Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Balmy December & Christmas... so what about January?

Hope everyone had a great holiday... but we still have 3 more days left in December, so figured I would pop on here to check in and also look ahead to what January will have in store for us. We had a lot of fun with the kids this holiday season. Going out and looking at lights a lot. This photo was from Columbus Commons.
My last long run was around the new Quarry Trails Metro Park. Cold morning, but a beautiful morning with very little wind.
I linked it up with Griggs Park along with the Indian Village area on the west side of Griggs. Super cool area to check out. 
The afternoons were warm enough and dry enough to fire up the grill. I love grilling out during the winter. Something extra special about it.
I was also busy with my Balm By Buck orders. A few larger orders for gifts. 
I had hernia surgery in the middle of the month, so I took some time off to rest. I was cleared for walking once the pain went down, so I took the family back to Quarry Trails and we went exploring.

The kids had a great Christmas. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes this time of the year and I hope to hold on to the memories the rest of my life. 
Temps were so warm around Christmas that went for bike rides and walks. No complaints here. I wish we would have had snow on Christmas, but we had that last year and only get it 25% of the time in Central Ohio. So the odds are not the best. 

We have 3 days left in 2021 and I wanted to see if warm Decembers mean anything for the following January. So we may end up #3 warmest December, in Columbus, since 1878.  So let's look at the other 4 Januarys that followed...

You can click on the image to blow it up larger and see the stats.  As far as temps, it was split with two colder than normal and two warmer than normal. But they all had less snow than normal with 5.4", 5.4", trace, and 3.4" and the 30 year average is 9.5" of snow. So an average of 3.6" of snow the January following a warm December. Of course patterns can change, but figured I would dig into the record books to look for you. If someone is looking to make a bet with you, then I would take the under for January snow, compared to normal. 
The rain is moving out and we will be mostly cloudy and cool today with highs around 50. A few pockets of mist or drizzle possible, but generally a dry and gray day. A few peeks of sun possible. More showers kick in tonight and they will be light and scattered with low temps in the lower 40s. Mostly cloudy with a few showers Thursday. The best chance for rain is in the morning, but even a couple afternoon light showers are possible. Highs in the lower 50s. Friday will be similar, with mostly cloudy skies and then more rain moving in later in the day. A very wet Saturday is on the way with highs in the upper 50s. We could see 1”-2” of rain on Saturday, for the first day of 2022. The record rainfall for January 1st is 1.28” of rain. Colder air races in Saturday night, as the rain leaves, and then pockets and snow possible on Sunday. The snow will mainly be from the Great Lakes, with the lake effect machine starting back up. So that means the best chance to see any snow Sunday will mainly be to the north and downstream of lakes. Highs in the mid 30s on Sunday. Mostly sunny to start next week with highs in the mid 30s again on Monday and then lower 40s on Tuesday. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Flying through December

Hello! It has been a hot minute. This is not our house, above, but we love the decorations, so we stopped to take a photo in front of it earlier this week. 

I love seeing the happiness in the kids this time of the year. They just love life and the spirit of giving. We picked up some toys Saturday morning for Toys for Tots. The kids also got to meet Santa when they dropped them off at the station, while I was working.
Another fun gift is that the new Quarry Trails Metro Park opened up! I think I have been there about 4 or 5 times in the last week and a half.  It is located just a few miles from our house.
I also ran down to the park, with my buddy Tony. It was his first time there so I wanted to show him the sights and sounds. The waterfall is the kids' favorite.
I have been backing off on my running lately. But trying to give back and volunteering instead. I helped out with the inaugural Alley Marathon in Lancaster. Some amazing athletes out there. Harvey Lewis was there among other fast local runners. 
I was working at the aid station and helping the athletes refill their drinks and getting them nutrition when they came through, every 2.2 miles, on the their loops. 
I have also been doing some painting at the house. The basement only had a half coat of paint when we bought the house and so we wanted to clean it all up and make it the dedicated toy room for the kids.
So nice to take most of their toys and put them in the basement for them to have their own space to do what they want. 

