Saturday, August 30, 2008

What a Week!

Started the week finishing a 52.6 mile training run on Sunday. Took off Monday & Tuesday from running. Did 5.2 miles at noon on Wednesday at a pretty fast pace, then 2 runs on Thursday at an easy pace - 3 and 5 miles. Took Friday off from running.

Saturday's run was really neat. I arrived at Veteran's Park just before 5 and saw Cindy, Carmie, Marv, and others just before they left on their 20 miler. Was really surprised to see Dave Anderson. Haven't seen him running for weeks or maybe months. Then I headed over to the other side of the park & started setting up. I put up the tent by myself and found that it is quite easy. All you have to do is get right in the middle, under the tent and push up on the support there. The thing just pops up like an umbrella. It was so much easier setting up than when we have had four people struggling on the corners.

Now, back to the running. Stacy showed up at 5:15 and we got in 3 miles before the group showed up. Then the group took off on a 7 mile loop, which included the first part of the Route 66 marathon course. I started out with the lead runners, mostly the usual guys, but Janna was there, which was a pleasant surprise. I was glad to see her running with us again. She was having problems with her hamstrings the whole run due to a strength workout on Wednesday that she still hadn't recovered from. I kind of dropped back from the leaders and ran with Janna and Kendal a ways until we got back to the park. Then I hung back to make sure everyone knew the route for the second half of the run. I ended up running toward the back of the pack with people I really haven't run much with.

I started running with Erin, the bunny slipper song writer and video producer. She and her husband Travis, who is Lisa's brother (Lisa is the one who kicked Erin's **** in the triathlon) have been married for 4 years and have not had any real arguments. As we passed Travis on the trail, I yelled, "hey Travis, look at this cute chick I picked up!" Then as we ran on, I said to Erin, "now you can have your first argument." I also ran some with the Bean Team, Kim, Deon, and Lisa (not the triathlete, the one getting married to Jason). Lisa and Jason are getting married tomorrow. I think she said her colors were pink and brown.

The coolest thing about that part of the run was when we saw a fox. I got off the trail, ran around behind it, thinking it would run from me toward the group, but when I got near, the fox turned to me and actually walked pretty close to me. Less than 10 feet. Then everybody came over and got a chance to be near the fox. I can't wait to see Ken's pictures. Most of the group then ran on, but it was hard to tear Jessie away. After some urging, Jessie finally began running with me. On the way back to the park, we ran across Paula, and she is probably going to kill me for mentioning this, but she had a little accident in her shorts early in the run due to intestinal distress and had to go home to change. So she still had quite a ways to go on her run. So, Paula, Jessie, and I completed the planned route. Then we did a loop around Zink Lake. After that, Jessie and I did a couple more miles because she desperately wanted to complete a 20 mile run. I would have been happy to stop before those two miles, but I felt like Jessie needed a cheerleader, so I finished the run with her. Way to go Jessie!

I'm glad that I didn't run the whole way with the leaders. We always have fun, but those guys are a bit more serious. The slower group seems to joke around a bit more, and I had a blast running with them for a change.

The distance for the day was 23 miles, and that makes 88.8 for the week. That is by far the most I have done in any week. And after getting up from my nap, I feel pretty good!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to Running

After taking Monday and Tuesday off, I was back at it Wednesday putting in 5 miles at about an 8 and a half minute pace. Then 3 easy miles at lunch on Thursday, stopping to do pull ups and push ups at Veteran's Park. Then another 5 easy miles (really they were kind of hard with the heat the way it was) with Stacy during our group run on Thursday.

Total so far for the week is 65, and I plan on doing at least 17 tomorrow, so it will be a big mileage week for me. Okay, Chrissy, maybe I am addicted! But you do have to give me some credit for taking three days off.

Stacy and I are starting at 5:15 tomorrow. If you want to get in a few early miles, come join us.

Here is an inspirational song for the day:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Danny

Tuesday I felt pretty good, good enough to run, but I got busy at lunch, and I took the evening off from running just to prove to my wife that I am not addicted. I did stop briefly at the group run just to say hi, and I had a good chat with my dear friend and coach Kathy while everybody else ran.

I left early, went home to eat, and then went with my wife to visit my friend, Danny Webb, who is in the hospital. He had surgery Monday to remove part of his left lung, because he had all sorts of tumors in there. It turns out, though, that the doctor did not remove anything. His lungs and chest cavity and bronchial tubes are full of something, probably some kind of infection, but the tests showed no cancer. He is receiving a broad spectrum antibiotic, but the doctors really have noo idea what they are dealing with. It is something they haven't seen anything quite like before. They took samples and are having them tested, but it may take up to six weeks to find out what he has. In the meantime, he could die.

Danny and his wife, Karen, are two of the sweetest people I know. They are self-sacrificing people, always serving others, helping with the youth at church, and always are encouraging others. They have seen their share of difficulties, but no matter what, whenever they are around I can sense the presence of the Lord. For the past several years my family has had the privilege of helping Danny and Karen provide Thanksiving dinner to a bunch of truckers that had no where else to go for Thanksgiving. That is the type of people they are, always serving others and serving the Lord.

Makes you wonder why something like this has happened. It doesn't seem right. It doesn't make sense, but I guess it is a result of living in a sin cursed world. It's weird. In the past three months I have gone to two funerals for people who died of lung cancer, plus Marvin's mom, Dolly, is in stage 4 of lung cancer, plus this new thing with Danny. Life is fragile, and we never know when it could end. I know that God is good and that he is in control, but sometimes his ways are just past finding out. Why does he order things the way he does? I can't say for sure in this case, but maybe it is to remind us of how weak we are, and how dependent we are on God, and to prod us into seeking him. I read in chapter 17 of Acts yesterday that God "has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."

In times of trouble I sometimes think of the words of the prophet Jeremiah who said in the midst of great national calamity,
this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
On the way to work this morning I was thinking about the following song by Matt Redman, which teaches us to bless the Lord in the good times and the bad.
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Monday, August 25, 2008

Double Marathon Training Run

I am not dead. I survived my first 50 mile training run. Well, not to brag or anything, but it was actually 52.6 miles. That's more than 2 marathons! We started with 17 runners, picked up a few along the way, and then dropped down to 2 that finished. We even picked up a couple of girls running down Peoria. As we were running along past a bar, this gal starts running beside me. Her name is Tracy, and she said she ran cross country at University of Minnesota, and is now the women's cross country and steeplechase coach at De Paul. She gave us her email address and invited us to visit if we are ever up in Chicago.

I had a great time running with my friends, and I really appreciate the aid stations that several people set out for us. They were so well stocked that I almost over hydrated myself (I only lost 3 lbs). I was surprised at how well I felt during the run. Before starting, I had in the back of my mind that I might bail out once we got to NSU (about 33 miles), but when we got there I felt great other than my feet being a little sore. So, I took my shoes off, stretched my feet out a bit, and even they felt okay! So, I was all for going on.

Coach Kathy isn't quite recovered from her bout with the flu, and she was feeling weak for a large part of the run, so she dropped at NSU, as did Roman and Johnny and the few runners who had run on ahead of us. It was a real disappointment to me that Kathy dropped out. I am planning on pacing her for part of her 100 miler in November, and I was looking forward to finishing this training run with her. And we were having such a good time singing songs, telling jokes, and carrying on. By the way, Kathy does a pretty good cartwheel. Roman's is not so good.

So, it was just Ken and me to finish out the last 20 miles. We passed Ed and Julie on the path with about 16 miles to go and then Mary Alice about a mile later. I was still feeling strong at that point, but I think it was with about 10 miles to go that I began to tire. It had been humid and foggy most of the night, but when the sun came out the temperature seemed to rise fast, and it was really draining. My body wanted to hunch over from fatigue, and I had to concentrate on keeping good posture. As we approached Harvard we were leaving the hills behind us, and I was kind of dreading the flats that would characterize most of the last 5 or 6 miles. There would be no uphills as an excuse to take a walk break!

We actually kept up a pretty good pace for those last miles, but we did take walk breaks. The hardest stretch was by the volleyball courts. It seemed like a long hot stretch with no shade, but we could see the 71st Street Bridge not far off, so that gave me hope. As we got to the bridge Ken's Garmin beeped. Fifty-one miles, and by experience Ken knew it was precisely 1.6 miles to go. I took off at about a 9 minute pace, but stopped after I had crossed the river. Ken and I both walked up that last steep hill going up to Turkey Mountain and then jogged in the last bit for a total of 52.6 miles Hooray!

I slept most of the afternoon, woke up in time to get ready for evening church and to shoot off an email to Kathy saying I am considering getting my legs amputated. She sent back an email offering to loan me her hacksaw. Fortunately my legs are feeling much better today. I will not need the hacksaw, and I will even run again soon.

Oh, and by the way, the next person to complain about hills on our Saturday morning runs has to run along the Creek Turnpike to NSU and back. :)

So you all soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tulsa's Oldest House - Within Tulsa's Oldest Park

I did two runs on Thursday, the first one a four miler at noon at an easy pace. Then in the evening I ran with Larry most of the way. I was going to make it an easy six mile run, but it was Larry that pushed the pace.. I stopped at the bathrooms with a mile and a half to go and let Larry go on ahead. He finished the route averaging close to an 8 minute pace. I think with my walking included that my pace averaged about 8:30.

Saturday I had a fun run with the RunnersWorld group. We did a hilly six mile loop that took us past Tulsa's oldest house still in existence, which now sits within Tulsa's oldest park - Owen Park. I'm sure Ken will have pictures up on the RW blog soon. I enjoyed the hilly run, taking it at a fairly relaxed pace for me, but when we were finished several runners told me I was fired. I tried paying people to say they liked the hills - while Kathy filmed them - but nobody seemed convincing. :)

Tonight I hope to complete a 50 mile training run with Kathy, Ken, Brian, and a few others. If you don't hear from me after this blog entry, it is because I died.

Here is a bit of trivia about Owen Park from the city of Tulsa website:

It could be said that Tulsa Parks began with a bang – literally. On January 23, 1904 at 4:15 p.m., a tremendous explosion rocked west Tulsa and was heard as far away as Claremore. The entire stock of nitroglycerine belonging to the Western Torpedo Company that was used for shooting oil wells was accidentally detonated shortly after a company employee named McDonald entered a wooden structure where the explosives were stored.

Owen Park postcardNeedless to say, Mr. McDonald did not survive the blast. The explosion created a large crater that eventually was used to create what became known as Owen Park Lake and years later was made much smaller and is now known as Owen Park Pond.

Although the City of Tulsa did not purchase Owen Park until 1909, the area was already being used for major citywide events. In September of 1906, a Labor Day celebration, complete with a parade that began in downtown Tulsa, speeches, games, and sports was held.

Thousands of people were reported to have come there to enjoy band concerts, food and fireworks each July 4th for several years prior to 1909. That year, the city bought the land from Chauncey and Owen Park in the FallMary Owen for $13,500 and Tulsa’s first park became a reality.

Owen Park was a natural beauty spot with its grove of beautiful oak trees and pure well water. Swimming in the lake was very popular from 1913 through the early 1920s.

There was a sand beach with lifeguards as well as a bath house to accommodate swimmers. The lake also was used for ice skating during the winter months.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Glad To Be a Runner

I got a good 4 mile run in at noon on Monday. Caught up with Joe and finished the run with him. His asthma was sort of acting up - maybe lingering results from running on those ozone alert days. He said he would be out for our Saturday run.

Tuesday was a pretty hard day of running. I did the same 4 mile course as Monday, but I ran it as a tempo run and really wore myself out. Then Tuesday evening I pushed it up the hill during the group run. So, my legs were a little tired today. I just jogged down to Veteran's Park and back - less than 3 miles. While at the park I did pull ups on the soccer goals and push ups. I was going to do inclined sit ups on the slide at the playground there, but I couldn't figure out how to keep from sliding down. Some kids there thought I was really nuts!

Well, I may be nuts, but nothing like the guy in this video. I am glad I am a runner and not a gymnast.
video

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday's Report

The temperature was much cooler as we started our run from Veteran's Park. We ran to the pedestrian bridge and crossed to the west bank going at about a 9 minute pace, and then Jim began to pick up the pace. I looked at my watch as we passed mile markers, and we were doing about 8:40 per mile on the west side - maybe a bit slower when we got to the hills at Turkey Mountain. Kendal, Jim, Bill, Chad, Larry, Andy, Dustin, Gina, and Alicia were with the lead group, and I think a few others, but I can't remember everybody (sorry). When I got to the hills I think I may have even increased my pace; my effort level sure went up! But then Andy and Dustin passed me like I was standing still. Gina, Jim, and I made it to the water stop in 53 minutes. Assuming that was the 6 mile point, our average was 8:50.

I waited for the rest of the lead group to catch up and rehydrate, while Gina, Andy, Dustin, and Jim went on. A bunch of the group turned back there, and it was Larry, Alicia, and me remaining in our little group. We kept up a good pace, and even dropped the pace to about 8:30 along the sand volleyball courts. After a drink at the water fountain north of the casino, we picked up our pace again to just under 8:20, which we maintained until the park south of the Jenks bridge. Alicia was lagging a bit behind, and Larry stopped at the bathroom, so I went on alone toward Harvard at close to an 8 minute pace. I caught Gina on the way back and we finished together. Then Andy and Dustin wanted to get in a little more distance, so we ran to Harvard and back again, this time at about a 7:45 pace. They left me in the dust going up the hill to Harvard, though.

