Category Archives: Training

Is anybody running?

I have consistently fallen behind on posting the training schedules for anyone interested in running either the OKC Memorial Marathon or Route 66 Marathon this year.

I’ve yet to hear anyone ask where it is, even when I am several days behind in posting.

If anyone has any intention of running either race this year, you have until midnight today (Wednesday, Jan. 17) to let me know. If I don’t hear from anybody by that point, I am going to take down the “Triple Dog Dare” page and exchange running for other pursuits that I feel are more important to my personal progress at this time.

Again: If you want to run and would like my help, let me know, and I will make the time to help you at all costs. If I do not hear from you immediately, I am going to kick off my running shoes for the moment and allow the current of my life to carry me to the new challenges that seem to be surfacing just ahead of me.


Hell on wheels

I have been a distance runner for three years, and I know for fact that The Wall is located somewhere between the drinking fountain and the concession stand at River Parks, which translates to something like the 23-mile mark on the Oklahoma Marathon course … so I want to know something:

What wiseacre hauled The Wall out to Red Fork and dropped it in the middle of Southwest Boulevard this evening? I ran smack into the bloody thing a half-mile from the end of what was supposed to be a perfectly nice 5.5-mile bike ride this evening.

I realize that cycling and marathoning are two very different sports. And a girl obviously has to train a little more often than once a month in order to see any sort of progress in a new sport. And yes, in retrospect, I suppose it is probably not entirely accurate to refer to three cream horns as “carbo-loading.” But still … in all the running I’ve done, I have never actually hit The Wall. I’ve only seen it three times, and I can guarantee you it wasn’t sitting in the middle of Route 66, five miles from my starting point.

Ah, well. At least I seem to be getting the hang of using the gears. (It probably helps that I drove Ron’s car — which is a stick — to work this morning.) And I did manage to pedal all the way up the 41st Street overpass once this evening, which I consider a major accomplishment. I had to stop and walk halfway up it on the return trip, but that’s OK. The grade is steeper from that direction, and that was right after I started to feel wallish. And I had to walk up the hill from both directions last time … so I’ll take progress where I find it.

Tiring as it was, it was kind of fun to ride down 66 this evening. Running would have been easier, but I’m not keen on jogging at night. I should probably get over that — I’d have much better finish times if I didn’t use darkness as an excuse to blow off training runs — but the last time I ran by myself in the dark, it was both surreal and terrifying, and while I’m grateful for the experience, it’s not one I really care to repeat. I feel safer on wheels.

If my headlight would quit eating batteries like they taste good, that sense of safety would probably be justified. (Got any ideas, Roger? I think the cold weather is draining the battery, but I’m not entirely sure. If you’ve got a product and/or battery recommendation, I’d love to hear it.)

In any case, I had a pretty good ride, and that little encounter with The Wall just gives me a primo excuse to have a bowl of leftover chicken and dumplings for dinner. 🙂


Wrap it up. I’ll take it.

So I went to kung fu class this morning. I think that’s the most fun I’ve had since I moved to Tulsa. I have no idea how I managed to make it almost three years without setting foot on a mat. Guess it’s like any addiction: You’re OK as long as you stay away from it completely, but as soon as you get another hit, it’s all over. 😉

After some initial stretching and a few crunches and push-ups, we went right into stances, blocks, rolls, and falls.

A lot of the moves are the same things we did in karate, except they have different names, but there were a lot of stances I hadn’t learned yet, and some of the blocks were different.

One major difference is in the way we hold our hands: In karate, we usually kept our hands in fists so we were ready to punch the snot out of an attacker. In kung fu, we keep our hands more open — often in sort of a tiger-claw position — so that’s a big thing I’ll have to remember.

The best thing about this morning: I finally got the hang of forward rolls. My new sifu (instructor — the Chinese equivalent of sensei), Chris Johnston, made me do them over and over and over and over and over and over and over until I got them. And I didn’t get to start from a kneeling position like we did in karate, either. I had to dive right in from a standing position. Scary. Awesome, but scary. And as soon as I got the hang of rolling over my right arm and shoulder, he said, “Good! Now, try it with the other arm.”


I didn’t do that quite so well, but I intend to move the furniture out of the way in the living room and devote part of next week to left-handed zempo kaitens. (I don’t know what we call them in kung fu, but that was what they were called in karate.) I don’t do weakness, and I don’t do fear. Both got the best of me this morning, but that’ll be the last time I let that happen. If I can’t work through those claims by myself, I’ll just cheat and call a practitioner.

If anybody in Tulsa is looking for a good place to work out, this class meets at noon Saturdays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays behind the QuikTrip at Southwest Boulevard and 33rd Avenue West. It’s in the strip mall up behind the QT. Sifu Chris Johnston and his wife used to hold classes over on Sheridan, but they live in Red Fork and got sick of driving all the way across town for class umpteen times a week. The new location isn’t “officially” open, but Chris says anybody who’s interested is welcome to come in and work out for free. Once he finishes remodeling the new space, he’ll start charging for classes and holding more workouts per week. In the meantime, you’ve got a primo chance to come in and see whether kung fu is your bag.

I found martial arts to be a very liberating sort of thing. Besides being a terrific workout, it gave me a lot of confidence. Ron was laughing about it today, remembering how different I was before my first lesson. I spent 25 years scared of my shadow, afraid somebody was going to attack me. After about three lessons, I was sort of hoping somebody would try something stupid so I could test-drive my latest kick.

A few years later, I’ve mellowed considerably, but I’m still the one who gets up to see what went bump in the night. These days, I’ll certainly respond to an attack with prayer … but as far as I’m concerned, if somebody tries to hurt me, there’s no reason I can’t recognize his innocence as a child of God while he’s lying face-down on the ground with his arm pinned behind his back, waiting for the cops to show up. My practitioner assures me that we always have the right to restrain error. Beating the poor schlep senseless just for the fun of it would be considered conduct unbecoming a Christian Scientist, but dealing with an emergency in a sensible manner is certainly not out of line.