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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rod Jetton- 1 Insane Trail Race- Finishing Award

I forgot to show the cedar medallion we revived for finishing.  It says survivor and that is exactly how I felt. 

Thanks and take care,

Rod Jetton

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rod Jetton- Boundary Waters Day-3-Part 1, Catching Fish!!

I’ve wanted to write about this day for awhile but I have been very busy.  Each morning Dad would get up early and take Courts out in a canoe and they would fish.  I would get up, find a nice rock to sit on, read the Bible and thank the Lord for such a beautiful place. It seems like when there are no phones, TV’s, or radios, it’s easier to talk to God.  It just seems like he can hear you better and I know I can hear him better with all the cares of life on hold.

One of Grants fires in the rain

After that, I started pancakes while Grant built a fire.  Like most young boys, Grant loved building fires.  He hunted wood, chopped wood and kept the fire going even in the rain.  Dad and Courts got back about 9:00am and we finished breakfast.  

It was an overcast day and the wind was blowing out of the west.  Dad has always repeated that old wives tale that says, “Wind from the East, fish bite least. Wind from the West, fish bite best.”  Well I never really thought much about it but this trip to the BW has me believing.  

We paddled up across Bald Eagle Lake, which is the lake we were camped on, and then we turned to the east and fished up the north side of that big cove.  We went right back by our first campsite on this route.  We picked this location because Dad said that back when he brought Mom to the BW’s, they fished that cove all the way back to Bald Eagle creek and that Mom caught more fish that day than ever before.  Dad also added, “I caught my biggest northern ever at the end of this cove.”  That had Grant, Courts and me all excited and ready to hit that cove!

The purple line shows our route from our campsite to Bald Eagle Creek
The great thing about fishing with Dad this year was he let me sit in the front of the canoe while he sat in the back.  He likes to catch walleye, so he would let his line out and troll while he paddled.  This allowed me to fish without having to paddle, unless he got hung.  I was living the life of Riley up at the front!!

We rounded the first outcropping and turned into the big cove and I started fishing.  Dad had given me a hard time about bringing a big dip net I bought, because he said in all his trips he never brought a dip net.  I’m an optimist so I packed it in anyway.  The only problem with this net was the handle had a release button that had to be pushed to get it all the way out.  I had it in the canoe but I had not released the handle yet.  This would prove disastrous!!

Another major concern was my lure.  That morning when we were rigging our poles dad had me put on the red and white dare devil he caught his big northern with over 20 years ago.  I told him I didn’t want to use that one, because if I got hung and lost it, I would never hear the end of how I lost his best BW lure.  He insisted so reluctantly, I put it on while I said a prayer that God would not let me lose this lure.  

We fished about ½ mile along the shore as dad paddled, but had not caught anything.  We came to a small inlet that had two big rocks sticking out with some water in the middle between them.  It was the kind of spot I just knew a big fish was in.  I was a little worried about the cast because occasionally I would over cast and hit the rocks and dad would rib me for scratching the paint off his best lure.  

I carefully flipped the pole and made a great cast with the dare devil landing perfectly between the rocks where my dream fish was waiting.  Sure enough, WHAM, something hit that lure and the fight was on!  I started reeling him in not knowing how big or what kind of fish he was.  I could feel the front of the canoe pull to the right as he took a run out to open water.  Courts and Grant were also to our right and they watched the whole episode.

Just like the old days dad was coaching me and by this time I knew he was big.  He was getting closer to the canoe and dad said, “Wow, he is big you better get the net.”  As I was reaching behind me with one hand trying to grab the net he jumped out of the water and that’s when we could tell it was the biggest smally we had ever seen. The small mouth bass get big up there and they have a brilliant gold color to their bodies.  Even though it was a cloudy day I can still remember the brilliant shine to his scales as he leaped out of the water on the final jump.  

I was reaching for the net, he leaped, we saw how big he was, the hook came out and he was gone.  I just sat their staring at the now calm water that was being thrashed by my monster smally just a second ago.  It was so sad and it happened so fast.  Courts chimed in about how big he was and dad said, “Wow that would have been the fish of the trip, if you would have caught him.”

I just sat their disappointed gazing at the water, but after a few seconds I quickly made another cast between the rocks… nothing happened.  He was gone and I had missed my chance.  Of course, they now started ribbing me about my net not being ready and how I had let the state record smally off the hook.  I just kept quiet, kept casting and made sure the net was ready for the next one. 
I think I’ll finish this post later.  There was a lot of action on day three and it will take more than one post to cover it all.   

Thanks and God Bless,
Rod Jetton

Here is a short video of our campsite the first night.  You will hear Grant chopping in the background! ha ha            

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rod Jetton- Boundry Water First Fish

I was re-reading the posts and trying to find spelling mistakes, which for me is like looking for 4 leaf clover in a field of clover.  When I realized I wrote the day BW post and didn't include a photo of the first fish caught.

I'm working on Day 3 which was the day we caught the most fish and I caught my monster, but here is the photo of the first fish.  This big northern was caught right off a rock ledge where our first campsite was.  It was when we were going scouting for a new campsite.
This was the first fish caught
 Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I caught the first fish.  ha ha

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rod Jetton- 1 Insane Trail Race Outcome

Camp Galilee

When I first saw the name of this race I wondered why they called it 1 Insane race, but after running it I totally understand.  First of all who starts any kind of race in July at 5:00pm?  I don’t know what I was thinking when I registered or why I thought it would be cool by 5pm, but I was wrong.  In July the sun is not even close to going down at 5pm, as a matter of fact it was still quite high in the sky and I am slightly sunburned from the “late” afternoon race. 

I made a wise decision before this race and stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom.  Turns out there were no bathrooms at the race so I avoided the problem I had at the July 4th half marathon.  For the record it was 102 degrees when we started this painful session at 5pm.  As soon as I got out of the car to go check in at the registration table I started sweating.  I checked in at 4:43, changed into my running shoes and put on my camelback.  Unfortunately, I didn’t double tie my shoes and when the race started they came untied and I had to stop about 50 yards into the race to retie them.  

I really didn’t worry about that much because I wasn’t running for time, but I thought how that would have driven me crazy back in my college days.  Needless to say I was in last place at that point.  
So can you tell what language this is?
Soon after the start, another aspect that drove many of us insane were the course markings and turns.  I have no idea what language they were written in but it was not English.  This race took place at Camp Galilee so I assume it was Hebrew, or maybe Greek, but I had no idea what they met. While it seemed like most of us were nice Christian runners, I don’t think we had many Hebrew Bible scholars in the crowd because we all got lost (except for me- Marines are never lost just occasionally disorientated).  I knew things were not going as planned when I met the fast runners coming towards me about a mile into the race.

The reason I thought this was strange was because the race director had told me it was a loop course.  Now, I have run a lot of races and I have run hundreds of loops.  The one thing I know about as loop is, you don’t meet people coming the other direction than you.  They call that an out and back course.  But I just ignored them and jogged along trying to tell myself to slow down and not start to fast with all the 5k runners like I did in the 1/2  marathon.

About this time we came around to the same trail we had been on which again seemed odd on a loop course.  We all stopped looked at each other and asked questions and tried to stay calm, relaxed and not freak out.  Racers hate not knowing which way to run even when we are just “jogging.”  A girl and an old guy who were behind me ran by and headed up a steep hill and said she thought that was the way.  So I took off and followed them.  She had a fancy Garmen watch on and some of those compression socks so I thought she seemed like a trail veteran and probably knew this course.

After catching up with her and taking several minutes to catch my breath enough to ask a question I inquired if she had run this course before?  About that time we hit a turn and she stopped and I could tell she had no idea where she was going.  Fortunately, there was a cooler with water there and I noticed an empty bottle trail to our right and said this must be the way.  

Just around that turn the lead fast runners who I had met earlier were coming down a separate trail and rejoining the race.  They were not too happy and I have no idea where they had wondered to, but I’m betting they ran a long way off course, so it all seemed fair.  They quickly passed me as they mumbled about having no idea where to run.  When you’re a fast runner competing for a place, things like that bother you more.
The course continued on and crossed over itself two more times and I kept jogging around the “loop” meeting several runners all wondering which way to go.  I took some satisfaction in thinking at least I would know the course on the second lap.  I walked the uphill sections to save my legs, but kept a steady pace over the rest of the first “loop.”  The girl and the old guy who had gray hair were just in front of me, but I couldn’t catch them until the last part of the first loop.  

By this time I was thinking if I slowed down the sun would sink lower and it would be cooler for the last lap. Then I came to the turn around and ran all the way back to the starting line, which is what the race director told us to do at the beginning, but as I turned around I noticed the girl turning around at the water table 50 yards away.  As I jogged back up to the water table he said, “You could have turned around here.”   I muttered, “That’s not what you said at the start.” He replied, “My bad.”  It took me 32:00 minutes  to run the first lap.  

I was thinking bad things right at that point because the sun was beating down on my head after taking the wrong path and wondering around and now this “girl” was in front of me.  I quickly caught her and the old guy and passed them but the effort tired me out and I had to walk.  When they passed me back he exclaimed, “Were half way done.”  I added, “That I, was only a 1/3rd done.” 

They were very nice and we helped each other find our way around through the whole race and it helped me stay motivated trying to keep up with them.  I made my way through the second “loop” and only got turned around once.  I never caught back up to the girl and the old guy but I was dramatically slowing down and it was happening quickly.  I changed my strategy and was now only running the downhill sections.  I know it’s sad but you have no idea how hard it is to carry 214 pounds through a trail in 102 degree heat.  

You may remember when I registered for this insane race I mentioned I may run the 4th “loop” if I felt good and get a 20k in.  What a laugh that is now.  All I could think about was stopping after two loops.  I wanted to quit so bad.  I was hurting and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I had never in all my years not finished a race.  

When I came around the corner to the starting line I saw the “girl’ at the water table but the old guy was back by the tent.  I was a bit delirious and had my uplifting Christian music on so I can’t say for sure, but I think she was trying to get him to run another “loop.”  I walked to the water table got me a cold bottle of water and gritted my way down the trail for my final “loop,” wondering if it would be my final act in life.

Then the nice “girl” with the Garmen watch and compression socks jogged by me and said something that I think was encouraging.  At this point I was hurting so bad I really didn’t care, but I have to admit that when I saw her stopped about a mile up the trail I felt a bit more macho.  She was bent over and I asked, "Are you ok."  She said, "Yes, but a few miles ago I was puking my guts up."  I responded, "Do you need anything," and she said, "No, I'm fine just resting."  So I jogged on for as long as I thought she could see me and then started walking again.
Each step was hurting at this point and I had to stop half way up the hills just to catch my breath.  The water in my camelback was hot and there is nothing worse than sucking down plain hot water in a race.  I was grabbing a cold water bottle at each cooler and drinking all I could but it wasn’t enough.

At this point the 20k runners were passing me but they were hurting too.  The first three looked strong but after that they were all suffering.  One kid passed me right at the end but he stopped and visited with me a bit.  He told me his longest previous race was only a 5k.  We walked in together and he is fortunate to be young because in that heat running a 20k for the first time should have killed him.  

This is me hurting!!
I’m proud to say I walked the whole way in and finished the race.  When I stopped I was seeing spots and felt dizzy so I fell down on the grass and drank water.  I don’t know how long I was there but they gave out all the awards and door prizes and I finally got up used the hose to cool down, wash off and slowly walked to the car.

The “old guy” and “girl” were married which probably makes the old guy not so old and helped me feel better.  Unfortunately, the “girl” was older than I thought, which makes me feel worse, but man was she in shape.  They were very nice and I talked with them and several other top runners.  It made me feel good that everyone was talking about how hot it was and some of the guys planned on doing the 20k and 15k races but stopped at the 10k.  I guess I should have too.

They also told me about the 50k trail race in October and said that course is a lot harder than this one.  They mentioned it had a 7 mile uphill section.  It’s a 25k loop that you run forward and backwards.  I wonder if when they say loop they mean a regular loop or a 1 Insane “loop?”   

Even though I have been joking a bit about the heat and the course it was a fun race.  We runners like to suffer and then brag about it.  The race director was a wonderful guy who had some great awards and each of us got a cedar medallion cut from a cedar tree from the trail proving we had completed the race.  He promised to have more signs up next year, and I would recommend some chalk, but the course was really a fun one.  There were a few hills but it wasn’t too bad and the rocks and creeks made it exciting.  The website said, "Be prepared for water in the creeks if it rains," and I would have thanked the Lord if that was the case this year, but in July I doubt next year they will be wet.     

The best part was the money they raised went for missions and everyone from racers to volunteers to spectators were helpful and friendly.  The scary thing is wondering how I will ever hope to finish a 50k race on much steeper hills by October.   I can only hope the cooler weather will help and I’ll be 20 pounds lighter!  I suffered but had a great time and can’t wait to come back next year, hopefully 20 pounds lighter and better acclimatized to the July heat.           

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rod Jetton- 15k Trail Race Tomorrow

I found a trail race tomorrow in Eldorado Springs, Missouri.  It's the 1 Insane trail run to raise funds for missions.  It doesn't start till 5pm so I will have tomorrow to rest up from a very long week.  It's three 5k loops.  They have a 5k, 10k, 15k, and 20k race going, but I chose the 15k which is about 9 miles.  I didn't want to be dead like the 1/2 marathon a few weeks ago.  If I feel good I might do the last lap just for fun.  Keep me in your prayers!!!

Take care and God Bless,
Rod Jetton 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rod Jetton- Sycamore Log Church Long Trail Run

The Sycamore Log Cabin Church where Jami and I were married
I had been thinking about this weekends run for two days.  I knew I needed to get more actual trails in, but with the heat and my weight, I was worried.  I decided to run the 6 mile trail that starts at the scenic over look on Hwy 76 just before you get to the Sheppard of the Hills tower.  This trail drops, turns and climbs over to the Sycamore Log cabin Church and offers some very technical trail running.

I woke up at 5:30 am with a heavy fog hiding the sun that was trying to break through and light up the morning.  I was thankful for the fog, because it kept things cooler.  It was 70 degrees outside so I read a few Bible verses, and  said my prayers, loaded up on water, and drove over to the Church.

A look at the fog blocking the sun from the scenic overlook.
Once there, I put my camel back on and started jogging down the road to the trail.  It was further than I remembered it and after 10 min I went across the creek and onto the trail head.  My original plan had been to try and do two loops on the trail, which would have been 12 miles.  This extra mile+ down to the trail had me re-thinking that plan.  I decided to see what I felt like after one loop. 

I sure felt strong running along the creek on the trail, but then it turned west and went almost straight up a steep hill.  When you run trails around Branson they are seldom flat.  The hills are steep and this one was no exception.  I decided to walk up and save my legs.  Now, when I say walk, I don't mean some slow strolling pace.  I was power walking up that hill and huffing the whole time.  Sometimes, on really steep hills when you are overweight, fast walking is just a quick as jogging and it takes allot less energy.

I made it up that hill and kept going at a steady pace as this trail is a steady uphill from the creek to the scenic overlook on Hwy. 76.  I reached the top in 28 min.  I had run this trail last year starting at the top in 55 min, but I was thinner then.  I was happy with the time and thought maybe I could hit 1 hour since I had allot of downhill going back.  I was still thinking about running two laps at this point. 

