Yes… I’m still here.. and guess what — Yo Momma Kicked my A$$ again….

**** warning —-  long read *****

Hey remember me? Talk about being a broken record…

I have been away from blogging for so long that I forgot my login ID, my password and almost how to start a new post.  I’ve been wanting to revive my blog for some time now, but life being what it is – I just really hadn’t had the time.  I know, sounds like the same old excuse – but seriously, any active, single parent with active kids would agree!  LOL

There has been TONS going on as usual – I want to blog about everything and I kind of feel bad about making this first blog post back about this race, but I would really like to finish it while details are fresh in my mind and I give a long over due thanks and recognition to those that gave up their time – and viewing of an OSU football game to come support me.

So as you could tell from the title; I.  Freaking.  Failed… Again.  I don’t know what exactly it is about Not Yo Mommas; the ruggedness of the course, the newness of the race, or the fact that it is the only one I’ve ever DNF’d, but I think what really keeps me coming back is the fact that it is the only one I’ve DNF’d.  To admit I can’t do something is a tough pill to swallow.

In my two previous attempts my DNF’s could honestly  be chaulked up to a lack of training.  This one?  I trained, well – unfortunately took the training much more seriously towards the end which I think lead to me dealing with plantar fasciitis.

I logged literally hundreds of miles with my dog Cato and my ABSOLUTELY AMAZING friends and family.

denny

NYMblog

Cato during his first 24mile run! 🙂

davedanagroup des and group jason and group beth wildbillgang cato catonight cato2

Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

For the first time EVER I did hill repeats — and enjoyed them??

11225399_980848898613111_8788993191222355149_n HR1 HR2

I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I've done! :)

I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I’ve done! 🙂

11174805_973861579311843_2577434282162735578_n

And at the urging of, well… all of my friends – experimented with my nutrition to get off GU’s.

Thanks Pam!

Thanks Pam!

Tailwind

However – Tailwind and Lara bars ended up being the nutrition of choice

So, leading up to race day… for ONCE I thought I was prepared for this – before the PF set in, but I thought I could deal with it for this race, then take a break and give it a chance to fully heal up.

Finally – on to the race.

I’m not going to go into all the details of the course because I’ve done it several times before.  You can check them out along with the details of my other attempts here.

My first attempt

My second attempt

Last year’s 50k

My friends were there to fully support me for this attempt and I think for the first time also thought that I trained well enough for it.  My buddy Dave committed to pace me for the last 50k or the race, My girlfriend, Ginger (YEP! You read that right.  Much more about her/us later 😊) flew in from Illinois and along with Mike, Beth, and Michele were there to crew me.  This was such a humbling experience.  I never had a crew before.  After coming in from my first loop (NYM course is a 4mile loop followed by 6 loops of a 16mile section), I smiled, waved and ran right passed them and started to fill up my water bottle and get some food.  It honestly never occurred to me to stop so they can do it and while I sit and rest for the moment. Heck – Dave and Beth even took off my shoes, changed my nasty socks, and put my shoes back on me!

Me and my badass pacer Dave at O24

Dave and I at O24

My crew - Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Coming back to the end of my second full loop (approx 36 miles) I still felt amazing – shortly thereafter tho, the wheels fell off.  It started getting dark, my PF started hurting much more, and I subsequently started slowing down.  I took 3 Aleve in a 3 hour time span but it didn’t help.  I got to aid station 3 and pulled the plug – again.  Such a hard decision to have to make again and even though I still feel like I let them all down – my friends being who they are, were all very supportive in my decision. I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me.  The plus side of me dropping?  My friend Eddie who was running NYM for the first time this year needed a pacer and Dave was more than happy to fill the bill.  Eddie was now in great hands for his last 50k of the race and Dave helped him finish in grand fashion – winning NYM100M with a time of just over 28hrs. WAY TO GO EDDIE!!!

To everyone that helps to make NYM what it is – thank you all so much for doing such a great job.  Love this race – really I do.  Rob/Angie.  I may have said I wasn’t going to do this anymore, but I’ll be back.  I plan to run a couple 100’s in 2016 to regain my confidence in my ability to do so and then – tackle Yo Momma again!

