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.

Skywatch Friday – Town and Country Skies

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This is the view from my office building on day last week. Sunset looking over the Arkansas River as it winds its way down from Kansas through northeast Oklahoma.

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A cattle herd in western Oklahoma, taken by my wife’s cousin’s wife Cheri Lou at her family ranch in Washita County, Oklahoma. Cheri Lou takes pics, I edit them and post them on Instagram. We make a great team. I love the donkey in the middle of the cows. The purpose of the donkeys, besides providing comic relief, is to protect the herd from coyotes. I give the cows names that Cheri Lou doesn’t appreciate. Names like Little Brisket, Rib Eye, McDonald, Wendy, Burger King, and Chuck (roast). It’s all in fun, don’t report me to PETA okay. Honestly, do people think these cows are going to die of old age.

Be that as it may, I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Fall Foliage at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum

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Sunday afternoon, after setting the DVR for the Dallas Cowboys game, son Logan and I headed off for an outing at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art. I wasn’t interested in the art on this trip as I was the gardens of museum. They have spectacular gardens and there is something to see in them all seasons. Thanks to Logan’s grandmother, my MIL, who buys us a family membership every year, we get to go see Philbrook a lot.

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First up they had a Special Exhibit called “Museum Confidential” that was about, among other things, why some works that museums have in the their collections never get exhibited. They had a pretty dense display of Philbrook owned art that never gets displayed. A lot of it is funny looking, or worn out, or they are not sure exactly who painted it (provenance that is called). I thought it quite interesting. My theory is that a lot of stuff is donated and they don’t know what to do with it. My dad was involved in a museum in Idaho and he talked about all the worthless stuff people donated just to get a tax deduction.

Anyway, we checked the exhibit out in a couple minutes an then toured the rest of the three floors in about 15 minutes. It doesn’t take me long. I have been to the museum dozens of times and I just like looking at the stuff I like and it is like saying hello to old friends and I never get tired of the collection, and every once in a while I notice something new or rather, noticed something that has been there all along. So, after our whirlwind tour we headed out for the gardens.

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The focal point of the gardens is the tempietto. The money shot is the tempietto reflected in the pond. I wonder how many photos have been taken of it over the years. I think it has led to an imbalance of photons in this world that is causing many of our current problems. So I know that it is somewhat of a cliche but you know I have been clicking away for years and will keep on clicking. I think the scene is gorgeous.

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And then we went off. I found this foliage right next to the employee parking lot. I’ll take it.

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Some more Fall color.

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By now you have figured out that I have a thing for curved walkways that go underneath colorful trees.

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And on our way out, I stop for another shot of the tempietto. I like all the purply colors in this scene and how the colors are reflected in the pond. I also love all the textures in the scene. I am not bragging about the photo, I love the what my eye sees and what is weakly captured by the camera.

If you plan on visiting Philbrook check their website. They have lots going on including both big special exhibits and smaller. Note that they have a monthly event called Second Saturday where the museum doesn’t charge admission and they have all sorts of activities for all ages. it is quite fun and is sponsored by my employer.

They are also very photo friendly. You can take photos of almost anything in their permanent collection. Just don’t use flash and don’t be a pain to your fellow guests. Special exhibits are sometimes different because they bring in art from other museums and private collections and sometimes there are restrictions. If you have any questions, just ask the people at the front desk. They are very friendly, well trained and can answer all your questions.

Only the Brave – The Story of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots

The family went to see “Only the Brave – The Story of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots” last weekend. It is a great movie about a group of 19 elite firefighters who died fighting a fire in the Weaver Mountains near Yarnell, Arizona in 2013. It was a shocking loss by any measure but especially because these were guys who were trained to avoid such disasters. I mean the movie was great but it was based on a true event and to me that kind of overshadows everything.

Below is one of the eeriest videos I have ever seen. It includes some footage shot by the guys who died soon afterward.

There is a lot of commentary and articles speculating about what happened. Just google it and you can find plenty of articles with all sorts of speculation about how these guys ended up in such a terrible situation. It is all overwhelming especially since nobody knows for sure.

There is now an Arizona State Memorial for the hotshots. It is definitely on my bucket list. Check the link. It has brief profiles of each of the guys who died. It is heartbreaking, these guys were in the prime of their lives.

How much of the movie is true? A lot of apparently on the stuff that matters. The USA Today has a great article on that.

 

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One of my favorite shots of Dad.

I had a very personal interest in the movie. My father, who passed away in August, worked in the Forest Service and although he wasn’t a hot shot, or spent much time on the front lines, he fought forest fires for years. When I was a kid, during a dry summer he’d be gone almost the whole season, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Arizona. We didn’t hear anything from him, and then he would show up one day covered in dirt and soot, smelly, and exhausted. Afterwards he would have to be very careful around my mother to give the impression that he didn’t like the work.

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Payson, Arizona

When I was a kid, the hotshots, the smoke jumpers, and helitack crews were hard as nails men doing back breaking labor. The hotshots rode in trucks to as close to the fire as they could and then humped across country with their equipment, food, shelter, and water on their back to the fire. The theory was that you get these guys on a fire fast to keep the fire from getting bigger. They were expected to handle anything that came up. I remember my mother talking of the hotshots as being a rough bunch.

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Payson Hotshots, playing frisbee football

So nowadays, they have a little bit of glamor to them and have really nice vehicles to ride instead of the backs of trucks that I remember but the work itself is just as hard if not harder. After a half century or more of fire extreme suppression, and perhaps global warming, the fuel to burn is more than ever and the weather conditions hotter and drier than ever and so the work may be  difficult and dangerous than their predecessors had it.

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Forest Fire in Idaho, 1960’s, photo by my father.

I have only seen a few fires and they have been from a distance and they definitely puckered me up although I was miles from them.

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Forest Fire in Idaho under control, photo by my Dad.

I can only imagine what being  next to one would be like. It is hard to figure out what my Dad went through. He tended to downplay everything to no big deal and my mom’s Irish tended to embellish things perhaps a bit much. She was part of the Forest Service wives club that was pretty close knit so she could find out about stuff that dad didn’t like to talk about. She said she heard one time he drove a truck through a fire to get a guy that had been stranded behind the lines and that the paint had got burned off the truck in process. Dad said nonsense, he got the guy sure, but there was no danger, and no paint was burned. And it wasn’t just Dad. In the small towns we lived in, the Forest Service guys were the dads who took the Boy Scouts camping and led all sorts of other things. They were community minded men, and so were their wives. It was very close knit. Whenever dad got transferred somewhere we generally knew people where we were going.

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Slurry bomber in Idaho, mid 1960’s, photo by my Dad.

So anyway, it is a great movie. I think it accurately shows how brave these guys were. And like I said, I have never been anywhere close to a fire but I think it shows accurately what being near a fire is like and how backbreaking building a fire line and clearing brush is. So as you can probably guess, I strongly recommend this movie.

Skywatch Friday – November 2017 Edition

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Well it is November and our weather up until today has been pretty mild, blue skies, and sunny skies.

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My photo doesn’t really show but we had a crystalline clear moon one night. These was a few days ago just shy of the Full Beaver Moon or Frost Moon. I love moon shots.

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My wife’s cousin’s wife (got that?) Sheri Lou has been taking photographs of the goings on around the family ranch in Western Oklahoma and she sends them to me and I doctor them up and post them and we have a pretty good partnership going on. I love the wide open skies of Western Oklahoma and the tough, big hearted people that live out there.

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We have had a few funky skies in Tulsa. Here is a few weeks ago downtown in the late evening.

So what is up with your skies?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

 

TurkeyNTaturs 25K Trail Run on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain

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I love how everybody mills around before a race.

Turkey n Taturs on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain has to be one of the oldest trail races in the area and the most handy being right in Tulsa. It was my first trail race in 2009. I was not very familear with that style of racing nor Turkey Mountain and I was bewildered by how you run a race on narrow trails and was totally lost on the mountain. If it were not for the great marking I would not know where they heck I was or where to go. It was my first trail race and I have run it several times over the years. It has lengths of 50 kilometers, 25K, and 10K. 10K to the hard core crowd is barely a fun run. Somehow I felt the need to try the 25K even though I had not trained for it. My plan was to walk the rocks and uphills and trot the flats and downhills and not worry about my time. I knew that it could take me a long time.

So I got to the back of the crowd of the race. One thing I love about trail races is that there are not that many people in them and everybody is very nice, no pushing and shoving. It is a very friendly crowd and very accepting of newcomers. They asked how many people were in the first trail race and a bunch of people raised their hand. So the fun goes off and off I go!!  I love how the women turn around and give me a look after the gun went off.

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I went running with the rest of them, and then it was like. Wait, the plan, the plan. So I stopped and started walking and let everybody go on ahead. And I strolled along. I hadn’t warmed up or anything and I wanted to walk a half mile before running so that is what I did.

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Lake Logan at the West Side Y. A little muddy but beautiful.

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So after a half mile I started trotting and walking at regular intervals, especially walking the rocky areas. I fell on my knee about two years ago and still feel the aftereffects of that so I tiptoe when I am around the rocks.

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I made it up to the upper parking lot and stopped for a little refreshment at the aid station there. Trail Races have top notch aid stations. Lots of water and gatorade, salty snacks, sweet snacks, cookies, sandwiches. They also pretty much had a full bar. If I was just doing the 10K I might have had a beer or a shot, but not for 25K (which is over 15 miles). I drank a ton of water the gatorade. Had some of the baked potatoes rolled in salt, pretzels, and some other snacks. I also carried a hydration pack with 1.5 liters of water that I sipped on periodically every so often. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that dehydration is a bummer and it can happen even in cold weather.

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My race started at 7 am. The 10K started at 7:30 am and I started getting passed by the 10K guys before I got too far. Those guys were flying.

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After a while it got to be a regular processing. Life is humbling being a slow plodder.

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But other than getting passed I ran by myself. I was really enjoying the Fall colors.

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And it was kind of funny. The mountain is not closed during the race and all the trails are open and so there lots of other people out and about. I ran into my old boss and his wife. We stopped and chatted for a while. And then he said, “We are not slowing you down are we?” Well actually I am pretty slow all by myself and don’t need any help but we parted. I ran into a family who looked pretty tired with some small ones in tow. They asked me if they were headed to the parking lot. I said no they weren’t, they needed to turn around and go the other way. They asked how far, and you should have seen the look on their faces when I told them that it was about a mile and a half. We talked a little bit more as the Dad couldn’t believe that he was going north when he thought he was going south and I thought he was going to plow on ahead going the wrong way.  I think I got him convinced to turn around but they were still standing there when I left. You know how guys are, right?

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I think that I had been on all the trails the race used before except for this one.You can see the markings  and it is the faintest trail I have ever seen. It was all good.

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When I got to the lower parking lot I ran into these ladies. The Wonder Women were operating an aid station. They had all sorts of goodies including my new favorites peanut butter and pickel wraps. I ate a bunch of those along with water, gatorade, salted potatoes, a few pickles, pretzels, and fritos and a few cookies. (And you wonder why don’t lose weight with all my running.) They were great hostesses and great sports and a lot of fun. I was at about 10 miles into the run by then and I didn’t take too many other photos.

I left the lower parking lot to get on the Red Trail which goes even lower than the lower trail and then it is uphill quite a ways to the upper parking lot and I walked pretty much the rest of the race.

