Thursday, July 29, 2010

When: Saturday, July 31, 2010 5:45 AM-7:30 AM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Boulder)


Dom-N-8rz 9:50 to 9:51 (whatever it takes) - Saturday - 5:45 AM Sharp-ish - Veteran's Park - 8 Miles - Run - Marathon Goal Pace - Road Route - Don't Fall Down

Everybody (which mostly means Tomb Raider herself) Happy? Short - Informative - Low meandering quotient. Tells who, what, where, how much, and obligatory safety tip.

I know that I feel much ...... GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA .... I can't take it anymore - gonna' blow a fuse. Think of those poor insomniacs who will now have to waste precious eye-crust building minutes searching for some semi-equally mind-numbing random assortment of mismatched gibberish to get their sleep on. Just like the feeling of comfort when the hammer stops hitting the thumb, navigating to the end of one of these columns has been known to have hallucinating effects, albeit slightly frightening, when there's a false sense of semi-understanding of what might or might not have been the subject of discussion. Nothing that a few straight shots of high proof distillate won't help restore order.

Which, speaking of running away at the fingertips, this week's jaunt has us reattacking the hills, including the heart rate enabling 15th Street humbler that has been made famous via multiple versions of both the Tulsa Run and the Route 66 Marathon. We will swoon around the Lake of the Swans, check out early morning automatic sprinkler systems in Yorktown neighborhoods, sneaker through a private school to see if their asphalt shines any brighter, perform forestry recovery reconnaissance inventory surveys in Woodward Park, and time travel to Owasso and Cincinnati without leaving the comforts of T-Town, all in hopes of completing before the Veteran's Park soldier awakens and steps down from his treehouse abode.

A word of caution for the wary turfpounder: It's going to start out quite warm Saturday morning, even at 6 AM, which is going to be likely followed by periods of rapidly decreasing coolness. Finishing our 8 mile run before 3 PM is highly encouraged, even if it means running at a slightly elevated pace. Self-appointed Dom-N-8rz management recommends that the 'Noes and 'Nettes consciously reduce the quantity of selected Run Leader criticism and ridicule as this practice has scientifically unproven linkage to a significant impairment of running stamina.

Wow, this "straight and to the point" stuff truly has been therapeutic, even though it only allowed for a limited number of those multiple and disturbed voices from within to surface. (NOTE TO SELF: Not a good week to skip the stress-relieving techniques) All this proved with the certainty of a night time shadow that less is more, more or less.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Patching Things Up - Correcting the Record

When: Saturday, July 17, 2010 5:45 AM-8:30 AM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (18th & Boulder)

Patching Things Up - Correcting the Record

First and foremost, we need to give a Shout Out to Miss Kathy and her leachy sidekick Brian for hosting last week's Poker Run. It was a party, with the participants as the honored guests - great time, lots of snacks, and tons of prizes. This event just gets bigger and better every year, and you can literally feel the buzz and excitement from both the regular runners and those first timer gamblers and casino hustlers alike who come out to "run the trail tables". With all that, it was awesome to see that our very own Rachel, AKA "Tomb Raider", was the most excited of all. She managed to elevate to a heretofore unknown level, and we nearly had to run her through the cold sprinkler to get her to calm down. THANK YOU RUNNERS WORLD - just the best little running store in the state of Oklahoma (possibly slightly biased opinion).

Next, I, under the full influence of my own coersion, and being in full possession of all my limited possessions, do hereby apologize for any disparaging remarks that "Pretty Boy" Brian may have gleaned from last week's post. That's the problem with putting these things down in writing - they can be twisted and turned and taken out of context and used in a way that I never imagined he would ever comprehend. My own speculation is that some of his soured sneaker disposition stems from past issues. I mean really, we've all experienced several doses of anguish and emotional distress resulting from a broken heart, but at some point we all have to move on. It's called refocus - get a grip - vow to hold your head high and do better next time. So Brian, please let me know if this independently served apology somehow didn't quite come with enough gauze, ointment, and compress to completely cover the obviously gaping wounds. And finally, I really don't think you've gotten all that huge, but consensus polls would look favorably upon your return to some type of regular excercise that didn't depend upon stuffing your adorable cheeks.

