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

Sunday, May 31, 2009


“He feels but the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself." - Job 14:22

What a weekend…Saturday morning, after Luke’s 0800 baseball game I took of for the 4 hour drive to Austin. I would be staying at Dylan’s place while he was off on his weekend adventures. You see, Dylan and Daniel are brothers that grew up where I grew up, in Levelland Texas. They are about 7 to 8 years younger than me and I remember them since before they could walk. Furthermore Daniel married my one of my best friends younger sister….Leslie. They now all live in Austin Texas and Dylan lives about ½ mile from Daniel…so there you have it. Dylan is a single and between jobs…so he is doing something that I think is the coolest…he is touring all the Texas State Parks on his bicycle. I caught up to him Saturday before he took off to a nearby state park with his bike’s saddle bags loaded down. (I regret I didn’t get a picture of Dylan taking off on his bike.) Crashing at someone else’s place so that I can go do a trail run reminded me a lot of my college days. It was great to catch up with Dylan, Daniel, and Leslie.

Saturday morning, I was up by 0500 and headed to Emma Long Park to run the Rogue Race – The Loop 30 K for the second year. I got to the course about an hour before the 0700 start. This gave me a chance to catch up to my buddy Dmitry. He just came off of a brutal MMT 100 mile finish and has the Western States 100 miler in 3 weeks…just another training run for him. Why standing around conversing, I hear one runner say that this is his first ever trail race. I told him it was mine as well…last year. He respond that he read a guys blog about the race and determined to run it…come to find out…it was this here blog…I really hope he doesn’t hate me to much.

At 0700, Joe Prusaitis, starts the 30K and we’re off. Knowing the course and a year of trail racing experience, I was running well and feeling great. The course is really rocky and there are a lot of ups and downs. All the lunges with weights and core training paid off. The first loop (6.2 miles) was done and I felt really good. Two more to go. I press on and still felt really good. Last year at the ½ way point I felt like it became the Death March. This year at the ½ way point, I felt really good still and still had a sense of humor. At about 0930, the sun and humidity started to unleash and toward the end of the 2nd loop I was beginning to feel it. Because I was feeling so well the first 2 loops, I don’t think I was hydrating to the hilt…like I should. I was taking electrolytes and fueling, but by the third loop the heat started to take it’s toll. I had not been doing much heat training and now I could tell. My stomach was getting nauseas and I had some mild cramping in my calves. My heart rate was also high and I couldn’t get it down. The 3rd and final loop was about finishing. When I crossed the finish line my time showed 25 minutes faster than last year. I was cramping and felt like throwing up but still in better shape than the previous year. After 45 minutes of recovery I was good to go.

I talked with Joe Prusaitis a bit at the end of the race and asked him why this Godforsaken race is so tough…Bandera 50K was easier, the Grasslands 50 miler didn’t torment me as such. “It’s the heat and humidity, Dave,” Joe’s response, “A little cooler and this course would be a lot easier.” I wished Joe the best as he will run the Hardrock 100 miler in early June...100 miles in the Colorado altitude. Every year I think that someday I want to run the Badwater 135 miler through Death Valley in August. Every summer I mark that off the list. Every winter I put it back on there.

In closing, I did a lot better than last year. I still have a long way to go. Never underestimate the heat and humidity….get some heat training before this little jewel of a race. Until next time, Run On!

Daniel and Leslie

Dmitry and me (pre race)

Typical Trail Shots

Joe and Me (post Race)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rogue Race - The Loop 30K

Well, here we are on Thursday before the big Rogue Race – The Loop 30K. The above photo is me crossing the finish line of that little race. It was my first trail race last year and I freaking swore off running during the race. Then 30 minutes later thought that I could do better. Read last years report here.

Only 10 months after that brutal race, I finished my first 50 mile Ultra Marathon. Want to give a shout out to Rick Gaston who will be plowing through the San Diego 100 miler this weekend. Run on out there.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Neighbor Finally Saw Me With My Clothes On!

Yep...that is exactly what my neighbor, Lisa said to me Friday. That is a direct quote....and then she blushed a bit and said, "Ok, that didn't come out right....I meant with normal clothes on that were not RUNNING CLOTHES." Do I really run that much. I mean our neighborhood is a pretty tight knit group. We are always in the front yards, socializing while the kids play up and down the street. We have tons of kids in our hood...I mean tons. So there you are with the quote of the week.

On the training front, 2 trail runs this weekend. Six miles on Saturday, and 9 mile this morning...both completed by 0800. Heck, I even met up with some buddies at 0500 to knock out the run...remember: Run On out there...with clothes...or Not...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cruisin' into the Weekend

A big weekend with no apparent plans. No kid's events so it will be free form. Here's what I think we got. Go to the bike shop and get my wife some cycle shoes. She has become a spin monster...don't get between her and her spin class. Next, working on Luke's baseball skills, specifically hitting and playing catcher. Macy wants to go fly her kite so we'll put that on the books. As for training, I am tapering for the Rogue Race 30 trail race on May 31. That means probably two 10 mile trail runs at some point. Run On!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Change Is Hard!!!

I am a heel striker…that’s right , when I run, my heel strikes the ground first. Now for all you in the know, that is not the most efficient form of running. If you run a 5K…probably doesn’t make a big difference…Run 50 miles, you will probably notice the difference.

I always knew I was a heel striker. Just look at he bottom of my 18 pairs of running shoes. But when I ran with Mark the Naked Runner a couple of weeks ago, we talked about running form, the better efficiency of a mid foot striker compared to the woes of a heel striker, injury risk with running forms, etc.

