Archive for the Exercise Category

Adventure of the quest for the return of the lost city of the golden goose.

Posted in Bike, Exercise, Memories, otter on 9 July 2009 by jason

I rode my bike again.

Yesterday, I took that trail I was talking about last week (the one I took pics from) with the intention of riding through Stadium Park. I figured, what with the speed limit being about 20MPH in most of the part (and 10MPH in other parts), it would be a safe ride on the roads there. I was surprised, however, to find that the bike path that I had heard was planned for the park was actually just about complete, so the trip was much easier than it could have been.

Stadium Park was pretty uneventful (though very busy…a lot of people use the park system there!), but as I was turning around, I realized that accross the street, at Monument Park, the trail continued.

Again, Monument was busy, but the trail was nice and not too hard to ride on. When I made it through Monument, I was happy to find that the trail continued through Waterworks Park.

This is where the story gets interesting. I followed the trail through Waterworks until it passed under a bridge. Now, this place looked like the kind of place where you’d get mugged at night…the path turns a corner under the bridge, so vivibility is limited, and it’s between two hills, so you can’t really see the street from it. I decided to brave it and see what was on the other side of the bridge anyway, and I found…


…the ruins of Mother Goose Land!!!

For those who don’t know, Mother Goose Land was a small theme park in Canton that closed down in th eearly-to-mid eighties. I have lots of pictures of my brother and I at Mother Goose Land when I was about 6 years old, back when it was still in operation. The otter and I had always joked about trying to find the whale, because we knew that it’s the last remaining part of Mother Goose Land still standing except for one building that was turned into some sort of armory.

I’ll admit, when I came out from under the bridge and saw Willie the Blue Whale there, I got a little choked up. I’m going to go back soon with a real camera (that pic is from my phone) and get some better pictures.

Anyway, if anyone wants to go for a bike ride in Canton, the Stadium/Monument/Waterworks park system has a great trail with a prize at the end!


When he stops the race and looks around…

Posted in Exercise, Music, otter, Sports on 5 July 2009 by jason

On July 4th, I ran in my second race of the year: The North Canton YMCA July 4th 2-mile! This was probably my favorite race yet!

I started out my morning by getting on my bike and riding the 3.33 miles from my apartment to the North Canton YMCA, which gave me a good warm-up workout. I got there nice and early (I didn’t have to be there until 8:10…I got there at 7:20), so I could stretch and just walk around and take in the atmosphere. If you’ve never been to a race, there’s something inspiring in seeing all these people who have trained themselves to finish these races. You often hear about how lazy Americans are, but you don’t see any of this at the races.

Anyway, I got ready around 8:00 for the race. My goal was to come in at just under 17 minutes, which would beat last month’s race time by about 10 seconds. Of course, I still can’t get my playlist to play on my new MP3 Player, so I cued up Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. The cannon fired, and I started running, weaving in and out of people who might trip me up.

As a crossed the 1-mile mark, the race worker called out “Eight minutes and thirty seconds.” Good time, but I would have to speed up in order to make my goal. So I pushed myself.

That last mile was hell…I don’t think I’ve ever felt so exhausted as I ran, and I almost stopped and walked part of it, but I was determined. I ran, getting behind someone with a good pace and using him as a gauge for how I was doing. And then, I could see the finish line.

It was an uphill climb to the finish line, but I could read that the timer said “16:30.” I knew that if I sprinted, I could make it in under 17. My goal would be accomplished. Except that, as I got a little closer, I realized that it had said “15:30!” I was a minute ahead of where I thought I would be! I pushed myself across the finish line, then began having dry heaves, my body pushed to its limit.

A ended up coming in at 15:54.21, which was over a minute and 10 seconds better than my goal time! This also means that in the last year, I’ve improved my time by over 2 1/2 minutes!

Anyway, after I finished, I jogged down the course and caught up with my friends Beth and Ilya, and cheered them along the last half-mile. Then, the 5 mile race started, and I waited down the course and cheered the otter and my friend Nour on. It was great seeing so many of my friends run (some of them much further than I did!), and as corny as it sounds, I’m proud of all of them!

Next race…The Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival 2 mile!

Another bike update.

Posted in Bike, Exercise on 28 June 2009 by jason

On Friday, I decided to ride my bike to work! I live about 4 miles away from work, so it’s not that long of a ride. Or rather, it wasn’t supposed to be.

See, my problem is that I have no direction sense. I thought that I was going to save some time and take a short cut, but I was wrong. I ended up 4 miles out of my way. So yes, I got lost on the way to a place that I go to almost every day and have gone to for the last 5 years.

Here’s what I said about it on Twitter…read from bottom to top:


While on the ride, I noticed that I didn’t have access to one of the gears. Well, I thought that I would take my DIY a step further and adjust the derailleur on my bike. I watched videos on line, got out my tools, and…FAIL. I messed the derailleur up worse than it was before.

So my bike’s at the shop (Gemini Bicycle and Fitness Center) for a full tune up.

At least I tried.

Just like riding a bicycle!

