Monday, June 29, 2020

Run Streak Day 100, fishing, zoo visit, & HOT weather on the way.

Well... I did it.  I have done a run streak before, but I topped it.  A run streak involves running at least 1 mile every single day.  The longest streak before yesterday was 71 days a couple winters ago.  I like to do them when times are tough and motivation is low for running.  Winter is a good time because there is no decision on whether I would run that day.  The decision is made, so get out there and run.  On March 20th this year my motivation was low because my upcoming 50k (31 mile) race was cancelled 18 hours before the start because of COVID-19.  So I decided to start a running streak.  I was not sure how long it was going to last, but I told myself as long as the stay at home order was in effect. 

Most of the miles were solo in my neighborhood with about 150 of them with the kids in the stroller.  I did a few runs with a couple friends as well, like Mike, Carl, and Gary.  I am ending it at 100 though.  My feet could use a bit of a break and time off. During the streak I racked up 680 miles including one 100k day, two 50k runs, and a few full marathons.  

One of those runs was on day 99 with Gary.  He was attempting his first 100 mile run and I joined him as a pacer for the first 26 mile of the day.  I LOVE early morning runs because it gets me home earlier with the kids, so when he asked me if I wanted to start at 5AM I signed up! Anyway... I am wrapping things up with the non-stop running.  I want to do some more summer fun stuff with the kids... 

Like Thursday... I took Summer fishing.  She had been practicing casting lately and she was getting very good at it.  The fish were biting so fast that she was not able to get the line set before the bait was already gone.  I did catch a bluegill to show her how to do it, but we are going to go out again soon so she can catch her first fish. 

We then went on a bike ride and run together.  She rode her bike 1.5 miles!  She was still on training wheels, but said she was ready to take them off.  
We took them off the next day and still not there quite yet, but working on it learning to ride with no training wheels.  Instead the kids enjoyed playing on Evan's push car.
Not for long because we went to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Friday.  We got a 10AM entrance time and the zoo trip went very well.  Most of the zoo was very open and not congested, but a few areas were a little snug, like the gorillas and lions.  We kept our distance and had a great trip.

Summer loved getting photos of the animals. We really miss going to the zoo on a regular basis.
Get ready for a hot, humid week ahead with generally dry weather. Today we have a stationary front right across Central Ohio and that front is slowly going to shift to the south and west. So we have had a few spotty showers along that front this morning and the rain is moving to the south. The front will park from Indianapolis down to Cincinnati and across Kentucky for the coming days. Some rain will fire up near that front and to the south of it. So any rain for Ohio will mainly be to the south and west for the coming day and leaving Central Ohio generally dry. It will also allow for more sun for Central Ohio with some afternoon clouds as we warm up into the upper 80s for the start of the week and then lower 90s for later this week. Same goes for the upcoming holiday weekend with the heat and humidity remaining and we may see a few spotty showers or storms develop, but generally staying dry next weekend as well with no major player to trigger any widespread rain. You will likely need to water the plants unless you are lucky enough to get some rain this week. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dam fun with the kids, Shawnee State Forest, & Father's Day

Hello! Hope you all are staying well and healthy. Been a busy week. I had to drop off a bulk order delivery of Balm By Buck last week so I took the kids to the Hoover Reservoir on the way home.  We ran across the dam.  I made some dam jokes, but they didn't get any of my dam jokes.  Lots of dam people out and some of the dam steps were even closed.  They thought it was cool to see all the dam water and even a couple dam fishermen.
I did a post about the 63 mile day where I ran the Columbus Running Company's Find Your Limit Virtual Mile Challenge.  I had to run one mile every 15 minutes from 6AM until 9PM to see who could last the entire time.  6 of us made it to the end without dropping out and they sent a thank you card so I made that into a finishers award with my other race medals.  It is interesting that some of the most challenging races and events that I have done have the smallest awards. I wanted something to hang up for the memories of the event.
I am back to work now, but the backyard is looking 100% with the flowers coming into full bloom.   Kinda wish I was still doing augmented reality forecasts from the backyard.
I took the kids running last week on Thursday and I had to stop to get a photo of the distance storms.  The tops of the storms were getting caught in strong winds in the upper part of the atmosphere and fanning out.  Really cool.
I also had a "run" Friday morning with Mugsy.  Our station is a sponsor for Lifeline of Ohio's Dash for Donation 5k virtual run. So I got together with Mugsy for a fun promo shoot. Then I went home and had lunch with the family before my wife and kids went up to Cleveland for the night because Dawn was getting together with one of her best friends.  I stayed home, packed up my running gear, and went to bed early for a big Saturday run.
My friend, Mike, picked me up at 4:30AM and we went down to Shawnee State Forest.  Here is the sunrise from Picnic Point.  If you look carefully at the bottom, the valley was filled with fog and we were up above the clouds and fog to see the sun.  We stopped here then went to the trail head for the start of our run.
Here is the start of the backpack trail.  I heard good things about this park, but I REALLY fell in love with this state park and it is likely my new favorite.  It is one of the most remote parks in the state, but they offer some things that you can't find anywhere else. Time to hit the trails! We were tackling the south loop and wilderness trail.
No fog over the lake.  One last stop at a "restroom" because we were not going to find any more while out in the woods. 
Lots of very scenic areas along the way.  This is one of the stream crossings.  The block stones at the bottom were blasted out of the hills decades ago and used as erosion mitigation now. Some of those stones were used to build skyscrapers in Cincinnati. Lots of hills were left though for some ups and downs on the trails.  Some of the climbs were very steep, more than a 20% grade.
Alright, this is something that won me over with Shawnee.  Almost all of their campsites have cisterns.  So they truck in city water and fill up these reservoirs that are gravity fed to these spigots.  So you had a fresh supply of clean water for drinking. 

One spot that did not have a cistern was campsite 6.  It is one of the most remote campsites in the state.  No cistern water, just a beautiful hemlock grove next to a stream that flows nearly all year long.  We didn't stay here long, but had one more ridge to cross then down to the next stream. We cut off of the backpack trail and went out on the wilderness trail.  The new trail does not allow motorized vehicles or any mechanical devices to clear the trail.  So the woods, as nature intended, with only hand tools allowed to be used to clear any downed trees. 
We stopped at the next stream to filter some of the stream water for our packs.  At this point we were running for about 4 hours.  It was nice to get a 10-15 minute break.  Then off into the wilderness with a fresh supply of clean water.
We stayed on the wilderness trail for about 5 miles before it connected with the Buckeye Trail and then the trails headed back to the main backpacking trail.
This spot is the most remote section of trail or wilderness you can find in Ohio.  Miles away from civilization.  And with it being a protected wilderness area there are no vehicles allowed in these locations.  It made us wonder how you would get rescued if there was an emergency.  Cell signal on the entire south route is basically nothing, so you couldn't necessarily call if you needed help anyway.  This is one reason why going as a team was smart on these remote trails.
Most of the time we were running in a green tunnel, but we occasionally would come to a clearing on the ridges to get a view of the other ridges in the distance.  I did get a little dehydrated for 90 minutes on the run.  I was not taking in enough water or Tailwind during the later part of the wilderness trail.  So from the cistern on the wilderness trail until campsite 7 I had high heartrate and some discomfort.  The downside is that there are some big climbs from the valleys to the ridges and that would spike my heartrate.  I had to add some pauses and played catch-up with hydration. It didn't help that temps were approaching 90 and we were exposed to the sun part of the time. I eventually got more fluids in and back to normal.  Which was nice because, from campsite 7 to the end, the trail was a nice, generally downhill, rolling single track back to the finish.  We ended up with just over 32 miles and and 6,000+ feet of climbing in about 9 hours. Part of that was bushwhacking and going around/over/under downed trees. Fun day!  I got home about 30 minutes after my family returned too, so timing was perfect for a Saturday long run in the woods. I wore compression shorts to avoid chafing, but I do have a little on my thighs.  Run 30+ miles and that happens. Didn't notice it while I was running, otherwise I would have used some Balm By Buck during the run.
The kids had a blast hanging out with grammy and papa. I handled story-time Saturday night and mom handled brushing the teeth.  Love this photo with Dawn and the kids. She is such an amazing mom to the kids. 
Yesterday was Father's Day and we had a great day hanging around the house. Summer painted the banner for me. I got some new running shoes, an awesome coffee mug, and a watering can for the garden because my old one dried out and cracked. 
We spent the day in the backyard.  We filled up the kid's pool and I ran 1.5 miles of loops in the backyard to try and loosen up a little then jumped into the pool.  Lots of splashing and fun before family nap time.  Then back outside to grill out some burgers. Then we took buckets and used the pool water on the garden and flowers.  The ground has some pretty large cracks from the lack of recent rain.  Fun day all around spending time with the family and staying cool since we hit 93°F yesterday.
Grab that rain gear for this morning! We have some showers moving through and even a few rumbles of thunder with some pockets of downpours. So a wet start to the morning for most of Central Ohio then the rain breaks up later this morning. That will leave us with a partly cloudy, warm, and humid afternoon with just a slight chance for rain during the second half of the day with highs in the mid 80s. Tonight more rain is expected to move into the area and we will see a very similar day on Tuesday as Monday. Main chance for the scattered rain on Tuesday will be the morning then a lower chance for spotty rain later in the day. A cold front will kick through later Tuesday and drop our humidity and temps for the middle of the week. We could still see a couple spotty showers or storms on Wednesday and Thursday, but those will mainly be the afternoon isolated pop-up variety with highs around 80. Humidity starts climbing again on Friday with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 80s. Back to upper 80s, higher humidity, and scattered pop-up rain for the weekend. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, June 15, 2020

