Friday, December 30, 2011

DRAPER LAKE And the Working Weekend!

Thursday*Run To Draper Lake--60 mins and 8 or so miles--Ran with Connor and my Dad before he had to board a plane back to New Jersey. The morning was cool and crisp and was loads of fun to be out somewhere I have not been to in a long time and it was so peaceful and nice.  Draper Lake and Lake Thunderbird are running meccas in Oklahoma. These two parks are all you need in order to trail run here and can provide great training and mental gains.

Friday*Run out by Cedar Lane and Eagle Cliff Homes and ran on an old golf course---77 minutes and about 12.5 miles!

Saturday--New Year's Eve!!!!!---Run in the dark!  75mins 10 secs. The run felt like I was in a dream world since no one was out on the roads.  The wind was gusting maybe 50mph as the tree tops looked like they were going to break and the power-lines looked shaky too. Pretty scary experience but still a decent run!

Sunday---Off---R&R after working at Embassy Suites!

Monday---Nice long run out on Alameda! I ran over to 72nd street and then my favorite little new housing development that has a hilly tree-lined road that blocks the wind. It was majestic as I saw 5 bald eagles hovering over the skies! It was so amazing to really feel connected to nature like that. There are times when you run and you end up somewhere so peaceful and in-sync with the natural environment that you loose grasp of reality and this world of nature IS REALITY.  I get so mad when I see great natural land being overtaken by development. It just ruins my peace of mind. I was able to log about 83 minutes and 14-15 miles of running!

Tuesday--I ran in the morning before running errands with Ashlee. I headed out for an urban run out along Porter Ave out towards Moore, OK.  I ran to the nice neighborhoods off before Tecumseh and then headed back. I wore my amazing new HIND thermal bright yellow running top and my Zoot Running 3/4 tights and the run was nice. My foot hurts a little from the loose footing from yesterday and  I just need to rest up my ankle for my next push in training for the big racing season that begins for me Feb 4th!  HIND, by the way is an amazing company. They do not charge a lot for their products and the quality is superb.  I have a pair of running tights from Hind that have lasted me since 9th grade and they fit like a glove and have withstood the test of time and tough laundering!  If that does not express longevity I don't know what could. Anyway, check out Hind's new running gear that comes with 40 SPF in the material and their thermal ware is really light and warm!

Total run time was 72 minutes and 11.65 miles!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Top of Old Rocky Top!

Nashville, Tennessee is quite a place. I have always enjoyed spending my Christmas holiday there to see my family and to run up and down some steep hills!  Percy Warner Park and Edwin Warner Park are running safe-havens.  You have over 30 miles of  long winding roads that traverse the Tennessee hills and great technical trails that make any runner break a sweat.  My father, Grandmother and my lovely girlfriend, Ashlee, all packed up our belongings and made the long trek to Springfield, MO to pick up my grandmother then off to Nashville.  I ran at both Springfield, MO twice and Nashville three times as each run out there helps to show that my mountain running skills are improving.

I have always used the steep inclines at Percy Warner Park as a gauge for my ascent fitness and overall fitness.  If I can survive a run at this park, I can run up any steep incline and perform. I ran through great woods and had the best Christmas ever. It was Ashlee's first Christmas with my family and it was a memorable one.  We ate and slept and ate and then played pool, then ate then napped then it was the next day and we did this again and again.

I ran the trails of Nashville well and discovered a new trail system in Springfield, Mo located off of the Galloway greenway bike path, which is a popular recreation spot for the locals. It was amazing!

I now have an awesome tent, a Petzl headlamp, some winter running tights and shirts, some super sweet gray gloves from a company called Koppen which is in-partnership with Dicks Sporting Goods, and of course Dion Snowshoes!

It was such a great time!

I was able to run anywhere from 65 mins to 1 hour and 40 mins and I was able to keep my mileage right where I want it!

Here are some photos taken from Google Images to highlight the places I got to see on my journey.  Compliments to the photographers of these images!

Springfield, Mo Galloway Greenway Trail

Percy Warner Park Grand Staircase 1k of sheer uphill FUN!
Running through Percy Warner Park!

As Good As It Gets AT Percy Warner Park!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let The HOlidays BEGIN!!!!

Run out at Lake Thunderbird with the Daddy Oh!  Ran and the shoreline and just laughed the whole time. Elapsed time say 35-40 mins and mileage...not much but enough.

I am feeling a little run-down so today was a nice recovery day to try and rest and pump up my immune system so I can run really hard at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, TN.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I am looking to run 2 hours and some rolling terrain and then work and then the 5 hour drive to pick up the grandmother in Springfield, MO!

Thursday's Run I was caked in mud as I slogged through the muck and ended up on Cedar Lane and was able to run about 85 minutes and about 15 miles!  A nice run and though I feel congested, I am strong and able to run well!

Photo From Taste of

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Mayhem!!!!

I worked a nice shift at the golf club today. I ran a nice run in 50 degree weather up through Main Street in downtown Norman all the way up the I-35 corridor.  I really wanted to deposit my pay checks and bonus checks but constant traffic flow at Bank of America really got on my nerves so I just ran back home and got in a nice 1 hour and 28 minutes and about 14 miles! It may be more since once I saw the line at the bank, I began to pick it up quite a bit.

Yesterday was an off day for me as I went Christmas shopping with my girlfriend, Ashlee for 6 hours!  We went to the local mall in Norman and boy was everything packed with people! If anyone knows Ashlee, she hates globs of people and this mall was pushing not only her buttons but my own too!  After walking for what seemed like a marathon, we relaxed at home with many presents in hand which was awesome and tomorrow we get to see Ashlee's family for Christmas and then my father comes into town and we begin our trip to Nashville, TN where the parks there are awesome and I am going to have some great running this holiday there!

Sunday---74 mins and 35 seconds. RUn to 48th and Cedar Lane
Monday---80 mins and 36 seconds...Run in the pounding rain off on 36th and Tecumseh

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am in With Acidotic!!!!!!!!

I have been accepted as a member of Acidotic Racing, an elite group of individuals that pride themselves at competing in some of the hardest forms of outdoor exercise.  Some of the sports are snowshoe, mountain biking, trail running, mountain running, adventure racing, triathlons, iron-mans and many more. It is a great pleasure to be apart of this team and I am so excited to compete and represent Team Acidotic! Thank you Chris for the approval and I say "Thank you team members and lets have ourselves a great year of racing in 2012!"

To Celebrate, I am going to embark on a nice 2 hour run since yesterday I was able to only run 30 minutes before I worked both of my jobs for 14 hours. So, with a day off, it is time to run free!  I went on a nice long run and was able to log 2 hours and 15 mins.  I ran out towards Route 9 and just kept going up and down.  Oklahoma weather can change in an instant as just in those 2 hours, the weather went from the 40's to high 50's and sunshine back to the low 30's and scary dark storm clouds overhead.  The craziness never ceases to amaze me.

Not to mention my cat sheered my MacBook Charger so my laptop may be out of commission for awhile before Christmas but hey, I guess that gives me an excuse to check my emails at work right?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Got Into SUNY Cortland!!!!!!

I went for a run in the rain  67 minutes to the Bank of America so I could do some christmas shopping. When I arrived back from the run,  I decided to check my mail box and to my surprise, there was a letter stating that I had been accepted into the Graduate Program for Park Management!!!!  I was in shock!  Just like when I received my letter of acceptance to OU 5 years ago, I was so ecstatic and I thank everyone that has helped me in my journey leading up to this moment!

Here are some sights and sounds of Cortland NY...courtesy of the SUNY Cortland website

Monday---Run with best bud Connor!  We talked an ran around the OU campus for about an hour perhaps closer to 70 minutes or 10 miles!  Connor is looking into Medical School at man y of the Ivy Leagues and it was fun to talk about the potential future.  Life is very miraculous how it all works out.  Patience is the key and persistence is a must!

Tuesday---Long run of 82/13.5-14 miles minutes out on Cedar Lane and then 36th SE out towards Noble, Ok. The weather here in Norman is cloudy with damp misty rain. I began the run with my rain-jacket but soon took it off as the temperatures began to rise into the 50's. The golf course at the Links of Norman is coming along as a course and it was interesting to see a long man playing the course as I was running by him! It was a nice easy run where I just went at my usual pace.  After finding out that I have been accepted into a great graduate program, I feel very proud to know that all of my hard work and persistence has paid off!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Racing List for Backwoods!!!!!

This week I was able to log 87 miles of work and my average was 12.4 miles a day!  I am feeling very strong and I am getting myself into that shape that wins titles!  I have to say that this cold weather really allows for me to run longer and faster than ever before!

Now that my racing is taking a break, it is now time to plan my next races for the winter and spring of 2012.  With Backwoods as one of my sponsors, I would like to provide them a rough sketch of races I would like to run!

January 28, 2012--Sooner State Trail Series Draper Lake 14 mile trail run!  Looking to run a fast time and to set a record for the 14 mile distance! First race of the New Year ready to begin the season right and to prepare for the White Rock Classic.

February 4th, 2012---White Rock Classic---White Rock Mountain near Mountainburg Arkansas.  50k distance with large amounts of elevation gain about 3,500 ft of elevation gain and 1900 descent! Tough trail race where I would look to break the record of 3:58:27 set by Stan Ferguson in 2000.  I would be shooting for a 3:30:00 time or faster which is under 7 mins a mile.  A 3:30:00 performance would be a record that would stand for many years to come!

March 10, 2012--Sooner Spring Tune-up 10k--Looking to be 3-time defending champion at the race.  Also looking to run a time under 31 minutes if conditions are reasonable.

I may run some other local road/trail races in the area as my work schedule dictates.

Will be looking to peak for A2A Arbuckles to Ardmore Marathon/Half Marathon--Sunday, April 1, 2012.  I will be running either the half or marathon but will probably run the half in preparation for the OKC marathon at the end of the month.

April 29,2012---OKC marathon...I will be looking to run a sub 2:30 time and also to win the race in my first attempt at a competitive marathon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Long run of 82 minutes out on 36th street out towards Noble Oklahoma. More hills as always and the cool north breeze sure makes a boy work hard while running uphill.  Tons of mud from the rain yesterday and so I must clean my shoes big-time.  Now to the story:

When I am running, I am compelled by the idea of directions. I run out in a direction and usually come back a slightly different path then the one I initially went out in.  Running is all about direction. It is about finding direction in your life and just going for it.  Running is the purest form of release as you indulge your senses in that of the outside natural world.  As athletes, us runners pick races that will challenge our direction and give us new course.  We succeed and we try harder challenges, we fail, and then we are faced with working on finding the right methods to succeed.  That is what life is all about.... Finding direction and then steering its course.  We change our direction all the time just like mid-run but somehow find ourselves back to where we belong, home!

Wednesday---80 minute run on Lindsey out towards 60th ave. I ran up the hills to a small interior wooded development and ran a few loops up and down there before making the nice trek back home!  You gotta love the nice cool days as today warmed up to 45 degrees but the wind always makes it 5-10 degrees cooler.  The holiday spirit has gotten ahold of me as I am sooo ready for Christmas shopping and I am excited to see what I can end up getting for all my loved ones this year!

Monday---Run in 34/22 degree temps in Windy Oklahoma!  Ran to the bank and then out on Sutton Wilderness trails.  It was cold and windy and lucky for my sub-zero Pearl Izumi tights, I would have been toast in this weather without them!  Just a nice easy run of 71 minutes just to waken up my legs for another week. I am excited for the holidays and each year I get older, the holidays really begin to mean more and more to me.

Tuesday---It is cold yet again more of the same 20's feel outside.  And that wind eats up your soul.  I ran to Sutton again today but ran numerous loops through the trails here.  Then I ran by a Walden Dry cleaners and maybe might try to pick up some hours there.  They are looking to hire and the place is only a mile if that maybe half a mile from our house. I could run there and save tons of gas money.  The run went by really fast as I finished a nice 76 minute run knowing I had gone on an adventure as small snow flakes fill the air!

Wednesday---Nice run out along East Lindsey as I made many loops through the neighborhoods and I was able to run 82 minutes of effort!

Thursday---Nice run with Scott out at Lake Thunderbird. We ran the shoreline for a long while and it was awesome!  Felt great and the run brought about the idea to try and run the entire coast of Lake Thunderbird or at least as much as we possibly can!  80 mins in the books and it was a great morning as we only saw 1 car the whole entire run!

Friday---I ordered a fleece Dion Snowshoe hat and was pleasantly surprised with two of them and some decals!  What a great treat!  Ashlee is at work until 7 so I better make that apartment look sparkling clean for her so she thinks I am a handyman!  Let me tell you, women love a man who is handy with housework!  76 minutes and 41 seconds of a run over by Grant and Shay's house in the country!  Ran up and down the hills like a true professional. Kilian Jornet would have been very scared to see the way I was effortlessly flying up the inclines!  Cold-ish kind of run but I love it when it is cold! I also kicked a beer can out of the road into a knocked-over trash can...I call it my civil duties!

Saturday----Nice easy long run of 81 minutes and 36 seconds.  I was flying along out by the Westwood Golf Course and then I trekked back along the neighborhoods of Norman back home to East Norman.  Just a simple maintenance run where I was not killing myself too much and just ran and went a little sight-seeing. There was a lot of traffic in town today as people are going Christmas shopping!  I am planning on doing the same today! I love the holiday season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Running IsFun!

After a long day of work with both jobs, I decided to run for 45 minutes out in the dark of the night by Summit Lakes. The run was cold as wearing running shorts was not the smartest idea as I literally froze my ya know....

Tonight's run was a nice maintenance run to keep my form as I begin another strong week of training.

With about 90 miles for this week, I feel confident about my mileage as I look to keep my mileage near 84-90 a week!

Oklahoma is starting to get chilly as a nasty cold front is coming our way and potentially SNOW! That is right...SNOW!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reunited With Scott Downard--1 Hour 40 minute Hill Run and Doughnuts!!

On a cold morning in Oklahoma...30's  I was reunited with my buddy Scott Downard.  He is the OK Runner Team captain and has helped me along the way with my running career. It was great to see him after a month-long hiatus.  He has been in Stillwater with his girlfriend, Jenny who is a PHD student there.  We began the run out on Alameda and ran towards Rock Creek and Tecumseh.  We then headed out all along the hills of Norman catching up on our what has been happening in our busy lives and of course we began the running talk about races, the future and food.  When I run with Scott, I feel like my pace is fast yet it is so easy to just float along effortlessly.  After we had completed a 16 mile adventure, we decided to grab some doughnuts which are always a must.  We talked more about running stores and our jobs and then had to split up and go to our respective jobs.
It was a great run and my strength is really coming along.  My arms feel like they can pull me along as I tire and I cannot wait to race.  I am going to do some research into trail races around the area maybe in Texas that I can run and hopefully be successful in.  

Friday---Run to Bank and Sun Loan office to drop off checks and cash.  65 minute run in the finally nice cool weather. 30's feel sooo nice since our constant streak of 100's this summer! I feel like I can run forever!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Out and Back Lake Thunderbird Run

My Running is really coming along. With nice mild and cool temperatures, I can finally be able to run fast again and be able to run 80-120 minutes a run.  Today, I ran out to the big Lake, Lake Thunderbird and was able to keep up a solid pace. I set a record of reaching the park in 40 minutes and 33 seconds besting my 42:10 effort last spring.  With calm winds, I felt like I could handle anything today.

Let me get this straight though....Running in Oklahoma is tough. Not only do you have the worst weather conditions with heat, bitter cold and then WIND, but the roads and people are not runner-friendly.  Alameda street is the road I live off of and as you leave it to go out "into the country", you leave sidewalks and wide streets into narrow rolling farm-roads that pit you against angry drivers and no shoulder.  The run becomes a game of cat and mouse more or less.  With all things considered, I love running out on Alameda. The hills and the views of rolling plains are breath-taking and once you ascend a nice steep incline you are greeted with Lake Thunderbird which is an oasis of nature nestled in Oklahoma.

The duration of my run was 1 hour and 30 minutes 32 seconds.  All in all, I can feel that real base strength kick in and a spring marathon plus numerous trail races this spring seem like I will be ready for some great results!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rose Rock State!!!!

Today, I ran out towards Noble and almost out to Slaughterville.  The run was nice as I began with a nice tailwind which made the outside temps feel like 45 degrees. I ran really fast today as I hauled it down 77 to Noble. Downtown Noble is growing as more stores are popping up and that makes me feel good that such a quaint little town is getting growth in the right places.  I even ran all the way out to Bell Creek and up the hills and then down the hills.  Oklahoma is a plains state in many ways and central Oklahoma is for sure a big plain.  The peace and tranquility of seeing an open stretch of land is calming but for me at this point is getting too plain. I love Oklahoma but it is really a hard place to be good at distance running.  The summers are brutal with 115 degree days at worst and a solid average of 100 degrees. Then the wintertime, you must factor in the wind chill that just cuts through all of your layers.  It is just a tough place but nonetheless it makes you stronger and able to be adaptable.  I was able to run 18 miles and 1 hour and 49 minutes and 26 seconds of a hard effort.  Thursday will be another nice hard day and I look forward to building on the base for the spring.

