Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

A quick rundown on the weekend....have to start on Friday. I drug myself out of bed EARLY (read that 5:00 am) to go to the health zone to do a spin class. 45 minutes of HELL,pedaling faster than should be legal, except for the times when we were supposed to crank up the resistance, stand up, and MASH. I was in the back of the class, so I had the luxury of occasionally cheating just a little. During the times that we were supposed to hover just an inch off the seat, I am pretty sure I did a fair acting job. Slacking off a tad on the resistance also was also pretty easy to do, but I bet a dozen donuts that the instructor sees and knows all those tricks. Still, it was a good workout and my legs were wobbly after that.

Friday night, I agreed to do a 5K where the proceeds went to St Francis Hospital to benefit kidney research. Dana had a "great" idea to RIDE to the race, and then ride home. Hmmm. A year ago, she would have NEVER agreed to something like that. So, we rode 9 miles to the start line, hung around, chatted with friends, even drank a half a bad beer....all before the race.The 5K was a slow easy jog for me....I have no biz-ness running 5Ks with my PF acting out at times. I ran with a friend who wanted to take a couple of minutes off her time, and we enjoyed an easy run. (Proud of ya, Terrie!)

Our ride home was a little scary, since I thought the paved bike trail was lit most of the way (it was not) and the half moon was far enough west that against the east side of the Turkey Mountain bluffs, it was pitch black. But, we made it home and it was a good adventure.

Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 6:30....just enough time for me to meet my road running friends for our Saturday morning run, and I hit snooze, or at least I thought I did. Two hours later, I saw that I had missed my run by over 90 minutes! Figured I would catch some ribbing for it, and I did, but I still headed out to meet my friends for breakfast at IHOP.

Then, the rest of the A+ day was spent with Dana garage sale-ing. Nothing like spending 35 bucks for some crap that we'll sell in a garage sale someday!! Spent Saturday night at the movies....see post below.

Sunday, I actually rolled out in time to run with a big crowd of trail runners.We broke off into sub groups which was good since half of the group was frothing at the mouth waning to run sub 7s or some ungodly pace.I needed to run how I felt (slow), and Brian, Kathy, and Lisa hung with me (thanks) and we made around 5 miles. Love the Oklahoma Rock!

Dana and I had planned on riding around 15 miles, and eating lunch along the way at Tin Star, but Sandra had other plans for us. She called to remind us that the Tulsa Tough Townie ride was at 1:00 and we had just enough time to sign up and ride and we would get a shirt and a finishers medal for the low low low price of $20 each! (woo hoo) The Townie was an 8 mile ride in which all ages and abilities were welcome, through a lot of the nicer older historic areas of Tulsa. The streets were closed and the ride was very well organized. Turned out to be a cotton T-shirt, and a very modest dog-tag medal.But the ride was a lot of fun and over 1000 peeps rode. More eating, some beer, yada yada yada.

Finally, I made it over to Chandler park to finish measuring the course for the TATUR Estim8ur.This is a race of 8 or 4 miles depending on how much you wanna bite off. Runners will be stripped of all timing devices, and they have to predict their finishing times. Every runner will have their predicted times posted on their backs so other runners can look and guess if they are ahead or behind where they should be in relation to their own estimated time. This is a race that anyone can win. We make it a little more difficult by keeping the course a mystery. There will be no real clues in this post, other than to say that you will see several different running surfaces.(For the right money, I might be swayed to divulge a few details of the course though. TZ needs some new shoes!)

Well, that work is done, and I am here blogging, and I keep hearing a noise in my attic. I am thinking raccoons? Possums? Something big for sure. More on this later, I hope.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Dana and I went to see UP Saturday night. Click here for movie trailer. Seems we are pretty much caught on movie watching, although we have yet to see The Soloist which has been highly recommended. This seemed like it might be a kids movie, but I don't think I saw a rug rat in the house. This was an artsy sort of a film, and the surrealism and escapism appealed to the wandering side of me. How many times I have wanted to ride a wad of balloons to a land far far away. Ed Asner played the grumpy yet sentimental Carl Fredericksen, and I identified with him,AND NO, not because he was an little old gray haired man!!! (Ok maybe a little) All in all, I recommend this movie. Seeing it in 3D is quite the bonus as well. Also, we were treated to a short animated cartoon of sorts before the show which was creative and touching as well. (Quit smirking! I have a sensitive side too!) And no, Bobby, this was not a remake of that film you were telling me about from the 70s.

