Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hodge Podge

I have several things to report from this weekend. First off, kudos to Hal Koerner from the Rogue Valley Runners and Anita Ortiz from Eagle, CO for winning the 2009 Western States 100. Hal was the winner from 2007 and I think this is Anita's first 100, I may not be correct on that, so don't quote me. Hal finished around 16 hours and Anita was around 18 hours. What a great race. A lot of the big names, Jurek, Karnazes, Mackey, dropped out. Some of the others did not even show. My hat also goes off to Gabe Bevan and Rick Mayo from the KC Trail Nerds for finishing the race. Gabe had a great race at around 21 hours and Rick was just under 24 hours. I have ran against both of them and have even ran with Rick at the first Turkey & TATURS. Rick also won the second year version of Turkey & TATURS. Great job guys!
On Saturday I did a 20 mile ride with Church on the Move Cycling group. We started out at the church and did the Redbud ride. I was up in the lead fast pack and we did a ridiculously fast pace. At one point on a downhill I was doing about 42 mph. The lead two peeled me off after several miles, but I never lost contact with them. I was really sweating and breathing hard after that.
Here are some of the guys after the ride. I am not for sure why the picture is kind of blurry.
Today, we headed over to Sand Springs to watch the OK State Criterium races. Turns out it was a smaller group of racers than expected, but it was still a good day to sit in the shade and watch some racing. This is the picture of the pit area.
Here is a picture of the ladies as they were rounding the corner. The course was kind of technical and had a few hills. We saw a couple of people crash right here.
After the women's race, I experienced one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds were tragically killed by a drunk driver on June 6th. The family was there today at the race and the both of them had their Cat 2 licenses posthumously awarded to their families. A lot of tears were shed and it was a very humbling experience. I was glad to be a part of it.
They announced that all the proceeds from the race would go to the Memorial fund, The judges donated their pay and I believe the winners of the race were going to also. The Bicycles of Tulsa race team were allowed to start up front and lead a neutral lap before the racing was on. Raton Parmain was in the group and he is a fellow TATUR and a great guy.
It was a fun day and a very sobering day. I was glad to be alive and spend the day with my kids. Please consider donating to Edmonds & Voss Memorial Fund by clicking on the highlighted area. Thanks!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Big Dance!!!

Tomorrow is the big dance, the Western States 100. Considered the Super Bowl of trail running, it the ultimate in ultra and trail running. Only so many slots are allowed every year and it has been a lottery system due to the forest service permit to get in, unless, you were one of the top 10 finishers from the previous year. Some other slots are allowed for the winner of a few other trail races, MIWOK for example. The race was cancelled last year due to the wildfires, so everyone has been waiting with eager anticipation as some of the biggest names in Ultrarunning will be towing the line tomorrow morning. With the absence of Anton Krupicka this year, I am a little less excited, but I am still stoked about it. Make sure and check in on their website tomorrow and track the athletes throughout the course. You will have plenty of time as the top time is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 hours. I know some of the Trailnerds from KC are in it and think some from the OKC area. Log on, check it out, and cheer your favorite runner. I can't wait. Here's the link to website. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Hot!

Man is it hot! We are under a heat advisory as we will hit over 100 today and the heat index is supposed to be 110 degrees. Sounds like a perfect day to get a long run in. I have the Leadville Marathon coming up in a little over 2 weeks and I needed to get some mileage in. I decided to run at Turkey Mountain as a lot of the trail is shaded, I can do loops and re-fuel, and I need to get some hill training in as this is a Trail marathon. I dropped the misses off at work and headed out to Turkey. When I started temps were around 80 and they were at 90 when I finished. I messed around on Turkey for about 3 hours and managed to get about 18 miles in. This is slower than normal for me, but I took longer breaks between loops and my mantra today was slow and steady with the heat.
This is what I look like after sweating for 3 hours with no wind, humidity, and heat. I was glad to be done.
Even my shoes took a beating, but the New Balance 790's held up. I jumped in the Jeep, cranked the air on and headed home. I soaked in a cold water bath for about 10 minutes. I am a big proponent of this as I have no doubt that it helps speed recovery. I need to be recovered as much as possible as the altitude at Leadville will take some edge off of my fitness. I still want to get a 20+ miler next week before we go, if possible.

I just finished up reading yesterday, Johan Bruyneel's, We Might As Well Win. Johan was a decent cyclist himself from Belgium, but he is mostly known as the Team Manager for all of Lance Armstrong's 7 Tour De France wins. It was a good read, but not one that get you excited to go out and do more.

