Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FTO does OKC

Congratulations to all the FTO runners who ran in the OKC Marathon last Sunday. It seemed like the session just flew by, although thinking back of all the bitterly cold Saturday runs, maybe it did go by a little slower that it seems. Maybe it's just senility setting in?

Even Sunday morning, remnants of cold mornings were trying to show a presence in OKC.Tom W was dressed warm as always, looking like he just wandered in off the Alaskan tundra.

Jon looks poised and ready to run, and after running a scorching time at Lake McMurtry a few weeks ago, repeated with a speedy effort in the marathon. Me thinks his new PR will likely fall the next time he runs another 26.2.

Tom did some major carb loading and it paid off as he shaved nearly 30 minutes off his PR, running a 5:11ish.

Seems he has been sneakily doing some speedwork.

Just look at this game face!

DeDe and Arena, after medaling at the Snake Run, back it up with a good run , clocking a negative split. This is a pretty good sign of consistent training, and good pace management.DeDe scored a good first-marathon time, and Arena notched a PR. I have heard rumblings that an ultra might be in their future. (50 miles in July maybe?)

Lisa and Jason ran FreeState in Lawrence Kansas the day before, but did not miss cheering on their teams the next day.
With very little sleep, and hours of driving, they made it south to support us from the sidelines. Lisa ran a 6:10 PR for the muddy trail marathon, and Jason sloshed through a 40 miler there in a stellar 8:45.

Ken joined a relay team, running the 12K portion but ran as a pacer ala bandito style and managed the whole 26.2 miles in a slow steady fashion.
Some thought was given to pasting a likeness of Oprah on Ken's pasties, but there are some things that are just a little too far over the line!

Kudos to Julienne and Janeen Lovelace, and to Lanette Duncan who also had very good races Sunday.

Jon Gambino 4:51
Janeen Lovelace 4:56
Tom Robinson 5:11
Tom Wozencraft 5:14
Arena Mueller 6:10
DeDe Sageser 6:10
Lanette Duncan 6:20

Half Marathon
Julienne Lovelace 2:24

Nutty Sole Mates - Ken and his relay team 5:36

Hope to see you all at the "after-race" party!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hey FTO! Are you excited about the Snake Run?

Let's start packing for our first 20 mile run!

Some of us met up at Turkey Mountain Tuesday and got a preview of the snake trail. While there was some mud (and Ken threw in a few rocks I don't remember), overall it was a great run and no one has cursed me (out loud) for whispering that this race existed.
And to make matters more interesting . . .Saturday's forecast begins at my favorite running temps to start a race . . . 30-40 degrees but also RAIN!! And what does dirt trail + rain = ?? MUD!!

So a few words from experience . . .

Running while it is raining, on the trails, in the mud, can be run, refreshing, and frustrating! I ran a 50k on Turkey Mt in September (Turkey and TATURs, great race!) and it rained the entire time!! Usually what happens is everyone, at first, will try to avoid the puddles, but if it does rain a lot, you will save yourself time and effort if you just run through it. Your shoes will get wet, muddy and for a brief period, at first, your feet will be cold and uncomfortable. In a few minutes, you will forget about it. Seriously (well not if you are in cotton socks). Even if it is 30-40 degrees. ;) After awhile you will stop caring and the water may even feel good . This is a sign that you are becoming sickly addicted. Another trail running tip, do not expect to run your normal speed. It is normal to be going 1-2 minutes slower on trails. It should also take more concentration since you need to watch for rocks, roots, stumps (huh Larry?) and in general where to place your foot next. This is a good time to share with you the most important rule in trail running.
If you look up. you are going down!
Some will even say that it is not a good race unless there is blood shed. You may fall. This is ok. People may laugh. Do not get mad. Because you would have laughed at them too.

Something unique thing about this race is that you can leave a drop bag at one end the trail and pass by it every 4 miles. So, in this run you actually dont have to carry much with you. (not good practice for race day!) The bags will be just on the other side of the aid station so make sure the race official (Mitch) knows you are not dropping and just visiting your drop bag. :) Since there is a good chance of rain, and there will likely not be much room for drop bags under the tents, I suggest putting your drop bag in an old rubbermaid container or put your bag in a trash bag for extra layering from the rain. You may even consider dry clothes in ziplocks inside your backpack inside a trash bag. Get the idea? My plan is to find an old rubbermaid and just throw everything in it.

This is a very social race. People usually bring lawn chairs and hang out awhile. Some people will run a lap, hang out a bit, run another lap, drink some beer. Others will take this race very seriously and want you to get out of their way on the trail so they can get as many miles as possible. Some of this trail is single track. That means that it is narrow. Please try to yield to those behind you that are running a faster pace. This is also an out and back at some parts and people will be going both directions. It will thin out after awhile when everyone finds their own pace. If you are not trying to win (most miles in a time period), you do not have to rush. Let the others start and wait a minute or so until things clear out before starting the run. This run has an aid station at one end of the trail and the other (start/finish), even if it is pouring, please do not forget to hydrate and stay fueled. Do not forget your salt/electrolyte replacements.

Gear check

Minimum gear for drop bag:
Heavier shirt/jacket/sweatshirt for when you finish
Extra Gu, shot blocks, etc
Extra Soy sauce, electrolyte tabs, or the like

Leave in car or drop bag/rubbermaid container:
Second pair of shoes - so you dont have to wear your muddy shoes home
Plastic bag to throw muddy shoes in
Plastic bag to throw dirty clothes in
Dry/clean socks
Old towel in car, to sit on or what ever else you might need it for

For hanging out afterwords:

Dry/warm clothes
Lawn chair
Cooler (if you want beer, choc milk, etc)
Umbrella? :(

There will be porta potties somewhere near the start/finish and the rest of the mountain.
There will be food/fuel at the aid stations and more food after the race.

Even though it looks like the weather might not cooperate with us, we need to be strong :) We still have no idea what it will be like race day. This is going to be a fun event rain or shine. When I trained for my first marathon, I heard people say, 'a marathon starts at mile 20'. While I am still not sure what this means exactly, I have come to my own conclusion that you have to have it in you to finish. Pace yourselves. Do not start off to fast and this may be hard with the crowd (except for the single track trail) but you have a long way to go. Let's take it 4 mile laps at a time, encourage each other on the out and backs and have a great time!


ps. I will be at the Lower Parking lot at 545 Thursday 3/18/2010 if anyone else wants to see the Snake Trail.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Short and sweet

Boys and girls, we are more than half way through our training for the OKC Marathon. Runs are getting longer, days are getting longer, temps are getting warmer, but not warm enough for my taste. I hope everyone is enjoying the ride. Getting a fat medal hung around your neck on a Sunday morning will make it all worth it. Truly, seeing this group train makes the marathon seem so obtainable. For Oprah, it was one and done. She conquered, but did not enjoy the journey enough to give it another go. I know life is busy, but I could never be so busy to not run. It just gets in your blood.

I have not been able to find a lot online about Oprah's training and her race, but I did find a short blurb about Oprah's 1994 marathon. For the elites who "poo pooed" her efforts, she did run it in 4:30, and I think she was GOOD for the marathon, not a "ruin" to it like some her critics.

A glitch in my camera or camera cable resulted in more than a hundred pictures being lost from the last week or so. :-( There'll be more next week though....PROMISE!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hey FTO! It is time for a Fun Run. This Saturday we will incorporate the RunnersWorld/TATUR Poker Run into our Saturday run ! All we are asking is for a $5 donation 'ante' for you to play and you can win great prizes! If you don't want to play you can still come to your regular training run, details (and rest of my message) below.

This Saturday, February 13 is the RunnersWorld Valentine
5 Mile Poker Run

Where: Veterans Park (21st & boulder)

When: Saturday, February 13

What time: 8AM

Why: To raise money for the Tatur's 6 Hour Snake Run and to provide snacks for the RunnersWorld training groups.Also because it is simply a lot of fun.

If you want to participate in the Poker run Just show up to your normal training run with your $5 minimum donation, ante up and we will deal you your first card. During the course of your training run, because it is conveniently on the same course as the Poker Run,you will be given 5 more cards and then your last one when you get back to the start fininsh area. Play your best 5 card poker hand and be in the running for some really great prizes.

You do not have to participate in the Poker Run if you prefer not to. Just show up and do your normal training run.

******Volunteers needed for the Poker Run**********

Excellent opportunity for family to get involved!

Brian Hoover has requested our help for this Saturday.
Volunteers/Dealers are needed to assist with the Poker Run on Saturday morning. There are three aid stations, as well as several 'card wrangler' positions up for grabs. Friends and family members are welcome to help out...if you have a friend or family member that volunteers, your $5 ante will be waived or refunded.

If you or your family members are interested in being part of the other side of a race, this is fun (and short) event to volunteer. Please email Brian: brian@tatur.org

Also, if you decide to volunteer and need to make up your run, please email me and either Ken or I will run with you (we are mileage hos) or we will get a group organized to 'make up' the seven mile run.


** We are suppose to run 7 miles Saturday, so we can either meet early and get those 2 warm up miles in (and better parking spots) or you can make them up after the Poker Run. Let me know your thoughts!

** Don't forget to register for the OKC marathon. Congrats to Arena for taking that step!



Joining Coach Kathy for my turn in the confessional ...

Last week I preached about, what was it? Electrolyte replacement.
We set out for our 14 mile run and I got up late, was running late, ate nothing before the run, and if you remember (if you don't, cover your ears) I was on the Atkins diet.

