Tag Archives: Running

Our World Tuesday – Half and Half Run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center and Lake Yahola

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For my weekly Wednesday after work run I changed things up a little bit. Instead of going to Turkey Mountain with its rocks, roots, and hills I headed out to the best kept secret trails in Tulsa, the Northwoods trails at Oxley Nature Center and then extend it by running around one of Tulsa’s raw water supply sources, Lake Yahola.

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The Norhwoods trails are not used very much. They don’t even have a parking lot. You just park on the side of the road. I hardly ever see anybody else on them. And there is a chance of seeing deer. I haven’t seen a deer on Turkey Mountain in a long time. The thing about Oxley is that there are very few rocks and no hills. My legs were a little sore and I wanted some distance but I couldn’t face going up and down the hills of Turkey Mountain.

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I did find an old snag that toppled across the trail. A real trail runner would have leaped across it without slowing down. Then there are guys like me who deal with in a different manner.

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There is quite network of trails in the North Woods section but they only add up to 3 miles and they loop around on each other so if you miss a turn it is no big deal.

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So I took the Oxbow lake Trail to get to Lake Yahola.

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And here it is. See the little specs to the left of center on the far shore? That is the high rises of downtown Tulsa just a few miles away.

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I turned to the right and started running on the chat gravel path. I didn’t bring my trail shoes and the gravel was hurting my feet and the grassy part was too soft for really good running. What a cry baby I am!!! I was running into the wind also but I was having the time of my life. I come upon about a dozen fishermen scattered around the lake. There is something peaceful about fishing and watching fishermen.

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About two thirds of the way around the lake I come upon the city water treatment plant. I love infrastructure stuff like this.

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Back close to the main trail at the Oxbow Lakes.

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Fuzzy pic of me with the lake. Do you like my socks?

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Back down to the road. I love how the trees tunnel over the trail. I love running here when there is strong winds because the trees just plain stop the wind and it is neat because you can hear the wind howling through the tops of the trees. I love stuff like that.

Got my run in. Almost six miles at a leisurely pace. Oh well, it is what it is.

I’m linking with “Our World Tuesday

Outdoor Wednesday – Half and Half Run across the Arkansas River to Turkey Mountain and Back

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On Saturdays I drop the kid off for his Comedy Improv workshop. I have about an hour and a half to do something before I pick him up. Sometimes I go the Philbrook Museum or if I hurry I can get over to the Fairgrounds for the boat show or something. Last Saturday the weather was beautiful and I thought I would go for a run.

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What I call the Bear Fountain. I loved the guy taking a nap on the bench on the far right. The fountain is always a cool spot.

My favorite place for a run is Turkey Mountain but there is not much parking so I decided to park on Riverside Drive and run across the Arkansas River bridge to Turkey Mountain and then run back. It would give me a taste of both trail running and pavement running with no parking hassles.

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Heading west across the Arkansas River. That hill way off yonder ( as we say in Oklahoma) is Turkey Mountain. I know that most places it is just a hill, but it is Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain.

The wind was a gale coming from the south and running across the east west bridge was quite fun. I had to hold my hat to keep it from blowing into the river. I’m cheap you see. I like to wear stuff until it wears out. When I give stuff to Goodwill, there is not a whole lot of use left in it. They say they can use the fiber so give’em what they got. That is all they get from is fiber, with holes in it.

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Across the river, up a little embankment and then into a not so secret entry point into the Turkey Mountain trails system. There are all sorts of little ins and outs to the trails at Turkey. I have been running the trails for years and am still learning things.

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And then on to the Red Trail. The Red Trail is  a short trail that enters and exits the lower parking lot.

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And then I took a branch of the Red Trail that went along a chain link fence.

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Most Okies wear more clothes than these two. We weigh a lot more than they do also.

And then got to the main paved trail where these folks were “Out standing in their field” so to speak. I am glad for their sake that it was a little cool for ticks.

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And then up the steep hill to the lower parking lot. It sounds kind of funny as I write this, “going up a steep hill to the lower parking lot.” Well you should see the climb to the upper parking lot!

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I almost caught him. Badge of shame for a biker is to be passed by an old, fat “runner”

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And then re-enter the red trail down this way.

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And then back on the approach to the bridge across the river. Right behind a bunch of cyclists.

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Downhill and then level all the way to the end!

They sure left me in the dust!! And then back across the river to the car.

Mission Accomplished!! Finished in less than an hour. Had plenty of time to gas up the car and grab lunch for Logan and I at Braums. We needed to get home cuz we had an appointment with ATT concerning Logan’s lost cell phone. But that is another story!!

I’m linking with Outdoor Wednesday 

 

A Runners Wife Finally Figures it Out

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Who is this woman waiting patiently, all by herself?

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Waiting by the this long trail.

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Not him!

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Nope, not this guy either!

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Hah!! This must be him. He is looking good but not making much progress.

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She is finding out that running is a lousy spectator sport. Notice the glazed over look in the eyes. And I bet that baby is getting kind of heavy.

Does your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, whoever come out to watch you run any more?

Yeah, mine neither, I don’t blame her. she used to!! And then she wised up.

Skywatch Friday – Silhouettes

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Skywatch, Modern Sculpture Silhouette from the east bank looking west

Those who follow me know that one of my joys is my weekly run after work on the Tulsa River Parks Trails along the Arkansas River. I run the trails almost regardless of the weather. Lightning  and Ice are the only reasons I have not run the trails. And this time of year by the time I get changed and dressed and then out to the river the sun is about to set.

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Tree Silhouette looking west

It was about five degrees cooler than I was planning on and there was a fairly stiff northern breeze that I hadn’t planned on either. I was a little under dressed with just shorts and a long sleeve t shirt but I put in three miles anyway. I started out into the wind so that when I turned around I was with the wind. Otherwise, even with the best technical gear you turn into a refrigerator.

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A little bit more open, still on east bank

So coming south on the west bank was great, I was very comfortable and was able to enjoy the run. If I had been dressed just a tad warmer I might have gone another mile or two.

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Sorry for the fuzzy shot, on the west bank looking back across the river. Downtown Tulsa is a couple miles past the river.

I injured myself a couple months ago and and been going through a self rehab of run walks, and massage and just trying to be patient and it worked out. Last Sunday I ran in a Quarter Marathon with some pretty good uphills and downhills and finished without any problems so this week on my weekly run I let myself run a lot more than usual. The thing about running is that running, even running as slow as I do, is a lot more fun than walking.

The thing about by new gym at the Methodist church downtown is that I can go change there and then drive down to the river and run my run and then drive back to the gym and shower and get clean clothes on rather than showing up at home all stinky, smelly, and hungry.

As you can tell, I am rather spoiled. I highly recommend being spoiled.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World Tuesday – Post Oak Challenge Quarter Marathon

The Post Oak Challenge is a series of races of various lengths over three days. Lots of people “Double” or “Triple” meaning that they run two or three of the races. That is awesome, and I am not at the level of awesomeness. This year I ran the Quarter Marathon on Sunday morning.  The races are held at Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa. It is a really nice, well run place, and they are great hosts for the race.

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Don’t know why but the first thing I did after getting out my car is to check out the resorts one golf hole.

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And then go over to the pond and take a few pics. The Lodge is located in the Osage Hills and I think the area is beautiful.

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And then I waddled over to the starting line and go to see the Half Marathon start. The thing I like about trail races is its lower stress level. Everybody is pretty relaxed and there is no pushing and shoving at the start.

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And then I walked into the nearby lodge and planted myself in a chair in front of the fireplace. It was cold outside. I wasn’t going to warm up. I figured I will have six and half miles to get warmed up.

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And here we are at the start, and off we went.

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Every year the route is different. There are lots of trails to pick from. This year we looped in close to the lodge for a few miles before heading out.

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My fellow runners come in all shapes, sizes, species.

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The route alternated twisty turny, rocky intervals with long straight stretches.

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We went up “Holmes Peak” the highest point in Tulsa County. My friends in Colorado and other mountainous areas are probably much amused by our “peak.” They can laugh all they want. That peak kicked my butt.

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After my butt kicking, I got a pretty good view. That is downtown Tulsa way over yonder, home of high rises that don’t look so high from here.

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I get passed a lot in races. Men, women, children,  they all blaze right past me.

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I always enjoy running by the zip line towers.

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I like “tree tunnels” like this.

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There were lots of rocks on this course. I am wary of rocks cuz I don’t like falling. I stumbled a few times on this race but didn’t fall.

My camera’s battery gave out so that is it.