When I got to the upper parking lot aid station, I lingered while resting and one of the people there said “I feel like I need to do something for you, but I don’t know what.” So I said I was okay and just needed to rest a little bit more. I made sure to hydrate and get some calories in and then I took off, if walking away means taking off. My calves hurt, my feet hurt, and I was tired.  I did perk up and run the last couple hundred yards at the finish. I mean you have to finish strong and make it look like you have been running the whole way. It me about five and half hours or more to finish and I am proud as can be about it.

I am not a big fan of doing races you are not ready for but I think my plan for the 25K worked pretty well. I dreaded  the red trail up to the upper parking lot and it turned out to be worse than I thought it would be but I didn’t stop. I did make baby steps though up the steeper parts.

Here is my relive video of the first 12 miles or so of the run. My gps enabled watch ran out of juice before I finished so the video is incomplete but you can see how intensively the trails were used for the 25K. The 50K was two laps of the 25K. Those guys and gals are my heroes. I couldn’t imagine doing what I did twice.

The run was sponsored by Runners World Tulsa and the Race Directors did a great job. Great well marked course, lots of aid stations, nice t shirt and medal, food, and liquids. Check, check, check, check, and check. But did everybody have fun!! Yes!!

Thanks to Runners World for sponsoring the event, and the co-directors Kathy Hoover and Bryan Drummond, Brian Hoover and Tatur for timing the event, and the army of volunteers who set up the aid stations, cooked the food, and did lots of lugging and packing and for the participants who make it fun. They all got up well before light on a Sunday morning. And a huge thanks for the Wonder Women!!

Skywatch Friday – Recovery Walk

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On Sunday, son Logan and I went for a walk on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. I had run a race the day before so I just wanted so get out and stretch my legs a little bit. Something called a “recovery walk” or a “recovery run” except I was not running.

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Turkey Mountain has a few double track miles of trails but most of it is single track. Once we got a quarter mile away from the parking lot, we had the place to ourselves.

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The air was just barely warm, and dry, and the skies were deep blue.

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The just barely changed leaves were almost fluorescent with the sun shining through them.

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The grasses are just now turning color.

Here is a track of our journey. We stayed on the “Snake Trail” not because of snakes but because the trail folds back on itself.

I’m running a 25K race this coming weekend on Turkey Mountain, the TurkeynTaturs 25K. We’ll be running the Snake Trail and just about all the other trails on Turkey Mountain as well. I’lve pretty much run them all. I plan on taking my time and trotting the non-rocky flats and downhill segments and walking through the rocks and uphills.

This is a cumulative “heat map” showing all the trails I had run as of several months ago. As you can see I run a lot on Turkey Mountain. I love it and the race Saturday will be a tour of all of it.

Wish me luck!! It will be the longest race that I have run since 1997 when I ran the Madison Marathon in Wisconsin.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Ten Things I Have Learned about the Tulsa Run 15K – 2017 edition

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Saturday I ran my 23rd Tulsa Run 15K. I am a “way back of the pack runner” but I think I have learned a few things over the years about preparing for and running the race that I thought I would share especially for new runners.

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This guy is my hero. He carried the flag for the whole 15 kilometers.

First off is preparation. Fifteen kilometers is a long way, over nine miles, and the terrain is hilly. So unless you genetically gifted you are not going to have fun time without preparation. You need to run. You need to do a weekly or biweekly long run where you start with some miles you can handle and gradually increase and you need to start training months in advance. I am not going to presume to provide a training schedule but you need to gradually increase your mileage at least once a week along with shorter runs. Don’t forget strength training. Running really makes your hamstrings strong but doesn’t do squat for you quads so you end up with all sorts of imbalances. Running and resistance training complement each other.

If you are kind of unsure about the matter, two of the three leading running stores in Tulsa, Runners World and Fleet Feet Tulsa have formal training programs you can sign up for. I have known lots of people who have tried them and they all found them worthwhile. If you are more of a going alone type, like me, there are lots of books on training for runs

These stores, along with Tulsa Runner, can outfit you with proper shoes. They can check how you run to determine what kind of shoe you should use. And they should have something that fits your budget. There is nothing more miserable than running in shoes not meant for running, or that are worn out.

