Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Night Crawlers, week 4

Tuesday night, and the Tuesday Night Crawlers enjoyed a relatively flat run around Yahola. There is a 100% chance of a good sunset, provided it is not totally cloudy, and tonight was no exception.Wes and I got there just before 5:00, and did a speedy loop around the reservoir, averaging 9:30 m/m, and got back as the 5:30 arrivers trickled in.
Pictured left to right: Wes, Rafael, Lauri, Susan, Rachel, and Christine, with yours truly taking the picture.

Wes and I noticed an old Cadillac parked in the other parking area as we ran through it, with a middle-aged couple enjoying each other I suspect a bit more than the sunset. On our second trip through, they were still there. It was darker, colder, and the windows were steamier. I had ran back to run Susan and Lauri in, and those rascals shined their headlamps over towards the car, and I just KNEW the lovebirds were gonna roll down the windows and yell something. Lauri said she was sure this would end up in my blog, and well, I hate to disappoint.
Now I'll let you all guess--did I have the cojones to sneak back and take a picture? Or did I just find this on Google? I'm not telling!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


It's good to take some down-time. At least that's what I'm trying to make myself believe. This past year has not been my best year of running, but it is not at all the worst either. I managed to finish every 100(+) I entered, yet my times are getting progressively slower. I abbreviated Turkey and TATURs stopping at 25K. I ran a non-contested 100 miles at Pumpkin Holler in 31+ hours. No adrenaline of the race to spur me along, and even though I was proud to go the distance, I was a little disappointed in being so slow. In the 15 days since my Pumpkin Holler run, I've ran a mere 27 miles, my lowest streak in years. I feel tired, sluggish, useless, depressed. It's not REAL bad, but I know what I need to do. A one-dimensional self-proclaimed trail zombie needs something on the calendar to train for. So for now, I will remind myself of what is on the short-term calendar.
  1. Isle du Bois Trail Run - Saturday December 10, 2011 – Pilot Point, Texas. This is a 50K near Denton, Texas along the shores of Lake Ray Roberts. My buddy David Hanenburg of Endurance Buzz is the creator and RD of this race, and it looks to be a good time. I will run this for the fun of it, and look for me to earn that "tough as nails" distinction in the EB race report.
  2. Race Into the New Year - Saturday December 31, 2011 11:45 pm - Westside River trails. This is a race where one start one year, and finish the next year. I stand a good chance on NOT being DFL in this one, and even enjoy both of the champagne stops along the way.
  3. Polar Bear Plunge - Sunday January 1, 2012 - Westside River trails near Westport Apartments. I have done this event every year, and each year it gets a little bigger and a little crazier. It started out with a wade into shallow water and dunking yourself if you dared. Then the next year, a submersion was required. Then, they added a river scramble and a swim under a net. The next year, a dive into a pool was thrown into the mix. Last year, the river dip was out, but we had to dive into three pools. This year, three pools are back, and they are promising water at 34°. This surely involved large quantities of ice being added to the pools. That is just cruel!!!
  4. Athens/Big Fork Trail Marathon - Saturday January 7th, 2012 - Big Fork, Arkansas. The hardest marathon I have ever run, and I believe the hardest marathon on the planet. A lofty claim??? Show me a harder one. Pikes Peak? Maybe. Leadville Marathon? Maybe. Anyone done all three? I'd love to hear the comparison.
This gets me into mid January, and time to decide what is next. Rocky Raccoon? Rouge Orleans? AOK 50K? White Rock 50K? Post Oak? Or maybe I need to adopt the race less/run more approach.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chef TZ

