Monday, June 30, 2008


I got off work early today and went by RunnersWorld to get a new pair of shoes. I've been running in Mizuno Alchemies for the last year or two, and they have been good shoes for me except for one thing. The Alchemy 5 and 6 were great, but the material on the inside of the heel of the Alchemy 7 just wears out too fast for me. They feel great, but every time I take my shoes off, it is like bits of stuffing are coming out of the shoe. So, I tried on some Asics and Nikes. I liked the Nikes better, but then I tried the Mizuno Inspire 4, and that is what I settled on.

I have relatives in town this week. After supper two of my daughters (Becky and Katie) and my niece and nephew (Alyssa and Adam) went for a run at Turkey Mountain. (I did not use my new shoes!) We started the run at 8 pm and finished shortly after 9. Probably around four and a half miles. Picture isn't very good, but it was starting to get dark, and the cameras in cell phones just aren't the greatest.

I hope to see everyone at the group runs on Tuesday and Thursday, but I may be spending time with family. So, if I don't see you, here's wishing you good running.

Also, my youngest daughter is leaving on a youth mission trip to India on Wednesday. The group is going to Chennai, in southern India, and among other things, they will be visiting villages that are still recovering from the tsunami. If you think about them, say a prayer for them.

God be with you till we meet again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Report

Friday it rained in the morning. I was going to take a day off, but when I saw the rain I just had to go outside and run at noon. Unfortunately the rain had stopped, and I ran in the humidity. I did 5.4 miles at just under eight and a half minute per mile pace.

Saturday I was at Veterans Park at 5:30 a.m. I ran along 21st Street, through Woodward Park, around Swan Lake, and back to Veterans Park - three miles. Then the group started arriving. The group did seven miles together. I told everyone to start out slow because the humidity was much worse than it seemed just standing there. It about wiped me out on my three mile jaunt. So, off we went. I ran with Ron to the pedestrian bridge, across the river, and south to the 3.5 mile marker. From there I told him to go on while I stayed back and made sure everyone turned around at the right place. Good thing too, because some would have kept going. There was a half marathon trainee who didn't know where to turn around and ended up running about six miles when she was supposed to run four. That was the most she had ever run.

When I got to the Midland Valley Trail I decided I would try to catch up with a few people, so I picked up the pace. There are some markers every 100 meters, and judging by those I was going about a 7:45 pace. At 21st I caught Charlie, Ron, Pattie, and the other runners with them. I ran with them a while and then ran hard the last quarter mile to the finish. After that a bunch of us ran an additional five miles through downtown and the OSU-Tulsa campus.

Total miles for the day was 15. Total miles for the week was 46.9.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday's Runs

Ran from downtown along Midland Valley Trail to the pedestrian bridge and back at lunch - a little over five miles. It was dreadfully hot. Did the first two and a half miles at a pace of 8:10 per mile, but the heat got me toward the end, and I walked whenever I was in the shade and ran in the sun.

For the evening group run, I had the privilege of running with Keri. It was her first time out with the group, and she is training for the White Rock Marathon. She normally runs about four miles in the mornings, and she doesn't time herself, so she doesn't know what her normal pace is. We started out at a pretty brisk pace in the 8:30 to 9 minute range. She kept thinking she was slowing me down, but in that heat I didn't want to go any faster. We thought about going five miles, but she said the pace seemed a little bit faster than her normal pace, so I suggested we limit the run to four. The last mile or so the heat began to take its toll, and we did slow and even walk some. Keri is a good runner, and I can hardly wait to see how she does as she builds up to the marathon distance. Here is a picture of her that I "stole" off of the RunnersWorld blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I ran a little less than 4 miles at noon yesterday, and a little less than 6 in the evening. The evening run started at 68th & Riverside. Brian, Roman, and I ran across the 71st Street bridge up to the drinking fountain at Turkey Mountain and back. I then repeated the ordeal. It was sure hot, and it made for a tough run. At Turkey Mountain I thoroughly doused myself with water, and it made the heat much more bearable. Andy and Dustin also did the Turkey Mountain run, but they added runs up lip buster hill. Those guys are tough!