This year, I just didn’t get on track with the preparation. I ran some really long training runs but didn’t complement it with shorter runs and speed work and my results reflect that. For me, to make headway in training, I need to run at least three times a week.

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My coworker, motivational speaker, and big names in running, Michael Hairston sharing tips on running, and leading stretching at the “Blessing of the Shoes.”

Second, enjoy some of the pre-race activities. I always enjoy the Race Expo where you get your race packets and shirt. I always see people I know, check out the booths. I have have found some bargains in gloves, hats, and other running gear. This year I attended the “Blessing of the Shoes” put on by Boston Avenue Methodist Church downtown a couple days before the race. No signup or cost. Just show up and visit a little, get a prayer and blessing for the pastor and then we went on a two mile jaunt to downtown and back and they had some snacks for us. It was nice.

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Lots of people wear costumes to run the race. This is from previous year. Enjoy and appreciate your fellow runners. The Tulsa Run is a very happy race.

Third, run the race like you trained for it. If you went on a long slow lazy training runs with lots of walking breaks then that is how your race should go. if you trained hard properly then you will be ready to rock and roll. I tell you what, speed training works. Years ago I was running the run in about 1:35 or so and one summer I participated in speed training sponsored by Runner World and wow. It is was brutal in the summer heat running laps on a track in the summer time but I ran the Tulsa Run in about 1 hour and 22 minutes, a good 15 minutes off my previous time.

Life intervened in the form of a baby after that and so formal speed training went by the wayside and so did my times.  Still once a week running shorter distances at a harder pace pays off. But don’t forget to have fun.

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These guys are there every year singing away. (Photo from a previous year)

Fourth, enjoy the experience. There are always bands along the race route. That makes it fun. People hold up funny signs. I never run the race with ear phones. I go along with the sun and wind in my face, listening the funny clop, clop, clop, of everybody’s shoes, the banter from my fellow runners, and watching the bystanders cheering us on. I am totally lost in the moment and it always seems like the race ends after fifteen minutes.

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I love it. (Another photo from a previous year)

Fifth, don’t worry about making a mess. This is one time in your life where adults are allowed to throw down their cups. It will get cleaned up, don’t you worry about it. This is also the time to be thankful for the army of volunteers who will be cleaning up the mess, after they handed you the water. They also work the expo, and are all up and down the course, and were involved in the race planning. Without volunteers there is no race. So throw your cup down respectfully.

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I always love the finish in downtown. This year we had this big flag. You can see we were running into a pretty stiff breeze and it is uphill. Run Forest Run is what I say.

Sixth, finish strong. If you are tired and beat by the end of race. Take an extra long walking break before you get within sight of the finish and run across the finish line like you won the thing. A little tip, if there are young people ahead of you, don’t pass them, let them go ahead and finish ahead of you. Congratulate them after the line. Tell them something like, “Great race, I just couldn’t keep up with you.”

#tulsa_run #reward #snickers

This year, my friend Libby gave me her candy bar! She is so sweet.

Seventh, get your Swag. This year we there were gigantic race medals,  McAllisters provided free box lunches to the finishers, Reasors Grocery Stores handed out full size candy bars, Budweiser was handing out free beer, there is also water and bananas. Get it all!! While you are at it be thankful for the sponsors of the race who provided that stuff and financial backing for the endeavor. The entrance fees are a lot but the race doesn’t happen without the sponsors backing everything.

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Eight, get your results. Find out how fast you ran it, check on your friends. Feel a little smug about the people you finished ahead of in the race. Be amazed at how fast the real young and really old can run. The results are fun. And think about the people that timed the race. Sure they get paid for it but they do an amazing job keeping track and reporting the results for thousands of people and then putting out the numbers online.

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Great post race meal. This is the Turkey Pot Pie at Bricktown Brewery. It wa s wonderful!!

Nine, celebrate properly. You will be depleted so eat well, have a couple beers if that is your thing. Celebrate your accomplishment. Post pics on facebook and instagram. Check and see how your friends did. Speaking of instagram, are we not Instagram friends yet?? Check out @yogiab and lets get connected. On twitter I am @alanbbates.

Ten – get your tech on. If you have a GPS enabled watch then you can get all sorts of free screens and videos showing your run. If you just have a smart phone, get the Strava app for free, and do the same thing with your phone. I love all that stuff.

So these are the ten things I have to offer. The unspoken 11th and 12th items would be to sign up for more races and get to know your local running community.

What about you? What would you say to newer runners looking to enter a major race for the first time?

Skywatch Friday – Running to Lafortune Park and Back

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Started when the sun was low which makes for long shadows. Since my knee injury a couple years ago I always walk a half mile before running.

I am being a little ambitious with my running this Fall. I have signed up for the Tulsa Run 15K and the half marathon event of the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon. I’m also thinking about doing the 25K event at a Trail Race on Turkey Mountain.  And of course it is all well and good to sign up for this stuff but at you also have to train for the runs.

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Tulsa is a city of trees and Up with Trees is a great organization that wants us to have even more!!

So most of my training runs have been up and down the River Trails here in Tulsa. I love the River Parks trails but you know, you need a little variety now and then. There is a park a few miles northwest of our house, Lafortune Park. It has an 18 hole golf course, and a 18 hole par three course, lots of picnic areas, tennis courts, a library, a tennis center, a lawn bowling pitch, a high school, with football and baseball fields, and best of all a 3 mile running/walking track that winds its way around all of those other things.

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I ran by the offices of Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. This is a great organization that is devoted exclusively to the babies and their mothers. No time for wedge politics or anything like that. You want to do politics go somewhere else. If you are concerned about babies and mothers, this is your place.

I have run around the park many times, and Heather and I have walked around it a lot, even son Logan and I have done the three miles a bunch of times.

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The closest thing to Fall Color I saw on my trek

Well I wanted to close the loop so to speak by running from the house to the park. From the house I have walked, run, and biked to the Creek Turnpike Trail. And although I have not done it all in one outing, I have walked, run, and biked about 20 miles to the east, and to the west and northwest probably 30 miles or more. So I wanted to extend my connectivity the few miles to Lafortune and get an 11 mile run at the same time. I had already done nine miles last week, so I wanted to do 11 this past weekend.

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I love old signs. This sign has been there a long time even the store is long gone. It’s days are numbered though as there is some construction going on.

So off I went. It was different than running on a running path. First of all I wasn’t wearing headphones. Running on the street with headphones is a prescription for getting run over. I had a good friend who got run over and died while running on a freeway frontage road with headphones on. Second is the camber of the road. The crown. You really have to alternate what side of the road you run on otherwise you will tear up your knees or ITB band.

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I passed a new restaurant going in at a busy intersection. I am a sucker for glass blocks.

But hey, it was all good. A nice brisk, sunny day.

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Saint Francis Hospital.

It about wore me out. I didn’t have any time goals. I just wanted to finish and yes I walked a lot.

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Probably 60% on the streets, roads, and sidewalks, the rest on park trails or vacant fields.

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I know, I know, I should have been in church on Sunday morning but running had me totally in the moment and it all seemed to go by in a flash.

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Next Saturday is the Tulsa Run 15K. It will be my 23rd. it is my favorite race of the year. It will be cold!!! but that is okay. I have the cold weather gear. I know how to dress for the cold weather, the hot weather, and wet weather, and dry weather. It doesn’t matter to me.

Here is the garmin video my very slow run.

Here is the much more fun “relive” version of the run. I like it much better for its 3D aspect plus it makes it appear that I ran the whole way.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday