Tag Archives: Running

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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The Slowest Runner in the World

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I went running Wednesday night, I was planning on doing eight miles but it was just so cold and windy that I couldn’t stay focused. I had my camera (of course I had my camera, you know that) and started playing with the timer.

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So this was my first take. Hit the button and count to five and turn around and come back except I must have a slow count. As you can see I’m still moving away. Not very far for ten seconds I say. You know, we have a whole industry devoted to fast runners. Every four years we have the Olympics and get really get excited about the fast runners. Well, what about us slow runners, nobody cares. That is not very inclusive is it? There is a whole bunch of us slow runners who are marginalized by society. Sniff.

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How about a hash tag like #SlowRunnersMatter. And you folks who say, “Well what you are doing is not technically running Alan” Well, phooey on you. Us slow runners need safe spaces where we don’t have to hear trash like that. Safe spaces where we can feel good about ourselves. And participant ribbons, we need more participant ribbons. (Actually I have lots of those.)

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Have I ever told you about my track career? In seventh grade in Eagar, Arizona we had a track team and we were going to a big meet in Holbrook, Arizona and I ran the quarter mile. We lined up and the gun went off and and the race started. I was so slow that I didn’t finish the race. I couldn’t finish the race because you see by the time I got around the track and was headed to the finish line, the officials had lined the kids up for the next heat so they waved me off the track. Yep, that is pretty slow.  Can you beat that?

Well I amused myself, an onlookers I’m sure, several more times and called it quits after five miles and change. I hate running in the cold wind.

Take care!

Strava Heat Maps of Turkey Mountain and Downtown

I wear a Garmin GPS enabled watch while running. It is kind of magical. I turn it on when I start running and turn it off when I’m done. While I’m running it is feeding my phone via a blue tooth link all sorts of information like where I am such. At the end of the run I can get on the web and see all the statistics and a map on a service linked to Garmin called Strava. I always thought it was kind of cool. Like below is a map of my run this morning where I trotted up and down the Arkansas River for four or so miles.

You know what is cooler. Seeing a view of a particular area with a bunch of runs superimposed to see if a pattern emerges. That is called a heat map. Generally the various services want extra money for that but I found a web site that does it for free. I am really into free. Jonathan O’Keefe has a free service for generating heat maps. The following is what it generated for my runs on Turkey Mountain.  So you can tell I pretty much have Turkey Mountain covered.

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And here is my heat map for downtown Tulsa. I have it pretty much covered also.

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Anyways, I love little gizmos like this.

Labor Day Weekend

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Well I didn’t get any labor done this weekend. The yard needs mowed, the bills need paid, and a few other things need attending but we took it easy. We spent a lot of time at Nana’s house with relatives both in town and out of town. We all got a little sunburned but we had a good time. It’s great to reconnect with people and see what is happening with them. Plus I get to take lots of photos and use my bag of special effects on them if they irritate me.

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Me and the kid went on a little hike in the north Woods section of Oxley Nature Center. A beautiful area and I have only seen two other people on those trails in all the years I’ve been hiking them.

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The view from the back of the pack

Monday morning I ran a fairly small 5K put on a by a local church, the Run to the Son 5K. A great event that I loved more because I finished 3rd in my age group and got a medal (out of six if you must know).

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It was a Baptist Church that put it on and I violated my oath to never run in anything but beer runs. I’ve amended the rule to include great pancakes instead of beer. Flexibility is my middle name.

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Vacation 2016 – First Report

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We started our vacation, kind of late. Tulsa and surrounding area had a huge storm come through on Thursday about noon. It was kind of scary. I was at a luncheon and the venue evacuated us to a stairwell because there was reports of a tornado on the ground close by. Good thing they lifted the alert because the stairwell had external doors with crash bars and it was so crowded the doors kept opening. Stupid design if you ask me. Anyway, our power was out and so we couldn’t run a lot of the errands we wanted to until the next morning and so instead of leaving first thing Friday morning, we left in the afternoon. Oh well.

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So we drove and drove

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And then we got to Mobile and we encountered the big jam before the tunnel.

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And we made it eventually!!

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So we have been taking it easy and hanging out on the beach.

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And staying well clear of the turtle eggs.

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The only excitement so far is outrunning a thunderstorm. You know it is slow moving when I outrun it.

Anyway, that is the first, and might be the only, vacation report.

Skywatch Friday – July 4th Edition!