Speaking of hot and humid weather, maybe I should give a bit of advice. Mostly common sense stuff here. Some runners cut back on their training during the summer months because it is so hot, but we who are training for a fall marathon do not really have that option. In fact, as the temperature continues to rise, our mileage will also be rising. So, how should we deal with this heat?

1) If you can, run in the cooler part of the day. By the way, our long runs will be starting earlier on Saturdays, partly to avoid the heat.
2) Slow down. When it is hot, you should run more slowly from the very start of your run, and don't be afraid to take walk breaks. Don't feel bad if your pace falls to a minute or two slower than what you would normally run in cooler weather.
3) Drink plenty of water. And this isn't just during your run. Drink throughout the day so you don't start off your run dehydrated. Also, on longer runs it might be a good idea to replace your electrolytes during the run - either with a sports drink or electrolyte tablets, or some other way.
4) Cool yourself by pouring water over your head. Or take a bandanna, soak it with water, and give yourself a sponge bath to cool yourself off.
5) Wear lighter clothes. I wear a sleeveless shirt or singlet in the summer, or sometimes I go topless, as I did last night. The last option only applies to men :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday's Report

Another Monday and another day of rain. That's three Mondays in a row. So, I didn't ride my bike. I was looking forward to running in the rain at noon, but the rain stopped long before that. I ran in the humidity the rain left behind. It seemed pretty hard with the heat and humidity, so I did quite a bit of walking. Still, I got almost four miles in about 38 minutes. I actually was surprised at the end of the run to see the time was less than forty minutes.

This evening my daughter, Katie, asked me to run with her. We went to the pedestrian bridge and ran to 11th Street and back. About four miles. It was Katie's first run since her tonsillectomy. We did a lot of walking and averaged about a twelve minute pace. Afterwards we came home and had ice cream and peaches. Yummy.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday's Run

I started my run this morning just before 5:30 am from Veterans Park. I decided to run a six mile loop. I went down the Riverside trail to 31st and followed 31st to Woodward Boulevard. From there I headed north and followed the new Rt 66 Marathon course through Woodward Park, South on Terwilleger, and so on. My average pace for the six miles was just under 8:30. As I was finishing my run, Kathy and Ken pulled up, and I helped them set up for the group run.

At 7 a.m. the marathon group started their run. It was supposed to be seven miles, but Google maps showed it to be 7.7 miles. After the run, Bobby's Garmin said it was 7.8. Before we started, I told everyone in my group that it was exactly seven "RunnersWorld miles." Maybe it's sort of like badger miles, which Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp try to explain in the video below.

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Click To Play

I started off the group run with Matt, an assistant principal at Owasso High School. We headed south on the east bank to the pedestrian bridge, then north to 11th and then back to the east bank. At that point I let him go on ahead. Andy and Dustin passed me at that point too. Those guys are going to do great in the marathon. Between 11th and the pedestrian bridge, I lost about 100 yards on those three. I stopped to use the restroom and get a drink, and just then Gina and Lisa came along. I ran with Gina until we got to Boston Ave., and then I headed back to check on Lisa and the rest of the bunch. According to Google maps, I added at least two miles to my run by doubling back, so I'm calling my total 15.7 miles for the day. That makes just over 40 for the week.

It was a great day of running, and it was good to see all the runners doing so well. Kim's foot, which gave her some problems last week felt fine the whole run. I didn't hear any complaints except for a little bit sore knees for Lisa. Hopefully with a little rest and perhaps some icing she'll be feeling great next run.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday's Runs

Thursday was a bit hot and very humid. At noon temperature was in the 80s and so was the humidity. At noon I started my run south on Boston, and at about 15th Street I caught up with Jim, who I had run with once before, and a couple of other guys. One was Clark, and I don't remember the other guy's name. The other guy was wearing a cap that sort of looked like a beekeeper's hat.

I found out during the run what "the whole nine yards" means. Machine gun belts are (or used to be at one time) 27 feet long (9 yards), so to give the whole nine yards means you give 'em all you've got.

