run. I could share some of the conversations, but I think it’s something that needs to be experienced first hand. I will say the idea of a “Butt Beacon” is something I will carry with me throughout my running career. Thanks, Cindy! I was disappointed when you missed your opportunity for the blog photo of the year with Mike’s full moon at Squires Castle!

The first six miles were pleasant. The sun was beginning to show itself and the dawn of a beautiful day was upon us. We took a short break as Cindy and Debi started there journey back to Squire’s Castle. As we continued down the road I began to feel the fact that I hadn’t had a large breakfast, I mentioned my concerned to Mike and Kurt. We decided it would be best for all of us to get in some extra calories before hitting the trail. As we came to the intersection at mile 9.5, where we would begin our trail section, we asked a bicyclist if he knew where the closest gas station was. He told us that if we went 2 miles up the road there would be an intersection with a gas station and convenience store. We thought since we were already running 19 it was worth the extra four to get some grub. We thanked the biker and began our 2 mile trip up the road. We decided that we would just walk there and back then run once we got to the trail. So we walked and talked, and walked and talked. “How many miles have we gone” asked Mike. “I show 2 on my GPS” I reply. Still no gas station in site. “Maybe it is just over this hill” Kurt says. As we crest the hill all we see are more hills, still no gas station. Another mile goes by and we see a guy out in his yard doing some work. We asked him if he knew how far the intersection was. He replied with a precise “.9 miles.” Of course, as soon as he said that I looked at my GPS so I could test his accuracy. .9 miles later, no more, no less, we were standing right in front of the intersection. I wish that guy would have been available to give us the original directions. At this time we were all pretty hungry after our 2 mile walk had just been turned into 4. We walked around the store picking our fuel sources, which added and extra .1 onto our total distance. We Sat on the curb and consumed our treats. After that our spirits were high and bellies were full.

We used a run walk method back to the trail as our food settled. We got back to our trail and continued our originally scheduled run. The buckeye trail, which is what we were supposed to follow, isn’t clearly marked at all times in this area so we spent a lot of time at certain intersections from here on out deciding which way to go. I guess I shouldn’t really say we, I stood in the background while Mike and Kurt hashed out the plan. Where they went I followed, but don’t worry guys, I didn’t use you as my “Butt Beacon.” Maybe if Cindy was still around… there were some nice creek crossings that Mike and I enjoyed running across and it was such a great day out on the trail. We ran most of the way from that point while taking short breaks. It was a great run and turned out to be a full day adventure.

After we got back to the car (and jump started Mike’s car with his faulty jumper cables.) Mike and Kurt took me to Vertical Runner. I wanted to get new trail shoes and this is the place to go! Vince was very helpful in finding shoes that were right for my feet and I walked out with a great new pair of Keens.

After so much training alone, I am beginning to find that running with a group is an invaluable asset, and now that I know all of the crazies are up in Cuyahoga Falls I might have to come up more often. Thanks to Mike, Kurt, Cindy and Debi, for letting me join you all today! You guys are the best!

Special thanks to Mike and his family for letting me crash at your house Saturday.

For a much better account of the first 6 miles of this run see Cindy's blog!

and I am sure it wont be too long before Mike puts up another of his great blogs.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to come down to the Pig, I had a great time today. I put in another 1.1 miles at the track tonight, with the intention of going out for a two miler later to make a 50 mile weekend, but when I came home, sleep took hold...and I just woke up again.

I think runs like these help me build confidence that I will be able to persevere and keep going in August...and going...and going....

Also, know now that you are welcome to use my place as a home base for the BR....we can ride up together to the start, etc. I just hope when you finish in 18 hours, you will wait around for me and my 30 hour finish, before you head back to Cincy!! ha.

Sensationally Red said...

Do you think I can get an official deignation as Official "Butt Beacon for the Burning River 100?" I better get busy on those squats! Great post! Keep up the good work. Keep the "mom" van in mind whenever you want to travel again for a long run!

Chef Bill Bailey said...

Sorry I couldn't run with you guys Sunday. I was flipping omlettes for our church brunch. Plus I'm on a taper week. I'm running Michigan Trail Marathon 4/29.
Next time you visit I'll run with you & maybe cook you an omlette or something.

Addy said...

Great report! That sounds like so much fun :) I'm also someone that trains alone a lot and have only recently discovered the joy of running with others. It really does make it just so much more fun!

Glad you had a great training day with a fun crowd

Josh said...

Chef Bill,

Good luck in Michigan next weekend! I am sure we will meet on the trails someday soon. I am jealous of the great trails and trail running community you guys have up there!