Tag Archives: Trail Running

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.

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.

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.

Turkey Mountain Rainbow

Turkey Mountain Rainbow - Topaz Glow - Mysterious at 58pct

Last week I was running the trails in an on again/off again rain on Turkey Mountain with a few people including one who like me just has to stop to take a photo every now and then. She noticed this rainbow off to the east and I used my cell phone to take a pic but the colors were not as bright in the image as what I could see right in front of me. So I’ve used Topaz Glow to pull out the color some to make it more like what that evening.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

 

 

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!!

Looping the Loops at Chandler Park Wilds

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I think there used to be small farms in the area. There are remnants of old roads and residential power lines.

Wednesday night for a little change of pace I headed back to the wilds of Chandler Park. The privately owned, not posted land, west of the park in west Tulsa. Turkey Mountain gets kind of crowded this time of year. Not so at Chandler.

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The area is up high on a hill and there are lots of natural rock formations. It looks almost like it was built that way. Many people call the area “the lost city.” I think it would be a great place to hide some geocaches. Plus if I were a snake I think this would be like a snake resort area.

Chandler has lots of trails but there are no armies of volunteers out picking up trash. The trails are utility rights of way and ATV trails.

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Sometimes I think I take too many photographs. Especially when I’m on an unfamiliar trail and the sun is going down. That is what I do though, take photographs.

It sure is nice though. I never see deer on Turkey Mountain any longer. I saw three Wednesday. I didn’t get photos of them though.

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I’ve been down there before!! From the other direction. Connecting segments, learning the area.

The wilds are huge and a little intimidating. This is my third outing and I’m learning the area as I go. I am doing it by piecing together loops including new routes and old routes. So doing it after work is a little intimidating because I am just kind of guessing what turns to take. I would sure hate to be out here after dark on a trail I haven’t been on before.

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I’m a sucker for reflections of trees.

There are all sorts of creeks and sloughs with water that have to be navigated.

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So what was it? A horse maybe? A mutant critter from the nearby Compass Point Landfill Superfund site?

And you see sights that you would never see on Turkey mountain. I am not sure what kind of critter this is but he has been picked clean.

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Getting dark and I’m a ways from the car, but hey, lets take another photo, and another, and one more.

Finally when it got dark I found that I had guessed right and got on a trail I had been on before. A successful loop guess!

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I just simply cannot resist a smooth single track trail winding through the woods.

I just love finding new trails.

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I headed back to my car and passed Tulsa’s world class superfund site. The long forgotten Compass Point Landfill. An area where way back when the owners let everybody pretty much dump anything they wanted into a former rock quarry. Refinery wastes, tires, chemicals. Just chuck it in and don’t worry about it.

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I got back to the ball fields at Chandler Park. They weren’t playing baseball, there was a group of people working with their dogs.

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Miller time!! Or Hoptometrest Double IPA time. After I get home of course.

Anyways, I was one happy camper. Learning Chandler Park bit by bit.

Are you learning anything new?

Getting Schooled on Hill Repeats

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This week instead of doing my weekly run on Wednesday, I did it on Thursday and I did it earlier on Thursday than what I normally run. The wind was howling and the air was full of smoke from all the wild fires due to the dry conditions. You can see how hazy the air is. I decided to run on Turkey Mountain. The trees stop the wind cold up there. I ran into Ken (aka Trail Zombie) and Clint,  a facebook friend who I have never met before, Ken asked if I wanted to go do some hill repeats, so I said sure and so we three along with a lady named Lea went off to do hill repeats.

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TZ, Lea, and Clint headed toward the lower yellow trail.

After a warmup loop on the red trail we went up what TZ calls Leadville. It is about 300 feet in a quarter mile and it is brutal. I’d like to say I ran up all the way. I didn’t run any of the way but my heart was pounding by the time we got up on top.

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TZ and Lea headed down “I Want My Mommy” Clint is already out of sight and I was carefully picking my way down.

I Want My Mommy is pretty darn steep. You can see TZ and Lea way ahead of me. Then we went a few feet and came back up to the top of the mountain on another trail. Clint and TZ are both on a Strava climbing challenge and they hitting the hills hard and they are good at it.

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Finally we headed back to the parking lot. Running hills is hard work but fun with you are doing it with people. I had an excellent workout.

Back to Turkey Mountain

Turkey Mountain Trail - Topaz Textures - Color Blast

Saturday I ran on Turkey Mountain for the first time since I messed my knee up there back on Labor Day. You can bet I was watching where I was putting my feet this time! It was a cold, breezy day in Tulsa and so running up on the mountain is better than plodding it out on the trail fighting the wind.

Anyways, I didn’t set any speed records. But I had a great time, and then drove back to pick up the kid.

How was your Saturday?

LInking with Pippa!

Trail Race Report – Tulsa’s “Escape from Turkey Mountain” 2015 Edition

Early Monday morning I got up and headed out to Turkey Mountain for my third try at the five mile race “Escape from Turkey Mountain.”

#TurkeyMountain #TrailRace #EscapeFromTurkeyMountain #Running #Racing

The sun was just coming up when I got there but the place with abuzz with activity. On a race like this the organizers and volunteers have already been out since dark thirty marking the course, putting up the various tents and starting gate, cooling the beer down and getting the food ready. IMAG0313

The local Fleet Feet Sports franchise sponsored the race. Tulsa is lucky because we have three really good running stores who not only sell shoes and running clothing but also give back to the community in various ways. They all have training runs and various programs to help runners of all experience levels. Fleet Feet though has the best decorated vehicle though.

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At 7:15 the hamburgers were already cooking.

IMAG0312   The beer was iced down. It was provided by Marshall Brewing. I love craft beers have I ever told you. IMAG0315

And off we went. The race was jammed up right at first because we were running on trails but after a while we spaced out. I guess that I spaced out too much and at about the 1.6 mile point tripped on a rock and fell on another rock with my knee. It was like ouch. I got up and my knee felt pretty bad so I started hobbling back to the parking lot, dreading the 1.6 miles back but then the knee started feeling better so I turned around after a short while thinking that I could walk it out but I had to climb up a few rocks and the knee started barking at me again so I turned back to the parking lot and got about a tenth or two down the trail and the knee started feeling better so I said what the heck, I have a long walk either way. So I turned around and walked the rest of the race except for a one mail segment where I ran. Fortunately there is not that much difference between my walking speed and running speed (sad to say). So I was able to finish and get some bling and a couple beers or three and a hamburger.

I think I finished near the last. I generally do. Last year I finished 94th out of 96 men. Believe it or not I finished ahead of some people this year. This year I finished 185th out of 204. Which means that nineteen people entered Yogi’s Hall of Shame except two of them were older than me so a net 17 people finished behind me that were younger than me.

At least nobody tried to prevent me from passing them as happened last year.

I appreciate Fleet Feet Sports and all the volunteers who came out to help. The race was fun and well marked.

I’m now at home with leg propped up. Heather is taking very good care of me. I might not be running very much for a week or two.

Promo News Interview before the event

Fleet Feet took pics of the starting line and the finishing line and I think they probably got everybody just in case you wanted to check up on our husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or whoever to make sure they were really there.

A brief video by Fleet Street of what looks to be the finish of the two mile race.

Not Quite Singing in the Rain – Getting Soaked on Turkey Mountain

During the downpour yesterday #DownTownTulsa

Wednesday nights are my night to go running after work. I have a little routine. I leave work and go to a liquor store and pick up some craft beer and then I head out either to the Arkansas River trails or Turkey Mountain. Last Wednesday it started a downpour just as I was leaving downtown but my good ole Accuweather app on the phone said it was not going to rain for at least two hours so I’m good right?

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So started out on the Yellow Trail taking pics with my Ipod Touch using the Hipstamatic App. I just love blurry photos. My intention was to try and do six miles or so.

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This is my favorite spot on the Yellow Trail. I just tell people to follow the arrow. Nobody listens to me but I say it anyway. I repeat myself a lot that way.

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This is my favorite new landmark on the Yellow Trail. It reminds me of something new I’m reading a little about lately Trail Marker Trees.  Trees that Native Americans shaped as trail markers or other uses. Check the link. I’d love to see a few live. I’m a little skeptical about them personally.

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I stopped a smelled a few roses. Metaphorically.

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And check out some color.

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Just as I got to the north end of the Yellow Trail it started raining, hard. I put away my Ipod and got out my waterproof Nikon. People tell me about how much they love raining in the rain. I don’t like it too much but if you are out in it and wearing tech clothes then it is not so bad. I decided to cut my run short and run the upper Yellow trail back.

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The mud sticks to your shoes and things get a lot slipperier but I eventually got back to my car.

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The only thing worse than running in the rain would be riding a bike. The thunder and lightening was getting pretty bad also. That can ruin your whole day.

If I had it to do over again, I’d do it over again. And no, I didn’t go home and drink the beer I bought earlier. You see we are much more godly people in Oklahoma than where you live because our laws don’t allow us to purchase cold full strength beer. So I drank some of the beer I bought last week!! That is called pre-planning.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday