Tag Archives: Running

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

2016 TATUR Snake Run

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The closest I’ll get to a trophy!

The TATUR Snake Run was run today. The race is a little different in that who ever runs the longest in a given time wins. There is a three hour race and a six hour race on the same course. The course has two routes, a big loop of 3.75 miles and a small loop of 0.5 miles. You run as many big loops as you can within the allotted time and if you don’t think you can run another big loop before the time ends, you run the little loop as many times as you can. Partial loops don’t count.

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The Godfather of Tulsa Trail and Ultra Running, and Race Director, Ken (Trail Zombie) giving pre-race instructions on a chilly Saturday morning. I had three layers on and running pants and gloves. Others just had shorts and a tee shirt. That is because they are tougher than I am. In addition to being a lot faster.

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There is no crowding at the start line on a run like this. They have six hours to get dispersed. I always start at the very back.

This is the six hour guys and gals taking off. Ironically enough, they run faster than the three hour crowd, in general. Mainly because they are in great shape. Imagine ripping along at seven to eight minute miles for six hours? I can imagine it for one mile.

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We ran this section but I actually took the photo on the Thursday before the race. True Confessions.

The race starts and stays on the upper level of Turkey Mountain and is relatively flat. There were a few boggy spots but overall the course wasn’t bad. The thing about trail races is how polite everybody is. People kind of move out of each others way, the slow runners yield to the faster runners overtaking them. I’ve never heard a cross word exchanged between runners.

I got into a pretty comfortable pace of running a half mile and walking a minute throughout the race. I stopped at every aid station and had a cup of water and a cup of gatorade. I had two nutter butter cookies on every lap. I don’t know why, it was working for me and I just went with it. I also had a few pickles for the sodium and a couple of banana segments for the potassium.  I never did feel depleted out on the course.

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I didn’t drink beer on the course this time. I wanted to get three big loops in and didn’t want any distractions.

I ran the three hour event and did three of the big loops and one of the little loops. I milled around a bit, had a beer and a half, a hot dog and a chocolate chip cookie.  It was very breezy and cold at the end of the race so I didn’t linger for long.

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I watched some of the six hour races come in and head back out. I was done at three hours. I couldn’t have done one more lap.

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So I put on my finisher’s medal and went home. Thank you to the race organizers, the many volunteers and my fellow contestants for making this race so much fun. By my Garmin, I did about 11.5 miles. This has given me confidence to start looking around for a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles to do. My goal is to run the Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa next November. I would like to do maybe two others between now and then.  Got any ideas?

I’ll be back next year!!

Multitasking – Geocaching with some Hill Training

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Son Logan rocking the hat and Star Wars shirt.

Part of geocaching is that if you place a cache then you are responsible for it and if it goes missing you have to replace it. I have such a cache called “Little Haikey Creek” located in south Tulsa right in the middle of a giant freeway exchange. I’ve had it for years and hardly anybody ever looks for it because it is a long walk from the nearest parking areas. 

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So off we went on the Mingo trail that winds through the freeway interchange.

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The highest part of the freeway exchange goes right by the Mingo Trail and the resulting hill is popular with runners who want to do hill repeats. Hill repeats are where you keep going up and down hills, repeatedly. It is kind of like hitting your head with a hammer repeatedly, except hill repeats are good for you. Supposedly, anyway Logan and I decided to run up and down the hill just for the fun of it. Really we just walked. But I’m calling it a run. What do you know? You weren’t there.

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So anyway we got to ground zero (that is geocacher lingo, for the place where the cache is supposed to be) and placed a new one. Somewhere in the woods above. Then we headed back.

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We passed a homeless guys place. This kind of puzzled me. Most homeless guys camp near where they can get food and water. This place is a long hike for either. Oh well.

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On the way back, we ran up the hill again!! Just for the heck of it.

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There he goes down the hill. I like how he is holding his hat like a cowboy holds his cowboy hat. Logan is a native Okie you know.

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And then a cyclist came by and went up the hill by diagonal. No way that Alan Bates could do that.

Anyways a good time was had by all. The cache was replaced, we got some fresh air and exercise and a lot of fun. Logan still hates geocaching but he is starting to run/walk with me a little bit and I’m loving that.

What have you been up to lately?