Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day two on Turkey

There was plenty of time to do whatever today. Activities that did not involve driving on the ice covered roads were preferred though.That is a definite benefit of trail running. No car needed from where I live. :-)The storm that blew in yesterday changed from freezing rain to sleet, and then to snow.Surfaces that were a glaze of ice last night........were cushioned with over an inch of sleet, and another inch of powdery snow.I ran the snake trail to Rock City. My pace was in the mid 12 minute range, although I was just out for a jog, not pushing the pace at all.At Rock City, I headed down the Jelly Legs trail to Pepsi Pond.
A good tip for winter running....Don't eat yellow snow!

A contraption seen in the woods. Not sure what it is....a trap? A shelter?

Running south on the ridge trail.
After dark, it Really got cold. Fortunately, I brought along a fleece pullover, and a stocking hat.

T Z got his run in!!!

Normally on Monday nights, I meet some of my RunnersWorld friends and run 4.4 miles around Zink Lake on the paved bike trails. But the general chatter was of how crazy that would be what with the pending ice storm hitting Tulsa.

Bobby's email: "Stay home. I just drove home and it is getting slick. Parking lots and sidewalks are slick so the river path will be too slick to run on. Good night to run on the treadmill, ride your stationary bike or just take the night off."

Tatur Dave's input: "I recommend against it. I ran at noon, and the run was okay at first, but I was coated with ice by the end of my run. The roads were so slick I really had to be careful for about the last half mile. Tonight would be a good evening to stay inside. Do a treadmill or a stationary bike, if you have one. Or do some other indoor cross training. Or rest. Don't be foolish."

In a comment to Sandra's blog, Tatur Dave reemphasized his opinion of winter running: "I hope nobody is foolish enough to try to run this evening."

Well, I am sure you know where this is going. About 5:15 I put on a bunch of warmies and trotted down the road to Turkey Mountain for some twilight ice running.I of course took my camera and my flex-tri-pod and managed to get a few interesting photos. The above photo was not really one of the interesting ones; it falls more into the dorky category.

The overlook on the Ho-chi-mihn. This is always a good place to stop for a short rest, a drink of water, or a picnic. I have been here for a few sunrises, but never have seen the view on a night like this.

A completely untouched photo. while I do tweak pics from time to time, this one had such a surreal look that I left it as is. Looks more like a moonscape, with trees.

Then it was onward, heading north on the frozen tundra!

Another shot across the Arkansas River.

A lot of slipping and sliding later, I finally made it to the end of the mountain and checked out the Tulsa skyline. The skyscrapers of downtown were enveloped by the low ceilings.

The larger drops of rain were picked up in the flash, and while this is normally annoying, I'll just call this a photo-documentation of an inter-planetary alien invasion.

The ground by now had frozen solid, with about 1/4 inch of ice on all the rocks and roots. My 12 minute mile pace had deteriorated to a nice fat 20 minute mile pace due in part to picture taking, but also to a little exercised caution on the ice. I ran back on the upper yellow trail since it was relatively flat and the moon-sized rocks were fewer and farther between.

One more shot of the Tulsa Lights. I had a little better luck with the night pics since I used the tripod and was able to keep the camera stable for the longer exposures.

A gray house for a gray bird on a gray night.

Total mileage for the evening: 4.3 miles in 1:52. (A good reason to turn on the auto-pause on my Garmin!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Running 100 miles on 4 miles per day training runs.

Lately, I have almost given my running a back seat. Oh, I still get a run in 5 days a week, but 4-5 miles is all I have been getting per day. I fear my overall endurance has slid off a little, but I am knocking off these 4 milers like they were nothing. Makes me wonder if I would do well in a 5K. (SLAP ME!!) That's how I ended up with some pesky shin splints last spring.

This self imposed mileage deficit will be erased the 1st weekend in February. I plan to do the Dan Man, a trail race in Madill Oklahoma. This is a 50 mile run, but a real low keyed one in which a finishers metal is given to anyone who runs at least a 10K. Many people stop at the marathon distance. I did 30 miles once, and a 50K last year. This year, my friend Kathy and I intend to run 100 miles.We'll start out around noon on Friday and hope to have 74 miles in by the next morning so we can run an easy marathon with a load of our friends who are running Saturday.My running buddy Bobby will be doing his 3rd marathon and will qualify for the Marathon Maniacs at this race!Wish us luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Answers to life in athletic endeavors

Ok, I have gotten tired of seeing Ricardo Montalban's pecs on the top of my blog, so even if I have to contrive a blog entry, I'll do whatever necessary to scoot it downward. RIP, Mr Roarke.

Today, I played a sport that is fairly new to me. My middle son has gotten me into disc golf. I used to laugh at the hippie/stoner/nerds playing at the river when we used to run the section between 45th and 38th street on Riverside. Being a "real" golfer, I found it hilarious that these Frisbee dudes had a "driver" disc, a "fairway" disc, a "wedge" or approach disc, and a "PUTTER!!!" This, all carried neatly in a golf bag, many of which were manufactured by Golfsmith. These athletes toted their heavy bags with 20-30 discs, golf towels, and who knows what else around and endeavored to break par. Now, I am one of them! I am the proud owner of 5 discs, although I only use 4 of them. I meander my way around the golf course and strive to better my score, while slinging mediocre drives, crafting curving shots around trees, making a par every now and then, and an occasional birdie! I'm hooked.The sight of the 18th hole on a late winter afternoon makes a cold beer taste even better. Of course, there are differing degrees of difficulty on the course. A strong wind just ruins my game, although some of the better disc golfers seem to not have much trouble at all with the wind. My favorite type of course is one with as many trees as possible.That makes the game more of a shot-making challenge, and makes my lack of distance less of a liability.Plus, it is much easier to find an errant disc than it is an errant golf ball.The sound of a disc that finds the basket, clinking against the chains is a poetic sound indeed. Much like the sound of a Titleist ProV1 falling into a cup, a long putt in disc golf is a thing of beauty.At one time in my life, I thought I had found the meaning of life on the golf course. (As in Jack Nicklaus type golf.) At times, I am sure that the secret of enjoying life is somewhere on the trails I've ran. (Still think the secret is there.) And now, I admit, there may be some answers to be found while out tossing discs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome to Fantasy Island