It was interesting to read about his relationship with Lance and some of the tactics they used during the Tour. If you are looking for a nice, easy read, this is a good book. If you are looking for a motivational, inspiring book, this is not the one. It is still worth the effort, but one I would not read again. I like to be inspired!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tulsa Tri

Today was the 27th annual Tulsa Triathlon and I entered the Land Lover division. I felt like such a hack for doing so, but when I saw the choppy water, I was glad I did. Swimming is something I am still working on and I know from experience that open water is a different animal than the YMCA.
This picture here makes it look like that the water was not too bad, but it was not. After the women started, there were several that had to be pulled from the water and I knew I had made the right decision. For the Land Lovers we had Carolyn Fairless, DVM and Secretary extraordinaire for the Tulsa Area Triathletes, as our designated swimmer. We waited in the transition area until she crossed the mats and we were off. I immediately had trouble with the front derailleur and I could not get it to shift up from the small ring to the big. After a few miles, it went up, but I shifted back down on a hill and it was stuck again. I decided to just gut it out in the big ring on the hills, but I think it partially fried my legs for the run. Between that and not eating enough, I think that slowed my run down. With having to go to these events earlier, I have yet to figure out how much to eat and how soon. Today I did not eat enough as before the bike I had to snag some Goldfish from my youngest son as my stomach was growling. I took a gel before the bike and drank Gatorade, but I don't think it was enough.
On the run, I felt really bad for the 1st K or two and thought I might have to stop. The heat was brutal and I did not have any energy. I took a gel at about 2K and that seemed to help, but I realized I was going to have to settle into a nice, easy pace and just finish. I have ran a lot faster before, but today was not the day. I started to feel better and just hung in for a 46:20 run. Not bad, but not my best. I can do a lot better. With the conditions and how I was feeling, it was the best I had.
Here I am finishing up and just glad to be done. The clock read 2:42, but my time was 2:07, minus the swim. If I had a decent swim, I could have still done well. The second fastest Land Lover was 25 minutes behind me. I was the only one in single digits for the mile splits on the run and I did have the fastest bike time also. They ended up scoring me for the second fastest master male at 2:33, which I think it was Caroline's swim time and my bike and run. I told the scorer about it and it got fixed and fixed well. When the announcements for the Land Lovers came out, my name was not called. Back to the scorer's table I went and they got it fixed and I got my water bottle. Even though I did not swim, it was a well earned water bottle.
Here is my good friend Mitch finishing up. He is a lot slower than me, but he did all three aspects and finished it all. My hat goes off to him for his diligence. I admire his perseverance.
Also in the Land Lovers was a Zombie, Trail Zombie that is. Good friend Ken and fellow TATUR, did the bike on a Hybrid and completed the run. This is what a Zombie looks like after a day in the heat.

Also, today I got a chance to meet Internet friend, blogger, and triathlete stud, Rob Chance. He had just completed Kansas 70.3 last weekend and earned a Clearwater 70.3 slot. I saw him on the run heading back when I was still going out. He finished 4th overall and 1st Master Male. I really enjoyed meeting him and talking with him. It is not very often I can talk with and learn from somebody who really knows how to be a triathlete. I hope that I get the opportunity to meet with him again, just not on the race course. LOL.

Last, but not least, Happy Father's Day! Father's day is special for me as I have three kids and I did not really know my Father and he was tragically killed when I was 11 while he lived in Louisville, KY. It was very similar to the two cyclists who got killed recently here in Tulsa. He was not on a bike, but on foot because of car trouble on the Interstate, and was hit by a car. The accident here in Tulsa has kind of brought that back home. To all you Fathers out there, hug your kids, call your Dad, and say a prayer for those families of the cyclists.

Friday, June 19, 2009

They Say it's Your Birthday!

Yesterday was my oldest son, Will's birthday. He just turned 17. It is hard to believe that he has one more year and he will be on to college. It just seems like yesterday that he was born at St. Francis hospital in Peoria, IL at 7:18 pm. The thing that really stood out about him was that his feet were so big, that they had to turn them to get the footprints on the back of the birth certificate. He has lived up to that as he is taller than me and his shoe size has went past mine. It still doesn't matter though, I can still kick his butt!
He has definitely picked up on our craziness of exercise and this lifestyle. He plans on going to college and studying Kinesiology. He is having some trouble trying to find a school in OK for it, but my alma matter, WIU, has a program all the way through Master's. When he was tested in the 8th grade for reading comprehension, he was already at the college level. He just needs to make sure and apply himself.
He is a quiet, reserved young man that has a good head on his shoulders and knows right from wrong. His main love has always been Basketball, but he has branched out into other things. I am sure that he will remain athletic all his life. It is not like he hasn't been told.
He has went on two Spring Break mission trips with the youth at GUTS church. Here he is at a Rockets game in Houston with a friend.
He spends a lot of time with his younger brother and sister and they look up to him a lot. They tend to fight with each other, but he is always the level head and voice of reason. Once he does leave the house, they will truly miss him.
So, Happy Birthday son. Mom and Dad are proud of you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shoe Debate

