Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some ramblings

A little catching up is in order today, this cold gray Saturday afternoon. Thursday morning, I ran a fun run, a 4.4 mile jaunt around Zink Lake.This run is held every year Thanksgiving morning and the entry fee is a couple of cans of food which is donated to those less fortunate. It's a noble cause, except these folks probably could use some help all year round, as well as some job assistance. But, a nice 4 mile run makes room for an extra piece of pie later in the day.It was a perfect morning....around 40 degrees with a very slight north breeze.There was a huge crowd out. I am not the best at estimating the size of a crowd, but I'd guess about 500 people. My friend Brian said that they determine the size of a crowd by aerial photos, and then they count how many people in a small square area, and do the math for a total. Darn, I forgot my helicopter!I was a little late getting there and couldn't find anyone from our running group. Not like I've never ran alone before.But I finally caught up with Lida and her sister Sonna who was visiting for the holidays. Behind them is Sandra, one of my blogging buddies.A nice surprise...Roman was manning a water station on the west bank. I needed a drink as I was not running with a water bottle and had only gulped a double espresso upon waking up.I caught up with Lisa, and ran the last mile or so with her. Hot chocolate and snacks awaited us at the finish. I must say, the hot chocolate was hot but watery. Most of the munchies were gone. Of course with Thanksgiving dinner later in the day, I was far from worrying about malnourishment.

Channel Two chief meteorologist Dan Threlkeld manned the bullhorn and drew for door prizes.
As usual, no post is complete without a shot of my best friend Kathy Hoover. Still working on a "normal" looking picture. Maybe this IS normal for her!


Then it was north to Skiatook to eat dinner with my parents.My younger brothers and one of my sisters were with us. (I am the oldest of six kids. Two brothers and three sisters.)My brother Kevin, my Dad, and Kevin's wife Susan.

My Mom, and a nice spread of desserts.

You might have seen pictures on the Internet of a turkey like this. My dad brought it to life.

As you can see, good looks run in my family. These are two of my nieces Kristeen and Katy.

Strutting around with confidence. Good thing they're not turkeys!

Everyone ate well including the 40 cats that hang around my Mom's house.

Ok, I know I post many less than flattering pics of other people. But I am also fair. Here's a couple of shots of yours truly from years past.This is me at 17 years old. Below is me at 7 years old.Like I said....good looks.....

Friday, November 28, 2008

As promised....

I am not the biggest fan of road running but view it as a necessary evil. And sometimes, the camaraderie enjoyed in a marathon more than make up for the pounding my dogs get. Sunday was the 3rd running of the Route 66 Marathon right here in my hometown of Tulsa. I run with a group at RunnersWorld-Tulsa, many of whom were training for their first marathon or half marathon. I have made quite a few great friends from this group. In fact, most of my crew for the Mother Road 100 were friends from this group. Bobby who paced me 12 miles at Mother Road was running his first 26.2 this week and I was running the whole distance today with him as a payback. It was also my insurance that I would get to the finish line myself.

It was a little cols at the start, but cold temps mean ya better be running lest ya get the chills. It's all good.Our plan was to just run a comfortable pace, and see how the day went. In our experimentation in our long runs, going out slow usually did not save us enough energy for late in the run. We slowed down in the later miles anyway, so we decided to run medium and bank a little time.This seemed to be a good indication that we were right on pace. Not in a crowd, and the math seemed like we would reach our goal time.The above two pics are actually on the original Route 66. 25 miles of this marathon are on other roads and streets. Last week I had complained that a 5% of the miles of the Mother Road were off Route 66, but in this race, Route 66 made up less than 5% of the race.

I felt I needed to keep Bobby's spirits up, as the nasty monster that lurks around mile 22 might rear it's ugly head, so I made a sign that said CLAP FOR BOBBY and carried it all during the race. I usually try to entice the crowd into cheering. Why do people come out and stand around like bumps on a log anyway? The sign really worked--most of the bystanders applauded and gave Bobby kudos and attaboys. Seven miles of the course are out-and-back with a loop on the end, so all the way out the returning runners called his name out and shouted words of encouragement. Bobby was definitely the celebrity runner.