Temps are cold this morning, mid 20s, but we are on the up and up with milder temps heading into the start of the weekend. The chance of rain is also going up. Today is a pretty quiet day with temps in the mid 40s for the afternoon with mostly cloudy skies. A few spotty light rain showers are possible later today and overnight. We will stay cool overnight, with low temps around 40 by Friday morning. A few showers possible from time to time Friday morning and midday with temps warming into the 50s for the second half of the day. More scattered rain likely later in the day. The heaviest rain will be Friday night and Saturday morning with the potential for some storms as well. The Storm Prediction Center has put Central Ohio in the Marginal Risk (isolated) for severe storms Friday night and Saturday morning. The main threat would be damaging winds, but heavy rain and localized flooding also possible. Temps early Saturday morning will be in the lower 60s when we are dealing with the rain. However, a cold front will swing through later in the morning Saturday and we will have quickly falling temps. Winds will be fairly light today and Friday, SE 5-10 mph, but Saturday we will have winds out of the west 15-25 mph and gusts 35+ mph possible. Our temps by the afternoon/evening Saturday will be in the 40s then 30s as drier air moves in. Sunday will be partly cloudy and dry with seasonal temps, mid 40s. More sun Monday with temps warming up to around 50. Partly cloudy and mid 50s on Tuesday then 60 looking likely for Wednesday with just a slight chance for rain. More rain by the end of the week with a cold front returning. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Halloween, basement organization, GRRR 50k, snow on the way?

Good morning! I spent some time carving this Browns helmet into a pumpkin, so I decided to lean into the theme and handed out candy as a diehard Browns fan. 
I did go around to a handful of houses with the kids then my wife went with the the rest of the time. Evan was Spiderman and Summer was a unicorn princess.
The chilly temps have kept us inside and I am trying to get some organizing done. I built another shelf to stack all of our totes and keepsakes.
On the finished side of the basement I have been prepping to paint the kids toy room. I painted the ceiling so far, but next is the trim then the walls. The goal is to put all the toys down here and no more toys in the family room. 
On Saturday I ran the GRRR 50k, Glade Run Road Relay/Run. 
It is a 50k(32 mile) run that Columbus Westside Running Club puts on each year. It is our end of the year fun-run and a great way to spend time with friends and run with new ones. You could run the whole thing or run it as a relay and "team up" with others to split the 32 miles. I opted to run the whole thing and there were 4 of us that ran the whole thing. 
For instance, I ran 16 miles with Tony and the last 16 miles with Amanda and Morgan. They both ran the whole 32 miles as well. I see them occasionally, but never had the chance to spend prolonged time on a run with them. Great getting to know people and you learn so much more about people when you are running with them. Temps were perfect and I didn't sweat nearly as much as last year.  Nice and chilly!
We may see a little sun this morning, but skies will become cloudy through the day. Temps this morning will be in the lower 40s and we warm into he mid 60s this afternoon. So a decent November day with less sun than Monday. A few spotty showers are possible tonight, but it looks light and occurs late, while most of us will be sleeping. Wednesday will be partly cloudy and light winds with highs warming into the lower 60s. Thursday will be a warm day as well with mostly cloudy skies, but winds will be brisk, out of the southwest. That wind will help push our temps into the upper 60s for the afternoon. Take the rain gear for later in the day because rain is likely, with a cold front. Friday will be cooler with highs in the mid 50s and mostly cloudy skies. A few scattered showers are possible as well Friday, 30% chance. Saturday looks similar with a 30% chance of showers, mainly rain, but it will be colder with a high of 42. Sunday another wave of moisture will bring about a 40% chance of rain/snow mix with a high of 41. A few lingering wintry mix showers possible Monday with a high of 41 as well. So get outside and enjoy the next few days before we get our first taste of winter-like weather.