We ran along the Midland Valley Trail until we got to the east bank. Clark and I headed north along the river, and the other two headed back the way we came. Clark and I took off at a brisk pace - something a little less than 7:40 per mile. After a mile and a half I let Clark go on. I was beat. I walked up Galveston past the McBirney Mansion and then jogged back to the office. Distance = 5.2 miles.

Thursday evening I ran with the RunnersWorld group starting from the store. I was going to hang with Andy and Dustin, who said they were going to maintain an 8:30 pace. That seemed reasonable, but after about a mile and a half, the 8:30 became closer to an 8 minute pace. I kept up at about 8:10 pace and let them pull ahead. Brian passed us all, going 7 something pace. At the picnic table at 68th Brian and I rested a bit, while Andy and Dustin took the loop around the bears.

On the way back Brian and I did one mile at about an 8 minute pace, and then, at my suggestion, we walked and jogged the rest of the way. Along the way we visited with Candice and Joye. Candice's husband, Randy, just missed by one stroke qualifying for the Hooters golf tour. When we were almost back to the store, Gladys ran up behind me and startled me, so I took off after her. It was good to see her back running with the group. Distance for this run was six miles.

Back at the store we had cupcakes to celebrate Joye's birthday. Don't ever have Brian sing happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Transformer Transportation Trouble

Here is how not to transport a 70 MVA transformer. Before a trucker moves something this big, he has to get approval from the department of transportation. The Missouri Department of Transportation directed the trucking company to take this route. It is pretty steep, and as you can see, the road tilts quite a bit to the left. Not too bad for a car, but not good for a transformer. It was at this spot that the transformer almost tipped over.

In the second photo, you can see that with the transformer weight shifted dramatically, that the lowboy trailer digs into the asphalt. It was at this point that the truck got stuck, and the truck driver had to call one of those huge wreckers used to tow semis.

The third photo shows the wrecker pulling the truck, trailer, and transformer up the hill using his winch. It left kind of a big rut.

In the last photo, the truck is still being winched up the hill by the wrecker. It has been a long time, and is approaching midnight. The wrecker didn't notice how far the truck was going to the right. It's hard to see in the photo, because it is so dark, but the rear of the trailer has left the road and is about to fall off the cliff to the right. Fortunately, somebody noticed the situation before all was lost.

The transformer did make it to its destination, but after an internal inspection, it looks like it needs to be sent back to the factory for repair. Oops!

On a brighter note, I did make it back to Tulsa this evening. I ran seven miles along the river, from I44 to 71st, across the river and up to the parking lot at Turkey Mountain and back. Had a great time, but it sure was hot and humid.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bummer of a Bike Ride

I've been in Springfield, Missouri today. After work Carlos and I headed out to Fellowship Bible Church to meet the cycling club for a group ride. We made it just in time. We started out pretty good, riding pretty easy, averaging 19.6 mph up until mile 8 when I turned a corner and ran over a sharp rock that gave me a flat tire on the front wheel. Luckily I had a spare tube and CO2 cartridge. So, I change the tube and begin to inflate. Then POP!!! the spare tube popped. Fortunately Carlos had a spare tube and CO2 cartridge. So, we put that spare tube on the rim and began to inflate. POP!! It happened again. So, I sent Carlos on ahead, and he was going to drive back and pick me up after the ride.

So, I ended up sitting alone on a wood rail fence for quite a while. As I was sitting there, I got to thinking that if I was at home I would be running with the RunnersWorld group, and I wouldn't be all alone with a flat tire. It was 6:40, so the group should be about finished with their run and sitting at the picnic table shooting the breeze. So, I called Kathy on her cell phone just to say "Hi!" to her and the group. No answer. So, I decided instead of just sitting there on the fence, I would take my cycling shoes off and jog up and down the asphalt road. I took off my shoes and socks and leaped across the ditch to the road. Oh Oh! I didn't quite make it to the road, and knocked a big chunk of skin off of my big toe as it hit the jagged edge of the asphalt.

