Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Stillness of Running in the Rain

There is something about running in the rain that puts your mind and body in a different place. I have ran in a downpour two times in the last four day and it made me think about how awesome I felt when running in the rain. Today, it was raining while I ran and, even though it was on the flood wall with over 20,000 people in a 25 mile radius around me, I felt a lone and a sense of calmness. Raining drowns out the sound of everything to where I feel as if I am the only human being on the earth. There is no other way to get the feeling and I have come to appreciate that feeling. Everything seems smooth, right, and surreal in a way. It really is a dreamy feeling. Last Saturday was even a better example. It was a hot day and then at night the rain came and lasted all afternoon. My run was mostly on back roads with hardly any houses, just tree’s and me. The rain was light and mist was coming off the roads and from the streams and it really felt awesome. At these times, everything stands still, without a care, and it is just me running free.

During these runs in rain, I always seem to think. Today, my mind started going back to all the memories I have had during running. Not races or anything, just regular training runs and long runs. I have did over a thousand runs in my lifetime, so it is impossible to remember all of them, but there are always runs that stand out and will be forever engraved in my memory. I started thinking of two runs in particular from last summer. Both of these runs were by myself and out at Shawnee State Forest. One was hangover, I started off to what seemed a pleasant clear skied day, but a few miles into my run a storm rolled in and I was right in the middle of thunder and lightning with wind howling at the trees. That day, I ran with a quickened fear. Another run was on some single track trails and once again I wasn’t expecting rain on the run. The rain came in the middle of the run but this time it wasn’t a storm. This was a calm downpour that lifted my spirits. The run was fun and something is gratifying about finishing a run soaked to the bone.

There are many, many, many more runs that I can recall as plain as it happened. Most of them involve other people with them. One of the best stories came from a high school run on Owl Hollow Rd. A-Mart, Keith, and I came around the corner after the 1.5 mile mark and saw, at a house we had never seen anyone ever and never after this, a fat naked man getting chased by another man. It was a sight not forgiving on the eyes, but made for a great story. A lot of memories were made on those roads and even more memories are being made now in college. Great people and good times is what running is all about.

So, rainy runs and memories have filled my thoughts full of memories and flashbacks to events that aren’t so special; special to me though. It is strange the things I do remember and the things I no longer remember. I don’t know how my brain sorts out what it decides to keep. It would be nice to keep everything.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Java Chip with Some Miles on Top Please

This past weekend, I spent the most days at my real "home" since Spring Break. I left Friday morning and left this morning, Monday. It is always nice going back home, since it is a better atmosphere then Portsmouth and I get to see my family and a few friends. It is also refreshing to run in Meigs county, the place where I learned to love running! That is what I did mostly this weekend, run.

I got home Friday around 1:00 pm, I went into the Shoe Store to get my LunaTrainers and LunaRacers. Amazing shoes! After that I went home and laced em' up. I headed out on Rocksprings and headed towards Meigs HS. I wanted to check out the new cross course they are making. It is pretty neat that there is going to be a designated course in Meigs County for cross country. I didn't know where the course began but the section that I ran was very challenging. At least, it will be for HS runners. The course was very well cut out, mostly in the woods, with a lot of turns and rarely a flat spot. That means slow times and upset kids, but maybe they will learn to like the challenge. I understand that Mike Bartrum has a lot of time and funding in the project. He is one of the nicest guys I know and it is great to see a professional athlete come back to his hometown and try to make an impact like he has.

Saturday I had a real laid back day. I didn't wake up until shortly before 11! I rushed into town with Jon and talked to a lady at the bank about my CD that has matured. . .2 years ago! So, it has been just floating there drawing no interest. So, I got it moved to a new CD and it is not even drawing much interest still! Jon had to bring some old jeans to the fabric shop and buy a a couple box fans for the house. We also stopped at McClures and sat and talked to Dave for a while. Jon has made a stand to shop local as much as he can. It's an idea everyone in Meigs County, or America for that matter, should consider. Shopping local send taxes to local funds instead of big time corporations! Walmart has pretty much taken over this town!

Sunday, I finally got to meet our new pastor! The service was centralized by VBS. It was funny and awesome to watch the kids do their dances and how excited they were. Mom did a great job leading them! The pastor and his family seem great and can lead this church. The attendance was way higher. His sermon was over the "ABC's" and it was a good one, focused on the process to becoming a Christian. Had a cookout after church and then it was time for a daylong nap!