Andrew Buck Michael

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Halloween spirit, fresh batch of Balm By Buck, & more rain coming

We had our first candy haul of season last night. Prairie Township had a trick or treat trail and the kids were SUPER excited to go in their new costumes. 
It has been so warm this month and I decided to take Evan to the zoo to enjoy the great weather. He fed the giraffes! 
Then we went to check out the new sea lion exhibit. That is a GREAT new addition to the zoo and we love going inside when they can swim next to you as well as above and below you. So fun.
Just trying to soak in the mild temps while they were here.  We have been above normal every single day for the first 3 weeks of October. We finally had a below normal temp day on Friday. That was also thanks to our Friday rain. 
I spent Friday making a new big batch of my balm.  I restocked the Clean, Mint, and Unscented variety. I should be getting my last essential oils to resupply my Forest variety today or tomorrow. If you want to check out my online shop, just go to For anyone who doesn't know. I make this balm using local beeswax and other organic ingredients like coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, and shea butter. I have made it for about 6 years now and use it to style my hair daily. It also is great to lock in moisture for your skin, especially in the dry winter months ahead. And for runners, the oil and wax mixture works great to avoid chafing/blisters that come with the repetitive motion of distance running. Forest has a pine scent to it and Clean uses lavender essential oil. Those are the top 2 sellers.
Yesterday was damp early, but the clouds broke up some and we went to Lehner's Pumpkin Farm in Delaware County. Kids had a blast with all the activities. 
Lots of fun for the whole family. Love the food there as well! 

Good Sunday morning! We have light mist and drizzle this morning then steadier and heavier showers will move in for the late morning and afternoon today. A few rumbles of thunder are possible, but severe weather should stay at bay today. The band of steady rain will lift north for the evening and tonight. We may have a few light showers overnight, but a break in the rain for most of us for the majority of this evening and tonight. Temps stay mild today and tonight with highs in the mid 60s and overnight lows (Monday morning) in the upper 50s. Another wave or rain will swing in early Monday and we will see more scattered showers and storms on and off on Monday. Ohio may see a few strong to severe storms on Monday, mainly for the southern and eastern parts of Ohio. Damaging winds would be the main threat for any severe storms.
The entire system starts moving east Monday night and just a lingering shower or two possible early Tuesday, mainly east. Clouds will then clear some for partly cloudy skies Tuesday afternoon. We will see cooler temps following the rain with morning temps Tuesday in the mid 40s and mid 50s for highs on Tuesday. Even cooler temps Tuesday night and Wednesday morning with temps dipping into the upper 30s and outlying areas could see mid 30s and frost. Partly cloudy Wednesday and we warm into the lower 60s.
Clouds roll back in on Thursday and we see another period of rain for Thursday PM and this second system sticks around the region for on and off rain into the weekend. Highs will warm into the mid 60s ahead of the rain Thursday then we will be in the upper 50s with the scattered rain for Friday and Saturday. Some of the rain may linger into Sunday, Halloween, but it does look lighter and on the tail end of the entire system. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Shawnee 50, done!

That was rough!  I knew it would be a challenge to run the Shawnee 50 over the weekend, but I had to dig deep for this one.  I went down Friday evening and stayed at the lodge with a friend.  The race started Saturday morning at 5AM.  I figured I could finish in about 15 hours, but I went out strong and tried to stay as strong as possible and finished a little under 14 hours.
The trails were in really good shape. The early morning leaves were a little damp, but otherwise very runnable. 
The hills are no joke at Shawnee State Forest.  But the trail markings were phenomenal and it would be very hard to get lost for the race. 
I was a little surprised how dry the streams were for the run. It warmed up to around 80 in the afternoon and I did get lightheaded and dizzy a few times. This was likely due to some dehydration, but I was pushing fluids the entire race and actually had the slosh stomach feeling at times because I was trying to drink so much. I took a couple 30 second breaks to reset and then would keep pushing on. 
Staying warm for us, for 3 more days... A really nice day on tap today then we warm up more as the chance of rain goes up, but then turning much cooler for the weekend. Today will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper 70s and just a light breeze out of the southwest. More clouds tonight and a very slight chance for spotty rain. Partly cloudy for Thursday as well with a chance of isolated rain and temps warming up into the lower 80s. More warm air on Friday with partly to mostly cloudy skies along with scattered showers and a few storms. Temps warming to around 80 again on Friday. The best chance for rain will be Friday night overnight into early Saturday morning with showers and storms possible, as a strong cold front swings through. Early rain Saturday then the rain races to the east. Much cooler for the weekend with highs in the lower 60s on Saturday and then mid 60s on Sunday with a brisk breeze out of the west and northwest. Mostly to partly cloudy skies for Saturday then a little more sun on Sunday. Temps slowly warming back up to around 67 Monday and 70 by Tuesday with mostly sunny skies early next week. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wrapping up my training & recent happenings