My grandmother used to make the most awesome coconut pie. Her recipe was in her head, and in her later years, sometimes it was a little on the salty side, sometimes it was runny, soggy on bottom, but still always soooo good.It took some doing, but for the most part, I got her recipe and I have it on my computer, and also typed and laminated, and saved in a few different locations. It's from semi-scratch, with only cook-and-serve pudding the only shortcut.
Yes, I can separate eggs. (As you can see, a tiny bit of yolk got in the egg whites, but I dipped it out. The yolks are saved and used too.)
What you are seeing here is the makings of homemade pie crust. That, in my opinion, is the secret to knock-out pie.
It's a messy job, but soooo worth it.
Dana came home and saw the finished pies and said "You bought your crust, didn't ya." BWAHAHAHA!! I took PICTURES!!!
Here I am preparing for 45 minutes of stirring. Added to the mix is some sugar, coconut, vanilla, butter, salt, corn starch, and yes--all those egg yolks.
The yummy filling (I almost have a tummy ache from eating all the leftovers!!) Notice the toasted coconut in tin pan. Toasting it keeps the oil from the shavings from messing up the temperamental meringue.
And this is the trickiest part of the pie. Sometimes it sweats, sometimes it weeps. (Not unlike ultra runners)
One more to top, and in the oven they go.
I cook them slow, until they are light brown. Then I let then cool IN THE OVEN, and then on the counter and I'll chill them before I go to bed.
Not blue ribbon material, but OMG they taste so good!!!
A sure fire way to gain the 6 pounds back I've lost this week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday Night Crawlers, Week III

Some would think it was too cold, but actually it was a spectacular night for a run. Our crowd has swelled--up 33% from last weeks attendance, as not one, but two new runners joined us for a jaunt around one of the areas best kept secrets for off-road running.As I have mentioned, Lake Yahola is a great place to view the sunset. The sound of waves lapping against the shores is soothing, something I particularly need after a grueling day at work.It is getting dark EARLY, and by 6:00, it was pitch black, but our LED headlamps lit the way.The route around the lake was soft from the rain, but even with the rain we had, I did not get my shoes muddy. I wore my Asics 2160s, a road shoe, which is just fine for this terrain.

I have seen lots of wildlife around the lake--armadillos, opossums, turtles, cranes, jumping fish, and always deer.Join us next Tuesday!!! This course is perfect for those getting off work. We try to take off around 5:30, but even if someone is running a bit late, there is no way to get off course--just run the path around the shore of the lake and when you run out of trail, cross the gate and follow the edge of the paved road back to where you parked. It's a nice 3.3 mile loop. Facebook me, email me at trailzombie@yahoo.com, or call/text at 918-814-6433.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I've got three posts to post--maybe four--but I'll post them in the order they need to be seen on the blog, since the most recent ones go to the top. Maybe there is a way to fix that. But try teaching a trick to an old dog.

Dana and I seized the weekend and went to Eureka Springs--did the bed & breakfast thing, ran some trailz, walked up and down the hills of downtown, went to a country music show, and viewed lots of artsy things and antiques. This post will deal with the latter.Visiting shops in Eureka Springs gets a little redundant. There are lots of t-shirts with old cliched slogans, "I was here" themes, "mine is bigger/better than yours" themes, and pictures of cats. I have to many t-shirts as it is. I take pix to show I was wherever, cats own the house I live in, and bigger/better--well in the words of Popeye, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." Then there's lots of wood carved stuff, fudge, leather shops (where I always ALMOST buy something but don't), shops with ridiculous worthless knick-knacks, and finally, art shops and antique stores. We visited several antique stores that were borderline flea markets, but interesting all the same.One antique mall/flea market had lots of artsy fartsy stuff that was not so high priced that I could not afford it, but instead, I took a picture and it almost seemed like I was stealing. The above metal ant was cool. It might have made a good yard ornament, or something good on top on my mantel.Right beside the red ant was this old car. Again, something I kinda wanted, but it was better to just admire it there.Same artist, most likely.Actually, I regret not buying this. If it's there next time up, it's coming home with me. Santa????Same theme--crawling critters made out of inanimate materials. I like it.Not saying this is a work of art, but the scrabble thing was glued down and for sale. There were a few extra tiles laying around, so I put my two cents in. I am WAY behind on my WWF right now.On to the antiques, these two old radios were something Ida liked to have brought home--but where to put them? I doubt that they worked worth a flip. Plus, I never listen to anything but Sirius/XM, Spotify, or Pandora.Another antique--something that would be valuable to someone. I thought it was pretty cool. And weird.This was another piece I spent some time looking at before taking a pic and walking on. Pink. I like pink. This is not a masterpiece, but still I felt it had a lot of feeling in it.An old time Jack-in-the-Box. One that did not work, but was very colorful. The flash on my camera seemed to light up the color.Ok--I gotta confess--I am easily freaked out by clowns and dolls. This doll gave me the heebie jeebies.One word--CREEPY!!Mannequins are a little scary, but I had no problems with this one.What's your take--is photographing stuff like this kosher?

