I need to catch up on about a week and a half worth of activity. Luckliy there have been some highlights in the past week or two that have stuck with me, starting with last Saturday. I was finally able to get in a ride with Bryce and Kurt. I started off from Cedar Point Hill and headed south to Wallace Lake where I met the two of them and a couple of Kurt's buddies. The plan was to go long so I came prepared for anything and everything. I knew going in that it would be a strenuous ride in that I was the weakest of the group. However, I kept up the best I could and only fell behind a few times. I had no idea where we were for most of the ride until we took a left turn onto Rt 83 (heading South towards Lodi). I had driven this road many times and was amazed that I was now biking it. I was probably more amazed that we were actually going to ride into Lodi, which is about 45 miles from my house. In Lodi, we took about a 10 minute break and headed home. We didn't exactly double back but rather took some back country roads through Medina County, which were rather nice. At some point, I split off from the group because we were eventually heading to different places. I recall passing through Valley City, which owns the title as the Frog Jumping Capital of Ohio! When I finally arrived back at my car, I felt pretty good. Some of the hills wore me down but I seemed to recover quickly. Kurt called to make sure I was OK and informed me that they logged 92 miles total. The route I took for the last hour or so was probably a tad shorter than theirs, so I figure I was in the mid to high 80's.
Sunday brought with it the Cleveland Marathon and Bridget, Rachel, Lou, Dan, Jackie, Katie, Annie, Sue and Ed were all running. The plan was to see everyone off at the start and then hit a few spots on the course for support. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy to get around this course and I was able to see everyone, except Dan, atleast once. At the 16 mile mark, I jumped in with Bridget and ran her all the way in to the finish. Since the last 10 miles was all I ran, it was pretty amazing being able to actually enjoy the end of a marathon course. I took in the scenery and took some mental notes in case I decide to run Cleveland again in the future. Everyone did amazing despite the tough conditions. I was even impressed with the crowd support. It's not Boston, but a fair amount of people make the effort to get out where there normally wouldn't be anyone. Also, the volunteers were great at the water and aid stations.
After such an exciting weekend, my week has been rather glum! Suffered through a 3 day audit at work and spent Wednesday night alone with the puppies as Teresa was entertaining a handful of our Irish relatives in Niagara Falls. It's finally Friday and I'm chomping at the bit to get on the road to Portsmouth for the 1/2-Ironman I'll be doing on Sunday. Went to the pool for a light swim this morning just to work the jitters out and build confidence. Tomorrow when I arrive in Portsmouth, I plan to squeeze into my wetsuit and swim the course for 20 minutes or so just to get a feel for the open water. I may try to run a few miles on the course as well. Assuming I survive this thing, I'll have a full recap next week!