Sunday, December 26, 2010

A good Christmas

Christmas has come and is technically past. Our tree will hang around for a week or so. Our Christmas lights will hang around (some of them--particularly the ones that are harder to take down) perhaps a bit longer. (Truth be known, the icicle lights have been up for 3 years!!)It was a good Christmas in the zombie household this year.
Dana worked a tough shift this week, but had an amazing Christmas dinner laid out today. Turducken was the main entree, along with all the fixins. Pecan pie was my favorite. The toffee bars were courtesy of our friendsSteve and Kathleen who also sent us a treat of Colorado roasted coffee and a couple of other goodies. The weary FedEx man was still delivering early Dec 25th, and I hope he gets overtime. I debated whether or not I should even put out the toffee, as I personally would have rather hid it away for my own purposes. But I shared--with the likes of my father-in law Jay.He always arrives early, and we had a chance to catch up on life-things.

Mathis Brothers Furniture had these mini-recliners on sale this year, and I have one son who is an OU fan, and another who is an OSU alum. They each have one of my grand babies, and each is old enough to really need a good lazy chair. I set these opposing chairs next to each other--sort of a "Bedlam" thing. Then, an unplanned experiment took place.It should have been no surprise that Sassy would lay claim to one of the chairs--she loves NEW things. But which chair would she take??? After a careful examination, the decision was made--SHE IS A COWBOY FAN!!!

After a scrumptious dinner, it was time to open the gifts.Makenna was ready. She tore into her loot and it was a joyous time!
Like her grandpa, she is quite the ham in front of a camera.Truth be known, I think Dana enjoys gift opening too.

From the looks of things, daughter-in-law Jessie is excited about her Kindle. Jay is satisfied with a nap. Jason scored a Bass Pro gift certificate, and a shopping spree is in his near future.
Chuck received a Garmin, and now has no excuse to not run with his dad--a lot more. (hint hint)

Then, it was time for the next Christmas dinner/celebration. We drove to Skiatook to my parents house.John and Jeff tore into Dana's potato casserole. That would have been a sufficient gift for them. (we are not allowed admittance into their house without a huge pan of it.)
My oldest son Kenny and his wife and my grandson were there. :-) :-) This is Beckett, along with his mom Lynnsey.
Kenny3 (I am a Jr, and he is the third) along with Chuck (this was Chuck's third din din of the day) got a chance to visit their grandparents, which I liked.
Beckett is catching up on his office work, possibly doing a little stock trading.
He's good to, and gives his Uncle Chuck a few tips.
Kenny3 and Lynnsey are expecting another in a few months--and in fact, Jessie and Jason are also expecting, and the due dates are on the SAME DAY!What a great looking bunch!! (Beckett gets his blond hair from his grandpa!!!!)

Mark it up--one of my best Christmas's ever!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve run

It was a gray cold day, the day before Christmas. Dana had to work a 12 and I had a few things to pick up at the store, and a couple of gifts to pick up that had been back-ordered over in the war zone. Then, if all went well, I needed a run, having not ran since Tuesday, and that was a shortie.

I know a lot of shortcuts around town, and was able to slip in the back way to Mathis Brothers Furniture and get back out while seeing hardly a car! This is ~ a half mile from major traffic jambs and road-raged maniacal last minute Christmas shoppers.

The drabness of the day merited a snapshot. I always carry my Canon now!! This gray asphalt road was quickly behind me, and soon I was in the hills west of Chandler Park!!
No pavement here. But lots of hills, dirt, rocks, and roots.And mud. It had rained just a little last night. The trails did not even look muddy, but the dirt was damp enough to cake up like weights on my shoes. I got a great workout lugging it around!
One mile in, and I am happy despite the cold and wind.My plan was simply to explore. I had my Garmin--not so much for the pace aspect, but the distance and compass capabilities. I had 3 hours to run before total darkness, and wanted to use every minute of it. Roughly, I wanted to go from the NE corner of the area to the SW corner and back--preferably in a big loop. So, I'd turn left, and then right at the next intersection. And repeat.One left turn took me right up this ravine. I'd be a little nervous going this way in the summer, as the deep leaves would be great snake habitat.Here's natures version of Christmas tree ornaments.The next turn took me uphill. There were several short steep climbs on my route today. Burn baby, burn!

