Sunday, May 31, 2015

Smell the flowers, stomp through the mud, eat wild blackberries

We slept in Sunday morning. It's good to do that every now and then--sort of resetting your inner clock. I'm gonna stand by that. Sounds good. We decided about 11:00 to take Jake to the trailz for a run. He was most agreeable.

 Crossing Elwood from 68th Street, we heard a rooster crow, and wandering around the parking lot was a flock of roosters--all hanging out together. I tried to get them together for a group pic, but they would have no part of it.

But this guy was more of a picture hound, I took several shots while he posed, and this one was the best, taken mid-crow.

We headed up the hill. Of course there were a few muddy spots, but overall, the trails were better than we expected. There were more flowers than I have ever seen. We decided to just take it easy. For me, I am tapering. So I ran 4 miles today to at least have SOMETHING to taper down from. 100 miles awaits me Saturday, and I have not ran 100 miles in the past 3 months combined!

Jake gets his first swim in the Blue Trail pond.

He also hydrates here. Actually, the water was clear--not muddy like it has been for the past month.

More flowers. I guess this is what happens when you slow things down. You notice things you might otherwise run by.

This short stretch of trail would not go unnoticed on a run. Enough people have gotten off to the edge that a once 6 foot wide trail is now 12 feet.

I waded out into a bunch of weeds to take this picture. Now, 7 hours later, I have chigger bites on my bum.

On the Ridge Trail near the turtle rock, some folks consider it ok to toss their water bottles. :-/

Scroll on by if you're tired of flower pictures. Dana likes them.

I looked for some kind of bug to toss into the web. No luck.

My overall pace was well over 20 minutes per mile--but I kept stopping for pictures

From here, we headed west toward Pepsi Pond. Jake needed another swim, and we were looking at doing a 4 mile loop.

More flowers. Yada yada.

It's a good year for frogs. We saw 100s. Maybe 1000s. They are a middle link in a long food chain. I like it that they'll eat mosquitoes. But they'll feed the snakes.

Have you caught on that it's a flower pic and then a non-flower pic?

One tick for the day. My tickometer is up to 16, and in a year where ticks are super bad, the only reason I'm not over 100 is because I have not been running much.

On the west side, there was a lot of potato chip fungus.

And more little frogs.

This is Fistulins hepatica, also called beefsteak fungus, or ox tongue. It is suppose to be edible, but it is also described as tasting sour and acidic. Yum yum.
An old friend, who was also out for a leisurely stroll.

Now here's something edible. I luv me sum blackberries. I picked a few and popped them in my mouth.

the first couple were super sour. They looked ripe, but not the tasty treat I expected.

Pucker up! But the blackberries we saw on the Snake Trail were actually sweet. If I had something to put them in, I would have brought home a batch.

It's been a while since you've seen a flower picture.

I'm puzzled as to why mountain bikers would come out when the trailz are this muddy.

More flowers.

This is at the Snake Run aid station locale.

Aren't these awesome?

We are at mile 3.1, and poor Jake is ready to go home. He's basically a 5K dog anymore. Maybe we will build him up so he can regain his title of the 5 mile dog.

And we headed down Lipbuster and called it a day.

4.1 miles, and a good outing.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

100 miles next Saturday?!?!?

Why am I doing this??? WHY???? Next Saturday, I am attempting a 100 mile race that's nearly all pavement. It's a peer pressure thing--and sort of a pride thing. I am really out of the running mode, having logged just a few miles weekly, and other than a paved 50K a few weeks ago (which I did at an easy pace and had a good time) I have hardly ran any legitimate training runs. Still--I believe. I believe I can do it. I believe I can run and complete the RunnersWorld Urban Adventure 100.

Here's the course map. It's 25 mile loops running here and there through Tulsa. The black stars are QuikTrips--where we will be visiting using their facilities for aid stations, potties, chill down places, morgues, etc. 

I have been working on race strategies. 
1st: SHOES.

My Brooks Pure Cadence are great for road running--not a lot of cushioning, but comfortable. But they do the job of pavement pounding for 28-30 hours??

I have bought another pair of Hokas--the Stinson Evos. These feel great and offer a lot of cushioning. With the liberal use of Happy Feet, I may get through blister free and without my feet feeling like I've beat on the bottom of them with a ball peen hammer.

But I have not ruled out these. Yes, it looks like a super cushy Hoka lookalike, but an added feature is retractable rollers which would zoom me past rivals such as Mitch Drummond and Ken Saveth.

Another concern is my knee. It has been quite gimpy lately. Sometimes it goes a whole hour without me even thinking about it, but then I wake up. Seriously, I can get out and run about 2 miles, and things loosen up and it feels fine.

I've given thought to some sort of brace that would compress and hold in the ouchie parts--I've just never tried them.

Rock tape is probably what I'll use. During my recent 50K, it seemed to help. After 5-6 hours of sweating (Oh wait a minute--that was rain) it fell off. It was good while it lasted. I may shave these sexy legs. We'll see.

I've also considered using the Bio-Tech Mach IV--an electronic pulse infused power assist device that has the potential of increasing stride length three fold, or using the metronome settings, you can lock in on a pace and hold it for hours. The di-lithium fuel cells last 4 hours. That's one per 25 mile lap. 16 hours would be a decent finishing time--might even win it.


This race will have an aid station at RunnersWorld, which we'll see every 25 miles. With 90° being forecast for Saturday afternoon, I'll stock up here very liberally. But I'll need more caloric intake in the loop.

Sport Beans and Shot Bloks work well for me, but I tire of them rather quickly. GU--maybe one or two. Not a fan of the Gu Chomps, but I like the name.

But the ace in the hole is actually a QT gift card in my pocket. QT Kitchens makes a marvelous double bacon, egg, and cheese croissant. They're about 5 bucks with extra bacon. Yes please.

With QTs every 2-3 miles, and my own crew/roving aid station manned by TaturCakes and Melon, I may not even need to carry water. 

But I probably will use my hybrid water bottle--the California Innovations with the original bottle thrown away and an insulated Camelback bottle in the sleeve. These keep ice water cold and icy for a couple of hours.

Or I may use my Camelback Ultra LR vest, which will store snacks and 2 liters of liquid. Maybe/maybe not

Another option is the Nitro-Pack Ultra-Thrust 3000, which adds about 23 pounds to your weight, but can propel you to 20 mph speeds--provided you can keep your cadence that fast. They recommend knee and elbow pads, gloves, and a crash helmet. Plus, the total cost on the above outfit tops 28,000 bucks. And they wont budge on the price--believe me, I asked.

It's essential to keep your electrolytes up during a race where the weather is hot. And this will be the first real heat wave of the year.

Salt sticks are my favorite. They seem to have more sodium--which you NEED, as well as potassium and calcium. Plus caffeine, and anyone who knows me knows I am an addict. some people have a bit of reservations about taking pills during a run--but you have to maintain your sodium if you're sweating. These are not drugs--just things your body needs. So what if it says it increases energy levels. Bacon does that too.

And yes, I do 5-Hour energy. I even take them every 4 hours. I'm not sure if that violates any race rules.

Not gonna rule out a shot of Fireball or two sometime during the race. Any race that Mike Rives, Michelle Bates, and Jason Bement are at usually had a bottle floating around somewhere.

But hey--at least I'm not doing 'roids or blood doping. I hate needles!

So why do I commit to punishing myself for a day and a half (hopefully less than that)? Well, my friends are doing it. And I love the way I feel after I finish. (Actually, ask me how I feel about a week after I finish.)

But the bling is the real reason. All finishers of the 25, 50, 75, and 100 get a big honking medal. Cooli dealio.

And best of all, 100 mile finishers get a belt buckle. I feel love just looking at it.

It all starts Saturday morning at 7:00. Wish me luck. If you're bored during the day, night, or Sunday morning--come out and cheer us on. We'll muster up a smile and a wave.