Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Santa, Red River Gorge, White Christmas odds

SANTA!!!! We had the Toys for Tots drive at our TV station over the weekend. I volunteered the early shift and Dawn & the kids stopped by with a bunch of toys to donate. Santa was there and I rode in the back of the car to help hand the toys to the kids to hand out to the volunteers. 
After my shift, I hopped into the car with by my buddy Mike and we headed south to Kentucky. We ran the Red River Gorge 25k trail race on Sunday morning. Really cool carvings in the sandstone from the Red River.
A few stream crossings as well and the cold water felt good on the feet.
All-in-all it was a fantastic trip. We also picked up some bourbon to make the trip complete. 
The house is all decorated for the holidays! I have been working on mastering my smoking techniques over the last few months. Ribs are fun, pork shoulder can feed an army, but brisket is tricky and delicious. 

You may want to give yourself a little extra time for the morning commute due to patchy dense fog, especially to the west. We will have scattered light rain showers today with temperatures going from the lower 40s this morning to the lower 50s this afternoon. More scattered light rain showers tonight and early Wednesday with a low around 48. Wednesday, we remain cloudy with highs around 54. A few breaks in the clouds possible later, but generally staying cloudy.

Thursday we may start with a little sun, but clouds will thicken up as more rain returns later Thursday and Friday. Highs around 50 on Thursday. Friday looks wet with rain a lot of the day and a high of 52.

Most rain looks to leave by the time we get to Saturday, but it will be cooler for the weekend with chilly highs in the mid 40s for Saturday and Sunday. We will be cloudy for the weekend as well with maybe a couple peeks of sunshine. More rain returning later Monday into Tuesday of next week with the chilly temps sticking around.

Looking ahead... The forecast models are trending colder in a few weeks. Our normal odds for a White Christmas in Central Ohio is 1 out of every 4 years, so 25%. With colder air moving in before Christmas I am leaning towards a little better chance than normal, so I would say there is a 40% chance of a White Christmas this year. Stay tuned! Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Taste of winter...

How about our first taste of winter over the weekend?!?! We went back to Western Ohio to visit my parents. I am working this upcoming weekend and Thanksgiving, so we celebrated with some turkey early.  The snow was pretty awesome to get in the mood and there was about 1.5" of snow on the farm.

The snow did make it easier to spot wildlife and we could see the deer running across the fields from time to time. Evan liked keeping an eye on them.

The food was as good as I remembered as a kid. My family is also known for dessert. We had raspberry cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, and cherry pie with a crumble crust. So good!
Since I am working the upcoming weekend, I was off yesterday. I took advantage of the 3 hours when both kids were in school and ran 15 miles around Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. It was a great day to get outside for a run.
Last night we got out the Christmas tree. No ornaments yet, but it helps to get you in the mood for the season ahead. The kids had a lot of fun. They picked Home Alone 2 for the movie while we put up the tree.
Good Tuesday morning! We have a weak disturbance moving into the region today bringing some light showers. Our temperatures are in the mid 30s this morning and that is cold enough for it to fall as light snow and melt as it is hitting the ground. We will warm up to around 40 today and we will see a mix of rain and snow, depending on the temperature at your location and time of the day. The showers will be light and on and off today. This evening the system kicks out with temps dipping to around 33. Wednesday, our winds pick up and we will see a few pockets of light snow showers (maybe warm enough for a little rain mixing in) tomorrow. Best chance for the snow on Wednesday will be more to the north because it will mainly be lake effect showers. Highs around 39 on Wednesday. Thursday we only warm up to 37 with a few flurries. A few flurries on Friday as well with a high of 31 and mostly cloudy skies. So we continue getting colder each of the next 4 days and overnight lows will dip into the 20s later this week and then the teens this weekend. Saturday and Sunday look decent, but cold. Highs will be in the lower 30s for Saturday and Sunday with partly cloudy skies. A little more sun on Monday with a high of 37. Our normal high for today is 52. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Empower Backyard Ultra & prepping for winter

