Saturday, February 28, 2009

22 mile taper

This morning I ran 22 miles on the wrong side of the tracks. Nothing really wrong about this path, I just always wanted to use that expression. West from Downtown Tulsa towards the community of Sand Springs on the old Katy Trail, which is actually a paved bike path. Pavement, you ask?? Well, I get to run a trail race tomorrow so that will negate the asphalt mileage today. And speaking of mileage....since I ran 22 miles, can I say I ran a marathon? Seemed to work for....well, er, I'll leave the previous post alone. Bad Zombie! Be nice!I ran with the RunnersWorld group, and particularly with Lisa (in the green skirt) who was using today's run as a "last chance" long run before the Little Rock Marathon in 2 weeks.I seldom run this route, but there are a few good views of the Arkansas River, and miles and miles of people's back yards!There are also a couple of interesting houses along the way. One was this....not sure what the history of this house is, but I think Bilbo Baggins once lived here.Caption 1.Sad story of a bag lady who lost everything. Caption 2. Home Depot will never find this one. Caption 3. Leroy, can you wheel that carp down to the creek? Might need it to stay alive til tomorrow since as how there's some leftover possum in the Frigidaire.

Lisa stops for a drink. Actually, we hit Quik Trip twice, and the second time through, we were sweaty and worn down enough, and bought a bag of Fritos to share, that we most certainly were mistaken for homeless people.

Eleven miles out, and eleven more to go.

Not sure why I wanted a photo of this sign, but here it is.

A scary tree seen on the way back. Of course, during the daylight, it was not too creepy, but with a little photo-shopping, I think it is Halloween caliber.

Thanks for the great run, Lisa! You'll do great in Little Rock!

Check back for a long report of the AOK 50K which is where I'll be tomorrow!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Biggest Loser tells a little white lie

I am a fan of the show The Biggest Loser. After running on Tuesday nights, and then eating way more than I should with my friends in my running group, I come home, and thanks to Tivo, I watch the show and zap all the commercials. A two hour show can be viewed in about 80 minutes.

This week, Dane was voted off right after weighing in and losing his 100th pound in 8 weeks....pretty amazing. He seems like a great guy, but because he has lost such a huge percentage of his weight, and had many more pounds to lose, I am guessing he was thought to be a threat to win the big prize, and he was voted off. The "reasons" cited for voting for him, was that he was the best suited to continue his weight loss at home. Maybe he was.

Seems that in the following weeks (the show is filmed several weeks back from "real" time) he ran a marathon with his wife, who is a petite woman and allegedly had trained for the 26.2 miler. Click here for a story on his accomplishments.

In the show, he and his wife were filmed crossing the finish line, and the digital clock seemed to read 5:53, but on the program, the Biggest Loser reported that he ran a 26 mile race in 3:53. I rewound it, and the clock looked more like it said 5:53 to my eyes. Someone goofed, or so it seemed.

I ran my PR 6 years ago at 153 pounds in 3:57, and gave it 110%. Dane seemed to be moving at a very leisurely jog, not at all an 8:54 minute/mile pace needed to run his supposed time. And seriously, is it even physically possible for a man weighing 312 pounds to run a sub 4:00? I know, he may have in fact lost more weight before running the race, but he was not running at that pace at all when on film.

Another explanation.Click here for his wife's story.

So, is she saying Dane ran 23 miles in 3:53? I doubt that as well. I do think it is awesome that Dane has aspirations to run a marathon. I bet he will do it. But why lie about what you actually did do? Tell it like it is. If you ran a half marathon in 3 hours and change, say so. So many people respect the contestants on this show. They are celebrities now. Why taint that by misrepresenting yourself?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Zombie thoughts

I have not got to run much lately. Oh, A short run here and there, but I really have not hit it hard like I'll need to start doing in order to do the longer races this fall.

Winter is almost past. The grayness, the lifelessness of the dark months is moving on.Somehow, the muddy Arkansas River is theraputic to my sometimes troubled mind.Always familiar, yet always throwing out a different look. Like an old friend, doing it's best to cheer me up.Almost there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Six Hour Snake's coming up!