Which reminds me of one of our duties as a run leader - and that is to pass on valuable training tips that could be helpful in our marathon training. Personally, I feel that I have been running for half my life; but now really isn't the time to dwell on my legal issues and law enforcement evasion practices. Maintaining the theme of borrowing from other sports, this week's tip looks way to the east and takes inspiration from the Tour duh France. After all, sometime in our not so distant adult life, nearly all of us learned to ride a bike, even if it had some side wheels for extra support, so we should all be able to relate. Similar to competitive biking (google Lance's last Tour), it is highly recommended that you try to not fall down several times and that you avoid crashes while running. Why? Well, we don't have a peloton that will wait for you to catch up, you'll lose a lot of time and won't get nearly enough sympathy - unless it comes disguised as laughter as corunners dodge your pathetically limp frame, and it might hurt - a lot. I would offer to give you more critical running tips in the future, but I must confess, with all the honesty that I choose to convey, that that's pretty much all I've got.

So speaking of last week's soccer slander, PB Brian (thought you were off the hook, didn't you?) aptly imposed that diversity is a really valuable trait, and that we all, which I think includes me, need to be tolerant and respectful of the views of others. While admitting that he didn't for a minute understand the point of a generously labeled "sport" that consists of running around for hours in circles chasing a funny colored ball that you aren't allowed to catch or throw, and which apparently doesn't allow for anyone to win until after the end of all conceivable competition, Brian was quick to appreciate the magnetic appeal of young muscular lads gallanting around in nylon shorts, perpetually sliding and tackling and posing and strutting out on the pitch. So, in much the same way that I am mysteriously drawn every four years to the highly entertaining and mesmerizing sport of women's Olympic Beach Volleyball, it would be hypocritical of me to not recognize and respect Brian's soccer obsession. Match On!

Following the lead of "duh Tour", this week's training run, which starts on Saturday at 5:45 AM-ish at Veteran's Park, departs from the low river country and takes us over and across alpy terrain and along an inland Lake where the swans are known to frequent. Our course will traverse rolling hills and valleys and will expose us (in a good way) to haughty chalets and vistas. Runners are encouraged to gear up for cobblestone lanes disguised as pothole infested roadways, be ready to bob and weave around the endless array of construction cones and barricades, and just like in "duh Tour" fashion, always be on alert for weaving cars and motorcycles - they aren't always your best friends, but can leave a lasting impression.

NOTE: Opinions expressed may or may not reflect my views, depending on how big, tough, and vengeful you are.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When: Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:45 AM-9:00 AM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Boulder)


P-p-p-Poker Face

First, congrats to all you loyal and devoted Dom-N-8RZ for completing last week's "generous" 9 mile training run, with bonus mileage rounding thrown in for good measure. The well imagined and voluminous compliments continue to reverberate nearly a week later. The experience naturally leaves us with the "Can it possibly get better than this?" inquisition.

Well, hold on to your fast forward button, as this weekend we are treated to a well deserved break, as Runners World is hosting its very famous Poker Run. The Poker Run, which starts at 7:00 AM from Veteran's Park, traverses 5 miles of hard packed Riverparks Trails. Come join with the RW gang, Lady Gaga, and let's get started with an unitelligible and off key rendition of P-p-p-Poker Face, P-p-Poker Face and oh, oh, oh lyrical chants. Along the way, we will be collecting cards with which to make a Poker hand, which ultimately get traded in for some of "Pretty Boy" Brian's personal collection of new and stylish running gear (yes, not surprisingly suitable for both the 'Noes and 'Nettes alike), all of which he reluctantly realizes that he will never be able to fit into without serious surgical procedures. One word of caution: Although I've never actually witnessed it myself, the legends and lore of masked marauders armed with sharp sticks to gently "poke" a wayward runner should inspire us to run in a group, don't stray from the herd, and certainly don't be lured into dark corners along the trail with the promise of "Come over here, I've got Aces".

All this excitement is brought to you for the one time only, special and unbelievably low, low price of Five smackers (for the Accountant purists, that translates to a measly $5), which roughly works out to $0.8726 per mile, allowing for the now-to-be-expected bonus miles that we have come to endure. Although rumors abound that the money goes directly to feed PB Brian's Sumo-inspired dietician-mandated triple cheeseburger cuisine, in reality the money is actually thrown back at us in the form of pre-, during, and post-training run drinks and snacks - bagels and cookies and gatorade, OH MY! We call this the Paying it Forward Program. Once again, for the sake of efficiency and the willingness to take one for the team, I humbly offer to collect everyone's $10 Poker Run entry fee ($5 for the actual entry, and $5 for my miscellaneous expenses and to cover the convenience carrying fee), and submit in bulk, plus or minus rounding, to the race entry Marshalls. This idea didn't really take off last year for some unexplained reason, to which I can only surmise stemmed from a lack of proper advertising.

Switching subjects, I suspect that many of you have been subjected to a barrage of questions centered around all this international hubbub about soccer. The general theme of a so-called sport involving a ball that penalizes the general player population for touching, punching, throwing or catching the ball with your hands is agreeably insane and truly un-A-Mer-Can! I've been able to successfully diffuse the riotous-ish and nearly violent mob scenes by reminding everyone that the world is a big and diverse place that requires harmonious tolerance for insane and archaic practices. When I remind people that soccer is an order of magnitude less exciting than long distance running (based on the random pattern of running back and forth and often in circles), only without the benefit of a visible clock, then most folks remark that maybe in some small way that soccer is a rather inefficient way to help someone transition to marathon training. I say: To each his own. Also, before you criticize, you do have to recognize soccer's contribution of that wonderful horned instrument (insert obnoxious wailing drone here).

Lastly, brought to you by popular demand, some of us will be pre-meeting on Saturday at the infectious and contagious time of 5:45 AM-ish to get a head start on the Poker Run. We're planning on glistening up with a 5-mile Zink Lake Loop run, and then bringing our aromatic selves to join with the 7 AM start of the Poker Run. Come soil with us and help make Lady "PB" proud!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

When: Saturday, July 03, 2010 5:45 AM-7:30 AM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Boulder)


Fore Your Benefit - Tee it Up!

Before we wade into the dense stuff, and before the frustration and understandable lack of interest levels lock in, let's recognize that on Saturday we move over to "Summer Daylight Heat Avoidance Time", meaning we start our training run at 5:45 AM (instead of 6:45 AM). We will still begin our run from Veteran's Park, and this week the Dom-N-8RZ 9:51 group is scheduled for a 9 mile distance, and our path will be approximately half the distance out, followed by half the distance back, which by my meticulous calculations would be 5 mile-ish each way, plus or minus rounding (hope we have some numbers folks in the group to help with the higher math). Note that if anyone happens to get lost while following a straight line down and back along the river, then your actual mileage may vary from manufacturer representations.

OK, this is the big celebratory MAJOR weekend for the good ol' US of A, the one we look forward to each year. That's right - the always bigger and better than the last one - that big giant birthday bash. And even though we won't be running on the actual date, I think it is still appropriate for us to recognize this important time in our country's still growing history. So, let's shout it loud and proud, and wish our very own fellow running 'Noe Bill Major a belated Happy Birthday. With the advancement in years, I remind you again how important it is to "shout it loud" to ensure that your well wishes are heard and recognized. And yes Bill, you are very welcome - no need to say anything more.

So, I was thinking, which I realize goes against the grain of my early childhood captors, teen year PO's, and other hopelessly futile well wishers. Seems I occasionally do my best work following a bout of heavy ponderin' (OK, not really, but it could happen some day - except we all know it won't), and this may or may not be one of those times. With a group as large as ours, we are blessed with having runners who possess a large collective variance in distance and pace abilities. When you add to the mix the horridly humid and heated weather that we've been hammered with over the past few weeks, the sweat equity variance amongst us wilted path strikers seems even greater. So, always looking for an advantage, I was thinking that our running could benefit by borrowing from the game of golf.
Now, I ain't quite as good a golfer as I am lightning quick as a runner, it's possible that I might miss a couple of the finer points of the game, so I kindly ask for your tolerance/pity. So, when a bunch of golfers get together for a round, one of the equalizers is to group together ones of varying abilities and conduct a scramble tournament. We can do the same in running, by letting those who are a little quicker go out fast, and then us shankers can simply move up to where the faster ones are and then run from there. We'll simply keep repeating this pattern until we've reached the end of the round - completed our mileage distance, and thereby benefitted from having the more skilled runners carry us to the finish line. Please note that carts will not be allowed on the course, so be sure to wear your comfy kicks.

Also, since this would be our first time in trying the running scramble approach, each runner will be allowed two mulligans on Saturday. So in the event that any of us have a bad mile, then we can simply holler out "Mulligan", which will then allow the holleree to go back one mile and rerun it without penalty and having to count the strides. That should really be a benefit during especially hot and humid weather. We will utilize the honor system, and let everyone keep track of their own mulligans, although we will invoke the "use it or lose it" rule.

See you bright and early-ish (5:45 AM) on Saturday, as we Play Through - Fore Style.