Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sunsets always have a certain mystique with me. I watch them develope and fade away and slowy drift out of sight. 

A margarita, maybe a Corona, once upon a time a good cigar might be the perfect compliment to viewing such art in the sky....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today, I had time for a short run up at Turkey before I ran with the group at the river. It was Ginger's turn since I had run with Rocky last. Jake is just barely a year old and I have not ran with him on the trails yet. I went to the fence to the back yard with leash in hand, and who could deny these longing eyes?I decided to take them all with me!
Ginger pulls with the power of a plow mule, and does not settle down to a light pull until she reaches the trails. Rocky has to mark every tree, mail box, and patch of weeds for the 1st half mile or so. Jake was just along for the ride, neither pulling too hard, or getting his leash tangled. He was better than I had expected. I headed up Lip Buster hill with all of them still leashed, and they ran me up the hill so fast I had to put on my breaks with every step. I even fell at one point. I have never had to worry about being too fast running up THAT hill before! Rocky and Ginger knew where the 1st pond was and wasted no time getting there. This was Jake's 1st time getting to actually swim in a pond, but he waded in, and actually swam a few strokes, got a drink, and was done. No problem there. 

At this time, I decided that I would let Rocky and Ginger run off-leash. Jake wanted to run with the big dogs (although he is actually taller than Mom or Dad) and I decided I would let him. Rocky and Ginger always stay close by, but Jake wanted to explore the whole mountain and away he went. Rocky stayed right with him, but Ginger came back several times to check on me. I had intended to run the snake trail, just an easy 3 miles, hit the big pond over there and then head home, but the dogs headed right down the powerline trail. Right now, that trail is really tore up, what with all the Slashosaurus damage and the loose rocks from them grating. I had trouble making any time at all, but Ginger kept running ahead to the boys, and then running back to me. Luckily, and I hate to say I am thankful for these huge tree crushing machines, but one of these huge tired tree slashers was ambling right back towards me on the trail, smashing the natural tall grass and trees on its way, and it also shooed my dogs right back to me. I leashed Jake, and we finished our run. Rocky and Ginger stayed close, and Jake was tired enough that he ran like a laid back trail-dog.After a couple more swims, I took the dogs home, showered to wash off the chiggers and mud, and went to run with my road running friends at the river.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday night I saw "Into the Wild" a movie produced and directed by Sean Penn. It was about a young man Chris McCandless who was from a wealthy family in Georgia who upon finishing college and being accepted into an Ivy League school for his further studies, walked away from it all, gave all of his money away, ditched his car, cut up all his ID, and lived totally in the moment. He went wherever he wanted, to California, to Mexico, and finally to Alaska where he walked away into the wilderness and lived off of the land. I had read the book by Jon Krakauer a couple of years ago and was lured in by the title. It was a sad book in that Chris never grew into the man that he could have been. He died a slow and agonizing death and in his last days, I think he realized that he had made some mistakes. None-the-less, he died doing what he wanted. To some, he might seem irresponsible. To others, he was admired by his carefree attitude.The movie stayed very close in content to the book. 
I understand that Chris' parents were adamant that the movie not take artistic liscence in the portrayal of their son and his life. It did seem to me that Chris was an inspiration to everyone he met on his journey. He helped the people he met along the way to look within themselves  to think outside the mundane realm that we seem to fall into. Life is so short, this little slice of time we have here on this earth. Chris lived it to the fullest, yet by savoring his dream, he had his time cut short. Maybe that is a lesson worth holding on to.

I am sure this movie will garner an oscar nomination for best picture and best director. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A New Way to Have Fun

Last week, Rocky and I ran a few miles at Turkey Mountain. I let him lead the way, and we found our way over to the YMCA and headed straight south onto some trails that have gotten quite overgrown. Along the way, I felt a tick making it's way up my leg, I pulled him off and flicked him away. After that, being a little cautious, I found and remover 9 more ticks before they had a chance to bite. Last spring, the ticks were terrible and I always picked up 4 or 5 every time out. After the hard winter we had, I thought they would be wiped out, but instead they thrived. Then we had all the rain in late spring and summer. It was as though the ticks all had drowned. I went several weeks with no ticks at all. It was a real surprise that on a cool October day I would pick up 10 ticks. All that I found were the male deer ticks, as best as I can tell.
This evening, as we do every evening, we set on the patio and feed our dogs. We have 3 chocolate labs who need all the attention they can get.We sit with them, drink beer, wine, or whatever while they eat, and then they get their doggie snacks and their ears scratched, their bellies rubbed, their medicine when they need it, and lots of lovin. Since the weather has gotten cooler and it is getting darker earlier, we have bought a chimnea, and build a small fire every evening.
This evening while scratching Rocky's ears, Dana found a tick. She pulled it off and handed it to me to dispose of and since I had a nice bed of coals in the chimnea and tossed him in there. Now call me evil or whatever, but I watched with delight as it's 8 legs flew and wriggled for a split second, and then POP!!!! It exploded like a popcorn kernel!! The search was on. Dana managed to find 6 or 7 more ticks around his collar and each tick did not disappoint! As you can see, we are easily entertained. I highly recommend checking for ticks after getting into high grass, and there is no better way to get rid of them!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tulsa Run

The Tulsa Run has come and gone. This year, I ran with a friend, Bobby Michaels. It was his first 15K and longest race to date. We went into the race expecting only a finish, and hoping for a good experience. Bobby set the pace, and I swear he did not deviate by more than a few seconds from the first K to the last. We ran the first long hill, and in fact, I believe we ran every hill the course had to throw at us. We took a short walk break at the water stops, and 2 very short walk breaks between the 13K and 14K mark. Bobby found a little bit of extra energy at the end, and pulled away from me by a couple of yards right at the finish. I was proud of him and his strong will to have a good race. We had talked about what kind of time we might run, and I told him that I thought we could get in under two hours, and we did just that, in 1:58 and change!!

Here are Bobby and I and a friend, Sharon I think was her name. (Geeze I hope I am right about that!)

Later, Dana and I ran 4 pretty quick miles on the snake trail at Turkey Mt. Today was a perfect day weather-wise to run....just enough to sweat, not near warm enough to be uncomfortable.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ready, Set, GO!!!

Tomorrow is the day so many have been training for....the Tulsa Run. This is Tulsa's biggest running event, and it is a thrill to run, even if it is on roads. I get such a charge from running in a huge crowd of people like that. I dunno if I would wanna run a whole marathon with elbow to elbow people all the way though.

I plan to run with my friend Bobby who I sometimes run with on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am pumped! I do admit I might partake of the alcoholic aid along the way at the Tulsa Hashers aid station. Maybe a long swig of brew before finishing the run. Sounds good!!! 

This pic is actually from last year's Rt 66 Marathon, but this is right where the Tatur tent was set, and where we will gather before the race. I am betting for chili temps though, but Brian will still probably be in shorts and a singlet.

Today I worked all day at the RunnersWorld booth at the Tulsa Run expo. 

We had our Ugly Foot contest and filmed some pretty nasty feet and toes. Everyone who participated seemed to enjoy the silliness of it all.

 We ran videos of WS100, Massanutten, The Bear 100, and the AT100. Anytime trail running was on the screen, it seemed to draw quite a crowd.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This morning, my significantly better half and I ran our usual 5 mile loop. She was appalled as I was at the waste of trees by Wright Tree Slaughtering Inc. They had drove their slashosaurus through some natural tallgrass slinging amputated limbs every which way as they plodded along. We can rest assured that no limbs from these 40 foot trees will ever touch these 75 foot wires. I will sleep much better at night now. The wind was out of the north so we were treated to the nice aroma from the pooey plant from the top of the hill all the way northward. Try holding your breath that long!! None the less, we had a good run.

Last week, while running the snake trail, where we rarely if ever have seen a snake, we saw not one but two green snakes. Both were stretched across the trail and were easy to spot. Since they would have been bisected by the first mountain bike that passed, I picked them up and helped them off of the trail. They did not seem to mind, although one did the wriggly scriggly thing and acted like he really wanted to smell my hand. I put him down a little quicker that I did with the first more docile one.

Tonight, it's a 4 miler and then pizza at RunnersWorld with all my Tue/Thur friends. We'll toss around boasts, predictions, and lies about our efforts Saturday at the Tulsa Run. My goal is to walk out of the pizza party having ate 3 or less pieces of pizza. I have my work cut out!!

Massacre at Turkey Mountain

Back from my run, and Chinese carbo- loading. I came upon a tragedy on the hill. Two large mechanical tree- eating dinosaurs were mutilating trees along Lip-buster and the power line trail. I understand the need for tree trimming when limbs and branches crowd the power lines. I have no problem with carefully and responsibly under these circumstances. But what happened on the hill was ridiculous. Trees that were only 30 feet tall were cut back because they were in the same zip code as 75 foot electrical lines. And no trees along the edge of the woods were spared. It was like going to the barber shop and telling the barber to just buzz it. Some large trees were cut completely down, others had all their branches lopped off leaving only the trunk, others had all of the western sides slashed off. All of the brush was left piled up, covering a few of the trail heads, although the workers said the brush would be cleaned up. The mowed trail cut from the bottom of Lip-buster is now a double track. And, lots of trees were hacked down at the main bottom parking lot.

I am not a tree hugger, but I still ache for these trees. Most of the ones hacked up will die. I now understand what the "STOP THE CHOP" movement was all about!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If I could bottle days like these.....

No better weather than today's. My weatherman buddy had earlier called for off-and-on rain all week, but the past 2 days have been AWESOME. Low 50s in the mornings, and upper 60s in the afternoons.

I am catching up on some office work, and then heading out the door for 10 miles or so at Turkey Mountain. I am taking Rocky, my chocolate Lab. He thinks he knows every trail created and does not know how I could ever find my way out of the woods without him. On days like this, I will let him lead the way and see where he wants to go. I am sure his trails will frequent as many ponds as possible, as he has to get a few swims in. On the plus side, swimming is a halfway good substitute for a bath which he needs dearly.
I have just spoken with Ms. Hoover about the Tulsa Run Expo this Friday. We had been trying to think of some kind of game or contest to have at the RunnersWorld booth. We have decided to have the "Ugliest Toe Contest!" Each hour, or each 30 minutes, we will line up 3-5 contestants who will sit down and display their nastiest toenails, blisters, hairy toes, toe lint, and hey, they might even be awarded or penalized for bad odor! Each winner will receive a prize and have their grotesque feet photographed and a grand prize winner will be determined by an elite panel of judges. This unfortunate owner of nasty toes will receive a grand prize worth thousands! (Thousands of what, you ask....well, that is also yet to be determined.) Please stop by and be silly with us!!! And, have a great race!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This weekend I will run on roads... The Tulsa Run. It's a 15K which is Tulsa's premier race, and one of the biggest running events in Oklahoma. I am running with a good friend, Bobby, who is running his first race. He has lost 40 +/- lbs, and has gone from couch potato to running 10 mile long runs on the weekends. I have watched him improve slowly and surely. He has done it the right way by starting out very easily and not trying to run bunches of miles and getting burned out. This is due mostly to a great coach, none other than my great friend and semi-boss, Kathy Hoover the new owner of RunnersWorld! This Saturday will be a great time of great endeavors, great stories, and great celebrations!

I hope to post a few pictures along the way as I learn how to do the things that Blogger allows. If I have done it right, Here is a picture of me at last years AT100 when I was feeling alive. I hope to regain that level of energy for next years effort.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday. A start of a week, another start of a life. Every day is but a chapter of a book on a shelf. Today the text included rain, peaceful rain. Wind that whispered, and spoke a little louder, and occasionally raised it's voice to get my attention. Its insistent cry for attention was to show sideways rain. What a perfect day not to run!!

It's funny, I cannot think of a time when I have left for a run WHEN it was raining, but I have never been caught in by rain while running that it was not a good experience.

My revised quest for the year is to run 2,000 miles. It had been 2,400, but unless I do a Forrest Gump sometime between now and January 2,400 miles will not happen. But with the marathons and 50Ks I have planned between now and the end of the year, I should be able to top the 2K mark.