Seems like 80 miles a week totally changes the way your body acts. I am just plain tired a lot of times when I usually am not tired! The past week I did 85 miles, the most I have ever ran in one week and I could tell. My runs feel great and my legs are fit along with the rest of my body, but there is something missing. I know I am in a complete fitness level that my body has never felt before. Now, I just need to treat it like it is. The thing that is missing is adequate sleep, meaning more than 10 hours a night, and some extra energy boosts. I can get that by GU or the route I am taking, FRS energy. I tried this stuff out earlier this year and it seemed to work. So, last week I ordered a big shipment of chews and drink mixes. I think this could be a missing link to recovering and getting the extra stuff in my body. Lance Armstonge uses FRS so why not me? I would like to get some GU packs as well for in the middle of my long runs.

Speaking of long runs, Saturdays 16 mile run was awesome. It was storming pretty hard all evening and I waiting for a break in the storm to get started. For some reason I don't like starting a run in the rain but don't mind it raining in the middle of the run. That's what happened on this run, ran into a few downpours that drenched me and was quite chilling. I was lucky enough to escape the lightening, scary though. I toured the majority of the side roads on the west side of rt. 33. Some nice running over there. Felt great on that run. Sunday I did an easy 8 and somewhat got recovered.

Today, I planned on getting my bike from the shop but when I got there they said it wouldn't be finished until 7, but I couldn't stick around that long because of work. On my way home I stopped at Chesapeake HS and went for my run. Did 12 miles on a made up course. Feeling good to start the week off. And feeling good with my new Nike LunaTrainers! I was overdue for a new pair of shoes since my last pair, a fairly light shoe, had over 500 miles on them and were bare on the bottom.

Looking forward to a big week of mileage and then leveling off until I start peaking near the end of the season. Need to keep my miles up though, can't drop a whole lot like in the past.

So, I basically love my life being Michael Owen! And I love Running Free! For His Glory!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If I was a Rich Man. . .

On my run today, I got to thinking about what my life would be like if I somehow I were born into a rich family. At first, of course, I lavished in the thought of having all the toys and supply of anything I wanted. But, after I though for a while, I realized I probably would not be the person I am right now if I was born into a rich family. If I was born into a rich family, I would probably be extremely lazy and not do the things I do now. I would not be a college runner, I would not like to do strenuous activities, I would not like to go on trips to cool places, or anything that I like now. I would probably of been forced through an Ivy League college, getting a fancy up class job in a big city, and be miserable my whole life.

Maybe not though. I have heard of stories of rich high class people leading adventurous lives. Roger Goodell climbed Mt Raider last month. And he is the NFL commissioner. So, I don't want to stereotype all of the people that were lucky enough to live with money at their fingertips. But it is fair to say that I would not be the person I am today, very unlikely at least.

So, what would I do if I had money and I remained the same person I am now? Well, life would be a blast. Not that I am not having a blast now, but I would have more of an opportunity to do things that require money to do. Here are some of the things I would buy with my money. . .

  • Trek Madone 6.9 Road Bike, a couple

  • Trek Fuel EX 9.9 Mountain Bike

  • Lifetime Supply of GU Enery Products

  • Running Shoes Whenever I Want

  • A House Near Boulder or Mammoth

  • Entry Fees to Any Race or Event I Ever Wanted to do

  • Vacations to Any Place I Wanted to Go.

  • All the Running and Biking Apparel I Wanted


And that would just be the beginning of it. I would spend about 10 hours day doing awesome things! Wow, what a life.

As I finished up my 11 mile run, I realized that I am really happy with my life anyway, so I don't need it to change any at all. I have already been blessed by being born into a loving middle-class family. I love my family and wouldn't want anyone else to be my parents or siblings. I have learned many life lessons through hard work and such. But, it is fun to dream sometimes. I would just like to have awesome bikes and stuff to use at anytime!

So, I'll just keep Running Free. That doesn't cost a penny!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Greetings from the Library. . .

Not much has been going on in my life the past few days. That's exactly how I like it. Been getting some nice running in and trying to make some money before the summer ends. This summer has went by pretty quick in my mind. But, it has been a good one. I've accomplished the majority of my goals so far.

