A Historical Run Around Ft. Sill

Well it’s been a bit quiet on our front, and for good reason. There are only so many ways I can make treadmill running exciting, so let me sum it up for you… it was cold/snowing/icy out, therefore I ran on a treadmill 3 or 4 or 5 times a week in various distances anywhere from 3 to 5 miles. So there you have it. Social media REALLY drove me crazy this winter, as I was bombarded with posts about ZMG SNOW IN WINTER… I didn’t need to contribute to the obvious.

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A friend and I did get together and she definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of cross training. At any given moment you could find us doing some crazy rowing thing as a warm up and from there even doing a tabata workout [FUN, by the way!!!!!] or a Crossfit influenced workout composed of slamming a sledgehammer into a tire and box jumps. It got intense, and I’m hoping that even though I resorted to it to ‘keep me busy’, that we continue to do these workouts. It makes the chore of cross training a bit more fun, and there’s always something new to do. Heck, I even got kettle bells for Valentine’s. Smile Blogger fail, as there is no picture of the workouts…

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The weather has turned here in southern Oklahoma [but not the wind, so don’t even ask] and in the past few days the temperature has hit about 70. Cue shorts and tank top runs. Definitely beats out the past couple of weeks being cooped up with sick kids, as well.

Short story, and you can stop here if you want: I got 6 miles in at a 9:17 average pace. I didn’t look at the watch once and went off effort alone, and definitely could have pushed this harder than I did. Happy with the run for sure, considering I ran 6 two days ago at a 9:07 pace. So happy to be covering decent miles again.

Long story: HA, you are in for a treat. As most of you know, I can be quite the nerd. I love history, and there are historical markers all over this post. In fact, I can even see one from my driveway, and know of three within a half mile. Though we have driven around to see some, I thought it would be pretty neat to see them on foot, as some are farther off the road and not ideally driven too. If you’re wondering whether or not there are historical markers nearby for events/people/what have you, check out www.everytrail.com/ – I’ve already planned numerous outings using their maps, and there’s also an app for both Android and iPhlub. According to this site, there are over 30 sites on our post alone. Granted, many are in the same location because they’re located in a museum, but others are free standing – in fact, we’ve driven by them not knowing what they were. I definitely plan to use the app to check out other places as we travel the nation, I am definitely beyond ecstatic that everything is laid out for me and I won’t miss anything!!

Without further ado… here are some of the historical highlights of my run.

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- this sits along the edge of a golf course –

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- Flipper’s Ditch. You have to read a summary of his life here. Born a slave, Henry Flipper was the first black graduate of West Point [1877] and amongst other notable career events at Ft Sill, he designed a drainage system that is still in use today. From there his career took him to various posts until hit with controversy, as he was caught up in an embezzlement charge and subsequently relieved of his military duty. His dishonorable discharge [1881] was overturned by President Clinton in 1999. Pretty interesting, I’d like to read his autobiography if I get the chance.

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- not sure if you can read the picture in the upper right hand corner… but it states that the marker shows where General Sheridan had his tent. In the picture below, you can see the distance between the Mess Hall Tent and General Sheridan’s. Not too far. Also, I snapped the picture to show how far off the road General Sheridan’s historical marker is – something not easily seen. In fact, we had driven by it numerous times before we realized there was even anything out there. -

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- I hit my turnaround point at Geronimo’s Grave. I felt very out of place ‘touring’ the Apache Indian Cemeteries, and felt uneasy as I snapped quick pictures, even though there were others around doing the same thing. There is a morbid curiosity when it comes to cemeteries and gravestones, and I felt for some reason I was violating the sanctity of death. If that makes any sense at all. –

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- This plot was especially interesting, as the majority of names contained “Bailtso”, and one grave that was fenced in, within the plot. I went back and forth on my decision to go in and peek at the name, but in the end curiosity got the better of me, I took a picture, and made a mental note to google the family name later. I have yet to do that, I really just need a pocket historian to tell me everything about the area. Some information can be found in this book, “Women of the Apache Nation”, which I’m hoping the library has. –

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- ‘son of Clarence & Helen Bailtso, Died on May 22, 1918 (? can’t really read the year), 7 years old’. Honestly, I think that’s the thing that made me most uneasy about looking at the gravestones – the majority of them were infants and children. I also think I have a lingering PTSD-like notion about white headstones found in military settings… I wish I was exaggerating, but there is just something about it that puts my stomach in knots.