Oh well, tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Running In the Rain

I'm running in the rain
Just running in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I dash down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singing, and
Running in the rain

Another rainy Monday, and I love it! At noon I ran from downtown south on Boston to 15th to Cincinnati to Woodward to Owasso, through Woodward Park, south on Terwilliger to St Louis, north on St Louis to 22nd, to Troost, to Utica, north on Utica to 15th, back to Boston, north on Boston to about 10th, over to Main, and back to 3rd Street. Six point three miles of pure pleasure! Did it in a pace of 8:10 per mile, and I felt great.

Saturday's run was good too. The RunnersWorld Tulsa marathon group started at Veteran's Park, went north on the river trail to 11th, crossed to the west bank, went south on the west bank trail to the pedestrian bridge, followed the Midland Valley Trail to 15th, went west to Boston, and then went south on Boston, west on 18th, and finished at the Route 66 Marathon finish line. Total distance was 6 miles for those who stayed on the course and did not accidentally turn too early. I did quite a bit of running up and back to check on the group, and afterwards ran some extra miles with Joe and Paula, most of them looking for Bobbie. I estimate that I did about 13 miles total at a pace that varied from 8 to 10 and a half minutes per mile. It was a good run, but my bursitis in my left heel hurt a bit after the run. I took the edge off the pain with some ibuprofen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Evening Run

I ran with the RunnersWorld group this evening. Since work on the trail has started around 41st Street, we took a different route. We headed west from the store and weaved south and west through the neighborhood until we arrived at Riverside just north of Hwy 44. That was roughly a mile from the store.

The group then headed south. I went with Vicky, Andy, Dustin, and Gina (who I ran with some on Saturday), and we were doing about an 8:40 pace. After two and a half miles Gina and I turned around, but the other three kept going because they were going six miles. Gina's longest run to date was the six miles she ran Saturday. I had a good time running with her and look forward to many more runs. I have a feeling that before this training cycle is over she will be leaving me in the dust.

I also met Jason and Lisa tonight. They signed up for the beginner marathon group, and I met them Saturday, but didn't remember their names tonight. Maybe putting the names down on this blog will help me remember.

I also met Beth and Leslie, who are beginning walkers.

What a wonderful evening!

Tag I'm It

Trail Zombie tagged me, and requested that I answer 5 questions. My answers are below.

1- How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
I was not really running 10 years ago. However, in 1996 I ran the anchor leg in a 4x100m relay in the Corporate Challenge. I was on TV in the bloopers film because I tripped and fell at the finish line. I actually ducked and rolled, so I came back up to my feet without a scratch.
2-What is your best and worst run/race experience?
First the worst. I would have to say that was Turkey & TATURS 50k in September 2007. I thought I was fully prepared for the race, but I started having IT band problems before I finished the first loop. Also I had a slight ankle sprain and really bad bursitis - all on my left leg. It was so bad that I almost dropped out after one loop. But instead I taped up my ankle and headed out. By the time I got to the RunnersWorld aid station I was reduced to walking. Hobbling, actually. I really was going to drop out there, but Kathy gave me some ibuprofin and taped up my leg with duct tape. That enabled me to run where the paths were relatively smooth and not too hilly. Problem was that there are not too many paths like that on Turkey Mountain. So, most of the second loop I sort of speed walked with a mostly straight left leg. Took me about 3 hours for the first loop and about 4 and a half hours for the second loop. After the race I removed the duct tape. Some gal there gave me some biofreeze and when I applied it, I suddenly realized that the duct tape had ripped off my skin. Ouch! The next week my right leg was incredibly sore, probably because it was doing the bulk of the work the second loop. It took me a long time before I was even interested in running on Turkey Mountain again.