After hauling runners back to Veteran's Park I drove back to the Jenks park to see if anybody else needed a ride. Nope, they were all taken care of. So, Ken and I decided to run back to Veteran's Park, where his truck was parked. So, we ran really easy, going down the east bank between a 10 and 11 minute pace for most of the way, but walking where the sideways slope was uncomfortable to run on (this was where they are doing reconstruction of the trails). Our last mile was in 8:13 pace. Total was 22 miles for the day and 39 for the week.

After the run Ken and I went to RunnersWorld, picked up Roman and Kathy and went to breakfast at Village Inn, where we unexpectedly met Bobby and Susan. Blueberry pancakes for me, monster breakfast burritos for Bobby and Ken, omelet and pancakes for Kathy, and I forget what Roman and Susan had besides their cherry lemonade and strawberry lemonade.
It was a great morning, and I actually felt good afterwards, like I could easily run another 10 or 12 miles. My legs were a little tired on Sunday, though. I think it was cutting the grass on Saturday afternoon that made them tired!

Oh, and Saturday night my wife and I were out at RiverWalk in Jenks with our pastor and his wife. We ran into the children's pastor at John 3:16 mission, and my pastor, Phil, introduced us. Turns out the children's pastor ran 12 miles with us Saturday morning. His name is Noe Rodriguez, and he is married to Tracy - of the Stacy and Tracy twins that have recently started running with our group. Tracy and Stacy speak fluent Spanish, and Tracy teaches Spanish at Jenks. So, "sometimes," Noe says, "they talk to each other in Spanish when they don't want anybody to know what they are saying." But when he is around, they speak in another language that they made up, so that he has no clue what they are saying. Stacy is a church secretary at Parkview Baptist Church.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday

This morning I ran with Karen Call's running group in Little Rock just as I had planned. The group was a little smaller than last time I was in Little Rock. Dave, who I ran with the last time was there, but he hurt his foot falling off a ladder, so he just walked. And it seemed that there were some fast marathon women that were missing from the group this morning. So, I headed out for a 4 mile tempo run with Karen, Steve, Alison (I think that's her name), and a couple of others.

After about a mile into the run my left shoelace came untied, so I stopped to retie it. Had to work hard to catch up with the group on the gradual incline. Usually I double knot my laces, but this morning I was rushed to try and meet the group at 5:30, and I neglected to take that step. Oh well, I was running with the group and feeling good. Then about 3 and a half miles into the run my right shoelace came untied. I stopped and retied it, but lost heart and ran the last half mile a lot slower. Still, I finished the four miles in 31:56, just under an 8 minute pace.

At that point it was just Karen, Steve, and me. We then started the next phase of our run - the hill. We ran UP Kavanaugh, which was a pretty good grade for a half mile or so, and then more gradual of a hill. On the way up we passed the radar gun sign just before the curve. It was sort of neat seeing our speed register between 5 and 6 miles per hour. At the half mile point I let Karen and Steve go on. I was starting to tire, so I started walking back down the hill. After a minute or so, I ran into Alison, so I ran back up with her till we got to the post office, which is the mile point. She kept going while I turned back. I think I ended up with a little over six miles. The last two were just over a nine minute pace. When I got back to the parking lot, I waited for Karen and Steve and took there picture. I also got a picture of a newbie named Ken. I was able to encourage him by telling him about Bobby's progress in his running.

I've included a couple of pictures in this post. First is a picture of Ken, Karen, and Steve, and then a picture of me with Karen and Steve. I had a great time running with them, and can't wait for my next trip to Little Rock.

I got back from Little Rock too late to run with the RunnersWorld group, but I did make it in time to cheer them on from 56th and Riverside. It seemed like everyone was doing great tonight; the temperature was a bit cooler. Coach Kathy was missing due to a case of the flu. Get well soon!

Now, the bad news. I have a friend who was going to have a biopsy of his lung today, but they couldn't do the biopsy. He has tumors all over his upper left lung, and whenever they would touch one, it would burst and bleed. Looks like he is going to have to go to surgery, and they are going to remove a large portion of his left lung. Please pray for Danny.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday Update

It's Wednesday evening, and I'm sitting in my hotel room in Little Rock watching Olympic swimming. Women just got bronze in 4x200m freestyle.

Tuesday I had a good longish tempo run, 6 miles at 8:00/mile pace - from downtown, down Midland Valley Trail, across pedestrian bridge, north on west bank, and back to the office at 3rd and Boulder. Tuesday evening I didn't run; I was driving to Little Rock. Got in fairly late.

After work today I went to a hilly golf course here in Little Rock and ran for 45 minutes. I took it pretty easy because I'm hoping to wake up early enough tomorrow to run with Karen Call's running group at 5:30. Last time I was here in Little Rock I ran with the group, and it was quite a challenge. Those women (and a couple of men) were incredibly fast. Don't know if I will make it to the RunnersWorld group run in the evening.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Week in Review

Okay, I told you about the bug up the nose Monday morning. Since that happened, I kept sneezing and having a runny nose until Wednesday night, when I blew my nose and out came the bug. Still had a little nose running Thursday, but I was good by Friday.

I didn't run Tuesday through Thursday because I was out of town and didn't have the time. But, Friday at noon I did a four mile tempo run at an 8:00 pace. It was still pretty hot outside, but I felt good. I think the few days of rest did me good.

Saturday the temperature was more favorable. I showed up at Veteran's Park at 4:30 and waited for Coach Kathy, who was out on the course leaving water for us runners. She got to Veteran's Park by 4:45. In the meantime, I prayed for our group - things like that nobody would get injured or discouraged, and that we would all be helpful and encouraging to one another - stuff like that. After Kathy and I set up, we were all set to run with Patty Powell and Kathy Fleig, who were supposed to show up at 5:00. We saw some stirring in the parking lot at the north end of Veteran's Park, so we headed over there and found Dana, Teresa, Carmie, Donna, and Cindy getting ready to start their run. Then Kathy and Patty showed up at the south end of the park, so we headed back there.

We ran down to the pedestrian bridge, across, the river, and south and then headed back, which gave us about four miles at about a 10 minute pace. Then we ran with our groups. I ran mostly with Kendall, Bill, the other Bill, Larry, Gina, and Keri for an 8.25 mile loop. I was glad to see Gina. She has been out of town for a while, and I was afraid she had dropped from the group. The route was pretty much the same hilly route we have done before, but tacked on to the loop around Zink Lake, which maybe made it seem just a bit harder. There is a rumor among the group that some people don't like me very much because of my choice of routes. Actually, I think the word "hate" was used. Good thing they were just joking. (Now watch, someone will leave a comment on the blog telling me they were not joking.) Larry and I finished the loop together stride for stride at a brisk pace. Time for the loop was 1:15:20 - an average 9:08 pace. Then Kendall, Keri, the other Larry, and I started running the loop backwards to make sure everyone made it back okay. I was pleased to see everyone smiling and looking strong in that last mile.

After that, The two Bills, Larry, Kathy F., Patty, and I went out for another 8 miles, but at a much more relaxed pace. I finished with 22 miles for the day (34 for the week) and felt quite good when it was over. It helps to have such a good bunch of people to run with.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tuesday's Update

Ran 17 miles or so Saturday. Arrived at Veteran's Park shortly after 4 and waited a short while for Coach Kathy and then set up stuff once she arrived. Ran 5 miles to center of universe with Kathy, Jessie, Roman, Ken, and Johnny. Then ran 10 with the marathon group running with a bunch of people - most of the last 5 was with Kendall. Right at the end I could hear Bill coming up rapidly behind me, so I kept up the pace and maybe increased it just a bit. Just about collapsed at the end. Boy, I was beat! Had cookies, Gatorade, and water, and then I felt better. Went out for another 2-3 miles with Kathy, so my total for the day was 17 or so.

Saturday afternoon I bought a new pair of Brooks Cascadia shoes and new BOA shorts, the kind with the mesh pockets in the back. Monday morning I thought I would try my new duds out at Turkey Mountain, so I started out on the trail at 6 am. A short ways into my run a bug flew up my nose. Man, that was annoying. My nose started running badly, and I was running badly too! So, I cut my run short and kept blowing my nose, sort of walking/jogging. Took me about 20 minutes before my nasal passages felt halfway clear. And, by the time I was done, I had snot wiped all over my brand new shorts. The shoes did feel good, though.

Monday at noon I made up for the short run in the morning by doing another 4 miles. It was hot, but I felt pretty good, and the Cascadias felt good on the roads.

I was going to run this morning, but I was up late last night, and I couldn't force myself out of bed. I probably won't be doing any more running until Friday. I'll be out of town. Plans for Saturday are for 20 miles.