In just a month, TATUR will host the 2nd annual SIX HOUR SNAKE RUN!

This is a different kind of race. Everyone who perseveres will have the exact same finishing time. The winner is the one who runs the farthest in six hours. Now there are no hard and fast rules that you HAVE to run for the whole 6 hours. In fact, walk as much as you want. Run for an hour, take a 2 hour nap, and then go out for another hour or so. Make this your Saturday long run. Are you a trail newbie? Never run on trails and are a little nervous about it? No worries! The trails are among the flattest on Turkey Mountain. There are very few rocks and just a few roots, unlike some of the long hard rocky sections like there are in other parts of the urban wilderness.

Why is it called the Snake run? well, it is because the run is held on the Snake Trail. Hmmm....does that mean there are SNAKES to be encountered on the trail????Well, to answer that, we take great pains to remove all of the snakes from the area in the weeks before the race.This group of snake wranglers from Guatemala help removing the big ones........and my cat Buster helps with the smaller ones.

Actually, while every once in a long while, you might see a snake on Turkey Mountain during the hot summer months, I doubt that any will be out this early in the year. The Snake Trail gets it's name from the fact that it winds around through the woods like a snake.

Last year, one of our fastest TATURs, Michael Adams won the inaugural event, running 41 miles in the allotted 6 hours!

Another TATUR, Julie Swaggerty, won the ladies 1st prize, running 30 miles.

Goodies are plentiful in this run. This year, we will have nice Brooks tech shirts, very unique finishers awards that you will LOVE, and the winners will receive the wicked trophy pictured at the top of this post!!

BUT WAIT!!! There's MORE!!! Also, at the aid stations, we will once again, have the usual chips, pretzels, cookies, M&Ms, Gatorade and H2O, and....BROWNIES and CHEESECAKE!!! You would think you might run OFF a few pounds running for 6 hours, but we want to make sure you GAIN!!

Best of all, it's a TATUR event, and we TATURs know how to have fun!

Mark it on your calenders....March 21st. BE THERE!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sights seen on a zombie run, and 4 dreams

I ran some pavement this evening....the 4.4 mile loop around Zink Lake. It's a familiar loop, one I run often with friends. I met my group at 5:30, and ran with them for a while, and ran a while by myself.This loop features some of Tulsa's most elegant homes........and some of Tulsa's most elegant geese.

Just for my friend Ed, I got a picture of the sculler babes in action.
Usually, there is a great sunset to be viewed from the river trails. The one tonight was good....might give it a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Last pic of the run, from the pedestrian bridge.

Now a question for all of you, and I would love to hear comments on here or in person. I have had some recurring dreams. One is of a trail that is somewhere near Tulsa and goes over a mountain or a pretty big hill. The area is heavily wooded, with good distant views in a few places. Lots or trees, a few rocks, and pretty steep in places. It is sort of a trail, and sort of a jeep road. It seems in the dream, that I have been up one side, but never have time to go all the way over. It is near the top of the climb that there are a couple of intersecting trails, but I never have time to explore them. And then, I remember that I have actually been on the trail from the other side, or at least on a trail that I think intersects with it. Then in the dream, time passes, and some time later, I remember that trail and think I need to go back to explore it. It seems like it could be a trail paradise, and while making plans to go, I wake up. This seems so real....I can see the rocks, hear the wind as is blows through the pine trees, feel the burn in my legs, and I suppose it is just a figment of a dream. I would love to find this trail.

A related dream, there is a place in northern Arkansas or southern Missouri where there is a small town with a town square and lots of antique stores and and art galleries, and bed and breakfasts. It is sort of like Eureka Springs, but on a smaller scale. It seems like no one knows about it, but it is a gem of a village. There are no major highways to it, and every time I go there, it seems I stumble upon it by accident. I HAVE to go back to this town.

Usually when I have the dream about this town, I have a dream that I am driving home and crossing a lake with a long bridge. The water gets higher and higher, and the road eventually disappears into the water. I end up having to back up for miles to get out of trouble all the while the water is rising. (No, this dream does not coincide with me peeing the bed!)

And then there is the dream where I go to work, or school, or to church, and DARN!! I forgot to put my clothes on! I have this dream so often that is is actually fun. I always wake up amused, but boy is it ever embarrassing!

Seriously, the first three dreams puzzle me greatly. This same trail, this same small town, and the dream with the water I have quite often. I can feel there is a trail and a town that I visit in my sleep. Any ideas?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday drivel

Since my 50K, I have hobbled around, popped a few handfuls of Vitamin I, and have ran a few easy trail miles on Sunday to work the soreness out of my legs. Funny how I think I can run ultras on such low mileage training weeks and no long runs.Tonight, I ran with some of my road running friends. Well, actually, Bobby, Michael, and Dana were all at Dan man with me, so it is sort of a misnomer to call them roadies. We ran 4.4 miles around Zink Lake, which is near downtown Tulsa. It is actually part of the Arkansas River dammed up by a low water dam. It has always been one of my fave places for some pavement running.(I am always a sucker for a sunset.)Here, Dana heads down the hill to the west side trail.As always, there were geese-a-plenty on the west bank.

The Tulsa skyline, with some tweaking of the color settings.

How to make a so-so picture better? Just add color! (Well, I like it anyway!)

Another downtown shot. Honest, I did not alter this one at all. The twilight factor did me a favor.

The 21st Street bridge. Another picture that was so bad it actually works.

My friends Michael and Sandra running with a setting sun for a back drop.

Cement trucks against a painted sky.

More cheating....this was an awful picture, and just before I was gonna delete it, I bumped up the contrast, and cropped it. Were it not for the power lines, I would use it for a banner.

And hey, congratulate me! A whole post with no mention of poop, throwing up, or breast milk!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dan Man (the report)

Several of my TATUR friends went to Madill, Oklahoma to run in the Dan Man trail run Saturday. This was the 5th year for the race, and my 3rd go at it. My intentions this year were for 50 miles, but since I had not ran long since December at Sunmart, I was set to run what my body allowed. This event is more of an informal run than a race, and whatever distance one decides to run is fine. In turn, the gracious Dan Little and company feeds us like kings and queens....barbecue ribs, brisket, smoked turkey legs, baked beans, and all the other fixins, pancakes for breakfast, hot showers after the race....and this year, he charged absolutely ZERO for the entry fee. I love this man! And shame on me for not having a picture of him!

Before the sun came up, the runners made their way across the hills and prairie to Dan's wonderful country lodge.Tatur Randy Ellis, normally a regular at Rocky Raccoon in Huntsville, TX held on the same day, prepares to run a fast 50K at Dan Man.

Another Tatur, Michael Adams, poses for a quick pic before the race. Michael usually either wins or finishes near the top of every event he enters, yet is as nice of guy as you would ever meet. Both he and Randy are truly ambassadors for our sport.

Michael and Lisa were running the 1/2 marathon today. Lisa has 2 marathons and a 50K under her belt, yet today was to be her 1st half marathon. Michael was also running the 1/2, and this would be his longest run to date. Both notched a great finish to their belts.

Bobby was running the marathon, which upon finishing, would give him Marathon Maniac status. Chrissy was running her 1st trail race, and ended up running the 1/2 marathon in 1:55! Geeze, I ran what I thought was a super 1/2 marathon time last September on a pancake plat paved course, in 1:52 and change. Chrissy broke 2 hours big time on a very hilly course with lots of loose sand. VERY impressive!You are awesome!

Jason also finished right with Chrissy. This is the same Jason who has not ran anything long at all since Dallas Whiterock due to a serious case of the ouchies. Today, his intent was to run the 10K, but he felt great and ran a fast half marathon. WTG!

