Sunday, December 27, 2009

Always like to run on the edge.

Christmas day, Dana worked. I had taken her to work, and then drove Jessie my daughter-in-law home to Owasso. Now, 10:30 on Christmas day, all email was read, and the sun was shining. Eight inches of snow blanketed Turkey Mountain, and I could not stand it. I HAD to run.Temps were in the low 20s, and there was a mild but cold breeze...nothing a Patagonia fleece and a ski coat could not handle. I was out the door!

Deep snow. Nice powdery fluffy snow. The kind that just does not make a good snowball. It was halfway up to my knees for most of the day.

I was surprised to see that I was not the first out here. From all the tracks I found on the trails. I think 2 adults, one youngster, one big dog, and one small dog had roamed the trails earlier in the day. I did take a couple of spurs over undisturbed snow though.Hard to see where the trail actually is, from this pic anyway. The trail is beat down, almost a rut in places, and the snow here was often knee deep.Pretty much fine powder, and it was still blowing and drifting. Most had blown off the bridge though.

Following in someone's footsteps. Still, the snow was not beat down enough to make it possible for a sustained run.So I spent 2 hours change post-holing my way over 5 miles of trail. Here was some of the knee deep snow. You'd think I'd have frozen feet. I remember as a kid having my toes so cold the itched so insanely bad. No probs today though. I would have shortened my outing before I lost some toes. I was wearing some cheapie hiking boots, which I guess are waterproof, but I must RAVE on my SmartWools. I have worn them for years, and got a pair this year for Christmas! :-)And deeper.

I don't Twitter, but I did take some pix with my phone and put them on Facebook as I went along. Problem with a touch-screen phone is they do not work with gloves. I had to shed the gloves for the pix, but for phoning friends, I found another way to initiate the calls.That's right. The tip of a nose works just fine!

Between the rocks. Calves are really getting a workout. The lower yellow trail has lots of large slabs of rocks at varying angles....and today they were hidden. Several times, I was on my butt or back before I even knew what happened. Of course, it was like falling into a huge pile of soft marshmallows. FUN!

Lovin the sun!

A novices attempt at a panorama shot.

Second time by, this time on the return trip.

Slowest pace ever for 5 miles on Turkey, but a lot of fun.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas stuff

Christmas time is here, um....past. But it was a good one! we did the fam thing (with 2 of my boys, their wives, and mt fave granddaughter along with one of my granddogs.Makenna was quite a bit more in tune to what all the presents were. She was the good little helper in distributing them, along with a little snooping.Dinner was good....well, let me explain. It wasn't dinner. The kids came over at noon, and we had breakfast. We'll probably make it a tradition, since everyone has different families and in-laws and such, and getting our get-together done early Christmas eve, made it better for everyone. Of course this year, we had the storm-of-the-century hit about 2:00, and it sleeted for 3 hours, and snowed 6-10 inches. More on that later.

Makenna discovers under all the pretty paper are TOYS! Or in this case, a doll house. From what I have heard, this was her favorite. (My cats liked the box.)

Chuck and Vannessa tear into their haul. Good to catch Chuck with a smile.

I think Jessie had more fun watching Makenna with her presents than anyone, maybe INCLUDING Makenna.

Jason checking out his bounty.

Dixie holds still briefly for a pic.

Dana LUVS Christmas!

Sorry to say, (old news, I know) the blizzard that hit kept us from having time with my parents and Dana's folks. We hope to right that ship tomorrow.

Finally, my favorite Christmas song. I know you will think I am kidding, but I am not.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Evolution verses creation

1. Last week Dana created a cheesecake.
2. A cheesecake sounded like a good idea, and darkness was upon the counters of the kitchen.
3. And Dana said, "Let there be light," and flipping on the light switch, there was light.
4. And Dana said, "Let 15 Graham Crackers, crushed, be gathered together into one mixing bowl and be combined with 2 tablespoons of melted butter: and it was so.
5. And Dana pressed the crust into the bottom of a baking pan: and Dana saw that it was good.
6. And Dana said, "Let a large mixing bowl be filled with four 8-ounce packages of cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of sugar." And it was so.
7. And the batter was combined with 3/4 cup of milk and four eggs, along with one cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of flour, and blended. And Dana saw that it was blended until it was smooth.
8. And Dana said, "Let the batter be poured forth into the Graham cracker crust.
9. And Dana tasted the batter: and it was good.
10. And Dana set the cheesecake into the preheated oven and baked it for one hour at 350 degrees.
11. And Dana took the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool. And the evening and the morning were the next day.
12. And Dana separated the cheesecake into 12 individual pieces, topped them with a strawberry sauce and served them for dessert. And behold, it was very good.

Big Bang
The cheesecake has actually evolved over billions of years. Approximately 13.7 billion years ago, the entirety of the ingredients of a cheesecake was compressed into the confines of an atomic nucleus. Known as a singularity, this is the moment before desserts, when cheesecake and other desserts did not exist. According to the prevailing cosmological models, an ineffable explosion, trillions of degrees in temperature on any measurement scale, that was infinitely dense, created not only fundamental subatomic particles of Graham crackers and butter, but also sugar, flour, eggs, and cream cheese itself. Cosmology theorists combined with the observations of their astronomy colleagues, along with the expertise of Emeril Lagasse, have been able to reconstruct the primordial chronology of events known as the big bang and the evolution of the cheesecake.

Quantum theory suggests that moments after the explosion, the key ingredients of cheesecake; cream cheese, sugar, flour, and 4 eggs were combined in space and whipped until smooth. Elementary particles known as Graham cracker crumbs begin to bond with melted butter, forming a crust. During this creation and combination of ingredients, the universe was undergoing a rate of expansion many times the speed of light, and the batter and Graham cracker crust sped at a great velocity across the universe for billions of years. As the temperature of our universe dropped to 350 degrees, the cheesecake settled into an orbit around our sun, baked for one hour, and then cooled for 5-6 hours.

This, according to current science, is how our cheesecake came into existence.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lotsa stuff Saturday

Busy yet leisurely day today. I got up early to get my Saturday long run in, which this week was only 7 miles. In fact, I got up too early....coulda slapped the snooze a few more times! Since I was almost an hour early, I stopped by the Turkey Mountain parking lot to check in on the T-TOTs, a group of newbie trailrunners that has started running on Saturday mornings.Celebrity runner Tom Dorthy, far right, was leading the fast group. Doubt that I coulda kept up with him today. Tom recently qualified for Boston, and he runs at Turkey a lot....loves to fly. But I was just stopping to say Hi, and had to get across the river to meet my marathon training group.

This was the second Saturday long run for the new session. Our group, Faster than Oprah, has grown to 20 or 21 peeps, and this morning we had 12 of them out. (The rest musta stayed all snuggled up under the covers!) I'll spare you all the road running pix, but if you must, click on the above link to check out our fun.

The best part of the Saturday run is breakfast afterward. This morning was no exception. We hit our usual spot, the Blue Dome Diner.Several times while our group was training for the Route 66 Marathon, we'd run by this hole-in-the-wall joint, and the smell of breakfast, and HOME FRIES, was amazing.It's a quirky place (like we're not quirky people!), and all there is not a matching coffee mug in the house. One day, you might get a 6 ounce cup, and today, Bobby got a mug that surely held a quart. Mine was quite fashionable, decorated with pink flamingos! One thing though....the coffee is not really all that great....but of course, I am a huge coffee-snob! More on GOOD coffee later in this post.

Then, upon getting home, Dana had her trail duds on and wanted to hit the mountain for a few trail miles. I was happy to oblige! :-))<~~~TZ smiling with a double chin! We took the yellow trail, the Ho-Chi as it is called. Lots of ups and downs, rocks and roots....just how I like it! My morning run had averaged about 10:30 miles (subtracting water and bathroom stops) and around 13 minute miles overall. Trail miles are slower, and although we were not pushing the pace, we were more in the 17-18 minute range. No need to hurry....just an easy run!Always a great view of the river!On top of Turkey. This is the upper yellow trail, aka the Ridge Trail.Dana kicks it up a notch as we head down the hill.

Upon returning home, we found a mysterious box on our porch! It seems our friends, Steve and Kathleen akaHappy Trails had sent us Christmas goodies from Colorado! Kathleen must have spent hours knitting this awesome scarf, and it's made of MERINO WOOL!! (Gotta say, I might sneak that out every now and then.) Steve, sort of a coffee-snob himself, sent me 2 lbs of beans.These beans are roasted in Colorado in small batches at 6,500 feet. I dunno if that makes a difference, but this is some of the best coffee I have ever had!! TZ and Dana are all grins!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TATUR Christmas Party

Monday night was the TATUR Christmas party. Comes around every year....and is always a treat! It's a time to eat, drink, be merry. A time to reflect on what all we've done, to rehash race reports, have more pie and brownies, give a few awards, and eat. We present six Silver Spud awards each year meriting various feats of endurance among our runner-friends. Also, TATUR presents a couple of charities a check from monies raised from races. The Turkey and Taturs 50K,25K,10K raised $2,907 for the Westside YMCA which will help many kids attend summer camp at this wonderful urban wilderness facility.Another race that TATUR put on, The Mud Run, raised over $5,600 for the Oklahoma Firefighters Burn Camp to benefit children who have received disfiguring injuries in a fire. I was proud of our club for these two awesome donations!!

The coveted Silver Spuds were awarded to some very worthy trail runners. Rookie of the Year went to Janeen Lovelace, who recently dived into the trail scene, and now eats 50Ks for breakfast. She did the Leadville Marathon (a tough race at an insane altitude), FlatRock 50K (the hardest 50K in this part of the USA), Turkey and TATURS 50K (some people think this is harder than FlatRock), Route 66...a total of 3 marathons and 3 tough 50Ks in the past year.

