Thursday, July 31, 2008


I have been very stressed out today about something and did not feel like running. So, I ran one mile at the track. Tomorrow may be even more stressful.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Park Mysteries

I have been running trails at the Huntsville State Park for the last 13 years or so. The park is a great local resource for runners, bikers and hikers.
On the south perimeter road, there is a spot where water runs over the road in wet weather. For years, there was a sign at that spot that said, "Amy's Crossing." It was a common reference point when describing different courses on the trails. However, no one I knew had any idea who Amy was or why there was a water crossing named after her. Well, I got an answer from the park superinendent, Chris Holm. Here it is:
"According to my sources...Amy was a past employee (Environmental Ed. Coordinator) who apparently, after a brief rain shower one day, called out the troops to rescue her when she got "stranded" on the other side of that creek crossing. When everyone showed up to assist, it was discovered that the water was only ankle deep and she ended up "saving" herself by simply walking across the creek."
Mystery One solved.
When running trails in the hot summer months, occasionally you run into pockets of cold air, which last only a few seconds. When running with Lavonne and Amy last Sunday, we ran into one of the pockets of cold air. Lavonne asked me what caused it. I have no idea and asked a few other trail runners. They said they experience the same thing but do not know what causes it. Lavonne is pretty persistent and emailed USA Today for an answer. She received a response and posted their explanation on her blog. Click here for a link.
Mystery Two solved.
We had a nice crowd for our 4.5 mile run on the trails this evening. It was Hans, Chris, John, Phillip, Andrew and Karen, Katie, me and my Marine son, Timothy. Curtis had just finished his run when we arrived. We did not experience any pockets of cold air, but we did pass Amy's Crossing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Long Summer

Hans, Chris, Phillip, Amy and I ran trails at the park this evening. Amy had a date tonight, so she cut her run to a mile and a half. The rest of us did the regular 4.5 mile loop.
I don't know if its just me, but this summer seems extra long. I know that I have spent more time on the trails at the park this summer. Usually, I let the horseflies have the park during the months of May, June and July, but most of them seem to be elsewhere this summer. The hot weather is relentless and its only the end of July. And, we still have two more months of hot weather to go. My first marathon of the season is the Marathon 2 Marathon (Alpine to Marathon, Texas) on October 18. One way or the other, I am going to have to get my distance up in August and September. Thank goodness for Electrolyte capsules! I am looking forward to the challenge of running 26.2 west to east on Highway 90 from Alpine to Marathon. I "drove" the highway on Google Earth and there is absolutely nothing between Alpine and Marathon. It will be like running the Surfside Beach Marathon, except there will be no noisy surf or seagulls. After two careers and six kids, I enjoy solitude.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Road Run

In anticipation of going to the Astros game this evening, I did a short 2.4 mile run on the roads in the 100 degree heat at 3 p.m. As it came out, we could not get the family together and we did not go to the game.
If anybody knows a good rain dance, I need you in my yard. We did not get a drop in my neighborhood during the hurricane last week and there is virtually nothing in the forecast. I dread seeing my next water bill.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Amy Does 6.8 - Barefooted

Lavonne, Amy and I did the 6.8 mile outer loop at the park this evening. It was a new distance for Amy and she ran in her usual manner - barefooted. She and Lavonne are running well. We started at 6 p.m. when it was still hot. By the time we finished, the sun was low on the horizon and it at least seemed much cooler.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dog Days Done

The Dog Days 5K was this morning in Huntsville. This was our monthly club run for July. We had 13 runners, including several kids from Livingston, Groveton and Magnolia. Darren Grant and his daughter, Tammany, did a great job in putting on the race. I took care of putting out and picking up the turn signs on the course and driving the course during the race to keep an eye on the kids.
I ran 3 miles on the roads about 4 this afternoon. When I passed a temperature sign, it read 100 degrees.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Trail Run

Amy and her friend, Sketch, and I did a little over 3 miles on the trails at the park this evening. We ran into Seven Hills Running Club member, Gerald Peters, who was finishing up his run.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day Off

I had a bunch of stuff to do today and I have to go down to the airport this evening to pick up Timothy. I took the day off from running, except for one mile at the track this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dry at Home, Wet at the Park

My lawn is craving some rain water; there are so many cracks in the ground, it looks like we were hit with an earthquake. The outer bands of the hurricane did not quite reach Huntsville today. However, there was a heavy rain just south of Huntsville and it looks like the State Park received a good dose. We ran the "steamy trails" at the park this evening. We did the regular 4.5 mile loop. It was me, Hans, John, Josh, Karen and Amy. Phillip and Curtis had run earlier and were leaving the park when we got there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crowd at the Park

We had a nice crowd at the park this evening for the 4.5 mile loop. It was Hans, John, Lavonne, Phillip, Marisa, Amy and myself. Curtis was just finishing his trail run when we got started. Amy is still running barefooted and is doing well with the 4.5 mile course. She has made a commitment to run the outer loop (6.8) with me at 6 p.m. on Sunday. It will be a new distance for her, but she can do it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

2.7 Mile Loop in Town

After Nautilus this evening, I went out and ran my 2.7 mile loop in town. I noticed a lot of law enforcement activity in town and found out before I got home that there was an inmate escaped from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville between 4 and 5 this evening. They are still looking for him. My son, Ben, is a Correctional Officer at the Huntsville Unit and he got called in this evening to help with the search. Hopefully, they will find him soon. Update: 10:27 p.m. Ben just called me to tell me that he was just caught in Madisonville.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Seven

Lavonne and I did 7.0 miles at the park at 5 this evening. It was hot, but it is suppose to be this time of the year. We ran into J. C. Guzman on the trail and he said that Curtis Barton was out there also. My hamstring felt fine.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

On the Wet Roads

I put on a new pair of shoes out of the box today and hit the roads in town just after a storm passed. After I started running, a lightning storm blew in and I had to cut the run to 2.2 miles. Obviously, I got back to my truck without being struck. My hamstring seemed okay, so its back to the trails tomorrow afternoon in the heat.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So Far So Good

With the hamstring problem yesterday, I took it easy all day today and ran laps at the track this evening - fortunately, without much discomfort. I'll try a longer road run tomorrow.
Being a streaker, injuries, especially lower extremity ones, become worrisome. You always think about injuries, ones that will stop your streak now or become worse and stop it later. My previous streak was stopped by appendicitus in mid-December 2002, the day after running the Sunmart 50K and two weeks short of five years. Stopping that streak was a no-brainer. I was in the hospital for four days hooked up to too many things. I missed 13 days and had to start all over again. Now, I have gotten past the five-year mark. There have been some days when it was really painful to get in a run. I certainly realize how fragile a running streak is. There are so many injuries and illnesses that could stop it cold. I don't enjoy running and streaking is a way to make myself do it. I am convinced that running in the heat, cold, rain and whatever has helped me build up immunity to the flu and maybe other things. I know that since I started streaking, I have not had the flu. Before streaking, I use to get it as much as anybody. Of course, my streak is nothing compared to the top guys in the U.S. At the top of the national streak list is Mark Covert of California, who hits 40 years on the 23rd of this month. I'm 134 on the list. The list is maintained by the U. S. Running Streak Association.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Darn Hamstring

Lavonne and I did the outer loop (6.8 miles) at the park this morning. About a mile into the run, I turned my ankle on a root. While my ankle was okay, I pulled my left hamstring (the same one I pulled a little over a year ago). We finished the run, but it took longer than usual. I'll know more when I run tomorrow. The last one was not a streak stopper and I don't think this is one either.
My son, Lance Corporal Timothy, called from Cherry Point, North Carolina. He just got his orders for his first duty station. After he finishes his training next week, he will be assigned to the Marine base in Yuma, Arizona. That's great, because our daughter, Mary, and her Marine husband, Eric, are assigned there. Timothy is really looking forward to being with family. Marilynn and I were out there last August and it was 114 degrees every day. I learned very quickly to run well after dark. That place really makes you appreciate what the Badwater runners go through, with temperatures ranging from over 130 to down below freezing, during that 135-mile race.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another 4.5

It was back to the park this evening for the 4.5 mile loop. The group consisted of Hans, John, Andrew, Karen, Amy, Katie (not Katy) and myself. When we got finished, some of us were ready for an adult beverage. However, John's cousin, the park police officer, came by to visit. We finally came to an understanding with him and we had a beer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Soggy Shoes

It was so humid on the trails this evening that my shoes and socks were soggy from sweat when we finished. Hans, Chris, John, Phillip, Lavonne, Amy and I did the 4.5 mile loop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rain - Finally!

After at least two weeks without a drop, we finally got a nice rain this afternoon. I enjoyed sitting on the back porch just watching it. After it was over, I went to Nautilus for a workout and then ran 2.7 miles around town. The cooler temperature felt good.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outer Loop

After church, I went out alone and did the outer loop (6.8 miles) at the park. I did not see any runners or other wildlife, except for a tick crawling up my shirt after the run. I'm blogging early today, because I have to write a Running Shorts column this evening for the paper. It's Katy's turn to write the column, but she is very busy and asked me to take her turn. The only problem is that she did not give me a suggested topic. I'll come up with something. It's like writing papers in college; the hard part is deciding on a topic.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

RTW and Picnic

I went down and ran the Run the Woodlands 5K this morning. For the 8th straight time, my 5K race finish was 34 minutes and something. Not fast, but darn I am consistent. After the race, I joined some others at Skeeters for breakfast. This included Loren Sheffer of Inside Texas Running and Runner Triathlete News and his friend, Lief, a professional comedian from Utah. Debbie Tripp, Bill Dwyer and others joined us. Later today, we had our annual summer Seven Hills Running Club picnic at the Huntsville State Park. We had a good time and I ate too much.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Resting Up for RTW

If I was not streaking on my blogs, I would probably skip today. Marilynn and I spent most of the day in The Woodlands with Ben. He had to have surgery to remove the pin they put in last month when they did surgery to fix his broken thumb. Since I am doing RTW tomorrow, I went to the track this evening and ran laps.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday in the Park

Amy and I did 3.5 miles at the park this evening. Hans, John and Andrew and Karen ran 4.5. Just as we all started, Curtis and Phillip Clark were finishing up a 7-mile run.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Here are the feet of two Seven Hills Running Club runners. Who do they belong to? Post your answer.
I ran 4.4 miles at the park this evening with the group. It was Hans, Chris, John, Andrew and Karen and a friend of Karen's, Katie McKee.
We have seen more armadillos this summer than in over 10 previous years combined. Is the eco system out of balance? Why are there so many?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Marisa's Course

Amy and I ran Marisa's Course (3.5 miles) at the park this evening. We did not see any wild animals, but we did see an unusually large number of bikers and hikers for a weekday evening.

Monday, July 7, 2008

TMC Stuff

I received my Texas Marathon Challenge (TMC) stuff today. Nice jacket, dri-fit singlet and medal. This is for completing at least five Texas marathons (or longer) during the 2007-2008 marathon season. I did the Sunmart 50K, Texas Marathon, Surfside Beach Marathon, Seabrook Marathon and the Hog's Hunt 50K. Norman Langwell and Curtis Barton also completed the TMC.
We got up at 3 something this morning to drive Lance Corporal Timothy to the airport for his flight back to North Carolina. It was great having him here for the weekend.
I ran trails this evening with Amy and Mary Sweeten. It was Mary's first time out in a while, so we did 3 miles. Hans, Marisa and Andrew and Karen did the 4.5 mile loop.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


A little over a year ago and after much knee pain, I was diagnosed with chondromalicia. That's where the muscles on the outside of the legs become stronger from running. Since they are attached to the kneecaps, they tend to pull the kneecaps to the outside out of their normal groove. You start to get bone on bone pressure and inflamation and pain. To correct the problem, I had to wear elaborate braces that had straps around the kneecaps to pull them back to the center and into their groove. And, I still do excercises to strengthen the inside leg muscles, which are also attached to the kneecaps. This helps pull them to the center. My doctor would probably laugh if he heard this layman's discussion. In any case, they have improved somewhat, but my right knee more so than my left. My left knee has really been hurting more the last few days. It has been so painful that it is difficult to do my excercises. I have been taking some Aleeve, but I may have to dig my left knee brace out of the closet and start wearing it again.
Lance Corporal Timothy has been here for the weekend, but has to go back to Cherry Point, NC tomorrow morning. He has a 6:30 a.m. flight, so I have to leave at 4:15 a.m. to get him to the airport. We had his girlfriend and her whole family over for dinner tonight. Since I could not do a longer run this evening and my knee was hurting, I went over to the track and ran laps this afternoon.
I am impressed that some of you (i.e. Karen) are getting in longer runs in the heat. I know that with the Marathon 2 Marathon in October, I really have to get with it soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Busy Saturday

It was a busy Saturday with yard work and visiting family, but I managed to get in my 2.7 mile loop around town. The streets were empty; everybody else must have left town for the weekend.

Friday, July 4, 2008


For the 13th straight year, I went up to Centerville this morning for Stu's Country Mile 5K. The races starts and finishes on the downtown square in the middle of the Centerville 4th of July Celebration. Before the race started, I cut my arm on the porta potty door. I stopped the bleeding with a napkin and a nice lady found me a bandaid. Anybody else ever have a porta potty accident?
It was good to see all the other Seven Hills Running Club members there, including Jon and Waverly Walk, who made the long drive up from Spring. Jon and I ran the whole race together and finished in 34:01. My Marine son, Timothy, as of July 1 Lance Corporal Timothy, flew in yesterday from North Carolina to spend the weekend in Huntsville. He ran the race this morning, as did another son, Ben. Both won 3rd place in their age groups.
I have had a lot of other family at my house all day and I only have time to blog because most of them went to the fireworks stand not far away.
Hope all you had a nice holiday.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Chris Wilson Busted

Chris Wilson got busted yesterday by the state park police for drinking a Dr. Pepper. Since the park cop is John Cook's cousin, maybe Chris will get off light.
In anticipation of Stu's Country Mile 5K in Centerville tomorrow, I took today off and ran laps at the track in 96 degree heat. Guess I had better go have a Dr. Pepper.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Amy Does Her First 4.5

Amy got her distance up to 4.5 miles at the park this evening. She is running well and it will not be long before she is doing the 6.8 mile outer loop. Also running with us was Hans, Chris, Josh, Karen and Andrew. I am surprised by how little the horse flies have bothered us this summer. They are usually bad during May, June and July.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

3.2 at the Park

Amy and I ran trails at the park this evening. She says that she is ready for a longer run. So, tomorrow we will run 4.5 miles, which will be a new distance for her.