Saturday was a good day. Corey and Shane came to town and it was nice visiting and running with them. Shane brought down some stuff for his apartment. As soon as they got here, Wysocki wanted to run so he could get to work in time. We decided to do the new 10 mile loop I found. Starting at Kent St, we went up Thomas Hill, left on 139, left on Rosemount and went up that huge hill, crossed 23 and finished up on the trails behind BDubs for a nice 10 mile loop. We ran right as people we getting off work so it was sort of busy with cars but we didn't have any problems. Two massive hills that were very hard getting up. We are all very fit though! That night we all just hung out at Coreys place and watched movies.



Sunday, we had a 13 miler at Hangover. We all slept in pretty late since we were not meeting Erock until noon. For being 12, the weather was amazing. It was 75 with a cool breeze and even better in the shade. Can't beat that in the middle of July. So, we met Eric at noon, he had a friend with him, Mike Cauley. I remember him from the Cedarville Outdoor 5k this past spring. We were all making fun of his tattoo's on legs. But, the guy ended up being pretty cool after we got to know him better. He was in for a tough run at Hangover! We started our run where we normally do and did the 12 mile loop. Except we decided to do 15 instead of 13. Mike and Wysocki planned on doing more anyways so we just added on with them. It was Corey and Shane's longest run ever, so that is cool. They felt great and so did everyone else I think. The finish up the hill was a tough one but it made me feel invincible! I love that feeling during and after runs. Milkshakes after the run made everything worth it!




I sort of feel like we are gaining respect around Ohio for our running. More and more people are getting to know our team, such as Mike Sawicki and Mike Cauley and maybe some more guys from CRC. They get to know of through Eric mostly. But, I feel like they reeling appreciate our training and are learning that we are a bunch of hard workers doing really hard running. I mean, Hangover is no joke! I feel good about this and hope it is a continuing trend.

Sunday night, my parents came to visit me. My mom wanted to see the new house, she seemed to like it. It is so much better than the last one. They took me out to dinner and took me grocery shopping. I was in some dire need of food and it was nice of them to buy some for me. I hadn't seen them in a month or so!

Monday, I slept in way to late. I met with Wysocki and did an easy 11 miles around Portsmouth. Our legs were sore. Wanted to get in the ice bath, but no trainers were in there, bummer. I think this flat run allowed us to recover a lot. Went to work that night and had a great day.

Tuesday was busy. Woke up for work at 8. Watched the Tour de France most of the day. I have had fun watching that. Got off work at 5, and I wanted to wait to run. So around 7, I asked Hornick if he wanted to run 13 with me. This was my first run with him and I wanted to see if he was fit or not. I took him on the loop we did Saturday, but backwards. The hills from the backside are worse I think. The run was good, my legs were feeling good. And of course Hornick half-stepped me the entire run so I probably won't run with him again until camp starts. He is always trying to prove something. He was breathing hard and said he was hurting, I was just chilling behind him. Good run though and I am feeling so, so fit.

These maps I made are pretty neat. I don't want to make one for every run, but, it is cool to see the elevation changes in runs, especially out at Hangover.

I have 15 miles to do today. Running Free!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Once I Stood at the Foot of a Great High Mountain

The lyrics that start the song of a Jack White movie soundtrack: Great High Mountain. I've always like Jack White in the White Stripes and now the Dead Weather. And when I heard this song it reminded me of an old Southern Baptist Hymn that I would sing in church. It even makes reference to God in it in the second verse. Then, I learned that this song was to the soundtrack of the movie Cold Mountain; which is a good movie. Jack Whites voice sounds much different without a band behind him, I like him better solo.

So, Wednesday evening I stood at the foot of a great high mountain. Hangover! This was my second day in a row out in this area. I have always liked exploring new trails and paths out in the area, but something is special about Hangover. So many memories have been made there. 5 miles of the hardest time trail in the history of time trails. . . My first run there with Roush, BJ, and Paul when Chuck finished 40 minutes behind us. . . 18 milers with Keegan and BJ in the dark making monkey calls. . . Waking up at 5:30 to go run there, then seeing construction people there. All of theses memories are great and have been shared with a lot of people. My next two years will be filled with many more memories in this exact location, starting in the exact little parking area over a mile up a winding, now paved, road. I will cherish every memory I have there!

I did a 15 miler there Wednesday, 10 of them were with Wysocki, Erock, and Paul. The run went by fast Erock, Paul, and I talked the entire time, getting caught up on life and the news of everything. Mark up another memory, because no matter how normal these runs might seem, there is something that makes this place extraordinary compared to running elsewhere. I tacked on 5 miles by myself on a new logging trail up the road and was satisfied with a nice long run.