I had heard much of this before, but thought it futile to change. So I call my running buddy and phenom, Patton Gleason. Patton runs the training programs for Luke’s Locker and knows a little sumptin sumptin about running. “Dave,” Patton begins, “Running form is like your signature. You can change it, but it takes effort and thought. Run barefoot on grass tonight…for only about 10 minutes. Run barefoot some every week for the next week. When you run barefoot, that is your natural gait.”

Well, I am in week 2…so last night I ran 5 miles in the 170 acre park next to our sub-division. I can tell the difference. Shorten strides, quicker tempo…no busted up heels. I’m barefoot with no shoes to compensate or to absorb the shock. Oddly enough, not as sore as I thought I would be but the toes got a little beat up. Believe this change is a bit more tolerable that the change voted for in November…but then I encroach into the political realm and will only do that if I open another blog for that purpose alone….and heck, I have a tough enough time to keep up with this I run on...with attempts to become a mid foot striker.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So Many Races...So Little Time

I love to Race. Problem: Just not enough time. When I sit down and look at my schedule for the year, I have to coordinate with Lukes' sporting games, Macy's Dance recitals, Cub Scouting events...and of course Momma's calendar. Bren is always adaptive to schedule flexibility. But I refuse to miss too many of my kids events. They are growing way too fast and I refuse to look back with regrets of being more active in their lives. That's how I roll. So with all that in mind, here is the rest of the years Race Schedule. (Keep in mind that I have already ran Bandera 50K in January and the Grasslands 50 Mile in March.

On May 30, I will race the Rogue Race - The Loop. It was my first ever trail race and is absolutely brutal for a 30K. I want to make it mine instead of it telling me "Who's the Daddy!"

On July 19, I will run the El Scorcho 50K in Fort Worth. Cool thing about the race is that it starts at you get to run all night long. Ran it last year.

On October 30, I plan on pacing Dimitry for the Cactus Rose 100 Miler...yep...In Bandera.

On November 14. Plan on running the Rockledge Rumble 50K.

I realize there is nothing in there longer that 31 miles but that is just how the cookies crumble. Plus next year I am contemplating running the Bandera 100K (62 miles). It is to be 5 days before I turn 40. Some foolish people say..."Oh, that's good, you move up to the next age group." Oh...yeah...that's what I be in Scott Eppelman and Glenn Mackie's Group. Eppleman, I believe lead the U.S. Mens 24 Ultra team in Italy this past weekend.... 124.91 miles!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Running Naked...and a Wedding to Boot

Yep! The title of the post is a cheap journalist tactic to get you to it will make complete sense by the time we're done.

This weekend has been a whirlwind as Friday I boarded a plane to Lubbock Texas. My little cousin, Mandy Jean was getting married. I watched her grow up and it seemed like yesterday I was pillow fighting a 5 year old during the Christmas Break of my college years.

Before the arrival of my West Texas tour, I had called my running buddy and Ultrarunner, Mark the Naked Runner. A minimalist who runs in a Texas nudist colony's annual 5K natural! He has had a really good year of racing and this past month completed the Texas Grand Slam Ultra Award by running and finishing four 50 mile trail races, all within the last few months (the 5th was canceled a few weekends back due to flooding and a lightening show that left few to wonder if they needed to run with a headlamp in the predawn hours...or sunglasses. The race was called after 12 miles of racing.) I can tell you February was a tough month for him as he completed the Rocky Racoon 50 miler and the Crosstimbers 50 miler...just two weeks apart. A previous email from Mark asked if meeting at his house at 0900 on Saturday was fine....we changed it to 0800.

At about 0700 I made the 30 mile trek from Levelland Texas to Lubbock. Singer and song writer, Robert Earl Keen was right, who ever settled Levelland either lost a wagon wheel or lacked ambition, one. I grew up's not the end of the world....but you can see if from there...I once sat on my front porch and watched my dog run away for 2 is freaking flat with nothing but cotton fields. During the spring sandstorms, the dirt in the air is so thick that I have seen prairie dogs 9 feet in the air trying to dig their way to the when Mark tells me where going to run hills...I laughed and said where....on the overpass of Slide Road?

I get to Mark's home and he says, "Lets get going...we are going to Horseshoe's near Buffalo Springs Lake in a canyon." About 30 minutes later we drop of into a canyon that one would find it hard to believe it exist on the Devil's back porch known as West Texas.

I have posted pictures that do not do it justice. Sam Houston was correct when we thought Texas was the best land that ever graced his Sam Houston...but I digress. We ran. It was cool and overcast. We went 15 miles up and down all the hills of Horseshoe Bend. There are three big ones and we climbed them all once and the steepest one twice. The time flew. The conversation between two runners was lively. I pushed harder than I would have when I run alone. Two guys enjoying the countryside and running. We ran for two and half hours....seemed like about half that time. I have to say that I had such a good time that it was my best run for the past few months. It does not get much better running with a friend....just doesn't.

I have posted some pics of the country side below. For the record, all pics were taken while descending. So I sacrificed down hill momentum so you could enjoy the views. Be appreciative...that's all I am asking....;-)

We wrapped up and I made it back to Levelland just in time for lunch. That afternoon, I caught up to some old friends and that evening had a great time at the wedding. Yep, I got a little misty eyed...when my daughters get married I will need Xanex.

(for the record...No! we did not run naked!...I know you are all asking that question by now;-))

(Also, the route we ran is the bike course for the Buffalo Lake 1/2 Ironman. So if you think you are going to saunter off to West Texas for a flat and fast 70.3 mile qualification for Kona, Hawaii, better think again!!! Although the winds should be good prep for the Energy Lab.)

Post Run Pics with Mark

The Naked Runner adorned in running clothes...this time

Mandy Jean and it! a United States Marine and a Texas Highway Patrolmen