Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silver Spuds

The "Silver Spud" Awards were given out during the annual TATUR Christmas party last night. Yours truly received the coveted Tatur of the Year for 2009. It was with great pride to have this honor bestowed upon me. A big Thanks goes out to Head Tatur (Brian), TZ (Ken), and Kathy, an outstanding ultrarunner and coach, for making TATURs the group that it is today.
And to the many others in the Tatur group who also deserve to be Spuds of the year.
TATUR's rock! Yeah!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A week after Route 66 marathon, I was rapidly going downhill with flu-like symtoms. I was down and out for about a month. There was absolutely no running. Finally, today, I went out for a nice slow run. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I thought..if I keep it slow,,,I might cover 8 or 9 miles.

The first 3 miles went great. I was at about 9:30 pace. Dangit.. I was aimming at 10 to 11 min. pace. But the next 3 miles, I was beginning to feel it. I was slowing down more. My pace was falling to 10 min. pace. I finally reached the 6 mile mark. I thought... OK.. enough punishment for today. I was exhausted.

Soon enough, I'll get back to my normal workout. But for this week and maybe next week, I'm keeping it around 5 to 7 mile workouts. Holy cow!!! I hate the crud that goes around this time of year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's all about the BLING!

Cool Bling!!! Route 66 Marathon is done. Time- 5:05.22 (5:01.45 net). I had a fanastic time doing my pacing duties for 5 hr marathon finishers. I stayed on pace pretty much all the way thru-out. I had people come and go...some stayed up with me for some distance, then slowly fall off the pace. And most are usually first time marathoners. Sometimes it's just hard to keep even splits the entire course. At the end, I did catch up with a few people, and still got them to finish strong. It's a great feeling to get someone to the finish. Normally, I'm not sore from my pacing, but this time... my legs were feeling it. I think it's the concrete portion of the course. My legs just don't like concrete.

Well... time to up the mileage again. My next venture is Rocky Raccoon in February. I'm ready to hit the trails again. Congrats to all Route 66 marathon finishers, and those who didn't finish...takes courage to get out there and give everything.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Route 66 Marathon this sunday

The long runs are done... 20 miles on saturday, and a short 12.5 miles on sunday. Time to relax and keep hydrated. I can't wait to get started. Since my finish time is already set...5 hrs, I'm ready to have a great time helping people attain their goal of finishing a marathon in 5 hrs. I really enjoy the time out there pacing other people. For some, 5 hrs may seem like a long time to finish a marathon, but for alot more, finishing a marathon in 5 hrs is a dream. And to see people's face when they finish in that time frame, it is time well spent being out there.

Come out and cheer on all Route 66 marathoners or half-marathoners.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This weekend is "Oklahoma's Ultimate Challenge"... a 5 mile race that is almost entirely uphill all the way. This is oklahoma's version of "Pikes Peak Accent". The climb is about 2,000 ft in 5 miles. Not bad for Oklahoma. Should be great weekend get out.
After feeling abit under the weather for about a week...including no running for a week. I'm back on the road again. I was at a comfortable 60 miles per week for some time, until the "crud" set me back. But it might've been a good thing though. I really needed a week to relax and rest the ol'bod. Last night was a short 10-1/2 miles at a 9 minute pace. I really wanted to go slower, like 11 min. pace. I guess after a week off, my legs wanted to git going. Tomorrow, I'll make it slooooow pace. It's good to go slow and maintain a steady motion thru-out the whole 10-12 miles.
I hope to make it to Poteau this weekend for nice, slow 5-mile uphill training run. I'm not worry about time, but doing a relaxed hill run.
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"You will never FIND time for anything. If you want time, you must MAKE it." ~ Charles Bixton

In Nov. 2006, I ran Mother Road 100 miler from Arcadia, OK to Tulsa,OK. In our goody bag was a book... "Running With Payne" by Randy Ellis, a legendary ultra-endurance runner. And just a great guy to be around. Since 2006, I've been putting it off reading this book. Three years later, I finally opened the book and read it cover to cover. What a great book! When I grow up, I want to run coast to coast, like Randy.

A year from now, we'll be doing the 3rd running of Mother Road 100 miler. This is suppose to be the last of 3-part series of Mother Road 100. I'm ready to go!!