Click here for my Runkeeper data of the 48.66 miles that I did complete.  Also, I display my trophy with pride.  How could you not love race directors who know you well enough that after you regain your composure come up to you and present you with this baby 🙂

My favorite race bling so far

My favorite race bling so far

As for some posts to come —–

  • Jeremy and Emily are growing like WEEDS; basketball, volleyball, highschool???
  • My oldest daughter, Leah, is getting married to her long time boyfriend Devon and they’ve made me a Grandpa!
  • Running adventures continue
  • Mountain bike adventures are taking beginning to get more real

and

  • Cooking is starting to get interesting again!
Advertisements

Woodstock 2013 – For most, what happens in Woodstock…….

I’ve been anxious to start using my new toys to catch up on my blog and have been experimenting with the GoPro, trying to figure the best settings to use while running.  I know what you are thinking, “videos of running?  Boooorrrriiiiinnngggg…”.  Sounds it, I know, right?  But just wait.  Quite a few of our runs are pretty technical, very scenic, and always ridiculously fun!  So much fun that, recording some of them is highly forbidden.  You’ll understand in a moment.

I’ve been trying to decide how I want to approach this post.  Should I make it a tell all about this weekend of running, or should I keep it more serious, discuss the run and SOME of the fun……  I’m not shy – I’ll tell all for my part, but leave everyone else out of the shenanigans…

Run Woodstock is a weekend long event consisting of a crazy amount of fun.  North East Ohio was very well represented at this run.  Not just from our OUTRUN group but from quite a few of our other friends that just happened to be there.  We camped out all weekend – drank well, ate well, and RAN well!

This run is at Hell Creek Ranch in Michigan.  We arrived Friday afternoon, pitched our tents and were ready to start our weekend.  There are a number of events that take place over the course of the weekend.  You register for either a 100 miler, 100k, 50k, marathon, or half marathon.  Also taking place over the weekend is a “Hippie Hike”, yoga, “Hippie Dipping”, tie die t-shirt making, the “Natural 5K”, and the “Trippin 5k/10k”.  All of the events you get a button for and part of the weekend challenge is to collect all the buttons – I got the important ones 😉

Tents pitched and time to soak this all in

Tents pitched and time to soak this all in

Once the task of setting up our campsite was done, we did what usually follows — broke out some drinks and went checking out the place.  The 100k and 100milers started their race Friday evening — crazy huh?  Go away for a party/run weekend and run all night Friday??  No thank you — in addition to the other activities, our “main event” for the weekend was split between the 50k and the half marathon.  We wanted to make sure we maximized our “vacation” while squeezing in some quality running 🙂

Ummm... Yeah, that's me onstage :)

Ummm… Yeah, that’s me onstage high fiving our MC for the weekend — this was the start of day one, shortly after we arrived.  Any guess as to how the rest of the weekend went??

The weekend kicked off with the National Anthem being  played by Lemon James.  Lemon is an incredible guitarist/artist.  Inspired by such icons like Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Booker T, Janis Joplin, and Stevie Wonder she performed all weekend long and even participated in some of the events.

Lemon meeting Peg, Mike and I

Lemon meeting Peg, Mike and I

After playing an incredible rendition of the National Anthem we watched the 100milers and 100k’ers start their races and went back to our sites for a few adult beverages, some great grub and to change into running clothes for Friday night’s run.  Tonight’s run was called the “Natural 5K”.  I left the shirt on that I had in these pictures but donned my kilt (and yes it was properly worn — could you tell where tonight’s run got it’s name from??  There was roughly 25-30+ of us that ran the Natural Run.  It was a 5k run like none I’ve ever run before.  It started out normal – well, as normal as it could be when you are properly wearing a kilt!  After running about 1mile into the woods a choice needed to be made; turn one way and continue on as a normal 5k, the other – run natural.  Given the theme of Woodstock, I would have seriously regretted not making the turn to run natural. So I made the turn.  We had to run down the trail about a hundred yards or so till we came upon the “aid” station.  This aid station was fully stocked with kegs of beer and wine – not a drop of water!  In order to get a drink and continue on, you had to disrobe – completely.  Luckily, thinking ahead, my kilt has a velcro waist and is easily removed.  After quickly undressing I grabbed a beer and hung out talking to some of the other folks that made the turn.  It really wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would have been.  I had a couple more and headed back out on the trail – and yes… naked.  It was the oddest feeling ever, but at the same time, the most freeing.  We had to run about a mile before circling back to the aid station at which time you could drink all you want – as long as you are still naked.  I had a few more beers with some of my newest, closest friends, got dressed again and headed back to the start finish to collect my button.  Note to self — when running naked — body glide, body glide, body glide!  Don’t judge till you try it! LOL.