Well, I did a thing... Or attempted to do a thing I ran the Empower Backyard Ultra. The race was on October 22, 2022. The weather was ideal with mostly sunny skies with morning temps in the mid 40s and high temps around 70.  It did get a little warmer than I would like, but can't complain too much about that. The trail was well maintained and started at 8AM. My good buddy, Mike Gampp, was my crew chief and we set up a 10x10 tent which was our mini command center. I would go run 4.16667 mile at the start of the hour then come back to camp. All the runners then take breaks until 9AM then we go run the same loop again, called a "yard." It was at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon, Ohio. The daytime yards were ran on a 2.0888 mile loop. We ran that same loop twice each hour. There were some short hills to hike up, but most of the course was very run-able, but of course you need to maintain a pace so you are not running too fast and wearing yourself out. I ran with my water bottle each yard and filled it with Tailwind. That worked well to stay hydrated and then back at camp I would drink more straight water before the next hour. That seemed to work well for me. I had a plethora of nutrition. I tried pizza, but I had too much and it didn't sit well with my stomach. I kept everything down, but it was a rough yard with lots of questionable moments for my stomach. I did ramen noodles, fruit pies, chips, mashed potatoes, Swedish fish, cheese quesadilla, and trail mix.  The oil from the chips and something with the trail mix did not agree with me too well. I also brought apple sauce, but didn't remember to eat much of that.  At 6PM we switched to a bike path and did 14 yards, 60 miles, running out and back. My legs just went into cruise control on the pavement. I had a couple of low points mentally where I called my wife and she asked if anything was in pain or if I was injured. I said no and and she told me to keep going then. It is crazy how you go through mental highs and lows while doing these long events. So anyway, I made it to sunrise, 24 yards, for 100 miles. Then we went back to the trails in the woods. Most of the trail was pretty run-able, but in the woods there were some rocks and roots. My legs were used to the pavement and not picking up my legs to get over the rocks and roots. So the first wooded loop I tripped a few times and when you do that your body locks up. I really felt it in my hips. I never fell completely to the ground and was able to run through fall, but it was just too hard for me to keep going on.  I did two more trail yards, 108 miles, and tried turning in my timing chip, but the race directors said I had to start my next yard. They likely knew I was in a mental low spot, but the remaining 5 runners looked strong and could keep going on for hours and hours. So I started my 27th yard and I was done, so I ran as much as I could and then walked the rest of the 4.1666 miles and came in 7 minutes after the start of the next hour. So I ran 112.4 miles, but officially finished the event with 108 miles for the 26 yards that I finished before the start of the next hour. I also had a good buddy Carl V come down the first day and the morning of the second day to help crew. If I would have kept going it would be nice to let Mike get some sleep. My family also came down the first day in the afternoon. It was great to see the kids and show them dad doing something challenging. So once I was finished we packed up the camp and were on the road within about 30 minutes. I was extremely tired. I tried sleeping a few times overnight with noise cancelling headphones, but I could not fully fall asleep. I wonder if I had ear plugs instead. Not sure. I also cut out caffeine two weeks before the race, so at night when I needed the boost it hit a little harder during the race. I did listen to an audiobook at night and that helped keep my mind distracted from the miles. We were right next to the starting corral each hour and the music from the DJ/timers was a bit annoying to keep going on all day and part of the night. I am trying to think of what else to add here, but I think that is all I can remember for now. I made a big checklist on Google Sheets of what I needed to buy or bring to camp. I also added bacon for next time. I also added a whiteboard or notepad. That way we could write down what I ate and when to keep track of calories a little better. We could also write down how often we changed shoes or socks. I did take off socks and shoes about every 8 hours, as long as I had enough time. We let my feet dry out and check for blisters.  I brought about 8 pairs of shoes and I would swap if one was not feeling great. I did one road loop in a wide pair, but the pinky toe was rubbing and I had a blister by the time I got back to camp. Popped that so it didn't get any larger, but your feet are so water-logged from sweating that airing them out, even for 5-8 minutes, is super helpful.  One other issue I had, and this will be TMI, but it was a big concern, was really bad chafing in the groin area. I tried switching running underwear, but had to change into tight compression shorts and that helped with everything. Desitin was a GREAT item to have in my gear. Again, I am just unpacking what I remember and getting it all down in text so I can reference this later or possibly help another runner wanting to run a backyard ultra event.  

When I dropped out there were only 5 runners that went out for the 28th yard. The winner won in 39 yards, for 162 miles total. He looked so strong every yard and so fresh until the very end. You never know how long these events will last. You keep going until only one runner is left completing one more yard than the rest.
I took a few days off after the race to get some sleep and hang out with the kids. Weather was great to get out and ride bikes and avoid running for a week or so. 
Evan picked up the flu, but Summer was still healthy for Halloween. So she did a great job getting as much candy as possible for the both of them, since Evan stayed at home. I went as Ted Lasso. Had a lot of fun staying in character the entire time. Rain held off until about 10 minutes after trick or treat ended. 
Saturday I took part in the annual Columbus Westside Running Club event: GRRR 50k. It is a race that is 32 miles long between Wilson Road Park in Columbus and Glade Run Road in Madison County. It is also a Relay so that is how you get GRRR. This was only 2 weeks after my 112 miles in 27 hours, so I opted for the relay this year, instead of the entire 32 miles like last year. I split the event in half with Justin Boggs. There was a huge group out there splitting up the miles as teams. Only two people ran the entire event. 
One of the people running the entire event was my neighbor Jordan. I ran with him the first 16.5 miles then cut him loose for the remaining distance. We did great and his goal was to get his 50k PR and he shattered it by about 90 minutes! He ran the entire event in just over 5 hours! Stellar effort! My hips are still tight from my last race, so I was very happy to be done when I finished. Not sure what else is on the docket for me in the coming months. I have a 150 mile relay event, The Buck Fifty, in April. You can split the 150 miles between 10 or 5 runners. I am excited to run that with a team of 5. 

Weather was so warm yesterday that I had to take advantage of it and hang up the Christmas lights before it got colder. I hate putting up the lights when it is cold.
Mostly sunny for the afternoon and warm up to 59 for the high today. Great weather for election day across Ohio and most of the country. Mostly clear tonight with a low around 40. Mostly sunny for Wednesday and Thursday. We will warm back up into the mid and upper 60s. This will be the end of our above-normal warmth and sunshine. Take advantage of the weather over the next 3 days! Friday we will have rain likely from Nicole. The storm is still a subtropical storm east of the Bahamas and starting its westward journey towards the Bahamas for tonight and then it is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane tomorrow before making landfall for Central Florida along the Atlantic side late tomorrow into early Thursday. Then the storm strength drops back down to a tropical storm and turns north over Northern Florida and heads up the east coast heading into Friday and New England by the weekend. So Central Ohio is likely going to get a push of moisture from Nicole on Friday, especially South/Eastern Ohio. This will be followed by a strong cold front Friday night and that will dramatically drop our temps for the weekend. With rain likely we will only warm up to around 61 for the high. Saturday and Sunday we will be much cooler. High of 42 on Saturday and then 39 on Sunday. We will have a mix of sun & clouds, but with winds out of the northwest there is a chance for some very light lake effect showers, closer to the Great Lakes. Overnight low temps will be in the mid 20s for the weekend and early next week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Friday, October 7, 2022

Final long runs until race day, coldest air of the season arriving.

Good Friday morning! My big race is in two weeks, so I have been trying to squeeze in any miles that I can get the last few weeks. Evan wanted to go to the park, so we ran there... well he rode in the stroller. Then we ran a little on the trails at the park together. I have been also logging some early morning hours before work too. I am running the Empower Backyard Ultra in two weeks. It is a Last Person Standing event. So far there are about 50 people signed up for the event. We start running at 8AM and run 4.16667 miles on trails in the woods. Then we get back to camp after that distance and wait until the next hour to run the loop again. So you get some time to stretch, relax, eat, use the restroom, or sleep. You have to start the next loop at the top of each hour or you are out. You can also drop out if you can't run any farther. At night we will switch to a bike path and run 2.083333 miles out and then run the 2.083333 miles back. So by 8AM the next day, 24 hours later, you will have run exactly 100 miles. And then we switch back to the grassy/dirt trails in the woods. And keep going until no one is left running.  You get to find your limit with how far you can run. I am excited to find my limit. I have been trying to do about 50-55 miles the last several weeks and one more long run tomorrow then cutting back on miles and resting up. 

  
In my last blog entry I mentioned the new mini-balms I made for BalmByBuck.com. Super excited to say that a few have sold already. Nice little add-ons for other orders, for only $1. Hoping that people like some of the other scents for more sales. It is worth a try, but so far it's going pretty well. Just hard to pour the melted balm mixture into the tiny pucks. HAHA!
We have a cold front in northwest Ohio sweeping across the state this morning. A few spotty rain showers are along the front, so you may see some rain this morning, but it is light and very quick, if you do see the rain. We will start the day mostly cloudy with temps in the lower 50s and only warm to the upper 50s this afternoon thanks to a brisk, chilly breeze out of the north. Clouds will break up a little in the afternoon, but still some clouds coming from down from the Great Lakes.

Tonight we will continue clearing and temps will fall into the mid and lower 30s. Frost likely overnight and the entire area is under a Frost Advisory or a Freeze Watch. So cover your tender plants or bring them inside. Mostly sunny for Saturday with highs in the upper 50s. Sunday we start the morning with frost again, and similar temperatures. We warm up more Sunday to the lower 60s with lots of sun.

Monday we warm into the upper 60s with mostly sunny skies and same for Tuesday, but warming into the lower 70s. By Wednesday we will see more clouds and a high of 75. There is a chance for rain later Wednesday and Thursday with another cold front. Then chilly temps return for the end of the week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New shoes at Prairie Oaks, new balms, tracking Hurricane Ian

Good Tuesday morning! I was off work again yesterday because I am working Tuesday through Saturday this week. So went back out to Prairie Oaks Metro Park for another 13 mile run.
I did my first run in a new pair of shoes. I like the wide toebox of the Altra shoes, but their trail shoes don't seem to last as long as other brands. I heard about Topo for a while and they seem to have great reviews so I found a pair of the Ultradventure shoes on sale. I loved them and was able to go at a decent pace with good padding under-foot. They were a little heavier than my Lone Peak shoes, but if they hold up more then I am sold!  
I have been spending a lot of time outside with the kids lately. I took Summer to play disc golf this weekend. We also went to a metro park and last night we went to the park, along with Evan, and played some basketball.
I also have been busy with my balms. I have been asked from time to time about mini sizes. That way the smaller ones can be stashed in a purse, pocket, or just to sample the other scents. So I now sell smaller versions.
Not reinventing the wheel, but just offering smaller versions of the hair/skin balms. For anyone unaware, I use organic and locally sourced products when I can. The beeswax comes from a local beekeeper in Pickaway County. I also have a vegan version that uses candellila wax instead of beeswax. The new small samples are only $1 on BalmByBuck.com
Another refreshing morning with cool temps and we warm into the lower 60s today, so a good day to grab a sweatshirt or light jacket. We have mostly clear skies this morning with temps in the 40s and then more clouds later today with a brisk northwest breeze. Scattered showers likely to pop up again today, especially the farther north you live. Clouds break up a little tonight with a low around 45. Winds will be out of the north tomorrow so the best chance for showers tomorrow will be areas directly south of Lake Erie, so more to the north/east. Highs tomorrow will be around 61 with a mix of sun and clouds. Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny as highs climb to 64 Thursday and 69 on Friday.

Then we get to the weekend forecast and the forecast for Central Ohio depends on the track of Hurricane Ian. Right now, Ian has made landfall in Western Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph sustained winds. Ian will continue north and could become a Cat 4 Hurricane to the west of Key West, but still bringing high winds and torrential rains and surge to the Keys. Ian continues north and starts shifting close to Florida and makes landfall near the middle of the western coast of Florida, near Tampa. High storm surge and heavy rains for a lot of Florida. Then the storm will head north, and the track is a little uncertain if it will stay east of the Appalachian Mountains or drift a little to the west. Ohio may be on the far edge of some of the rain for later Saturday, Sunday, and early Monday. So right now, we are going to go with highs near 70 and a 30%/40% chance of rain for the 3 day stretch. If the storm does shift a little more east then we will likely miss the rain, but it will still be fairly cloudy for the weekend. So stay tuned to the forecast and have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Friday, September 23, 2022

Gearing up for my next race, fall has arrived, Florida hurricane?

We have had some really nice weather lately. A little warm at times, but I was off earlier this week and once I dropped the kids off at school I was able to go run 13 miles out at Prairie Oaks metro park. Beautiful morning because the rain had moved out a couple hours before. Only got caught in one quick shower. My next race is in one month. I am running the Empower Backyard Ultra on October 22. This race is a backyard ultra where runners run 1 "yard", which is 4.1666 miles at the start of each hour. If you finish before the next hour then you rest until the start of the next hour. And you keep going until runners drop out or don't make it back in time. So the runner who keeps going the longest wins the race. I am excited to see how long I can go. I have a good buddy, Mike, helping to crew it and will be manning my tent so when I get back to camp I can rest before heading out for the next "yard". 

