Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whatever happened to Lucy

My sophomore year at the University of Oklahoma I had a professor, Dr. Temerlin, who taught psychology. It was the most interesting class I had in college. And we had to read a book called "The Person" that basically covered the person from birth to death. It was the biggest text book I had all through college, and the only one I read cover to cover. You could sell it back, but I still have that book.
Dr. Temerlin and his wife were raising a chimp, Lucy, from birth to be as much like a human child as possible. Many of his lectures would be about their progress with Lucy. He even brought her to class a couple of times. They taught her sign language and she was able to learn over 140 signs. This was fascinating to me, and from time to time, after college, I would hear news of Lucy and how she progressed. But like a lot of things, I didn't really seek out news, just moved on. Saturday, after leaving a brunch I had to attend, it was terrible, I was listening to NPR's This American Life, and they were telling the story of what happened to Lucy. The short version is that they put her in a rehabilitation center in Gambia, but she did not adapt to the wild. The story is much more interesting than that. Janis Carter, a grad student under the Temerlins, actually lived with Lucy and other chimps trying to re-introduce them to the wild. Again, the short version is that Lucy finally left sanctuary and when Janis returned after about a year, she found Lucy dead.
The story was both interesting and of course sad. I was fascinated by what Lucy learned, one thing is she would lie. Something they thought was unique to humans. But the sad thing is that Lucy had never lived in the wild, and then they tried to introduce her to it, and you know the result. Isn't that just like humans? When they're through with you, they basically throw you away. But I'm able to say I know what happened to Lucy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sooner State Games Trail Run

Yesterday, Saturday the 13th, was the running of the Sooner State Games Trail Run. This is a race held on trails within Oklahoma City. The course is a 3.5 twisty hilly rooty trail. For the record, that picture is not from this course. This race had 3 distances, 3.5, 7, and 14 miles, 1, 2, or 4 loops of the course. The starts were staggered 5 minutes apart to keep it from being crowded. This race had been postponed two weeks because of the big ice storm we had. The day was almost perfect, the trails were a bit muddy with small water crossings, but not bad. I decided to run the 7 mile race because I felt like that was a distance I could push all the way. We started and I ran fast to not get caught behind slower runners once we hit the single track. After about a mile you come to a fork in the trail. I've run these trails before, but I don't run them often. Needless to say I took the wrong turn. I ran for awhile, but noticed I wasn't seeing anyone else. Then I passed a marker, and it was meant to be read from the other direction. At this point I left the trail and got on this paved path that is nearby. I started running a loop of it, debating whether to drop, or take my lumps and go back to where I made the wrong turn. I ran a mile on the pavement, then decided, what the heck, I probably won't medal, but I'm going to complete the race. I saw someone who knew the trail better than I and she explained to me where I went wrong. I picked it back up there and went the right direction. Almost an hour to finish the first loop, but I was over 6 miles according to my Garmin. I was really feeling good, so I started pushing the second loop. Many of the people I knew thought I was lapping them, but I told them I was just catching them. I finished around 1:37, 1st loop 58 minutes, 2nd loop 39 minutes. Oh, and 1st place in age group. The 2nd guy finished about 3 minutes after me. I told the timer what happened in case I should still be disqualified, and he said as long as I returned to where I went off course I was OK.
Today our marathon training group was scheduled to run 16 miles. The weather forecast said the temperature would be dropping below freezing, it was around 58 yesterday, and we would likely get sleet and snow. When we started it was cold but nothing was falling. Within a mile a light sleet started and by mile 7 it was coming down hard and stinging my face. A friend said she was only doing 14 so I took the shortcut with her. I wasn't tired, but I was tired of the sleet hitting me, and we were running right into it. With the turn around it was now at our back. But it soon turned into a light snow, and it was just a beautiful run. As I got closer to the end I was feeling like I could pick up the 2 miles I had cut with no problem. I had been running by myself for some time now, so I decided to keep straight where I should have turned to get the extra mileage. I felt good and did an out and back to get the total to 16. A great start to Valentine's Day.
Congratulations to all my friends that ran the Austin half and full marathon today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Danman 50, 26.2, 13.1, 10k

Danman is an unofficial race held at a man's (Dan's) land down near Madill in southern Oklahoma. It's almost a Fatass, but it probably has too much support to qualify as a FA. As the title suggests, there are multiple distances to run. And I didn't run any of them. I signed up for the 50 miler, but with the snow and rains we've had, I knew I wasn't going to run 50 miles. You didn't have to pre-register, but I did. I rode with some friends who planned to run 13.1 miles. So I had to keep their schedule in mind also. So I went with plans of trying to do at least the marathon distance.
Dan has a large "ranch" with a beautiful house on it. Large, plenty of room, this served at the headquarters for the race. The race is two loops, 6 miles, and 7 miles. You do these loops as follows, 1st loop only for 10k, both loops for 13.1, and both twice for 26.2. The second loop has a 3 mile plus offshoot for the 50 milers to get around 17 miles per two loops.
I started on the first loop, and it was very muddy, and somewhat hilly. But I made it through ok. Second loop was a bit easier, although it was shoe sucking muddy right near the end. I decided to take the 50 mile extra loop to get to 17 miles. I also decided that I would take the 2nd loop again, rather than the first. The 2nd time I just did the 7 mile loop, ending up with close to 24 miles.
This is a nice run, and if I ever do it when the conditions are better, I will attempt to go the full 50 miles.