By the way...back to my headline.  Noble is in fact the Rose Rock capital and I ended up running by the museum that I really want to take Ashlee to!

Monday Employee Golf Day

The day was fun as I ran 18 holes out on the golf course while playing some golf and I am certain I had run about 6 miles of running.  At times I was sprinting, other times I was jogging but all in all it was a fun time.  I never knew how hard golf can be and that real practice is needed to play well at a course.  That was my exercise for that day and I was very tired come the end of the day.  The weather in Oklahoma is finally cold and some mornings is very chilly and windy and I smirk and smile to hear all of the Native Oklahomans complain about cold weather.  I find they complain about all the weather that this state has as it helps them cope.  Overall, great day and I wish that Ashlee gets better soon as she is recovering from a sinus infection.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


So on Friday, I was able to run along Cedar Lane and complete a nice loop of 82 minutes and 14 miles maybe 15.  I felt really good and the pace was nice and relaxed but strong.  Getting some hills in was nice too and I really need to keep the pressure on my training to ensure that I am up there with my mileage before I prepare for long endurance trail races and the OKC marathon.  I love the winter time and being able to wear tights and high socks and everything associated with it is awesome! I love cool and adverse weather that is not on the hot end of the spectrum. I used my 80 gift card at Backwoods which may be a potential sponsor and bought a sweet Arc Teryx Top that with a can food drive saved me 100 bucks!  Sweet Sweet Sweet deal!

Anyway time to run in the cold wind and rain!----Run out towards Norman North High school. The weather was insane!!!! Oklahoma is by far the windiest place in the World!  50 mph gusts and sustained 25-35mph winds are you kidding me.  I ran in the neighborhoods to dodge some of the wind and rain but there was no dodging it!  I was buffeted around like a pig in a blanket squealing all the way home.  It was tough but 75 minutes later and I was a changed man with 11.65 miles in the books not bad!

Sunday---70 minute run to the Bank at night!!!!  Nice pace as the temps dropped significantly from 40 to 28 degrees!   So tights and gloves were a must. I got lost in one of the neighborhoods out by Norman High School but kept a nice pace!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seeing Clearer Now!!! The Man Behind the Mask!

The Other day at Belmar, I had a moment. I realized that I had been wasting my time there ever since I started there.

As a college graduate, I have been over-qualified for the job title they want me to complete and I still am paid minimum wage there even after 11 months on the job.  I have gone beyond what has been asked of me and the truth is...I deserve much better.

Sunday I did not run but today, Monday on my first day off from work in a whole month, I have run tons of errands and run them literally while logging 10 miles of work.  It was a nice run and I can see that deception is vain and cruel and I feel better knowing that I deserve more. I ran to the bank, to the post office twice and to RJH realty and then back home.

I deserve more from my running, and work and just to give myself and my family the best life possible.  I know my father and Ashlee would want that more than anything and so begins my running journey to a new beginning.

I love working at golf/country clubs and I would like to continue that system at another club. I deserve some respect and pay that suits the amount of work I put forth into a job. The fact that raises don't exist is a federal crime to me.  So, I must look elsewhere.....

(Pics from Trails Golf CLub and Belmar Golf Club)

Tuesday---Nice hill run in my new Lunarswift 3. They felt great and I ran like a he-man today and amassed about 76 minutes and 12-13 miles of work all at a blazing sub 6 pace. Feeling pretty strong even after a month of ok training.

Wednesday--Busy day at work with tons of running around at the golf course. Approx 3.5 miles of running.

Thurrssssday--Thanksgiving---AM--Run in Arkansas...Beautiful quiet country road where I was able to log 65 minutes and about 10.5 miles!  Nice cool morning!  PM---Run to drop off Netflix movie then out to East Lindsey and then a quick loop through Summit Lakes. My new Nike Swift 3 feel amazing and light and I was able to get a nice post-turkey run in without much avail.  The weather is getting cooler here with a pick-up in the winds and a drop from the 60's down into the 30's. I was able to log 7 miles and 45 minutes and a total of 17 miles for the day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Back Into The Routine!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am so very excited to feel like my running and fitness is coming back to me again. I am getting the sleep, the nutrition, and the volume of training I have missed in the past few weeks.  Today, the weather was in the 20's and 30's as I was blessed with wearing my first pair of long tights on a run for this year. I love winter running!  When everyone is inside fretting about the cold, I am out on the roads and trails bettering myself.  I love the challenge winter poses and I love the real tranquility of running as the sun goes down and all that seems alive are the very breaths coming from my lungs.  77 Minutes of running!

I really am interested in snow-shoe racing and I have a feeling I could be insane at the sport. Last winter, I averaged 5:35 miles for a 5k at my GMC high school course where  I ran through 6 inches of snow and for a mile and a half I ran through 3 feet of snow and still managed a fast pace. If I could do that without snowshoes, just imagine what will happen once I get those bad boys on.

I really do hope to live somewhere that I can run up ski slopes in the summer to build ascent endurance and in the winter take Ashlee out onto the trails with snow shoes where we can frolic in the woods and enjoy being alive.  I have learned that Oklahoma is a great place to live but it does not provide enough opportunities for work and for a recreation base of activity that Ashlee and myself really deep down desire.  We are both working hard and I am excited for the future.


Friday---63 min run in Sutton Wilderness

Saturday---Night Run of 82 minutes out along OU campus and into Trails Golf Course!  Nice serene run and felt good considering all the work hours I have put in!

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Begin A New Week!!!

Monday---Run TO Bank and then  Westheimer Airport off towards Rock Creek Road and then back home!---83 minutes of action and 13 miles

Tues--Run TO the The Post Office and back--42 minutes 7 miles in AM

PM---35 minutes of running and 5.7 miles in which equates to about 12.7 miles of running.

Wednesday---Long 2 hour and 20 miles of running out on hills off of CEdar Lane!!!!!! It was cold and windy and I ran like a really champion and now must recover with a chocolate chip muffin!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

PineCone Classic Backwoods 5k!!!!!!

Today was race day and it was super exciting to have Steven Pyle with me at the race. That man ran like a champion today running a nice 17:13 effort which is awesome!  The race a cold with temps thanks to a nice 25-30 mph windchill in the 40's so I debuted my arm coolers from Pearl Izumi that I bought for the Mount Washington Road Race.  Those arm coolers/warmers are awesome. They keep you warm but also can help ventilate so for those brisk mornings help to regulate your body temp.  The 5k is a very fun low-key race with no bibs or time chips but has a lead bike and a very great traffic-controlled course.  I just went out for a 5k run and my pace was nice and easy. I felt like I was running a decent clip but then began picking it up after 9 minutes in to ensure I was running my best.  I love this race because they give out an awesome goody bag with running gels, key rings, an 80 dollar gift certificate and a 3 month personal training pass for the winner which is AMAZING for a nice low-key 5k... I hope this race in Norman continues to grow in popularity and can help this store out!

With all the working and lacking in distance training, I have been doubtful of what I could do. Today, I pieced together a nice 14:56 winning effort which was 5 seconds shy of last year's time but was solid.  This race gives me tons of confidence for the winter and spring racing season as I hope to string together some hard efforts of winter running (my favorite) before the big OKC marathon.  I feel like I am back to normal again and my spirits for running have been lifted. The sky's are the limit and only time will tell where my running can take me.

Photos courtesy of

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Dirty Bird Run!

1 Hour and 21 minutes of a nice hilly Lake Thunderbird Run. It felt sooooo nice to run in the peace and quiet of the park. Hit the beach front and ran along the shoreline for a solid 2 miles before heading back through single-track trails and the hilly park road! I am ready to run a fast 5k.  Right now I am working every single day of the week for the most part and have not much free time. It can be hard to run and even shave my face anymore. I have been wanting to take Ashlee out to eat and maybe a movie or something like laser tag but since my work schedule is booked, I cannot do so.  It really sucks having to work an insane amount just to be able to put back a couple 100 dollars for graduate school. I find life a challenge just to progress. SO many people stay stagnant in their lives that it angers me when I feel like I am not continually improving my condition. It is just like with running,  I always would like to see improvements and it has been tough but I know that all this hard work will pay off at one time or another.

Friday---Simple taper run of 70 minutes out towards highway 9. Ran real easy as the sun was going down already at 5pm. Time to recover and gear up for the PINECONE 5k.  Thank you Backwoods for sponsoring the race and for providing awesome gear for entering!

Run To Belmar...Run Back Home!!!

Yesterday I ran to work at Belmar.  It was a nice cool morning and I felt like an ultra runner who decided to load up all of their belongings and to run wild out in the world.  I woke up at 6am and then shot out the door at an early 6:15.  I carried a gym sack on my back with my work clothes inside and ran.  It was soooo much fun. I jumped on Sooner Road and just began to roll with the steep uphills and downhills.  It was a roller-coaster run and before I knew it, I was 36 minutes in and I had one more mile to go.  I felt so smooth as all the cars heading to work must have thought  I was a looney.  I arrived at Belmar at 6:54 where my watch read 42 minutes. I had averaged mid to high 6 minute pace with a bag flopping around. Not too bad. Then I worked at the golf course which was a great cold day where the sunshine brought golfers out to play. It was grrrreeeeaaaattt! Then when work was over with, I packed up my belongings again like I did in the morning and ran back home. I made the crucial mistake of packing only cold gear so running in tights and a jacket in 60 degree weather made me pretty darn sweaty. I was so sweaty that all I could think of is running in a desert on the verge of passing out. I made it home in 41 minutes and never felt so relieved to have run 14 plus miles!  A great day. I then was blessed with time with Ashlee running errands and just having fun.  It was a much needed great day and I am so  happy to have such a wonderful and supportive family.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

36 hours awake!!!!---No RUnning!!!

Running as of late has taken the back-seat in my life and it does anger me. I have started a new job and I have been working numerous 14 hour days where my running is broken up or I skip running all together!

It was crazy. I stayed up all night long and then worked from 5:30am-3pm. I just got back from running at Cedar Lane in the dark for a nice 71 minute run. The lungs and chest feel heavy so I took it easy. I am needing some sleep and hopefully I can regroup for Saturday's Pinecone Classic 5k where I look to beat 14:51.  I love running and all this working has compromised what I love most.  I am never home and I miss out on working out and with spending time with Ashlee. Graduate school emails have suffered too and I really need to gather myself.  This month is the final leg of the journey before I can work and save up and focus on the next chapter in my busy life.

I hope that wherever Ashlee and myself end up, we will be in a place with mountains and plenty of outdoor fun. And most importantly, we can be happy and really enjoy our lives together and not become mechanisms of society.

Sunday run of 70 minutes in the dark as I ran by Ingels Vineyard. I am just trying to get back into feeling well-rested and in shape to run fast!

Monday---Long Day at the coffee shop and then a run to the bank!  Total time out...1 hour and 13 minutes and run time of 65  minutes for a nice 10 miles. I have run 21 miles as of this week of training and will look to add some more mileage at the end with a nice 5k.  I have been so busy lately that my running blog has suffered immensely but I am optimistic that I will be able to get back on track with running and refueling! The weather looks like there might be huge rainstorms or tornadoes! First earthquakes now Tornadoes...Lovely!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lets the Games Begin!

Tuesday--No Run except at work....3 miles of running around plus more walking~~~~maybe 5 miles of effort!  I have begun my other job at Embassy Suites and I will find that running will be very structured on some days.

Wednesday-----1 hour and 30 mins on Alameda with a car accident! Witnessed a car accident and tons of wind. A nice run with the hills!

Thursday---66 minute run at 6 min pace through wind all in Moore at Belmar. It was a nice fun run! Cold and Windy....Whooosh!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Run with Connor and Crew

Managed a nice 5 mile run plus probably about 4-5 extra miles which totals in the 9-10 mile range. We went nice and easy which was what the doctor ordered after I have logged 2 very long and fast days and felt considerably sore!

To comeback from the run with Connor and company, I had my first Monday off in a long ancient time!  I felt a little tired from the GRE weekend and my pace started out lagging. I dropped off some mail at a local mailbox then trekked up and down some nice hills up to 84th street.  The pace quickened as I inched myself along throughout the run.  I feel so relieved to have finished the GRE and now have a new found lease on life.  Everything means more to me now as I feel like I finally have more time to think and reflect rather than just to react to the events that have occurred this past month.  I have the new interest in snowshoe running if I move with the cats and Ashlee to a region where there is snow in winter.  Last winter I thought I could run through the snow with no snow shoes and paid the price as 6 inches of snow became 2 feet as snow-drifts made my hopeful 5 minute pace slow to about 5:40's. Still not bad for running in adverse conditions.  Monday, Today's run consisted of me logging 81 minutes and probably 13 miles. I had a nice rhythm the last 5 miles and probably was moving close to sub 6.

My next race will be November 12th in Norman at the Backwood's Pinecone Classic.  Last year I won the race in a great time of 14:51 and hope to build on that time and maybe run a little faster.  The hard work is pretty much over with and now it is time to just enjoy life and the great people in it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Busy Times!!!!

Tuesday---65 minute run in tons of wind at Belmar Golf Club

My other runs have been nice since we finally have fall weather here in Norman.  I can go run in the morning and it is nice and cool and Thursday I ran out by the lake and temps were near 37 degrees with rain. It was awesome to wear gloves and the whole shebang including some new calf warmers that are awesome!

Because of the GRE test that I have just finished, it has been a challenge to run over 75 minutes or the equivalent of 12 miles so my weekly mileage should be around 80 but today which is a lovely Friday, I am ready to go a little longer than normal!

Friday was a nice long run!  I ran out on Cedar Lane and headed towards Noble. It was a nice evening run! It was a long one with 1 hour and 29 minutes logged!

Saturday, I ran out to Noble again but this time on Route 77. I felt fast in the dark and sadly ripped a nice whole in my running shoes!!!  Hopefully some duck tape can solve my dilemma! 1 hour and 26 minutes in the books.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oklahoma Ultra Running Championships....

Let me begin by stating that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have never felt so sick in my life but it was an amazing experience. I ran about 34-40 miles in the 6 hours and ran the majority of my miles at 20 in the first few hours.

I am proud to say I survived the race and somehow ended up winning the title of Oklahoma Ultra Trail Champion.  You would think the competition was not stiff but I beat a woman who was a Badwater winner in the 1980's and was a true veteran of ultras. She has run races such as Western States and Leadville 100 to name a few and she was GOOOOD! She kept 8:40-9 minute miles like she could go all day.  The course of the race was not a consistent 2 mile loop as many of the competitors including me were confused with lap splits when the pace that was run was not 8-9 minute pace for me.  I had hydration issues later into the run and suffered immensely. I went from a strong run to a nice run to a staggering walk to crouching on my knees in agony. I spent all of my strength as walking was a challenge as I tried to will myself from puking. I threw up a bunch. Say 15 times in those last two hours. I was so sick that a 30 minute nap in the middle of the race helped salvage me for a few more laps before I was crippled again. I do not know how I managed to win and I give credit to the amazing race staff and my fellow 6 hour trail runners for looking out for me and for walking with me in a great big pack. Everyone was so impressed with my early efforts that they really did keep an attentive eye on me. It was an experience I will never forget!

Oklahoma 6 hour Ultra Trail Champion...Has a nice ring to it indeed!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It is My Birthday!!!!!!!!!

Well, so I am now officially 23....I guess that means I need to grow up right...wrong.  I have grown up a lot over my 4 years at OU and now I have become a determined young man who is paired up with an equally intelligent and powerful woman.  Today, I have been able to get most of my work done!

Running Running Running---Cool Weather?

So I ran yesterday as the cold front pushed on in. The temps were in the 80's then dipped into the 60's. All in 75 minutes of running. I ran by the OU campus and bolted onto Berry Road and then down the tree-lined streets to the back-side of campus and ran over by the Jimmie Austin golf course.  It was a nice comfortable run except for the 30 mph headwinds.

Today, I ran some hills out on East Lindsey and ran to the weather tower high atop of the hills.  It was a nice run especially being able to wear gloves and a dri-fit shirt for once.  40's-50's is such nice running weather and I am amazed we finally have some nice cool weather.  I run my big race this weekend as 6 hours at 7 minute pace should keep me well in front of the competition. I hope that as I recap my race experience I can tell you that I was able to win the event and hopefully get some notable recognition for the run.

Wednesday--I ran out on the OU XC course for a couple loops to help get into the right mind-frame for running numerous trail loops. The loops at the course are 2k so a little bit longer than the 2 mile loops that I will be running at the Bluff Creek course.  My fitness is there and all I need at this point is the fuel to prepare myself for a long trek of 6 hours. I hope the event does have some grilled cheese sandwiches because that would mean I could run a loop snack while on the go, then snack some more. Belmar has trained me well for eating on the go. I often times snack on the go there and that makes my transition into this form of running work out and not sound too bad. This run for today lasted about 76 minutes as the cold is really here with winter lows and nice balmy 50-60's. Let me tell you it feels incredible! From a summer that saw temperatures in the 110's consistently, I am so grateful I can be outside and not feel like I am on the verge of death.

Thursday---I am going to run some errands to the bank, to drop off a movie at Hastings and then I will celebrate my birthday getting myself some snacks and our house some groceries and a light for my car and then maybe mail off some Springfield college applications for Graduate School!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Road to The Oklahoma Ultra!!!!!

Sunday---Long run of 85 minutes...Ran to 72nd street and Robinson. Ran to the high-point of Norman!  1 thousand feet up which is sweet! I could see beyond the tree-line pretty cool. Felt strong and handled the hills like my breakfast cereal!  I still have a long week ahead but I am ready for the challenge this weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Life is a RaceTRACK!!!!!!!

So What does that mean?  Well, please let me explain...

Friday:  75 minute run

Saturday:  87 minute run

Sunday:::: 3 inches of rain I ran through....76 minutes and wet soggy clothes

Monday:  40 minutes after running around a golf course and working 12 hours

Tuesday::: 73 minutes with slight hills

Wednesday and Thursday saw nice runs along trails. One run at Sutton Wilderness and the other at Lake Thunderbird!

I have been soooo busy I just have not had time to elaborate on my long runs.  Friday which is today, I ran a nice 71 minutes around OU and am excited that I have my debit card back after identity theft. I am having a nice birthday weekend and my big race is coming up!

My running idol of late is Ryan Sandes who is an ultra stage trail runner who makes running with a backpack look super cool. This guy has made running awesome with his historic 4 Deserts Win which has inspired me to run the 4 deserts race series and the many other Race the planet races.  I mean who wouldn't find Nepal or China or the Sahara to be a cool destination. Yeah I would be running in some of the worst environments in the world but heck that is what runners strive to do, make the impossible, possible.  I am hoping I can peak the interests of Inov8, a super duper cool trail running company and maybe inspire them to help in support for the 4 Deserts series to potentially top Ryan Sandes' epic performance.  Inov8 does have some sweet running backpacks that could help me reach my ultimate goal and I know that with a strong support system (wink), I am golden.

(Photo taken from SA

Sunday, October 9, 2011

From Drought to Monsoon!

Let me write this post with wow!  More rain than we have had all year!  Rain totals of 4-8 inches!  This is what Oklahoma is experiencing right now! I feel like I am in Seattle not Sunny Oklahoma!

It is so funny because coming from New Jersey, rain is a common theme.  It almost always rains once a week many times as nice deep-soaking rains penetrate the earth.  But in Oklahoma, the sun is always shinning and I seek the rain.  This weekend rain was in the agenda and it was FABULOUS!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Off-Road Running--Beach Run on Lake T-Bird

My run today lasted 1 hour 26 minutes and 30 seconds and 15-16 miles of work. But what made it memorable was running at Lake Thunderbird and discovering a new trail system, running by camp sites, and discovering an amazing shoreline that allowed for me to run on the beach, basking in the sun rays and running on elegant footing. It was quite an experience.

The run was incredible. Finally the mornings here in Oklahoma are mild where 50/60/70's feel like heaven over the hot hot hot hot 100 degree weather we had been experiencing. I set out on an adventure run like always and headed on the undulating hills. The weather was nice and brisk in the low 60's and I set out ready to find new trails and potentially new unexplored vistas.  I found exactly that.  I took a side road near the Archery range then shot downhill into a tree-lined and well-shaded campground I had never noticed before. It was perfect!  From here I saw the coastline and the rippling waves.  I ran down the slope and made my way to the beach-front. Because of the loss of water this summer, portions of the shoreline were greatly exposed so it made for beach running. I ran about 2-3 miles out on the coast as I traversed red clay rocks and well-packed sand. It was lovely! The sun was out, there was not a cloud in the sky and I was running at a nice clip.

Then after the coastline run I headed into tight wooded single-track throughout the park until I somehow popped out by the marina and then took the long straight road back to my car. It was a great run and I am so ready to run for 6 hours. This challenge is going to be tough but well worth the effort.

"Oklahoma Ultra-Running Champion" has a nice ring to it and I am going to ensure I provide myself the best overall chance for VICTORY!

Today---Thursday I ran with Scott all over Norman. It was great to see that man again and to just chat about life and running and other bare essentials. 80 minutes in the books and we ran a nice morning run and I am feeling like it is time to prepare for some great races coming up.  There is a bunch going on in my life this month and I look forward to getting everything in order.

I talked with Wisconsin La Crosse Graduate Park Management Program and they have a lot to offer me. We will just have to see what the future holds!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Run To the Bank--Efficiency at Its Finest!

Running to the bank across town has become my staple errand run where I take all the errands that need to be completed for either myself or Ashlee and then  I got out on foot and get these tasks done in record time.  
Running to the bank can be a challenge. In Norman, Bank of America is on West Main street and I live as far east on Main street as you can before you reach the farm-roads in Norman.  The run is about 3.25-3.5 miles depending on the route.  But let me tell you why running errands can be so efficient.  The trick is that with driving a car, you have bad drivers and stop lights. Did you know that people spend about two weeks out of there lives at traffic lights(from That is a bunch of time!  So why waste that time waiting at a light and why not just bypass all the lights all together? That is right, as a runner you have the ability to navigate a course that eliminates many of the lights for traffic or you just wait at maybe one light and potentially 30 seconds pass by then you are back on your way. As traffic begins to grow and grow in Norman, Oklahoma, I worry about driving and getting places.  Thankfully, I have trusty feet that can propel me to the various locations I would like to head to.  Today I PR in the bank run with a time of 20 minutes and 36 seconds to the bank which is a 34 second PR.  Not bad in a days work. I got out of work later than usual with the Golf tournament so  I had to stuff my face with food then hustle to the bank before 4 to deposit the tips I made the previous week. I left my place at 3:30 and made it to the bank at 3:50 with ten minutes to spare.  

It is a great thing to have your feet as an alternative and though it was hot out here today, I managed a nice run of 72 minutes.  I love walking into the bank and sweating it out in the hot Oklahoma sun where people look at me like I am CRIMINALLY INSANE! The truth is  I am getting a nice workout in, saving time wasted driving, and I am pushing the limits of being a true ANIMAL. Not many people have the guts to run after a work day half-way across town to the bank but I love it. I love looks on people's faces when they see a sun-drenched skinny boy who has run like the wind.  Anyway, my rambling is coming to a close.  It is October and time for crunch time.

GRE--October 28th

Oklahoma Ultrarunning Champs---Oct 22

My 23rd Birthday--October 20


Graduate School Apps--All Month Long!

In other words it is a busy month for me but it will be all worth it in the end!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Road to the Oklahoma Ultra 6 hour

Saturday and Sunday were both nice runs that have allowed for me to get used to using a hydration bottle and waist-belt.  I have never run over 2 and a half hours before but I am placing the challenge on myself to run 6 hours and hopefully set a record at the event to run over 45 miles and hopefully 50 miles in the 6 hours.  The race is a 2 mile trail loop in Oklahoma City and I look forward to testing my strength in endurance running. This will be my first crazy attempt at such a feat but I have a innate feeling I will love the distance.

In running today, the marathon and trail running are the two largest growing branches in running.  And Ultra running is becoming a huge outlet for people.  For a long race, hydration and fueling will be key and getting used to a fuel belt and water bottle will be critical to my success.  I will hope to average 7:30 minute pace for six hours which is a 3:15 long marathon. I think that  this pace will be in a great zone for success.  I not only hope to run well but also fast to push the limits of Oklahoma ultra-trail racing.  On saturday I ran for 87 minutes and Sunday a total of 69 minutes.
Ashlee is going to work a second job and I am nervous she will miss out on a lot of Cole time and precious sleep.  Graduate school applications are on the horizon and I think both of us are feeling the pressure.  The schools I am looking into for Park Management are: SUNY Cortland, West Virginia University, Springfield College, University of Arkansas, and University Wisconsin at La Crosse.  All these schools have mountains in there own regard and boast great trails and recreation opportunities.  I hope I can land a great sponsor in La Sportiva or Inov 8 as both these companies provide trail runners great shoes and apparel and gear.  Ashlee today made some bean soup which was awesome and helped to keep my stomach nice and full.

I am so eager for cooler temperatures that 50's and 60's feel like heaven and even cooler 80's and 70's feel too hot for me.  Oklahoma is hot and that sun just eats away at you. The natural landscape is beautiful here with its lush grassland plains out on the east-side of town where there is great rolling hills but I am ready to take my running and academics to a new level. I need more mountainous terrain that I can build my endurance on and because that is where I would like to be a park manager of. Mountainous parks provide spectacular views and great winding trails.

I love my family: my cats Nollie and Libby, My father, Chuck and Ashlee my dream girl.  They all help me every step of the way and I hope my running can help to inspire those that dream of reaching beyond their own limitations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Running Around!!!

Tuesday ----82 minute run out towards Noble up the big hills!!!1 A nice challenge and nice weather in the low 60's with plenty of sunshine!

Wednesday---61 minute run at night out to a new development off of East Lindsey then I ran up into Summit Lakes then back home. It was short but I have been putting in some quality workouts and I needed one day of rest so I can put in two nice weekend runs then prepare for the Oklahoma Ultra Running Championships Trail 6 hour!

Thursday---Run on Sutton Trails and then a fast finish down Porter!!!  71 minutes and about 11 miles!!!  The morning started out at 62 degrees and has warmed up a lot to about 80. Kind of hot for fall! But that is Oklahoma!

Friday---75 minutes out on the OU campus. All the football tailgaters were coming into town so traffic was HORRIBLE!  I dropped off my rent check at the last minute and the run felt good but I am soooo ready for real fall! 89 degrees is not fall to me!  I am used to nice cool falls where light jackets and sweatshirts become the norm. I cannot even wait for cooler weather. Days of highs in the 60's and 50's will bring joy to me! And bring on the cold, the snow, all of it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Run With the Dudes!

Sunday was a run of 13 miles with some of the dudes.  We all met at Connor's place then headed off across I-35 to a development that had a sweet little paved trail and a lake. We ran around the lake then headed back. It was a pretty simple run and I felt great the whole time. I enjoyed the run and I felt very good.  This week will begin the real graduate school applications and I am excited about the future with Ashlee and where we will end up.  I am very fit and really ready to run some competitive trail races.  I may not win every fast 5k but 10k and up should be a different story as most of my training has prepared me for the longer distances.  Ashlee and our cats have been doing Great and I am always excited to see what other fun things we can do when we are both at home together.  My father is doing great too and is becoming an ultra-runner too with all his stories of him running to stores and shopping while using his legs as the mode of transportation.  If we all were more conscious of our bodies and about natural locomotion, I think the planet would not be in such dire straights but what can you do when we have all made big mistakes and now we must all face the consequences.

Monday Run---- 76 minutes of allergies, dust, sun, and torture all out on the hills of Rock Creek!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Off--Rain and the Trail Run with La Sportiva Quantum!!

Today I will be heading to do a nice rainy trail run in Oklahoma. Perfect!  I love the rain and I love to run in it even more.  I ran easy yesterday for 78 minutes and about 12 miles out towards Porter ave and the hilly neighborhoods in that vicinity. Anyways, today is the day I begin to apply for graduate school and I am really looking forward to the Oklahoma National Ultra-trail championships October 22.  I hope I can run over 50 miles in the 6 hours!

Lake Thunderbird was very muddy. So muddy that my black shoes turned a deep red.  I zipped through the vast twists and turns of the gold and blue loops and got sucked down into the muck underfoot.  The run was 13 miles in 1 hour and 27 minutes. I ran fast but the slippery mud mounds found to be difficult as my new La Sportiva Quantums had trouble gripping the trail. Let me tell you about the quantums....These shoes are amazing. The lacing system is perfect as it synchs into the arch of your foot.  The shoe makes running uphill a breeze as the morphodynamic wedges help give your foot the propulsion needed to fly uphill.  The shoe has such a soft feel to the instep and yes the shoe provides similar support to that of the Nike Lunar dynamic control where the shoe's level of stability adapts to each foot-strike. The shoe was never truly tested because of the deep deep deep deep mud but the shoe still never became a big blob of muck and maintained a nice dry and smooth ride.  Overall, I would rate this shoe a 9.5 out of 10 with today's run though this shoe is the real deal. I so want to be on La Sportiva's side because the running shoes they are producing right now are absolutely insane. These shoes are almost too good to be true plus they look cool YES!

I was very happy with today's run. I do not feel sore and I had a great time running in the rain and muck of the Clear Bay Trails.  It was a great challenge and I feel like I am very fit. Fitter than I have ever been.  I am very excited about my trail running career and I hope it to bring great success to me and my family.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Trail Run!---Pollen!

I did a nice recovery run back to the OU xc course. And guess what?  Someone mowed the course so I did not need to bring a machete.  The run went well though the sun was beating on me at that 80 degree range. It is amazing how running in much cooler temperatures really allow for my body to recharge and run with greater ease.  I ran 3.5 loops of the course as I twisted up and down the soft clay surface.  I am planning on signing up for the Oklahoma Ultra-Running Championships in the Trail 6 hour division. I hope I can get a victory in my first ultra but to finish this feat feeling great will be my ultimate goal.  I am very excited about pushing the limitations of my body. Ashlee recently has been dealing with some allergies and is really feeling the sinus pressure all up in her nasal cavities.  I even have been noticing my lungs are stressed more with the allergens out on the trails.  I heard on the news today that the pollen counts will be the worst they have ever been this fall for much of the country so I think that means many of us are going to have to suffer through unfortunately.

My run lasted 76 minutes as  I perk up for a Thursday Lake T-bird trail run with my new La Sportiva Quantums.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Long Run To The Crest!

I ran on Alameda Road out towards Lake Thunderbird. It was hot with the sun beating down at 86 degrees and I felt like I was running some long all-day run or something as my legs felt very heavy. I ran up and down the various hills then traversed 72 street and ran by the most amazing stretch of Oklahoma Farmland I have ever seen. The rolling plains caked with black cows made the expansive landscape remind me of Jurassic Park.  It was a nice challenging run of 84 minutes and the development I ran to was AMAZING. A hilly tree-lined personal road just for me to run on was so peaceful. Anyway, I need to help Ashlee with our new game rental on the PS3...Happy Big Planet 2....Happy Trails!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

OU Run for Diabetes 12:51 5k Mix-up And Trip To Austin, TX

First let me say...I had run the fastest 5k ever yesterday in 12:51. The problem: I was lead off course and cut the course and was disqualified because the stupid kids that ride the lead bikes lead me the wrong way. Thanks to disorganization and thanks to not knowing what was going on. Yes, I did not look over the race course perfectly but I thought everything was working out well. But heck, I was on pace for 14:50 and that would have been a nice finish. But oh well. You cannot always win even when you can run fast!

The Road trip to Austin was fun too though the drivers of Texas are by far the worst I have ever encountered in my 22 years alive.  They swerve in front of you, never use turn signals, speed up then slow down to a crawl, and are just rude.  Staying with Aunt Angie was a great time as we karaoked all night long to 2am.  We encountered Longhorn fans that gave us a slight tough time until I told them I was a guido and then it was all good and I met horrible people in Waco that ignored me as gasoline dripped down my leg.  All I wanted to do was to wash my leg but NO, these man working at the gas station just wanted to ignore me.  C'mon! Worst service EVER. I mean I am a human being and I do deserve to be looked at and taken care of. People just aggravate me and I know all the driving for Ashlee was very stressful too. When it was all said and done, I was so thankful to be back in Oklahoma.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rain Makes the Corn Grow----

Image by Goulao

Friday I have ran to the bank and to the post office. I noticed the OU team coming back from a grass track workout.  My OK Runner hat has been a hero of late while in the hot sun and as a mop for the rain and sweat. I really like the old school look to it and heck...running in the rain is sooooo much fun. It seems to never really rain much around here and that sucks!  I love rainy days and when we have a day of rain, I take full advantage of it to run.

I signed up for the GRE today and so I can remind myself of when it is I signed up for October 28 a Friday at 8am but I need to be there at 7:30 am at a test center near Penn Square Mall.  I am excited to further that running career of mine and to get to the next chapter of my life.

I look forward to the future to have a more fulfilling job, a stable running and working career, and to be somewhere that fits well for both Ashlee and myself. Ashlee wants something different and I hope we find a great location to begin the next chapter of our lives together.  Norman is not a bad place to be. The tough bit is that the only jobs available are the ones that people do not want. Belmar outside service seems to be one of those jobs and though I have requested for a much deserved raise...I am skeptical of the club's methods. We both need a change. We need something that will provide great job opportunities, a new cooler climate, mountains to run up, and a community where people live to be happy and do not over-work the weak. Rain is a symbol of cleansing and with the rain comes my hope and optimism for just being treated right!  That is all we ask in life. TREAT US RIGHT!  If I am a better worker than someone else, pay me more or if I am promoted (ashlee) pay us more because that is a move that shows the company cares about the employee and that growth can be achieved.  People take too much for granted in this world and if I have learned anything that is productive, it is that the planet is fragile and if we do not treat it right, well it will come a time for us to suffer. What we are experiencing in the world today is that result of not treating the earth with respect.  If only...

Tomorrow I will run the OK RUn to Defeat Diabetes at the Norman Campus.  I think that any race that finishes on the grass of a College football stadium is pretty sweet so I am going to partake in a nice cool and possibly wet 5k. Sounds like a ball to me!

With my test the 28th, I will miss the Tulsa Run the following day but I have the chance to run in the Oklahoma State Ultra-Running Championships where I could set the 6 hour record and I am going to DO IT!  What A cool Cool record to have as I transition into trail running and potentially some borderline ultras

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Run to the Trailz

Yesterday, I ran to the Trails Golf Club on the far west side of Norman.  It was a nice easy 78 minute run through the neighborhood that outlines the golf course. Let me tell you that if I could live anywhere in Norman, I think it would be there. You have a golf course, you have all very distinct houses and they all look nice. The rolling streets have nice oak trees that provide shade and it really feels like the people that live near the trails have peace and quiet.

My legs are adjusting to the increased work load of high mileage and now that we have a cold front, 55 degrees feels like heaven versus the 100+ degree weather I had been forced to try to acclimate to.  The Trails is a nice club but they have had greens issues with their course so when I arrive at work, I have new members that have left the Trails to play at Belmar. Whether that is good or bad is beside the point that the Trails is in many ways opposite of Belmar. Belmar has not many trees, the Trails has lots of trees. But anyway, it was a good run where I kept pushing along the whole way and maybe even have stretched myself to running 12-13 miles.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

La Sportiva--Quantum--My first Real Trail Shoe

I received my new pair of trail shoes from La Sportiva thanks to Ian at the company for providing me a pair. I cannot wait to try out the pair out on the Lake Thunderbird Trails because they are soooo awesome. The shoes not only look cool but are very light-weight and have a adaptive construction to the shoe.  As soon as I test these bad boys out, I can provide a complete shoe overview but for now the black and gold sportivas are looking awesome. The model of the shoe is called the Quantum and they are styling!

My Life is Crazy!!!!!! AHAHAHAHAH!

Sunday:::: 16 mile long run with Kelly out to Belmar Golf Club and back on the farm roads of Norman/Moore.

Monday:::Run to the Bank---65 minutes then opened a golf tournament.

Tuesday:::: Run of about 80 minutes---Out by Cedar Lane

Wednesday:::: Hot sun run out in the hills---82 minutes

So my training has been pretty solid even with working almost every day this week. Life has been busy and work has taken a lot out of me but Ashlee has been by my side and I just received our Playstation 3! Thank you father!!!!!  I might run a local 5k this weekend where you finish on the OU stadium at Owen Field which seems pretty awesome. I am so looking forward to the cooler weather and another chance to better myself!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Springfield College and the Blazing Sun!

These are pictures of Springfield, Massachusetts a potential location for Ashlee and myself for graduate school.  I spent the morning chatting with a graduate advisor from the college and things went very well. I think that Springfield is a place that is a great New England city that is near both the coast and the mountains of Western Massachusetts.

I had a great talk with the graduate advisor at the school for park management and I am excited about the potential opportunities in this area and to finally get to experience something new. I love Oklahoma and think that it is a great place but the jobs in state and national parks do not exist here as many parks cannot even stay open.  I have tried and tried for park jobs here in the state and people tell me they are interested but they do nothing on their end after I place myself out there for them.  So I say, "I'm Moving ON!"  Springfield is a nice New England City and has great proximity to many other great places such as Boston, Hartford, Cape Cod, and the Berkshires!  This school has affiliations with the YMCA and could provide me with a great academic opportunity and I am going to take it! As far as running goes, this is a very diverse area with trails, mountains, ocean running and scenic hilly neighborhoods as Springfield is on the foothills to the Berkshires.

To contrast to Springfield, the run I went on that afternoon was sooooo hot! 100 degrees no thank you!  I was living in the desert again and the sweat all over my body reminded me how much this summer had been devastating!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RUNNING , WEDDINGS, StAYing, ERRANDS--Life of a Runner!

My runs have been very consistent this week. I have logged great amounts of mileage and great efforts and even running errands at the bank and to the various other little stores in Norman.  I love using my legs to propel me through the world and to be efficient in the way I run my life.  There is nothing better than getting things done while saving precious gas money that can be used for other purposes.
As the country begins to suffer from the economic downturn, gas prices and the very system of labor that America depends upon is dwindling. With the amount of home foreclosures, loss of jobs, and increase in prices have created a serious issue and inconvenience for the people that have built this nation.  Ashlee and myself had the chance to watch the moving running documentary: Running America which looks at what is means to be American and how something as crazy as running across America is actually really sane in desperate times.  

It takes a film like this to inspire and to showcase the human spirit and the strength one can find while running.  This is one of the major reasons why I do go out and run. Yes, it can be seen as something crazy but in actuality, it is very sane.  I am not only bettering myself but I feel that by going out and mini-expeditions, I am more American than others. I have a very distinct relationship with the area I live in and with the natural landscape that most Americans scratch their heads at.  It is this simple almost primeval sense of feeling like taking a dream and making it a reality.  In running, nothing is given to you as each step is a step towards success.  This locomotion is what drives our very existence, to know that we must always keep pushing on regardless of how bad it hurts.  With everything being crazy in my life, I am optimistic for the things that are solidified: my running, My family, My most incredible girlfriend and future wifey Ashlee Prewitt, and a future that involves fashioning a life where we are in control of our destinies and not the other way around.

Today, Ashlee and myself talked about Graduate school and about leaving Oklahoma to distant lands. Many of the programs that I have interest in are stationed on the east coast and for both Ashlee and myself, it could very well be a most-exciting new adventure.  Maybe we will open a running store together and have that as our business venture while I continue my running career. All I know is that I have the great support of those that love me and that is all I need to make the impossible, POSSIBLE!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BrookHaven Run 7th Place!!!! Lake Thunderbird Trail Hang-Over

With the stress of work, my performance at Brookhaven was less then stellar. I ran 15:30 again which is 5 minute pace and I placed 7th one spot better than last year though I was not near perfect form.  My first k was at 2:58 and I zoomed through a 4:50 mile like it was nothing. I felt nice and relaxed. I knew I had to be patient if I wanted to run well. Jerry pushed with me the whole 3k distance as we began to pick people off. I was surging and still felt great.  At this time, I was in fourth place right on the heels of Rob Sorrel. I was on the move but Rob kept holding me off as I began to draw closer and closer. It was at 4k something just hit me. My chest was heavy and a simple breath was like breathing on the moon.  I had no oxygen entering my strained muscles as I just could not push anymore. It sucked! It sucked to see Jerry pass me, Scott pass me then some random dude right near the line. I felt horrible as I surged all I could to pass this guy at the line but just missed him and tripped over the finish-line as the Kenyan winner, picked me up. It was miserable. I felt like I through away a perfect opportunity to do something great.  I am switching jobs and Ashlee was there to help pick me up. I was sad but she gave me new strength as each day I run, I need to prioritize for the things that we not only make my running career healthy, but to have an overall healthy life in all facets.  Running is important to me but there is no other feeling of being complete when you can come home after a long day and see your family ready to greet you. Ashlee is my strength and I thank you for that sweetheart.

Now the Time to Prepare is in the air. I have trail races to run this fall and winter and I have the ultimate goal of the OKC marathon and Mount Washington again.  I need to run smarter and more importantly, recover smarter to gain back the 8 pounds I have lost in muscle due to not eating enough because of work and the combination of running. I do not know what my next job will be just yet, but I am working on it. I have a chance to work at the Athletic Loft thanks to Pat Proctor, a member I have met at Belmar.

In many ways, I am starting all over again.  I have a new lease on life and it is time to get back to the roots that have made me such a happy person over the years.

Lake Thunderbird was awesome by the way.  Connor and myself ran the back trails which take you to sights such as Dragon's Den and Quadzilla.  Trail running feels so good! I have a strong sense of the trail and how to run it effectively.  Winding up and down the trails going through sand, gravel, rock, and wood planks and bridges give Thunderbird quite a reputation. I love these trails and at 5pm, Connor and myself decided to get lost in the woods. We ran the trails til the sun almost set and ran a grand total of 1 hour 43 minutes and 37 seconds....a total of about 15-16 miles. It was just the type of run to take the mind off of a tough race and to re-calibrate myself back to what drives my passion for running.  Ashlee's parents also came into town and let me tell you it was a blast. I had so much fun OU bar hopping that I kind of wish I had infinite money just so I could bar hop during the day!  It was such a pleasant time with everyone and I am excited about getting back on track.

Monday had a nice and easy run of 65 mins and 10 miles---Out to Athletic Loft and then Eagle Cliff Drive to the Golf Course then back.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Member/Guest Not Running Much and The Calm to The Storm!

Sunday---83 mins---Nice run picked up the Tulsa 5k prize money

Friday----75 min run---Loving the slightly cooler evenings here in Heat capital of the USA!!!

Thurs--8 miles of walking and running at work for a 4am-9pm shift!

Work has been a big stress on me and Ashlee of late and I have decided that switching to a different job will be best for me.  I can no longer deal with certain aspects of that place and so I must move on. Just like running, it takes courage to get out the door and to keep moving but once you get that first initial step, you do not regret ever going off to run in the first place!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lake Thunderbird, Home Sweet Home

A standard view of Lake T-bird!

Lake Thunderbird is my bread and butter. This park is what solidified my decision in spending my collegiate years here in Norman, Oklahoma.  When I am out at Thunderbird, I feel this charge, this energy that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. You could say there is something mystical about this place and to know it is man-made really shows are true ingenuity and worth to manufacture something truly worth-while.  I love the trees, the winding roads that crest into the sky, the water which is warm but is something Oklahoma needs to keep going if it ever rains here again and the mysticism of nature. This place is more than a park, it is an adventure, an experience of Oklahoma. The trails are awesome!!!  Nice sand or dirt single-track that winds up and down through the Oklahoma forest like you are riding some crazy roller-coaster ride.  I love it. I always tell people especially Ashlee that I have run at Lake Thunderbird today because a training run out there is more than just a run, it is an escape into a world where people and nature co-exist. Where you feel a connection with something higher than you there. Where oil or football is not the closest relationship you have with the land.  I  wish there was more Lake Thunderbirds out there. More little systems of Oasis(s) that provide all of us an escape from the rigors of daily life. I run because it provides me a system of balance that helps not only my mind but my body and spirit.  It is because of this activity that I can be cheerful or even saddened but I can tell everyone that I made great strides in improving my fitness and my longevity on this planet.  My family are great supporters of my running. Special shout-outs to my father Chuck and my lovely girlfriend Ashlee Prewitt for all the love and support you give me.  

Life is about those experiences that take your breath away and Lake Thunderbird does that for me. This place will always have a special spot in my heart.  Time to keep on running!

TO THE RUNNING::::::I was able to track 12 miles or 83 minutes of humid climbing out on the roads away from Thunderbird on 108th ave NE up towards Franklin Road.  Slow run because of the humidity and the climbing was tough but I managed to slog through it all and finish feeling accomplished as I did the ceremonial wade in the lake ritual which I partake in after every run out there. Cmon, why run at a lake and never dip your feet in the water? That is not fun! So I always manage to take a short dip in the Lake though I have to watch out for cat fish!

Running Bulletin: Brookhaven 5k--Norman Oklahoma---Prize Money to be won---Sept 3rd! Be there or be....Well in last place.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Mean Green Machine!!!

Running...It is something that never really gets much credit. Something that often is laughed at, people hate, people cringe at. But for my girlfriend, Ashlee, running is a lens...a lens into my mind-into my body and soul. I have never seen someone who never was a runner have such compassion for the sport as she does.  She cheers me on like it is a big OU football game ready to scream her lungs out. She laughs and cries, smiles and frowns, all for the glory I seek when I go and push myself to the limits. I love her and she is my inspiration for it all. When I feel like crap like tonight for instance, I think of her grace and love and it carries me miles and miles back home.  I never thought I could find someone who appreciates running the way she does. Thank you Ashlee! You win the Mean Green award for being such a great motivator.  

I have run well the past few days. Both night runs and both decent mileage of 10.5 and 10.  I am close to a nice average for the week and my baby is helping me stay  well fed and keeping my spirits up.  She really is something special and though I do not mention her much, she is always on my mind. She is like my lucky rabbit's foot; I may not always mention it but it is always there within me, helping me conquer great obstacles. You are my lucky charm Ashlee and for all the hard work I put into running, I want you to know that I would not be able to do it without your support. Thank you!

With Ashlee, I am already at the Summit! I have made it to the top and it is thanks to her spirit and strong will that gives me the strength to push when I am ready to give up! Thank you sweetheart!

Friday, August 19, 2011

106...It is Hot Out There--Mount Scott Preview

Now that I have finished work and I wait for the sun to crest over the horizon, I have my sights set on Mount Scott.  Mount Scott is the tallest peak in the state of Oklahoma and at one time had a 5k race up to the summit.  Though the race may not exist, I want to attempt to break the course record of 21:04 set by Gilbert Limo in 2006.  Mount Scott has an average grade of 7% which is half of Mount Washington and half the distance too.  The peak is 2,464 feet as according to Wikipedia and was around since the Dinosaurs.  This to me is like my Mount Washington, my Colorado Rockies. Yes, it is a small peak in retrospect but it is at least something and certainly a challenge.  Before I head East for graduate school, I have the goal in mind to do something like Kilian Jornet- ascent the mountain and then run down it as fast as possible to set a record of strength and endurance that a true Oklahoman would be proud of.

I wish the race still existed though it might in myth, I am going to run up this mountain and do so in 21:03 or faster.

More to come about tonight's run but I can tell you I am excited to document my journey to Scott. Thank you La Sportiva for the response to my email.  As you know  I am looking for sponsorship with a trail running brand and I am a potential future prospect with the team.  That to me is exciting and I look forward to continuing my running adventure maybe with La Sportiva and OK Runner.  Thank you Gus and company for all the help and support your store gives me plus we have a sweet LOGO which makes you feel cool and fast as you run by people!

Heat Run of 60 minutes! When the temperature is over 100 the run is pedestrian but it helps acclimate the body for extreme conditions.  The run felt great considering the heat and now it is time to celebrate my buddy Clayton's birthday!!!! Overall, a tough day but there is hope for nicer Oklahoma days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Freshman Move In Day? Car Accidents Out on East Lindsey Hills?

All I have to say is I am struggling right now.  This summer heat is driving me crazy as every run becomes a bout for survival. And to top things off, The sun decides "Hey lets mess with Cole by coming out of the clouds just as he runs so the temperature can instantly rise 10 more degrees but we will place 70% humidity as a factor too HAHAHAHAHAHA".  And Today I wanted to get in some hills since I do need as much vertical gain I can get around here in flat Oklahoma if I can have any chance against  the best mountain runners in the country.  Well I maybe crested 3 hills then a serious car accident between a minivan and a truck met almost head-on sending both people in the vehicle to the hospital in critical prayers are with them and their families.  So I spent a good chunk of time once I saw the collision making sure the people were okay as myself and another man pried these bloodied people out of their vehicles as I got covered in blood and I was wearing a nice white running top---(now in the washer). This incident was not the first time  I witnessed an accident running out on the hills of east Norman.  Today it was out on Alameda, last time it was out on Robinson.  All I have to say is what the heck.  I spent 45 minutes detailing what I saw then once I was free it was already 10 am and it had become hot!

Freshmen move-in day is today so I headed to campus to see if I could snag some free stuff. I was also in dire need of some water.  I get to campus and the place is a ZOO!  Parents and students and crazy Borat kids in man thongs go speeding by me.   I turned the run into a tempo as the campus loop was all in 5:30-5:50 pace. I was whizzing by people as my body glistened from all the sweat. Oh yeah, I also stopped by a bathroom on campus and smudged some of the blood off of my shirt so that it did not look like I was a mass murderer or something.  I really wanted a new laundry bag which they usually have at this event but no such luck. I looked at every kiosk but no go so I headed back disappointed.

(This is what both cars looked like after the crash--Pretty bad when your both going 65)

This fall is going to be busy for me...I have to take the GRE, Apply to graduate school programs, Forward my transcripts, get letters of recommendations, forward my resume, and give personal statements all while working 40-50 hours a week and training and racing hard so I can be sponsored by a rad company like La Sportiva if they ever respond to my requests.  There is so much going on and I am a little tired of all the craziness.  I just have to do my best and get things done and everything will work out.  I thought graduating would be a release from the rigors of work but it really never ends does it!

Day 1 run--Campus Loop/Canadian River ---76 minutes---12-13 miles

Day 2---Hills then Campus Loop To Law Library and back---13-14 miles