Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kenny3 introduces Beckett

I am a grandpa for the 2nd time!!! My oldest son, Kenny3 and his lovely wife Lynnsey had their 1st addition to their fanily today. They named him Beckett. A middle name has not yet been determined. He was born at 5:30 this morning, and weighed in at 8 lbs 13 ounces. Here, Kenny helps his half sister Emmy hold her little nephew.

Lynnsey is doing great, and Mom and Beckett should get to go home tomorrow evening. Beckett is eating well, and producing fill-ups for his diapers with regularity. Everyone said he looks a lot like me. I did not really see that.... he has a great head of hair. There were 11 people, mom and baby included, crammed into this small room. Fortunately, the nursing staff were ok with the throng of visitors. One by one, we got our turn to hold little Beckett. He slept very soundly until just before we left, when he awoke and decided he was HUNGRY! 







I waited patiently, and finally got my turn. Grandkids are great!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

procrastination



Guess what I'm finally gonna do today....


And the proof of a job well done (as I pat myself on the back and consume a cold beer!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ken's All-Night Birthday Run


Friday night, starting out at 9:45, several of my friends and I headed to the trails to run for hours and hours on Turkey Mountain. This is the 3rd year I have hosted an all-niter on my birthday (which is actually Sunday.)Behind me are, left to right, Candice, Johnnie aka Tatur Uno, Glenn, Arnold (just back from pacing duties at Badwater), Brian, Roman, Kathy, and Bill (who won the prize for coming the farthest.)

We headed up Lipbuster and then did a run of the Snake. I had stashed two ice chests at the upper parking lot with water, Gatorade, some cran-grape juice, and best of all....BEER! We used the upper lot as a hub, coming back to rehydrate several times during the night.
Bee-sting Bob, in the gray and red shirt, met up with us later and ran with us for a few hours. 
He came bearing gifts, presenting me with the coolest flexible tripod for my camera. I had been stacking and propping my camera on rocks when using the timer, and he saw I could use one of these. This tripod can be twisted and hung from tree limbs or jail bars, or just about anything depending on where I am at the time.

At midnight, Dana met us at the lower parking lot with pizza and made-from-scratch cheesecake with strawberries.We wolfed pizza and munched on the huge slabs of cheesecake until we could not even move.




Some of the crazier ones practiced their photo-bombing skills.
Tatur Uno resting comfortably.


Candice has ran at night before, and has ran trails before. But tonight was her first night run on trails. She ran 8 miles, kicked several rocks, and only had a bloody knee to show for it.
Afterward, I met the RunnersWorld runners at Veterans Park and ran a few more miles on roads to finish out my effort. I ended up with 28 miles, with most of them on the more technical trails of Turkey. Now, I need to work on catching up on SLEEP. Thanks so much to all of my friends who ran with me during the night. These are the best birthday celebrations I've ever had!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

North on the Snake Trail ran counter clockwise about 1 mile from the upper parking lot, there is hidden somewhere a nest of bad ass hornets. Several of my trail running buddies have been stung by these very vicious pests, and earlier this week, Dana got nailed by one of them. It was time to retaliate! I loaded up my back pack with an extra thick sweat shirt, since these critters have no problem stinging through clothing, a can of extra-heavy-duty wasp spray that supposedly should shoot out 27 feet, and four Benadryl in case I got stung. To outsmart the hornets, I snuck around the back way, going CLOCKWISE. Ahh....the element of surprise! Actually, going this way I knew pretty close to where I had to put on my wasp armor and lock and load. With sweat shirt in place, and the spray can shaken and ready, I cautiously tiptoed up the trail.I scanned the woods on either side of the trail looking for the hornets buzzing around, hoping they would lead me to their nest. About 50 yards from where the attacks had occurred, I spotted a red hornet flying low, probably looking for whatever it is they eat. I nailed that sucker, and the spray did in fact have an instant affect. It immediately pissed him off!!! He flew towards me, then hit the ground, then flew up into a tree, buzzing loudly all the way before finally dying.One down, but where is the nest?? I went on a little further, and saw another hornet, this time hitting him cleanly with the spray. It was a quick kill, which renewed my faith in the so-called high power wasp spray I had laid out 3 bucks for.This guy was big, and I was l little concerned that I only had one can.