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After the race I made it back to the lodge. Got my two designated beers all at once along with some fritos and a brat. I chatted a little with my friend Rick who was Logan’s Cub Scout Den Leader way back when and is still one of the nicest guys you would ever care to meet.

And then home.

Our World Tuesday

And here is my run, complete with all sorts of metrics.

Fences Around the World – Oxley Nature Center

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I went on a run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center this week. I have taken off the whole week between Christmas and New Years and the weather has been quite mild. Unlike other parks around town, Oxley has their trails extremely well marked some even with gates like this. I’m a Forest Service kid and I love this type of construction. And, who can resist checking out a trail called the “Meadowlark Prairie Trail.”

And I am donating a free shadow selfie at no extra cost.

I am linking this post with Fences Around the World

as a PS I am ashamed to say that I have subscribed to Photoshop for over a year and just this week have been figuring out how it works. I had always discounted Lightroom before but I have learned it is an integral part of the whole process. You do the easy edits in Lightroom and then pass the photo easily on to Photoshop. And then you can pass it back. Easy Peasy. Plus I have some of the Topaz Filters and have learned that the they are easily integrated into Photoshop as well. In the photo above I used I used a free Nik Filter from Google. They made them free in March of 2016 and they are very powerful. Anyway, they are integrated into Photoshop also.

I feel kind of dumb but having a little time to study things shows me that I have been wasting a lot of time. Better late than never I guess.

Our World – A Run on Turkey Mountain

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Saturday morning started out cool with a chance of rain. I thought about putting up the outside Christmas lights on house but I don’t like doing that in the rain. I don’t mind running in a light rain though. I have the gear for it. So after dropping the kid off at his Improv Comedy class I headed to Turkey Mountain. There was hardly anyone there.

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It was kind of a dreary gray day, just the way I like them, and so off I went with a vague desire to do about five miles plus or minus and take some new trails. The big well used trails are fine but I love the fainter seldom used ones also. As you can see there were lots of dry leaves on the ground. The squirrels were having a field day running around in them making a racket.

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I take it as a point of honor to never (well almost never) turning back on a trail because it disappears or requires climbing up or down a cliff. This trail ended up requiring it. It is at the far north end of Turkey Mountain and I had to climb down a steep hill and then climb back up out on the other side of the draw. Oh well. Slows me down but I’m not in it for the speed.

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I saw only one bicyclist and very few other people the whole time I was out there.

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I guess that somebody lost their camo hat and some other person picked it up and stuck it on a tree. I always wonder who besides a hunter needs camo gear. When I’m out in the woods, I want to be seen.

Being out in the woods in nature is a great escape. Maybe I’ll do the lights on Sunday. The Cowboys aren’t playing you know.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Turkey N Taturs 10K Trail Race on Turkey Mountain

Sunday morning, TATUR (“Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners”) held their “Turkey N Taturs” races,10K, 25K, and 50K all on Turkey Mountain. I ran the 10K which for this crowd is like a fun run.

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The start was cool, sunny, and dry, perfect for running.

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The course was a good mixture of flat and level, hills, rocks, and roots. It had a great rhythm to it. Being Sunday morning there were not too many other people out on the mountain.

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I ran about half the race by myself and the last half with a friend who had about the same pace as I did. Running with somebody makes the race a lot easier. I tend to go faster when I’m with somebody.

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One of the great things about trail races is the aid stations. I had a shot of some sort of liquor at this one. I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. It kind of stuck with me for a while.

As you can see the course wound all over the mountain. The 25K and 50K guys looped over the east side to get their distances in. The 50K was two laps of the 25K route.

And a good time was had by all. Last I checked I finished dead last out of 32 men who had finished by then. But hey, I beat everybody who slept in that day right?

A big thank you to fine folks at  TATUR and the many volunteers that it takes to put on an event like this and to my fellow racers.

2016 Tulsa Run 15K Race Report – A Whole Lotta Walking Going On

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The view of the starting line area from the office. I sit and surf the net and drink coffee until right before the start.

I ran the Tulsa Run 15K Saturday morning. It was my 22nd time to do it. I missed last year because of a knee injury and I walked the 5K race instead.

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The view when I get to the starting line. I’m always amazed how fast the lead runners are.

