Sunday, May 27, 2007

24 hours ago, I was getting lapped by the leader of the Andy Payne Memorial Marathon. Nice.

Donaldo and I got to Oklahoma City around 6:00 p.m. Friday evening. We checked into the hotel and then made our way to Bricktown for dinner. Downtown OKCity was busy--high school graduations and the Big 12 baseball tournament made parking difficult. We grabbed an average Tex-Mex dinner at Chileno's (not recommended, for reasons discussed below). After dinner, we set out to check out Lake Overholser and Route 66 Park. Two hours later, we finally found it. Don't ask.

In bed by 10 p.m., awake at 4:45 a.m. I threw on my running shoes, and we cruised to IHOP for what is now my traditional pre-marathon breakfast of 3 pankcakes, a scrambled egg, and two piece of bacon.

We arrived at the race site a little after 6:00 a.m., checked in, and waited for the start of the marathon.

There were about 60 folks running this race. Quite a change from the thousands who ran the OK City Memorial Marathon a month earlier. The start reminded me of the Waco 50K. The RD gave us some brief instructions on the course, wished us luck, and then we were off.

The marathon course started and finished at Route 66 Park. After a mile or two in the park, we headed onto the road that circles Lake Overholser. The Lake is about 8 miles around, so we did three laps to complete the 26.2.

Two miles into the race, I was in a portapotty. Not a great way to start. My stomach was rumbling. Two miles later, same thing. Damn you, Chilenos!!!

Anyway... having been completely passed by most of the field, I gave up any delusion of setting a PR. I was by myself and it was raining pretty good. It was actually pretty peaceful. Quiet. One shore of the lake was lined with mobile homes; the other side featured huge, expensive houses. Interesting.

The first lap felt slow, and I never I got into a rhythm (I blame Chilenos), but I was feeling much better as I began lap 2. That is, of course, until mile 11, when the race leader (who would eventually finish in 2 hrs, 25 mins) blew by me like I was standing still. Oh well.

My pace picked up, and I spent the run of the race steadily gaining speed and passing other runners. I finished in 4 hrs, 8 mins. Nothing to brag about, but I was dead-center of the pack--31 out of 60 runners. (I could've been 30, but I didn't feel like sprinting past the guy who finished 2 seconds ahead of me--he was hurting as he crossed the line, and there's nothing worse than getting passed at the finish line like that.)

I got my shiny medal and was about to head to the car when Donaldo suggested we check the leaderboard. Yeah, right. 4 hours plus ain't gonna win me any prizes. Well... surprise, surprise--2nd in my age group and my first marathon award!
All in all, I had a great time. I like small races. (And not just because it gives me a chance to bring home some extra bling.) I like running alone. I enjoy the solitude. It was a very nice marathon, and I will definitely try to come back next year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I spent most of the day at the Colonial caddying for a client at the Pro-Am. It was quite nice being out of the office. That's all I've got for today. Good night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I've got another marathon in 4 days. I haven't done much endurance running since the last one. My longest run was 14 miles or so. I did 11 miles last weekend. We'll see how it goes. This will be the last marathon until the fall.

Wait, that's not right. I've got San Francisco in late July. That will be the lost one until the fall.

Oh, and here's the next goal--I want to run 50 miles straight by the end of the year. I'm setting my sights on the Ultracentric 12 hour run. I am insane.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

El Scorcho has been featured in the Houston Chronicle's RunHouston section! Here's what they had to say:

An Ultra in Texas in July?

A new ultra. A new marathon. And hopefully soon, we'll be able to share with you news of a new marathon series that is much like the Marathons of Texas.

First, the new ultra. And, yes, I did say in July. It is most appropriately named the El Scorcho Run and it makes its debut in Fort Worth's Trinity Park at midnight, July 15th.

Fort Worth running buddies Ryan Valdez and Jason Costantino asked themselves, "Who has ever run a ultramarathon in a park in the center of a big city, in the middle of a Texas summer, and in the darkest part of the night?"

Until now? Nobody.

"The course is located on a 3.1-mile loop inside beautiful Trinity Park," Valdez said. "Ninety percent of it will take place on a lit, crushed limestone path that meanders through the park and along the banks of the Trinity River."

He added that the course will have virtually no traffic and enjoy plenty of support.

"The three mile loop will allow us to keep an eye on everyone and make sure they are doing great," he added.

The registration fee for the 50K is $40 and the 25K is just $25.

And according to the Fort Worth Running Company's Jim Newsom, who is helping Valdez and Costantino with the event, the response so far has been pretty good.

"We've got about 30 so far and the event is still two months off," said Newsom. "We've had people from as far away as Colorado signing up."

"Most of the ultra clubs have indicated they are going to support our event."

Newsom indicated that Valdez would be listing the entrants on the web site and where they are from so people can get an idea of the field.

"We've having fun getting this event going." he said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If you happen to find yourself in Fort Worth, Texas this Thursday night, saunter on over to Joe T. Garcia's on North Main. My buddy, BenJermaine, and I will be playing a fundraising party in the courtyard for the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. $20 per person or $35 per couple gets you dinner, beer and/or margaritas, and, if I do say so myself, some fine musical entertainment.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Quick rant: It irritates the hell out of me when someone who (a) doesn't exercise, (b) eats poorly, and (c) has health problems lectures me about the "dangers" of long distance running.
Need photos? Check out

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lots of nice comments about the San Francisco marathon. I'm looking forward to my journey west this summer.

The hills may be a bit rough, but I'm excited about getting to see the city on foot. It will also be nice to hook up with Ra-Ra, my long lost law school friend and confidant.

In preparation for the SF run, I've got the Andy Payne Memorial Marathon later this month in Oklahoma. I'd never heard of Andy Payne until I stumbled across the marathon bearing his namesake. According to the race website, Payne was living in Oklahoma when the Great Depression hit. In an effort to find work, he hitchhiked to California, where he came across an ad for "The Great Cross-Country Marathon Race," a run from California to New York with a $25,000 prize for the winner. Payne covered the 3,422.3 miles first in 573 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds. He took his winnings and paid off the mortgage on his family farm. Considered a hero throughout Oklahoma, Payne won the office of Clerk of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in 1934, a post he held for 38 years.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The flight is booked, and I'm registered for the San Francisco Marathon taking place on July 29. Very exciting!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I'm afraid I've become somewhat of a running snob. Nell just took off with two friends to run the Mayfest 5K this morning. I was invited, but a 5K no longer motivates me. Why pay $20 to run 3.1 miles when a marathon costs $50-$75? Such a better value. And these days my short runs are 4-6 miles. 3.1 doesn't seem worth dealing with parking, crowds, etc. At one point, I considered running from the house to the start of the race, but, as much as it might make me feel like a mini-Karno (who apparently just ran a double Big Sur marathon), I think I'd rather go out for a 10 mile run by myself. Avoid the other running folk and zone out. Then I've got to go to the office to finish up a motion for summary judgment. I love my job. Really.

P.S. I forgot to thank Cracka and KatDaddy for coming out to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon last week. It was great seeing them as I ran down the chute to the finish line. We got to spend a couple of post-race hours hanging out and grabbing lunch. Married life seems to suit Cracka well, and KatDaddy seems to really enjoy Cracka (strange as that may seem). Best of luck in Ireland, kids!!! (wink, wink)

P.P.S. Last thing. I was quite impressed when, seconds after receiving my finisher's medal at the OKC marathon, I was offered (and accepted) a massive Carl's Jr. cheeseburger. Take note folks--that is the way to end a marathon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"The most important aspect of ultra running is your mind-set. You have to run with your heart and your soul and not just your head and your legs, otherwise you will fall apart."
- Lizzy Hawker

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was my 6th marathon in 6 months. You know what that means? I'm moving up to the Marathon Maniacs ladder to the silver level. To celebrate, I ordered a maniac sticker and a t-shirt. Oh, and I'm thinking about running the San Francisco Marathon in late July.

(Admitting you have an addiction is the first step....)


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