Monthly Archives: December 2014



lanterman's mill

December 20 was the date for our annual URINEO FA-Ultra Runners in North East Ohio Fat Ass.  This was the eight annual URINEO, and here is the history of the event.

I had a 215 am wake up call, to drive to Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio, in order to start with the five am group. I wanted to make sure I was done with my 50K in time to have some socializing. Usually I am still out on the trails at the end of the day, and miss out on the partying!

We had a good group of runners starting off at 5am.  There were a few runners not familiar with the park/route, and we made sure everyone had a partner/group that did know the park.

5 am starters

5 AM Starters URINEO 2014

I was with Doc Winkle and Chris Biswick and Heather until I stopped for two bio breaks, and then started up the Big Bear Spur alone. After I crossed the street, I managed to run into a log that was not perpendicular, and took a hard whomp down on the ground-on the same leg that I fell on last week. Sigh.

I finished the loop early, but stayed at the Log Cabin to meet and greet and start with the 8 am group.

8 am starters

8 am starters URINEO 2014

The 5am and the 8am group intersected on the trails right by Volney Rogers Field-trail gridlock, mon!


(At URINEO, the practice is to reverse direction after each loop. That way you tend to run into more runners to interact with.) The Professor stopped to run some laps with The King, who was the only NEO Trailer stepping up for the Monkey Hill Marathon Challenge this URINEO.

DSCN3415 DSCN3420

Trail miles go by faster with friends, and we were at Lanternman’s Mill in no time!

Lanterman's Mill  The mill is dressed up for Christmas, as is the Covered Bridge.

Covered Bridge Winter

Photo by Will Bill

Will Bill and Tara decided to tour Lake Newport, the lower loop of the YUTC course, while Jay and I headed north toward the Big Bear Spur.  The URINEO loop is 8.33 miles if you include Big Bear Spur and the Lily Pond.

big bear spur

I love the bridges on the URINEO/YUTC course.

low bridge

Jay and I finished our loop together, and I headed out for number three. I ran into Gombu (Bob) and he ended up joining me for my third/his fourth loop. This gave us a chance to talk Hardrock-Hardrock-Hardrock (Bob is a five time veteran of Hardrock) and not bore anyone else silly.

silverbridge DSCN3412 DSCN3413

We ran into Allison toward the end of loop three, and she ended up going out again, as did Cam. Cam ended up accompanying me for my full fourth loop, (more Hardrock-Hardrock-Hardrock chatter) which made the time go by!

I finished in time to enjoy some socializing for a change!

afterparty kimbob campaul1

Another wonderful URINEO in the books. Thanks everyone for coming out!

The History of URINEO

2006 was a big year of mileage. When a Fat Ass Meant 50 miles.

URINEO runners 2006

This was the 50 Mile Group:
Jim Harris 10:28
Dave Peterman 11:55
Frank Dwyer 12:07
Dan Kuzma 13:01
Mike Dobies 13:01
Bill Losey 13:01
Bob Combs 13:01
Brian Musick 14:15


The Love Log

This, according to my 2007 Report, was when the chatter about MMT began.
I wanted to bail after three loops, but Bob scolded me out to finish the 50K.
This is where the Snow Angel pic came from:

2008: This was the year Bob cut his hand open wide early in the run. I remember stopping at the Mill to help a family take a group photo(a young couple with a baby.) This year we did adjourn to Jib Jab  for awesome hot dogs post run. I had no pics as it was cold and the camera batteries died.



Another 50K finish for me, but Lloyd Thomas completed 50 miles. This spurred me on to declare my intentions for 50 miles in 2010.

2010: I finish 50 miles at URINEO.

But Slim and I have the race ‘within the run’. It was great.

The Race I think I was still on the East Gorge boardwalk, or just off, when Slim hollers at me from the opposite side of the creek. He is about a 1/2 mile or so behind me. “I’m coming for you”! The throwdown was on. I yelled back some equivalent of “yah, you think so” and I took off. I thought perhaps I could get as far as the Monkey Trails before he caught up.

Besides, we had nothing else to do in the middle of our run, so why not challenge?

I get to the Monkey Trails and take them as quickly as the slick conditions will allow. I’m sweating, but Slim is not in sight. I go around Pot Smoker’s corner and have that very runnable section. The snow has packed down the more technical rocks, so I am able to move.
I get through Slippery Rock Pavilion, slowing down for little walk breaks, but then breaking into a run. I’ve got the mentality: “he can catch me, but I’m going to make him work for it.”
I climb up the mud at the Troll Bridge, and then the little switchback trail. At the top, I pause-and see him!!

He’s under the bridge! Oh crap. Now he’s about 1/10 of a mile behind me? I feel like the gazelle being hunted down by the relentless hunter.

Still, I got the “make him work for it” mentality, and I just go!
I run into the Professor. “Hi Rich, can’t talk, Slim’s hunting me down”…. hug Rich, and keep going.

I’m at Volney Rogers, then crossing the road, crossing the interstate, carefully going down the steel steps…still no Slim.
As I turn onto Price Road, I hear this ROAR and now there’s a PACK of three (or four) runners, at the top of the Steel Steps!
I both giggle and say ‘oh shit’ now I’m caught.
Then I decided, no, I’m not, they’ll have to catch me. I run up the small incline hill (and mile 32) at a 9.31 minute mile.
I’m pretty much sprinting (as much as I can at mile 32) trying to hit the log cabin before Slim.
Lloyd Thomas comes out of nowhere behind, surprising me.

And I do it! I hit the log cabin about twenty feet in front of Slim. Both of us are laughing and breathing pretty hard. Nothing like a hard foot race in the 33rd mile or so of a 50 mile fat ass.



2011:  With a family wedding to attend, and management details to attend to, I decided 2 loops would have to suffice at URINEO 2011.  I ran with some different runners on my first loop, then second loop Slim and I got to spend trail time together, and then I turned to run with Cam back to the Log Cabin.

Bob Combs and  Bill Losey went over the Hardrock map with Jim and I (and wow, have I come a long way since URINEO 2006) before the festivities got too far under way.

Way too shortly, I had to scamper at 215 pm to attend a family wedding.






Presidentslily pond

Double Cam Baker





Scooby and Doc chose to run the Monkey Hill Marathon during URINEO.

The temperature was in the fifties, but the trails were half frozen in spots, which became a sloppy mess.

monkeyhills2013 The Monkey Trail was in great shape!






Reverb 14: One Word 2014

One word: What one word could describe your 2014?


Tough. The original word that came to mind was “sucked”.  But then I realized tough would work just as well.

To keep this not so much of a debbie downer, I will just give the brief overview of the suck:

My husband had some health issues the first two quarters of the year. Nothing life threatening or debilitating, but he was pretty miserable.


The trauma drama. The dog cut her pad of her foot in December. It wouldn’t heal, wouldn’t heal, got infected. The local vet was treating it, then it got real infected, we took her to Med Vets in Columbus.

alice february

Where she lived from the end of February to July. Trying to get this wound healed.


It did not. We visited her every three days, driving 100 miles to see her, 100 miles home. Where I also tried to keep up my with training. Ever run midafternoon 8 miles after a sushi lunch? In June?


Her leg was amputated mid August. Probably the worst day of my life. Yes, I know #firstworldproblem, but I felt like such a mom-dog failure.



The first nine month of the year sucked. With the husband being ill, trying to run, going off on a few scheduled races (feeling guilty for leaving home) trying to train, paying attention to the other two dogs-my stress level was about an 8 out of 10.  It was really bad.


Now the good news. I completed two 100 mile runs this year, TWOT in February, and Zion 100 in April. I’ve very proud of finishing TWOT-toughest thing I have ever done.


And the dog? She is perfectly fine.  Possibly faster than she was with 4 legs.  The husband is in good health, the dogs are getting along magnificently.  My stress level has returned to it’s normal 3-4/10 level.  After being so stressed, for so long, it just feels good to be this relaxed again.


three legged dog


I am looking forward to 2015 being the best year ever.

Reverb 14: Writing


Project Reverb prompt: “Chances are, if you’re participating in #reverb it’s because you like writing. Or at least want to like writing. Writing is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. What do you do every day to hone your craft? Or, what would you like to do each day to contribute to your writing?”

What do I do every day to hone my craft? Well, some days nothing. Between work and training and home life, there isn’t much off time to be creative. Some days I have writing and blog posts swirling in my head, I want to bust them out so badly! But by the time I sit down, the thoughts have dwindled.

I bought a tiny little crappy mini laptop a few years ago, thinking I would use it after a trail run to record my thoughts. But it was slow and quirky, and didn’t help me out at all.

I now keep a notebook in my purse, I start writing there, there’s all sorts of little disjointed ideas floating around.

I find I write best first thing in the morning. If I am inspired, that is when it is going to happen. Perhaps I need to start a best practice of turning on the computer, staying OFF the internet, and just concentrate on my writing for 20-30 minutes, before I find out who summited what 14’er and who just won a race.

I participated in NaBloPoMo, which was to write a blog post for each day on November. It turned out to be surprisingly hard. Now, in December, with Reverb prompts swirling around, I have found it more easy to write. Other situations have also spurred my writing this month.

What can I do to hone my craft? I need to edit better. In reading my old reports, that I am slowly adding to this site, I didn’t edit at all! Many of them were just typed, and posted!  It’s okay to write the race report, while everything is fresh, but I don’t necessarily have to get it published the same day!

How to Make a Vision Board

vision board

I always called them Motivation Boards, but Vision board works well also. I think I started on my first one back in the 2000’s when I was focused on losing weight. Many quotes went onto the board:  “A New Me in 2003!” and ““We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

 How to Make a Vision Board

Grab a piece of cardboard. Cover it with fabric or old wrapping paper.  I use an old marathon finishers medal ribbon to hang my latest.

For pics, quotes, I look at magazines, and randomly rip out words and phrases. Some as simple as “Outside”.  I will also cut out pics that are meaningful or inspirational to me. I would add stickers that companies had sent with products to the board.  Funny cartoons also made it to the board.

too busy

The website Pinterest has made it super easy to make yourself a digital vision board. My board, called “Training” is more or less a vision board. But I like to have the physical board here in “Real Life” to look at.  I have found pins on Pinterest that I have printed out for my undigital vision board.


I started to change my motivation board over time with running and goals, and got to a larger board. I would cut out words and pictures that grabbed my imagination.  Stickers from companies, favorite pic of me or friends, that went on the board. Pictures of trails were on the board.  Funny cartoons were on the board.

This is the board that culminated in my first MMT 100 Finish. The handwritten note in the middle was sent from Gary Knipling, congratulating me on my finish. That’s me in the blue, finishing my first Reverse Ring.

vision board

On my boards I tend to just paste over other images. It’s not about covering up the old quote/saying/picture, it’s about adding freshness and more motivation.


I have continued to have vision boards. I tend to just “know” when it’s time to retire one, and bring the fresh clay out and begin again. That’s what I have right now.

latest vision board

After getting into Hardrock 2015, I immediately printed the Course profile for the CCW direction. There’s my VISION for 2015.  The other visions will play around that.

 elevation profile


Why do I think a vision board is valuable and why do I think you need one? I see my board daily. I look at it daily. It keeps my goals and motivation in front of me. I post tiny milestones on the board. I have printed out my “you lost 1.2 pounds this week” from WW Online. That only means something to me, and it’s a big deal, this tiny milestone. Right now I also have my 30 Day Plank Challenge. I’m kind of stuck on 90 seconds right now, it’s tough, but that’s okay. Having it on my vision/motivation board keeps it in the front of my mind, something to work toward.

So if you need some motivation for the new year, or are starting a new project or goal for 2015, why not make a physical board, to remind you and stimulate you to work toward this?

Reverb 14: Small Pleasures

Small Pleasures: What small pleasures did you discover this year?

small pleasures

Photo by phasinphoto

The only good thing about the trauma drama with the dog was our lunch. After driving 100 miles to Columbus, spending 45 minutes to one hour with our dog, at least there was a decent sushi resturant near by.

As we made this trip to Columbus at least twice a week, we became regulars at Sushiko.  My husband was delighted to find they had Uni on the menu. I finally decided to try the uni myself.

Uni is sea urchin. What we were actually eating was the sea urchin eggs, or roe.  It turned out to be such a great treat. I’m not sure how to describe it. I want to use the word unctuous but I don’t know if that is correct. Kind of a creamy texture yet filling. Maybe it should be umami? “Pleasant savory taste”. Yes, that is more like it!

That’s my small pleasure. A new favorite food, uni.


Trail Run at Salt Fork

beaver at work

Trail Run Today at Salt Fork!


I wasn’t real thrilled with the temperature-28 F but I didn’t guess it would get any warmer. Off to Salt Fork I went. I was hoping the muddy trail (there was a 50K race there a week ago) would be frozen.  At least the temperature worked in my favor for that!


I worked my loop, trying to find all the slopes to ascend.  I’m going to looking to get as much vertical as I can for training. That’s not much.  But I have to work with what I have. I can’t create 8000 feet of elevation here in the East. It is what it is.


Just a nice little trail run. I saw many deep tracks, I saw no deer. The only critters I saw where a bluejay and a cardinal. I saw some work that beavers had been doing.

beaver felling tree

Beaver at work

I was a little surprised, as this is the edge of a rather large lake. Were the beavers looking for food, or thinking about building a REALLY big dam out there in the lake?  Well maybe they were eating:

Beavers don’t just use trees for building, they also eat them. Many of the same tree species they take down for construction are used as food. These include: willows, maples, hickories, Sweetgum, American.

Salt Fork Lake  Other than the beaver work, it was just an uneventful trail run. I listened to podcasts, and thought about Hardrock (of course!)

bigfoot loop

I got my twelve miles in, and was happy to see it had warmed all the way up to 30F.!!