But before the last running of MR100, I would like to run the missed portions of the Mother Road in Oklahoma. Or maybe do them as training runs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

24 The Hard Way

The weekend, near Lake Hefner in OKC, 24 The Hard Way was held. Above is me and Chisholm Deupree, great ultrarunner and 2008 Badwater finisher, co-directed this awesome event.
(Note: The shirt that I was wearing for Badwater mugshots was courtesy of chisholm. The symbol was the one worn by Andy Payne in the First Transcontinental Foot race across America)
I had planned on doing this race. Sometimes life gets in the way. However I was able to see some racers late saturday afternoon. But this race is on my list for next year.
Here's Randy Ellis finishing strong, and first place male in 6-hr road race. Way to go Randy!
Below, Rob Philip finishes strong in the 12-hr road race.
The two guys below, Bill Richardson (left) and Marvin Lee(right), went the distance, 24 hours of running. Bill doing the Double Dirty Dozen, and Marvin doing the road race.
Hats off to these guys!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TM Buzzard

I was picking up pink poka-dot ribbons last weekend at Turkey mtn. I wasn't exactly sure about where I was at...just somewhere in the woods... I hear a big thrashing noise in the trees. I look up and see this big ol'bird looking down at me. Just about scared the crap out of me. I thought...welll.. I'm gonna be picked to pieces by a big ol' buzzard... I guess he thought I was shruggling, and on my last leg. But then I picked up on a dead critter smell...that made me feel abit better..knowing that I wasn't on his menu this time.
He was just roosting til I left the area, so he could get back to his feeding.
I covered about 3 or 4 mile stretch sunday afternoon tearing down ribbons...there was a bunch! I think just walking and tearing down markers was harder than running the course.
Happy Trails!
You never know what kind animals you'll run into at Turkey mtn.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TATUR's race

Sept. 13th, come and run TATUR's 50K/25K/10K trail run. This is a great trail race. It has everything...rocks, hills, flats, shade, no shade, small creek crossings, great aid stations, and awesome post-race eats. I'm thinking about doing
the 50K. Hope it doesn't rain this year.

Have fun everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2009

"You run Badwater because there's something in you that wants to get out there, in the middle of nowhere, and think about something. It's a way of freeing yourself, getting back to what I really believe people are supposed to be doing instead of relying so much on a bunch of material crap that only makes us weaker. We are built to run, to cover great distance, for survival sake."

~Marshall Ulrich

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CNN about Badwater

my badwater bling.

Check out CNN article about Badwater 2009.

Awesome video. I'm in one clip climbing Mt. Whitney portal road.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The ol'bod is finally getting back to normal. Blisters are all healed up now. Next week, I'll be out again. Badwater 2009 is done....but it's really not over. I still have some unfinished business in Death Valley. I hope to return next year.
Next on the list... 24 The Hard Way.
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Badwater 2009 Finish

going up Mt. Whitney portal road...still hot!

climbing Mt. Whitney

Finish line!!!

We finished Badwater 2009!!! A huge gratitude to my crew (my family) for sticking with me. We started the journey together from Badwater, and climbed Mt. Whitney to the finish line. This is the race that I'll remember the most in my lifetime. We had our ups and downs...lots of downs...but never gave up. We kept moving forward!

A big thanks also goes out to Chris Kostman and his crew for putting on Badwater Ultramarathon. He makes it all happen. And the people along the course, they make it all worthwhile to trek 135 miles in 122 deg across the Death Valley. And if you ask me if I would do it again?... you bet!!!

Happy Trails!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

As we make way to Death Valley, we just had to run down vegas strip. Just a neat site.

We'll be heading to Furnace Creek, CA for our race prep. Wish us luck. We are going to have a great adventure.

Happy Trails!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dare to live your dreams and share them with others. Combine your dreams with those of others and you'll create an unstoppable reservoir of energy. ~RavenHawk

Final week of tapering. Time is reflect back on the long road to Badwater. Yet, not time to sit back and relax. My team is ready. I feel ready...I am ready. Let's go!

Have a great day everyone! Get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

Happy Trails!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just two weeks away before the start the Badwater Ultramarathon. This week, I'm putting in my last long miles, and just baking some more in the sauna. Except for few supplies to pick up, I'll be packing things up this week. Holy cow!!!.. it's almost like moving.

This weekend, I hope to do some altitude training at 9000 ft for few days. Not hard training, but just to keep the feet moving.

Happy Trails everyone!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

When you dream, dream big. When you picture results, picture great results. And when you visualize your future, visualize the most magnificent future you can.

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"For me, winning isn't something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream." ~ Emmitt Smith

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summertime is upon us...finally!!! welll... some folks may not be as thrilled as I was. Thrilled??...what is thrilling about hot and humid weather? With only a few weeks til the big run, I'm finally doing some serious road training in hot weather. Over the weekend, I went out west of Keystone lake along Hwy 412. I covered the frontage road from end to end. It was a great training run. I don't think the temps got to what the thermometer showed...but it was close. Happy Trails!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Road to Badwater

Only 3 weeks away from the start of Badwater Ultramarathon. It's finally coming together. My main concern has been the heat. Around here, it's not HOT!! enough outside. However, for the last month, I've been getting a steady dose of outdoor & indoor heat training. I've got 2 more weeks of intense heat training before tapering. Then I should be ready to go. I am looking forward to this awesome adventure.

Me and Cheryl Zwarkowski. I helped crew/pace her last year. She finished in 44 hours. Just a great lady to be around. She'll be running again this year. Her start time is 8am. Go Cheryl.
Mayor of Badwater, Dr. Ben Jones (Badwater finisher), in the middle. Not sure who the other guy is. He just happened to jump in the photo opt.

Left photo:Dan Jansen and me. Great athlete. Very few amputees to finish Badwater. His story is told on CD "Running on the Sun". Right photo:Jack Denness and I. Just a great lad from London. He had planned on running this year, which would have made him the oldest entrant. This man has finished Badwater numerous times. He is also featured on "Running on the Sun".

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Badwater training cont.

I'm just outside of town.
...very long road.
My Badwater training continues. Last week, I was out in Clayton, NM. Elev. 5050. The temps may not be reaching 120 deg, but the conditions were still harsh. Just the elevation itself made up alot for it. And the wind was blowing like crazy. I was able to do some road training. I'll be doing it again this week. Have fun everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

Hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Badwater start times

The field is set. Start groups are assigned. Have you ever asked yourself.... "what in the world have I got myself into?" When I looked at the start times, I was expecting to be in the 6am group...or maybe 8am group...since this was my first time. But they put me with the 10am group...that's the elite group. Holy Crap!!...has the select committee lost their minds? The bar is raised even higher.
However... ever since I started eyeing this race, I've been looking forward to the Badwater challenge. And the 10am group is where it happens. Bring it on!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

OKC Marathon, 4-26-09

The night before the marathon, it was raining quite abit. Tornado warnings were being issued. I thought..."am I gonna run in the rain again tomorrow?" Just 2 weeks before, I had ran McNaughton in rain and muddy conditions. But little did I know that by next day, the rain would be gone. However, I never thought that it would be windy throughout the day...gusts up to 40 mph.
I was part of the Fleet Feet pace team. I was to lead the 4:45 marathon goal finishers. The day started out great. Temps. were nice and cool...a little bit on the humid side due to rains throughout the night. Gun went off at approximately 6:30am. For the first half of the marathon, the wind was behind us. At start, the wind wasn't blowing that much. But as the day progress, the wind picked some speed. It was getting very humid too.
At the half-way point, my group was still on pace. It was now noticeable that the wind was going to be a factor on the way back. As we approached mile 14, we now had a strong headwind. My legs were beginning to feel the effects. I struggled to reach mile 18. But I was still on pace for 4:45 finish. As a pace leader, I had to maintain 10:53/mile throughout the entire 26.2 miles.
I reached mile 20, I was really struggling. My legs were starting to cramp up. It was a good thing that another pacer was with me. He continued on with the pace, while I tried to regain my composer. I walked for about 1/2 mile, drank water, powerade, ate some preztels, took in endurolites. I think I was not completely recovered from my hard 80 miles at McNaughton. I walked abit, and run slowly for abit...did that for about 2 or 3 miles. Last 3 miles were still pretty hard, but I managed to get-r-dunn. I rolled in at 4:51 chiptime (4:56 guntime).
Man...was I hungry at finish. I downed 3 Carl's jr. burgers....yummmy. I wish I had a coke or beer with that. It really sucks that I had to drink water or Powerade at finish. I was drinking that for the last 26 miles...dang it!
Anyway, it was a good run. Now on with my training for BW. Yeah!!!
Congrats to everyone! It was not an easy day to run.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

McNaughton 150 race report

I'm finally getting to my race report. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Note: first pic is first day, sitting in my truck trying to stay warm. The rest were taken on following day, after the rain stopped.

April 10th, Friday morning, I’m driving into Pekin, Ill. And it’s raining steadily. The rain has been coming down all night long, and it didn’t seem like that it would let up soon. However, the forecast for Saturday is sunny, clear sky. I thought…those 50 and 100 milers are lucky that they don’t have to deal with the rain. But for some of us crazy 150 milers, our start time was Friday high noon…rain or shine. What a way to begin 150 miles…soaking wet!

I rolled into McNaughton Park around 10am…thinking that would give me enough time to set up tent and what not. Temperature was somewhere in the upper 30’s, and the wind would pick up now and then… making the temps a little cooler. I got my race packet and chatted with the RD. He was pretty sure that the rain will stop in few hours. I was just hoping it didn’t rain into the night again. I commenced setting up my tent near the start/finish line; since I didn’t have a crew…this would be my staging area. I unloaded some necessary stuff that I’ll need for the next day and a half. The rain was still coming down, and the wind was just whipping’ around…making really hard to pitch a tent. I thought… this really sucks… setting up a tent in the rain with wind blowing every which way, and somewhat chilly temps… and I’m doing this by myself. After about 20 minutes or so, I finally got the tent up and secured…so I thought. But I was drenched, and quickly changed into my race gear.

Above picture is just before major downpour. After completing my first loop, with ground all soaked and pretty strong wind, my tent got partially uprooted, and top got blown over. My stuff was all wet. It was going to be a long day.

At 11:45am, we gathered for a quick race briefing. The course is the same for everyone. It’s a 10 mile loop. For 150, it’s 15 laps in time limit of 54 hours. I should know the course well by then. Again, the RD says the rain should let up in the late afternoon, and that “we should just to take it easy all afternoon, and save some for tomorrow”.

Forty-seven toed the start line for 150 miles. There were also a few early starters for the 100 miles. Straight up 12:00pm, the RD yells “Go!”, and we’re off. A few take out like jack rabbits. I start out at a snails’ pace. From start, it’s a short downhill…but this short downhill was more like short downhill skiing. The footing was absolutely terrible. It was mud fest from start. Just staying upright was going to be a challenge. We then came out into an open field for about half mile. This is the only part that is easy. We see several white-tailed deer’s prancing around in the open field…enjoying the cool, wet conditions. After circling the field, the hill climbing begins. The short, steep climb is nothing but mud. There was not a dry spot to get any good footing. We all basically claw our way up. When we get to the top, there would be a short flat, then back down, then up again. This was going to be a very long day.

This part was very slick at start, the day before. And the open field.

This was a day that I’ll be walking/crawling all the hills…and then sliding on the downs. Any downhill was going to be tough to manage. These downhills were also short and steep…with the slippery trail; a lot of us will be falling down.

Short and steep climb. Day before this was all muddy.

After 2.5 miles, we come out to the Totem pole Aid Station…grabbed some snackies...and off into the woods again. The next section…about mile or so…we hit some sandy area, known as “The Beach”. On a few flat spots, the rain packed the sand down…that was a good thing. But it was short lived. At about mile 3.5, we hit the first creek crossing.

Cold water feels great on the feet.

No one was staying dry today. First time though, the water was about mid-calf…not bad…but very cold. With all the rains, the creek was kinda swift in couple spots. I thought this is going to be tricky tonight. After crossing the creek, the single trail was just muddy and very slick, and slowly becomes another climb. My energy level was going down quicker than I expected. Most of it might’ve been due to the fact I’m fighting the mud and trying to keep my balance, rather than making forward progress.

At about mile 4, we hit one of the toughest climb on the course…known as “Golf Hill”. A person has to use a rope to climb up this beast. I’m thinking…the RD must be totally sadistic to include this section. Then again…what RD isn’t sane to include such obstacles…it’s all part of trail running. Once reaching the top, it’s a very short flat, and back down again. After some rolling hills, we hit “heartbreak hill”…long stretch up. Again, after reaching the top, we come back down again. Basically, this course has a lot of ups and downs…short and steep for the most part, but a couple spots were long steady climbs. The climbs don’t usually bother me… I rather enjoy them after awhile. But when you throw in rain and mud, the climbs are not very fun. You’re just finding anything possible to pull yourself up. And that makes it slowly going.

At about mile 5, and after a long climb, we came out to an open field. It was nice to get back to smoother or grassy surface. We would circle a big field before coming into Heaven’s Gate A.S., about mile 6. We would make a short 1 mile loop, and come back to this same A.S. But this 1 mile loop was not easy either. The A.S. is at the top of the hill, so that means, we had to come down a steep hill, run along a creek, into another open field…which people were calling this area the “rice fields”. You guess it…imagine a rice field, water standing in open field. My shoes got stuck and sucked off a couple of times. I was not having fun through this section. Once pass the “rice field”, we had to climb back up to the Heaven’s Gate A.S. This would be last A.S. before getting back to staging area. The last section was about 3 miles.

On this last section, we did a lot more rolling hills, and another creek crossing. Now, the cold creek was beginning to feel good on the feet. At about mile 9, we came out to an open field, and across a dam, before hitting the last steep hill before the last stretch back to start/finish line.
On my first loop, I was able to run most of the flat sections, and some brisk walking on the hills. My time was 1 hr. 58 min on the first loop. I thought...dang it! I’m going faster than I wanted to. My goal was to do around 2.5 hrs per loop. But with the rain and all, I would’ve been happy with 2:45 or 3 hrs per loop.

(Second creek crossing)

The rain was still coming down, but decreasing to a drizzle now. I begin my second loop, but this time I was going to go much slower since I know what the course is like. I would finish my second loop in 2:37 including a 15 minute break. I was much happier with this time. I took another 15-20 minute break at start/finish line before beginning my third loop. It was late in the afternoon now; the rain was finally breaking away. However, the trail was still muddy and will probably stay that way all night long. My third loop was under 3 hours including my 20 minute break. So 3 hrs per loop is still not bad. Keeping that pace though the night would put me at 70 miles by next morning. That wouldn’t be bad considering the trail conditions. And with no rain the next day, I should be able to make good time all day long…so that was my strategy. A person gets to think a lot...plotting and scheming.

OK...back to the real world. I finished my third loop; I’m about 7.5 hrs into the race. I ate some chicken noodle soup, and some munchies, and head out into the night for my 4th loop. I’m feeling great, everything is finally clicking. It’s crazy that it takes 30 miles before I find the right pace. I’m doing great up to 37 miles. I came back to the last A.S. before the last section back. I debated to take in some chicken noodle soup, or wait till I get back. I opted for the latter….big mistake! I only filled my water bottle, and started on my last section. After going about half mile, all of my energy was zapped out of me. I was following 2 guys…they were walking. With every step, I was getting hungrier. I wanted anything to eat. My energy level was way down. I should’ve asked the other two if they had anything for me to munch on. I swallowed my pride and kept walking. I had taken off my waist belt on my last loop…trying to minimize any extra weight. I was beginning to struggle to make up the last hills. I finally made back to start/finish line. It took me almost 4 hours to complete my 4th loop. I was totally exhausted and hungry. I sat down, ate a sandwich and some soup. Then I was beginning to get chills really bad. I thought…I’ll just sit in my tent for few minutes and warm up. That didn’t work… I was getting colder by the minute. Of course my clothes and shoes were all soaking wet. I changed shirts and crawled into my truck and cranked up the heater till it was nice and warm. Next thing you know, I was asleep. I slept about hour and half. It was almost 2am. My plan was to wait until after I finish my 5th loop before I slept a little bit. Things have now changed for the worst…all because I didn’t take in anything but water from last A.S. Lesson learned the hard way.
2am, I get back out of my truck and proceed to get moving again. It was slow to get moving again, but after reaching the A.S., I was not skipping any soup from there on. And I was also taking in some hot chocolate. That tasted sooo good. I finally complete my 5th loop. My time shows as 6:25 for that loop. But I stopped and slept for 2.5 hrs.

About 5:30 am, I started my 6th loop. The rain was all gone now. And it looks like Saturday was going to be a great day. Halfway thru my 6th loop, the sun has risen now, the 50 milers and 100 milers started catching up with me. Their start time was 6am Saturday. I would just let them fly by me since they had fresh legs. I finished my 6th loop in pretty good time… a little over 3 hrs plus 20 minute break. On my 7th loop, I was still feeling good. I completed loop 7 in about the same time.

But I was now at 24 hr mark. I had hoped to be at 90 miles by 24 hrs. I was falling behind. My right ankle was beginning to flare up abit too. Again, I was doing some heavy pondering…if I can do 3 hrs per loop with 15 or 20 minute breaks…I can still finish this race in 48 hrs.

Starting out on loop 8, I changed clothes and ate a little more than just soup. I knew I was in for a long haul. I start out slow. It’s in the afternoon now, and the trails were drying out in lot of places. Very few spots were still slick. I walked and I walked. I climbed the hills. I was still climbing them well though. But on the flats, I try to run…my legs were just completely trashed. I was succumbed to walking now. I basically walked the entire 8th loop. I got back to start/finish line in about 4 hrs. My overall time was now at about 28 hrs for 80 miles.

I went over to my tent and sat down for a little bit. Next thing… I was sleeping for an hour. I tried to regroup again. But this time, it was not happening. I just wasn't getting it together. My worst fear had been realized. I was going to DNF. If this was the only race I had schedule, I would have toughed it out and kept going. It might have taken me all of 54 hours to complete though. But on the other hand, there is another race that I definitely would not miss it for the world. And I was not putting that in jeopardy.

I had made the right decision to stop. I have some unfinished business. It’ll just have to wait another year. I looked at this race as a great training run. And I’m thankful that I didn’t get hurt in any way. RD Andy and his crew did a wonderful job putting this race together. The aid stations were well stocked. I look forward to next time.

My results below.