The past two days, I have ran with Wysocki, and today with BJ as well. Nice 10 milers around town, trying to stay fairly flat. My legs have taken a beating lately, but they have a good feeling to them. This weekend Corey and Shane are coming down to visit and run. We are going out to hangover to do 13 mile Sunday morning so, more memories to come surely. This will be my first week at 80 miles, and I feel great. Probably will get 90 at some point this fall. Once thing I need to do that I haven't did in the past two years, it keep my mileage up once the team gets together. Not doing so leads to fresh and peaked legs in the middle of the season. I am a longer distance guy, so I need to act like one.

Today, me and Wysocki drove to Huntington to go to Jeff's Bike Shop. I had heard great things about this place and thought I would get my bike finished off. Blake also got new tires and tubes for his road bike. I ordered shifters and brake levers and left the shop all my stuff and they are putting it together for me. So, I will be riding my bike by next weekend! I hope. About $200 for everything, but I feel like that is a good investment.

Just been Running Free ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Two Times. . Two Times. . A Tuesday. . .

That's right! Two posts in one day by Michael Owen, that's me! This means something special right? Well, not so special, but I have had a rather exciting evening. After class, I decided to head out to the forest to run some trails or something. I turned onto Pond Lick Road and headed past my usual parking spot and parked at a scenic outlook place and took off. I knew that the back end of the Hangover trail was more than likely less than a mile up the road so I started off that way on the gravel service road. I was right and I soon came to the intersection. Since last time running in this location from hangover, there had been some dramatic logging off to the right. In fact, there are still logging trucks and equipment out there so they are in the process of doing that. So I turned down some dusty dirt logging roads and ran along the hill side of Hangover land. I actually found parts to the 40 mile loop trail that I ran on. I ran until I got to a place I had ran to last fall on one of my 18 milers. Pretty neat that I connected the loop.

Then, I turned around and tan the other way on the trail. It was sort of said because I entered a part of the forest that was a part of the fire. Everything was burnt and black. I was surprised at how quickly some of the greenery grew back. I think in a few years this part will be very lush. I found this sign on a fallen burnt tree. I figured since the tree was dead I would take it. .



At one point on one of the logging roads I came to a clearing at one of the highest points I could see. I stopped and stood on top of a trunk and it was an amazing feeling. I could see everything since there were no trees. I even could see my car across the valley on the ridge next to the ridge I was on. And this was 5 miles into my run! It was so surreal, I was alone, just me and the wild turkeys.

So, this run was one of my bests runs of the summer. I totally blocked my knee out of my head and told myself to run like I would if I never would of hurt it. I did,and nothing hurt. It took the pounding of jarring down steep hills and it took the force of powering up steep inclines. There were technical parts and my knee was better than ever! I am excited for sure. Ice massaging and the stuff I have been doing has paid off.

So, I count today as the second half of my summer training. I think the past week has allowed me to re-examine why I am training so hard and the purpose for all the miles. Even though I was able to run through the injury, for some reason got down about training. I only lost 3 miles last week for Pete's sake! Why was I worried. So, I think things happen for a reason and God just wanted to put things in perspective for me; that I am allowed to take a few miles off in order to get healthy.I will now prepare my self for the goal, Remembering November.

All that made today a fantastic day. I thought a lot on my run and got my direction pointed the right way for the rest of this summer. Running is truly amazing and I need to remember the reason why I am running. I'm not just out there to do it!

That's me, Running Free. . . Again!

Positive Vibrations AyYa!