Monday, November 21, 2011

A weekend in Eureka Springs

We love Eureka Springs. This is where Dana and I went on our honeymoon 13 years ago, and although we were 3 weeks late celebrating due to running and planning races and such, we blocked off 2 1/2 days for some R&R.Eureka is an amazing town, a slice out of the 19th century. For me, the older the buildings, the better. Provided they are not falling down. You know, an Oklahoma earthquake could do some damage here.
The Basin Hotel, one of many landmarks in Eureka Springs. We've stayed there once, but this time, we were opting for a B&B.
The roads through town are hardly wide enough for two cars. And hills--yep, they got 'em. From what we ate over the weekend, we burned a percentage of those calories off. I'm sure we still have some cardio work to do though. We ate well, having Bubba's Barbecue, KJ’s Caribe Restaurant & Cantina, and the Chicken Coop.

We spent a few bucks here, bringing home candied jalapenos and some killer hot sauce.

Onward through the northern section of downtown. Even where we stayed, it was withing walking distance. I guess for ultra runners, most anywhere was within walking distance.
A view of the Crescent Hotel overlooking all of Eureka Springs. I have not stayed there, and I hear it is HAUNTED.
We never made it up the hill to snoop around. Maybe next time.
Seems like I remember in Sunday school, singing a song about how the wise man built his house upon the rock. There must be some real geniuses here.
In Eureka, they build them tall. This house must be 150 years old, and it's still standing and thriving as a business.
We stayed at the Piedmont House, a quaint bed and breakfast cut right out of the early 1900s. This huge house had about a dozen units, each decorated in early American style. Every room had a different theme, and every room had balcony access. I plan on doing another post about the inn and the folks who own it.
Our room was the Magnolia room. It was one of the smaller rooms, but had everything we could want. TV, refrigerator, microwave, NO PHONE (YAY!!!) and a nice shower with great water pressure. There was no jacuzzi in this room, not that I really have used them when we've had 'em.The view from the balcony was one that I could not tire of. A few weeks back, the leaves probably were on fire with color, but still this weekend was more than scenic.

Generally, I am not a die hard country music fan. I like a little here and there, but the over-polished stuff that borders with American Idol-style is what I am not crazy about. A little Waylon, Willie, edgy/rowdy stuff and some good pickin is great.We have been to the Hoedown a few times over the years, but on this trip, I did not recognize any of the players. But let me tell you, they were GOOD!
The George Brothers, who have actually had two songs on the C/W charts, played a 2 hour set that included some well played music and a few original songs. They did several covers and a few parodies and plenty of cornball comedy. They seemed like they truly enjoyed every minute of their time on the stage, which is amazing since they play over 200 gigs a year. Dawayne George has a unique voice and was a quick fingered guitar picker,
Randal George played a great bass and had a Merle Haggard-like voice. These guys are talented and will be big stars if their performance was any indication. Leslie Wright, the group's manager, sang several numbers and should be a star in her own right. Her daffy cheerleader routine was the funniest part of the night. We'll definitely be back to see these guys.