Backyard garden update

GOOOOOD morning!  I have been spending a LOT of time in the backyard with the family lately.  Summer and I even camped out.  Fun times.  We even went out and looked at the stars and she said she has never looked at the stars before.  
The garden is doing pretty well.  The first photo is the onion, lettuce, and pea bed.  I got new topsoil and compost, but the onions do not seem to like the soil as much a my old soil.  Not sure why.  Peas are doing great and we just walk out there and pick them and eat the while we are running around the backyard.

Strawberry bed is doing well.  I have already pinned down 11 new runners and look forward to filling in the bare spots better this year.  I was not great at pinning them down the past few years so I am going to be better this year.  I took old hangers and bent them into U pins and tied on some yard to see it and pull it later this year when the roots are set.  Plus then I can cut the daughter plant off of the mother plant.  I also have a yellow cherry tomato plant in the corner because it was so bare.  Hopefully next year it is all strawberries.  The berries have been decent this year, but not enough for my liking, considering it is a full bed and only for berries.
Tomatoes and peppers are doing well.  Tomatoes took off quick with the heat the past few weeks.  Peppers take a little longer.  Both are full of blooms.  The front of the peppers has some cilantro planted, but not sprouted yet.  
Behind the back fence is the vine plants. The biggest plants are the cucumbers.  The melons are smaller and need more heat to get going.  I had a deer or some critter eat the plant all the way to the ground and killing a few plants.  I had to plant new ones and I am using milk jugs with the bottom and top cut off to allow the plants to get bigger.  Once they get large enough, past the succulent size, then they should be fine.  Excited to see how these do this year.  I also used some of the new soil back here because the soil was not great last year. 
Still been running lately.  I went for a run/hike last Thursday and I was not used to hiking in a certain pair of running shoes and my neuroma started to flare up then. I flared up more this weekend and was very painful on Saturday.  Sunday I wore more cushioned shoes and it didn't flare up until later into the run. But we had fun and did 5 miles in the stroller yesterday with sandwiches and snacks.  
We are still watching a big area of low pressure spinning to our southeast and that will trigger more isolated light rain showers today. It also kept our temperatures very comfortable over the weekend and we will slowly start warming up this week. So today, mostly to partly cloudy with a few spotty showers and highs in the upper 70s. More showers possible to the south and east today. Tonight the low pressure moves a little farther away so we start warming up and drying out more for the middle of the week. Overnight temps this week will be around 60 for the start of the week and warm to around 70 by the end of the week. Tuesday should be dry with sun & a few clouds and highs near 80. We slowly warm each day and we are back into the upper 80s for high temps by the end of the week with sun & a few clouds most of the week. By Friday we could see a few pop-up showers, 20% chance. A slightly better chance for more showers popping up for the weekend, 30% chance, with highs near 90 and humidity climbing. Fitting since Summer officially arrives Saturday. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Did something crazy... I ran my first 100k(62.2 miles)!

