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Monthly Archives: June 2007

running (and crawling) around ohio city

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Bar "bowling"
Bar "bowling",
originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Last night was the 2nd annual Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K. It was my second go-around at this race, and my first 5K since last year’s event, though this year I was very glad to be joined by my fiancee, Kristy, who was running the event for the first time. The weather was a bit warm, but not unbearable. There was a very nice turnout this year, with about 470 runners, compared to last year’s 310. The course, which mostly winds around Ohio City, was a little different this year, but was still very comparable to last years.

The starting line, on Market Avenue right in front of the West Side Market, was pretty crowded since the street is narrow, so the first quarter mile was a lot of trying to run around people. After that, it was pretty sparse. I honestly don’t think anyone passed me beyond the first half mile, which just about never happens to me, and I was able to slowly pick off a number of people during the 3.1 miles.

I hit the one mile mark at 6:30, and knew I had a good chance of beating last year’s time if I could keep it up. I was huffing and puffing pretty hard the whole time though, and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to maintain my pace. It was very encouraging to see my friends, Josh and Amanda, helping to man the water stop halfway through.

Luckily I still had some gas in the tank near the end and was able to kick it into high gear for the last tenth of a mile, though I was almost taken out by another runner I was passing as he was cutting a corner very tight. But I got past and was able to sprint to the finish line to clock a time of 20:35, which is 40 seconds faster than my time from last year, which was my previous best for a 5K. Kristy meanwhile knocked a number of minutes off her previous 5K best, finishing much faster than she had anticipated. So we both came away happy with the race and our results.

Afterwards, we met back up with Josh and Amanda, who were our guides on the pub crawl portion of the event. First we hit up the Garage Bar, and continued to enjoy the nice weather on their outdoor patio. We then hit up the Old Angle Tavern for some really good food, and then capped off the evening at the ABC Tavern, where much fun was had playing their “bowling” machine (as pictured above). I never knew so much fun could still be had these days with only a quarter. I had some beginner’s luck at first, but Josh turned out to be a pro. All in all it was a great night and made us wonder why we don’t head up to Ohio City more often.

come out and run


This coming Saturday evening, I encourage anyone in the Cleveland area to come out and participate in the 2nd annual Bier Markt Ohio City Run & Crawl. It is a 5K run/walk through Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood, which starts right out by the West Side Market, just over the bridge from downtown. Following the race, which starts at 7:00pm, there is a pub crawl in which local restaurants and bars typically offer specials to race participants. You even get a t-shirt and goodie bag for participating. You can register at the race, or online.

I ran the inaugural race last year and had a great time. The course is nice and flat, all the streets are closed off, and the bar is just a short walk from the finish line. Last year, the Bier Markt gave a free beer out to all runners who stopped in after the race.

Saturday’s run will actually be my first 5K race in a year, when I ran in last years event. I ran a personal best 21:15 then, and am hoping to come in under 21 minutes this time. I’ve had some good training runs lately, and some bad ones. So let’s just hope that Saturday my body decides to have a good day and be cooperative.

four more years!

Last night the future Mrs. and I went out to celebrate four years together. It’s a little odd to think of being together that long, seeing as how we have friends that are married, some of whom even have kids, that have been together less time than us. But we are both happy with the pace our relationship has moved along at, and in a little over a year we will at last be married.

So to celebrate, we went out to dinner at Moxie in Beachwood, OH. It was our first time there, after hearing many great things about it, and we were not disappointed. The large open dining room is very tastefully decorated and despite being crowded, it was not overly loud. Also, the kitchen is in plain view of the dining room, though thankfully there was no shouting like there are at many restaurants that have this setup. The menu is limited, with a handful of seafood options and a handful of meat options. I went with the roasted pacific halibut which was excellent. Kristy got the blue crab and artichoke, which she really enjoyed. For desert, we chose the baked hot chocolate, which was quite possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. I’m not entirely sure what all was involved, but it was served in a mug and it seemed to be a very rich chocolate cake on the inside with a cream poured over it, with whipped cream and seasoning on the top. Very very good. I’m lucky we made it home because I felt a food coma coming on.

We got home in time for the start of the Cavs game, of which I could only make it through the first half before calling it a night. They didn’t look bad, but Tim Duncan and Tony Parker looked very good. I sometimes forget how good Duncan is, until I see a game like that. I got a bad feeling when the Spurs made that 3-pointer to close out the first half, and unfortunately it turned out not to be the Cavs night. But hey, we lost the first two against Detroit, and look how that turned out for us. Now we have to wait until Sunday for game two because the NBA is stupid and drags out the playoffs so incredibly long.

marquee moon

Things have been busy lately and writing here has taken a low priority. There seems to have been wedding planning stuff going on every weekend for the past month (both for our wedding and our relatives), but that is finally winding down. Then there has been the Cleveland Cavs battling through the NBA playoffs to the Finals. I’m excited to finally see them on TV again, since the Finals are on “free” TV, though we did get to catch the last game against Detroit at a local bar with a couple hundred other screaming fans. And of course there are my beloved Indians who I try to listen to at least part of their game each night.

In addition to all of that, I’ve tried to take up reading again. I had lofty goals to read more last year, but I think in the end I only made it through a single book. Well, I’ve already doubled that total this year, having recently finished two books. The first one was "Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill. I won’t deny that I was interested in this book because the author (whose full name is actually Joe Hillstrom King) is the son of one of my favorite writers, Stephen King (a fact that slowly came out after the book’s publishing). The book itself was quite good, and not much different than one might expect from a King family member, which includes being well written and a page turner. The basic premise is that aging rock star, Judas Coyne, buys a suit over the internet that is “haunted” by the ghost of it’s former owner, who is out to get revenge against Judas. The book moves along at a good pace as we follow Judas’s efforts to rid himself of this ghost. This book gets my recommendation.

My second read of the year was "The Raw Shark Texts" by Steven Hall, another literary newcomer. This book is a little out there and borders on being science-fiction (a dreaded label unless you’re nerdy like me). The narrator, Eric Sanderson, awakens one day with no memories, just a note referring him to a doctor who informs him of his recurring bouts of memory loss, an aftereffect of losing his girlfriend during a vacation in Greece years earlier. The story follows his efforts to stop his memory loss cycle and regain his life, though it turns out to involve teaming up with a mad doctor and fighting off a seemingly otherworldly creature. This book has generated a lot of buzz, and both very positive and very negative reviews, and the movie rights were sold after a brief bidding war. Ultimately I found the story pretty good, though quite confusing at times.

The next book up for me is "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, which is my first taste of atheist literature. Should be interesting. You can read an excerpt of the book here.