Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Review of Seirus Thermax Headliner Balaclava

Originally submitted at REI

This ultra-thin balaclava fits easily under a helmet and is easy to pack along as a lightweight insulating layer.

good for cold weather running

By bostonmarathonwannabe from Tulsa, OK on 12/5/2009


5out of 5

Gift: No

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Lightweight, Breathable, Warm

Best Uses: Extreme Conditions

Describe Yourself: Casual Adventurer

I'm a distance runner and purchased this for cold weather running. It's perfect for my objectives-lightweight, multi-use meaning it can either go around my neck, over my head or over my mouth, and it provides just the right amount of warmth. It wasn't too tight around my face and it didn't squeeze my earbuds. I have a small face so it may be too tight if you have a large frame, it is a one size fits all.


Hello Winter!

Today I got to try out a balaclava by Seirus that I got during Black Friday last week for a sweet price. I like it because it can either go around my neck, over my head or over my mouth. It is lightweight and I really like it. I got mine at Sun N Ski.

Today was an easy run, 7 miles in the cold. I wasn't sure what time RW was supposed to be at Veteren's Park and no one was there at 7:00 so I went on to 41st and ran north from there. I saw Stefanie and ended up running with her and Simone, Bronda and her hubby. I was really overdressed, before I left, the weather showed that it "felt like" 16 so I thought I better layer up a bunch on top. I was sweating by the second mile and took my jacket off. There were plenty of runners out there braving the cold, good to see people being consistent with their running. Next Saturday we start officially training for OKC!

Out to do Christmas shopping today, can't wait to see my relatives in Charlotte at Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not a PR but a good race at Route 66

After my awful Mock Marathon 2 weeks ago, I rested and did slow runs before R66. By Friday before the race, I was feeling excited and energtic again. My only challenge is I have been having trouble sleeping. Between hot flashes (men wouldn't understand) and praying in the middle of the night for a local pastor who has cancer, I wasn't totally rested.
Sunday morning I went outside and thought I could tolerate standing at the start line in a short sleeved shirt. I wish I had the nerve to put my singlet on underneath it but I figured it wouldn't get warm enough. Hmmm, my loss. So I got to our meeting place for Runners World and checked around to see if anyone was going my pace. Stefanie and Tracy said they would be going between 11 and 12 min pace so I decided to pace with them.
We took off and it took about 3 min to get over the start line. We paced ourselves pretty evenly, staying between 10.03 and 10.48. Tracy and others had a sign party to make signs for Simone and Bronda since this was thier first marathon. So, in the beginning, we were watching for the signs and making sure that Simone and Bronda saw them. I thought that was so thoughtful of their team to make those signs, that's what I love about the Runners World groups. At mile 9, I saw Carmi, Teresa and Cindy in their silver wigs and black & white glasses handing out goodies and cheers. They showed up again somewhere around Denver, isn't it something how seeing someone you know gives you a boost? Once we got onto Riverside, Stefanie and Tracy were running faster than I was and they got ahead of me. I don't run well by myself in marathons. I get bored and unmotivated. Tatur Dave's article that he shared earlier this week about pain challenged me to run through my pain since I have walked after mile 17 of the other 4 marathons I have run. Today, I didn't walk until mile 24, except for the water stations. The main reason I didn't have a PR was because I took a potty break at a single station porta potty and a guy went in before me. I figured he would be quick but I kept hearing the toilet paper roll being rolled so I knew he was having stomach trouble. I didn't know where the next porta potty was so I waited...and waited. While I waited, the 4:45 pace group passed by, darn! Finally he came out and I hoped the porta potty wouldn't be a mess, it wasn't. I wasn't mad at him, I had the same problem at the first R66 I ran. Anyway, back on the road, I tried to catch up to the 4:45 pace group but I couldn't accelerate that much. I told myself that I could still catch up in the next few miles but I didn't. As I made the turnaround at 76th street, I still hadn't walked and I thought I could get through the whole marathon, this was at mile 21. Well, I did well until mile 24 and I let myself walk a little, just a little. Somewhere along Riverside, I saw Mary _____, someone I run with occasionally and learned that this was her 3rd marathon in FIVE weeks!!! She had just passed her darling family, kids, hubby, parents, so sweet. When I got to mile 25 I told myself,"come on, just a little over a mile." I walked for a block and then headed for the finish line. I love hearing people's name being called and where they are from and I love to hear my name, but you know what I love more than anything? Hearing that darling voice, "Mom, hey, good job!" I can't wait for my daughter to run a race with me again.
I did something unique for me during this race. Some of you know that my 23 yr old son drowned in the Columbia River in Portland, OR this past August 1. So for this race, since his birthday was Nov. 21, as I ran each mile, I thought about what he was doing during that year of his life. So, for my own therapy, I'll recount what I thought about, I didn't do this for each year.
Mile 1-as a baby, we loved to take pictures of Chris on the bed, he was soo cute, my unbiased opinion
Mile 2-my sister-in-law started telling me that we weren't being strict enough, this was during the onset of the "terrible twos"
Mile 4-Jessica was born during this year and I thought about how Chris was dethroned and all the time we spent playing in the sandbox
Mile 7-I thought about second grade and a wonderful teacher that Chris had, Mrs. Neece
Mile 12-I thought about middle school, 6th grade, and how Chris probably started getting teased about his stuttering, this is also when he started playing the trumpet in band
Mile 13-Chris built the web page for Byrd middle school and got 1st chair for trumpet
Mile 15-Chris did not like where he went to high school as a freshman and had a poor math teacher, Chris was brilliant in math
Mile 16-Chris transferred to Tulsa School of Arts and Science and had a great experience there, he also started to drive
Mile 18-Chris took extra math classes at TCC and graduated from TSAS
Mile 19-Chris started at University of Tulsa and lived on campus
Mile 22-Chris graduated from Univ. of Tulsa and began working for vidoop and the company relocated to Portland
Mile 23-Chris had the absolute best year of his life, found a church that he loved being a part of, survived a company going under, got 3 job offers in a city where unemplyment was 10% and loved his new job.
Mile 24-this is when I started walking and maybe that's why....
I am so grateful for his life, and for the assurance that he is in the most glorious place in the universe, with the very best friend of all, Jesus.
Once I got across the finish line, I met up with Carmi, Teresa and Cindy without their silver hair wigs and we had pics taken with Mary and her sister. I connected with most everyone else that I run with and learned that the majority of the people had good runs, some had PRs. Simone and Bronda had an excellent run and finished ahead of me, way to go girls!
When I got home, I tried to do the right recovery things, I started out eating a Cliff protein bar when I got in the car, then I drank some chocolate milk. I tried to take a cold bath but I couldn't find the plug for our bathtub so I stood in a cold shower. I drank some more chocolate milk and took a little nap. Then I finished my chocolate milk and checked the web for more finish times. On to planning my next race and training schedule. Maybe I'll see some of you at the Von Franken Family Run this Thursday.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thank You Runners World Tulsa

Today was our Mock Marathon to prepare us for Route 66 on Nov. 22. Our "mock" is 22 miles. Since I had done the KC Marathon three weeks ago and ran the Tulsa Run 15K last Saturday, I decided to take this long run easy. I thought I would try for a 10:30 pace, it always sounds so doable until you get past 15 miles and then all I want to do is walk! I ran with Teresa for the first 14 or so miles and we had a great time chatting. Our friend Cindy was resting her injuries and we enjoyed seeing her at the waterstops. Jason, Lisa and Wade were taking some time off as well and they were great cheerleaders as well at the waterstops. After Teresa was gone, I really struggled to keep running. I saw Joe and Cindy at the waterstop at 41st and they were like a breath of fresh air. Joe told me about a good anti-chaffing item called SportShield. I put some on my back where my waist usually gets raw. He said it currently isn't available locally but it looks like this:
Then I headed back south on Riverside and ran for about 1/4 mile and decided to walk, what a wimp! I walked a lot until I made the turn around at 56th St and then I decided that I would run 4 lightposts and walk 4 lightposts. I don't know why I choose 4 lightposts, nothing scientific about it, just sounded good. I did this until I got to the 41st St water stop again and saw Greg. We headed back towards 21st St and I told him that I was alternating running and walking with every 4th lightpole. He talked me into extending it to 5 lightpoles, which we did until 31st St. Then I said, that was it, I was walking and we walked and talked for about a half mile. Then he talked me into running some more, what a pushover I am! Finally we made it to Veteren's Park, I was so glad that run was over! Now, taper time until Nov. 22!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hooray for Janet!