I have been waffling for quite awhile on what kind of shoe I was going to wear for the Leadville Marathon. I have been running in lower profile shoes ever since my injury with plantar fasciitis. I know this is totally against what they tell you, but I think it is just a ploy to sell orthotics and inserts. The foots natural motion is what you should strive for and not with a hoof underneath your heel. You cannot get full range of motion with your Achilles with the extra cushioning and after time it will shorten and I think that plays a major role in tightening up the fascia muscle. I am also a major proponent of cold water baths after running. I think the combination of the two helped me get over my injury. With this, I have decided on the New Balance 790's. I have owned one pair in the past and I am going to go with them for the Marathon. The course is mainly on jeep roads and some trails and the 790's have a rock guard in them even though they are very light and low profile.
My new ones are black and only 8 oz. They should do the job just fine. I think the shoes are probably going to be one of the last things I am thinking of while I am gasping for oxygen. The scenery is going to be just awesome!
In case you were wondering, I wear size 12's and I will wear any of the colors.
One of the great things about the shoes are that they also make you look and run like Mercury. I can see the resemblance, really I can.

I am also thinking about volunteering at the Breckenridge Epic Mountain Bike race. I haven't decided yet, but it should be a fun time and I can experience something new. I definitely want to take a day and go to Boulder. I am not for sure what I will do, but it is where all the studs live and I want to go there. Who knows, maybe I will not come back?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Working for the Weekend

I know that most everybody works to get to the weekend and I am not any different. This weekend was jacked up and a blur, but fun. I am not for sure that all that goes together, but who cares.

I started on Saturday morning doing a long bike ride with the Church on The Move Cycling group. This would be my second ride with them and it is something that I need. I have come to realize that my cycle handling skills are not as sharp as theirs and that they really push me, and I need that. We had planned on doing about 70 miles for the day.

It ended up just being me and two other guys and we rolled out from the TCC trailhead at 81st & 169. I did not even know there was a trail that started there. We rolled out at 9 AM and got on the Creek Turnpike Trail. About three miles in, guess what, a rear tire flat. Fortunately, the other guys swung back around and came and helped. I have been on a few other bike rides and they would have just left you. I had punctured the tire on something, so I had a patch that I put on and aired it back up and we were rolling again. I made it to the next intersection and something felt wrong again. I got off the bike and sure enough, the back brake had somehow got up under the tire and was peeling it off the rim. The only way to take care of it was to let some air out and put the tire back on. About that time the other guys showed back up and started to help. I ran out of Co2, so started using theirs when, BOOM, the back tire overinflated and blew. I thought my day was done. Although I have to admit that the explosion right by my head was pretty cool. Borrowed another tube from them and we were finally off. At this time another couple that had showed up late, found us and rode along. They were on a tandem, talk about a workout trying to keep up with a tandem.

We decided that we had better stop at Tom's on Riverside and get some more supplies or it could be a long day. We picked up some more tubes and Co2 and headed off to Turkey Mountain and the West side trails.
Turkey is one of my favorite places to run, but today we were on bikes. We took the trail and crossed the bridge at 11th and took the road to to OSU and then took the Osage Trail to Skiatook. About 5 miles into this section of the Trail, the guy next to me starts to put his head down at the intersections and he is not looking good. He is kind of a bigger guy and he thought he was getting dehydrated. We pullover in the shade for awhile and let him cool off. We have made it about 25 miles and have 10 more to go to get to Skiatook and lunch at Subway. We finally take off and we make it to Sperry and refill water bottles at the gazebo, while the whole town was out waiting on a parade. I love small town parades as it brings out all the strange people you don't normally see. They like the idea of floats and free candy, maybe that is how we could help a lot of civilization, floats and candy. Hmm, just a thought.

We headed up to Skiatook and made it to Subway. We re-fueled and took back off. We made it to Sperry and a couple miles after that, the other guy started to drop off again. He ended up calling his girlfriend to come pick him up at OSU. We again waited for awhile in the shade for him and then we took off. We made it about a half a mile and guess what, he had a rear flat tire. We stopped changed it and made it back to OSU. We waited for his girlfriend to show up for at least a half an hour and by that time it was heating up.

We took off and rode to 96th & Riverside, where the couple with the tandem were parked and we decided that we would ride back to our vehicles. That section of the Creek Turnpike has several hills and the other guy with was starting to cramp on the hills. I offered him some electrolytes, but I think he thought I was trying to give him some Green Acid as he did not know me that well. If he would have starting seeing little green men on tricycles, that was not my fault!

We finally made it back to my Jeep at 4:15 pm. That is right, 7 hours and 15 minutes on the bike. We farted around so much that it stretched the bike out for that long. With the flats and making sure that the other guy was safe, I do not see how it could have been any different. Needless to say when I got home, I was in the doghouse, but that's OK, our doghouse is pretty comfortable.

On Sunday afternoon, I headed back to Turkey Mountain for some trail running. I cannot believe what all they have done to that area. Above is the parking lot that is being re-done, among other things. I wanted to get some trail and hill training in as the Leadville Marathon is coming up quick. I ended up with about 9 miles as the humidity was horrible and I did not want to push it yet. I plan on several more excursions out to Turkey before we leave for Leadville.
A nice view of the Mabee Center across the river.
I guess this is where the San Francisco hostel will be, or I mean the restroom.
Today it was windy and it started to rain, so this is what my workout was. That is OK as I need some time on the bike as I am doing the Land Lover division of the Tulsa Tri this Sunday. I don't even think I will swim this week. What a weekend!

Great job by those from TAT that competed yesterday at the Kansas Ironman 70.3. One of these days I will do that, if I figure out how to swim.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sad Day

As I sit hear thinking about what I am going to write, a wide range emotions are going through me. Ya see, yesterday afternoon two cyclists were killed and a third injured while riding on Hwy 51 by Sand Springs. This is a popular route for riders and one that I and my oldest son have rode on before. It seems that a woman who was intoxicated at 4 in the afternoon swerved and plowed right into them as they were riding on the shoulder of the road. That area has a very wide shoulder and cyclists are not on the road. This brings up a lot of memories, questions, and of course the debate of whether cyclists belong on the road.

As someone who took cycling a year ago due to plantar fascitis in my foot, I have gained a whole new respect for cyclists. I enjoy being out there and getting the exercise and enjoying the scenery, but most others in the embossed tanks are not as happy. I have been yelled at, cussed at, honked at, and almost ran off the road. Most of this happens due to the perceived notion that I may be slowing them down. Where in the hell is the hurry? To get to work, QT, to get the last donut at Krispy Kreme? When ever we go back home to Illinois, everybody always drives slower and enjoys the surroundings. True, there is no hurry, because, where are you going to go? As soon as we get back in Tulsa, we can feel the difference. Everyone is in such a hurry.

Now the apparent fact in this one is that the accused, Tausha Borland, was drunk at 4 pm and driving with more alcohol in the vehicle. I have not led an angelic life and drank really hard was I was young and stupid. I have drove drunk many a times and have crashed vehicles, hit another car while drunk, and have gotten a DUI. I consider myself very fortunate to this day that I never killed anyone and that I am here today to tell about it. Everyday we are faced with choices and the choices we make are filled with consequences. Unfortunately, she made the wrong choices yesterday and she will reap the after effects. It is real easy to get mad and bitter towards her, but the reality of it is, she needs help. It is by the grace of God I was not in her shoes and that I have been set free from that for over 20 years. Whenever I go to running, cycling, and tri events, I cringe when I see those who are drinking get in there vehicles and drive off. I have been there, I am glad I am still not there, and I pray for that she will make her peace.

One of the most disturbing facts about this whole thing is that it has been reported that as her body lay in the road, people just drove around it and did not stop and others stopped and took pictures of her with their cell phones and drove off. I also read an e-mail about how some others were riding later on the same stretch and people were yelling at them about to get off the road and "see what happens to you." What have we become as a society? Have we lowered ourselves so much in the bottom of society that we no longer stop to help with an accident and we are more concerned with showing our friends that we got a picture of a dead body? As a culture, we are in trouble. I know not everybody is like that and good people did stop and help, but it still shows that we have a long ways to go in our societal evolution.

To Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds, may you rest in peace and your families be comforted in this time of loss. To John Moore, may you have a complete emotional and physical recovery and may you live to ride another day. To Tausha Borland, may God have mercy on you.

Here is the article.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Long Weekend!

It's been a long weekend. Mine started at Thursday at 4 AM when I thought all fluids were dismissed from service and were no longer needed in my body. Friday morning started in with, what goes down, must come up, or is it the other way around. I ventured out Saturday morning, after not being at work for two days, to do a bike ride with the Church on The Move Cycling group, which I had never done before. We met at OSU Tulsa and rode the Osage Trail 10 miles up to Sperry, ate Breakfast at the Chuck Wagon restaurant, and then some of us rode the rest of the Trail up to Skiatook, others headed back. I really wanted to have Julie come out and do it and she did manage to ride 20 miles, which is the longest she has ever done. I was in the 30 mile group and we almost beat the 20 mile group to the parking lot. She did a really great job! The wind was horrible on the way back, but we still had a great ride. They were a great group and I will probably ride with them next Saturday for a 70 mile ride.

After the ride, we headed to Runnersworld, which is the greatest running store in Tulsa. Co-owned by Brian & Kathy Hoover, they do a fabulous job of getting people in Tulsa motivated to run and keep active. I decided to sign up for the TATUR Estimator, which is race where you pick your time in advance, and go at whatever pace you want. Whoever is closest to their estimated time, is the winner. Also, no timing devices allowed!

After signing up and talking with Kathy, I headed home and I started feeling bad again. I spent most of the night with the same issues and thought for sure that I might miss the race. The best I could hope for was to try and sleep and see what it looked like on the morrow. I even had to do a late night Walgreen's run for some medicine.

I felt OK in the morning and decided to go for it. I had also signed my 8 year son Wyatt up, so I needed to go. The race this year was held in Chandler Park in West Tulsa and had a 4 mile loop that some would do once or twice. Wyatt was in for the 4 mile and I was in for the 8 mile. At 7 AM at Brian's command we took off and not too far into it my stomach started feeling a little rough, I managed an one cheek sneak and felt better. The more I ran, the better I felt. It heated up and the sweat was pouring and I was still going. I felt some stomach issues a few more times, but managed to not fill my shorts and just kept going. I had been trading slots with Carter Fairless for several miles and he had guessed his time 15 seconds slower than mine. I felt as though I was running too fast, but it is hard to tell with the hills and the trail. I came up to line and got confused with where to go and good friend Norm Gonzales was at the mike to bring me in right. I turned the corner at and finished in 1:08:10, I had guessed my time at 1:08:15. I ended up winning. First time I had ever finished first in a race. I have gotten second a few times, but usually some punk kid beats me. I got $10 American Cash, and a free entry for a team of 5 into the Mud Run in August, so I may be looking for team members to put together a fast team. This was a total of a $160 value, not a bad day for a run.

This was another great TATUR event, which is the greatest trail running group on the planet and the greatest set of people. I cannot thank Brian and Kathy enough and really enjoy their friendship and all they do for our family and the Tulsa area. Wyatt finished about 3 minutes off his time and was out of the top 10. He enjoyed himself and it was a great morning to be alive.

Now it is time to get ready for the Tulsa Tri and get some miles in for the Leadville Marathon in 5 weeks. I will probably just do the Land Lovers division for the Tri as I am still not sure about the swim. Either way it will be a fun day and another one to spend time with friends and family.
Wyatt's frowning and I am not even looking at the camera.
Wyatt finishing up.
Trying to hide my number from Norm.
Beautiful rock formations in Chandler park.
Great day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Official!

Well, it's official, three days of Tulsa Tough are done and I signed up for the Leadville Marathon in July. I was disappointed that I was not able to do many of the rides this weekend, but my body obviously needed a rest. I did do the Tulsa Townie on Sunday with my daughter who went through the kids program for a free bike.
I felt good enough afterwords to sneak out for a bike ride on the River trails. I left when the Cat I/II started and came back just in time to see the finish. I rode up to the Turkey Mountain parking lot on the west side. I have not been running at Turkey Mountain for awhile and could not believe what has happened to the parking lot. It has been repaved and you have to park east of the normal parking lot. I will spending some more time out there in the next 6 weeks as I will need to get some hill training in.
Wyatt enjoying the action.
Mother looking really thrilled that I took her picture.
Start of the Pro's race. Floyd Landis was here all weekend, but it sure looked he was not trying really hard every time he went by. It was great for Tulsa that he was here and I hope others like him come back.

I am looking to forward to heading to Colorado next month and doing the race. It starts at 10,200 feet in elevation and goes up Mosquito pass at 13,000 feet. I have never been at altitude, let alone raced at it. We will go up a week ahead of time to acclimate. It ought to be fun. I will have more details in the weeks to come. It was a great weekend!