Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marathoning for Miracles Marathon

I ran laps at the track Friday morning before driving out to Abilene in West Texas for the Marathoning for Miracles Marathon on Saturday. The race started at 7:30 a.m. at the Taylor County Expo Center and finished at the same place. It was cold at the start, but the temperature during the race got up to around 80 degrees. The humidity was very low, so it was comfortable running. The course was outside the city and generally on ranch roads. There were a few hills, but the course was mostly flat. We had a very strong headwind from about 9 to 15 miles, but enjoyed the tailwind from about 15 to 21 miles when we needed it the most. I finished in 5:39:23 (1st in age group). Rather than a trophy, age group winners won a Marathoning for Miracles bag and cap. This was my 60th race of a marathon or longer and my 4th marathon finish in 4 weeks. After the race, I drove 4 hours to Wylie and spent the night with my son and his family. I drove back to Huntsville this afternoon and ran laps at the track this evening.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready for the Next One

Sure nice not to have to do those long marathon training runs. As long as I keep doing another marathon every weekend, I can goof off during the week. I will run the Marathoning for Miracles Marathon in Abilene, Texas this Saturday. I have been to Abilene many times; it should be a flat course. These evening, I met a small group (me, Hans and Mary) at the park to run trails. Mary did not feel well, so we ran a 3-mile loop. She sure ran fast for not feeling well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Morning Trail Run

Paul Stone of Tyler, who is the race director for the Rocky Raccoon Trail Run, 50K, 25K and 10K, at Huntsville State Park on November 6, contacted me last night and asked me to do an interview with Channel 7 on the race. So, I met them at the park at 10:30 this morning and did the interview. Afterwards, I ran 3.7 miles on the trails. I left Huntsville at 2:40 p.m. and drove to Tyler for a family get-together. Got back about 10:30 tonight. Five hours of driving today; sorta tired.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dry Trails

It has been a long time since we have had rain. The trails at the park are very dry and sandy. I met up with the group at the park this evening, ran our 4.2-mile loop and then got hydrated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Track and Roads

After working out at Nautilus this evening, I went to the track with the intention of running the roads from there. Leah was there finishing up a run on the track and wanted to me to run with her for her last mile. I did that and we had a nice visit. After that, I ran two miles on the roads.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recovery Run

Even though I had no aches or pains today after the marathon yesterday, I only ran two miles on the roads in town this evening.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frankenthon Monster Marathon

I ran the Frankenthon Monster Marathon this morning in Cedar Park, Texas. The race started at 7 a.m. in Brushy Creek Park. It was 3 loops on a 8.75-mile course through the park. Most of it was on concrete trails, but about a third of it was on crushed gravel. Hot and humid and occasional light rain. I finished in 5:56:33 and picked up a nice 1st in age group trophy. Yes, I was the only one in my age group. My time was about 10 minutes slower than my last two marathons and I attribute that to the humidity. The race was well-organized. The course had two out and back sections, so we got to see the other runners several times. I left Cedar Park at 1:30 p.m. and got back to Huntsville at 4:30. Then, I went down to Conroe for Curtis and Debbie's wedding at 5:30. Congratulations to them.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Being that I have a marathon tomorrow in Cedar Park (just north of Austin), I went to the track this morning and ran laps.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My achillies is much better today and I have reached normalcy. After attending a retirement reception for an old co-worker this afternoon, I worked out at Nautilus and then ran 4.2 miles with the group at the park. I am ready for another marathon on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Achilles Better

I had to get up early and make a trip to downtown Houston in rush hour traffic this morning. I would hate to do that every day. My achilles was still sore today, but better. At least, it hurt less than the normal pain in my knees. I ran 3 miles on the roads in town this evening, after working out at Nautilus.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Achilles Problem

I woke up early this morning with a very sore achilles. It must be a "delayed injury" from the marathon on Saturday. I treated it a couple times today with some icy-hot stuff. This evening, I met with the group at the park, but cut my run short to 2.5 miles. Immediately after the run, I took some ice from my "medicine chest" and iced it, both externally and internally. The pain is bearable and I am sure it will be okay for another marathon on Saturday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New One Year Streak Completed

With my 3-mile road run in town this evening, I completed a new running streak of one year. If it had not been for those four days I missed last October due to a misdiagnosis on my knee, the streak would be 7 years, 9 months and days. Oh well. Now I can get back on the National Streak List ( - at the bottom, of course.

Photos from Southwest Texas

Big Bend

Judge Roy Bean's House, Courtroom and Tavern in Langtry, Texas

Pecos River

Sunday, October 17, 2010


After I got in a run in Huntsville last Thursday morning, Marilynn and I made the 560-mile drive to Alpine in southwest Texas. That night, we drove further west to Marfa to see the Marfa Lights. They are mysterious. We drove nearly 100 miles south on Friday and spent the day in Big Bend National Park. It was the only part of Texas I had never been to. Beautiful place. I will post some photos here tomorrow. We came back up a different way to get to the town of Marathon. I picked up my race packet, got in a run around the town and then headed back to the hotel in Alpine. The marathon start point was a couple miles outside of Alpine on Hwy. 90 east toward Marathon. Marilynn dropped me off and stayed until we took off. Our friends, Charlie and Ruth Fields from Montgomery, Texas were there and we had a nice visit with them. The race started at 8 a.m. and we ran 26.2 miles on the shoulder of Hwy. 90 to downtown Marathon. Not a building or a crossroad the entire distance. Mountains on both sides and rolling hills. With less than 60 runners and all spread out, there were times when I seemed to be there all alone. In places, you could see the highway for miles ahead. No spectators, except for the aid station volunteers every two miles. There was a train track on the other side of the highway and several train engineers blew their whistles and waved as they drove by. The temperature was about 50 at the start and got up to about 80 during the race. Really ideal weather. During the first mile, I tripped on a chunk of asphalt, fell and cut my left knee. Blood ran down my leg. It was not a problem, except for having to explain it at each aid station. I gave them a different story at each one. I got hit by a 18-wheeler, a mountain lion got me, I was attacked by a bobcat. One lady at an aid station said that being attacked by a havalina would be more plausible. I finished the race in 5:46:02. That's 12 seconds slower than the Tyler Rose Marathon last Sunday. It took me about 12 seconds to get my butt off the asphalt, so I will call it a tie. I took 2nd place in the 60-69 age group (there was 3 of us). While I enjoyed this unique race experience and had a great time, I doubt that I will do this one again. It is just too far to drive to get there. After the race, we drove down to Del Rio and spent the night there. We stopped and visited Langtry, Texas (pop. 19). That was the home of Judge Roy Bean back in the late 1800's ("Law west of the Pecos"). There use to be a TV series about him many years ago. They have a nice museum next to his home and tavern. Nice place to visit if you are in that very remote part of Texas near the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers. We drove back from Del Rio today and had lunch in San Antonio. We went to church this evening and I had my running clothes on underneath my church clothes. I went to the track afterwards and ran laps. Annie was there and I ran a couple laps with her. She use to run trails with us and ran the Tyler Rose Half Marathon last Sunday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Signed up for Fort Worth Marathon

I signed up today for the Fort Worth Marathon on November 14. I have done the February Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth three times, but never the November race. I also learned that Dee, my running buddy at the Tyler Rose Marathon last Sunday, also signed up for Fort Worth. That's good news; maybe she will run with me again. I still have four more marathons to do before then, next being Marathon 2 Marathon this Saturday. With 26.2 miles along Hwy. 90 from Alpine to Marathon in southwest Texas, I will surely use my MP3 player. The temperature is suppose to be in the low 80's. That's okay, as long as there is a strong wind from the west.
After a workout at Nautilus this evening, I went out to Huntsville State Park and ran 3 miles on the park roads. Curtis was just finishing a trail run when I got there and we visited for a few minutes. I also interrupted my run and visited with Chris, the park superintendant, who was biking on the road.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Small Group at the Park

After working out at Nautilus this evening, I went out to the park to run trails with the group. Small group today, only me, Melissa, Jason and the new guy, Jonathan. I talked Jonathan into going on the 4.2-mile loop with us. It was a new distance for him and he finished it with no problem.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back to Tapering

I have another marathon on Saturday, so it is back to tapering. I worked out at Nautilus this evening and then ran 3 miles on the roads.

Tyler Rose Marathon

I completed the Tyler Rose Marathon in Tyler, Texas on 10/10/10 with a time of 5:45:50. That was good enough for 2nd place in my age group. Of course, 10 hours would have been good enough too, since there were only two of us in my age group. While the weather was nice at the 7:30 a.m. start, the temperature got into the high 80's during the race. For the most part, we were going up or down hills. I ran with my new MP3 player for the first time. I turned it on at the 5-mile point. The first group up was the Texas Tornados, then Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Johnny Horton. At mile 9, I started running with Dee DiFonzo (above photo) of Fort Worth (her first marathon) and I turned off the MP3 player. Dee was fun to run with and we had a good time visiting for the rest of the race.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wiener Fest 5K

I ran the Wiener Fest 5K in College Station this morning in 32:49, one second faster than the 5K race last Sunday. There was no age group competition and it was not much of a race, but I got to visit with some College Station friends.

Friday, October 8, 2010


After a periodic sharp pain in my left knee while running the last few days, I ran easy laps at the track this afternoon. No sharp pain. I am getting up early tomorrow for a 5K in College Station. Hopefully, my knee will not fall apart.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I got up early this morning and drove nearly 3 hours to Fort Hood to be fitted for new custom orthotics. Four years ago, I had them made by a doctor in Houston and it cost me $500 out-of-pocket. Since then, the Army is making them for retirees, so there will be no cost to me. However, I am not sure what I am getting. In Houston, I stood on a plate hooked to a computer and this showed the doctor the pressure points. Then, he made a cast of both feet. This morning, the Army technician took a photo of my left foot with a 3-D laser. I asked about the right foot and he said that they would reverse the image for my right foot. The orthotics will be ready for pick up in about 4 weeks. I asked if they could mail them to me and he said no. I have to drive over there to get them. I appreciate the benefit, but it is sorta dumb that I have to drive back over there just to pick them up. In any case, I made it back to Huntsville about 4 this afternoon. I worked out at Nautilus and then met the group at the park. I have some sharp pain in my left knee, so I ran 3 miles on the roads at the park, while the group ran trails.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


With the marathon on Sunday, I will take it easy for the rest of the week. I ran 3 miles on the roads in town this evening. My plan is to do short runs tomorrow and Friday and a 5K race in College Station on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Car Switch

I took our new used 2010 Ford Taurus back to the dealer in Tomball, Texas today and switched to a new 2010 Ford Taurus with the same exterior color and a few different extras. I got back in time this evening to run trails with the group at the park. We did the regular 4.2-mile loop. Gosh, this cool weather feels great. The high temperature in Tyler for the marathon on Sunday is forecasted to be 85.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Car

I spent much of the day down in Tomball buying a new car. Bought a used 2010 Ford Taurus with 13,000 miles. When I got back this evening, I worked out at Nautilus and then ran 3 miles on the roads in town.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Night 5K

I drove down to The Woodlands this evening for the monthly Sunday Night 5K put on by Coach Bill Dwyer of The Woodlands Running Club. I ran the course in 32:50. It was one of my best times this year and I contribute that to the cool weather.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nice Sunny Day

I got up early this morning and went to the university campus to set up and operate the finish system for the CASA 5K. Obviously, I did not get to run the race. The weather was cool and sunny. Then, I went to the state park and ran 10 miles on the trails alone. I suppose that is a taper run for the marathon next Sunday. After that, Marilynn and I went downtown to the Fair on the Square, where we walked a lot and bought a few things. It also gave me a chance to visit with a lot of friends. Good day, but I am beat tonight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weather Forecast for Tyler

I looked at the weather forecast for Tyler, Texas (135 northeast of Huntsville) on October 10. That's the location and day of my first marathon of the season. The high temperature for that day is suppose to be 84 degrees. Knowing the accuracy of 10-day forecasts, it will probably be 30 and snowing. If the humidity is low, 84 will not be bad. For being retired, I had a busy day today. In between a lot of things I had to do, I ran 3 miles on the roads in town.