Archive for October, 2013

persimmons

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

I’ve noticed that each year seems to be good for given plants. One year, the begonias flourish. Then I plant them the next spring and they languish while the geraniums take off. I think the same may be the case with the wild plants out at Roundrock.

This was the year for persimmons, at least if my unscientific survey of my 80+ acres tells any tales. In our early visits, all those many years ago, I can recall being surprised when we found one persimmon tree. (I first wrote about it way back here.) We knew what it was by the fruit hanging from it (and we knew better than to taste the fruit because the first frost had not yet come). By our next visit, all of the fruits were stripped from the tree, and I’m happy the critters managed to get some food from it. But we knew the tree then, and we would often visit it on our hikes because it was our persimmon tree.

In later years, we discovered more persimmons in an open area near the pecans. They had sprouted there not long after the spot was scraped clean by the machines building the lake and dam. Within a few years, they were bringing out fruit as well.

The tree you see above is growing on the side of Danger Island, which was no more than — literally — a pile of gravel scraped from the lake bed and pushed into place. We planted sumac on the sloping sides of the island with the hope that the web of roots sumacs create would hold the island together until we could get some grass growing on it. The sumac all died, but a bunch of persimmon soon took over the job.

So this year we’re finding persimmon trees all over Roundrock, identified by their fruits. At least it seems that way. Perhaps we just came down this year during the week when the fruits were still on the trees, before they were harvested by the critters.

not the first time that’s happened

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Roundrock is two miles off of the paved road. It’s two miles of punishing, Ozark rock road, and it’s been getting worse in recent years. In fact, one of the things on the chore agenda for our recent weekend down there was to stop by Good Neighbors Tom and Fred’s place to talk about hiring someone to repair the road and make it passable for lesser vehicles than four-wheel drive trucks.

We’d covered about a mile and a half of that punishing road when we heard the hissing sound that told us we had a puncture. We were climbing the rough and rugged hill to the ridgetop where we would have a nice bit of flat land all the way to our woods.

Rather than stop on the hill, I drove to the ridgetop and found a nice flat spot to stop and do what I knew must be done. Libby was concerned that we’d be blocking the road for all of the many, many cars that would be coming and going that Saturday morning, but I suspected that this number would be in the single digits (probably countable on a single digit), and besides, we were all rural folk there. Anyone could easily have driven through the open field beside my truck to get around and not think twice about it.

This was not the first time we’d had a flat at Roundrock. The gravel on the road is mostly sharp chert. The first time, we were actually on our way out and were nearly at the paved road when the tire gave out. (Plus, we needed to get home for a wedding that evening.)

This time, the puncture happened on our way in, with our weekend at the cabin still ahead of us.

Notice how dry and dusty the road is. I know that’s better than the alternative of mud, but I didn’t like the idea of crawling under the truck in the dust regardless. The spare is slung under there, and the placement of the jack is under the axle, so I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time getting to know the underside of my truck.

But I’m a practiced hand at this now, and once I reacquainted myself with the equipment, I had the flat tire off and the spare on. A few minutes after I had this done and dusted myself off, two cars came along from farther down the road. So Libby had been right, though neither had to veer far to get around my truck, and neither slowed.

We spent the weekend with a low-level anxiety, knowing that if we had another flat, we would have no backup, we’d be far from civilization, and it was a weekend. But we managed to survive and make the drive all the way home on the spare. The truck went into the shop today to get this all sorted out and get an oil change. So all is good.

on high

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Brothers and Good Neighbors Tom and Fred recently built this hunting blind on part of their land that is close to the entrance to Roundrock. I pass it whenever I come or go.

Tom and Fred don’t do things halfway. Their nicely appointed cabin (always unlocked, with indoor plumbing and a refrigerator stocked with beer — drop by anytime, even if they’re not there) is dwarfed by the metal building they erected for all of their tractors and equipment. And the cabin would easily fit in the fenced garden they have. (Tall fence, with an electric line at the bottom.)

You can tell by looking at this blind that they pay close attention to detail. (They even make their own bullets since the store-bought kind are too nonstandard for them.) I’ve never been in this blind (though I suspect it, too, is unlocked). I did see them wrestling what certainly looked like an comfy reclining chair up those steps one day. I’m sure it’s very comfortable up there during long waits for game to pass.

As I said, they don’t do things halfway.

former willow

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Meanwhile, back at Roundrock, it hasn’t all been running around. When we were last out there, Libby and I wandered into the dry part of the lake with the saws and loppers and attacked one of the willows growing there. They are in the middle of the lake bed, and probably if the water level remained constant, they would not have found purchase and grown so lavishly.

I really need to hire a bulldozer to come in and scrape away all of the willows and the accumulated gravel at the upper end of the lake, but until I win the lottery, that’s not likely to happen. So the saws and loppers.

Willow wood, it turns out, is very easy to cut through. You can see that though there were multiple trunks in the one we attacked, we managed to cut our way through all of them (except the one dead one at the back) during our comparatively short sessions with them.

Unfortunately, I understand that even cut branches can root themselves and grow again if they stay wet and find some soil, so we spent at least as much time dragging the cut wood to the woods as we did cutting it. Since it’s not likely that the lake will fill again to that point before the spring, these cut branches should easily dry enuf to no longer be a threat then, but I’ll still very likely drag them farther up the hill into the trees. I also would like to cut some of the stouter pieces to use as fire wood. I don’t know if they’ll turn quickly to ash (probably) or burn warmly for hours, but I’ll get a lot of satisfaction watching them burn.

This shot is intended to show you how dense the root mat is for these trees. I don’t know how many of those roots are alive, but I cut through some of the thicker ones and they were still green. They also suggest that all kinds of critters might live in and among them when the water covers them. That’s one reason I never worked on those trees when they were in the water. I would hate to find out that some snapping turtle or water moccasin lived there and resented my saw and efforts.

Will this tree grow back? I’m going to say no. We had cut a smaller willow out last year, and though it was in the water through the spring and into the summer, it never grew back. I’m hoping that these trunks will dry out through the winter and no longer be viable in the wet weather. The older one we cut is even wobbly on its roots, so I might eventually be able to tug it out of the lake bed altogether.

That just leaves about twenty more willow infestations awaiting my saw and motivation.

Kansas City Half Marathon ~ Part Two

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The courses for the marathon and half marathon were laid out to take us through various much-loved parts of the city. I hoped that all of this scenery wouldn’t be wasted on me as I stared doggedly at the ground before my feet. The first mile took us (slightly uphill) into the downtown area. We ran among the tall buildings and turned around, heading back close to the start but on a blessedly nice down hill mile. I felt good, and Todd kept up the chatter. Somewhere along the first quarter mile, Libby and two of my boys had supposedly been cheering and waving posters. I never saw them, and they reported that they never saw me either. But the pack of 12,000 runners was still dense at that point so that made sense.

After leaving downtown, we made a slight jog through the Crossroads artsy district and then to the base of the Liberty Memorial. This was only one block west of where we had started, and it was one of the places where I told Libby she could easily get to in time to see me stumble past. I looked for her among the crowds on the sidelines but didn’t see her. Our course was to take us up to the top of the Memorial, and that was the second likely place I thought she could reach in time to see me. (This would only be a few blocks — and one monster hill — for her, but I would have been out for three miles by then, so we thought we could synchronize that meet up.)

Did I mention a monster hill? The Liberty Memorial is atop a very prominent hill in Kansas City, and the course would take us up that hill and then loop us around the Memorial itself before sending us south. I had made the mistake (or perhaps not) of driving the course of the half marathon many months before, so I knew the hill I was going to face at mile 2.5. It looked horrible. A half mile of constant up. Constant, unrelenting up. When I say I had been dreading this run since January, what I had mostly been dreading was this hill. And many running friends I talked to had said that this was the point that nearly defeated them in past runs. Some confessed to walking up this hill. Many confessed to thinking of quitting on this hill. I was determined to see what I could do with it, and when I turned the corner at the base and started up, I resigned myself to whatever would happen.

Todd, of course, just kept up the chatter. I listened. Chimed in when I could. But otherwise, I just concentrated on throwing one foot in front of the other and sucking in as much air as I could. My method for hills is mostly to just stare at the few feet before me, keeping my head down so I can’t see how much hill is still to be run. And that’s what I did this time. I didn’t feel as though I was moving very fast at all, but I was passing many people who had chosen to walk up this horrible hill. It was tough, and I was breathing hard as I kept at it. But then Todd said that we were rounding the curve that meant we had made it to the top. And we were. I had just conquered my worst fear on the whole run, and I felt pretty good, like I still had enuf in me to run ten more miles.

At the top we had a nice, flat run to the Memorial where we would turn again and run farther south (with another long hill to surmount). Somewhere up here I hoped to spot Libby and my two boys. They spotted me first, and I only saw them because I recognized their voices as they cheered me.

But when I looked up, I met an unexpected sight.

There were Libby and Seth and Aaron. And . . . Rachel! My daughter, Rachel, and flown in from New York to surprise me. And there she was at the top of the monstrous hill. I ran over and gave her a hug, babbling something about what a great surprise that was. But I didn’t want to linger; I had another ten miles to go. She waved me on and I rejoined Todd, who I don’t think knew anything about this surprise, but I’ll always wonder.

We faced another long hill soon after this, but then we had a few miles of comparatively flat running, with some downhill stretches. The course took us down Main Street (kinda grungy) and into the Westport area. Westport is pretty much the oldest part of Kansas City, and for a good while we were running down the route of the Santa Fe Trail. Todd and I talked about this and that as we ran. I could tell that far from him pushing my pace, I was holding him back. He would get ahead of me, sometimes by as much as twenty feet, before he slowed and waited for me. By about mile 5 I knew what a good fortune it was to have him as my wingman. His chatter kept my mind off of my aches and pains and anxieties and doubts and nightmare visions of the miles yet to run. I’d had my doubts about running with another person, but by this point I saw that it was the best way to go about such a distance.

And at about mile 6 the little wobbliness in my left knee began to worry me. Early in my running life this knee had felt a little loose, as though I needed to get in there with a screw driver to tighten it up a bit. That went away, but running up those hills seemed to aggravate it, and around mile 6 I began to worry that it was going to be a problem (with more than half of the distance still to go). But I kept quiet about it, and just then the course turned and gave us a very much welcomed downhill stretch as we approached the upscale Plaza shopping district. By this point the pack had spread out, and I wasn’t dodging around other runners and walkers to keep moving. That made the going easier, and the downhill was giving my knee a break. Still, I had my worries.

At around mile 7, as we were cruising along the glamorous mile through the Plaza, I told Todd that I was going to have to walk a little to give my knee a rest. I decided to walk after we reached mile 8. (I had picked this point because in my earlier 13.1 training run I had managed to go 7.73 miles before taking a break, so I wanted to do better this time.) Todd was supportive of whatever I wanted, even though it would drag down his finish time even more.

Mile 8 brought us into the Hyde Park neighborhood full of tree-lined streets and gracious old homes. We ran past the mile marker and the water station (still no Bud Light!) and then I tried walking. Oddly, my legs had seemed to have forgotten how to do that. I had about twenty feet of near stumbling as I shifted from running mode to walking mode. It would have been great to have run the entire half marathon, but it would have also been unrealistic for me. I had entertained dreamy thoughts of running the distance, and maybe I could have if my knee hadn’t gone wonky, but I decided that a little prudence was called for.

I only walked about a quarter mile. I could have kept walking, of course, but I knew that I would be cheating myself if I did. Before picking up the pace, though, I did one more thing. I peeled off the throwaway shirt I had been wearing to ward off the cold. The course had been littered with shirts and hats and gloves that the runners had worn at the start, and it was time for me to toss mine too. (Also, I wanted to cross the finish line with my bib showing so they could call out my name.) The throwaway shirt was soaked. I hadn’t realized that until I took it off and wadded it for tossing. I was soaked with sweat underneath as well. But by then my engine was running hot enuf that I didn’t notice or care. And it felt as though I cast off ten pounds when I tossed that shirt to the curb. (Note: All of this cast off clothing is collected and given to shelters.)

Then we were running again. My knee was not happy, and my hip was joining the complaint, and we had about two miles of gradual uphill to deal with. I wished then that I had tucked some Advil in the tiny pouch of my skimpy running shorts, but all I had were the miles to go and Todd’s truly supportive chatter and encouragement. So I pushed on. Somewhere in here the first of the full marathoners passed. They were escorted by two police motorcycles, and they looked as fresh as they must have from the start.

The last four miles of this half marathon were the very hardest miles I have ever run. My knee was screaming at me. I had no fuel left in the tank. I was fighting with myself not to stop, not to quit, not to fall apart. I grimaced and endured. Todd noticed. His chatter pretty much ceased then and he just spoke words of encouragement, telling me I was doing well, calling out mile markers as we passed, and letting me concentrate on finding something inside me to keep going.

At mile 11 something significant happened. I reached 1,000 miles run for the year. This was the reason I had been running so little in the two weeks before this race. I wanted to hit 1,000 miles during the half marathon, preferably during the last few miles of the half marathon, as a way to ensure I did complete it. And just after I turned in 1,000 miles, something else happened.

Rachel was on the sidelines again, waving and shouting. She had come out onto the course to run with me for the last two miles. I was utterly exhausted then, stuck in a kind of tunnel vision of concentration and agony, and there she stood, looking like the sun. She ran up beside me and started her own chatter and encouragement. Of course she took photos of us running together and posted them online as we were running. She runs full marathons, and she hadn’t just run 11 miles, so I can understand how this was possible, but despite my attempts to be civil and conversational, I don’t know how coherent I was then. The long downhill to the finish was giving my knee some respite, but I could feel muscles burning down there, and somehow I understood that strengthening my knees was going to be a priority going forward.

That last quarter mile was the longest, toughest distance I have ever undertaken. I could see the finish arch, and the street was lined on both sides with people screaming encouragement. But I didn’t seem to be making any progress. Rachel left me to finish it since she wasn’t an official runner, but Todd stayed with me. “Almost there,” he’d say. “Another hundred feet.” I actually think I needed to hear this. I was so deep inside myself, calling in every favor I could just to keep moving that I’m not sure I was clear just where I was or how much farther I had to go. I saw some of my club friends on the side, shouting encouragement, but the best I could do was give a little swat of a wave and a grimace of pain. (I later learned that many of my running friends were there, shouting my name, but I missed nearly all of them.)

And then I crossed the mats, and the race was run. I half expected to collapse then. I literally feared that would happen. Or I would begin to cry with agony and joy. Those things didn’t happen. My wingman stayed at my side, though he generously let me finish ahead of him. When I got to the place where the volunteer would cut the timing chip from my shoe, I could barely lift my leg to put it on the bucket. Someone handed me a foil warm up blanket. Someone else handed me a medal. My legs were working, more or less, and I staggered forward, looking for the gallons of chocolate milk I wanted to drink.

In the end, I only got one carton of milk. I never found the bagels (though I did see some people eating them). Todd and I wandered over to the nearby park where there was entertainment and photos and massages and — most importantly — free beer and barbecue for the runners. Soon after this, Libby and the kids showed up. I shivered in the cool air (remember, my plastic running clothes were soaked with sweat). I declined the free beer and barbecue. (Notice the Beer Ticket and BBQ Ticket still present on my bib above.) We took some photos, but Todd had to get home to his family and we parted. I know he and I will run together again.

Then we began the long walk to where we had parked four hours before. I found that even stepping off of a curb was difficult, and I knew there were several flights of stairs ahead of me to get to the car. Rachel was full of useful advice for this challenge, and I managed to do it all. When I sat in the car, though, my calf began to cramp and I had to do some quick stretching to prevent it from turning me into a pretzel. It acted up a bit more as we drove home, but not very much.

The muscles around my left knee were no longer on speaking terms with me, and the next day they were still pretty angry. But we’ll patch up our relationship because there are more miles to be run.

I ran the race. I finished the race. I survived the race. After I was done, when some normalcy returned to my mind, I congratulated myself on taking the challenge and running this half, but I said I wouldn’t do it again. Now, several days later, I’m already thinking about doing better next year when I run it.

Kansas City Half Marathon ~ Part One

Monday, October 21st, 2013

This was the big one. This was the one I’d been dreading all year, beginning back in January when I registered for it and through all of the months and miles of training and doubt. The Kansas City Half Marathon, on a notoriously hilly course, under the gaze of not only thousands of spectators but of the many members of my running club who have become friends over the last year. What could possibly go wrong?

This Saturday dawned at 34 degrees, but I had learned that cold temperatures are a runner’s friend. I had watched the weather forecast through the week, so I knew it was going to be chilly, but I was grateful that the rainstorm had passed through the day and night before and that the course would be dry. More importantly, I would be dry. All week I had been working on my gear. I had gone to the thrift store near my house to get my throwaway pullover a few days prior. I made sure to have my Shot Bloks for quick energy. I got a haircut so I could be sleek and lightweight. And then Libby and I went to the expo the night before to pick up my packet and all of the swag.

Because my running odometer was about to turn over a certain targeted number, I had not been running much in the two weeks before this half, but I had gone out Monday evening for a quick five miles. I felt good then, but two days later my right Achilles tendon had seized and I was in burning, stabbing pain and limping, transferring pain into my knee and hip. My whole running mechanism seemed to be falling apart. Great. The tendon was a little looser on Thursday, and I kept walking on it properly (despite the pain) to try to stretch it back to normalcy. Friday was better, but it wasn’t a hundred percent. That tendon had been giving me grief all year, and I thought the two weeks of comparative rest before the half marathon might have been enuf to make it heal and go away forever. Not so. (What I’ve determined is that by running five days a week through the year, I was keeping the tendon stretched but not giving it a chance to actually heal. So my Monday run just caused it to flare up.) When I woke on Saturday and tested the heel, the pain was gone. I was able to walk like a normal person, and it seemed like I might be able to do this crazy thing after all.

Of course I could not sleep, so I was up at 3:00 on the morning of the run. I had some iced tea (unsweetened, of course) to stay hydrated and surfed online for a while, but eventually I began getting dressed in the outfit I had shaken down in the weeks prior. The heel felt good. I had run 13.1 miles a couple of weeks before on a training run, so my confidence was good. I had everything I needed, and all that remained was to get down to the urban mall where the race began and ended so I could stand around in the cold and look for friends to share our anxieties. I had eaten a banana and two slices of bread, but otherwise, I couldn’t eat. Better to run on an empty stomach and supplement with energy gels. (I had tried running on a pastrami sandwich once, but that didn’t work out too well.) As is my way, I expected to be ridiculously early, but there were already hundreds of runners at the mall, milling about, already waiting in lines for the bathrooms, looking for and finding their friends and teammates. Our club had a designated meeting point, and I stayed close to there, waiting for them to arrive. Eventually the place was packed (remember it was 34 degrees outside), and I found about a half dozen of my friends (from the about 30 who were running that day). We chatted and took photos. My heel felt good. I thought maybe I wasn’t a complete idiot for attempting this.

Earlier in the week, one of the runners in the club, a man named Todd, had said he would run the half with me. I didn’t know what to think of this. I’m mostly a solo runner — in part because my pace is so much slower than everyone else’s — and I intended to suffer through the long miles on my own terms. Todd had run with me on a Saturday morning training run several weeks before and had pushed my pace to my fastest 5K ever. That’s a fine thing, of course, but I needed to conserve my stamina on this much longer distance, and I worried that even unconsciously, he would cause me to go out faster than I should. He seemed so eager to be my wingman, though, that I didn’t object. And part of me thought that maybe it would be good to have a companion on such a challenge.

As the start time grew near, we thousands of runners (12,000 to be exact) herded out of the warm mall and into the cold pre-dawn street. I was shivering, but I knew that would go away as soon as I began running. There were all kinds of runners out there. A man beside me was running the full marathon in a business suit. It was his birthday and he said he wanted to run in his birthday suit. A woman nearby was at least twenty years older than I, eager to start. Spiderman was there. Gumbi. A relay team dressed as bananas. And Todd at my side, chatting about this and that and, though I didn’t realize it at the time, keeping my mind off of my anxiety.

We were at the back of the pack, and I learned later that due to a technical malfunction, the national anthem the organizers intended to broadcast wouldn’t play. So the crowd sang it in unison. I missed all of this since I was so far back, but several friends near the front said it was very moving.

The race started at 7:05, but Todd and I were crossing the starting mats at 7:13. I managed to get my running watch to find a few satellites in time and I pressed the start button just as I crossed the mats.

We were off.

 

Skywatch Friday ~ October sky

Friday, October 18th, 2013

We were hiking in our Ozark woods when I happened to look up and see this nice contrast of green forest and blue sky, textured by white clouds. The sky had been full of clouds just the day before, and the forest was still wet with the rain that had fallen, but the storm had passed to the east and the blue sky that remained continued to draw my eye throughout the weekend.

Queequeg had a fine time

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

As you can see, Queequeg had a fine time out at the cabin last weekend. (Flike really encouraged me to post this photo.)

a little late but always welcome

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When we were at the cabin last weekend, we were met with this little surprise. Behind the retaining wall in front of the cabin we have a flower bed full of store-bought dirt. The idea was that we could have a bed of brightly blooming flowers that would attract hummingbirds that would flit about and entertain us as we sat in the comfy chairs on the shady porch.

We’ve tried various plants here over the years, but the setting just isn’t right. Not enuf sun. Not enuf water. Not enuf deer deterrent. But one plant we have had luck with is hybrid salvia, which grows tall and has bright red flowers that have attracted the hummingbirds in the past. Plus, the first two we tried were green into December and came back in the spring. So we made sure to find more of these hybrid salvia and filled the bed before the cabin with them.

Some of those died. Some were dug up by vandalous critters. Some never thrived. Most never bloomed. And all but two never came back in the spring. Only the two originals came back this spring, and then they didn’t flower either.

Yet when we arrived this most recent October weekend, both of the hybrid salvia had bloomed finally. There was only one blossom on each plant, but they were vivid red and warmed our hearts.

Of course the hummingbirds were long gone by then.

Still, I am hopeful that next spring they will come out and thrive.

cross training

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Friends and family think they’re being oh-so-clever now that I’ve taken up running so seriously by assigning me chores and telling me it’s good “cross training.” Very funny! Mow the lawn: cross training. Bring in the groceries: cross training. Do the laundry: cross training. Fold the laundry: cross training.

Libby and I went to Roundrock for an overnight last weekend. She hadn’t been there in a month. (I’d made two trips in that time.) The weather looked like it was going to be perfect (and it was), and we didn’t really have any specific chores on our agenda other than to relax and enjoy a couple of perfect days in an imperfect world. But on our nearly two-hour drive there, I thought that we could stop at the feed store in town and grab a couple of bales of straw to put in those big holes in the south spillway.

I’ve written here recently about how the south spillway is about to wash out at one point. It’s far enuf below the dam that it wouldn’t really be a problem, but I want to prevent it if I can, so I’ve been filling the holes with rocks (and I should have that job done in about one and a half lifetimes) and bracing the retaining wall of the spillway with large, flat rocks. I’ve been supplementing this with cut cedar trees. I’ve read that these, when placed (and braced) in the water’s path will collect silt and small rocks that will add to the fill of the holes.

And so I thought I could toss a couple of bales of straw in the two holes to do the same sort of thing. Right now, the lake is very low, and it’s unlikely until spring that it will fill enuf for any overflow to actually use the spillway. Thus any water going down the spillways will be from whatever happens to wash off the hillside above it, and that should come at a volume and velocity that will not wash away the bales and may actually contribute to the accumulation of silt. I’ll have to work on throwing in more rocks throughout the winter, but perhaps if a big flow comes in the spring, I may have the spillway in good enuf shape to handle it without a blow out.

And so we stopped and got the straw bales. I drove them in the Prolechariot as close as I could, which still left me on the wrong side of the dam with two bales to get across. Libby told me it was a fine chance for a little cross training. These things aren’t all that heavy, but they are unwieldy. I grabbed the binding strings on each and carried one in each hand. But even with gloves on, the strings were cutting into my palms. After I got about three-quarters of the way across the dam, I dropped them, took the photo you see above, then carried them one at a time across the rest of the dam and down the rugged, uneven, rocky spillway.

Here is one of the bales in situ. It’s hard to appreciate the size and depth of the hole it’s in other than to realize the normal size of a straw bale and see how tiny it looks here. That exposed dirt in the upper right of the photo is where the retaining wall of the spillway is just about to give way. You can see the large flat rock on the right that Seth and I managed to muscle into place against the exposed dirt. We’ve been filling the space with rocks and cut cedars, and now the straw bale may play a part too.

Once I had these two bales in place, I hurried back to the cabin where the comfy chair was waiting on the shady porch. Rest days, after all, are also part of a runner’s training.

(This coming Saturday, October 19, I will be running the Kansas City Half Marathon. Aside from a five miles I ran on Monday, I’m resting for the rest of the week. And no heavy lifting either.)

 

Happy Birthday, Travis!