After covering about a quarter mile, I was sure I had gone well past where the nest was, so I turned around to make another pass through. It was about this time that a trail runner whom I did not know came jogging through. I stopped him and warned him of the possible impending attacks, but either he could not hear me over his Ipod, or was not concerned. I followed just behind him watching to see if he stirred up the flying warriors. No luck. I decided to go back through one more time, this time tossing sticks and rocks into the trees. (I now question the intelligence of this tactic.) After my 2nd toss, I heard the sound of a small helicopter near my ear, and then it felt like a hummingbird had dive bombed me. It was one of the killer hornets sent in to take me out. But, his stinger was not long enough to penetrate my thick armor (St Francis sweatshirt.) And, I utilized an effective military tactic that was really more of a girlie shriek, followed by a very quick sprint with my arms flapping and waving in the air.

It was 5:30, and I was to meet my trail running buddies at 5:45, so I decided to call a cease-fire and renew this war another day.
To my left are Kathryn, Vicky, Aaron with the cool shades, Bee-Sting Bob in the back, and Glenn who looks like he must have had the chili for lunch. We ran the mid trail south to north, lots of rocks, and some serious trail damage due to the mud slide earlier in the year. I propose building a wooden bridge across this damaged area. We'll need to do something before the Turkey and Taturs race.

Finally, this Friday night starting around 9:00 pm, I will be starting my birthday run. I and as many of you who want to will run all night on the trails on Turkey Mountain. We'll start out with some east trails, and maybe even do a few miles on the new paved trail along the west bank. You can come run for an hour, 4 hours, all night, or anything in between. I'll have my cell phone and you can call and let me know where you'll be and we'll meet you. My # is 814-6433. AT midnight, we'll have pizza and cheesecake at the upper parking lot. We'll have a few ice chests stashed there as well since that is really a good central location to most of the trails. If you're running past 11:00 and I hope you do, you might need to park somewhere other than the lower parking lot. You may park at my house on 67th Street, or near Elwood on 67th. You might take a chance on parking along the road at the top of the hill. I just don't want the cops hassling anyone about the curfew, and they won't if cars are not in the lower parking lot.

Any questions, feel free to call me or email me at trailzombie@yahoo.com

Monday, July 21, 2008

Midnight 50K Report

Saturday night I was in Arkansas for a nice 31 mile long run. It was the Midnight 50K, put on by my trail friends in AURA. This run is on part of the Arkansas Traveller 100, and is gravel roads and long hills. Truly, in 15.5 miles out and back, there was less than 1/4 mile that was actually flat. Great for running the downhills, and the uphills were not so steep that they could not be ran as well.

There was nine of us from TATUR running with seven running the 50K.Pictured from left to right are Michael, Jeff, Randy, Rob, Kathy, Brian, Vicky, Kathryn, and T Z.

Race director Suzi barks out pre-race instructions all while practicing her comedy routine. Quite the funny chick!



Kathy with her Princess Leia hairstyle. Moments later as the start of the race drew near, she puts on her game face.

Brian predicts an 8 hour finish, but instead runs a 5:20 which solidifies his reputation as a sand-bagger.

Despite having a 3 foot height disadvantage, Rob stayed right with Randy in the race and finished just a few minutes behind him....just one potty break away from beating him. Hooray for the short people!

I started out running slowly with several walk breaks as the 1st 4 miles are uphill. My shin was barking a little and I gulped down a handful of vitamin "I", which worked well. After 3 miles of this climb, I felt like running and sped along at a decent pace. I passed several people, all of whom were just doing the 25K. At the 1st manned aid station, I caught up with Vicky and Kathryn. Kathy had just left, out, Vicky was turning back as she was doing the 25K, and Kathryn was thinking about dropping down to the 25K. I knew she was a very accomplished runner having done 40-50 ultras, and I knew she could and should finish the 50K. She was a little nervous about being last, and being all by herself in the deep woods. Ya never know when a mountain lion, black bear, or 6 foot copperhead snake will come calling. I agreed to run with her if she'd go ahead and do the 50K. I was a little worried that she would push the pace a little more than I was capable of running, but actually our pace was just fine. We chatted and ran the remaining 25 miles with no problems.