Going down the trail I made good time and then I hit the switch backs that go up and down and started feeling a bit tired.  I hit the start of the final mini-loop, which had a very steep hill and walked up it.  After I got to the top of it I stated picking up my pace on the down hill hoping I could break the 1 hour limit.  Somewhere on that back loop, which is the easy part of the trail, I started fading.  It was a gently rolling trail but I was getting tired and slowing down.

I finally started the final steep downhill part and reached the bottom in just over 1 hour.  I considered just doing the mini three mile loop again, but after remembering the long steep uphill that awaited me, I decided to just jog back to the Church.  While it took 10 min to get to the trail from the church, it took 15 to get back to the church.

I rested and stretched a bit, then drove down to the creek and took a dip in the clear cold water.  That was sure refreshing.  I was tired but the good news is.... I wasn't dead like I have been after the last few weekend runs, and this was the most trail miles I have included in any my runs so far.  Seriously, a trail mile in Branson is just harder than a road mile.

My left knee is hurting some and I'm resting it but my goal is to do 2 laps on that course next week.  I may start up at the scenic overlook this time though.  My weight has dropped some but I don't think I will notice it until I get under 200.  Now I am down to about 12 weeks to train and completing a 8.5 mile run with 6 trail miles in it is a far cry from running a 50k race on some steep hills in October. 

Until next time take care and thanks for reading.
Rod Jetton 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rod Jetton-Day 2 in the Boundary Waters

I am writing this after the fact of course but I did take good notes about our activities.  As I said, our first day we had perfect weather.  No wind, sunshine and a perfect day to arrive and set up camp.  Did I also mention that i caught the first fish that day?  Well that night it started raining and the temp dropped and our tent leaked.  Dad and I shared his old tent and this was the same tent that leaked back in 1982 when he brought me to the BW.

This time I had a nice iso mat to sleep on and I only used a Pancho liner because it was so warm.  My sleeping bag was rolled up and didn't get wet.  In 1982 we were on the lake fishing and Dad wouldn't let me put my poncho on because he said I could get dry cloths when we got back to camp.  Of course when we got back to camp my bag and cloths were soaked.  This time all my stuff was dry but Dads bag did get wet.

Not only did it rain that night but it was pouring that morning.  We hung up a tarp to keep us dry but the wind was blowing hard, which made the rain impossible to avoid.  We couldn't build a fire and times like that make camping miserable.  That's when Dad said he thought he was getting to old to come up there and hike in.  He said I would have to bring everyone up next year. I was thinking I don't want to come up and sit in the rain next year.  Thankfully the rain stopped but the sun didn't come out and the wind started really blowing.

The good news was how the wind dried everything out and blew the mosquitoes away, but the bad news was it kept us from fishing.  We tried to go out, but only made it to the island about 1/2 a mile from our campsite.  When you were behind it the wind was blocked and it was nice, but once you were unprotected from the wind it got rough on the water.  And when you have 2 guys who weigh hmmmm lets say alot in a canoe with big waves its a bit scary.

So we stayed on shore and took a nap with no mosquito's bothering us while we enjoyed the afternoon.  We did fish from our campsite but didn't catch much.  The Courts, Grant and I found a trail and hikes to another cove where the wind was not blowing and did some fishing.  We didn't catch much but Grant did catch the biggest lake perch on our trip in that cove.  After that Grant got hung and lost the only lure we had so we decided to hike back and Courts thought he knew a quicker way through the woods that would come out on a different trail.

I don't know if you have ever hiked through woods that have never been logged and probably have never had a human walk through them but it is rough.  Tress were blown over everywhere and the moss was thick and spongy.  There were pockets of stagnant water where finally figured where all the mosquito's came from.  While we wondered around on this "short" cut we were sweating and being bit and Grant was getting tired.  After quite a while we ended up on a cove where we could almost see our campsite and we took another cut through the woods, got off track, overshot our campsite and ran into the same trail we stared our journey on.