Holy crap?!? Why would a runner be on the Atkins diet? My reasoning, however silly you may find it :) follows: I am training for a 148 mile, 6 day stage race in June. I am trying to lose weight now to make that challenge easier. Since I did not have a race until the end of February, I thought I would try to drop the weight in Jan/early Feb. So I have been on the diet for 5 weeks and lost about 10 lbs. Not the healthiest but it has worked for me in the past and did again. This weight is now off and I can run my February 26.2/50k double easier and continue to train, with carbs, for my race in June. To make a long story short, (too late), I am now off the diet and keeping it low cal. (By no means am I endorsing the Atkins diet or recommend it for any runner.)

My plan for last Saturday was to finish the group 14 miles and head out with Jason for another 6 for a total of 20. I did my Gu at mile 4. Early but I did not eat breakfast. I ran faster many times during the course of the run since I kept stopping to talk to people and had to haul ass to catch up with Erin, Jon, Felix and Mitch. I did my Gu again at 10 or so. When I finished I did not feel that bad, but since I was so busy taking, I had not had my soy sauce yet. I decided to take it but it was to late. By the time Jason was ready to go back out my hamstrings and calves had cramped so bad I was nearly in tears. I tried another packet and while each did help, I was beyond immediate repair. I was done for the day.

So how does the cramping relate to Atkins? Why did I cramp so bad? To add more variables to the equation, my doctor prescribed for me to drink 16 liters, yes 16, of Go Lytely in the last two weeks. And that will pretty much deplete your entire electrolyte population. Since I was on Atkins, I only drank water, no gatorade, along with this concoction. So with no electrolytes, I crashed and crashed hard!! My cramps lasted most of the rest of the day. I decided to get some breakfast, take it easy and managed to run 16 miles with no problems the next day. Real life lessons learned. While these conditions were extreme, it is possible to crash on just a 14 mile run.

I leave you this week with a quote from my mother, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Again, let me know if you want to meet early to knock off those few extra miles before the Poker Run. I promise I won't crash on you.


** In next week's email: Toenails, the importance of landscaping and What can we do to prevent blisters.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

7 inches and 6 miles

Some runners are just "die-hard", "hard-core", or just plain tough. A great show of this sort of fortitude was on display Saturday morning. While most of the throng of RunnersWorld runners stayed in the warmth of their homes, and off the dangerous icy streets, a few came out for their assigned miles....not because they had do, but because the thought of frolicking through the snow sounded FUN!

Five of our practically famous group, Faster than Oprah, donned multiple layers, and charged headlong into their "easy" 6 miler. Tom W, always on the cutting edge of high tech winter sportswear, was raring to go this balmy 25 degree morning.

Mitch seems happy despite the 7 inches of snow we were about to plow through. Hat--check. Gloves--check. Water bottle--check. Spirits in water bottle to keep it from freezing--oops!

Always the encourager, Lisa looks like she knows the fun in store for the day's run.

The plan was to run the loop around Zink Lake, and then take the Midland valley Trail to 15th Street and then back to Go. The river path to 11th Street was pretty good, having been scraped of ice and snow sometime in the past 24 hours. The bridge at 11th Street was a mess, but most of the group hopped over and ran on the car-side of the bridge and it was easy going. The westside trail was almost unmolested snow. Our group had the luxury of being middle-of-the-pack, and therefore had a little trench in the powdery snow to run in. The wooden bridge on the west trail was a repeat of the RINY run, with a nice powder/packed powder consistency.

Tom R speeds across the pedestrian bridge. This was the only place where the wind was much of an issue. This surface was also the slickest we encountered on the run. Tom, Lisa, and I had "screw shoes" and had excellent traction in the snow and icy patches, but there was a little skid action on this bridge.

Tom, Lisa, and I wait for Eddie, who helps with another group. Surprisingly enough, the water fountain on the west side was turned on and working. Not surprising, it delivered cold water.

The Midland Valley Trail was a winter wonderland. It was postcard pretty, if you like all this d*@&%#!#!ed snow.

Tom carbo-loads after his run.

TZ eats to keep pace with Tom. But on Saturday mornings, after our run, the real treat comes. A lot of us have been hitting the Blue Dome Diner at 2nd and Elgin.The prices are reasonable, the potatoes and bacon are excellent, and the french toast is a good option as are the pancakes.Join us! Oprah would approve.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Saturday we are scheduled to run 6 miles. The route is pretty simple. At this point in time, it is anyone's guess what it will be like. Fun perhaps, if you like adventure. We are meeting Saturday at 7:45 am at Veteran's Park.

Go North on River Parks Trail and cross river at 11th, then go south on trail to the pedestrian bridge. Take the pedestrian bridge and continue to follow trail to 15th Street. Turn left on 15th, another left on Boston, and return to Veterans’ Park.

I know it's a frequently traveled route, and hey, it's just a short run comparatively speaking, but if you muster the strength to climb out of the warm bed and get it done, you will be a stronger runner for it. Soon enough we will have picture perfect Saturday mornings, and this darn cold weather will be a distant and still not-so-fond memory. But for now, embrace it....let it make you stronger!

A few people have asked me recently about "screw shoes". Lisa's email referred to them in the title "To Screw, or Not to Screw", a title that was a sure attention grabber to say the least. :-)) <~~!TZ with his double chin. The pic to the right is what the finished product looks like, and believe me, they do work great especially on ice. Look at my shoes Saturday morning. I'm sure I'll have mine on. Matt Carpenter, mountain-runner extraordinaire, has an insightful article on this creation on his website. Pay special attention to the length of the screws. Those over an inch long can lead to some uncomfortable foot issues, if you catch my drift.

Of course, if you want to spend MORE than $1.00 (the approximate cost of 20 or so hex screws at Home Depot) and want something more "name-brand", you can by a set of Yak Trax online or at RunnersWorld.

Does it seem like this is just a recap of the email? Well, this is more for the guys who like less reading and more pictures. And besides, I am bored, have insomnia, and am trying to figure out how to get a pic of Oprah worked into one of the pictures. Hmmm...

And about the coffee--YES, I do bleed coffee when cut. And yes, the 5-hour Energy Drinks ROCK. Any potential corporate execs out there reading this. (Sponsorship $$$ --hint hint!)

Stretching? Rarely. But there is one stretch I sometimes do after a good run, especially on a hot day. I come home, open the refrigerator door, and reach wayyyy back to the back of the top shelf, trying to not knock over the milk or orange juice, and snag that last beer. I usually follow that stretch with a series of 12 ounce curls. Oh, don't act surprised, Miss O. It's all good carbs.

Well, FTO-ers, it's almost 1:00 am, and I am outa here. Providing the city officials don't impose marshal law, I'll see you all on Saturday morning.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

12 miles, light rain, done!

FTO was well represented Saturday morning as we moved further into our quest to conquer the marathon. Braving the rain were Arena, Dede, Erin, Felix, K2, Janeen, Julienne, Lisa, Lynette, Mitch, and TZ who had some story about getting up early, and being late because of hitting some boundary having to do with a bathroom issue. TMI if you ask me. We were Tom-less as Tom R was at the fire station, and Tom W must be planning a long run Sunday. Lisa said she thought Fast Robert and Jon may have been there, and if they were, well here's your mention. No pix for you!

Our group leaders were scrambling this am....what with TZ being late and Lisa getting her out-of-the-chute pee out of the way.She was hustling to catch up as she blew by me. I was finishing my cup-o-joe and walked most of the 1st mile whilst taking pics of the hundreds of RW runners.

I hope everyone read Lisa's last email, cuz getting all wet on a long run is a recipe for chafing in the netherlands. Bodyglide can be your friend. I plan to post her advice to this blog along with some tasteful photos in the next week or so.

My endeavor at catching up eventually paid off, as I caught up with Lynette. I had met her at the Jingle Bell run, and it was great to see her running with the group today. My BAD....I either did not take her picture, or it escaped the upload from my card. Hmmph!But here she is with her daughter, and her little doggie.

I knew I was catching K2 from about a mile away.K2 is possibly the 2nd most recognizable runner in the whole RW group.

Janeen made the turn at the base of Turkey Mountain and was flying down the trail when she passed me.

Eight miles of pushing the pace finally paid off as I caught the group of Erin, Felix, Mitch, and Julienne.Having a water stop helped my cause as well. Where's Julienne? Oops!Here ya go. Yes, it was for most of the run, but on the return running north, the wind was at our back, the rain slackened, and A lot of runners were shedding layers. I ran most of the way back with Erin, who at half my age is twice my speed. But I kept up and between gasps of air on my part, we chatted all the way back to Veteran's Park.

A quick head count showed we were about 3 heads short, so I headed out to find them (mostly because I wanted some more miles, greedy mileage ho that I am.)Dede and K2 were finishing up. And Arena was about a half mile behind. All accounted for!

Now, time for more important matters....breakfast. We have been in this Blue Dome Diner routine, a literal hole-in-the-wall joint on 2nd at Elgin downtown. Luv it! Best bacon ever, big omelets, pancakes that are bigger than the plates, and awesome french toast!Gotta have my coffee! One quirky thing about Blue Dome is the coffee cups. I have never had the same style of cup twice. I thought for a long time that there were no two cups alike in the house. One time you'll get a little dainty tea cup, and sometimes you get one that could be used as a wash basin. But this day, Jason and Lisa got matching cups.Awwww--isn't that sweet!

More blog stuff later as I search for pictures worth to accompany Lisa's chafing dissertation.