Thursday, November 29, 2012

A few months back, I searched in vain for a geocache just west of Sand Springs. It's one in a series--"Capture the Flag", although I just hunt them down, sign the log, and log my find on the website.
It's rough climbing--really fun!! I mountain-goated all over the side of this cliff last time, and no find.

However, while passing through, I thought about it, and saw on the website that it had been recently found. Given confirmation that it was there, i gave it another go. I think the climb is so steep, that the GPS gets confused. It seems like it is more vertical than horizontal, in terms of distance. Yes, it is still further up.
Looking back down, it is clear I have ascended over 100 feet, yet my car is just right down there. I was in my loafers--not the best climbing shoes.

For whatever reason, I went straight to it. It was sitting in plain sight. Makes me think it was hidden a little better last time I was here.

The trip back down was more of a slither, hanging on to whatever seemed solid. I was happy to log my 355th find.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday Night Crawlers slither at Mohawk Park

The Tuesday Night Crawlers, which includes the some of the braver TOTs, gathered at an obscure location in the NW part of Mohawk Park. We ran about two miles of awesome single track, hopping over roots and fallen trees, plowing through autumn leaves, and ducking under tree trunks.
A full moon lit the way, although it would be a challenge to run sans-light on the trailz here. Spooky trees were everywhere, but my scary critters were found (other than John Nobles.)

It's hard to get a good picture at night, especially with an iPhone. But this one of Kathy was interesting.

We popped out on the levee around Lake Yahola, and picked up the pace jetting around the 3.25 mile gravel path.

I love the run here. You can get good pictures 24/7 around the lake. It's a good place for a sunrise or sunset, and night reflections across the lake are outstanding.

The Tuesday Night Crawlers will be at Mohawk again nest week--6:30 pm-- meeting at the gates of the Oxley Nature Center about a half mile east of Lake Yahola. We'll obey the law, and run only where the signs allow. (wink)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday runs

Today, I ran with Bobby, Kathy, Roman, Wes, and Deon. We met early to tun the Half and Half trail, and had a super great run. The event on December 16 will be an awesome one. I predict a few PRs will be set.

Roman, Bobby, and I had a feeding at IHOP, then I came home and Jake talked me into some more miles.
I had a notion to run at Chandler Park, provided I could keep a certain brown dog from dive-bombing the mud puddles. We started on the trails that go between the boulders. No mud there.

There are lots of great views, bald eagles to be seen, geocaches to be found (I looked for two and one was either missing or extremely well hidden. The second was straight down a steep decline of loose scree, and it was freaking Jake out a little, so we just ran.

Jake seems to love it here, and he is on a constant hunt for new trailz. He will be up high on the side of a hill and see one below him, and way he goes to check it out. Such a good trail dog!!

He zipped along through the rocks, pointing out to me that the trailz often circle clear around the rocks. Um, Jake, I knew that.

This is an amazing place, but there has been a lot of colorful graffiti lately, and that's a shame. The paint will fade, but this area is a hidden gem, and could be such a draw if it were marketed. Or maybe it's just better that it is kept a secret.

We pretty well exhausted the trailz around the rocks. It would be cool it these trailz stretched westward to the other taller bluffs. But that'd be some insane trail cutting.

(Insert upward tree/sky shot here)

Heading south and west, there are miles of jeep roads. Today, we managed to stay away from the ones with the mud holes. Jake will not need a bath tonight. I did not know how I'd feel--and I also did not want to be close to darkfall, so I stayed on routes I knew. Surprisingly, I felt pretty fresh despite having ran 16+ miles in the morning.

I kept my pace overall right in the 13-14 range, and only walked up the steepest hills. (There are a few of these.)

On the downhills, I flew. Jake's zigzag patterns were straightened out somewhat, as he did not have to wait on me as much as usual. It's nice to feel good. Maybe all the pie I ate yesterday paid off.

We ended up with 8.69 miles, giving me 25.1 for the day.

I have the OU/OSU game taped, and have tried to stay off of Facebook. I heard a "pistols firing", and a "Go Pokes", so I guess the Cowboys are doing good. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Night Crawlers

We've had a steady turnout--15-20 each week. Trail running at night is a rush!! I always expect to see wildlife. Jumping up a deer is not at all uncommon. An occassional opossum, raccoon, or armadillo is to be expected. I would love to see a big cat again.

This was a posed shot. The idea was to hold our lights under our chin for a pseudo-scary pic. Kate provided a reverse flash effect, which I liked.

Besides wildlife, the nightlife of Tulsa is an awesome sight. This was taken from the Ho-Chi trail, a trail that is scenic by day and night.

Next week, we will be meeting at Mohawk Park to run either trailz at Oxley, or the path around Lake Yahola. We WILL see critters--I guarantee it. (I may have to trespass into the zoo to make good on this guarantee.) (Just kidding.)

Taken from the north banks of Lake Yahola. This is a good place to see a sunrise, a sunset, or the lights of Tulsa. We'll meet at 6:30 and go for around four miles. You should join us!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Props from Endurance Buzz!!

Endurance Buzz wrote up a nice recap of Pumpkin Holler.
My friend David Hanenburg publishes Endurance Buzz--the best online magazine for trail running--and it caters to our local races.
You should bookmark it--I read it every day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 16, 2012

An account of my weekend

This weekend was full of running, aching, sleeping, and fun. Saturday at 6:00, I lined up for the Little Warm-up Marathon, a special marathon designed for Marathon Maniac types to get an easy double in.
I ran with Stormy, Christy, and Michelle. Michelle was not in proper posing position, but she did one thing right--RUN. She finished 2nd female. Christy finished 3rd female. We run with fast women.

It was a perfect day for a fun run. I kept pace with my trio of friends for 18 miles, but slowed down a little over the last 5-6 miles which was a little disappointing. I put my iPod on and left the music dictate the pace, and kept the run at a jog rather than a walk.

I had set a goal of sub-5:00. The actual course was a little long. Garmins showed the course around a half mile long. I was happy to have covered the distance sub 5:00, but by the time I took pictures of my silly Garmin and jogged on the remaining .48 to the actual finish line, I had amassed a 5:05:41 finish time. No worries though as this was just a structured training run for me.
I can say that I finished 8th overall, 5th male, and 2nd in my age group. I doubt I would have fared as well Sunday at Rt 66.

Both Stormy and Christy ran Sunday at the Rt 66 marathon, with Stormy bettering his 4:46 Saturday finish with a 3:58 Sunday finish. WOW!! Randy Ellis WON the marathon. Long legs pay off!!

Sunday, while hundreds of my friends lined up to run a half or full marathon at Rt 66, I shamefully slept in. I had not planned on running, but had given thought to coming out to cheer them on. But instead, I lounged around, and after brunch, Dana, Jake, and I headed for Chandler Park to run trailz.
I sometimes refer to this as my private playground, as I rarely see anyone else here running or biking. The last time I ran here, I did run into John Noble and Aaron Ochoa. This time, as we were leaving we saw a mountain biker just taking off for a ride.

Jake was EXCITED!! new trailz to run, and lots of new smells. He also discovered he LOVES MUD! The wilds beyond Chandler Park have huge rutted out mud-holes in some of the Jeep roads, and Jake did not miss a single one of them. He really did not look muddy, but he was, and got a thorough shower when he got home.

This was Dana's 2nd time here, and her 1st time to see the big bluffs. We took the winding single track to start with, and ran by a series of crazy trick bike ramps. Jake ran right up and over some of the ramps.

I had seen an episode of The Doctors last week, where for whatever reason they were talking about exotic coffee made from beans that passed through the digestive tracts of cats or other animals. The coffee is supposed to be amazing--so of course when I saw this, I gave thought to bringing these beans home.

While examining the beans, I was attacked by a root-like creature (shades of Alien?) I managed to fight my way free though, tossing the creature aside, and hopefully I'm not impregnated with a mutated lizard.

But the creature's Mama was pissed!!

A lot of help Jake was!!

We continued west to the bluffs. A round trip from the last ball field in the park to the bluffs and back is around five miles, depending on how direct of a path you take.

This is a secret climbing and rappelling area, known only by the cool savvy types. Jake came right over to the edge, but Dana kept a safe overcautious distance away.

I decided to take another way back, which would have been a shorter way, had I not missed a turn. A good portion of this wild land is a huge plateau, with tall grass, briers, and scrub trees with 4WD roads meandering through. I have been through here, having been lost, and other times making my way through like a boss. Today, the boss was not around, and I made one or two wrong turns, and our 5 mile round trip ended up being 6.6 miles. I was operating on tired and achy legs, but accumulated another mile or two to go on my log book. Call it training.

I still am sure I have not seen all that the wilds beyond Chandler Park has to offer. It is becoming my favorite local place to run.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Creeping around downtown staying out of sight

It was a clear night, and my iPhone was nailing good pics. Here are two of them.

Was there drinking involved? No. Was there geocaching involved? Maybe.