Was sad to hear that Ricardo Montalban passed away today. I always seemed to enjoy Fantasy Island years ago, although it was one on the most ridiculous stories on television, but so is Survivor. One of my first endeavors in impersonations was doing Mr. Roarke and Tattoo. "Boss! De plane, de plane!" and "Welcome to Fantasy Island." I became so good at this, along with a good Elvis, Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Barney Fife, that I sold all that I had and went out on circuit as a stand up....and never got off the ground.

BAD ZOMBIE! I'm so sorry, that last part was all a lie, although I used ta could do a few. Don't get me started on Karl Childers from Slingblade, and Forrest!

Oh, did I ever get off subject! (Here Zombie....here's some more chocolate.) MMmmm, all better.

I thought Star Trek II was the best Star Trek movie. It was a good mix of over-acting on Montalban's part, and Shatner's especially. It was intense, and wimpy Chekhov getting a bug put in his ear was way CREEPY before it's time.Khan was a formidable foe for the Enterprise, and the movie was so good that the movie series never rebounded. Star Trek 3 was awful, and 4 was so goofy. Never took the movie series serious until Picard and Data took over. To say Montalban will be missed might be a stretch. I have not even thought of him for years until today. But, I need to rent Trek 2 some cold Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

3 runs on a Sunday

8:00 am found me at the parking lot at Turkey Mountain for an easy run on the trails. 13 friends joined in and we ultimately split into 2 groups, with a trio of speedsters taking off while I led a slower train of runners down the bunny/bomber/boner trail. (Many names for the same twisty turny route.) A coupla notes about the above pics....13 runners, 13 wearing black tights, 5 with Asics Trabuco trail runners (my faves), 3 with Pearl Izumi Syncro Seek trail runners, and all 8 pair of these trail shoes came from RunnersWorld Tulsa!!!

We ran at a conversational pace. In fact, Brian really takes the concept of "conversational pace" to heart....he never shut up!

We made our way to the end of the mountain, and then back....right at 4 miles in a little over an hour, including a few stops to let everyone catch up. We adhere to the "No Runner Left Behind" philosophy.Then a few left for church, chores, or other engagements. The fast guys probably never stopped until they knocked out 20 miles, but the smart ones went to First Watch for breakfast! Usually get the Tri-fecta which is a very light Belgian waffle, eggs, and sausage. But this morning, I had Biscuits and gravy, eggs, and home fries. Yum. A good run, good weather, good friends, good food, good coffee. Brings a tear to the eye. (More coffee, please.)

Next for the day was another trip to Turkey Mountain this time with Dana. She got to pick the trails, and we tore down the Ho-Chi trail.Let me preface this run with what we heard while on our morning jaunt. Some road bikers had been down on the new paved bike trail that runs at the base of Turkey and runs right by Tulsa's pride and joy....the sewer treatment plant. They told us they saw on the path what looked like some tar oozing across the trail, and they were contemplating riding or walking their bikes through it, when a loud voice from the top of a building warned them to "STOP! Don't go through that! It's $h!t!!" (Ugh....sorry you had to rad that, but hey, it was part of the day. I had to leave it out of the above happy sappy segment.) So of course, the cynical side of me wanted PICTURES!. But from the dirt trails on the mountain above the treatment plant, this was all I could get.We ended up with another 4 miles on this run....so 8 for the day.

But later, Jessie, my daughter-in-law decided she wanted to go for a run, and this was my chance to get a little closer look of the icky sticky oohey poohey. Jess and I ran the paved bike trail right down to the scene of the crime.
Just as reported, the stuff did in fact look like tar. Not too offensive to smell, but quite a toxic looking mess.While advancing a little closer, a gruff voice from over the fence shouted out that the path was closed, and wanted to know what we were doing there. Since the fence was between us, I told him that I was surveying the damage and taking pictures. he simmered down quickly, and assured us they were doing everything they could to contain it. (I did not see that they were doing anything at all at this particular time, but maybe they had labored earlier.)It was when I was taking these last 2 pictures that I heard him unlocking a gate in the tall chain link fence, so we High-tailed it home. Another 4.2 miles to add to the total.Were the Polar Bear Plunge held today in this part of the river, I would have to sit it out.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bad Zombie

This morning, I got 9 miles in with my Road running friends. The marathoners were going 9, and the route was trough some of the older neighborhoods in Tulsa, complete with hills. Temps were in the 20s, with wind chills in the teens. But 4 layers made me warm and toasty.I ran the last half with Lisa, a recent addition to the Marathon Maniacs. She and her hubby Jason are running Psycho Wyco in a month, and are truly into trail and ultra running hardcore.

A few sights along the way....Swan Lake, a really cool area in midtown with one-of-a-kind houses around the perimeter of the lake.

I am betting that the owner of this bumper sticker would rather you only vote THEIR way.

Clay tiles on the roof, copper gutters, and a custom driveway. Nice.

Err....hmmm....not sure what to think

Afterwards, we went to Panera and partook of carbs. While there, I noticed that one of the aliens from Mars Attacks was sitting right behind us. thanks to some deceptive picture snapping, I captured it's likeness on film.