Posted in Bike, Exercise, Photography on 21 June 2009 by jason

Yesterday, in a fit of confidence and DIYedness, I decided to fix my bike. You see, the otter bought me an almost-new bike; it had only been ridden once or twice, and looked brand new. The problem was that the brakes were way misaligned, to the point of being dangerous.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not at all mechanically inclined, so I thought I would have to take it to the shop to have it fixed. However, as I said, yesterday I decided to get on the internet, look up instructions, and fix the brakes myself.

After fixing them, I rode for about 12 miles: I rode to Target to look for a helmet mirror (which I didn’t buy), I rode to the Strip to get a giftcard from the movie theater for my dad (for Father’s Day), and I just generally rode around.

I stopped back home to get my camera before exploring the new bike trail right down the street from me…

Me and my bike (or, alternately, my bike and I)
Here I am starting on the trail…

The trail
The trail itself…

The Creek
A river runs through it. Well..OK, a creek runs through it.

The train
A train runs through it, too!

Anyway, I haven’t really ridden a bike in 15 years (I USED to ride about 10 miles a day!), so making it 12 miles yesterday without killing myself or collapsing with exhaustion is a pretty big deal for me! Plus, I’m not even sore this morning! I guess I’m in better shape than I thought!

The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner III: This time, it’s personal!

Posted in Exercise, Music, Sports on 14 June 2009 by jason

Yesterday, I ran in the Louisville (OH) Area YMCA 2-Mile Fun Run, as I’ve done every year for the past 3 years now. Things didn’t start out so well, and there were several bad omens before the race, but I’m very happy with my performance.

The first of the bad omens was that in the morning, it was COLD. Now, it’s always cold for this race, but usually, this race is held earlier in the year. It was kind of odd that in the middle of June, the temperature would drop.

The second of the bad omens was that I had set up an awesome mixtape for the race, which looked like this:

Andrew Bird-Fake Palindromes
The Mountain Goats-Baboon
Nico-These Days
Morrissey-Something is Squeezing my Skull
Balthrop, Alabama-Red Hook Pool
The Pixies-Wave of Mutilation

Pretty good mix, right? Starts fast, gets slow so I pace myself, “Red Hook Pool” is a good song to end with, and if I was going too slowly, “Wave of Mutilation” would speed me home. The problem? For some reason, the mix was not on my MP3 Player when I got to the race. My carefully designed race mix was gone.

Still, all was not lost. Right as the race was going to begin, the temperature rose to a comfortable place. I looked through my M3’s and decided to listen to Balthrop, Alabama’s Subway Songs because “Red Hook Pool” would play at about the same time it would have on my mix.

So, the race began, and we were off running. Everything went smoothly except for the very beginning of the race, which is at a bottleneck. Everyone gets slowed down at this point, but it is frustrating that they would start everyone off on such a narrow path. Meh.

As far as my own running, I felt pretty good until the 1 mile mark, where I started to tire. I kept going, though, and ended up finishing at 17:19.05. This is about 1 minute and 30 seconds faster than my time last year! For those who don’t know anything about running, a 10 second improvement is a good thing. A minute-and-30-second improvement? Let’s just say that I’m shocked.

So, all-in-all, it turned out to be a pretty good race for me. Next up: The 4th of July race in North Canton!

What? Where was I?

Posted in Exercise on 21 May 2009 by jason

Well, I have not been anywhere near as productive as I wanted to be this vacation. I haven’t written anything this week (so far), and I haven’t gotten anywhere as much cleaning done as I had hoped.

Still, it hasn’t been so bad. I hung out with Jayson yesterday, which was fun, even if I don’t know my way around Akron. I replaced my old MP3 player that stopped working on me with a new one that was 100 dollars cheaper than my old one, and with 4 times the memory (The new one was only 40 bucks!). Oh! And I managed to run 4 1/2 miles the other day! That’s the furthest I’ve ever gone!

Hopefully, next week will be more productive than this one. I’m kind of calling this week done for now.

Feeling the burn.

Posted in Exercise, otter, Writing on 13 May 2009 by jason

Yesterday, I went running with my friends Beth and Jenny. My goal was to get to 4 miles, which I did with surprising ease; I probably could have gone another half-mile. I think that having people I knew there made me more accountable, so I was less inclined to give up. Unfortunately, despite wearing SPF 30 sunblock, I have a sunburn on my face. It’s possible that I got the sunburn walking to the bus earlier in the day, or that it happened while I was walking from Panera to the gym, but I think that it’s that my sunblock is expired.

Another bad thing is that I’ve been walking the mile and a quarter to the bus and back in my Chucks, so my feet are killing me. The good thing about this is that when I put on my running shoes, the pain stopped. To remedy this, I got myself a new pair of shoes. New Balance. So my feet should be in comfort country any time now.

It’s not all bad. As I said, I did run 4 miles, and I’m going to try again tomorrow if it’s not raining. I also figured out how the short story I’m writing is going to end, so I feel pretty good about that.

Oh! And the otter got into grad school! She’s going to get her MBA. So everyone should congratulate her!