Overachiever of the Year, a newish category that replaced the hustler of the year award, was presented to Lisa Kedzuf-McGinnis. Lisa has ran and aced everything she has attempted this past year. I talked her and Jason into running a double marathon back in April. Then, to get 5 stars in the Marathon maniacs, I talked them into doing a double marathon in New Mexico and Colorado, and then Turkey and TATURs the next weekend. Again, she exceeded my expectations. I had told her in NM she might wanna take the early start, and she in turn kicked my butt beating me by 38 minutes. Agian, I was wondering if she'd finish T&T 50K the next week and despite me taking a 2 hour early start, she finished only 10 minutes behind me. Do the math. Then, she tackled a 50 miler at Heartland and made it look easy.

The Most Beat Up Feet award went to Earl Blewett.Earl sports a pretty nice belt buckle here. He started ramping up his mileage this past summer, doing T&T, FlatRock, and then the Heartland 50. Earl then went to Missouri and ran the 1st running of the Ozark 100, a race that I really want to do in the near future. This race, from everyone I have talked to, is quite hard, what with roots, rocks, and lots of loose leaves covering them. Congratulations, Earl!

Best Performance in a Race went to Jason McGinnis. Jason was right there with Lisa in their quest to light up the ultra world. Jason was thinking about doing the 50 at Heartland, but I talked him into doing the 100. I told him he would be through, and then out all night anyway crewing me, so why not just RUN? Well, at times I know he had his doubts, but I always knew he would ace the test, and he did. Running your 1st 100 miler and almost breaking 24 hours is pretty amazing. Turns out later, he coined his trail name: TRAILZILLA!! A fitting name, me thinks.

Most Inspirational Tatur went to Randy Ellis. Randy cranks out 100 milers routinely. Oh, I am sure he would dispute this, and hey....a 100 is never easy. But Randy probably has more 100 mile finishes than anyone in the state. I would love to see the 100 mile rankings among Oklahomans. If he is not on the throne, I'd like to know who is. Randy is also one of the kindest, most encouraging people I have ever met. Plus, he wrote an awesome book that is a MUST READ among ultra runners: RUNNING WITH PAYNE. This book documents Randy's run across the United States a few years ago. Randy was a lot of encouragement to Jason and Lisa as they were contemplating their goals.

Tatur of the Year went to Arnold Begay. Arnold is no stranger to 100 milers, but this past year, he did not actually do a 100. He did Badwater, the HOTTEST race in the USA, a 135 mile footrace on pavement across Death Valley starting at the lowest point in the continent to the Mt Whitney portal, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. 135 miles, in 58 hours! Filling out is year was the Athens/Big Fork Marathon (the hardest marathon in the WORLD), the Dan Man, AOK 50K, OKC Marathon, T&T 50K, and McNaughton Park, where he signed up to do a 150 miler and made it 80 miles in absolutely miserable rainy conditions. But his accomplishments at Badwater was what earned him the Silver Spud. That, and this pic of his foot after the race.

One thing I wish we had done a better job of was recognizing other runners accomplishments. It'd be great if we could give Silver Spuds to 15 or 20 people, but that might mean many little kids would not get a Mr. Potato Head in their stockings for Christmas. We did give props to the Chicklettes, Sandra, Susan, and Christin, who helped crew us at several races and also several all night training runs. I am so glad they LIKE doing this. Running all night and knowing every 2-3 miles we'll have some friendly faces with cold water, Gatorade, and snacks is just awesome. makes training all the better.And the Crew Babe Princess again was own Dana!!

I'd like to recognize some other TATURs that accomplished some amazing feats this year. Roman, who is well known for showing up on marathon day and getting the job done on little training, actually trained some this year and ran his first 50 miler at Heartland. Roman also had quite a list of marathons and 50Ks, and rumor has it he is thinking seriously about doing the Lean Horse Hundred this next August.

Kim had a busy year. Beside getting married, she ran Route 66, and back in Late February, ran a 50K on a Saturday in Ft Worth. Then the NEXT DAY, ran a 50K in Atoka at the AOK Trail run.... something I have never done. I ran the AOK run with her, and she ran strong. I have heard she is thinking about longer distances in the future.

Susan Alexander has ran 8 races of marathon distance or more this year.

I do not know the exact total, but I do know Caroline has ran 4 marathons in the past 6 weeks.

Last years winner of the Most Inspirational TATUR, Bobby, has put together a great year.
Bobby is a Marathon Maniac, and has 6 marathons in the past 12 months.
Bobby has turned from student to teacher, and is in his second session as a running group leader.
Now, if we can get him to do a 50 miler?!?!?

Bobby, Ken aka K2, and Dana listen attentively as Brian rambles on. K2 ran farther than he ever had in his effort at heartland, covering 69 miles before being pulled. He'll be back though to give it another go, I am sure of it.

I am sure there are many other great stories that could be told, and I have most likely forgot someone who had a breakthrough year.Merry Christmas to all, and happy running in 2010!!