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

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Whirlwind Trip to the Windy City...and Saw Oprah Too.

I like to watch people perform when they are exceptional in what they do. I don’t really have to be a fan of the event…but if it performed with excellence, I enjoying seeing such perfection…a performance at a high level. Where am I going with this?

First…this week was the trip to Chicago with the Hott Wife. As mentioned before I got tickets to Oprah. Not a fan but I got them when I put my name in the lottery at the request of Bren. We…actually, I was awarded tickets to the “a” taping of February 22. It was to be the Michael Vick interview…thus when we showed up I notice a more than normal amount of “straight” guys in the holding room than you would expect for a Oprah Taping. Long story short…Michael Vick did the Heisman Stiff Arm to Oprah cancelling just a few days before the taping….leaving Oprah scrambling…so the first part of the show was we the audience viewing a tape of previous recorded interview with Oprah…and the second half was going live with Oprah interviewing Lisa Ling. After the taping, Oprah made it up to the audience suffering through a tape by hanging around and answering questions for 45 minutes. After that…we concluded our Oprah experience with a trip to the gift shop…and no I didn’t even ask how much Bren spent….I really don’t want to know. As we are leaving the shop Bren suggest that we go stand by for the second “b” taping in the afternoon….another long story made short…we got in as “seat fillers” for 75% of the show…which was nice in that we got out early to retrieve coats and bags and not having to wait in the excruciating line we suffered through at the end of the morning show. This taping was an interview with Meredith Baxter…the mom on "Family Ties"…to be aired March 2. My hot wife had the time of her life…and we headed off the airport in good spirits.

My take on the whole thing? I have never seen such Oprah Worship in my whole life…and no I don’t really like Oprah….I disagree with most of her political/religious views…I believe she does many good things with her money….and watching her with a skeptical eye, believe her to be gracious with her success and feels that she needs to inspire women to be all they can be. She works her butt off…just the recording and prep time of doing two shows a day…and she is exceptional at what she does. Most of her inner staff have been with her 10 plus years….which tells me she probably is a pretty good person to work for…I have to say that we were treated extremely well…and I didn’t even have to tell them I was “Dave Elliott.” ;-)

During our little trip to Chicago...we didn't sit around but went into "the typical Elliott get things done mode." We saw the Blue Man Group....very highlight of the trip. We went ice skating at Wrigley Field...caught the movie "Black Swan." Ate at some incredible restaurants....and of course shopped along Michican Ave. We stayed at a really nice 4 star hotel called Hotel Felix...I think Trump owns it but I may be wrong.

On the training front…I have taken the entire week off. After the half marathon, my sinus cold went from bad to worst…a double ear infection and severe sinus infection…that really left me reeling…

Actually it may have been God’s way to slow me down a bit….the break has been good for me mentally. I plan on starting back full bore next week.

Till next time…Press On!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It was Sundial Ugly...

I usually don't have bad races. I train hard...go in knowing what I am capable of...and then try to execute it. Not every race is great...but most are hardly ever "bad." In the last 3 years, I have had 3 bad races...races where things go south...and just making it to the finish is all that I ask of myself. was a bad day on the trail....but then I was reminded all of the good things...and those good things are really good things...and then I knew that my bad day of racing...really wasn't that bad....but let's not get ahead of myself.

Crosstimber is a tough race...bottom line...people ask me which Texas Trail race is tougher...Bandera or Crosstimbers? My response: "Whichever one you just got done running!" That Crosstimber trail is long climbs....but very steep ups and downs...with lots of roots...and I love this trail....I love the race...and I call the race director, Teresa McCoul ,a dear friend.

Hindsight tells me it would have been wise not to race this weekend. I have been sick all week with upper respiratory stuff...taking decongestants to just to be able to breath...and feeling bad all week. I take off at the start running with Marlee and she looks over at me and says, "Dave, I can hear stuff in your lungs." Yep...and the heart rate was high too...real high....probably from the acetaminophens....and what do I do?...I try to race the thing like everything was good. By mile 5 my calves started cramping....probably from not hydrating like I should have...after all it's only a 1/2 marathon...and by mile 8....I didn't care anymore. I pull into the last aid station and asked them to call the finish line to breakout the sundial....yep, I was moving that slow. Just ask Rochelle....yep, that Rochelle...the Rochelle who runs 200 mile relays...SOLO....She sees me at about mile 11 with cramps so sever I couldn't straighten them out. She massages the cramp out and got me going again... I still chuckle at seeing her line up for a half mary...kinda like seeing Ryan Hall run the 100 meter dash.

So I finish...and Teresa and Marlee come up to me...take one look...and know that it was one of those days...they quickly added a hug and words of encouragement. I chat a minute with my friend David Hanenburg...and he introduces me to his bud Tim Jagoda...ok lets get some things straight here...David is a multiple fast Ironman...and a fast runner....Tim..well, Tim is wicked go out and overall win the Crosstimbers half marathon...they live just blocks from each other so I am thinking it may be something in the water...Tim assures me that it is and will bottle some up and send over to me. Within an hour of finishing I start receiving calls and texts....first Clive...then Patton...all wanting to know how I did...then telling me not to worry bout the race...remember to have a spirit of gratitude. Watching Scott Eppleman leave in second place for the second half of the 50 mile race and asking me how I was doing...these people mentioned are only a few that I had talked to have heard me mention many of my running buds here on the blog...Ballard, Tidmore, Kennedy...the list goes on....

and that brings me around full's the people in this running buds....the people that help weave the fabric of one's life...and a bad day on the trail with people such as these...well that isn't a bad day after all.

Press On!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crosstimbers...and such....

Crosstimbers trail...just south of the Oklahoma Border

Hold we go...weekend plans.

Saturday morning up and at'em early...I have a 1/2 marathon trail race. I want to run the marathon but I need to get back by 1:00PM for Luke's Soccer Game....and then a 3:00pm Basketball game. I think I could do it but it will be cutting it way too close....and so I have resigned myself to only the 1/2....remember last year I ran the half with a 45 lb back pack in preparation for the Bataan Memorial Marathon in the White Sands Desert.

So here's the the 1/2 marathon like I stole something...then run another 5 to 6 miles after the race to get in over 20 miles. The sports hernia is improving....I did run an easy 12 miles at Northshore last weekend....and been working upper body weights....and spinning like a demon out of control....the fitness is good.

On Sunday...Bren and I are off to Chicago for me to pay my penance for my Mother's day weekend Grand Canyon run....

Live life to it's there won't be any regrets when they put you in a pine box...


Friday, February 11, 2011

Good Things....Happy Things...

The surgeon looks at me after examining and says, “Sports hernia…I am not operating. I see it once a week.” So there you are…no surgery…he says treat it like a strained muscle…keep training…listen to your body…it will r heal itself. He mentioned that it doesn’t mean that I am immuned from having a full blown hernia…but right now….that’s it…so I have a 2 hour run tomorrow…for all you North Texas Peeps…no I don’t want to run with you…with all this icy weather, I have been cooped up with people and want to be ALONE…so tomorrow…alone....but thanks anyway.

Let me take this time now, to thank you all that have sent me messages telling my you are praying for me and thinking about me. It means more to me than you know. I don’t pound my chest much on this…but I take Josh Hamilton’s stance….”Glory goes to Him.”

On to more good things: I want to point out an event happening in New York City in Mid March…it’s a ½ marathon around the city and through central park. It is for the Fresh Air Fund that sends inner city kids to camp who otherwise would never get the chance….go check it out and if you are in the area run the darn thing…it’s only a ½ marathon…which may mean you have to run 12 miles to the start to get a good run in….or if you only want to go 13…sounds like a really cool place to go do that. If was able to run the thing I would be there in a heartbeat.

So there you are: 2 good things to warm the cockles of your heart….with all this cold weather…you need something to warm the cockles of your heart….plus I just like saying “cockles.”

Press on my friends…press on!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

The 18th century Scottish poet, Robert Burns penned it best…"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." Let me translate to Texan: “Thangs aint’ goin like I planned’em!”

I had been promising my daughters that there would be a daddy/daughters camping weekend. So here was the deal…go down to Huntsville Texas State Park on the February 4-6 weekend…coincidentally, that is also the weekend that the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile Ultramarathon is to take place…yep….in the Huntsville State Park. We would go down on Friday…camp…get up and watch the runners take off…go work at an Aid Station in the morning…and in the afternoon….go fishing…hiking…biking…whatever they wanted to do. We would eat supper and then go hang out watching the 50 milers come in and help out where need be. Macy, my 8 year old, thought this would be cool…and Hope, my 4 year old, just wanted to go fishing.

On top of that…this year’s field brought in some crazy fast people…you know, Krupicka, Meltzer, Jurek, and Koerner…I was excited to be in the same county as these four guys.

Previously in the week…things already started going askew…and I am not talking about the weather…we’ll get to that in a moment. I had a consult with a surgeon. Yeah I know…I don’t like how that sounds either!!!

The first week in January I felt a lower pull in my lower abdomen…nothing serious….I must have overdone some core exercises…no worries. So the first weekend in January, I go and run the Bandera 50K…and at mile 5…my lower abdomen started to hurt…and for the next 26 miles it only got worse…not only a pull feeling….put real life pain. I backed off for a week…and a couple of weeks later ran a ½ marathon training run at Northshore Trail…ok…this is getting worse….and I had my suspicions…REAL PAIN Here!

It was confirmed by the surgeon…a bilateral hernia…one on each side. DANG IT! I am getting a second opinion at the request of the first surgeon due what he called an “active lifestyle.” His standard method of repair he thinks may not be the best method for an endurance athlete. The second consult is this week. He thinks either way, I will recover quick…he murmured something about “being in really good shape…and being crazy.” I am not joking when he told me I may actually be crazy....he was being serious….like I may not be all there. Whatever…sane as I have always been.

Ok…I didn’t plan this little bump in the road…but then in North Texas….we had some cold weather…and some sleet…freezing rain…it kinda started getting cold Monday evening….but by Tuesday morning….there was a 2 inch sheet of ice on everything…so that means you might as well shut down all of Dallas Texas for 2 reasons: a.) North Texas is not prepared to clear roads in such weather…and b.) North Texans can’t drive in such weather. I know….some of you northern folk are scoffing…and mocking me right now…don’t care…I LIVE IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS!...and for a good reason…and cold weather is not it. It stayed that way for 4 days…no school…grocery stores started looking like a Nuclear holocaust had occurred….temps staying in the teens…throw another 6 inches of snow on top of that Thursday night to add insult to injury….and my plans for leaving to go to Huntsville got scrapped. If I was by myself, I would have probably gone…but I was taking my little girls with me….and if I had a brain lapse and thought about leaving them at home…my wife reminded my that she had been cooped up with 3 kids for 4 days and that if I did go leaving them there…I better make sure of either one of two things: I better never go to sleep ever again….or I better make sure my will has been updated. I personally think that she did cross that line of sanity/insanity and realized that Stephen King’s ,”The Shining” may actually be reenacted in the Elliott Household.

I have to admit…I was disappointed…upset…angry…I wanted to be in Huntsville. A running bud texted me and reminded me that I needed to be flexible…I grinned…it was a shot across the bow in reference of my last blog post.

The race happened…I kept up via internet…text messages…phone calls…what a epic weekend…the course record was broken by Ian Sharman…he ran the 100 miles in 12 hours 44 minutes and Liza Howard won the women's division with nearly 15 1/2 hours …yeah I know…that’s fast…wicked fast!!! One last note…my bud Brenda C….finished in second place for the 100 mile women….completing the last item to check off the list to qualify for Badwater 135…and the Surgeon thought I was crazy.

So here I am…things are not as planned…but we press on…that’s what endurance guys do…they press on.

Liza...yep...she's from Texas too!!! (pic by Lynn Ballard)

The 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse. (pic by Lynn Ballard)