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Monthly Archives: April 2006

less is more

Yes, it’s been quite a while since my last update. Mainly because not too much is going on. The marathon 10 days away. I’m just trying to lay low and cruise along until then. I put in my last hard run this past Saturday morning as I did the Hermes 10 Miler in downtown Cleveland. The weather was nice and the course was good for the most part. I finished with a 7:54/mile pace. Not bad, but I felt like I could have done better. I’ve put in a couple short runs this week at a slower pace, and plan to do a few more between now and next Sunday’s marathon.

I’ve found myself listening to the Cleveland Indians baseball games on the radio most nights anymore. Since I don’t have cable tv, I now satisfy my baseball fix by listening, usually while playing some Xbox 360. I tried listening to the Cavs playoff game on the radio the other night, but basketball on the radio just does not translate very well. I’m also big into my fantasy baseball team right now. They got off to a horrible start, almost falling to last place in every single stat category (which is unheard of). But fortunately they have turned it around and have managed to climb out of the cellar. Not going to win the league this year, but I think I can be competitive.


fun weekend

Lovely Day
Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Well, the weekend is drawing to a close and it was a fun one. On friday evening, Kristy & I ventured out to Tremont (a popular “revitalized” neighborhood in Cleveland) for their monthly ArtWalk. It is basically a bunch of art galleries, studios and other area establishments that are open late serving food and refreshments and showing artwork from local artists. We probably looked around a dozen galleries before settling into Lava Lounge for a tasty dinner and some good drinks. The hummous at Lava Lounge I think has taken the title of my favorite (taking the crown from Aladdin’s), and their polenta lasagna was equally good. Washed it down with Bells Amber Ale, a great beer they had on tap from Kalamazoo, MI. Overall it was a fun night, and something we would do again. The next one is May 12th.

On Saturday, I took Walter back to the vet to see if the infection he had been diagnosed with last week had cleared up, and fortunately it had. He also got a thorough exam and all of his vaccines, so he’s good to go for a while. And it seems the the sneezing he’s had since I got him has finally gone away. Thank goodness.

Today, I was an early riser as I headed out for my last really long training run for the marathon, which is 3 weeks from today. The run actually went well this time and I managed to complete all 20 miles as I had planned. I wouldn’t say that it was easy, but I finished, and that’s the important thing. After returning home, I ate almost an entire pizza as I settled in to watch the Indians game (whose bats were silenced in a 1-0 loss in Detroit) and am now enjoying some others games on the last day of the free preview of MLB Extra Innings, the baseball lover’s dream cable package which shows at least 6 out of market games a day. Trying to rest my legs so they will hopefully be fully functional tommorrow and get me through the start of the work week.

not so fast

Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Well, it seems everyone’s excitement over the Cleveland Indians fast start is ending just as quickly as their six game winning streak did last night. I was fortunate enough to attend the game on Tuesday night, which just happened to be the first real spring night in Cleveland, with temperatures in the upper 60s during game time. It was a beautiful night for baseball, and the Indians won their 6th straight, beating the Seattle Mariners 9-5. I even managed to snap this photo of the pitch that Travis Hafner hit out of the park for his 5th home run of the year.

But alas the Indians lost last night and tonight to the Mariners, a team not typically mentioned among baseball’s elite. But the season is young, and you can’t win them all. I just hope Cleveland can rally behind this team and support them like they did back in the late 90s. It was disappointing to see the attendence on Tuesday night under 18,000, especially with the great weather. I realize that they are battling for attention with the Cavs who are about to start their first playoff series in 8 years, but I’d like to think Cleveland can support two teams and not just get on the bandwagon of the latest winner.

Well, that’s just me being biased. Although I was never a good player myself, I have always loved baseball, and the Indians in particular. I just wish more people in Cleveland shared my feelings, regardless of whether the team is winning or losing or what else is going on around town.

a year in the making

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of when I started my new hobby of running, as chronicled in this blog entry. A handful of races and about 700 miles later, here I am, still at it. It has been a very interesting year. I’ve proven to myself that I can set a goal, create and follow a plan, and achieve my goal. I’d like to think that I’m in better shape than I was. Yes, I went from only being able to run two miles consecutively at a 10 minute per mile pace to running 13.1 miles at more than 2 minutes per mile faster, in addition to finishing a full 26.2 mile marathon. I often get frustrated at my progress on a week by week basis, but when I look back at numbers like that, it is rather clear that I have come a long ways in the past year.

Unfortunately, I think the magic is starting to wear off. Although I am coming off a great race last weekend, things are not looking great for next month’s marathon. I set out to do a 20 mile run yesterday, but my legs would only take me 16 before giving out. I haven’t been as dedicated and steadfast with my training this time around, and it has begun to show. While walking the remaining four miles back to my car yesterday, I considered skipping the marathon altogether. But I dismissed that idea, because I realized that even if I’m not able to achieve my goal time, completing a marathon is still an accomplishment, even if I end up taking 5 or 6 hours to do it.

Sure, I am disappointed that things are turning out this way, but I’m learning the hard way that you have to work for and earn things in life. You can’t just achieve something and then hope to coast along and live off that achievement. You have to keep working and keep pushing yourself to continue moving forward. So if I do decide to do another marathon in the future, I will be able to look back and see what happens when I don’t push myself, and avoid that pitfall.

great day for a game

Home opener
Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Well, not really, but it was fun anyways. For the third straight year, I headed to downtown Cleveland for the Indians home opener at Jacobs Field. When I was a kid, I always thought it would be so much fun to go down there every year and help kick off the baseball season. And now that I’m an adult (debatable, I know) I am doing just that.

The game is always fun, as is the atmosphere and the ceremony of it all. Unfortunately, the weather never seems to cooperate, which I guess is to be expected in Ohio this time of year. Temperatures were a little higher this year (but by no means “high”), though the game was bookended by rain that somehow took a break for the duration of the game. There were also a couple of innings where the action was hard to follow because some very dense fog rolled in off the lake. Had I been in the lower level, I would have been worrying about a foul ball attacking me out of nowhere through the fog.

The game itself was a great one. They scored 2 runs in the first and never looked back. The highlight of the game was a grand slam by Casey Blake of all people. Not bad when the #9 guy in your lineup can pull that off. Travis Hafner also hit two home runs and the Indians won easily 11-6 over the Minnesota Twins. After losing last year, the Indians came back to put their home opener record with me in attendence back in positive territory at 2-1. Hopefully we can make it 3-1 next year.

pole position

Well, I just returned home from a mini-trip down to Columbus for the Columbus Distance Classic, a half-marathon through downtown Columbus, OH. I’m happy to report that things went as well as I would have hoped, and I had a good time. Here are some numbers for you all:

Time: 1:43:41
Pace: 7:55/mi
Overall Place: 387 out of 2,665
Division Place (men 25-29): 59 out of 190

I can live with that. My target was to finish in under 1:45, which I obviously did. There were some challenges though, starting with the fact that I got there a bit later than I had wanted to and got stuck starting closer to the back than the front. So for the first two miles, I spent most of my time darting in and around people trying to keep up to my target pace, which I did not manage to do until mile 3.

I’m not used to running such a large race, so I was a little overwhelmed by all of the bodies, but fortunately it thinned out the further I got along, and at one point I had no one within 50 yards of me either in front or behind, which was really weird after being crammed elbow to elbow earlier.

In addition to the race, we also got to spend a lot of time with Kristy’s aunt & uncle and their daughter which was fun. Her aunt also ran the race, so it was nice to have someone to share running stories with (because runners are big nerds when it comes to running, and talking about running is generally very boring to most non-runners).

I now hope to spend the rest of the weekend resting up my tired legs and not driving (doing about 6 hours of driving in under 2 days can make one very sick of driving). Also, I am very much looking forward to the official start of the baseball season tomorrow night, as I hope to watch my Indians win game #1 in Chicago.