Well, I'm off to bed....get to play on the trails on Turkey at 8 am, and then at Chandler Park after that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The work of a serial killer

I felt the need to discuss a series of killings in our area the past few months. Several lives have been taken, some execution style, some more brutal with loss of limb and decapitation, and some so nonchalant that the killer truly seems to have absolutely no conscience at all.

This killing spree started in late February when on a Saturday, a homeless victim and an adolescent (maybe related) were decapitated, and then dumped in a ditch in west Tulsa. Not much was made of the story, and it seemed that the victims were hardly even missed.

There were a few other single murders about a month later that had enough undeniable similarities to the February murders, it became apparent that this was the work of a serial killer. One expectant mother was crushed when she accidentally came in contact with the murderer. Another unfortunate victim was savagely dismembered while begging for food. An athletic male who was doing some climbing was sighted about half way up his decent when the killer made his way down to him, grabbed him from behind and put him in a death grip, and then sent him to his death by throwing him into a body of water below. All of this has went virtually unreported.

Just this past weekend, the killer raised the bar to new heights, killing several more victims who merely crossed his path. Again, many of the killed were needy victims looking for their next meal. One of the deceased was impaled with a metal dagger, one was beat to death with a hammer, one was set on fire and burned to death. Another was picked up hitchhiking, and then thrown from a car window while traveling at a high rate of speed.

Again, this crime spree has not been brought to light by the media because of the low status of the victims, although the killer has bragged about his tally like a gunfighter of old who put notches on his belt for every man gunned down. Right now, the death toll stands at 23, and the killer shows no signs of slowing down.

What should be done about this killing spree? Some might find it deplorable that deeds like this go unpunished, while some (myself included) think these murders are justifiable homicide. You see, the killer in question me. And the victims.... TICKS!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Got the mowing problem fixed!

It's been so wet lately, and my back yard loves it. Getting it mowed has seriously cut into my running and biking time, and here it is a long weekend with 3 days to play. I had to come up with a plan, and indeed I did just that.Not only will these guys keep my yard nicely groomed, I don't have to slave away pushing a mower, running to the gas station to buy gas, and weed eating is a chore of the past.They're kind of cute, and after mowing season is over, I hear they are good to eat!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I believe in recycling

As mentioned in yesterdays post, one of my biggest pet peeves is people who litter and especially people who litter the trails with broken glass. Why do they go so deep into the trails to do this? Why litter at all?Maybe it happens like this....A couple punk kids are sitting around and one says, "Dude! What are you doing Saturday night?""I dunno, what'd you wanna do?"
"I know. Lets go up to Turkey Mountain and break some glass. I have a whole crapload of empty Keystone Light bottles in my old man's garage."
"Radical man. That'd be cool!"
"Bitchin, Dude, Bitchin!"

But this glass actually looked really old, like maybe it had been here for quite a while.Maybe the rains had washed the dirt away and this glass was re-emerging after being buried for many years. Maybe the conversation was more like this....A few country boys were sitting around and one says, "Say, Eli, what dost thou have planned for this sabbath day afternoon?""I am not certain, Jebediah. Pray tell what dost thou want to do?"
"I know....let us gather together some fruit jars from Brother Thaddeus' barn and carry them hence to the hill that rises from the west bank of the Arkansas. From there, we will carry these glass vessels and cast them upon the stones in the forest."
"I do not know if my Pa will approve of this activity, Brother Jebediah. I have my chores to attend to."
"I will come and help you finish with milking, and we can depart after we are through."
"Then I will go with thee."
"Bitchin, Dude, Bitchin!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Start your morning with trash.

This is what I get to see every day on the way to work. This is so despicable that it needs no further ranting. Anyone would agree that this is the epitome of stupidity, inconsideration, and lack of respect for the space in which we live.A truck that sped off ended up here. Not sure if they had dumped the trash, or had stopped to look in disgust or take a picture as I did. But from the looks of things, they may have had something to do with the trash. Heck, they may have thought there was some good stuff laying beside the road??The dog ended up being not so friendly, and I left. Had a crappy day, until tonight when I got to RUN!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Night Running

Last night, almost on a whim, we decided to do a night run. For Kathy and I, it was to be an all-nighter. For Micheal, it was some tack-on distance to his early morning miles. For Bobby and Russell, it was a 16 miler that turned out to be closer to 17 and then a long slow bike ride after that. For Roman, well who knows? Roman ran, and could have done the full 33 miles on zero training as he has the amazing ability to do just that. But Roman got in 17, and then sharpened his crewing skills for the rest of the night. Also on this trip, Susan helped with crewing duties, having assumed the chore once before. Kristen came along, having demonstrated a genius for aid station duties and tonight took this skill to the road. And finally, last mentioned and best of all, Sandra was crew babe captain-ess, drove a minivan all through the night, shuttled sweaty runners too and fro, slept like NOT at all, delivered bicycles, cleaned up our messes, and flashed a smile all night long. (Would hate to see her grumpy!)Pictured above, me on the left, Kathy with her color coordinated shirt and do-rag, Roman with the hand jive below, Bobby in the middle, Russell poking his head over Bobby's shoulder, Kristen also hiding in the back, Susan cuddled up to Bobby (he is just so cuddly!) Michael with the green Lake McMurtry shirt, and Crew chief Sandra.

The plan was, run from 21st and Riverside, down to 11th, and then west to Sand Springs, and further west to Keystone Dam, cross the dam, and come back on the old highway, and Avery Drive and on home. From the very onset, it was established that we'd take it easy, stay together, walk the hills, and best of all, have fun.So at every opportunity, we stopped for photos. This is a sculpture of an old river man navigating a primitive canoe. Throw in some Surfin USA, and you have it.

Sandra and company drove ahead every 1-2 miles and waited for us.In retrospect, they could have gone 3-4 miles, and maybe caught a catnap along the way. But once they treated themselves to some ZZZZs, they might have found it hard to keep going.

Another photo-op not wasted. Sorry for the blurry pic.

At Sand Springs, Michael dropped out after running 8.25 miles. We headed on west, and the crew babes went ahead a couple of miles to wait for us. It was then that several highway patrol cars, a fire truck. went screaming by us, and in the back of my mind, I hoped it had nothing to do with our van of girls.It did not, but at the same time, they were concerned that the emergency vehicles might have something to do with us. It did not. But it was enough to flush the sleepiness away. No one hurt here, from what we could see.

After this, we got to Wekiwa Road, which was a shoulderless 2-lane route that used to be the main highway back around 30 years ago. Thirty years with no road improvement meant lots of things you could trip on and long deep shadows cast from our headlamps. This road ran along the Arkansas River and at the base of some bluffs and hills. It also had several areas where rock slides were a possibility.And as luck would have it, Bobby actually FOUND one of these fallen rocks. Who'da thunk it?

Not one of the prettier sights along the way. It's amazing that on a road that is actually quite scenic, some assholes decide to throw their crappy trash out for everyone else who passes by to see. GRRRRR!!!

Not long after that, we ran by an old lone house that set maybe 100 yards off the road. I heard voices from behind the house, something a little unusual as it was about 1:30 am. I saw some people coming around the house, as we were in the road right in front of it. "Who goes there?" came from the shadows. Roman or Russell answered, "Just going for a run." The people kept coming. It was dark, and I did not really want an altercation or anything, and tried to not shine my headlamp right at them. I then heard something about "beating up"....not really sure if someone it the group said they were gonna beat us up, or they thought we might beat them up? I am sure that either way, I was not interested in finding out. Now I have seen "The Hills Have Eyes" and this was seeming a little like how that movie started out. Even if these folks would have been fascinated that we were running all night and had ran 14 miles from downtown Tulsa, and were part of TATUR and RunnersWorld and all, A more likely scenario would have been they were crazed meth addicts looking for some people to run through their compost machine.So, I decided since we were runners, why not just show them that instead of just sharing that with them. Besides, with 3 or 4 of them, Kathy would have had her hands full whipping all of them while the rest of us watched. After running for about a quarter of a mile, we came to this sign.It seems we were having the worst luck! But bravely, we took our chances on this dilapidated bridge.Kathy nearly made it across, and luckily was able to scramble her way over.

Right after that, two highway patrolmen cam screaming up, lights-a-blazing, and wanted to know who we were and what we were doing. We told them, and they were understanding, and let us go on our way. They roared up, back and forth down the road, stopping several cars. It was decided they were looking for someone, probably in a car or truck. I think it was probably some of the "hills-have-eyes" people. Dunno.

1.5 miles later, we made it to Keystone Dam.Water was roaring through the turnstiles at a deafening pace. We ran most of the mile across the dam to our next crew stop. It was here where Russel and Bobby hopped on their bikes and rode for the rest of the night.We probably spent more time at this stop than any other. This would have been a failing grade in "transition time" if this had been a duathlon.

Ok....who farted?? Susan has the authentic look of disgust, so she's off the hook. Roman seems to be enjoying the moment, although it could be from oxygen deprivation. Sandra has that guilty little grin....hmmm. The answer: it was Kathy.

From there, we ran along the old highway on the south side of the river. It was an old bumpy paved road that was in disrepair. At one point, a train track crossed the road diagonally, and it was at this place that the road was wide and it seemed a good place for the van to stop so as to give room for passing vehicles. we were eating, drinking Gatorade, refilling our water bottles, and goofing off in general. Then I heard "DING DING DING DING" and the warning barriers dropped and indicated a train was coming. We were not actually parked on the tracks, but were well within the crossing guards.It was a little unnerving, and Sandra quickly pulled the van around the barrier to a safer feeling place. the train sped by at a very high speed, away and into the night.This was the first of several trains that passed us by. Each train whistle filled the cool night air, and resonated against the darkness an a sad and mysterious way. It truly seemed magical to me. The night's sky was overloaded with stars, and a half moon made an appearance late in the run.

Picture taking went by the wayside after that, as were were tiring, and more focused on finishing our run. Bobby and Russell exited shortly after that, and Kathy and I stopped at Chandler park, with 29.5 miles to brag about. 13 hours later, I have had a 6 hour sleep, had some ibuprofen, and will likely take another long sleep before long. Just one blister to show for the trip, but despite 4 pictures, it was just not worthy to show here on the blog....I do have standards, you know.

All in all, this was maybe the most fun spontaneous night run ever. Lots of excitement, perfect temps, a relaxed pace, good friends. Possibly, I will have some more pics later, if I can swipe some from Roman's camera.

Happy trails.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

T Z the Bicycle Rider

Wednesday, in an effort to stay away from caves, ticks, and places where I might be enticed to lying a little, I rode with the Wednesday Night Ride.Several of my RunnersWorld buddies ride regularly, and I am desperate to do any kind of cross training that works off some calories without furthering the aches to my PF.
Melanie and Bill before the ride. I did not see them again until I was through, and they were on their 2nd or 3rd beer as I came dragging in.

Not sure I am gonna buy into the bike jersey thing, although they do have great pockets in the back to put stuff in. Amanda could sell a pair of thong underwear to a priest with that smile.

My biking partners for the day: Bobby above, and Bronda below.
I am a runner. Not a fast one, just a mid-to-back-of-the-packer, But as a biker, I am a dead-last-of-the-packer. Oh, the nice bikers encouraged me, and told me I'll get better....ya just gotta keep doing it. Something about needing clips. Hmmm.Is my helmet on backwards?

My take on my slow speed, is the whole dang route was....Although to probably every othe biker there, the route was a little more like....Funny, I like hills for running and hate them when I have to pedal up them!

I did have an epiphany whilst riding. A very specific stimuli was instrumental to a dramatic increase in my biking pace.This dog, minus the chain, plus steroids. A mere 2 miles into the ride, I led Bobby and Bronda past a turn, and down a steep hill. Rather than turn around and pedal our bikes BACK UP a block (I would have surely pushed my bike), we just went down the hill and turned right on a parallel street in hopes of finding the correct route. Bronda spotted Spot first, and I, being a superhero (in my own mind) told her I would keep her between the dog and myself. Now honest to God, I meant I would put myself between her and the dog....HONEST! I did steer right toward the dog, playing chicken. Spot never moved, and I bumped him pretty good on the shoulder, and managed a sideways kick with my healthy foot. TAKE THAT, SPOT!
I then pedaled like a skinny chick at a spin class, and got away from the dog. As it turns out, an alternate ending to this story has already been sketched by the above beer ad.

Thanks to Stefanie, who called to check up on us. We were doing ok, but just slow, and rode 23 miles, whereas several of our friends took a shorter ride. One of those friends, Larry, was gracious enough to save Bobby, Bronda, and I a cold Boulevard Wheat. Final touches on a perfect night!