The best race experience was the second time I did the Route 66 Marathon, in November 2007. Everything pretty much went according to plan. I feel like I paced myself right, and I ended up finishing under my goal of 4 hours. Honorable mention for race experience would have to go to the Hope Rains 5k this spring. It was a fun cross country/trail race through wooded, hilly trails at Holland Hall. What made that a good experience is that just the previous week I had run the OKC Memorial Marathon and although I ran a pretty good race, I was sort of disappointed because I hadn't met my goal time. So at Hope Rains I just decided to go out and have a good time, and I had a blast!
3- Why do you run?
I run simply because I enjoy it. I don't run to lose weight or to head off some health problem. However, my running in a roundabout way did begin from a health problem. Early in the summer of 2005 my wife was diagnosed with diabetes and was told to regulate her blood sugar level with diet and exercise. So, we started watching our diets more carefully and walking around LaFortune Park every evening. After a few months Marilyn was having such pain in her joints from walking that we stopped our walks together. That is when I started walking and running at noon. That was in September 2005.

As I began running, it brought back many memories of high school and the great times I had running with the cross country and track teams. Almost every time I run it is a pleasant experience. Oftentimes, when I am running alone I reminisce about old times, or I think about my new running friends, or I take time to think or pray, or sometimes I just zone out and just relish the act of running. And when I meet with my running group, I always have a great time running with or just hanging out with friends.
4- What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best - Listen to your body.

Worst - There is the standard, "You shouldn't run at your age. It will ruin your knees." But I get a kick when I remember the time a guy told me to be careful because my lungs could freeze running in the cold. It was over twenty degrees at the time.
5- Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
In the spring of 2005 I went to Russia to teach church history at a Bible institute.
Here are the rules:
If you have been tagged, you will find your name at the end of this post. You should then copy the rules (or your version of them), and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers, and then tag up to 5 new people.

Just to be sure that everyone tagged knows they have been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a special comment letting them know, and refer them to your blog for details.

One more thing, once they've answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

I don't know too many runner bloggers besides the ones trail zombie has already tagged, so I am having trouble coming up with five names, but I am tagging the following people:
Trail Honky

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

I was going to ride my bike to work today, but I canceled due to the rain. But I did have a good run at noon. It was 66 degrees! Woohoo!!! And the rain was coming down pretty steady, so it felt even cooler. A good day for a run. I started from 3rd & Main and went south for a few blocks then headed over to Boston. At 15th Street I veered over to Cincinnati and went south to 25th Street (I think) and then returned on the Midland Valley Trail. The trail was flowing pretty good with water. It was like running in a creek bed, and I did have to negotiate one tree that had fallen across the trail at about 23rd Street. I started my run pretty slow because the tendon behind my left knee going up to my hamstring was pretty tight. After a bit, though, it started feeling better and I kept picking up the pace. I finished the 3.9 mile run in 29:59, an average pace of 7:42. There were hardly any cars out and absolutely no other runners. I don't know why, it was a perfect day to run, and I had a blast!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Busy Saturday

Woke up a little after 5 and made it to 41st and Riverside by 5:45 am. This was the first day of marathon training, and I ran with the beginners group. It was great to see all the people out there. The plan for the beginners was to run six miles. I started out at the head of the group, running at a pretty good clip with Gina (or perhaps Jenna or Jeannie - maybe I'll figure it out next week). After a mile or so we had caught up to the intermediate group, and it looked like she had a few people to settle in with, so I ran back to check on the rest of the group; all doing well. So, then I ran back up and ended up running/walking with a beginning 1/2 marathoner who somehow got mixed in with the intermediate marathon group, and ended up being alone, looking like she needed a bit of encouragement. Her name was Leslie. When we were almost back to 41st, we passed Joe and Michael, who were out for some extra miles. I told Leslie to go on ahead, and I ran another six miles with Joe. Michael lives near 11th and Riverside, so he just went three with us and then headed home. At the end I ran back to Peoria, where I had parked my car so as to not take up space for the crowd that showed up this morning. Total distance this morning was about 13 miles. I enjoyed the morning and can't wait to meet with the group again.

This afternoon I went to a memorial service at Memorial Bible Church for Betty Martin, who died this week of cancer. She was a gifted artist, devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and always active teaching kids in Sunday school, or with Child Evangelism Fellowship, or on mission trips. The picture at left, which is a photo of one of her sketches, illustrates her love for children. Her goal in life was to hear the words in Matthew 25:23,

Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
It really was a joyful memorial service, and many people shared wonderful memories of Betty.