Good morning! Hope everyone is doing well. Between sick kiddos (all better now) and friends visiting the past couple weeks... it has been busy!  This photo is from the new trail that opened up at Clear Creek Metro Park.  I ran down there a couple Saturdays ago and the new area has some nice climbs and a run next to a lake.  
The views from the park are amazing, especially if you catch them at the perfect time of day. 
I ran early then had to get back to Ohio State to work at a tailgate for a couple hours. My good buddy, Luke, was visiting town as well. It was nice to catch up with Luke and watch the Buckeyes play.  
Recent heavy rains left water sitting on our basement windows and the slope of the ground has the water pooling up near the house. Not often, but when we have those really heavy storms. So I bought some window wells.  I had to dig down a pretty far way along the foundation of the house, but I finally got them installed.
This is when all the dirt was still there.  That dirt is all removed now and I did plant some new grass seed on top of the area where I tried to grade the soil so the water runs away from the house. Now I need a heavy thunderstorm to be a weird neighbor to stand out there and see what happens. 
We took new headshots at work! I don't have the photos yet, but this was what I shot of the computer screen of the images. Looking forward to seeing how they all look. So far, they look great!
Evan and I have been running a lot lately. I take him to a nearby park that runs next to a dam. We tell dam jokes and it is a great laugh. 
This past weekend I hit my new year's resolution goal of climbing 100,000 feet of elevation.  I didn't set a mileage goal because if you fall behind and try making up for lost time then it often results in an injury. So I wanted to get stronger at climbing hills and this way I could train for my big fall race... Shawnee 50. Shawnee 50 is this coming weekend.  It is 54 miles with about 12,000 feet of climbing.  So unrelenting ups and downs. And these hills are not easy rolling hills. Some of them are very steep and being smart about managing the course will be key to finishing strong. That's my goal... finish. No set time goal, but just to finish the grueling course. My best guess estimate of finishing time will be 15 hours, but if it takes me 17 hours then who cares...

I did go back and look at my logs to see how much elevation gain I did the past several years:
2017: 20,898 ft.
2018: 24,413 ft.
2019: 33,508 ft.
2020: 77,162 ft.
2021: 100,636 ft. and 3 months to go...

Not bad for the flatlands of Central Ohio.

More scattered showers today with a few rumbles of thunder. The rain will be on and off tonight through Friday and early Saturday. We have a huge low pressure system spinning over Missouri right now and that is triggering scattered rain across the Ohio Valley. So rain today will be generally moving from south to north with the scattered showers. Similar to yesterday, we may have a few cells strong enough for some lightning and thunder. Morning temps in the lower 70s and we warm to the mid 70s this afternoon with the mostly cloudy skies. We will go from a 70% chance of rain today to a 60% chance of rain Friday and then a 20% chance of rain Saturday because of some lingering showers, mainly early and to the east. We may see the sun from time to time, so you may want the sunglasses along with the umbrella. Highs stay in the mid-upper 70s for Friday and Saturday. By Sunday we will be setting up for a warm-up and a dry pattern for a couple days. Partly cloudy Sunday and Monday with a high of 80 on Sunday and 82 on Monday. There is a wave of rain that will try to swing through Tuesday, but with our dry air the rain breaks up moving across the Plains and we have a 30% chance of rain Tuesday. We will try to reach 80 again Tuesday before the wave of weakening scattered rain. Highs dip back into the upper 70s for mid-late next week. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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