Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tar Hollow fun, turning cooler

I spent Saturday at Tar Hollow with my buddy Mike.  We both will be busy this coming weekend so we logged some extra miles and we actually helped with a wedding proposal as well.  Fun day at the park. 
We had some spotty light showers moving into Ohio from Indiana this morning. Most of the showers will be along I-70 and to the south. By the afternoon we will have a mix of sun & clouds with highs in the mid 60s. Rain later to the far south. Today is the warmest day on the 7-day. Tomorrow will be noticeably cooler.
Tomorrow we will be mostly cloudy, and an area of low pressure will be spinning just north of Lake Erie and swinging down some spotty showers, mainly to the north and northeast for Ohio tomorrow. We start the morning dry Thursday with temps in the upper 30s and then warming to around 53 in the afternoon. Dry Friday with highs in the upper 50s and partly cloudy skies. More clouds Saturday and models hinting at some spotty light showers later Saturday with highs in the upper 50s. We keep the chance for some spotty showers from time to time Sunday and early next week as temps slowly warm back into the lower 60s. A stronger cold front midweek will leave us even cooler later next week. Have a good one!
Andrew Buck Michael

Friday, April 2, 2021

Recovery mow, additional thoughts on the 100 mile run

Good Friday morning everyone!  I am NOT enjoying this cold snap.  I did, though, mow on Tuesday before the cooler air kicked back in.  No running this week, but I considered the mow a good way to loosen up a little bit and I feel like I am 95% recovered, but man, that 5% is painful... (toe blisters)

In my last blog, I talked about my recent run: Vernal Equinox 24 Hour Trail Race. I realized there were a couple things I didn't touch on in that blog, so I wanted to include those. Most of it is nitty-gritty stuff and logistics, but important things I left out. For anyone who didn't read that blog, I ran a 24 hour race near Batavia at a horse farm.  The event also had a 12 and 8 hour option.

This is a map of the route I ran(clockwise). The dots in the middle are the start/finish. It was measured to be exactly 2 miles. I opted to request a clean horse stall to put my gear/food/etc. My stall was right next to the start/finish and only had to walk an extra 15 feet to get to it. So that is why that area looks a little "busy" from the 50 loops I ran, for the 100 miles. We left the start and turned north and went pass the 4 barns to the north. and it was all on gravel then around the pond it was a short area through some taller grass. Then the field was packed (a little squishy) and then we entered the woods. The woods was wide enough for a tractor to drive back there. There were three hills and the first two were only about 10-15 feet and the final one was about 20-30 feet. So all things considered, this was a very flat course. Once we came out of the woods on the far south section then we ran along the edge of the field shortly then one more short section in the woods. Then we turned back south and shot across the field. We then went into another section of grass near another pond and turned north for more gravel before reaching the finish of that loop.  I tried mixing up music and podcasts for distraction, but I also tried to stay alert to memorize hazards like roots so once it got dark for the night loops I would know where to be cautious. 

I was asked a question about what I ate during the event. Most of the day I was running with a running vest and my bladder on my back was Tailwind and in my front smaller flask I had water because sometimes just water tastes so good. For anyone unfamiliar with Tailwind, it is a powder that you mix with water that uses starches for energy. So kinda like Gatorade, but not all the sugar. For eating while I was running I packed a ziplock bag with Swedish fish for trail snacking. Then back at the stall I had a third of a PB&J during the breaks I planned every 10 miles. I eventually couldn't stomach those and gave up on the final one. I occasionally would snag oatmeal cream pies, Pringles, Oreos, which I also brought. At the aid station I had quesadilla, popsicles, and potato soup. I also drank almost a full 2 liter of Dr Pepper. A well balanced diet. Oh and a few energy drinks for the night. I also brought toothbrush and toothpaste. So nice brushing my teeth late in the race. Basically I just kept fueling with sugar so I never hit a low point or bonked. I think I did a pretty good job and if I did start feeling "down" then some sugar seemed to help bounce back. I did grab some fruit from the aid station as well. I think I had 2 bananas, grapes, and some orange slices. If my stomach didn't agree with something then I popped a ginger candy and it settled my stomach to keep going.

I tried approaching the day very strategically. Run 5 loops and get to 10 miles. Take a break. Reset. Then go back out and do another 5 loops. It helped break up the event into manageable segments.

I was also asked what I would change and what did I learn. This one is a little easier now that I am a few more days recovered and had more time to reflect. I don't have a whole lot that I would change, but a few things probably would have helped me log a few more loops in the time given. First off... I would have had some crew there to help. I had a couple good running friends who expressed interest, but scheduling didn't work out. I had pretty much everything at the ready, but having someone to help with something would have been nice. I just would have felt guilty for them to be "waiting around" most of the day. That person could also have been a pacer on and off at night, once they were allowed, after 8PM. Having someone else to run with each loop and convince me to run instead of power walk would have kept my splits a little lower for the end. I just feel guilty asking someone to give up their day and night for that. Now, on the inverse, I would love to help some of my friends with something like this and I am excited for the opportunity to pace them.

As far as food goes. The fruit was great. I wish I would have brought some of my own. Especially some watermelon. Lots of water with it and very refreshing. Perhaps some instant mashed potatoes as well. The potato soup was really good. Something "wet" because the PB&J dried out my mouth and I would start drinking a lot of extra water or Tailwind.

As far as "down time" at the stall. I tried keeping the FaceTiming brief so I could reset my gear and keep going with a small break. I didn't want to get too comfortable and start getting stiff. I also know I played it more cautious than others by waiting out the lightning. In a race against the clock that meant that others got in a couple more loops while I was playing it safe.

I do think I need to figure out what is going on with my toe blisters. This is the only residual issue I have. My muscles soreness was gone after a couple days, but the toe issues linger... I have the blisters under my toenails on my outside pinkie toes and also my two pointer toes (the one next to the big toe). They are all under the toenail. I have lanced them all and drained most of the fluid, but man they are painful. It is getting better, but any rubbing right now aggravates it. I did a lot of reading this week on what causes it. Your foot is moving forward and if your toenail comes in contact with the shoe then it is pushing back on the toenail and the nail bed is between the bone and the top layer of skin. So that nailbed is being sheared and forced in an opposite direction of the foot moving forward so the blister forms for more cushion to "help". The problem is that the pressure under the toenail is painful. My pointer toes often blister on long races because the are the longest toe for me and they take the majority of the force of each toe-off or landing. Plus they sometimes rub on the upper mesh of the toebox. And with 100 miles adding up to about 170,000 steps, there is a lot of potential rubbing. I also have some thick nails so I think I need to file those down. They are already trimmed as much as possible. Possibly TMI, but for anyone wanting to do something similar this is good information to file away. I think my feet were good most of the day and 80 miles before the rain moved in, but then I felt the blisters more for the last 20 miles in all the mud and water. I also used Trail Toes on my feet before I started running, in the morning, and did not change socks all 100 miles. I did switch from my Altra Lone Peak to Altra Olympus shoes around mile 55 and the extra cushion was super nice. Perhaps I may need to lockdown my foot tighter to prevent any heel slipping, but I felt like my foot was locked down pretty good on the top of the foot and around the ankle. If anyone has any thoughts, I am all ears.