Good news! My last two runs have been pretty much pain free! And I am so excited. Sunday evening me and Blake went out to Reece's. Reece wasn't at the house yet so we decided to just go ahead and run. I was unsure about how my knee would feel, I was hopeful since I had iced and iced massaged a lot the entire day. So, we started and I didn't feel pain, and late in my run, I still didn't feel pain and it was an amazing run! It is awesome to run out there. We decided not to run on trails since I didn't want to run down any steep hills. So, we just ran on the back roads of the Crabtree area. The gravel roads reminded me so much of running in Meigs County with all my high school friends. Memories with Fogle, Chris, and A-Mart will last forever! Me and Blake made some pretty awesome memories on this run as well. This one house had, seriously, 13 dogs that came after us. There were German Shepards and Golden Retrievers, pretty big dogs. They didn't see us until late but we still had to pick up the pace for a minute or so to make sure they did't get us. We would have been devoured!
Later on the run, a little scraggly haired dog ran with us for about 2 miles. It was awesome; like the dog that impressed everyone at Woodland Alters last fall. We names her German. Than later on the run we met Mr. "Floppy Ears" Beagle and this dog was pretty cool. We stopped and petted him. There was also a Black Lab pup that was out in the yard playing with two younger kids that was very happy and excited to see us. His name was Max.
Those are the reasons why it is so awesome to run away from town. You can't see those things in town. And every person that we saw in the yards waved and smiled and were actually happy to see someone. In town, everyone hates you!
So, we completed our 13 miles, Blakes longest run of the summer, then enjoyed an awesome cookout at Reece's with cornhole and song. Great way to spend a night!

Monday, I got some nice sleep. I was suppose to run with Blake early but he didn't answer his phone because he slept until 12:30! I should have ran without him but I waited. We ran at 2:30. My knee felt great again, I did 12. I am still icing and wrapping a lot to get this thing 100%; give it a few more days and it will be back to normal I think. Later, I went to work and got caught up on some school work. That is one of the major pluses to working in a library!

Today, I work till 5. I have class at 6pm so I am going to have to run at night. Well, class could get out at like 6:20, sometimes we just go in to go in. If we do get out that early, I am going to go out to the trails. Give my knee a test out there since I am only doing 10 today.

Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
Tower voice: Tower's radio clearance, over!
Captain Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
Tower voice: Over.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On the Mend, Hopefully. . .

My knee is really frustrating me now. Friday I decided to take my first day off in over 2 months and a week. I don't like taking days off because I feel like I am cheating myself. But, I did manage to get an hour in on the bike and about 20 minutes on the elliptical. My knee was still hurting so I thought a day off would be fitting here. But, it didn't really help my knee any. Saturday I woke up, iced and went out for a run. I was really excited because my knee felt awesome and I was running with hardly any pain at all! But, with about 3 miles left it was hurting again. That afternoon I went to Columbus to watch Blake run a mile race and Eric played at B-Dubs after. I ran 6 miles while I was there so I ended up getting 18 miles for the day. My knee was hurting bad though. So, the past two days I have been icing non stop. Literally, I have been sitting on my floor, icing for 12 minutes, elevating for 12 minutes, wrapping, then star icing again after 30 minutes. I have probably did that routine for 15 hours the past two days. Hopefully doing this will get me back in running condition. I might take today off, I am not sure yet. This week I have ran 61 miles, 16 short of last week, but with a solid cross training day in.

Me and Blake W. are going out to Reece's house for a cook out here soon. Blake is running out there but I might opt out of running with him. The swelling goes down a good bit when I am icing but after running some it swells up again.

Can't wait to eat some good food in a bit!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In Knee Deep

Well, well. The worse part about running is when you can't do it! Right now, I am having a hard time doing it! My last blog talked about my near fatal crash into a tree. I expected everything to be fine and me to resume running regularly after it. But, the next day, which was yesterday, I had my most painful run of my career. And that is no joke. Every step I would grimace and shots of pain would be sent up to my brain saying, why are you doing this to me! I had planned on doing fifteen miles yesterday, but I only managed to do 10. I bad, painful 10. After further looking, I noticed my knee was way bigger than the other one. Swelling and bruising is not good. I resorted to icing that night, and I thought the swelling would go away and I would be able to do 15 the next day and get back on track with running.

Well, again I underestimated my injury. In the past, I took for granted how good I felt over the summer and just went out and enjoyed a pain free run. Today again, was not a pain free run. I felt just as bad if not worse than yesterday. I did 5 in the morning and couldn't do anymore. So, I went home and iced for the next two hours off and on. I decided to go talk to the trainers and April was very helpful. She said that when there is swelling around an area like the knee with no muscle in between skin and bone, it means that some kind of sac was busted. So, the swelling is a build up of fluid. She said that I can still run (a good thing) but if I decided to I would be in pain (a bad thing). I asked her if there can be any long term injuries from running through it and she said it was not likely so that gave me some needed confidence. She gave me some wrap and said to where it as much as possible even while running so it will reduce swelling. She also said to ice like it was my job so I have did that all day. I am at work now but plan on icing as soon as I get home. So, I got some good news from the trainers and it was much needed. I can also take ibuprofen before running to cut back on the pain. All of that is suppose to make the swelling go away. If it doesn't soon, than the other option would be to drain the liquid. That is something I would like to avoid if at all possible because I hot needles. But, if I need it than bring it on!

Later, I went for another 5 mile run. I felt much better this time and my day wasn't a complete waste. It hurts real bad going downhill though.

I am going to keep confident about all of this and try to enjoy the learning lessons. Lesson learned: take your time over down trees while going fast. Slow down and step over.

Life has been good otherwise. I have enjoyed watching Lance Armstrong do well at the Tour de France. It is live on versus every morning and the telecast is great! Life is still swell through it all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Great Big Crashes Equals Scrapes and Gashes

This post is just going to be a short writing about my experience I had today. My experience was a first and worst for me. After orientation, which was a successful one, I drove out to the forest to run some trails. I felt good about my run and was powering up the hills and taking it easy on the other parts. After I turned around, I found myself running at a very fast pace on the way back, especially on the downhill’s! So, I saw this tree down over the trail and it looked low enough to jump over. I timed it up and took a powerful leap. But, right before I jumped, my foot caught on another piece of the tree and I nosedived into a 3 foot round log with several little branches, branching out from that. It proved to be my worse fall ever on any type of run. I scraped my entire body and put gashes everywhere! My right knee is the worse; it dripped blood the rest of my run. My right thigh looks like I was drug across a cement pad for a mile. My left arm is scraped and there are several other marks all across my back, left leg, and right arm. It was very scary, but I am lucky I was not hurt worse, or broke any bones. After I fell I laid on my back for a minute checking my body and making sure I was good enough to get up. After walking for a couple minutes I decided to start running again and I finished my run ok. My knee bled the rest of the run.



I guess I should have slowed down and took my time over the tree. I will do that in the future. I also broke my watch on the fall. Hopefully I can super glue it back together. All in all, I feel blessed I was not injured badly because with all the branched sticking out it looked like a recipe for disaster.



In the meantime I am walking with a slight limp and riding my bike with a deviant grimace. How painful!



And, I'll be Running Free on some trails soon enough.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Wonders. . . Or Lack Of

Friday morning, a tested day. To test my broken car to drive from Portsmouth to Middleport. A two hour drive with wore out brakes and what I thought were two shredded rotors. Well, it was a successful trip. I made it into town and dropped my car off at the shop and explained everything that was going on. I walked to my dad’s shoe store afterward, drove his car home and later he drove my repaired car home. I was right, my rotors needed replaced and my car is now fixed! This means I can now drive out to the forest once again without the worry of NO brakes! I am so excited.

Saturday morning. This morning was the first morning of my first race in the 2009 summer. I woke up at 6:30 to pick up Aaron Martindale and headed towards Jackson, in a fixed car. We got to the check in at around 8 am, and I warmed up with Linkous, Eli, and some of the Unioto guys. Me and Linkous looked to be the only two contenders since Erock and Galen weren't running. Well, at least not competitively. Erock pushed Chuck, still ran 17 something and Galen paced Adrian, who finished 3rd. Other notable finishers were Amart, a pr at 17:50 and Paxton who barely beat Erock and Charley! But, the real race was between me and Linkous. We opened up a wide gap from the first steps of this race and ran together for the first mile. The mile markers were wrong because we read 5:18. We were going a lot faster than that. After the mile I wanted to go faster and got a good 5 meter gap on Link. My largest lead was probably around 25 meters, but he closed and caught me with about 800 to go. I think the reason he caught me was because of the last turn to put us on the last road. I slowed way down to round it. My 6'3" body has a harder time than most people! So, now we are neck and neck. From there, we started flying and increasing the speed every step till the finish line. I would take a step lead, he would, I would, he would, and so on. And the finish. . . .Linkous by .4 seconds! I will take second place in that effort. The finish was the closest in race history. And I say the race was run the most poorly in history. I mean, there was no start line, the guy just said. "OK, stop, that looks good." Who knows if it was short, long, or what. All I know is that me and Linkous were listed at 15:56, even though we both went 15:40's last year on a short course. The start was farther back this year, possibly too far back! Cooled down and enjoyed Sonics after the race!

Later that night I went out for 7 easy miles on Rocksprings road. I felt good and it was nice to shake out the legs after a fast race. Got 16 miles for the day total. Off to bed.