Here is my Runkeeper data from this 5k.

After finishing  and partying it up with everyone we headed off to bed to get up early for our main races for the weekend.  Mike, Brooke, Laurie, and myself were running the 50k.  Beth and Paul were running the half marathon – and oh yeah.. this was Paul’s first half marathon!  They started later than we did – sorry, no prerace pic 😦

Start of our 50k

Looking surprisingly good for the start of our 50k after a night of hydrating with vodka and Gatorade

I couldn’t believe how well I slept!  Brooke and I shared my tent, which is close to being big enough to sleep my entire high school senior class, so we had our own divided rooms.  Now it was time to run!  I’ve said it a number of times, I don’t race.  I like to run these things and just have fun and Laurie didn’t have a real time goal in mind either, so we decided to just run it together as if it were a normal training run.  Click here for the data from this run.  The course is awesome; lots of single track, some regular bridal trail type paths, and a little bit of road.

1234828_628300867201251_779392914_n

1235484_628300820534589_1900042007_n

I did mention I don't run these things to race, didn't I?

I did mention I don’t run these things to race, didn’t I?

Never pass up a photo op!

Never pass up a photo op!

1234161_628300720534599_1443813437_n

After completing this race we got cleaned up, I tried slack lining for the first time – believe me WAYYYY harder than they make it look!  Laurie and Paul smoked an incredible brisket and we feasted like kings!  Then after eating our fill we changed again into running clothes for tonight’s run – The “Trippin 5k/10k”.  I donned my same attire that I did for the Natural 5k and well — ran again “naturally” for the Trippin 5k this time with even more folks! Ridiculously fun!  Runkeeper data from the Trippin 5k.  Finished up and checked out some of the other festivities….  Not sure how to get these types of links to work, but you should be able to click on this one and hear a bit of Saturday night’s band and fire dancer..

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=628814713816533&l=294691597157012106

We were planning on doing the Hippie Hike Sunday morning, but decided to pack up our campsite, grab a decent breakfast and head on home.   I have some more videos and pictures from this weekend but have already rambled on long enough. Woodstock 2014 is already in the planning stages. Not sure how it is going to top this, but you bet you ass we’ll try!

So, what is the craziest / oddest running event you’ve participated in?

Waiiiiiit for it………

Once again – my typical type of greeting it seems lately – I haven’t blogged in what feels like forever!!!  We’ve been crazy busy (as usual) and our craziness is well documented (surprise, right?)  But now, I’ve removed all excuses for not keeping up.  My computer was a piece of !@#$ making it painstakingly difficult to blog how I wanted.  Some of you may or may not have (yeah right) have noticed that I like to include pictures and videos 🙂  I was trying to blog using a crappy Acer 10″ Netbook with a processor that moves at the speed of tar pitch (and then even slower when I synced it with my phone (that is what I used to take all the pics and videos)  Well NOT ANY MORE MY FRIENDS!  I am now the proud owner of a new laptop AND a GoPro camera, oh yeah — this is gonna be fun!

Since I’ve been so lazy….

I thought I would take a different approach this time in trying to catch up with things the kids and I have done over the past couple of months.  What better way to do it than a video, right?! 🙂

To quickly summarize some of the photos in the movie —

  • We did a TON of fishing this year
  • Jeremy made the all star team for baseball
  • Emily pitched and played catcher for her fastpitch team
  • They ran two more races so far – The Fox Trot 5k and Shatter the Silence 2miler
  • I bought them season tickets to the Lake County Captain’s games this year
  • Jeremy turned 12 years old!
  • We took my Dad to his first Cleveland Browns football game in nearly 24 years!
  • and School started and we continued in our usually silliness.

The background music I chose is by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole.  I just love his voice.  My first choice was his medley of “Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World”, but alas I only have it in a protected mp4 format that would not upload to my movie making software.  Anyways — hope you enjoy it

That about catches up some of what we did recently.  I have more, but I wasn’t shooting for a full length feature film 😉

Now, blog updates about The Fresh 20, BikeMS, and Run Woodstock … I’m not going to be caught up by tomorrow night!

California Adventure / Western States 100

Alright, it took me much longer to get back at this than I had anticipated.  So after downloading pictures and videos from my phone for over an hour, I’m gonna try to get caught up by Sunday —- here I go.

I am friends with quite a few amazing people.  One of which, Kevin T.  was lucky enough to get picked to run in the Western States 100 Mile Race.  This is the oldest 100 mile race.

In 1955, the late Wendell T. Robie with a party of five horsemen rode the Western States Trail from Squaw Valley to Auburn, proving that horses could still cover 100 miles in one day. Through his energy and vision, he subsequently founded the Western States Trail Foundation and organized the annual Western States Trail Ride, also known as the Tevis Cup “100 Miles – One Day” Ride.

Wendell Robie during an early Tevis Ride In 1974, with the inspiration and encouragement of Drucilla Barner, 1st woman to win the Tevis Cup and Secretary of the WSTF, Tevis veteran Gordy Ainsleigh joined the horses of the Western States Trail Ride to see if he could complete the course on foot. Twenty-three hours and forty-two minutes later Gordy arrived in Auburn, proving that a runner could indeed traverse the
rugged 100 miles in one day. 1974 Western States Trail Ride Start List In 1975, a second runner, Ron Kelley, attempted the same feat, only to withdraw within two miles of the finish with ample time remaining. In 1976, Ken “Cowman” Shirk ran the 100 miles, finishing just 30 minutes over the 24-hour mark. In 1977, 14 men from four states participated in the 1st official Western States Endurance Run, which was held in conjunction with the Tevis Cup Ride. Runners were monitored by Dr. Bob Lind at the three veterinary stops set up for the horses, and although the race organization transported the entrants gear, runners were responsible for producing all of their own supplies, except water. Three runners finished the course: Andy Gonzales, age 22, in the record-breaking time of 22:57, and Peter Mattei and Ralph Paffenbarger, ages 53 and 54, who tied in 28:36 (and the 30-hour award was born!).
Founding Runners, Gordy Ainsleigh and Cowman Shirk In the fall of 1977, the Board of Directors for the Western States Endurance Run was formed as part of the Western States Trail Foundation. It was made up primarily of the handful of runners and riders who had helped monitor the progress of the 14 pioneers earlier that summer. The Run organization later became its own entity and is now known as the Western States Endurance Run Foundation. 1978 heralded a dramatic increase in both interest and participation in the Western States Run. Culminating a year-long effort by the inspired Gang of Four (Phil Gardner, Mo Livermore, Shannon Weil, and Curt Sproul) to create an independent event, the race took place in June, a month earlier than the Tevis Cup Ride. The event mushroomed to include 21 aid stations and six medical checks, thanks to an ever-growing corps of loyal volunteers and the support of the Placer County Sheriff ‘s Communications Reserve and the Search and Rescue Unit. 63 adventurers ran the race, and the first woman, Pat Smythe, finished in 29:34.
No Hands bridge circa 1970 One hundred forty-three runners from 21 states and three foreign countries attempted the course in 1979. Since then, the Run has reached its full entrance quota and draws athletes from across the nation and around the world.
Now that you’ve had your history lesson……
I was trolling Facebook one evening and noticed Kevin posted about looking for a pacer for the last 40 miles of the race.  I immediately messaged him and told him if I could make my schedule work, I’d love to do this for him.  As it turns out, I was able to get things situated — with much help from Kevin and his wife – and join him in this adventure!
Kevin and his wife Janet, were staying at a bed and breakfast in Truckee and headed out a few days earlier than I did.  I was staying at CalNeva Resort and Casino in North Lake Tahoe and headed out there on Friday, the day before the race.  I’ve never been to California before which made this trip that much more exhilarating!  CalNeva was a fantastic place!  It is an older place but was a hangout of Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack and friends and is full of history.  It’s called CalNeva because the state line runs right through it.

Lake Tahoe - from my hotel window

Lake Tahoe – from my hotel window

Main ballroom showing the state line

Main ballroom showing the state line
It was nice with the time change, I arrived in the morning and had plenty of time to hang out with Kevin and Janet, visit the start finish line and take in some sights.
Squaw Valley - start of course

Squaw Valley – start of course

This place was AMAZING!

This place was AMAZING!

We even took in a gondola ride to the top of the mountain.  This is the way back down.  Wish we were sitting on the other side of the car because the drop off view was spectacular!

Afterwards we headed off to our hotels so Kevin and Janet could get a good nights rest while I did a bit more sight-seeing around Tahoe.

Race day — dun dun daaaaaaaa…..

To give you an idea of the course, Click here for the Google Maps flyover of the course.  I must have watched this a hundred times building up to our trip.

I was planning on seeing Kevin off from the start, but quickly decided since I would be running through the night with him, I’d get a little more sleep then meet up with Janet and catch him at aid stations.  There is live tracking for these races so we are able to gauge where and when we will be able to see him.  Kev started out great and made the first few aid stations well within the cutoff time.  Janet and I headed to crew access at mile 23.8, found a spot to park our butts cheer incoming runners on and wait for Kev.  It was HOT – as in temps +100 deg F. w/o the heat index added in!  After watching a number of our other friends come through the aid station, incoming runners started getting further and further apart and we were getting a bit worried about how Kevin was doing.  I refreshed the screen on my phone about every 2 minutes to make sure we didn’t miss him.

Then it happened —  The next update I received was he dropped.  In actuality, he didn’t drop, he was pulled off the course by the medical team.  Janet and I raced down the mountain to where we could pick him up and anxiously awaited his arrival by the aid station crew.  When he finally arrived he was being helped towards us; his speech was slurred and his demeanor was that of someone who had way too much alcohol.  After bringing him down to lower elevation yet and letting him acclimate, he was telling us about how the aid station at Duncan Canyon (mile 23.8) came running out to meet him, asking if he was alright.  Apparently he was no longer running straight and meandering down the trail.  He was responding to them and to him sounded clear as a bell — but in reality his speech was slurred and incoherent.  The sat him down and he kept going in and out of consciousness.  The diagnosis was altitude sickness.  One of the medical team members said to get him to lower elevation and that he should be fine in a couple of hours.  I felt terrible for him.  This was such a huge adventure, one in which not only did he have a tremendous amount of time involved with training but other personal time and money as well.  Kev kept apologizing to us for not completing the race — totally unnecessary.  This entire trip was about him.  We were there for him no matter what the outcome was; unfortunately this time the outcome wasn’t what we had anticipated, but better to be pulled off the course on your own two feet, than to be medically evacuated from the course in a stretcher!  You did awesome Kev, very proud of you brother!

Now the positive side of dropping this race at mile 23.8 vs. any later?  It was only 1pm!  Kev could get a chance to rest up some and take in the beauty of the area.  After he got a chance to recover the three of us went out exploring.  We found a few trails to hike.  I apologize, but I took too long to get this post done and cannot remember for the life of me what the names of these trails were — I do have the pics tho…

Kevin and Janet - chilling at Lake Tahoe

Kevin and Janet – chilling at Lake Tahoe

1013825_597989186899086_1571980480_n 1045251_597989203565751_478365017_n

Kev and I 1045251_597989203565751_478365017_n 1017606_597989543565717_1508028168_n 1013915_597990793565592_969735515_n 1010236_597991090232229_1540545143_n 1002831_597990930232245_578034718_n 1000766_597989373565734_1914948158_n

After exploring we found a fantastic place to eat on the water and called it a night.  Although Kev was pulled off the course and didn’t finish the race, a DNF is much better than a DNS.  Mad props Kev – not anyone could just get into Western States.  So very thankful to have a ROCKSTAR friend like you!

Standbye …. more to come 🙂

Good thing pictures say a thousand words….

I have a lot of catching up to do and don’t feel like typing that much!  You ever get so far behind on something that the thought of trying to catch up makes you want to put it off even more?  Yeah, it’s kind of like that….   So after going back and forth with how to handle this, I decided that I would let the pictures we’ve taken this past month do most of the talking for me… That said, here is my lazy post —–

We are still eating REALLY well thanks to the Fresh 20, but I haven’t been as good about taking pictures of what we had.  I do have a couple of them tho…

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Cheese Quasadillas

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Cheese Quasadillas

Lemon Chicken with Farro Pasta and Bok Choy

Lemon Chicken with Farro Pasta and Bok Choy

Double thumb from Jeremy

Really doesn’t look like he likes it by his facial expression but he really did give this a double thumbs 🙂

Emily --- not such a fan of Farro

Emily — not such a fan of Farro

Ever see a kid double thumb up a tofu dish?

Ever see a kid double thumb up a tofu dish?

No?  Here's another! :)

No? Here’s another! 🙂

How about a little halibut --- just for the "halibut"

How about a little halibut — just for the “halibut”

This month also brought along mine and Emily’s Father Daughter Sweetheart Ball.  We do this every year,  buy her a “pretty dress” and “fancy shoes”, get dressed up and spend the day together dancing and having a great time, thanks to the Willoughby Recreation Center.  As usual, we went dress shopping and as usual Emily had an absolute BLAST modeling different dresses for me!  We invited Leah along this year but she wasn’t able to make it.  Here are some of Emily’s favorites from this day.

Dress #1 of 1,345,363 tried on today..

Dress #1 of 1,345,363 tried on today..

Dress #2

Dress #2

Dress #3

Dress #3

Dress #4

Dress #4

Time for the Ball!

Time for the Ball!

Excited to dance

Excited to dance

This girl has got some moves!

This girl has got some moves!

Ahhhhh  refreshements...

Ahhhhh refreshments…

Love this kid!

Love this kid!

My little girl is getting so big!

My little girl is getting so big!

What would a post be without another 50k run????   Well this one isn’t going to include one either because while the run was a 50k, most of us bowed out at mile 23.x.  This was the “No Shirt Fatass 50k”  — however it was WAY to cold for anyone to go sans shirt!  This was my first time at the Cleveland Metroparks, Hinckley Reservation as well — beautiful place and I can’t wait to take the kids here.  Here is my Runkeeper data — SLOW…..

Beautiful ledges area

Beautiful ledges area

fatass2 fatass3 fatass4 fatass5

One of the creek crossings

One of the creek crossings

fatass11 fatass8

Best way to finish a run!

Best way to finish a run! “Burgers 2 Beer”, Burger-onion straws-chili-cheese

I followed this run up the next day with a trip to New York to hit the slopes for the first time this year.  It’s nice to have Peak and Peak ski resort so close.  It is about an hour and a half drive for me and well worth it!  The place wasn’t crowded at all and except for the delays I had on the lifts – the day was amazing.

Skiing1 skiing3

Conditions couldn't have been better

Conditions couldn’t have been better

skiing4

After posting these pics and looking back at this month — this must’ve been the “Month of Emily”.  Jeremy had a sleep over at a friend’s house so I took Emily for a run in the morning.  She is really starting to enjoy it and was able to run most of our route.  There was also a race going on in the park at the same time in which many of my friends were participating in.  Emily and I ran to the start/finish line and cheered them all in.

IMG_3414

A new find in our park — never saw this little hut before

IMG_3415

I’ll help you up — just as soon as I take your pic, typical 🙂

IMG_3419

Beautiful scenery – Beautiful little girl!

That pretty much takes care of some of what’s been happening in February.  Things are REALLY starting to get busy now.  So, if you haven’t boycotted my blog because of this post – stick around!  In addition to things that are already on my plate, kids sports starting again (basketball, baseball, and fastpitch), and our Fresh Fork Market Summer CSA starting (whoo hoo!!!),  I started a youth running group thanks to the Lake County Department of Health.

Just RUN

and am also co-hosting a fun run in April to help out two great causes

Reaching for Recovery

Catchya later! 🙂

Introducing my family to my love….

Alright now… Really??? What did you think I meant???

If you have been following our adventures, I think you would agree with me when I say – Jeremy and Emily are HOOKED! They are loving being in the trails and splashing in the mud – I absolutely love to see them running, smiling, laughing, jumping, and splashing in puddles. Emily is also getting into the “fashion” side of running. For Christmas they both asked for running clothes and gear. Notice Emily sporting her new running skirt, tights, shirt, Nathan fuel belt, and Saucony shoes… she’s so darn cute 🙂

Emily sporting her new running skirt.

Emily sporting her new running clothes

Jeremy - all smiles in his new gear

Jeremy – all smiles in his new gear – yes Saucony as well — I’m a bit brand loyal 🙂

Jeremy and Emily have become quite the little runners. Jeremy wants to enter a 10k trail race next month, is seriously thinking about letting me mentor him through Bills Bad Ass, or as he calls it Bills Bad, uh – that word I’m not allowed to say… butt? and is planning on the Rite-Aid Half Marathon in May. Emily also told her teacher that her New Year’s resolution is to complete a half marathon! ROCK ON BABYGIRL! I’ve yet to sign us up yet tho — one thing I didn’t consider when all of us started running; Me + Emily + Jeremy= a 200% increase in 2013 registration fees and a huge rise in the cost of gear!

Now, my sister and brother-in-law have taken up walking almost every night – my sister is up to 4 miles! And if you’ve been reading my blogs, my niece tagged along with Jeremy for about 4 miles one night. My sister and her family has gone to North Chagrin, but walked the bridal trails and expressed an interest of joining us when the kids and I went. We went and they are now hooked as well!

We started out at Squire’s Castle and when we got out of the car, my sister was shocked! There Emily was in her running skirt and long sleeve tech shirt – no coat/hat/gloves.. Jeremy in his shorts, long sleeve tech shirt – no coat/hat/gloves, me in shorts and a short sleeve tech shirt, while my sister and her family were in coats, hats, gloves, and pants – needless to say after the first 1/2 mile, they were HOT! LOL

We headed down the bridal for a bit – yes, the same place where I knocked Emily down and bloodied her knees — Emily will not let me forget that. Our conversations usually go something like – “Dad, this is where you pushed me down!”, me – “I didn’t push you down, I tripped you – there’s a difference :)”

Vicki and Ed hitting the trails

Vicki and Ed hitting the trails

They quickly caught on to one of my favorite things about trail running — jumping in mud 🙂

Courtney just after getting some from Emily

Courtney just after getting some mud from Emily

Emily is still learning the dos and do nots of splashing in the trails… Em, do NOT look down when you jump in a puddle next time!

We went for about a mile down the bridal trail, hit Rivergrove Shelter, made the “whoo hoo” creek crossing and then hit some single track. On our way back I took them up one of my new favorite sections – root hill.

Still having fun, I think :)

Still having fun, I think 🙂

Jeremy - still having fun, I know!

Jeremy – still having fun, I know!

Emily perfecting her Karate Kid pose

Emily perfecting her Karate Kid pose

Just a few days prior, these trails were covered in snow. The remnants of which made some of them more like trail skating vs. trail running!

We ended up running/hiking just over 2 miles today. You could check out our data here. My niece actually liked it so much that when she got home, she called several of her friends and made arrangements for them all to hit the trails again the next day…. … Welcome to the addiction Vicki, Ed and Court — it’s a progressive disease from which there is no cure —- I hope 🙂