Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OKC 2009

The journey to OKC to run the 9th running of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was an easy one for a lot of runners. Many left early Friday, carpooled, ate lunch together, blew some time at the expo, met for dinner, walked around and looked at the wall and the 168 chairs. All good stuff.

For the ones who spent Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas, the journey between states was like a bad dream. Severe thunderstorms swept the plains of Kansas, tossing tornadoes left and right. At the Freestate Trail Run, the race was called off after all of the marathoners were through, but before some of the 40 milers and 100 K-ers had finished their race. When the RunnersWorld contingent of Kathy, Roman, Jason, Lisa, Ken, and Dana began their trek southward to the Sooner state, heavy rains set in complete with a non-stop lightning show. The three car caravan was soon divided, with the first of the group reaching OKC around 2:30 am. Ken and Dana had to stop in Wichita to wait out high winds and pelting rain for fear of hydro-planing or falling asleep at the wheel. Still, we all made it with T Z showing up at the start just minutes before the gun. Typical Zombie style.

Lisa and Jason ran the trail marathon in Lawrence and were going for their 2nd marathon in 2 days, which would give them 4 stars in their Marathon Maniac status. Roman also ran the 26.2 at FreeState in what was his toughest race ever. His shoes will never look the same!
T Z ran 37 miles of a 40 miler that was cut short due to a nearby tornado!

Soon enough, after 168 seconds of silence which is a very sincere and touching gesture, the singing of the national anthem, the start of the wheelchair race, and a lot of anticipation, the starting gun was fired. Special thanks to my friends on Face Book for some of these photos. My camera had disappeared, and I was carrying a disposable which took lousy pics before the sun came up. Lisa and I were hanging out for this race. I had promised to get her to the finish line after her hard conquest the day before. Secretly though, her running with me assured that "I" would be able to finish.

The crowd at the beginning was huge, energy-charged, and everything that a marathon should be. Lisa and I ran the first mile a little fast, but 90% of the runners did the same I am sure. After a few miles, the crowd began to thin out some. It was then that our partners-in-crime caught up with us. Jason and Kathy, joined by Joye caught us and told us they were taking it easy and walking the hills. Sounded good to us....a good plan. They seemingly picked up the pace and ran steadily up a 1/2 mile hill and we did not see them again until the finish line. :-(

Lisa stopped to pose for a pic with this sexy guy.
And Paris stopped to pose for a pic with this sexy guy.
Despite fierce headwinds in the final 12 miles of the race, we made it to the finish line. Everyone had tails to tell. PRs were hard to find, but there were a few. Deon shaved a few minutes off of his best time.

Susan bettered her half time by more than 20 minutes, and her brother Russell also PRd. I am sure there are others, but considering the harsh conditions, any kind of a finish was quite the accomplishment.

Terrie took the early start at 4:30, ran for more than 2 hours before the sun came up, ran without aid stations, and got her first blister at mile 9. She made several stops at the medical tents to have them dressed. But she kept at it and got her first of what I am sure will be many marathon finishes. Way to go!

A RunnersWorld watch party awaits their remaining runners.

Bobby finishes marathon number 4, while Tom notches his first finish. Tom also notched up a toe, which had the old blister/loose toenail combo, with blood through the shoe as an added bonus!

Speaking of blisters....Roman has a doozie. Not bad for 26.2 miles in the mud, and a trip down Classen Blvd.

Nice ouchies, Terrie!

After the run, after the post race feed at Chileno's, after the comparing of battered feet, we began to talk about what was next....
Why do we do this....it's all about the shirt.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser TV series would be shouting "LAST CHANCE WORKOUT" tonight, were they here. Tonight was our last run before our races in OKC.

Some are going for their 1st half marathon, which is an awesome accomplishment. 13 miles, running through some of the most beautiful areas in OKC, with hundreds and hundreds of jubilant runners. Savor the moment, you're doing what most of the world will never do.

Several are doing their 1st marathon. You are in elite company. So few people ever run 26.2 miles. It is a legendary distance and you should be forever proud.

And for many, OKC is another notch in their belt. It's funny how running, particularly running marathons gets in your blood. Since running with our group, I have watched so many runners conquer their first, and then another and another. Some are going for 50 states. Some just run for the joy of going the distance. Any reason is a good one, if you ask me.

The bunny slippers tonight went from Jason and Lisa, to Patty. Patty is such an inspiration to so many of our runners, and is gunning hard for a Boston qualifying time at the marathon this weekend.

This evening, we returned to the route that was our every Thursday run....through the neighborhoods to the river, and north to 36th, 31st, or beyond, and then back. It was such a nice change of venue, not that the eastern route was that bad. I actually like them both.Until the QT buildings at 41st are complete and water fountains installed, Kathy will set up a water stop somewhere along the way. With it being nearly 80 degrees and humid, this was a welcome sight!

A peculiar sight on the trail just north of 21st street, this guy could walk faster on these high-tech stilts than I could run. Yes, he was fast. Yes, I was also moving a little slow.

