Twas a spur-of-the-moment thing--always the most fun--that we planned an all-night run from Jenks to NSU and back. Jason, Kathy, Roman, Caroline, and I took off from QT in Jenks and ran the Creek turnpike trail. Mapmyrun.com indicated this was a 14.4 mile one way, but two different Garmins measured in at 15.5 and 15.7. So let's just call it 25K out, and back.Kathy was using this as her last long run before the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler, Roman and Caroline had similar reasons for this run as they are both doing the 50 miler at Rocky. Jason is doing Desert Rats next summer, and needs all the long runs he can get. I just like to run, and I had done the last half of my morning 12 miler at a fairly hard pace (for an old guy, anyway.)I saw the back sides of my friends more often than not this night. Just some fatigue from the morning I am thinking. 13 miles into the run, at a nearby gas station, we had a mass potty break. Here, while waiting for the girls, Jason helps Roman stretch out his leg? back? Caroling emerges from the restroom. "NEXT!" Kathy does her best Catra pose. Somewhere after the 13 mile point, I realized I had forgot to apply Dana's Better Butt Butter, and the beginnings of some chafing was setting in. I also had my Smart Wools gradually grinding the ball of my left foot into the beginnings of hamburger meat.
And to add to my whininess, my back was twinging a little, more so when I walked. I felt it best to stop after 15.5 miles, add that to my previous 12 earlier in the day and count it as a good day of running. We had Crew Chicklette Sandra running sag for us, and she took me back the 15 miles to my car and I called it a night.
So as a result, I got plenty of sleep and was worth more than a wasted sloth the next day.
Late Sunday afternoon, I decided to run a few miles on Turkey Mountain. I had not taken the dogs for a run in a while, and they were excited to get out.They both stay leashed until we get to the trail, and then Rocky gets to run free. He behaves, comes when he is told, and never gets more than 50 yards away. Jake, on the other hand, has a history of wanting to see the world. He stays leashed, and powers me up the hills.We headed up to the pond on the blue trail for their first swimming session. To my surprise, neither of them even got a drink. I have seen Rocky break ice to swim, but not today.
The boys usually are good for 4 miles.... when going more, Jake will be running, and then just STOP, and a couple of times, I have flew right over the top of him. Four miles is about his max.
They were more enthusiastic about swimming the 2nd time around.
We ended up with 4.4 miles, a run that I needed. The Snake Trail is still very muddy, but the trails on the east mountain seem to be a lot better.
The sun was setting........and while I would have liked to tack another mile or two on, there was not enough daylight and the boys were ready to go home.No doubt, the boys were happy to get a run in, too!
Twas a spur-of-the-moment thing--always the most fun--that we planned an all-night run from Jenks to NSU and back. Jason, Kathy, Roman, Caroline, and I took off from QT in Jenks and ran the Creek turnpike trail. Mapmyrun.com indicated this was a 14.4 mile one way, but two different Garmins measured in at 15.5 and 15.7. So let's just call it 25K out, and back.Kathy was using this as her last long run before the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler, Roman and Caroline had similar reasons for this run as they are both doing the 50 miler at Rocky. Jason is doing Desert Rats next summer, and needs all the long runs he can get. I just like to run, and I had done the last half of my morning 12 miler at a fairly hard pace (for an old guy, anyway.)I saw the back sides of my friends more often than not this night. Just some fatigue from the morning I am thinking. 13 miles into the run, at a nearby gas station, we had a mass potty break. Here, while waiting for the girls, Jason helps Roman stretch out his leg? back? Caroling emerges from the restroom. "NEXT!" Kathy does her best Catra pose. Somewhere after the 13 mile point, I realized I had forgot to apply Dana's Better Butt Butter, and the beginnings of some chafing was setting in. I also had my Smart Wools gradually grinding the ball of my left foot into the beginnings of hamburger meat. And to add to my whininess, my back was twinging a little, more so when I walked. I felt it best to stop after 15.5 miles, add that to my previous 12 earlier in the day and count it as a good day of running. We had Crew Chicklette Sandra running sag for us, and she took me back the 15 miles to my car and I called it a night.
Gradually, the days are getting longer. That's a good thing for a person who needs light therapy. My evening runs, when I manage to get them, only finish after dark, which makes for some good sunset pix when it is not cloudy and grey.From the west bank of the Arkansas, looking downtownward.
Saturday morning was my group run, and it was grey.
Needed a major coffee fix, french toast to overcome the effects of the overcast skies.
I am posting this for now, but i will add to it tomorrow after my night run with Kathy, Roman, and Jason.
Sometimes it seems like I do a little work here and there to finance my running addiction. Other times, I feel lucky to get in a short run or two during the week. This past week was one like that. Saturday, I managed to get in 12 miles in two separate very different runs. First off, I had a decision. I am a group leader for a group of marathoners and we do our long runs Saturday morning at 8:00. Most of our courses are on neighborhood streets, avenues of downtown Tulsa, or on paved bike trails along the Arkansas River. At the same time, TATUR, my trail running club, has started having Saturday morning runs at 7:00 on trails at Turkey Mountain and occasionally other trails. This Saturday, the T-Tots as they are called, were running at the Post Oak Lodge where a BIG RACE is coming up next month. Feb 27th and 28th, there will be a trail marathon on Saturday, and a 50K/25K/10K on Sunday. I had previewed the trails on Wednesday with the RD and good friend Johnny Spriggs, and I really wanted to explore more of the trails and take lotsa pix. Wednesday, it was cloudy and not a good day for picture taking....and I had forgot my camera and it was not charged up anyway. Saturday would allow me to see more miles of trail, and take a ton of shots....so my plan was to run with FASTER THAN OPRAH, eat some breakfast, and then hit the trails at POST OAK.
Jason and Tom joined me and after some breakfast at our usual hole-in-the-wall: the Blue Dome Diner, we headed west. I knew the trails would be muddy. They were Wednesday. the 10 inches of snow dumped on us last December had s l o w l y melted and 100% of it had combined with already soft dirt to form the squishiest mud ever. Not the bad kind of mud that sticks to your shoes, but the slick kind that keeps you from planting your foot and getting a good running rhythm. I was hoping for 9 miles out there, and expected to really work for it.
Since I had previewed some of the course with Johnny, I decided to show Jason and Tom the first part of the actual race. The first mile of the race is intended to be on pavement to allow all the runners to space out a little before entering the single track trail. This involves a 1/4 mile climb, and then a 1/2 mile downhill.On race day, everyone's first mile split should be fast....always nice to put a little time in the bank.Then the squish started. Not that you can tell from the picture, but look at Tom's expression...."You're kidding--right?" This was the trail head of a newly formed trail that climbed almost straight up Hamburger Hill. I actually like the trail. It's steep, but certainly not the worst I have been on this month. It was muddy, and the mud was whipped up by the 40 or so runners who were there earlier in the day. Every step, we advanced two feet and slid back one foot. But soon we were at the top.I am guessing it's a 150-200 foot climb. The view of the downtown Tulsa area as well as an eastern and northern view is awesome, but today, the fog was heavy and all was gray. Jason still thinks I am kidding about being able to see downtown from this peak.
A lot of these new trails were made by simply mowing a swatch across a field. As soft as the ground has been, this made a nice mud bog. Hopefully this will dry up a little by race day.
Lotsa water crossings on the menu today. Of course this was no obstacle to us three as we were all contestants in the Polar Bear Plunge earlier in the month. You can thank me for NOT posting more PBP pix, although scroll down if you wanna see the post of that again.Yup....the trail goes that way. A lot of the standing water was from the melted snow. Again, we'll hope for a few weeks of dry weather before the race.
Ahh...fun and games._______________________________________. As you all know, I am the master of corny captions. I'll refrain here, and instead I'll open up a contest--FILL IN THE CAPTION!!! What do you think a good caption for this picture would be? Post your comments below!
A nice section of newly mowed trail across a meadow.
Eventually, we noticed we had not seen an orange ribbon in a while. The trail dead ended at this water crossing.Now I am not afraid of crossing something like this, but I saw absolutely no sign of a trail beyond it.Jason and Tom were not too keen about wading across this one either. They left the decision up to me.umm....NO!
So we backtracked and found another trail that was sparsely cut and not marked, but upon heading north we did see another ribbon around a bend--proof that human life had trad here before. Then we heard a distant voice calling. I hollered back, and lo and behold, Johnny Spriggs had managed to track us down.Johnny had actually marked some of the course in this area, and we took his lead.
But from here on, my day went downhill, so to speak. This was about the end of the established trails, and the rest were just ribbons tried to trees through dense woods. I actually like this kind of trekking, but it does not lend itself to getting a lot of miles in a set amount of time. Also, we ended up in the midst of briers that would make a rabbit tremble.To get around this, Jason and I opted to cross a creek. The passage seemed better on the other side. Kind of sounds like a proverb I heard years ago.
We ended up crossing a creek/stream 4 times trying to get through.Notice the ice still on the water. This portion of the stream was quite swift, and of course the source of the water was melted snow. I am ok with getting my feet wet, and even wading in knee deep water....but when it gets towards waist deep, I like to draw the line there.
I'll add a parenthesis here. I almost never run with my phone in conditions like this. I'll occasionally run with my phone with my road group just to stay in touch if need be with everyone, and to coordinate the most important part: where we're gonna eat afterwards! When trail running alone....sometimes I'll take the phone but usually not. I had a poor signal out here, but still I had left it in my pocket. My new MyTouch phone. You know where this is going!Shortly after taking this picture, I steeped in a hole and down I went. I did not completely submerge, and immediately grabbed my phone out of my pocket and shook the water off. I waded out, turned the power off, took the battery out, and blew on it as I had nothing dry on me with which to wipe the water out. Needless to say, I was aggravated, and Jason and I terminated our run at that point and made our way back to our cars. Tom and Johnny had found another way around the briers and I guess made a big loop and back to the parking lot as well.
Well, so you'll know, my phone did dry out, and now it works good as new. I did have insurance on it, but I don't know if if covers water damage.
Now about the trails. They are new, and most brand new. Some of the trails are no more than ribbons tied to trees. And some of them are yet to be made or even marked. In less than six weeks, the race peeps have a lot of work ahead of them. If they get all the trails cut and the course well marked, it is a beautiful area. And if anyone wants to help with trail marking, clearing, or race day volunteering, I am sure they could use the help. I am sure that on the race site, one could get in touch with someone who could put them to work. I am excited to see how it goes, and am also excited at the prospects of doing the marathon/50K double.
[I'd like to add an "edit" here. I enjoyed the trek across the hills at Post Oak. It will be an awesome place to run trails. The trails in place are challenging and scenic, and very runnable I am sure after this awful mush dries up. In the next few weeks, I expect even more awesome trails in the area. Once in place, the Post Oak Run should be an amazing event. At this point, Jan 18th, Johnny and the TRC have a lot yet to do, and they'll get it done. I am sure I'll be out there a time or two helping out however I can with the manicuring of the trails, although February is usually a busy month with my job.
My reporting of my run out there was simply an account of my day, as are all my blog posts....and I was a little soured after falling in the c cc cold water and ruining my phone....otherwise I would have marched my butt all around the whole complex and over to the Botanical Gardens area, and probably would have ended up being arrested for trespassing, the way my luck goes. My tucking tail and going home was due in part to worrying about having to buy another $400 phone, and being soaked head to toe. At that point, the briers and squishy mud were not bringing a smile to my face. I am sorry if that seemed to spew doom towards what may be a great racing event.]