On this climb, I stopped to take a picture of a face in the rocks.Possibly a fossil of an alien??

I kept the left turn/right turn pattern going, and was pretty sure I was nearing the far corner.Ok, I have good imagination--do you see the alligatot in this root?
I heard the cars from either 41st Street or HW 97, and checked my mileage and time. Hmmm....I had gone 3.95 miles and had less than an hour to make it back to my car. I'd have to hurry.The sun made a valliant effort to pucture the dense clouds. Would have liked to had some sun, but I like the fact that it tried.
The trees look a little more daunting as darkness sets in.
I knew a shortcut. The powerlines that bisect this huge plot of land has a fire road and goes straight as an arrow (well, a crooked arrow maybe) and this trail would have the most light if I took longer than expected. Between where I was and the distant horizon (1.5 miles) was a deep and long valley, with a steep climb up the other side.I ran more in the last couple of miles, stopping for only a few pictures. The last climb--it's a doozie.Another shortcut--down this wash cut off a tenth or so, and bypassed a low area with lots of sticky clay-like mud.

Muddy conditions usually means there's lots of animal tracks. I actually saw very few, but near the end, this caught my attention.Someone will probably tell me it's a german shepard track, but I was thinking cat track.
And now, there are a lot of Zombie tracks all over the place!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


It is a sickness--a mental disorder.
The "need" to do bigger and better things--WHY?
I have a strong desire to do The Rouge/Orleans 126.2.
How cool would it be to have a race shirt that said 126.2 ???

This course runs from Baton Rouge to New Orleans on Mardi Gras weekend. It runs along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River--never even has a road crossing, or so they say, except for the last little bit in New Orleans.Much of the road is dirt and gravel roads, and looking at the short video, some of it is nice soft dirt trails.A major concern is the elevation profile. It seems really flat, which some people will love. But I actually like having a few rolling hills to mix things up.From reading about it, it seems to be a very crew-friendly race. At $140.00 for registering before January 1st, it is a relativly cheap race. Doing this race would scratch Little Rock marathon, which I have never done, and AOK 50K, which I would like to do again. The Post Oak double is the week before. I'd have to think seriously about whether it would smart to run it too. Hmmm.... Somebody talk some sense into me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

200 feet in 4 and change

I squeezed in a midday workout today. One of my morning errands was taking our insurance check by and our agent is on the 9th floor.I went all the way to the 10th floor, came back down, and repeated the process. In street clothes.
Now I'll readily admit this pales in comparison to running the stairs in the Williams Center or running the Incline in Manatou Springs, but having only an extra 10 minutes, I was satisfied with the feat. Besides, who wants to see a salesman with sweaty armpits?And with the "extra" 5 minutes, I rewarded myself to some store-bought coffee.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scary Things in the Night (part two)

Our Tuesday night secret society of night runners had another adventure in an undisclosed location NW of Tulsa. I arrived just before dark, and took a picture of the signage. The signs would imply a non-tolerance of trespassers, but I really don't think they mind us being on the PUBLIC road to and from this secret locked gate.
Seven runners were up for the challenge of relentless hills and dark skies.Newcomers Kathy, Roman, Caroline, and Stormy ran with us--our group is selectively growing. I played around with making videos with my new camera. No Oscar material here--yet.

We ran the 1.5 miles out--complete with 3 hills, and made the turn-around. Roman, Arena, and Mitch were in the second wave with me. The hills back are much more severe.
The views from the top of the highest point in the route is spectacular at night. My little old point-and-shoot camera does not capture the splendure.

The near full moon had not yet ascended the eastern horizon, and the long uphill led to darkness. While you can definately run this route without lights, tonight was dark! Winter Solstace perhaps?

There are scary diboical things lurking in the hills in the night.Mysterious evil twisted trees silently observe our passing.

Darkness turns even the most mild mannered runners into much more sinister characters. Empowered by the energy of the dark night, these trail runners feed on the challenge of 100 foot climbs.
But the forces of darkness sometimes drive newbies mad. Roman made it three miles, and sat in his Jeep while the rest of us ran a few more miles. Upon our return, madness had pocessed him.It took a few paper towels to wipe the nose prints off his window!
Join us next week at 5:30--if you dare!