Later in the race....around mile 20, fatigue began to take it's toll. Bobby had little energy left to run, and he was having occasional muscle spasms in his calf.I also had a calf muscle that was tied in a granny knot. Not painful, but enough to get my attention. Dana met us at 71st Street with some chips and candy bars., and later at 36th Street with some warm potato soup. YUM! Both times, that breathed a little life into our tired bodies. We ran some walked some, and kept making forward motion. This marathon is pancake flat for the first 22 miles, and then has some hills and one short nasty climb at mile 23.I like hills. I really don't mind hills like this late in a marathon since I am far from fast anyway. But I am betting most people must think the course designers are EVIL for putting hills at the end of an otherwise flat marathon course. But we made it through, and enjoyed the nice mile long downhill down Cherry Street towards the finish line. 30-40 of our friends were waiting for us, and ran us in the last 200 yards. Bobby was spent, but well spent. For a guy who 2 years ago never even thought about running, he ran a great first marathon. And I got #53 out of the way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

two days for the price of one

Yesterday was a day to tie up loose ends. My job is all too slow this time of year, and there was no work to do. How bout a extra long holiday weekend? So, I did a few errands and then went for a run on Turkey Mountain.Some trail angels have cut some new trails....actually making an extension of a trail that we call the bunny trail. Nice fast single track with minimal rocks.A few nice ups and downs as well.Better pick up the pace. The sun sets early in November.

There was a walking club (The Tulsa Walking Club) that had an outing about a week ago. They marked the route they wanted to go with orange paint. Often, they painted fallen leaves which is just looks like orange litter on the ground, but the leaves will decompose. Other places they painted on the grass.Again, no biggie. Not all that good for the grass or for the environment, but in a few months no one will even know it was done.

But I do have a real problem with this....The orange spray paint on the rocks will be something we have to look at for years. I am contacting this group and will ask them to do whatever it takes to remove the paint before I turn them into the River Parks authority. Sounds petty on my part, but I don't want to have to look at that every time I run on my mountain.

After that, I hurried across the river to run with RunnersWorld. Check the RunnersWorld blog for some tidbits about that.

Today, I played a quick round of Frisbee golf with my son. More on that on a later blog post.

Then it was pie baking time. David Ray, you can start drooling now. My specialty is a coconut meringue that is from a recipe handed down from my grandmother. I have tweaked it a little here and there thanks to Google and have what is maybe the perfect pie. Not necessarily the prettiest, but quite possibly the yummiest.It all starts from the crust. A good pie needs a good foundation. I make mine from scratch. Yes, it is a little messy. Yes, I have flour on my shirt.I have improved my technique on my crusts, and find it therapeutic to make them. My mental health depends on simple things like pie making and running.Five more crusts and then I pop them in the oven to pre-bake for about 12 minutes. Then it's time to make the filling.Now I do use a cook-and-serve pie filling mix, but I do add a lot of other ingredients, some of which are top secret. If I told you, I'd have to marry you, adopt you, kill you, or find some really good dirt on you.Yes, a Zombie can separate egg whites! Making the meringue is a very tricky thing. Meringue can be so temperamental, and I do not always nail it. But even when it weeps a little, it still tastes good. I do have a few little tricks that help insure a perfect meringue, but sometimes all the tricks still fall short. I did not get a pic of this process, since it requires a lot of multitasking, and my hands were sticky enough I did not want to touch my camera.

Four coconut pies in the oven, two lemon pies already out.Now when Dana makes her famous potato casserole, all will be well!

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crazy Eights!

Crazy Eights

I have been tagged in the Crazy Eights game. This is a test that I may fail miserably since I really don't have a life, but here goes.