We have been monitoring Hurricane Fiona in the Atlantic, but a new tropical depression formed at 5AM today. This will likely become Hurricane Hermine and impact the gulf coast of Florida next week. Stay tuned to the forecast!
It is a chilly morning with temps dipping into the 40s, so grab the jacket! We will start the day with sunny skies and then more afternoon clouds as we warm to 66 for the high. More clouds tonight with a few sprinkles possible. Saturday will be mostly cloudy with a stray shower or two possible. A few peeks of sun possible Saturday with a high around 71. A warm front will lift through Saturday night for a few more showers overnight and then a 40% chance of rain on Sunday with scattered showers/storms and a high around 74. A cold front will pass through heading into early next week and our highs dip back into the 60s. A couple stray showers possible Monday and Tuesday, mainly north, with mostly cloudy skies and highs dipping back into the mid 60s. More sun Wednesday and Thursday, but we remain in the mid 60s for highs and overnight lows in the 40s. So our best chance of rain will be Sunday, but even that will be scattered; not widespread. Sunday is also our “warmest” day, in the mid 70s, but most of the 7-day will be chilly in the morning and cool in the afternoons. Welcome to Fall! Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Checking in...

Hello! It has been a while. A lot going on over the summer. We had the funeral for my grandmother in July and that was a whirlwind of events. Then a couple days later we had scheduled to leave for Michigan for a family vacation. It was a lot of fun spending time with the kids fishing in the mornings.
We had a great time in Southwestern Michigan. We did some dune riding and spent lots of time at the beach in Grand Haven. Such a great place to take a family vacation.


The garden has been doing pretty well! We made some salsa again this year, but the tomatoes have slowed down their turn from green to red. Lots of green tomatoes right now. 
We spent Labor Day in Cleveland to visit Dawn's family. We also went downtown to watch part of the air show. Such a great show and we really enjoyed the Blue Angels flight. 
Fall and early winter is normally one of the busiest times for Balm By Buck. I realized yesterday that I never actually wrote a mission statement. I always knew why I wanted to make the product. Now I use this product for so many things. At first it was just to style my hair each morning. But then I found out that it works great as a barrier for my skin & face on really windy, cold winter days to keep my skin from drying out. It also works great as an anti-chafe barrier to avoid hot spots and blisters when I am doing really long runs. 
We have a beautiful stretch of weather on the way! Today we have a couple pockets of fog, but we will become mostly sunny this afternoon with high temps in the upper 70s. There may be a stray shower, but most of us will remain dry until late Saturday. So a very pleasant afternoon today. Cool and mostly clear tonight with low temps in the upper 50s. Mostly sunny for Thursday and Friday with highs in the lower 80s. Cool mornings then warm afternoons with low humidity. Enjoy the warm sun! Saturday we will see more clouds and high temps around 80. Some isolated showers and storms later in the day possible. More scattered showers and storms on Sunday and Monday with high temps dipping back into the 70s. Some of the rain may linger into Tuesday, but the bulk of the rain will likely be Sunday into Monday. High temps likely staying in the 70s through the end of next week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, July 18, 2022

Niagara Fall, Picnic with the Pops, Hilltop USA 5k, and more

This summer is FLYING by!  A few weeks ago I went to Niagara Falls with my wife's family. We had a lot of fun while we were there a few days.
I got our for some runs around the falls and it is a magical place in the morning because you can find rainbows on the American side during the morning, in the mist.
They I came back and emceed the Hilltop USA 5k. Great run to help local veterans. I managed to get second place in my age group.
The following weekend I ran in the Dash for Donations 5k. Fred Girscht was a transplant recipient 21 years ago and asked for me to run on his Team Superman group. I ran the entire race with him and he got his personal best!
Then I went to Picnic with the Pops with our Good Day Columbus crew. 
Back to running... The station is shooting a new promo video and they needed to get a shot with me running with my run club. So I asked and had about 20 people show up for the shoot.
This weekend started off wet, but I still got out and ran 19 miles with my good buddy Mike. 
Then I went back to my parents because my brother was in town. So all 5 grandkids were at my parent's house for the first time. 
We have a wet start to the week then we heat up. Scattered showers and storms today, mainly early and to the south/east. The rain will continue moving to the south/east through the day with the clouds breaking up a little later into the day with highs in the lower 80s and humidity high. Clouds break up a little overnight and we cool down to around 68 with patchy dense fog forming. Tuesday will start with some fog in the morning then mostly sunny and a high around 88 in the afternoon. Humidity will make it feel like the lower 90s. Humidity will remain high all week and weekend. Wednesday we will heat up to lower 90s and scattered showers and storms possible later in the day and overnight with a cold front. The rain should kick out early Thursday and then a high in the mid 80s with afternoon sun. We heat up again heading into the weekend. Mostly sunny for Friday with highs around 90. The weekend looks hot with highs around 90 with scattered showers and storms. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

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