A lot of people are squeamish about trail-running for fear of snakes. Yes, you may see a snake from time to time when you get off road and run on dirt trails.But today, on the way back to RunnersWorld, I took this picture right on the paved trail right by the pedestrian bridge near 31st street. This is a rat snake, non poisonous, and he/she was sunning itself, and probably would have been run over by a bike, had I not helped it off into the grass.

This next series of pictures is not something I normally do. We are missing a runner, who is a great guy and good friend. I know Wade was dealing with some injury problems, but we would love to have him back.

Wade lives in Claremore, and maybe he has found some trails around Blue Star Lake that fits his training schedule. But Wade! Dude! You can't have all the friends there that you have here!



A good crowd gathered on a picture perfect day for our Tuesday run. Some came to run 4, 5, 6 or more miles, some came to walk, and a few came to cross-train, which included several different sets of crunches, push-ups, and weights sandwiched between 1/4 mile runs.

Coach Kathy explains the agenda for the day while Brian applies some lotion to his baby soft hands.

Seems this group is paying attention.

As is Mike's dog.

Terry rests a bit before hitting the trails for 9 or 10 miles. Terry is tapering for her first marathon this Sunday at OKC.

Our newest runner, Nate joined us again. I think Mom is itching to get back on the trails as well.

Mindy (in the green) and Jenny (in the white) ran with us for the first time this evening. Like the enthusiasm!

And then is was time for the workout. I kept waiting for the exercise where we got to play with the elephants, but I guess they forgot about that set.

Mike displays good form in his his 20 reps.

After the workout, we moved onto more important things, like getting acquainted. Roman and Nate talked a little trails running.

Just like his grandma, Aiden always perks up for the camera.

After the run, it was our usual eating club meeting. We invaded Chile's, and as always, they put the smelly runners in the corner.

The question arose, after they brought out Candice's 4 lb salad, would she be able to make a "happy plate?"

There was never a doubt!

Monday, April 20, 2009

An eating club that runs

Last night several of our gang went to Savastano's to celebrate....umm....well to celebrate the discovery of CHEESE. This was certainly the place to do it, since one of the pizzas brought out had EIGHT (8!) POUNDS of cheese on it....divided into 8 pieces made for ONE LB of cheese per slice. (I ate 2!)Sometimes it seems like we are an EATING CLUB who occasionally goes for a run.Chrissy was back and did her best to get us all caught up with her Lasik surgery and such, and after we ate, went home and posted the most awesome detailed race report from Lake McMurtry.

The pizza was to die for. I may die yet. This was the thin crust....a pizza called "The City Dump." It was much like a Supreme, but better.

The pizza below was the Hancock. It was a Chicago style pizza and was Savastano's signature pie. Spicy Italian sausage with one of cheese per slice. YUM. I ate 2 pieces and went up 4 pounds on the scales.

We sat around and talked for an hour or so after we gorged, talking about upcomming races and the Greece trip. It was mentioned that Roman should go and wear a cowboy hat, with some of his friends wearing Garth Brooks shirts. Roman would be surrounded by crazed fans as he does in fact look a lot like Garth.

It was shortly after, that Garth and his lovely wife Trisha got up from two tables over and met with the owners of he restaurant, autographed the wall, and posed for a picture or two. WOW....not so much that a celebrity was in our midst, but that we were comparing OUR version of Garth, and the real dude turns up in the house. What a perfect photo-op....Garth and Roman....but the ever-fearless Roman would have no part of it. But T Z and Kathy seized the opportunity. Garth was real nice, just a regular guy. I told him about our "look-alike", and Garth laughed and said anyone that knows him would KNOW the difference as he NEVER runs.

Here is Garth just before eating some of the 8 lb pizza.... and here is Garth again, with a full belly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last Long Run

Saturday's long run, our LAST long run before the big race at OKC, started just like the FIRST Saturday run in this session. It was a little bit cold, and Tatur Dave attempted to explain the route for the day. Nothing to complicated about the course this time though....just go that-a-way for 30 minutes or less or more, and then turn around and come back.This group is all smiles. Next week after their marathon, these guys say they're hanging up their running shoes for a little while and will resume biking. Good call.

Fearless run leader Mike Firepants Stelly gives a dissertation before his group departs.

Stacy and Stefanie take only one short walk break their whole 6 miles, and the paparazzi captures in on film.

Carmen and Sam practice their Chi-Running. I think they need to read chapter two again.

Ruth and Meg find their happy place under the rainbow.

Newcomers Bob and Kevin ran SIX miles on their first outing with us. Hope descending stairs is not too painful for you the next couple of days guys. Please come back to run with us!!

Another new runner starts carbo-loading a week early.

Deon is all snarls after running twice Saturday morning. He ran early with Kim, and then belted out another 5-6 miles. As is often the case, Deon has issues with the camera guy.

Doesn't this look like a
Flip this card over, and it will have Tatur Dave's stats
for 2009:

Batting .390
239 hits
28 HRs
198 RBIs
0 DNFs

And finally, a group picture. Next Group pic will be Next Sunday in OKC!!!