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.