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- Geronimo’s Grave. I wish I would have had the guts to stick around and take more pictures, maybe in due time.

Anyway, there you have it folks. Quite possibly the longest blog post I have written to date. I wish I could go on longer about my experience with this run, as it truly was enjoyable and didn’t feel like effort whatsoever! Good times.

Snow and Gratitude {Landeck, Elizalde, Tully}

Overnight and into the early morning, our nook of an Army post in rural Oklahoma received about 5 inches of snow. I am hoping that is it for today at least, considering more snow is expected to fall throughout the week. I do not need to remind you that while I appreciate the scenery snow brings to the view outside of my window, I absolutely LOATHE being cooped up inside without a chance to get out. Because we do not live in a plow-friendly part of the country, I thought all hope was lost in running – the gym was closed, and the house is too tiny to put a treadmill in… until I actually heard a plow go by and reveal a CLEAR canvas of road – not even ice underneath the snow! Everything was at a standstill; snow had stopped and there wasn’t wind whipping around – I knew it was time to hear the therapeutic crunch of snow and ice beneath my feet and soak in some me time.

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Today I ran for quite the trifecta of individuals. While I did not know these individuals, I have connections to them in one way or another. It was easy to have these men on my mind during my short run, and I am lucky to have these connections to them in my life, for more reasons than one.

CPT. Kevin Landeck, was an Illinois native who perished 7 years ago in Iraq when an IED went off near his vehicle. Kevin was stationed out of Ft. Drum, and prior to that he went through Purdue’s ROTC program where he met his wife, 2LT Bethany Landeck. Kevin was touted as a natural born leader, a ‘man’s man’, and was quick to make his friends laugh.

SFC Adrian Elizalde is a name I have heard for years. I ran with his amazing sister, Rachel, for years while we were stationed at Ft. Lewis. His birthday was this past week, and I wish so deeply I would have had a chance to meet this outstanding individual. His loss was felt by many, going back to even his childhood community. Not only did he excel in his military career, but he also was an avid fitness junkie, spending his free time training in mixed martial arts.

SFC Michael Tully was killed alongside SFC Elizalde from an IED. SFC Tully seemed destined to be in the military, jumpstarting the process at the age of 17 when he joined the Marine Corps. He later joined the Army, where he went on to have an impressive career that sent him into Iraq on his second tour as a combat medic. Striving to complete challenges in both work and personal life, SFC Tully also was a certified Scuba diver, and completed Ranger school.

January Round Up

January has come and gone. How did that even happen? I feel like we were just in Ohio yesterday, celebrating Christmas and the New Year.

Alas, it’s the beginning of February, so it’s time to see how my resolutions stood for the month of January.

- Wake up before the kids. While it lasted, it was awesome! On average, I got about 20 minutes to myself in the morning in which I sipped on coffee, caught up on Facebook, or just planned out the day/week. The kids got super sick about a week ago, and the schedule flew out of the window. For some reason or another, I’m struggling to wake up in the morning, but I’m trying. I really enjoyed doing this, and I need to get back on track with it. I noticed it helped me sleep better, as well as have more energy throughout the day. I also wasn’t ‘forcing’ myself to sleep, and the process happened more naturally.

- Leave the phone by the door/counter. Again, I’m trying. If I hear my phone go off, I don’t rush to it, and I hid my notifications for social media so I wasn’t so inclined to randomly check them throughout the day. I would like to do less on my phone, but I have also improved. … Pinterest does suck me in during nap times though.

- Project 365. Still going strong Smile 

- Stay resilient and happy. It was hard to do this while the kids were sick, and I also am a horrible gauge as to whether or not I’m staying happy and resilient. You’d have to ask my husband.

- Running 2014k in 2014. Meh, it’s going. I am also doing a strength training regimen, which takes away a little from running, in regards to time spend running or being sore from the workouts. There is a ‘child friendly’ gym here with a separate room for kids that you can see from all angles of the small gym, but W hates it. I can probably count on 15 minutes of time before he spots me and melts down. The weather hasn’t helped in my running goals at all – I wouldn’t mind running in freezing weather, or even below freezing, but definitely NOT with 40 MPH wind gusts…

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You know, I’ll take it. I’m not training for anything, which I know will bump up mileage, and considering the kids were home sick for a solid week I’m ok with it. I realize 41 miles is nothing for a MONTH is nothing… but I’m getting there!

Tomorrow I have a run in honor of CPT. Kevin Landeck, as well as honoring a friend’s brother’s birthday.