Sunday, December 2, 2012

weekend stuff

Saturday, about 18 friends ran an invitational preview running of all or part of the upcoming Half and Half Marathon. This race (coming up on December 16) is a half marathon on trailz on Turkey Mountain, and a half marathon on the paved bike paths--OR, you can do both for a full marathon finish.
There's a cool medal for either distance--and the FULL gets both medals which hook together to form a Yin/Yang design. Despite 13.1 miles of pavement, that's enough to make me venture off the trailz to earn this for my collection.

Derk and I had pre-marked the turns on the trail portion Friday, and a lot of those running yesterday were those who are volunteering on race day, but wanted to run the course. We started off at 7:00 am , and after a half mile, we had spread out into two separate groups. Stormy, Derk, and Christy were blazing it, and the rest of us hung together at a more relaxed pace.

Believe it or not (believe it) has nearly three miles of trailz that have never been on a running race course. Most of it is very easy runable trail with miles of gradual downhill. It is a fast course. The gang heads north on a newly graded powerline easement road, that reconnects with the pink trail. Using this route is a more gradual downhill, and an easier climb coming back.

There are aid stations at 2.5 miles, 5.1 miles, 6.55 miles at the turnaround, and then you hit the same ones on the way back. Mitch set out a special aid stop for us--complete with cinnamon rolls and mini pecan pie tarts. WOW!! However, it looks like Roman was regurgitating whatever he ate. You can also see that Bobby took a spill, breaking his fall with his back and shoulder. The huge slick rock he fell on was in pretty bad shape too.

Heading west for 1.5 miles of fast trail.

A few of my friends wanted to preview the course, a little later than 7:00, and I saw this as my ticket for more miles NOT on the pavement. We took off at 10:30, and I was really shuffling slightly faster than the speed of stationary.

Shorty and Nedra saw the whole course one way, and we took the shortcuts back once we hit the turnaround. Still, we got in 8.7 in this outing, and I ended up with 21 for the day all on dirt.

On Turkey Mountain, there is likeness's of all 50 states in the USA. I have shown pics of the Oklahoma rock many times, but not many people know there is also a Texas rock too. (It is much smaller than the Oklahoma rock, BTW.)

I had a little bit of work to do, and went into the office. I needed to go out to Keystone to check on and possibly finish a job if it was ready. but since the day was late, I opted to get some sunset photos. This was taken on the west side of Lookout Mountain.

As I was standing there, I felt someone watching me. Can you see the face in the rock? It looked like it was gonna be a less than stellar sunset, so I went to QT for coffee. As I walked out, the sky ignited!

I took 15 shots, but only a couple of them turned out.

I needed my tripod and most were blurred, but I like this one through a fence.

I really thought I would not be worth a crap running Sunday, but I rolled out of bed and met my friends at 7:30 for the TOT run. Stormy, Christy, and Edward were there, but not in running clothes or shoes. I led the whole group (except for John Nobles who sped off with a couple of followers at a blazing speed.) By the time we got to the top of the hill, my legs felt fine, and I dialed up a shuffle speed. Then somehow, things got better, and I ended up having the best run I have had in quite a while. Even with a few stops so we could regroup, we averaged a sub 13 pace. A large group of us went downtown to Dilly Deli for breakfast. Great times with great friends (but less than spectacular pecan pie pancakes.)

After breakfast, I hunted down a few geocaches that cannot be retrieved during the week due to muggles. The skies were blue, the air was clear, and even with the iPhone, the pictures were clear.

I love the old buildings. The federal building has Corinthian columns with awesome detail--real works of art.

I'm also awed by the newer buildings as well. In a way, they have an artistic appeal. Steel and glass against a blue steel sky. Of course, this is the location of the Center of the Universe.

This is a virtual geocache. No physical cache, but you have to note a detail of the site and email that info to the cache owner to claim the find. For those who don't know, inside this circle, there is an eerie echo. You can hear it in the circle, but those out of the circle cannot hear it. There is surely an explanation for this phenomena, but to those in the know--it is because it is the Center of the Universe! DOH!

I ended up with four more geocaches, bringing my total total to 360.

No charge for an extra glass building pic.

And a totally goofy photoshop. I was bored.

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