Kathryn and I at the turn-around.

We ran steady....never really slowing down, and since the last 4 miles on the return trip are downhill, we pushed the pace on the home stretch and finished in 6:51 which was 4 minutes better than my finish 2 years ago. :-)

Our friends were there, waiting and carbo-reloading with barley-and-hops flavored sports drink. After telling all our stories and lies, at 4:00 am we headed back to the motel to shower and sleep. Five hours of napping, and we were on the way home.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday's Three Runs

Thursday, believe it or not, I did work. But I got a 4 miler in at 2:00 in 92 degree heat, in the sun mostly, with hills. I guess I got a bit of Badwater fever maybe??

Then I ran 5 miles with my friends at RunnersWorld. I do their blog, and always try to make it a fun thing. Click on the link in my fave blogs list.My great friend Allen ran with us for the last time for a while. Allen leaves Saturday for Iraq where he will do some under-cover police work. I am more than a little uneasy about him going, and pray God will keep a hedge of protection around him while he is there.

After that, Kathy, Roman, Candice and I ran 8 more miles mapping out the route for the Saturday group. We ran at a very easy pace, and just had fun.Makes ya wonder what Kathy and Roman REALLY do in thier spare time!

We ran on to the Center of the Universe.Candice had never been there. It is a strange place where you can stand in the center of a bridge in a bricked circle, and your voice echoes as if you were in a deep well. People outside the circle cannot hear the echo. I would love to hear a scientific explanation as to why this happens.....No, maybe I would rather not know.

Along the way, we ran along 1st street into downtown Tulsa, passing several beer joints, pool halls, and art studios....quite the unique combination of businesses. Of course, we had to stop for a pic of this store front.

I ended up with 17.5 miles for the day and probably did not really follow the "tapering" rules since I am racing 50K Saturday night. But my mind is better!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Therapy

I guess a good run on the trails was all I needed. I have been in quite the funk mentally the past couple of days. Large quantities of alcohol seemed like a good solution, and I deliberately avoided that, as I am only 4.5 pounds away from losing my Clydesdale status.


Tonight I met what I thought was just gonna be a couple of friends, and it turns out that 8 of us ran on Turkey.Left to right are Vicky, Glenn, Chuck, Brian at center stage, Aaron, Lori, Earl, and Bee-Sting-Bob. Earl leaves for Canada this week for yet another vacation, and will run the HURL Elkhorn 50 miler in Montana. Hey Earl, bring back pictures!!

Glenn and Chuck met me at 5:45, and we tackled Lipbuster and ran the powerliner trail and cut back into the woods and ran back to the parking lot for maybe 2.6 miles.Then the 9 of us headed out to finish the 15K portion of the Turkey and Taturs course. Everyone seemed to have happy feet, not that mine weren't, but I was firing on 4 cylinders. (Slow, but getting great gas mileage??)A view from the "caboose" position of the train.

After 4 passes on the east mountain, I was done. Should be tapering ya know! And it was 90-something frickin' degrees!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This morning 5 brave souls hit the trails for a little mud running.
It had rained for hours last night and there was no short supply of slick squish mud on the trails at Turkey Mountain. Clockwise--Polly, Bob, Glenn, Brian, and the Zombie posed for a quick pic with the help of the timer on my Olympus camera.

Nice shiny white shoes just before their baptism in MUD!

We ran up the hill and through to the upper parking lot and westward to the 10K portion of the Turkey and Taturs course. Some of these trails are flat and easy, and the rest is rocky and treacherous....just the way I like it!Welcome to the jungle! Bob and Polly find their way through a slightly overgrown trail.

There were lots of water crossings and water falls today.Brian stops for a drink.... 

while Glenn stops to wash his hair!

Slipping and sliding down the hill.

Brian considers body-surfing the falls.
Go on, Brian! JUMP! You're holding up the line!

Along the way on the Snake trail, we stirred up a nest of hornets. Vicky had told me last week about getting stung somewhere through this section, and today, they nailed Bob. He was stung on the arm and just below his neck. Nice welt, dude!

We ended up with 7.2 miles or pretty close to it. It was a good run.Polly considers going out for another 3-4 miles, while Glenn is all grins thinking about the cold beer waiting for him at home!