So here is the finisher photo!  Dawn and the kids made me a finish line for what was a crazy Saturday.  Lots of photos on the recap.  I want to write down the memories so when(if) I ever sign up for something like this again then I want to go back and reference this... 
So Saturday started off beautiful.  I signed up for Columbus Running Company's race called Find Your Limit Virtual Mile Challenge. The concept is simple: run one mile every 15 minutes from sunup to sundown, 6AM to 9PM.  Keep running as long as someone else is still running.  If you are the last runner then you win.  If multiple runners are left after the 9PM 1 mile run then it comes down to fastest cumulative time.
Everyone logged into a Zoom meeting and you had to start running within 60 seconds of the quarter hour.  This was 8 minutes and 44 minutes before the start at 6AM. So 6AM hit and I was out the door along with 64 other runners.  Many of them were running from their own homes or nearby park.
This was my organized aid station with extra clothes, shoes, snacks and drinks.  I had a cooler as well.  I ended up drinking 4-5 gallons of water/electrolyte mix during the day. This table got a lot messier through the day. Anyway...
I stayed in the neighborhood and even took the kids along with me for part of the run in the stroller. I did about 6 loops with the double stroller with both kids then about 3 or 4 loops with the single stroller and Summer.
It was hot so I knew I was going to need salt.  Dawn picked up breakfast and I asked for some extra bacon for the sodium.
Loved the pancakes.  Easy to grab a bite or two between the loops.  I was running the first 30 miles around 8-9 minute pace so I had about 6 minutes of down time to hydrate and cool off.
Popsicle was a nice treat from the heat.
I also elevated my feet between loops to minimize swelling of my feet.
This was a GREAT trick someone shared with me a while ago.  Take a buff and put ice in it and wear it around your head or neck. (Bounces less on your head) It cools your head and the cool water drips down your face/body.
My good friend Carl came over to run several loops with me and then he rode on my bike next to me part of the time. He is the president for the Columbus Westside Running Club and a certified running coach.  So to have him help help me was a blessing. Not only just chatting to keep me entertained, but he insisted I rested between the miles and he would grab ice and water from inside so I focused on resting. 
Softer foods worked best like oatmeal cream pies and avocados.
Staying cool with wet towels on my head during the hottest part of the day(we hit 87 during the race without even factoring in the humidity)
I also got creative during mile 59 and wrote out script Ohio in the nearby church parking lot.  If you see at the bottom of Ohio there is a row of trees.  Not too long, but I utilized those trees for shade during the hottest part of the day by running back and forth several times per mile to stay in the shade.  The sun was really wearing down on a lot of runners.  They were dropping out fast during the heat.
Again... can't thank this guy enough. The longest distance I have ever run before was 32 miles, so everything past that was uncharted territory.  About one runner would drop out every mile. Once I hit mile 50 I knew my only goal was get to 61 miles.  Carl encouraged me to include some walking so I can stay fresh.  It really helped. I feel about 95% recovered today.
In the end... 6 of us reached the mile 61 finish.  Here are all 6 of us finishers.  My time put me in 5th place for the total event.  Such a fun race, but I was not done.  61 miles is 61 miles.  I wanted to round that up to 100 kilometers so I needed 1.2 miles to get me to 62.2 miles.  
So after we got the finishers photo I went for a walk around the neighborhood with the family to get my over the hump for my first 100k finish!
Around mile 55 I came up with an idea to make a board to show all the miles ran to show myself how far I have come and how I could keep pushing on... It helped a lot.  
Burned almost 11,000 calories in one day.  Been enjoying lots of guilt-less food the past couple days. I learned a lot and still processing what went well and what I can do next time to do better.  If there is a next time.  Thanks for checking this out and thanks for Columbus Running Company to put on the event.  Big congrats to everyone who ran it on Saturday.  Weather was hot.  Speaking of weather...
Mother nature is about to crank up the heat more! Today we will start mild with low humidity with mostly clear skies. A warm front will lift through today and we will see our humidity jump up fast and temps climbing into the lower 90s. The heat and humidity will make it feel like the mid 90s by the afternoon with partly to mostly cloudy skies. There is about a 30% chance of rain today with some isolated showers and storms.
The Western half of Ohio is in the Marginal Risk for a few storms to become severe with gusty winds as the main threat and an isolated tornado possible. Staying warm and muggy tonight with overnight low temps in the mid 70s. We warm into the upper 80s on Wednesday with very stick air. Most of the day will be dry with a few isolated storms possible midday and afternoon, but a line of strong to severe storms likely in the evening. The risk of severe weather goes up for Wednesday into the Slight Risk category, from the Storm Prediction Center, with the same threats. These evening storms will be with a cold front and then our humidity will drop more heading into Thursday and the rest of the 7-day forecast.
Highs around 80 on Thursday with partly cloudy skies. A couple models are trying to wring out a spotty light rain shower Friday into Saturday, but most of us will likely stay dry as temps dip into the 70s for highs this weekend. Right now let's keep sunshine the main player for Sunday into Monday next week with the mild temps. There may be a storm system off the lower East Coast that may bring some clouds to our area. We will keep an eye on that, but be sure to stay weather aware the next couple days and try to avoid being in the heat too long. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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