2017 Runners World Half N Half Marathon

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The Half N Half Marathon is a unique race where one can run a trail half marathon or a road half marathon or do both halves. It is one of those quirky things about running that I love. Runners are never just happy running races, many of them like to add little twists and kinks to it. I was planning on running the trail half this year but the running gods intervened and I have a knee injury and I am waiting for the insurance company to okay physical therapy and in the meantime I am hobbling around. So I wanted to do something for this race and I decided to just go out and take photos of the contestants all on my own with asking permission or anything. I I loaded up the Nikon and off I went.

Both races start at the same time and I couldn’t get to the start line so I parked on the upper parking lot at Turkey Mountain and found a good place to take photos and just stayed there and shot a couple hundred shots.

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I am a picture taker and not a photographer and my shots prove it. Talk about cutting off people’s heads and feet and slicing them vertically and getting their faces in shadows. I did it all!!

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It was fun though. It reminded me that everybody in a race is running a different race. The leaders are racing against each other. Lots of people make it a social event. Some people have a personal goal they are trying to achieve, others are just out there for being outside. There are as many reasons as there entrants. The leaders are hitting it hard and it shows but most of the rest of the people look pretty darn happy.

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I was totally jealous!!!

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After the last of the trail runners went by I hobbled back to the car and drove down to Riverside Drive where the Road Runners were. I found a good spot and took a bunch more photos.

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I saw a lot of the same thing. Really fast front runners and a lot of smiles. Runners are a happy lot.

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I have never been waved at so much in my life. I might do this again.

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I am still very jealous though.

I uploaded my several hundred photos into a facebook album and then shared that with the Runners World facebook page. it seems to be pretty well received. I didn’t really know how people would react.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Shadows on Philbrook Museum’s Patio

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I went to Philbrook Museum of Art earlier this week at lunch. We have a membership there, courtesy of the world’s best MIL so I can pop in when ever I want. Anyway I breezed through the galleries and went outside but didn’t go tour the gardens since I was short of time so I took this photo of the chairs and tables on the patio.

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I ran a half marathon back in November and caught these shadows in the early morning sun.

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My employer rebuilt their plaza area in front of the building and now it is a really nice space. They have a large ramada and a bunch of chairs and tables that make for interesting shadows.

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This is from back in warmer weather. I was running on the Arkansas River trails here in Tulsa and got passed by a couple of bicyclists so I snapped their pic and caught a shadow selfie.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

“Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach  by Jennifer Egan is quite a read. It is a novel set in the middle 1930’s through mid World War II about a girl Anna and her family who live in New York City. The book starts out a little quietly but builds to quite a story featuring Irish and Italian mobsters and associated treachery, learning how to be come a navy diver, U Boat attacks, double lives, hopelessness and redemption. The book is about how complex people are and we don’t really fully understand others. I loved it and recommend it highly.

 

Skywatch Friday – Pearl Harbor Day

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December 7 is a sacred day in America. That is the day that American fleet was attacked in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on that day in 1941. 3700 Americans were killed that day and the attack started World War II for America.

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There were many ships damaged and sunk that day but the USS Arizona and its monument atop it symbolize the place to many. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Pearl Harbor and the memorial. It is a sacred place especially since many sailors were entombed in the ship and are still there. So I didn’t take that many photographs while in the Memorial. It didn’t seem right.

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The flag still flies over the USS Arizona.

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The USS Missouri is anchored close by. The Japanese signed the terms of surrender during World War II on the deck of the ship. In the 1980’s it was brought out of mothballs during the Reagan buildup and recommissioned. My brother served proudly on the ship and I was fortunate enough to attend the recommissioning ceremony in San Francisco in May of 1986.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Another Arkansas River Sunset

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I am such a lazy skywatcher. Every work day this time of year at about 5:15 I get from my cubicle with my iphone and walk down to the west end of the building and check out the sunset. Sometimes if it is too cloudy or no clouds there is not much to see. I shoot through the glass and I have found a spot behind a pillar next to the window where I shoot through the glass at an angle, and that cuts the back reflection back tremendously. It is still there but you have to look hard to find it.

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This is a bull from the ranch in western Oklahoma. The photo was taken by my wife’s cousin’s wife who sent it to me and I edited it a little bit. I love the scenery and people of Western Oklahoma. You can tell this bull has a little attitude. Life as a bull is a balance. You need to get the job done with the heifers and a little attitude is tolerated. Too much and off you go, never to be seen again except maybe at your local butcher shop.

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A little closer to home is a family walk on Turkey Mountain the day after Thanksgiving. We had a nice Thanksgiving and we all (including my brother not pictured) went a little walk. I am pretty gimpy right now and I got real gimpy during the walk. I bit off a little more than I should have with my running. In the course of a month I ran three fairly long distance races, a 15K road race, a 25K trail race, and a half marathon on the road. So my knee is kind of sore. So I am working to strengthen my quads, and loosen my hamstrings, and try to maintain some sort of fitness with non running exercises all while loading up on ibuprofen, and icing my knee when I can. So far my it is getting better. I don’t think I will be running until January.

Anyways, thanks for visiting. Check out the fun folks at Skywatch Friday

Heather’s BollyX Demo Class at Utica Square

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My wife, Heather, in addition to being a wife, mother, daughter and all around great woman is an exercise instructor. She teaches Zumba, Drum Fit, Aqua Zumba and other classes to variety of people mainly at the Health Zone and other places. One thing she is certified to do but hardly ever gets to do it is teach BollyX. A dance fitness exercise based on India’s Bollywood music. Heather loves Bollywood films and dancing so she is excited about teaching it. She was very excited to get a  chance to teach a BollyX class at Tulsa’s Utica Shopping Center at the Athleta store early last Saturday morning.

The class is free and it is outside so it was a little nippy at the start. Heather got the three people who showed up going though. I had never seen her teach a class before and I was really impressed how good she is. She even let me take photos and record some of the class. There were only three people but they were game and went to the end.

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There was even a guy there.

The class was about 45 minutes or so. I got a little chilly watching but Heather and her students got warmed up very well and looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Even the nearby Nutrcracker puppets got into it.

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And with BollyX you end the class posing with the “X”

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And you have to have a dramatic pose as well.

I think everybody had fun. Afterward Athleta had water for everybody and a drawing for a gift certificate. Pretty good odds with only three people.

Shadow Shot Sunday – Winter is Coming

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We are in between seasons. Lots of trees have lots their leaves and other trees still have them plus a lot of the shrubs are still green. A few more freezes will take care of all that. This is from my MIL’s house while I was getting some fresh air on Thanksgiving.

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Long shadows in the early morning near the start of a race I was in. See the confetti on the ground. They used a confetti cannon for the start. I’m wondering if that is why the toddler has an umbrella. There was so much confetti you had to watch to keep it from going in your mouth as you ran through it.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday.

Weekend Reflections – Coffee Service

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I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. We sure did. We had plenty of food, turkey, pork loins, mashed potatoes, biscuits, dressing, cranberry sauce  and a couple different pies.

While wandering my MIL’s house with my camera I found her coffee service with Fall decoration. There is something about reflections that not only reflect but amplify images as well. That change the appearance in a fundamental way.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections today.

Skywatch Friday – Happy Thanksgiving

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Yep I doctored this up plenty with Topaz Studio and no, I am not ashamed to admit it.

For Thanksgving I offer up for Skywatch Friday this photo from my office building showing the sun setting and the Arkansas river as it comes into Tulsa from the northwest. From now until daylight savings time starts I’ll be taking a photo almost every day. It is not from my office any longer. I am with a gas company and we used to have a marketing and trading company so I walk over to the big open area that used to be trade floor with the huge window looking west. So I go to a window that faces north and point my camera to the northwest. I do that to avoid the reflection of the camera in the window. After 17 years of taken photos of the same scene I have learned a few tricks.

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Technically, not the best picture in the world, and not in focus. But if you know me you know I don’t care about that. I care about the personality that shines through.

Sometimes we have a big Thanksgiving and sometimes we have a small Thanksgiving. This year it is small. These two, Heather and Nana (the world’s best MIL)  are the ones that stir the drink, and cook the food, decorate, and keep things going.

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Brother Bob is coming in from Tennessee, his new home. The critters love Bob, he is so patient with them.

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And of course Logan. The cat whisperer, just ask our new kitten Lizzy who adores him.

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One of my favorite pictures of Dad. From several years ago. It has sparkle in his eye.

We’ll miss my Dad who passed away a few months ago. He flew down from Idaho for years to spend Thanksgiving with us and had not been able to for a few years now. He loved northeast Oklahoma and we went on a lot of adventures in the area. Right up to the last he was interested in the what was going on around him and current affairs and history and a very wry and dry sense of humor. He is my hero. I am thankful for the time that I had with him.

So we will enjoy each other’s company on Thanksgiving, eat some food, and figure out who the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions are losing to this year.

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Yep, Oklahoma is built on a slope that goes from left to right. Deal with it. From Holmes “Peak” as my family and friends in the mountain states bust a gut laughing.

For Black Friday, I got an email from Post Oak Lodge, a resort in the Osage Hills northwest of Tulsa. They are opening up their extensive trail network to the public on Friday. So I am taking brother Bob and Logan there for the day! Bob is a big runnier but hasn’t done too many trails and Logan is a trooper so I plan on spending a couple hours tromping up and down the trails of Post Oak Lodge. They host some awesome trail races, featuring the “Hill from Hell.” Here is a race report from one of the recent ones.I don’t plan on buying a thing on black friday!!