Fortunately it was a short and easy walk back to our campsite where Dad was wondering where we were.  We had left him sleeping when we went on our hike and he had no idea where we were.  Once home we started dinner and ate fresh caught fish some grilled potatoes and more red beans and rice.   

Finally, we read Proverbs and had our devotional then turned in about 9:00pm when the sun went down and hoped for better weather.  Here are two short videos, one of us in the rain and one showing how big the waves were.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Freedom 1/2 marathon was hot!!!!

My whole family came into town for the 4th of July weekend so we had 28 guests visiting.  I woke up Saturday morning at 5:30 to get to Table Rock Dam in time for a 7:00am race.  I took some time to pray read a few Bible verses and eat a banana.  I was going to use the restroom, but was running a bit behind and thought I'll wait till I get down to the race.  I needed to register and it was about a 20 min drive to the Dam so I filled up my camelback and headed out while everyone was still asleep.

When I pulled into the starting area I was amazed at all the people.  They were running a 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon but I really didn't expect this many people on a hot July 4th weekend.  Now, I was planning on using this "race" to just help me get a long run in for my training.  I quickly registered and picked up my race t-shirt and got my iPhone and music ready.  Then I realized my mistake.  The line to the two bathrooms was long.  I mean really long.  It was only 15 min to the race start and I counted all the people in line and estimated that if they all took 1 min I would get in there by 7:12.

Being a Marine I found a quite secluded place behind a bush and took a "natural break" as they say in the Tour de France.  Unfortunately, I was needing to go #2 and thought I'll just stop at the bathroom down at the campground during the race.  This course was a gently rolling paved trail that strolled along the lakes edge for a little over 4 miles.  The 5k runners had a turnaround at the 1.5 mile mark and the 10k runners did two laps of that.  Us 1/2 marathoners, went out past the Branson Bell and the campground all the way past the Marina and then turned around.  We had three laps to complete.

The whistle blew and I took off with the rest of them at what I thought was a nice slow pace, but with all the 5k and 10k runners in there I realized later that I went out a bit to quick.  It was a very hot and humid day but the first lap seemed so easy to me.  The nice thing about the course was you got to see all the other runners twice each lap.  When I started the second lap I was about 20th and told myself I needed to slow down and stay strong for the third lap.  I started getting passed some and being passed even when you know your slowing down takes something out of you.

I was feeling tired and very hot and all the ladies and old men were passing me and I was feeling dead.  But I kept at it and made the turnaround and started back.  The race workers were very encouraging and kept telling me I looked good but I knew they were lying!! ha ha

I finally finished the 2nd lap and started on #3.  I asked one of the workers if the 3rd lap would be more downhill than the first 2 and he almost dragged me off the course fearing I had heat stroke.  I was only joking with him but joking kept my mind off of how slow I was running I mean jogging and how bad I was hurting.  By this time I was walking up the steep hills and I just wanted to finish this race.  (For some reason each lap the hills got steeper. )   I knew if I started the 3rd lap I would have no choice but to run back since my car was parked at the starting area.

After being passed by several more runners the turnaround finally appeared.  It was a bit of a hill up to it but I made it up and was headed home.  At this point I was just trying to push the pain out of my mind.  The sad thing is I was barley running.  I mean this was the slowest pace I had EVER run ANY race in my life.  I kept pushing and went by the campground then the Branson Bell and finally into the finish shoot.

I'm embarrassed to say I ran a 2:04.  I saw that 2 hours was coming up but there was just no way for me to speed up and break 2.  I was dead.  That's a 9:30 pace!!  It made me come to the realization that I am out of shape and overweight and I have to do something about it.  I drank water all day and slept and was hurting bad.  The next day I drank water and slept and was soar.  Finally on  Monday I started feeling normal but my legs were soar.

If I don't drop at least 20 pounds this 50k trail race is going to kill me in October.  I wouldn't recommend running a 1/2 marathon with little or no training but it is a good way to suffer and motivate you to get back in shape.  Hopefully I will do better next week.

Take care,

Rod Jetton