After the memorial service, we ate at El Chico and then went to Asbury Methodist Church for another joyful occasion, a wedding in which my daughter, Melissa, played piano. She was so nervous. She did a great job, but she is glad that is over.

At the reception I saw Peggy Landrum, who used to run with our group some, and has been a long time running partner with Larry Long. She hasn't been running lately because she had a melanoma on her leg that was operated on and kind of sidelined her for a while. I told her about the training groups that started up today, and she said she would probably start up with the Tulsa Run training group in a couple of weeks.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Week In Review

Biked to and from work on Monday at a fairly easy pace.

Tuesday I ran three easy miles at lunch. At Veterans Park, halfway through my run, I did several sets of pull ups, push ups, and sit ups. In the evening I ran three miles with Brian. Mostly easy, but we did one half mile in 3:02. Afterwards, when we were just about to leave, Mike announced that he had lost his car key. So, I (as well as several others) ran back over his route looking for the key. Turns out it was in his pocket the whole time. Oh well, I guess I needed the extra mileage.

Wednesday I ran three miles at lunchtime, and just as I was finishing the run, I heard a loud voice calling out to me, "Put your hands over your head and stop, and you won't get hurt!" I looked over and there was a Tulsa sheriff's car and the voice called out again, "Put your hands over your head and stop, and you won't get hurt!" So, I put my hands over my head and then I noticed it was Allen, and he was in the car with another guy, laughing. I guess I must have been speeding.

Thursday I didn't run at noon; instead I ate lunch with my wife. I ran six miles from RunnersWorld in the evening with Michael. It was pretty hot and windy, and most of the run was at a pretty easy pace, around 10 minutes or a little faster. My hamstrings were feeling kind of tight all week, and I didn't want to do too much to aggravate them, but they felt good, so in the last mile I accelerated pretty good and finished strong. My legs feel pretty good today.

After the run, the marathon, half marathon, and Tulsa Run group leaders met at Mazzio's for pizza. Marathon training starts tomorrow, and I can hardly wait. Bobby, Deon, and I will be running with a group of beginning marathoners.

Ran on the treadmill today, which you can see in the video below. :)

Tomorrow's run with the group will be six miles, but I plan on doing an additional six or so.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Every Breath is a Gift From God

My running since the last post has been a twelve mile run on Saturday and a three mile run today (Tuesday). Saturday I ran with Joe and Paula, starting north on the east bank and then crossing over the river at 21st and heading south on the west bank to 71st. A woman new to the group, Elizabeth, ran with us for about three miles before she turned back. Paula and Elizabeth chatted the whole way. I believe I heard that Elizabeth is some sort of freelance writer. We had a good run, mostly at about a 10 minute pace. A little bit south of the sewage plant the west bank trail has a couple of good hills. I ran those pretty hard and wore myself out. I'm thinking it would be good to do more running on the west side just to get in those hills. At the end of the run, we ran into my daughter, Becky, who had just finished a 2 mile run with Christina, a friend she is in nursing school with. Christina had been a cross country runner in high school, but has not run in a long time, and then Becky talked her into getting out. Saturday was her first day. Hope she keeps it up.

The bigger news since the last post is lung cancer. Last Friday I went to a funeral for Janeen Grooms' mom. She died from lung cancer last Tuesday. We had Janeen and her family over Sunday evening. It seems Janeen is taking it pretty well, but I'm sure she will need some emotional support in the coming days. I got an email from church on Thursday that our pastor Phil Martin's mom was in the hospital. Turns out that Betty (Phil's mom) has an aggressive lung cancer and doesn't have long to live. Donna (Phil's wife) called early this morning to say Betty may die even today. Phil and Donna are the first people outside of work that Marilyn and I met when we first came to Tulsa in 1989. They are dear friends, and Phil's mom is the greatest. She has devoted her life to serving the Lord and others, and I know she will be welcomed with great rewards in heaven. Even so, I know these last days will be a struggle. Lord give Betty and her family strength to go through this trial.

Every breath we take is a gift from God. May we serve the Lord faithfully as long as we have life and breath.