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.