I wish you and yours a Great Thanksgiving Day.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

2017 Route 66 Half Marathon Report

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I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon this past Sunday even though I wasn’t really ready for it. I ran a longer race previously, the TurkeynTaturs 25K and my right knee ended up being a little tweaky. Kneee tweakiness of any sort is not good for running, especially long distances. Oh well, I paid my money and by gum I was going to run it. Worst case, I would walk it. I had company this year for a good part of the race. From right to left above is Rick, Misti, and Paula. Rick is Logan’s former Den Leader in Cub Scouts. Rick is one of the world’s good guys. On the left is Rick’s wife Paula. I don’t know her as well, but if Rick likes her she is good people. In the middle is Paula’s friend Misti. So I walked with Paula and Misti off and on during the race. It makes a big difference I found, racing with company. Maybe we can do it again.

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The Half Marathon people like me, Paula, and Misti started with the Full Marathon people. I don’t know how many people there were but it was considerable and so we started in “corrals” we were in the last Corral, Corral D. There was about five minutes between corrals so we were blocks back from the start of A and it was twenty minutes before we started. It’s all good though.

And so finally we moved up and the gun went off and then the confetti canons started and so off we went.

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Paula and Misti trotted off and I hadn’t warmed up my knee (mainly because I had 13.1 miles to get warmed up)  so I walked. It felt funny getting passed by everybody but experience told me that I would be passing a few of them back later on.

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We ran by the First Methodist Church and they had their choir out rocking and rolling doing their best to entice us pagan, heathen, runners off the streets and into the pews. I didn’t see any takers. I heard that some of the choir threw off their robes and entered the race endangering their eternal souls.

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Soon, we entered midtown. A beautiful part of Tulsa especially in the Fall. AFter a little while I caught up with Paul and Misti and we walked together for a ways.

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The first set of porta potty’s were only a mile or two in the course and they had a huge line. I thought, seriously people? But sure enough after a while, I was getting a little antsy and was evaluating my options, which are not much in the tony neighborhoods of midtown. Then when we were going through Hogwarts, I mean Cascia Hall prep school, these popped out of nowhere with no lines!!! Boy was I glad to see them.

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And afterward I caught up with Paul and friend again and we walked some more.

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We went by the Philbrook museum who had signs out. “Run like an art thief” is my favorite. I think it would be cool if the race diverted into the Gardens of Philbrook for a little bit.

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And then later on, at a “Bandit” (Non official) aid station, I had my first jello shot in my life. Can’t say that I liked it. I chased it down with a beer.

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And then I was back to evaluating my options again when I saw this Quik Trip on Peoria. I made a little detour off the race course, which I am sure is going to keep me out of the next Olympics but at least it stopped the evaluating.  It was kind of unfair though because the men’s room was empty and there was a line for the womens room. I told them that they just needed to post a guard and take over the mens room also for their own use. They looked at me like I was Judge Roy Moore or something. Oh well, I had seen people doing similar things elsewhere.

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I always love the Lululemon guys and gals. They have a lot of fun with their signs.

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We went down Peoria, and turned the corner on 41st street and went west to Riverside Drive and then north. Well past halfway and headed back downtown so I knew that I was going to finish, tweaky knee and all. I had been trotting and walking but the trotting ended about a mile past the time we got on Riverside. I was really loving the Fall foliage.

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We nosed back into the neighborhoods at some point and I found Rick. He was driving, staying ahead of Paula just to check on her. But while he was waiting he was encouraging everybody and talking with people. I had lost Paula and her friend at Woodward Park.

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Sorry, too tired to take pics the last five miles or so. So I made it to the end, got a couple slices of pizza, got my space blanket, a bottle of water and my two beer ration and then sat on the grass at Guthrie Green and rested.

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The medal they gave out. Very cool, I loved how they put a base on it. I put it on the mantle last night and Heather hasn’t taken it off yet which means she must like it or hasn’t noticed it yet. She does have a good eye for things. Every year I try and put the Dallas Cowboys Star on the top of our Christmas tree and it stays up there for an average of oh say, 15 to 30 seconds.

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Tell you what though, she made us stacked enchiladas for dinner. That is a New Mexican way of doing things, with green chili. Doesn’t get better than that.

Thanks to the organizers of the race. I cannot think of a thing to do to make it better. The race is perfect, the route, the water stops, the runner expo and the smooth process to pick up the race packets. The finish, with ample water, food, and other refreshments, the entertainment, the web site, the fast results. It is all great. Thank you also to the army of volunteers that made it work. The many neighborhood bandit stops and other bandit stops especially the Runners World stop on Peoria. The police and sheriff’s departments that kept the course clear. And everybody else involved. Great job.

And thank you to my fellow runners who made the race fun and all the residents of the neighborhoods who were stranded for the better part of a Sunday and endured it with good humor and cheered the runners on.

it was great, I’ll be back.