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The 240th edition of the Fourth of July is over (241 actually because you have to count the original one right) and we celebrated in fine style in Tulsa by gum Oklahoma. I got up early in the morning and went downtown and ran in the Firecracker 5K. The above is a feature of my phone called “Crop me in.” I love it even though it looks strange. Anyways, I ran it, hard, didn’t place but had a good time including three craft beers. I’m old, crafty, and sneaky so I know how to cut in the beer line without anybody noticing. I have to be that way because I run so blessed slow that I get to the beer line late. Just think of it as a way of handicapping.

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Tell you what, I don’t know how many houses are on our street, maybe forty or fifty over several blocks, but there were only three showing the flag. Less and less every year. Can’t get much less than three.

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Later that day, in the evening we made our way downtown to see fireworks. The city always does a good job with them. It always seems like a hassle but in the end it is worth it.

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Everybody went Ooooh

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And Ahhhh

So anyways, I’m an infrequent and irregular blogger these days. Busy, busy, busy, so I’m doing my Skywatch Friday post early this week. I hope that is okay with everybody.

Take care

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday – Turkey Mountain Vista

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And now, the not wordless part

Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain is not that big, two miles north to south and a mile, maybe, east to west. You can generally hear traffic in most areas but there are lots of trails and if the weather is a little hot, or a little cold, or a little wet or whatever the number of people on the trails plunges, especially a quarter mile down the trail (I am not exagerating..) And if one gets to the little visited areas like the northwest segment it is easy not to see anybody.

I was on such a blissful trek last Wednesday when I happened on this vista that made it look like the mountain went on forever. I love the feeling of feeling lost and depth in the photo. Even though I know I had been up and down that trail many times before.

I love Turkey Mountain, I have been there dozens of times and still find something new every time I am there. I can get up there and just cruise along and don’t worry about a thing. Except snakes, lots of people have encountered lots of snakes, especially copperheads, and I worry about them a little but I don’t let them stop me.

So what about you? Where is your favorite place to get away from it all.

Mid Day Run

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This is our refurbished library under construction. They say they are going to be open this summer. I think they are going to have hump it do so. That is an oilfield term.

During the Spring and Fall, while the weather is mild I love to run during my noon break. That gives me a chance to read the paper and drink some coffee in the morning before work instead of waking up at 5:15 to run or run on the treadmill. I belong to a gym downtown and take off from there. 

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I run from downtown to the river and back downtown so I get to dodge office workers, construction, workers, meth heads, k2 addicts, and homeless guys and gals on my out. Plus I have to run by the Oklahoma State University Medical Center. They have banned smoking on their campus so the doctors, nurses, and others go stand on the sidewalk and pollute the air and throw their butts down on the ground and it has made quite a mess. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about hospitals that do things like that. Saint John’s Hospital’s employees to escape the smoking ban cross a busy street and loiter at my drug store and again leave a mess behind. Meanwhile the hospitals get to brag how healthy they are. Well send a crew over and clean up your employee’s mess fools is what I say! What do you say?

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Finally I get down to the river trails and get to run along them for a mile or so of my four mile route.

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Coming back from river to downtown I go through a pleasant neighborhood that includes the Council Oak Tree memorial. A band of the Creek tribe picked this area on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River as their council ground in 1836 after the US Government forcibly removed them from their lands in the southeaster USA. The tree in the background, an ancient burr Oak, is reportedly the original tree that they met under. The sculpture in the foreground is called “Morning Prayer” by Creek artist Dan Brook.

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I love to check out the roses in the flower beds of the houses I run by.

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There is a fountain on the way also. No big deal today but I love running by it when it is a 100 degrees outside. ( true confessions, I don’t run outside when it is close to a 100 any more)

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And then on back to the core downtown. My gym is on the 16th floor of the green topped building to the right.

A good time was had by all!!

Running What I Can Instead of What I Want to Run

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The Jenks Bridge, now limited to pedestrians and bicyclists.

I haven’t been to Turkey Mountain in a month! What with traveling and conferences and this and that and whatever I have missed my coveted Wednesday after work run. When I went to change into my running clothes I found that I forgot my shoes. No problema I thought. I’ll just drive home and get my shoes and change and head over to the mountain and it will be fine.

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The former Oral Roberts University Hospital and Medical School, now an office building. If you think it is tilted just tilt your head.

Except, their was a huge traffic jam on the Broken Arrow Expressway and it took me an hour to get home. So I decided to “plug back and abandon” (that is fricking fracker talk for giving up the original plan) and go for a shorter run. I was under time pressure because I needed to pick up Logan at a certain time. So I was a little put out at myself at first but as I got into the run my cares just disappeared especially since I had some time to take some pics on the run.

So yep, one can have a decent run along a turnpike. I’ll be on Turkey Mountain Friday morning!! I am double checking the shoe situation.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections