Friday, March 28, 2008


Today, I ran with the RunnersWorld group as I do on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have had a lot of so-so runs in the past week, usually starting out extremely sluggish and after 2-3 miles, my legs finally wake up to do their job. This evening started out much the same, but after a mile, it was as if I had shed a load of weight and I felt light on my feet. I ran 1/2 mile with Bobby and Alan and they turned back at 1.5 miles so I went on. I cranked it up to maybe a 10K pace and ran into a stiff north wind for 1.5 more miles. It was then that I met up with Gloria, who is training for OKC. She ran a very steady pace and it was a little work to keep up with her, but we ran and chatted all the way back to RunnersWorld. I thanked her for pushing me all the way, and she laughed and said I was pushing her. All in all, I had a good run, which I really needed. I have been running 50+ per week and it's nice when it feels like a little progress is happening.

Then it was home to do the evening ritual of building a little fire in the chimnea and feeding the dogs. Every night, they require massive amounts of dog food (yum!) and 50 ear scratches, 25-30 belly rubs, a dozen or so pats anywhere on their torso, and 3-5 face licks. No pictures taken today, but here is Jake about 16 months ago.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

an update on Dana

Dana and I ran part of the Snake Trail the weekend before last, and on a nice smooth downhill section with no rocks, and no roots, she found a small lone stump, kicked it hard, and after 2 frantic recovery steps, flew horizontally for a few feet and hit the dirt with a hard thud.It was a loud thud, and I was sure she was hurt, but other than getting a little muddy, she was fine.

Then, last Saturday, we were running down the same trail, and in the exact same spot, she kicked the exact same stump, and landed face down again in the same muddy patch of trail. This time, however, she bruised her elbow and twisted her arm. She said she felt something pop.Monday morning, she went in for an x-ray, and was told nothing was broken and to take lots of vitamin I, rest, and give it 2 weeks.

I have been commissioned to either hack that stump out of the trail, or paint it bright pink. I am thinking maybe doing both. I think it would make a great conversation piece on our fireplace mantel!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Wasted the day sitting inside, watching NCAA basketball, PGA golf, Die Hard or Die Dumber, and some new Jodie Foster movie which was ok. I also did some damage to several chocolate bunnies!
Dana has done something to her arm, either sprained it, torn a rotater cuff, or just popped it out and back in at the shoulder. It is painful, and we'll probably get it x-rayed tomorrow. More news about that tomorrow, as well as pictures of how it happened!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Runs

I had commented on a friends blog about running two-a-days, and even 3 different runs in one day. It is a way to get in a good total of miles without feeling like you did a "long run". Last Wednesday, I actually ran 3 different times, once with Coach Kathy and Taylor's Titans, and then with all 3 of my labs on Turkey Mountain, and then a night run on the Snake trail with Dana. I ended up with 11 miles. Today, I was back up running on the track at McLain and ran with one of the teachers (the Colonel) who helps out with the new runners. We ran 3.5 miles at a 10:30ish pace and chatted all the way. After the run, I headed over to Lake Yahola aka Mohawk Lake and ran the perimeter trail.It is 3.3 miles around the lake, of which 3 miles are on a nice soft dirt/chat road. It is pancake flat, and the lake if a great place to run at sunrise or at sunset.It is common to see deer grazing on the north end of the lake at dusk, although I was a little early today. Last summer I spotted 3 deer grazing just out of the thicket and they were nice enough to pose for a Kodak moment.I ran the loop fairly hard by my standards, averaging just a little under 10 minutes per mile. By working in an extra run a couple of days per week, I have upped my weekly mileage into the upper 50s and the old body is not protesting too much!

Monday, March 17, 2008

through with work at 4:00 pm

Today I finished my work early. I had planned to run with Taylor's Titans, a group of up-and-coming young runners sponsored by Kathy Taylor who Kathy Hoover coaches on Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Today, however, the run was cancelled due to threatening weather (that never materialized.) I thought about just chilling on the couch....catching up on Oprah, maybe work a few crosswords. Scooter thought that was a good idea, although I think he just wanted some lap-time.
I stepped outside to say "hi" to the dogs, and they had another idea on how to spend the rest of the day!So, I strapped on my Tevas, filled a water bottle, and Rocky and I headed for Turkey Mountain.

We went through the woods to the top of the hill, as I wasn't ready for Lip Buster yet, then we headed west. I wanted to check out the area where the proposed commercial developement is. There are not many trails on that portion of land, although there are a few. The plot they want to develope is actually quite flat (I am assuming they want all of the flat land) and there were plenty of wooden stakes with pink ribbon marking their intentions.The flash on my camera was on and I'm guessing it drowned out the hot pink in the ribbons. These stakes run 1/2 mile north 1/4 mile west of HW75 and mark the rectangle where the slabs of concrete are to begin. However, I see this section developed as a great place for a winding series of single track "S" turns.

Then we hit the YMCA so Rocky could swim. I wish I liked swimming as much as he does.

After that, we spent an hour working on the course for the evening edition of this years Barkley Book Fair. I would post pictures of some of the course, but it would do no good since you all will be seeing it at NIGHT! One hint about this years course: I did get my feet wet!

It is at this time that I want to claim my prize....for the 1st tick-bite of the year!!If you click on the picture, it will enlarge and you can get a close-up of my hairy leg, and you can see a little inflammation around the bite. I actually brought two of these critters home with me today, and donated a little blood to each of them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Night after a long day before a big race

Oh my goosh, I am beat! This morning I showed up at RunnersWorld for my usual Friday of playing with shoes, and spent most of the day signing up people for the St Patricks Day 5K.This is the 1st big 5K of the year in Tulsa, and is one of the biggest 5Ks in the state. Last year, there were over 1800 runners, and I imagine it will top 2000 this year. There were throngs of people flocking in to sign up. It was wall-to-wall people all day long.
Maybe a thousand people came in to sign up, and many bought shoes and GUs, socks and shot blocks. It was exausting, but fun all the same! 

The race shirts, which we were running out of as the day went on, always has the same leprechaun, a jolly sort with a rotund face, and seems nothing like the leprechauns I envisioned as a kid.

 I always pictured them looking more like this....

Of course there have been other famous leprechauns in history. I really don't think this one would go so well on a race t-shirt that benefits Special Olympics.This guy is on a lot of shirts though. He always reminded me of Mike Snyder who is the most Irish guy I know, even if he is Scottish!!

I'll take my camera out tomorrow and take some race pics. Should be lotsa green!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snake Run is done and fun

It's Monday night, and I am recuperated from last Saturdays 6 Hour Long Snake Run. 

I had so much fun putting this race on. Other than a couple of errors in the total mileage totals (which have been corrected) I think the event went well. Hats off to my sister-in-law Sharon Childress for the superb artwork for our

I started my morning waking to Brian calling at 5:15 am. I dressed quickly and warmly and beat everyone to the top of Turkey Mountain.

Bill Ford had driven down early from Ponca City Friday morning and helped in marking the course. (Thank you Spud!) Then Bill belted out 3 laps on Friday, using his own supplies for aid. Brian, Kathy, and I had set up the aid stations the night before, but early Saturday before the race supplies needed to be dropped off and the course needed a few last minute markings. With 30 minutes before start time, I was home boiling water for hot chocolate, which to my surprise, was hardly touched. Nice hot chicken soup at the turn-around was mostly ignored, except by me.

55 runners signed up for this race, and 50 toed the line. To the 5 who slept in, ya better be here next year!! 

Michael Adams from Manhattan, Kansas took off like a shot and never slowed down until 5 hours and 45 minutes had passed. In 345 minutes, Mr. Adams had ran 40 miles, and spent the last 15 minutes walking 4 quarter mile finishing loops as a cool-down for a total of 41 miles. Amazing!

Runners were treated to home-made brownies and bites of cheesecake thanks to my lovely wife Dana, who also worked all night baking and then all day at the start/finish and took pictures. Talk about multi-tasking!

Special thanks goes to Michael Talbert, who drove from OKC to volunteer. Michael is going to Western States this June, and need 8 hours of volunteer service in an ultra event. He worked like a machine at the start/finish area keeping track of the runners. I doubt I could have managed without him.Tom Dorothy ran a good race and loaned us his family who worked all day long helping out at the start/finish, and then at the turn-around. We needed volunteers and they were awesome. Thank you Julie, Will, Shannon, and Wyatt.Also, thank you to Caroline Glenn and David Woods who manned the turnaround station for most of the day, and to Joe Hartl who helped us pack up the aid stations after the race. No doubt I have forgotten someone who helped out, and I owe ya!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Texas Independence Relay

This past weekend, I ran in the Texas Independence Relay. This was a relay from Gonzales Texas which is near San Antonio, eastward on 2-lane highways and county roads, through Houston, and then on to the San Jacinto monument....203.67 miles in total. There were two teams from Tulsa, with nine runners on each team. In the months before the run, we had some people who had their plans change and such, and we ended up recruiting some friends of friends and we ended up with a runner from Norman, a couple of great girls from Abilene Texas, and 2 drivers from Louisiana.Here are most of the members of our team, along with 3 of our drivers. This trip required 4 vans, 7 or 8 motel rooms for the night before, 8 cases of water, 4 cases of Gatorade, 4 first aid kits, a bunch of blinkies, 8 reflective belts, all that and a bag of chips....make that 4 cases of chips.

We stuffed our face the night before at the banquet with the usual carbo- loading fare.... pasta and garlic bread. The lines moved fast, the food was fair, and the speaker was brief, entertaining, and educational. Miriam scowls, thinking "Darn, pasta again?!?" Tina is all smiles, thinking "Oh boy!! Pasta!!!" These 2 awesome girls are from Abilene, and in the military. Tina was speedy, and I, being paired with her, figured I had my work cut out keeping up with her.

Miriam kept our teams on schedule by taking the final leg, swapping with Glow-Stick, (a 51 year old multi-colored hair dude who owns no shirts that are not neon yellow) who was having fatigue issues near the end of the relay. Pictured with David "Glow-Stick" James is Susan Young, a feisty girl from our TATUR club.

My 1st leg to run was the 10th leg in the relay. I ran 19, 12, 27, 31, and 33 for a total of 29.31 miles including the prelude and prologue run in which all of the team participated. Other runners on the team ran as much as 33.78 miles, and some as little as 14.15 miles. This made this relay an event that anyone could do regardless of their running endurance. Everyone ran their legs well. No one let the team down and gave 100% We had no grand illusions of finishing high in the list of finishers, but instead focused on methodically taking care of business and having fun.

A lot of time was spent waiting waiting waiting. There were times when a van of 4 runners would have several hours of down time. My van usually followed the other runners from our teams and cheered them on. Of course, we found time to eat, and actually got plenty of sleep along the way despite this being an all day all night all day event. A few of the towns had festivals, or cooked hamburgers or sausages on a stick to sell. Yum!

Above, Brian, John, Tina, and I await our first chance to run in Flatonia.
This is one of several towns that were a flash from the past. Historic town squares, old buildings with architectural splendor, and a line of porta-pots.

I must say I was very impressed with Jay, the RD for the race. The race ran very smoothly. Jay seemed like a real down-to-earth guy, despite looking like Jim Carrey. I saw him several times along the way, helping out where he could, picking up trash, encouraging people.

On and on we ran, all through the night, and headlong into the night and into the next day. We ran some 20 miles on paved bike trails through George Bush park, and Hershey park. 

After that, we ran through some of the more ritzy areas of Houston before finally entering the downtown area. 

After leaving downtown Houston, we ran through what the runner's handbook called "lesser priviledged neighborhoods", we came to a park where there were hundreds of cars. It was a huge traffic jamb, and our poor drivers could not find a place to park our mammoth sized vans. Our exchange point was here, and we piled out of the van and awaited our runners. Turns out, it was a big Hillary rally was in full swing just around the corner. I could have sworn I heard her not-so-lovely screechy voice promising all the wonderful things she was gonna do if she were ekected. I was later told she was not there, and it was hubby Bill there. Hillary was in fact in Ohio stumping for votes there on Sunday. None-the-less, there were hordes of people carrying Hillary signs. I just had to grab my camera for a "Kodak" moment! The girl on the left has aspirations to be president, but needs to register to vote. In fact, she needs to become a citizen too. The second girl thinks Obama is cuter, but thought the sign would look good on her bedroom wall. The girl in the back was supposed to be babysitting her little brother. The girl on the right thinks Slick Willie is her real dad.

The next several miles were more of a blur. Most of it was through boring hohum neighborhoods, and some of wondered why the race went this way. I guess since we had to get from point X (downtown Houston) to point Z (San Jacinto monument) we had to deal with whatever was in between. Everyone was tired, it was cloudy, rainy, and most of the time we were running into a strong south wind. It looked as though it would start pouring down rain at any time. Most of us were caravanning and waiting for our runners at the check points. 

The runners were moving a little slower, and although it was still fun, it was gonna be good to be through!! 

Finally, the monument and finish line is in sight!! All 18 of us ran together for the last .38 of a mile, and crossed the finish line hand in hand. It would make a good picture if one had a wide enough lense in their camera. Brian suggested we all sing "Kumbaya"!! Such a nerd!! 

Each team was treated to Papa Johns pizza, 4 pizzas for each team, so we had 8 boxes. I just inhaled 4 slices, and then I found that some of the boxes had pizza that was not cold, but by then I was full. We all posed for a group picture, and then it was over.John and Jeff show off their metals.

Captains Dave and Robin tally up our mileage totals.

Loaded up and ready to go!

Tina and John looking way to hyper for having just finished a 203 mile race!!

All this for a lousy t-shirt and a massive metal! (Actually, it's an awesome shirt!)