Vicky was running yet another 50K. She waited a long time to jump on the ultra bandwagon, but now seems to add to her resume every month.I am thinking her coffee had not yet kicked in in this picture.

I ran the 1st 20 miles or so with Deon, who was running his 1st ultra.Deon has one marathon to his credit, yet ran the 50K with authority, leaving me in the dust after 20 miles.

The course consisted of a 6.2 mile loop, and then a 6.9 loop. Run both of these loops, and you had a half marathon. Run the loops again, and a marathon was in the bag. For those going for 50 miles, there was an extra small loop tagged onto the 6.9 mile track, which made the total circuit 16.66 miles, and 3 times around would come out to exactly 50 miles. For those wanting a 50K distance, they had to run 2 of the 16.66 circuits, and then they ended up with 33.32 miles. But hey who's counting?

When Deon took off (or I slowed down), I got back to the start finish and was a little bummed to have to go the long loop by myself. Funny how running with friends spoils you like that. Then I thought of Bobby and how he was probably running alone, and decided to find him and run with him for the rest of his race. Since I was wearing my Garmin, and because this is a really laid back race and they would probably accept ANY distance I cared to tell them I ran, the fact that I ran backwards on the course really did not matter at all. After 2.2 miles, I caught Bobby, and he was glad to have some company.Bobby nears the start/finish area. Just one more 6.9 mile loop to go!

Bobby was trying something new in his nutrition, and trying it on race day....a big no-no. He was using Hammer gel, and some Hammer Sustained Energy, along with a powdered drink mix. He actually had very good results with it, and never seemed to feel zapped, just a little tired. (Doh, he ran a marathon!) While at the start/finish, I commented that his mixed Hammer drink looked like breast milk. BREAST MILK? Lisa and Dana were giving me a hard time about HOW I KNEW what breast milk looked like?? I responded that I had a good memory, and as a wee lad, I liked breast milk a lot and never forgot it. Well, my twisted friends took this and ran with it.Honestly, I just wanted a sip. Never dreamed they would take my picture!

Then, Bobby, Dana, and I took out for our last lap. Dana had fresh legs and pushed Bobby and I like Sergeant Carter pushed Gomer Pyle. "Move it, move it!!"I took a lot more pictures of the course during this last loop.Heading up the hill.Down the other side.

Along the way, we noticed that Dan had several deer feeders and deer stands throughout the ranch. We also noticed a few large cages.Turns out, there are wild pigs that roam the area.Apparently, they are pretty destructive and dangerous, and the most humane way to remedy the problem, is to trap them. Seems that corn is one of their preferred foods, and was used for bait.I had spent so much time goofing around at the start/finish that I forgot to eat anything, and since corn is also one of MY preferred foods, I saw no harm in borrowing a handful to munch on.And as luck would have it, I am not much smarter than the average wild boar. Being trapped inside while Bobby and Dana laughed at me....I squealed like a pig!Later, at the end of a short out-and-back, there was a trash can.Along this stretch, maybe it was the bad corn, the breast milk, or maybe the heat. I took a quick hurl, and then felt a lot better!

And then we got on with the race. More trails, more hills, and more pictures.To one with a vivid imagination, the blackened tree branches look like a huge insect emerging from the undergrowth.Finally, after over 32 miles for me, and over 26 miles for Bobby, we emerged from the woods and saw the wonderful paradise on the prairie....which was also the finish line!And in typical Tatur fashion, instead of sprinting for the finish, we stopped for a few pictures.Bobby, just a couple hundred yards away from being a Marathon Maniac.

While we were snapping pictures, Marvin caught up with us. Marvin paced me in the Heartland 100 last year, and we had to drag him into our photo-shoot.

Then, I did in fact hustle on up to the finish line so I could get pictures of my buds as they finished.Dana finished her 11K run.

Bobby and Marvin waltz across the finish line.

Hey Bobby....wanna go out for one more lap?

Well, that's my story. I am pretty worn out, and have a couple of blisters to show for my efforts. Wanna see??? What would a race report be without some blister pics?