Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tulsa Tough - Part 2

Day two of racing took it down to the Brady District of downtown Tulsa. We waited until the afternoon to go, but the racing started at 8 AM. I had intended on doing one of the rides in the morning, but felt horrible from a cold and did not participate. I went for a 5 mile run and had no energy. I am glad that I did not ride. I am disappointed as it only comes around once a year, but I will still do the Townie ride with my daughter. Racing was just as intense as the day before, except the heat was playing a factor.
This is the Pro Women's group. On both days the Peloton stayed together all during the race and there was no breakaways.
This was a bad picture of Floyd Landis's back. He is to the left of the big hippie guy. I guess he has a bodyguard. I walked by Floyd twice, but I did not want to be a geek and ask for a picture. Maybe on Sunday I can get a better picture.
Cool team pit car.
Brad Huff wining the Pro Men's race. He won on Friday and Saturday. The only person to ever do that in the 4 year history of the Tulsa Tough.
This is a motley crew.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tulsa Tough- Day One

Last night the Tulsa Tough Bike races started in the Blue Dome district downtown. I was able to go into work early for a meeting and left early and headed downtown to watch a few hours of racing. The speed that these guys and gals go on bikes is absolutely incredible. If you have never experienced some criterium type racing, you need to at least once.
We found a seat on the curb and started enjoying the races. The kids had their cowbells and we were ready. Will looks extremely excited.
We were surrounded by the Tulsa skyline. That is the Williams building behind us.
Cat III racers were already going when we go there.
Some of the Cat I/II racers coming around the MET center.
Start of the Women's Pro race.

There is two more days of racing and rides and I encourage everyone to come out and ride or observe. I planned on doing a ride this morning, but I have been feeling like crap for a few days and just slept in. Not my ideal thing to do, but my body needs rest. Have a great day and I am going for a run in hopes of trying to sweat this thing out. See ya there tonight!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trip Report

We took off Saturday morning and headed back home to Carthage, IL. We wanted to go back and spend some time with my mother who is in a Nursing Home. She does not get out much and has no other family around. Since she went in the Nursing Home last fall, we have felt that we need to go back a little more and visit. I particularly do not like to go back much as there is not a lot to do or see and each time we go back, things seem to be getting smaller. We stopped in briefly to see her on Saturday and made plans to take her to her church on Sunday, which she hasn't been to in awhile. We picked her up on Sunday morning and we headed to Dallas City, IL. Church was over by noon and we headed across the river to Fort Madison, Iowa for lunch. After that, we stopped at the old Historic Fort on the Mississippi river.

The fort was established in 1808, but was actually burnt down, but it has now been restored.
It is really not that big, but it was a presence on the river to thwart off Indian attacks.
The might Mississippi River. That is Illinois on the other side.
Nice little park by the river.
I love this sign. The lady in the gift shop told us the sign was not real. Darn it!
After that we stopped in at Nauvoo, IL and toured where I used to work at and visited the original Mormon settlement. If you know anything about guns or bows, you have heard of Browning. This is Jonathon Browning's original gun shop.
We dropped Mom off and headed to the father-in-laws in Macomb, IL. Things in Macomb are not much better as several factories have closed and the last two are laying off. This was Zeta manufacturing which made garbage bags. They have completely closed down. I worked there for one day years ago. Long story.

We drove to our abode and in Illinois, you always see deer. If you look close, you can see the buck in the background.
We then went over to the Old Stompin' grounds at Western Illinois University. This is the University Library, which is the largest in the State of Illinois.

School was out, but I found these two yahoos hanging out.
Grandpa has a pond and Monday was spent fishing. Wyatt caught almost 50 fish.
Then it was time for the guns. Yes, we let our kids shoot guns. Guns are not the issue, idiots with guns are the issue. This is Shannon shooting a gun for the first time. A .22 rifle at a 100 yard target.
Wyatt also got in on the action and hit the target on his second shot.

It is good to be back in Tulsa, but the small town life has some advantages, slower pace, no traffic, less crime, and everyone knows everyone. On the downside, no jobs, have to drive to get anywhere, and nothing to do, especially for the kids. I am glad we live in Tulsa and have made the friends we have. Tulsa is a great place to raise a family and to live. Those who say that there is nothing to do in Tulsa, need to come with me sometime back home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're Back.....& I'm Ticked Off!

Well, not really, just more frustrated. We had a decent trip back to Illinois to visit family and just slow down for awhile. My frustration is with my swimming. I had a chance to swim at the Y in Macomb on Sunday for an hour and on Monday for 45 minutes. You would have thought I had never swam before in my life. I do not get it! I can run a sub 1:30 1/2 Marathon, have the second fastest bike split at the St. John's Indoor Tri, finish second in a 6 hour Ultra race with 36 miles, but I struggle to swim consistenly in the pool. I took the Kona Aqautics swim class and bought the DVD, read a book, and I try to read any article I can get and I really struggle to do well in the swim. I struggle with breathing and my technique needs work. A guy I work with says that he used to teach swim lessons and some people never get it. I don't buy that, but I am starting to wonder if I am one of those cases. I joined the Y a year ago and I feel as though I have not gained much. I have several dreams of doing a lot of triathlons with Ironman included, but I can never reach it, unless I can swim. I need to do some soul searching and maybe stick with ultras, marathons, and duathlons. I took Kung Fu for two years, but realized that I was never going to have the flexibility to accomplish what I want to. I cannot settle for just second best and want to be the best at whatever I do and swimming may be like Kung Fu. Maybe I need more lessons or maybe I need to give it up. I would feel as though part of me was unfulfilled if I do, but it may save me some frustration and grief in the long run. I do not quit easy, but after not progressing much after a year is very frustrating. I have gotten better and have went from not swimming for 30 years to being able to complete a Sprint, but it is nowhere near what I want it to be. The breathing is still about the same for me as is my stroke. Who knows, maybe I will keep trying, but for how long? This is my rant for now as I am tired and need to relax for awhile. I have posted some pictures from on the road and will give a better road report after I am rested up.
The Macomb YMCA.
Barge on the Mississippi River.
Old Glory on Memorial Day at the Carthage Cemetery.

This is what happens when kids get bored and don't have enough to do.
This is what I need to do for now, chill.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

IT'S A BOY!!!!

Julie and I have been expecting for awhile. We didn't really care if we had a boy or a girl. All we wanted was another healthy addition to out family. On Saturday after the race, everyone started feeling tired and then about 2 pm in the afternoon is when it all happened. The delivery was a lot easier than we expected. We weren't for sure if things were going to happen on Saturday or it was going to happen on Sunday. Once things got going it became a breeze and we became parents again. He was healthy and seemed to fit right into the family immediately. We had get some medicine to take home with us, but other than that, he was good to go. So, without further ado, here is our newest child, Ozzie.
He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that is 7 years old and has already become part of the family.
He is a rescue dog that the owner had a small child with one on the way and was getting ready to start 12 hr. shifts as a Nurse and did not have the time that he needs. So he is now ours. The neat thing about all this that my daughter has believing for awhile for a CKCS and had put a scripture up on the refrigerator to stand on for the dog. A friend of my wife's found out about the dog, told us about it, and then gave us the money to adopt him. All I can say is, God is good!
So, the next time you see us, we have one more in the clan. Feel free to come up to us and say Hi to Ozzie.

On a more serious note, The Man, Six Time Ironman Champion, Dave Scott, was hit on his bike in Boulder, CO on Sunday. He appears to be OK and underwent surgery on his shoulder. Keep him in your prayers for a speedy recovery.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jenks Aquarium Half Marathon

Last Saturday was the Jenks Aquarium 5K and Half Marathon. I entered the Half and Julie did the 5K. She was doing her first back to back weekend 5K's and I was doing a half three weeks out from the OKC Marathon. I wanted to break 1:30, but had no idea on how my legs would hold up. Here is the blurry start.
I started up front, but I had no idea who was running what until we got to the 5K turnaround and could see who was in the Half. Once that happened, I knew I had some good competition. Ryan Ripley was in the Half and he had just won the Full Moon 5K last weekend. I started out the first mile at 6:38 and then kind of lost track of where I was at. Once again my complaint at Fleet Feet timed events, poor marking for splits or no split callers. We turned around at 81st street and I could see who was behind me and how far. It looked to me like a lot of people were close. I headed back to the Jenks bridge and once on the pedestrian bridge, I could see how close people were again. I had dropped some, but others were still there. I started on the lonely stretch on the Riverside trail. I finally saw a mile marker again at mile 7 and I could maybe time the next mile and see how fast I was going. I have got to get a Garmin! There was a mile marker at 8 and I was going just under 7 minute miles. We turned around at the 71st street bridge and I could see how others were doing. I felt pretty good and picked up the next mile marker at mile 10. I ran the next mile at about 6:50. I still felt pretty good and made it back to the pedestrian bridge and headed for home. As turned the corner I had an eerie feeling that someone was right behind me. As we went under the bridge, he passed me. I told him to go on as I didn't have anything left. He said, "lets go" and I said, "up yours". I finished in 8th and did a 1:29:37, a new PR. I was very happy and glad to be done.
Unfortunately, this year they cheapened the run up. My kids were in line with us for food and only Julie and I could get food. No big deal, as they did not run, but they are used to smorgasbords at Ultras. Next, only the runners could get into the Aquarium for free. When I did it two years ago, everyone got in for free. Then they ran out of finisher medals. I got mine, others did not. Then they announced that someone had tried to steal the finisher medals. What? It seemed that they were pretty unorganized this year and we may not run it next year. It is too bad as it is something that the kids had looked forward to, but we could not enjoy the full benefits of. I could have paid to get them in, but it is pretty pricey and we are heading back home to Illinois this weekend to visit my mom. So, above and below are the shots you get of the Aquarium. Will did not get very many shots of the run either, so this it. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Running in the Rain

I woke up this morning to guess what, RAIN!!! I got the kids going and on the bus and thought I would go back to bed for an hour as it looked like the rain may pass through. With all this rain I started to get an attitude.
I started to think, what a crappy day, but I caught myself and realized, the day is kind of whatever you make it. I got my gear on and went on an easy 5 miler. It was sprinkling a little, but nothing major. I made it to about a mile and a half and it started to pour. People were driving by and giving me the look as to say, What an Idiot!
I ran by a tire store and some of the guys gave me that look, but my thoughts were, this is no dumber than the cigarettes you are smoking. Now, who is dumber! I ended up doing the 5 like I planned and had a decent run. I feel better and a little rain didn't bother me. I even had a redhead go by in a Red Jeep Liberty and honk at me. I think she might have something to do with a running store in town.I think this might be good training for the Aquarium half this Saturday. Get outside and enjoy life!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Green Hornet

Got up this morning and got a swim workout in at the Y. I am determined to get better at swimming, but it has been a rough go for me. I feel that I am better, but this breathing thing in the water has got me perplexed. To get over the feeling of drowning and being able to breathe properly would make the swim more enjoyable, but I am not there yet. I refuse to give up on my goal of doing an Ironman someday, so I will have to keep after the swim. I am not worried about the bike or run, but to get to them, I have to get through the swim.
My car, The Green Hornet, has been on the fritz for several weeks now. The transmission needs rebuilt to the tune of $1,600-1,800 and that has made it become a fixed landmark in the driveway.
It has been a great car and has been paid off for several years. I bought the car when my youngest son was just born and he just turned 8 last Friday. I have racked up 182,000 miles on it and it has a lot of memories.
I have been waffling back and forth about trading it in, but I do not want another payment. With paying for Will's braces and the Jeep, I do not need any more debt. This has provided me the opportunity to bike more to work and get some more training, but some times, it has been a real inconvenience to have just one running vehicle. My oldest son just got his permit, so I will need to get something for him pretty soon, so I may just have to trade in. I am holding off as long as I can, but I am not for sure how much longer I can go. So here's to you, Mr. Green Hornet, I enjoyed your rides and you served us well. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tea Time

As I sit here listening to the rain come down, once again, I think it has rained every day for the last three weeks, I am sipping and enjoying my Yerba Mate hot tea. I did get my 11 mile run in this morning before the rain. First half at a little over 8 minute mile pace and last half at 7:15 pace. I have learned to enjoy the health benefits of hot brewed tea. I like all kinds of different teas, but Yerba Mate, pronounced (mah-tay), is my favorite.

It is the national drink of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. It is enjoyed by the locals by drinking it through a gourd. Very similar to the American bong, but not quite the same effect. Leaves are mixed with hot water and it is sipped several times a day. Of all the teas, Yerba Mate has more antioxidants than any other tea. It scores above 5,000 on the ORAC chart. The chart stands for the Radical Absorbance Capacity or its antioxidant capacity, which helps us who exercise a lot and thus create free radical damage. The higher the ORAC, the better it is for us to help fend off any of the potential radicals.

Yerba Mate helps raise the metabolism, regulates the appetite, aids in digestion and provides minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins. I like to add a honey to my hot tea and look forward to enjoying it. I drink a lot of other teas, but Yerba Mate is my favorite. Next time you are in Whole Foods or the health food store, check it out and maybe you will develop a new healthy habit. I have to go, my tea is getting cold. Later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Full Moon Run

Saturday night was the Full Moon 5K put on by the Full Moon Cafe on Cherry Street. This run draws out a lot of Tulsans and is very congested. Some people just show up for the band and the beer, for others it is a great night for exercise and reacquainting with some old friends. We typically say every year that we are not going to do this run again, but we do it any way. This year I was able to be part of a corporate team and get in for free. Bank of Oklahoma was one of the main sponsors and offered employees comp entries. What the heck, free entry and an excuse to race, who needs more.

The last several years race conditions have been miserably hot and humid, but for this year, the temps were in the 60's and not much wind. It made for a good run. Normally, I run it by myself or the kids do either the fun run or the 5K, but this year the Misses was going to join me. She also works for the Bank and got in for free. I am very proud of her to keep trying as she really does not like running that much, but jumps in from time to time. As for me, I had no idea how I was going to do. I was almost two weeks out from running a hard Marathon in OKC and my legs were still feeling it. I tried doing some accelerations on Thursday while running and my legs were not feeling it. I had actually thought about signing up my youngest son and just running it with him, but I thought I should at least try.

At the start, a lot of the same old faces were there, Mark Dolph, John Stukey, and Rob James among others. After fellow Tulsa Running Club board member, Shawna Simpson, did a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, it was time to rock. I started out with John Stukey and went through the first K at 3:30. I would have normally went out faster, but it was crowded and it felt like a decent pace. As I started towards 2K, I could start to feel the effects of the Marathon. At this point, I kind of lost track of my pace. One thing I do not like about Fleet Feet timed races is NO split callers. We turned around at 34th Street and started to head back. On the way back it felt like I was in a trance. Things were blurry and I did not have much energy left. I think my splits were 3K- 11 something and 4K- 15:15. I ended up at 19:32, 4:15 or so for the last K. This was the best I could do for the day and was glad to finish. Somehow I had managed to finish and not stop and walk. I finished 4th in my age group and 3rd in the Clydesdale division. I believe I was 34th overall and 29th Male.

I went back out on the course to find Julie and run with her back in. It took awhile for me to find her, but I caught up with her at the 4K mark. She had not stopped and walked at all and was heading in to the finish. The last 5K she did was the Sweethearts run and when I went back out on the course to run with her, she was crying. This time she was fine and heading in. She came in at 41 something and I was proud of her for not quitting. She was very excited about the run and was talking about doing more.

Overall our Bank Corporate team finished 3rd with my time being the fastest on the team. Our awards are supposed to be in by the 22nd of the month. I am very proud of my wife and all my Bank team members who came out and participated. Up next, the Aquarium 1/2 Marathon. I guess I am up for it? I am a glutton for punishment.
The start and a nice head shot of my daughter.
Julie and a friend with Wyatt getting in on the action.
After it is all said and done

Friday, May 1, 2009

OKC Marathon

The OKC Marathon has come and gone and what a day it was. This run is such a privilege to be able to participate in, that you can see why Runners World magazine named it one of the must do Marathons. The last time I ran it was 2007 and it has definitely grown since then. The expo was packed and they had over 19,000 runners for all the events with 2,600 in the Marathon. I was feeling confident in my training and had a new pair of Asics Hyperspeed 2's, the same shoes that 3rd place champion in the Boston Marathon, Ryan Hall wore. So, I was sure that I would run just as fast as him. Right!!!

On race day it looked like it was going to be a rough one as severe storms were planned and I thought for sure that I was going to get rained on. Instead it turned out to be a very muggy day. Temps around 70 degrees with 70+ percent humidity. Not ideal running weather. The biggest factor turned out to be the wind, 23 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. The wind really would not be a factor until about mile 14.

I started out with the 3:20 pace group for the first 5K, but they were going to slow for me. I pulled ahead and was maintaining about a 7:25 pace. I felt great and was not having too many issues. I was dealing with some side cramps, but some salt tablets were helping. I went through the half at 1:37 and some change and was doing fine until we started heading south on the trail. Once you turn the corner on the trail, the PR's were over. The wind was brutal. Hats were blowing off, heads were put down, and times slowed. I started losing about 30 seconds per mile after that. I was still on pace through mile 20 for 3:20, but my quads really started hurting. I have never really had that problem during a race. Usually my hamstrings and hips really hurt, but not my quads. The only thing I can figure out is that I was really having to power with my legs in the wind and they were getting beat up. I made it until about mile 23 and started to walk on the long sloping uphill on Classen. I hate to start walking in a race as I know my race is over, but I did. I walked for a little while and started running again and made it until I had 1 mile to go and walked briefly again and ran it in. I finished in 3:31, not my best time, but for the conditions, a pretty good one. I was one pace for a very good Marathon, but the second half into the wind drained me. I am still feeling the effects of the race today, which is not normal for me, so I know I gave it my all.

Once I finished I had my Carl's Jr. and sat down and relaxed for awhile and just soaked in the atmosphere. OKC is truly a special race and I am glad I did it. After awhile I got up and went through the outdoor memorial as the band was playing and it was a very eerie feeling. It really shows what kind of impact one individual can have whether it is good or bad. I get very emotional and sensitive in places like that as you can just feel the spirit about it. I get the same way at the Viet Nam Memorial in DC. As I went through, my comments to Julie were, as hurting as I am, it does not even compare to the hurting created by this one act of selfishness. I was glad to be alive. God bless the friends, families, and volunteers impacted by this tragedy.

Glad to be done.
Female Marathon champion.

Dick Beardsley speaking about the Duel in the Sun at the famous Boston Marathon.

The Memorial Museum.

What it is all about.