So I was all pumped and a little nervous. My training was not what it should be. My longest run was only about 7 miles and I didn’t do the interval training that helps so much on longer runs. I knew that I was going to be running and walking. I’ve learned in such a situation to be patient and start walking earlier so that I can run more later in a race.

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There are several bands on the course. These guys have been entertaining the runners for years and I have been sticking my camera in their face and taking their pic every year for years. I hope they don’t mind.

I started a quarter mile back from the starting line and it took almost five minutes to get the line. And then a quarter mile later I decided to take my first walking break of about a minute.

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Turn the corner and people are stretched out ahead for two miles ahead.

So from then to the end of the race my plan was to run four streetlights on level ground, and then walk one. Going downhill, I would just run to the bottom of the hill. On uphills I would run two streetlights and walk one. It worked fairly well. So on average I walked about a third of the route.

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Lots of spectators on Cherry Street. Sitting outside in shorts in late October.

The big news this race was that it was going to be warm, and it was relatively. There was a pretty good breeze though so I never felt over heated. I don’t know if it is global warming or not but this race used to be downright cold at times. Today it was comfortable from start to finish.

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There go some dinosaurs. I think their costumes got very hot.

The race is basically one long meditation for me. I just kind of zone out and feel the sun on face, and the wind, the clop, clop, clop, of thousands of shoes flopping on the pavement and the conversations of dozens of people within earshot.  I can feel my body responding to the stress of it all. The race has had all sorts of different starting and stopping points and routes and I know all the landmarks by heart and I just mentally tick them off as I go by. It all seems like it is over just a few minutes after it starts.

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Runners are so trashy throwing down their cups. I love it although I can hear my mother yelling from heaven to pick that up right now.

I enjoy my fellow runners also. Especially all those who dress up. It is Halloween season after all. Years ago, before 9/11 a delegation of soldiers would from Fort Sill would show up and run in formation, chanting all the way to the end. They used to be a benchmark. When you asked people how they did in the race, many would say “well I finished ahead of the Army” or ” I couldn’t keep up with the Army.” I really miss the Army.

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Ah, 10K is always a milestone to me. I mean that means there is only 5K to go. I can always walk 3 miles. I got it made now.

One thing noticeably missing this election season is the politicians. Well, I’m sick of politicians, how about you? I am so ready to get this season over.

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Oh boy, steep hill climbing from Southwest Boulevard to downtown. Glad that I had some oomph left from walking earlier in the race. I had the energy to run later in the race.

The other thing changing since I started is that I hardly know anybody who runs it. I ran my first Tulsa Run when I was 39 years old and I knew lots of people. That was back before the internet was in wide use and it was fun to get the paper and go through and the results  and circle everybody I knew. Some of whom I didn’t even know ran. Lots of my cohorts dropped out from running and it seems that others now run the longer races. The Route 66 Marathon has supplanted the Tulsa Run as the premier race in town. I like both of them but the Tulsa Run will always be special. My very first race of any kind was the 1994 Tulsa Run.

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An impromptu Zumba routine put on by the LuLulemon ladies. I love them and their signs.

Anyways, I will be running this race any way I can for as long as I can. When I can’t run the 15K, I’ll run the 5K, then the fun run. Then I’ll man a water stop or whatever I can do.

I can’t wait until next year’s race!!

A big thank you to the sponsors, officials, the army of volunteers, the police who provided traffic control, the spectators and anybody else who helped with the race and a huge thank you to my fellow runners.

Last Long Run Before the Race

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Saturday I made my last long run before the Tulsa Run 15K coming up this next weekend. My training is not going like I thought it would.

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Basically I have been running only one day a week because i have a sore back every morning. Weekday mornings is generally the balance of my training where I do my resistance traiining (essential to successful running) and my shorter runs.

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My back is killing me in the morning in one particular spot about midway down my left side.  And it disappears about 20 minutes after I wake up in the morning. No, the bed is not uncomfortable but the pain is not quite excruciating in the morning.

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So I get up and make coffee and read the paper and check up on what is going on online.

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So anyway, the Tulsa Run is 15K and I’ve only trained about 11. Things will be okay though. I know how to stretch things out. I first ran the Tulsa Run in 1994 and ran it every year through 2014. Last year I injured a knee and so I walked the 5K but I’m running the 15K again. It will be my 22nd time.

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How about you? I bet you know how to stretch things when you have to.

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