Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something Stupid

Small announcement: I'm going to attempt something stupid this weekend. Saturday. This should prove to be a foolhardy attempt at either killing my running, or boosting my low motivation. I'll start at noon and run the 6 hours, that's all. All I want to do is run for six hours, that's the only real goal. If I can run for six hours, I'll probably get a nice long run in. If not, I'll still get a long run, and then a long walk.

Anyhow, I know it's stupid. I'm admittedly not in the best shape, but I'll go do it anyway. 6 hours is not quite as pointless as running on a one-mile concrete circle for 12 or 24 hours, though. So there's that.

Why am I doing it? Couldn't tell you. Originally, I had some stupid idea about running a bit over 52.44 miles, just to say I did it. But I don't think I am in that kind of shape right now.

Anyhow, come out to the Bluff Creek Park just north of Lake Hefner and you can watch me, and a bunch of other people who are similarly mad, run a few laps. I am hoping for hecklers after the first 3 hours. Not sure how I'll keep running, otherwise. Heckle, jeer, threaten, anything.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fat Don't Fly

I gained a few pounds in my latest slow-down or lay-off. Whatever you want to call it. I am about 13 lbs over the race weight I'd like to be. Why? Because I am stupid and lack self-control. That's the short answer.

This said after a morning of animal crackers and peanut butter. Fat don't fly. Or so I heard one day when I was watching this stuff:

And now I remember. Remind me next time you see me pounding the round food* - running big miles and weighing a few extra pounds is a recipe for sore joints and additional pain. But I just like eating too much.

*Round foods are doughnuts, pizza, bagels, sausage patties, hamburgers, cake, pie, cookies, ... you know, round food.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shifting Gears

Out with the old, in with the new. This marks a change in the blog. And a change in our training. We've been slacking. Before we can run like Valentino Rossi, we need to put in the work. And we got off track. Not far, but a little.
Do you think Mr. Rossi spends any time on the track? Does he work on his fitness a little? Does Tiger Woods hit a few golf balls? Did Sergei Bubka rest? How many days off did Ted Corbitt take? And we are done resting.

If you want to be good at running, you have to run. You have to practice. You have to run A LOT. We know what we have to do, and we have not done it. You know what you have to do, and you have not done it. It's a common malady. Let's go out and hit the roads, and cure ourselves.
So, now, to get fast, we must shift into a lower gear and pull for the long haul. Get your tractors running, and start pulling, rain and shine, like it's your job. That's the first step.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Survey Results - Disorganized other stuff.

Over Half of our participants took the quiz, ... I mean the survey, and so we should start to give some results. But keep your responses coming. I'll update this as more responses come in, so check back with us. If you were at the race, we would like to hear from you!

Q1. How long ya been runnin?
A1. It's a split. Most of you are either 1-2 years, or 10+ years, with few in between

Q2. How many races do you participate in each year?
A2. Three to ten was the most popular answer. But 22% are 10-20, and 17% were more than 20 races a year

Q3. What distances do you race?
A3. The big ones are 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon and Marathon, at 88, 65, 63, and 45%, respectively. Looks like 7 ultras, too. Hmmmm. Some of you might have to make room for another event of ours, late October, 2011. (tentatively - Stay Tuned)

Q4. What do you like to race on? Preferred racing surface:
A4. Most popular order: Road, Trail, Cross-Country, Multi-surface and Track. We forgot to ask about Rock, cactus, dirt, paved, and sand, with some water, grass, and other stuff mixed in. I guess that's multi-surface?

Q5. We wondered if anyone got lost, and how you got to the start.
A5. No one admitted to getting lost. Not sure if I believe you. I got a few calls race morning, but I'm not telling who you are. You know who you are.

Q6. Rate the course!
A6. Difficulty: 5 is most difficult, 1 is least. Most popular answer was 4. Great! Just what we were aiming for. Difficult, but achievable.

Condition of road. 5 is perfect: Most answered 4. Good! It's better to run than to drive, though.

Scenery: 5 is Southern France, 1 is the Southern Plains Landfill. Most popular answer was 4. Awesome!

Traffic/Safety - 5 is Super-Safe: Most answered 4. We're glad. I guess we were worried about traffic, and we know we wanted you to run on the right to make our sweeper vehicles more effective. We worry so you don't have to. Nevertheless, next year it will be better.

Signage/Course Directions - We got a 5 on this one. Which shouldn't be too hard since there was only two turns. But we'll have some maps available on site for those that need them next year.

Q7. We asked for a rating for ourselves.
A7. Most of you thought we should get married. You overwhelmingly thought we were both helpful and happy, (yea!) but one of us got one more vote than the other, and I ain't saying who. A few thought we were disorganized and that they deserved more and did not get their money's worth. We are sorry. We think we were disorganized, too, but Len and Hannah saved the day, so no worries. Maybe I just feel more disorganized than I actually am. Maybe i can't live up to my own standards. Not sure. We also thought it was a bargain of a race. These things cost money! But that's up to you all to judge.

Ok. You thought the prizes were awesome. We did too.
Here are some of the prizes you missed, if you weren't there:

  • The Open Trophies were real roadkill skulls of coyote, red fox, and raccoon, mounted on burned reclaimed Appalachian no. 1 white oak. The skulls were fully cleaned and "bleached" of course. (as described in my last macabre post.) They were secured with copper wire. They have a lifetime guarantee - as long as those critters live, so will I service those trophies.
  • The Masters Woman winner received a very nice bottle of red wine (a California Pinot Noir), a brass vase, and a flower bouquet.
  • 2nd Masters Woman got a painted cowbell trophy and an Argentinian Malbec (which she was not there for, and we did not ship. It was good, though).
  • 3rd Masters Woman got a bottle of California Merlot, and a brass armadillo.
  • The Masters Men got the same bottles (Thank you Bombay Liquor!) and, in order: a stag-horn knife, $30 gift certificate at H&H gun range, and elk skin gloves.
  • Two 12-packs of cheap, awful beer were given away.
  • 10- $10 gift Certificates to Bombay Liquor were given away.
  • Several $10 off coupons to Sports Authority were given away.
  • A sleeve of Styrofoam cups.
  • 2 free car washes at Mojo's Car Wash. (Thank You Mojos!)
  • 5 - gift certificates to Braum's. (Andreia loves Braums.)
  • A quart of honey.
  • Candy.
  • Chocolate
  • A t-shirt for the Chief Drive-In (thank you!)
  • 3 "Get Out Of Jail Free" t-shirts from Joe Bob's Bail Bonds (thanks Joe Bob!)
Q8. How was the beer?
A8. Only 60% of you had the beer, but of that number, 80% of you liked it and will be asking for it by name. That is good. (And hey, Coop Ale Works, I am sure you know, but the Native Amber was more popular than the Wheat. But we were happy to have the Wheat!) We hope you come back next year, Blake!

Q9. Rate the food.
A9. The most popular answer was "Jake's is my favorite!" closely followed by "I didn't eat anything." We should have a little more variety next year, with lighter after-race fare in addition to the beer and BBQ.

Q10. Are you going to run The Road Kill next year?
A10. 0% said no. 5% maybe, and the rest: Yes. That's pretty good. But if you could bring a few more of your friends, we sure would appreciate it.


Today, Scott Downard of Norman, Oklahoma placed 50th at the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:26:52. A pace of 5:36/mile was none too shabby

Not coincidentally, Scott was our 2010 Road Kill overall champion, with a time of 56:58. Sounds like The Road Kill is an excellent springboard for a good fall marathon.

Great Job, Scott!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Case You Missed IT

1st - Coyote
2nd - Red Fox
3rd - Raccoon

The open trophies were a good part of the inspiration for the name of the race. First the coyote, then the raccoon, were genuine "roadkill finds" that we made while on runs before we were really looking. Otto, our dog, was happy to help us find these dead animals. We moved them off the road a bit and tried our hardest to keep him from rolling in it. Meanwhile, the bugs did their work.

The most common finds are skunk, armadillo, opossum, frog, and raccoon. Things that creep at night and are blinded by your headlights. Deer and cats are fairly common, too.

We (and by this, I mean, "me," more than I mean, "we.") wrapped the skulls in cloth and plastic and collected the loose teeth from the side of the road and trucked them home while on the run. Nature does some amazing work. Bugs did most of the work of naturally cleaning the carcasses. The sun did a lot of the work, too. Wait too long and even the bones start getting chewed by rodents and insects. But if you retrieve the bones at the right time, a small amount of hydrogen peroxide solution and patience will do the rest. Getting the teeth back in their spots was a bit of a trick. They get loose and fall out. It's like a little puzzle.

For the record, boiling the bones is not the most efficient thing. It takes many hours. It causes nausea while you do it, and makes it difficult to use your pans for other purposes, if you enjoy retaining your victuals. I Don't recommend it. Rather, if you find a Fantastic Road Kill Specimen - do this:

1. Take some photographs.
2. Get it off the road, somehow, and outside the mowed right of way.
3. Note the location.
4. Wait about 2 weeks, in warm weather. Then check on the progress.
5. Turn it over if you need to.
6. Let it go until it looks really clean, and mostly white.
7. Bring it home. Be careful and get all the teeth.
8. Leave it outside, perhaps in a shallow grave, and the bugs will do more work.
9. Soak it in a light 3% Hydrogen peroxide for 1 to 2 weeks.
10. Let dry and whiten in the sun.
11. Glue the parts together.

That's it!

Next year will be more impressive. Let me know if you have, or if you find, any of the following:
Whitetail Deer.
Mule Deer.
Black Bear.
Wild Hogs.
Antlers, horns, tusks, and big teeth are all appreciated.