Sunday morning I skipped church to head to Cincinnati for my first Reds game this year. I should have gone to church. This was the first Sunday our new pastor preached and I haven't heard or met him yet. It is about time we have a hired pastor to lead our church. Maybe he can set us on fire for God again after a year and a half without a full time pastor! I hope!
Got to Cincy and was 3 hours early for the game. Chilled in the team shop and was one of the first ones in the ballpark. I got cheap seats but ended up sitting in a lot of different locations. Before the game I was down near the Cardinals dugout trying to get some autographs and only got Todd Weleymeyers. He is their second best pitcher so I was pumped. After that I walked over to the Reds bullpen area and Ryan Hanigan threw me a ball. That was amazing. My first ball I have got after several dozen games! I later got Daniel Ray Herreras attention and threw him my ball and I got his signature. He is one of my favorite relievers. Reds lost badly, Bronson threw like crap but I got to see Carpenter, one of my favorite MLB players throw a good game for the Cards. Pujols didn't get any homers in the game but he cranked like 15 straight in batting practice. A great experience even if they lost 10-1.

Drove home and got back around 7:30. Ran 5 miles with the girls and that put me at 77 miles for the week. Stretched and called it a night.

Today, Monday, I woke up at 9:30 and ran with BJ. We did the KY loop and near the end of the run it started getting real hot. Good run never the less though. After the run, Brittany L, Sara, and Bri came over and we made some gooey cake. It was kind of random but they were bored and wanted something to do. The cake tasted good and was a fun time. After they left, I took a nice nap. For some reason I was real tired. Made a chicken sandwich, baked beans, a carrot, and garlic bread for dinner and headed to work. That is where I am now. I am going to head straight to bed after this because I have to get up early for orientation! Going to be a fun one!

Running is amazing for me right now. I was pleased with me race and the way I recovered after it. I am also happy that my car is fixed and I will be able to drive to the forest again! I can't wait, this week I will hit 80 miles! Running Free all week long, latah!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One More Minute, Twelve More Cents. . .

Here I sit again, in the calm, quiet, mellow mood of the library, working each minute, trying to earn a dollar. The past few days have been pretty good. Each morning I have awakened to the pounding of Hornick's (ps- where Hornick received his personality and craziness) dads hammer. He is down this week building an extra room in our house so Jeremy can move in this fall. If anyone ever wandered where Justin got his personality, his dad is the man. I have a hard time following their conversations and it is somewhat annoying. He is an immature 50 year old to say the least.

Tuesday, my presentation over Starbucks went. . . decent. I left out one of the most important details. But, I felt relaxed and talked plain in front of the class. After class I ended up not running with Blake, he went out to Hangover with Paul, Hornick, and Erock. I ran by myself. I ran over in Kentucky, across the old bridge and down Rt. 52. It gave me a flat surface to run on. After planning on only running 10 miles I lost track of time and ended up running 14 miles. I felt good and was just Running Free I suppose. I was well hydrated and had a full meal 2.5 hours earlier so it made for a great run, and a fast pace.

Wednesday, I once again woke to the pounding of the hammer, but I was fine with that since I had to work at 8. Work was slow and calm like always, and I was able to read up on the current news in sports and the world. After work, Blake said a few of them were meeting at Erics to run, so I grabbed a quick snack and ran to Erics, ran with BJ, Paul, Kammler, and Eric for 8 miles. Me and BJ added on 2 more, so I got 12 in for the day. That was 38 miles in 3 days, I feel incredible.

Thursday, I woke to the hammer again. This time I laid in bed and didn't get up. I just laid there thinking, about anything. I drifted in and out and finally decided to get up and start my day at 9. Blake and Shane were out running and stopped by the house, so I got dressed real quick and ran the last 4 miles with them. I had just eaten a bowl of hamburger helper 30 minutes prior, so my stomach was full during the run. My legs felt heavy for the first time in a long time, but I enjoyed the feeling and I realized no matter how good of shape I will ever be in, I am still human. Dinner was delicious tonight. My signature dish for the summer so far, baked chicken with franks red hot sauce with spaghetti and marinara sauce on top. The sides included garlic bread, a banana, and 2 glasses of chocolate milk with vitamins. Yummy!

So, all in all, my last two days have been pretty basic. Sleep, eat, run. Just how I like it. I sometimes wish I was a bear; their entire life is focused around finding food, sleeping, and mating. What a life. A life of a Shawnee Bear.