Friday, July 31, 2009

A tale of two birthdays

I have been a little reluctant to post anything about my past birthday. It was a birthday with a zero....not necessarily a bad thing, unless as it is in my case, it also has a five in it!

My kids took me out for a dinner a few days before the deed. Why a few days early? Maybe they wanted to get it over with in case I kicked the bucket early? Hmmm.

Then, Dana with the help of my best friends ever put together a surprise party for me! The "supposed" plan for Dana and I was to go to McNellies for a quiet dinner and a night at McNellie's is ever quiet. I was completely clueless. I walked into the east dining room at McNellies to ALL of my Tatur/RW friends!!!I was flabbergasted! What a nice surprise!! Now, I got a yummy McNellies burger, some tasty beer, and a German Chocolate birthday cake!!! (Thanks to Dana who knows it's my fave!)OK, haha....funny!Rock Star Ed picked me a good beer....always trust his choices! He does not disappoint!I am not sure who all put this all together. I suspect Sandra was right in the middle of it.A big thank you to Lisa who helped Dana work out the details. Lisa says she NEVER takes a good picture, but she did here!:-)

Another nice surprise: my son Chuck and his wife Vanessa joined us for the fun!Now, if we can get Chuck into running! Vanessa already is running a little.
Good food and good friends. The best birthday ever.
Eleven years ago when Dana and I met, we discovered that our birthdays were 2 days apart. July 27 and July 29. I thought it would be perfect if we got married on July 28th, but the very sternly vetoed that notion.

Roman and Lisa had asked me about having a surprise party for her a few weeks back, and I, being the very absent minded sloth that I am, almost forgot that it was even mentioned. But Roman and Lisa, with the help of Sandra and Kathy put a party together a mere 3 days after mine. They had asked where Dana likes to eat, and I mentioned Tin Star. Lisa shot that down, and I then told her that Dana was a sushi girl. So, even though Kathy would never have fish touch her lips, and Bobby thinks all fish should be breaded and fried to the point that it resembles a chicken fried steak, the party was booked at In the Raw. (No, for my out-of-town readers....that is not a strip bar!)

Thursday, as always, our group had a river run of 3-6 miles. Dana had rode her bike to RunnersWorld, and I had drove the Jeep. The plan, supposedly, was for a few of us to go to Leon's after the run, as we usually do. I was supposed to stall after RW closed to allow everyone to get to In the Raw, and then tell Dana I decided to NOT go eat with our friends at Leon's. Well, this was not working too well at all, and Dana was actually getting mad about standing our friends up, leaving them expecting us at ANOTHER restaurant. I somehow managed to get her in the door and she was blown away by everyone being there waiting to surpirse her with a party, balloons, and cake.The 3 amigos: Susan, Terrie, and Sandra. Sandra made the cake, a Weight Watchers recipe made of angelfood, pineapples, and strawberries.It was great. (Wish I hada got 2nds!)

Not everyone got sushi. Brian was brave, Wade had a rice roll as well. After the rolls were gone, it was time for the wasabi challenge.Wade was a cool as a cucumber, but he eats jalapenos on his Cheerios for breakfast. Brian threw the wad of green goo down the back of his throat and acted like Mr. Cool but then made a face to oblige those of us with cameras ready.TZ savors a green ball of fire and promptly melts down.Dana and I are blessed to have such great friends. Pulling off 2 surprise parties in 3 days is amazing. You are more than family!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Midnight 50K

Although it was almost 2 weeks ago, I thought I would put up some sort of rambling about a 50K a lot of my TATUR friends and I did over in Arkansas. The Midnight 50K, or at least that's what they used to call it is a nice run on gravel roads through the wilderness area in central Arkansas. Hills hills, and more hills. Long hills. Some steep, some long some really long. It was my 3rd year to do it and somehow I had gotten some funky idea I could PR there. The last 6 miles are mostly downhill and a fast finish was a certainty. These same hills I figured I could run up early in the race what with having fresh legs and all.
Here, Kathy laughs at the notion of me PRing. The coach knows me all to well. Russell has his game face on. Marvin is in the process of farting, and Bobby's sensative nose has already picked up on it.

A couple of Arkansas trail-virgins. Lisa is biting off a chunk running this 50K, and jason is looking for redemption after a tough run the week before. Both passed their tests with flying colors. In the background, Tom Brennan (in the green) chills before the run. Tom was running the 25K--he wanted to finish before dark and with the race starting at 8:00 he probably did so!

Patty flashes her awesome smile. It's always great to see her and Carrie (in the blue) as they usually run right about my pace, and we get to visit some. This year, they did the 25K and were gone by the time I finished my run.

What a big group of TATURS! From left to right, Randy, a shirtless Tom, Roman in the red, Russell in the back middle, then a very determined Bobby, a bandanaed Jason, a do-ragged Kathy, and Marvin. On the front row, Lisa in the pink, Brian, and the Zombie.

After a little Arkansas fanfare, of which not one picture turned out, the word was given and we headed up a long 3ish mile hill.

Darkness set in after about an hour. There was a great vista hidden by the twilight hours. A hint of lingering light in the sky casts hints of the fading horizon. The race had an aid station about every 7.5 miles, the second of which was the turn-around for the 50Kers. If this run were a football game, and each 7.5 mile segment was a quarter, I would say I had a great 1st quarter, then gave up several touchdowns in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, and made a valiant effort at a comeback in the 4th quarter, but fell short of winning the game.

Miles and miles of this. After the turnaround, I was all alone. I was struggling, but still mostly running. At about the 20 miloe point, I decided to quit rying to push the pace, and go with whatever my body would allow. After that, my pace seemed a lot smoother, and I started enjoying the run a lot more....taking in all the sounds (cicadas and frogs and the sound of my feet.) As I said, the last 6 miles were almost all downhill, and I ran this at what seemed fast but according to my Garmin, was only at an 8-10 minute mile pace. I finished in 7:38:39, near the back of the pack but still ahead of 8 people. I did manage to pass a couple near the end of the race and finished with the appearance of running strong.

Jason had a good race, finishing well under 6 hours, and had a nice bit of blood to show for it. Brain PRd, Kathy PRd, Bobby and Russell PRd as well, I think.

Not sure of PR status for Roman and Lisa, but they made it in under he wire, and Roman followed his dietician's advice by eating right after his long run.

Brian and Kathy however, followed common sense and caught some winks after the run. We all had a room rented and showered and slept for about 5 hours before driving home. A perfect TATUR weekend.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Here's a little story bout a redneck race

The Reckless Redneck, a fast mega-downhill run all on pavement including 278 feet of descent came and went like a FLASH!!!!! It's not often that I do a race where I finish within 3 minutes of the winners. People who normally SMOKE me were still catching their breath when I labored across the finish line in 6:38 by my watch and 6:45 by the timing crew.

This race was as much of a costume party and a who's who of tackiness in the TATUR community. Prizes were given for best costume for male and female, and a lot of very worthy contestants got nothing more than some gawks. I am thinking there might have been a few who looked the part although had no intention of participating in the dress-up silliness.

I ran hard, and took very few pictures, but OH MY GOD, there are a lot of em-bare-assing pictures floating around on the internet, and thanks to well meaning friends on Facebook (Terrie, Susan, and Roman), and a little cut-and-paste, I'll pepper this post with some funny pics and some stuff one should never have to look at!Like this-un. I no more got there and was signin myself up that the pictures started a-snappin!Meanwhile, these city-folk were hidin their eyes!

After messin around for a little while, we all piled into the TATUR Taxi and headed up the hill.
Taken before the race at the top of Turkey Mountain.Not sure who everyone is, but far left is Jason S from channel 2, The cute underage preggo next to me is Kathy, and no, it's not mine. The next two babes to the right looked familiar, but I could just not get past the teeth. Another preggo to the far right is Meg who doesn't like to be called Ruth.

Rumor has it that this is Kathy's baby-daddy. Rock Star Ed looks on in amazement at the the love handles on this dude.

Awe....true love.

It was indeed a fast race, and Elwood was so steep in a couple of places that I had to reel back a little to keep from getting my body ahead of my feet. Falling would not be a good thing on pavement.Here we come--flying down the hill!

As if enough flesh was not showing already!

Notice the good running form. No heel striking here, up on the toes, leaning forward, taaking full advantage of gravity. That gut was actually doing me some good here.

Dang, I wanted to pass this kid, but he would not let up!

TZ knows how to pick him a redneck babe, but man it was hard picken one out with so many cousins there!Now guys, come on! How can you pick just one of these fine lookin ladies and leave the other-uns out? These 3 girls were in the runnin for the prize for best costume. Heck, I wish they'da all got a prize.Babeliscious Karrie won for best costume. I gotta blow the whistle though....this is her every day goin-to-meetin clothes. She did add a couple of lick-and-stick tattoos in and around all her other tattoos to put her over the top.

My friend Jason won best costume for the men. I would not have voted for him for best costume, but would have voted him for "best hair."

The shore nuff prizes for fastest dude and gal went to these folks. McKale Davis was the purdy lil girl there, and she won herself a whole water jug fulla money, over $400 I reckon. The tall dude on the left, Abraham Ekal, won the mens prize, and I hope I spelt his name right. He got himself roun $400 too, but the gal got a few extra bucks mostly for being purdy I think. That's Dr. Z who along with his brother rounded up a whole buncha dollars from under the couch and in their sock drawers for the prize money and I think that's just awesome and I bet Brian and all the other TATURs think about as highly bout that as I do. That's just good old redneck hospitality!

And aw heck, I just gotta put up another pic of my cousin Kathy before she pops!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Reckless Redneck

What do you get when you cross some good old country REDNECKS........with some really fast runners?

Well this Friday, you will get to find out!!TATUR, always looking for new and inventive ideas for races, is presenting a one mile DOWNHILL race. This mile dash starts at the top of Elwood at 61st Street, and screamzzz down Elwood, turns into the new Turkey Mountain parking lot, and then streaks down the new paved bike trail. This descent is less than the descent at say....Pikes Peak or Mount Everest, but for around these parts, it is quite a steep downhiller.

Why the redneck theme?? Well, why not? This IS Oklahoma! Anyone wearing some sorta redneck garb gets a $3.00 discount on their entree fee. For a lot of my friends, all that means is they might wanna not put on that Sunday-go-to-meetin shirt and come on in their regular goin-out-ta-eat shirt. Some of my friends just need to flash a toothy grin and that'll be proof enough that they are rednecks. (A tip: Nascar hats work for costume accessories, and might add to your aerodynamics, besides making Junior proud.)

Rumor has it that a couple of rich doctors in the big city have donated a bunch of their soda pop money for a good old grand prize for the fastest girl runner and dude runner....something like a whole big oversized Jim Bean bottle full of money.

Finally, because this is a real fast course, and some of you-uns will be running faster than you ever dreamt possible, please be careful and don't fall, don't trip anybody, don't step on anyone's pig or chickens, and don't end up like this guy!