So overall, a few small adjustments if I had to do it again, but nothing major. I guess the biggest change is that I would have someone there to drive me home. Driving home with no sleep was potentially the biggest issue. I napped and drove home as safe as possible, but drowsy sleeping is dangerous. So yea. A few people asked some additional questions, so I figured I would get them all down in writing because I know, for me, I will probably come back and look at this again if I try to do another big adventure like this again.
Our record low today is 20, set in 1907, and our current temp, at 7AM, is 21. So a cold morning, but lots of sun today and that will warm us up into the mid 40s for the afternoon with a light breeze out of the northwest. The winds calm down tonight and switch to the south with mostly clear skies. Morning temps for Saturday in the upper 20s, so another cold, frosty morning. A mix of sun & clouds for Saturday and we warm to the upper 50s. Sunday will be similar with warmer temps and we start in the lower 40s and warm to the mid 60s. More clouds Monday and we warm to around 70 for the high. Slight chance for rain sneaking into the region later on Tuesday then more scattered rain Wednesday and Thursday with highs around 70. So warmer and wetter by the middle of next week, but for now it will be chilly, bright, and dry. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Vernal Equinox 24 Hour Trail Race, my first 100 mile run

Good morning!  I am back to work today and still recovering, but I had a few people ask for a race report, so I am going to do my best to do that and thank the numerous people who helped me reach my A++ goal of 100 miles in less than 24 hours.
The course was a 2 mile loop at a horse farm in Batavia, just east of Cincinnati. The race was put on by Empower Ultras at Majestic Farms. I wanted to break the race up into smaller segments and decided to run 5 loops, 10 miles, then take a break to get some food, assess my gear, and FaceTime with my wife and kids when they were available.  I also owe a lot of credit to my buddy Mike Gampp.  He has bestowed a lot of knowledge to me and we recently ran 31 miles at Tar Hollow and each loop is about 9 miles.  Breaking up long runs into smaller segments makes it seem more manageable and you can stay on top of nutrition and self-care. We each got a clean horse stall, if we requested one, to put our food, extra clothes, shoes, etc.  There was one other Columbus runner doing the 24 hour event, Zach Franklin.  I reached out to him and we decided to share a stall. 

So, 7AM hit and we were off.  The day was supposed to be warm and mostly sunny then storms moving in after midnight.  So we took off faster than we should have, but it was to log as many miles as possible before the rain arrived.
My A goal was 80 miles.
My A+ goal was 90 miles.
My A++ goal was 100 miles.
There was a 12 hour and 8 hour event that started out at 8AM, so I wanted to log 3 loops before they started so I was ahead of the pack.  And the pack was never really an issue because everyone spread out so much on the 2 miles of trail.  It was part gravel, grass, farm field, and trail with some roots to jump over.
It was pretty cool to see the horses being taken in and out of the barns throughout the day.  I promised to snap some photos for my daughter.
Since I did not have any crew there, I tried FaceTiming with my wife and kids during the breaks.  I was able to check in and she was able to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard.  It was also great motivation to see them.  I would crank out 5 loops then check in. I talked a little about that, this morning on Good Day Columbus.  I wasn't really planning on talking much about the race on-air, but my co-workers were not about to let me skip through today like nothing happened. 
So checking in with them was a huge boost.  Especially when I knew nap time was coming up then I would push hard to crank out the next few miles go get back to the horse stall for a PB&J and FaceTime.  I didn't want to keep the kids up any later than they needed to be, before their naps.
It did end up getting a little hot in the afternoon, but I tried to stay up on hydrating and I did some running and speed walking on and off.  If you can keep the walking to about 15 minute pace then you are still moving forward at a quick pace and using different muscles. 
I spent the afternoon trying to memorize each root in the woods that could trip me at night.  I wore a headlamp at night, but if I knew a root was coming up then I would slow down to make sure I didn't trip.
This photo was taken by Patience and Thyme Photography.
A viewer reached out about a month ago asking what I was training for and I told her.  She then signed up for the 12 hour event to use as a training run to go for her first 100k (62 miles).  So I joined her for a few miles to chat and keep pushing each-other on the trail. 

One other person I need to give a shout-out is to a good buddy, Tony Huffman.  He is a paramedic and I was having some pain in my hip down to my knee and it made climbing the hills a challenge.  I asked him to call me and we talked through the pain and we both agreed it was an IT band issue.  He gave me a stretch to loosen up that area and that would keep me fresh for a few miles then I would stretch again.
Once the sun set and it cooled off I took off and was running stronger than ever between miles 60 and 80. I really think the midday power walking helped stay fresh. The full moon was an added bonus!
Then the rain hit. 
 The trails turned into several inches of water and mud for my final 20 miles.  It took the remaining 5 hours to crank out those 20 miles.  
Honestly, the mental hurdle for the last 10 miles was rough.  80 to 90 miles was starting to get muddy then more rain hit. I was playing it safe with the lightning and waiting out the heavier cells of rain. I was worn out and my stall-mate, Zach Franklin, was about to log his 100th mile.  So he encouraged me join him for one more loop to get me to 92.  After that loop we got separated and I thought he started the next loop so I went back out.  So a huge thanks to him for getting me to keep going while there was still time on the clock. He ended up going for 110 miles!
So yea... I finished my 100th mile at 23 hours and 22 minutes and my bib was 2223.  Kinda cool play on numbers.  I also had a little time to read through some of the inspiring comments on social media as well, so thanks to everyone who sent those.  I could have tried for one more loop to get to 102 miles, but I don't think I would have had enough time to get back before the 24 hours were up. 

The aid station and volunteers were amazing.  They did some trail work during the day to add some sawdust to the muddy sections to make it a little drier for running.  With 119 runners doing loop after loop there was about 4000 passes on each section of trail. The aid station made some amazing quesadillas and potato soup.  Plus the popsicles in the afternoon were amazing! 

So why did I do it?   I wanted to learn more about running longer distances and I did learn a lot.  I listen to a lot of running podcasts and try soaking in information.  Like using ginger hard candies to settle a stomach.  Worked great after my stomach said no more PB&J sandwiches.  I also detoxed from coffee and caffeine the weeks leading up to this.  So the caffeine helped me stay somewhat alert at night.  I also ran with my running vest for the first 50 miles and Lone Peak running shoes.  Then I swapped into Olympus with more cushion and a handheld bottle so it was lighter.  The swap-out helped so much to stay fresh. Also I finished off my night running with the headlamp and handheld flashlight.  It started to get foggy in the woods so a light shining under the fog was super helpful. I was lucky to have the opportunity to do this and able to adjust every 2 miles if I needed to do so. I learned a lot.  The only chafing or blistering issues were when the rain hit and a few of my toes have blisters because they were sloshing around in the shoes. But some of you know I make the balm and I use that to style my hair each morning, but it also worked GREAT as a lube for areas that rubbed or would chafe.  I applied it liberally and had zero chafing issues for the 100 miles.  Just wet soggy feet issues once the rain hit.   

I am still sore, but less sore than when I finished running my first road marathon.  Roads beat you up and trails are softer and more scenic anyway.  What's next?  Rest and not sure.  I love races and having the support of the volunteers because they are safety nets.  But I also love being in the woods on adventures.  Time will tell.  Now... off to play outside in the warm temps and sunshine with the kids.  As always, I leave you with my forecast write-up, which can always be found on each morning. 
Good Tuesday morning! Today we will start out with cool temps and sunshine then we warm up to around 70 thanks to a brisk southwest wind as more clouds move into Central Ohio. Tonight we will see scattered showers and rain with low temps in the mid 40s. The rain will last until early tomorrow then slowly moving east and the second half of the day has a lower chance of rain and cool with the brisk winds switching to the northwest and highs in the lower 50s. A few spotty showers are possible later in the day, but the bulk of the rain will be tonight into early Wednesday. Winds over the next few days will be 15-25 mph with some gusts around 30-35 mph possible. Colder air continues to move in Wednesday night as our overnight low temps dip into the 20s. With the northwest winds we could see some flurries from the Great Lakes. So for Ohio the best chance of some lake effect flurries, on the tail end of this system, would mainly be North/East Ohio for Lake Erie, but even some moisture from Lake Michigan could sneak down for a few flurries late Wednesday into early Thursday to the north & west. Mix of sun & clouds Thursday with high of 37 and a brisk breeze. Friday we start out in the mid 20s again, so tend to sensitive plants, and with mostly sunny skies we warm into the mid 40s. Highs in the 60s this weekend with a mix of sun & clouds. More clouds Monday and a high of 70 then some rain returning for the middle of next week. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

UPDATE: I did have a few more thoughts on the race after some people asked a couple questions.  I have a follow-up post HERE.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Have you seen the 7-day?!?! Snow on the way???


It has been so nice to get outside with the kids recently.  The snow is finally melting, but we have been trying to keep the kids entertained.  The Skittles experiment was a fun one.  You put Skittles on to a plate then pour warm water on the plate.  We arranged the Skittles in a couple different arrangements to make different designed.  Great way to use Halloween candy that we still have around.
We also went to the zoo with the milder temps.  Lots of sun and lots of other parents there.  I am sure everyone has had cabin fever and excited to get back outside.
My weekend run was solo and I ran 23 miles at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.  And boy was it an interesting run.
My goal was to run every single trail at the park, but one of the final trails was closed for cross-country skiing.  I was a little bummed to have to cut the run shorter than planned. Honestly, the snow was melting and I highly doubt anyone was going to try skiing on the slush, but knew better than to go against the posted signs and didn't want any issued with the rangers.  I have a big race coming up at the end of March and was happy to log the 23 miles that I did.
Check out this little guy I found on the trails!  I actually spotted another one as well and the Metro Parks commented back to a post thanking me for documenting it because they are monitoring the salamanders for their spring migration.
The gravel was super soft and was almost like sand because it was so set from the overnight rain. Which made for a nice and soft surface to run on.  I was very happy to have the soft surface because I had run 60 miles last week and a lot of that on the pavement.  I specifically wanted to run at this park because about 10 miles of the run would be on the gravel... As for the other parts of the trail:
The wetlands were indeed wet.
And the wooded trails still had several inches of snow on the ground. So quiet a variety of conditions.  Just what I wanted. 
And how about this forecast!!! Are you kidding me?! We will continue our sunny streak today and looking at a completely dry 7-day forecast with no accumulating snow or rain on the way! Quite a change compared to February. Today will be sunny with morning temps in the lower 20s and highs in the lower 40s. So frost likely this morning and also for the coming mornings as we dip below freezing. Tomorrow we start with sun and more clouds later in the day with highs in the mid 50s. It will be our warmest day for the workweek with a light breeze out of the west tomorrow as well. A few clouds early Thursday with a cold front moving through and more sun in the afternoon with highs back in the mid 40s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the lower 40s. Then we start warming more for the weekend with mid 40s on Saturday and then 50 on Sunday. Partly cloudy Saturday and then mostly sunny on Sunday. We warm more on Monday with highs in the upper 50s and mostly sunny skies. Our next decent chance of rain returns next Tuesday. So by the end of the week our grass will likely start greening up a little.
So there is no snow on the way in the near-term, but that may be changing by later this month. There are indications of colder air to move in later this month.  And statistically-speaking, we will see snow, based on our past winters.  We have never had a March with zero snow, since records were kept, going back to 1885.  The least snow was at least a trace of snow, which happened 11 different years.  The most snow for the month was 25.3" in 1906, but you very well may remember the biggest snow event we had in March of 2008.  We picked up 20.5" of snow over a 2 day period.  The rest of that month, March 2008, only brought 1.3" of snow for a total of 21.8".  That event was also the biggest snowfall event for any time period for Columbus.  So... no snow on the horizon for now, but it may be hiding just over the horizon. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winter Running

It has been a cold and snowy February.  I have had my fair share of frosty eye lashes and snow-covered trails.  It has made running challenging at times, but it will only make running in warmer temperatures so much more enjoyable.  
This is a shot of the lake at Tar Hollow State Park from this past weekend. 

This is from Shawnee State Forest a couple weeks earlier.  We have some beautiful spots in Ohio.  I particularly love these two areas because of how challenging they are for running. 
Been having a lot of fun with the kids as well making a snowman and sledding recently as well.  So we are really taking advantage of the winter weather. 
We are about ready to start doing a remodel, or update, in one of our bathrooms.  I recently put in backsplash at a friend's house.  Turned out really well.  There was dark ceramic stickers on there before and the white really brightened up the kitchen.  
Good Tuesday morning! We have been slowly melting the last 36 hours and more melting today! We have a few flurries and sprinkles showing up on the radar, to the north, this morning. This will pass and then a mix of sun & clouds for the afternoon with highs in the lower 40s. We will also have a brisk breeze out of the west and winds pick up a little more tomorrow out of the southwest and we warm up to the upper 40s tomorrow. We will see more afternoon clouds tomorrow and a slight chance for a few isolated showers in the afternoon and evening. Our overnight low temps will be near or below freezing so be mindful for some spotty refreeze. A mix of sun & clouds on Thursday and Friday with highs in the lower 40s. This weekend we will have a few disturbances passing by around the region, so some scattered rain possible from time to time. We will also warm up more this weekend with highs near 50. So warmer for the weekend, but also a chance to be wet occasionally. Right now the rain looks light for Central Ohio, which is what we would prefer with all the snow still on the ground. Heavy rain could lead to some flooding concerns and we would prefer a slow warm-up with no heavy rain. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Evan and I recorded a podcast (kinda)

Well... Kinda... It was barely more than a minute long...

He loves my microphone that I use to do my weather radio hits on WCOL and WTVN.  So I figured I would record something with him.  

Hope everyone is doing well.  I went down to Great Seal State Park and ran 20 miles in the snow and sunshine last weekend with Mike.  It was a great day on the trails.
We had a brief "warm-up" last week and I took the kids to the zoo and we had a lot of fun.  
This most recent weekend I did another 20 miles at Tar Hollow State Park with Mike again.  It was 17° when we started and it felt slightly warmer in the sun so we eagerly climbed this 400 foot hill to get to the ridge and run in the sun. That was the last of the sun we have had and we will get back into more sun tomorrow. 
Good Wednesday morning! We are back to the cold temps! We warmed up to 44 yesterday, which helped melt any residual ice from the weekend and we may see new icy spots this morning. A few flurries to start the day with winds coming off of Lake Erie, out of the north. Mostly cloudy with a high of 33 today. A quick disturbance will be swinging through Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, and Kentucky this evening and it is expected to barely clip Southern Ohio. Snow will stay to the south with accumulations up to 1" possible in Southern Ohio. Tomorrow we will be even colder with the clouds starting to clear overnight, after the snow, and we dip to around 20 and a high of 28 tomorrow with a mix of sun & clouds. More sun Friday with a high of 32.
Our next weather maker arrives this weekend. Here is how things look right now... We will see increasing clouds on Saturday with a high of 36. Snow moves in Saturday night and we will see snow showers through Sunday morning. As we warm Sunday into the mid-upper 30s then the Southern half of Ohio will switch to rain and Northern Ohio stays light snow. As it gets colder Sunday night we transition back over to light snow heading into Monday with highs back in the lower 30s. Areas that stay all snow could see at least a few inches of snow, but rain areas will see significantly less. Stay tuned as we get closer and get a better handle on accumulation possibilities. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Enjoy the mild temps while they last!

Sunshine and temps in the 40s in January, in Ohio?!?!  Doesn't happen often!  I went out for an 8 mile run yesterday to enjoy it as much as possible.  We will be in the mid 40s again today with morning sun then more afternoon clouds. 
Then tomorrow morning rain moves in and then some spotty snow showers for the weekend with highs back in the mid 30s. 
So, we are on tap for one more mild day... enjoy it! We have some rain and snow showing up on the radar to the north this morning, but so far no reports of this reaching the ground. A few heavier returns on the radar may have some light rain/snow reaching the surface, but generally a dry morning for most of Central Ohio with clouds breaking up over the coming hours for partly cloudy skies early today and temps in the lower 30s. We will warm to around 45 this afternoon and becoming cloudy again with a brisk breeze out of the south. Cloudy tonight with overnight lows in the mid 30s. Rain will move in from the west early tomorrow morning and we will likely have scattered light rain for the early morning commute and a few colder pockets could have a rain/snow mix. This first band of rain and mix will move east through the morning and by midday and early afternoon we could see some sunshine breaking through the clouds. Clouds will fill back in during the afternoon and evening as an area of low pressure moves closer and parks over the region for the weekend. The weekend will bring flurries and light snow showers from time to time with high temps in the mid to low 30s and overnight lows in the 20s. We could see some pockets of snow showers with generally less than an inch of snow per day, but a few days of that could leave some pockets with light accumulations. This pattern sticks around into early next week as well, so be mindful for icy conditions on untreated surfaces. As we head into next week the snow looks to get lighter and lighter. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Running into 2021 with a different goal.

My final run of 2020 was a night run and pushed me up to 1,600 miles for the year.  I also got 77k feet of vertical gain in elevation. My goal for 2021 will be to reach 100k. This is a tall feat for Central Ohio where it is so flat. That means finding more hills on trails. This ultimately means less wear and tear as well from running on pavement. I didn't set a mileage goal because, as 2020 taught us, some things are out of our control and if I get an injury then it is not worth overloading other months go get to that running mileage goal. I can hike hills without running and I can still reach that climbing goal. (Running is faster though 😉)
My wife woke me up just before midnight to ring in the new year with her and instead of going back to bed for 30 minutes, before work, I ran in the new year.  One of our neighbors was still shooting off fireworks. Glad I was running toward the fireworks at first because if I was running away and heard the firework then I may have tripped. HAHA. The best part is that this run ended my running streak.  It was my fifth year doing the Runner's World Run Streak.  It goes from Thanksgiving to New Year's day and you just have to run, or walk, 1 mile a day. This was my fifth year doing it and it is so easy to throw in the towel during the holidays, but this keeps the motor going. So I did this run early on Friday then no running for Saturday. Rest day!
The rest day was also nice to rest up before my weekend long run on Sunday morning.  Foggy, chilly, and perfect running weather! I got to see some bison while running at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.  Metro Parks requires masks while at the park, but I only passed about 7 people for the 3 hours I was there. I did take off the mask from time to time when I was way out in the open away from anyone.  BOCO Gear had a clearance and they make some performance masks that actually are not that uncomfortable to wear while running at an easy pace.  I did need to take it off after trying to blast up some of the Strava segments. 

We are staying cloudy and chilly for most of the 7-day forecast. However, if you want to look at it positively: temps are staying near normal and roads are staying dry. Plus, we are gaining 1 minute of daylight each day! Let's dive into the details... Cloudy today with a few flurries and highs in the upper 30s. Staying cloud tonight with low temps around 30, so frost possible. Cloudy again on Thursday with maybe a few breaks in the clouds. We will be watching a system pass by to our south late Thursday into early Friday and Southern Ohio has a slight chance to see some light snow showers. Most of Ohio will be staying dry. Cloudy again on Friday and a few more breaks in the clouds with highs in the mid 30s. Partly cloudy on Saturday and mid 30s again. A few more clouds, mostly cloudy, for Sunday and Monday with temps in the mid-upper 30s. Partly cloudy on Tuesday with temps nearing 40. So yes, we stay in this quiet, chilly, cloudy, dry pattern for the next 7 days, but enjoy it! The long-term forecast models are indicating the polar jet stream shift and bring more active weather back to our region. That means some colder air later this month along with some snow returning by mid-late January. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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