8 shows I love to watch
1. Biggest Loser
2. Criminal Minds
3. Wheel of Fortune
4. Boston Legal
5. Survivor Man
6. Lost
7. 24
8. Any late night talk show with Steven Wright, Carrot Top, Emo Phillips, or Jim Gaffigan

8 places I love to eat

1. Fuji
2. Outback
3. Wild Oats (now Whole Foods)
4. Los Cabos
5. Andy's Hamburger Stand in Barnsdall OK
6. Shogun's
7. Subway (my diet food)
8. Coney Islander (my fat food)

8 things I did yesterday
1. Slept til 9:30
2. went to the 11:00 service at church
3. ate at Taco Cabana
4. went to Lowe's
5. helped clean carpet
6. unlike Erin, I did not do "it"
7. blogged
8. ate nasty Tacos from Taco Bell and burped them up all night

8 things I look forward to
1. holidays being over
2. Sunmart
3. my new job getting busier
4. working at RunnersWorld on Friday
5. checking out new trails on Turkey Mountain in the morning!!
6. cold leftover turkey sandwiches
7. the new Newbies group (I still love the old one!!!)
8. figuring out what I want to be when I grow up

8 things I love about fall
1. cool crisp air
2. running through crunchy leaves
3. soups and chili tastes better
4. good college football games
5. fall races
6. cold nights and snuggling
7. hiking boots and flannel shirts
8. I usually write well in November

8 things on my wish list
1. another year of injury free running
2. someone to help train for their goal race
3. a magazine gig with Trail Runner or Ultra Running
4. some big outrageous race or series of races to do
5. for Erin's dog to behave
6. resolved issues with my oldest son
7. to find 8 people to send this to
8. lose 15 lbs

I now tag...

1. Susan
2. Sandra
3. Rachael
4. Chrissy
5. my dog
6. Elmo
7. George W Bush
8. Carrot Top

Sunday, November 23, 2008

critters and bugs

Things have been coming in two's lately. Today I had two quality runs, one with Rocky my chocolate lab on Turkey Mountain.Rocky is a duathlete. He runs and swims. We ran 5.4 miles, taking in some of the blue trail, and then north to sitting rock, then west for some seldom used trails along Mooser Creek.We found our way over to the YMCA, then headed straight south along the area where the #@**!#! developers want to put buildings in our playground. From there, we ran a small part of the Snake trail and headed home. Along the way, I picked up two ticks! I thought surely my tick count was stopped at 114 for the year, but it now is at 116! Sorry, the tick-pics did not turn out. :-(

Then I ran again, this time with the Wednesday night trail running group made up of Taturs Kurt and Shelley, Glenn, Vicky, and Darryl. Usually I cannot keep up with their pace, but they were going a little easier tonight. I took a couple of falls when I kicked rocks or roots. With all the recent road running I have done, I am not picking up my feet.

Last night, I caught two possums! We evidently have had a family of possums living in our garage. They tear things up, mostly shredding dog food and cat food bags. Our outside cat feeder has been drained daily by these ravenous creatures. So I have had a trap set to catch them. It's a cage with a trap door, and it has not been working all that well. But yesterday, I caught a big one.Later, My son Jason heard noise in the garage, and another possum had turned over a trash can and was rummaging around inside of it. So, we placed the open cage in front of the trash can, and the large rodent ran right into it.These two critters have been relocated to upper Turkey Mountain.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

a sneak peak

A quick pic, with the promise of a more detailed post tomorrow.A lot can be told from the race bib. Elite???? No, I am not. This "status" is reserved for the first 250 to have registered 3 years ago. I'll always have 109 as my number. It's also cool to have your name on your bib, although whilst running, no one can read them anyway. Notice the 2 "free beer" tabs still on my bib. That's because there WAS NO BEER LEFT when I finished! I did get a fairly tasty burger and some nice bling to take home. I also helped my great friend Bobby finish his first marathon. Bobby ran strong and steady and showed a lot of heart all through the run. As I said, more....much more later.