Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Monday, April 27, 2009

Running to Camp - Literally-

This is in honor of the first annual Estates of Russell Creek campout. That’s right. An overnight camping trip of about 9 families to Lake Ray Roberts. A big shout out to Lisa, Julie and Tiffany who organized the thing. The campout was a about 1/2 mile from the car on a rocky, sandy worries...chance to get about 6 miles of running in with weight training...good prep for the Bataan Death March Marathon with 35 lbs pack held every year in New Mexico. At this point, got to give a shout out to David Tallant who had the forethought to bring a dolly…still kinda tough to maneuver...but better than the alternative of actually humping a cast iron dutch oven!

In the back of my mind I kept hearing the words of Clint Eastwood, from the movie Heartbreak Ridge, telling me to adapt/overcome….which will come in handy later.

This would be considered by the Texas State Park Department as a primitive campsite as there was no bathroom or running water…those amenities would be ½ mile away….remember? So my sweet and lovely wife, who ain’t real hip on the camping thing as it is, was out more than normal. To the point, and lucky for me, she decided to make the 45 minute drive in a second vehicle in case she didn’t want to stay overnight…at least she would enjoy the days activities…which consisted mainly of moving your trash into camp near the edge of the lake. I have to give kuddos to my sweet Brenda for being a trooper for the entire day.

I pick a campsite and then commence to set up our little 8 man tent…which I had purchased for the specific purpose for family campouts…one with lots of room. Compared to most tents, it looks like a small condo…but since Bren isn’t into camping , size is a moot point….at least in the tent category. ;-)

Saturday afternoon, right next to the lake gave way to about 40 MPH winds…might as well been a Cat 4 hurricane trying to set up a condo tent. Luke and Macy are always great help and the tent is so large that you have to have help to get the fiberglass flex poles in place. I could have had all 8 men help set up the 8 man tent….it was not going to happened with the Cat 4 hurricane winds. Yep, we would get the tent up…but then the wind would blow so hard as to collapse the poles in on themselves and the tent would basically collapse. I tried two other times from some other help…only with the same results. So what to do…adapt and overcome….pawn off Macy and Luke to two other responsible families who have the fortune of not having to put up a condo…but more like a modest townhome. So at this point the Tallants and the Morrows commandeered two orphans from the throes of homelessness. (Hope, my youngest daughter, would go home with my Sainted Wife…did I mention she doesn’t dig camping…no matter how big your tent is!!!)
What about me you ask? Two options: either snuggle up to Matt Adey in his tent…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! Or sleep outside. Not much different than my USMC days so I decide to sleep under the natural lights that only God himself could create….but I get ahead of myself.

The kids played all day…the boys running the lake trying to catch live things that gross out both moms and girls…and girls talking, playing princess or whatever. It is so awesome watching the kids be kids in the great outdoors.

We get a fire started and get ready to cook dinner….I love cooking outdoors and had brought a couple of steaks and hot dogs. Some of the others cooked the hotdogs as well. I had forgotten the fresh asparagus in the refrig at home so we had to do without. Everyone ate and then I started to prep for the dutch oven peach cobbler. I had humped a 15 lb cast iron dutch oven ½ mile and I was going to cook a cobbler if it hair lipped the governor….plus dutch oven cobbler is some kind of goooood! 25 minutes later….wahlah….peach cobbler….the sun was going down and the kids were winding down and they eventually were put to bed. With that being completed, I donned the trail running shoes and head lamp to go out for a little run. I had planned on going 15 miles but already had about ½ that done with all the running to and from the car to the campsite. There was a really technical mountain bike trail I wanted to run. It was tough…to the point that walking with only a headlight seemed precarious. A raccoon, two snakes and an armadillo later I thought it was time to turn back. (plus I had fallen once and rolled my right ankle twice.) I completed my run at about 11:30 pm. I had not gone as far I wanted but did get about a 2 hour run in for the evening.

I get back to camp…and couldn’t believe it…everybody was already in the bag….not much to do but air up the air mattress (I ain’t in the USMC…NO MO!). Grabbed some baby wipes and commenced with a “whore’s bath” and bedded down. Thank goodness I had the foresight to borrow a tarpaulin from David Tallant because at some point during the night it started raining. I stayed dry but when I heard the rain…the first thought was…”Dang it…I got to hump my stuff through the mud tomorrow…back to the car.” After concurring with both Tallant and Adey…they had the very same first thought. I slept well though and all was good.

The Prills cooked some awesome breakfast burritos Sunday Morning. Since I didn’t have a tent to break down…it was easy to pack up and get ready to go. I was wanting to get the move on in case the sky’s really opened up to a downpour. I gave Brian Woodrick a run for his money on moving out of campsite in record time.

I saw where Julie Tallant was asked if she had a good time camping…her response, “the kids did.” I have to say that a day camping is better than any day at the office. All in all I had a good time…..maybe the 2nd annual Estates of Russell Creek camping trip will be a 2 day backpacking trip…I’ll be leaving the dutch oven home.

Stay tuned for the years' Ultra race schdule!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm Your Huckleberry

Tombstone is one of my favorite movies. If you haven’t seen it, shame on you! For all you ladies out there, it has some romance. For you guys, it’s a freaking western so what is there not to like?! The film covers the shootout at the OK Corral between the Earps and the Clanton Clan. Wyatt Earp is played my Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer plays Doc Holiday.

Val Kilmer is brilliant and “makes” the film with wise cracks and a “devil may care” attitude. At on point he utters the enigmatic phrase, “I’m your Huckleberry,” to opposing villain and gunfighter, Johnny Ringo.

A little research shows that the documented phrase, “I’m your Huckleberry,” through the latter parts of the 19th century is used to indicate that “I’m just the man you’re looking for.” I utter that phrase from time to time and for those, that haven’t seen the movie, look at me like I am stone cold insane…which may not be too far from the truth.

So with all that, I have a friend who made me a running shirt with that famous Tombstone quote on it embellished with two six shooters. A big shout out to David Tallant and his shop for the shirt. Now that begs the question, “If I have the intestinal fortitude to wear it to an Ultra marathon race?” Are you kidding?…Let me be clear…I am not a front of the pack runner….more like the middle of pack…and sometimes, I slip to the back of the pack…so for me to wear this to a race…it would have to be comic relief, which is my style anyway. Showing up with a shirt with two big guns and a quote indicating that I’m the guy...yep, that’s funny….should I wear it to a race?

So in honor of wearing a shirt with two guns…I want to give a shout out to Missy, who has done so much swimming that her arms now have visible muscles. ..Even to the point that she walks around the house flexing her biceps and asking her husband if he has bought his tickets to the “gun show.” This weekend she has a little 5K race….an open water swimming race!!! Good grace to her...heck, she swam 20K last week!!!!!

And below is a montage found on YOUTUBE from Tombstone for your viewing pleasure…”You’re a daisy if you do,” (apologies for questionable language.)

Friday, April 17, 2009


Dad and Macy at the base of the hill

About a month ago, Macy, my 6 year old daughter, and I went camping in the Arbuckle Hills of Oklahoma. was a freaking cold weekend....but if you have read this blog for long...there is no whining in the Elliott Family...Mom and Dad included.;-) The camp out was with 13 of her kindergarten friends and their dad's. We had a great time. On Saturday afternoon, we decided to go for a hike at Turner Falls despite the mornings snow flurries and rain....remember no FREAKING WHINING.

I first need to tell you a little about Macy. She's my over achiever and someday will probably be Martha Stewart's replacement. She loves arts and crafts and helps mom in all social planning endeavors. She is not my most athletic kid, but makes up in the biggest heart department with iron will determination and the, "dang it, I am not going down without a fight attitude!"

So when we go out for about a 2 mile little hike up some pretty treacherous terrain to a cave on the hill side, Macy is bound and determine to be the first one up the hill. After the jaunt up the side of the hill Macy says...and I quote, "Daddy I was first...the other girls had some trouble." Yeah won....(HECK YEAH I AM FREAKING PROUD..and no I don't have to encourage her...she is just wired that way...when you look at the pics you will understand why Mom is not allowed to go...she would have a heart attack if she saw what I let Macy do.)

As you can see the ascent is a bit of a challenge for a 6 year little girl but Macy is bound and determined. I am close behind to limit the fall to only 5 to 6 feet...didn't even need to worry as her decent was timely and impressive.

In the Cave

The descent is just, if not more, difficult than the ascent. Especially with the morning rains, the rocks were slippery and the mud made it even more precarious. Of course Macy is trailblazing again. She absolutely loves it. We had a great weekend.

On the training front. This particular weekend was only 7 days after the Grasslands 50 that Friday at about 10:00 PM I ran up and down the hills for only about 5 miles.

I am currently back on track with between 30-40 miles of running a week, with one spin class and 2 core workouts. The last 2 weekends I have done a half marathon distance trail run...this weekend I plan to go at least 15 miles. Not training for anything in particular at the moment but will have something soon. Have a great weekend out like an animal...or swim...or bike... or whatever you do...BUT DO SOMETHING!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am not a good golfer. Occasionally I have to play with customers. These occurrences usually result in me being the comic relief. I can get around the course in around 100 strokes and I never hold anyone up...but I'm just not that good. The time it takes to get good...I probably will never be....but I do enjoy the time on the course. With that said, like everyone else, I love to watch the best in the world, realizing the talent and hard work it takes to play at such a high level.

In 2006, my boss came to me and and said that one of the factories that we rep wanted one of us to take a customer to Augusta The Masters Golf Tournament. He couldn't would I go and take said customer. After a long contemplation of about 2/3 of a second, I respond with, "YEAH!!!!"

There was a problem though. My wife would be 8 1/2 months pregnant with our 3rd kid...and things did not sit right at the homestead with my decision. I reminded her that she was late with our first 2 kids and that it WAS THE MASTERS!!!! Needless to say, things weren't real kosher. She wanted me to go under any other circumstances...but to potentially miss the birth of our third child was unacceptable. She was into the weekly visits of her OBGEN practice. The male doctor, upon hearing the dilemma said, "I would go, she was late with the first two, and everything should be good." A week later, with a visit with the female doctor in the practice, the response was not quite so condoling...more like, 'Dave what the heck are you FREAKING doing?" My response, "I'm going to The Masters."

I went. Here was the set up. We would fly in early Thursday morning. Arrive in Augusta by noon. Eat lunch. Then the factory took us to play a round of golf at a local course, "not Augusta National ;-)) and then we would come back and have a wonderful catered dinner. We did not stay in a hotel but rather they rented several 8, to 10 thousand sq ft, multimillion dollar homes that we stayed in...I actually stayed 5 doors down from where Tiger Woods was residing for the weekend. This was a dream weekend. We would wake up Friday morning and head out to Augusta National to watch the tournament. As good as it looks on doesn't come close to what it is in real life. I caught a glimpse of what Adam must have felt like in the Garden of Eden. UNREAL! After walking the entire course, much of if following Phil Mickleson (that years winner) we camped out at the infamous hole 15...long par 5. Since it was Friday, and many were trying to make the cut to swing the sticks for the weekend, it was going to be a precarious hole for some. Do you lay up in front of the water hazard for a safe up and down to the hole....or do you drive the green and hopes of not going down the woeful back side or end up just short in the drink...I was 50 feet from the green able to watch the approach shots. Tiger, Mickleson, Garcia, Furek...they all came through.....what a thrill.

We returned that evening to our wonderful home to have another catered meal...and then to fly back to Dallas on Saturday. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, my wonderful daughter Hope was born about 2 weeks later...yep she was late...and this weekend we are blessed to do three The Masters, celebrate Hope's 3rd birthday (a couple of weeks early), and to remember the sacrifice of the Master on the cross in Easter Celebration...that's how I roll. What Grace, Mercy, and Blessings

Friday, April 3, 2009


Question on how is recovery going after the Grasslands 50 Mile Ultra just 12 days ago. Well, I ran 2 miles the day after the race just to get the legs moving. It was somewhat painful. I then went to spin class on that Monday, 2 days post race, and went about 70% for only 45 minutes. In the meantime, my allergies wreaked havoc and I have been fighting a sinus infections. I ran 4 days the week after totaling only 15 miles. One run was at 10:00 pm Friday run on Macy's camping trip.

This week, I have hammered pretty hard. Redlined the ole engine on Monday in an hour spin class, followed by a 6 mile run with some speed involved on Tuesday. Wednesday did some core training and on Thursday hammered hard in another spin class. It was windy and my allergies just couldn't hack running in that stuff.

Tonight, Friday, I am going camping again with my son and his Cub Scout Pack. I plan on doing a 2 hour trail run tonight, late...12 miles or so. So there you are...seems that I have recovered and ripping n rearing to go again...Have a good weekend...Run Like an Animal Out There!