Kansas City was an ok marathon for me, I did have a PR, 4:49:13 but the best part of the event was Janet qualifying for Boston and she qualified handily with a 4:12. Congrats Janet, great effort and a tough course.

This was the first time to go out of town for a marathon and room with others. I wanted my husband to go with me but OU/Texas was too much competition. This was fun to hang out with Becky and Janet, we headed over to the convention center, took a long detour and after asking for directions a couple of times, we found the expo. We saw Carmi, Teresa, Donna, Katy, cindy and Chris at the Expo. The expo was pretty small and we went to the pasta dinner, very disappointing in my opinion, but Don Karong was a good speaker. Fortunately we saw Chris and the rest of the group after eating and he gave us a ride back to our hotel, thanks Chris!
We hung out in the room and watched HGTV. In the morning, we took a cab to the start line, we were only 5 blocks from the start but didn't want to walk that far in case it was too cold. This was a good choice. We stayed inside a building until about 6:35 and found our pace groups.

My goal was a 4:30 and I have a tendancy to set my goals too high. Since the end of July, I've been running only 3 times/week and I hadn't even thought about the effect that could have on my endurance. I had an excellent long run on the 3rd and the River Rush 5K was another PR for me so I felt really ready for this marathon. I lined up with the 4:30 pace group and hung with them for the first 11 miles. They had lowered their per lap time between mile 4 and mile 12 to make up for the beginning hill at mile 2-4. By mile 12 I could tell that I was tiring too much and I was having difficulty staying with them. I began to slow down and hit a major hill during this mile on a street called Sunset. I began to alternate walking and running and continued that thru the end. My legs felt heavy and my mind began to wander and I lost motivation. I got really bored between miles 13 and 19 and began to question why I even do these races. I even began to regret that I had already registered for the R66 and wished I was doing only the 1/2. Your mind does begin to have terrible thoughts during these long races and I hadn't put my music in to distract me. Once I got to 22 and saw the 4:50 pace group pass me, I got in gear because I didn't want to have a slower time than OKC. So I did get in under 4:50. Then I met Becky and Janet in the food tent and at that point Janet didn't say anything about qualifying for Boston. On our walk back to the hotel she said she thought she qualified but she wasn't certain. When we got back she had a phone message that she had qualified then I got on my laptop and got her official time and we oohed and awed that she had done it. All 3 of us had PRs so we were satisfied but obviously not as excited as Janet. Then we went to Cheesecake Factory and gorged ourselves, Janet's Luau Salad looked yummy and my Fiesta Burrito was delicious as well. Of course, we couldn't eat it all and had to save room for cheesecake. We rolled out of there and headed for home. Now I have 3 states down.

Next race: Tulsa Run, then R66.

Overall summary of the KC Marathon. Get with the pacers, mine were excellent, knew the course well and kept us posted of what was ahead and what we were going to do. Janet had an excellent experience, her pacer really wanted her to qualify and he kept encouraging her. The aid stations were excellent, always told you what beverages were first, which was almost always Gatorade and each aid station had a different flavor of Gatorade. They had Gu at least 2 times and vaseline as well. There were plenty of port-a-potties and lots of crowd support. The food tent at the end was well stocked too. The music was ok throughout the race but I wish they had at least one Christian band because I find that music so inspiring.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kansas City Countdown

This coming Saturday is the KC marathon. This will be my 4th and I am almost as excited as my 1st back when I did R66 in 2007. I feel very ready for this and I believe I can do a 4:30. I did the River Rush 5K on Saturday and had another PR, 26:43, that is an 8:38 pace and I was very satisfied with that and even left some in the tank, shame on me but I'm learning more about what I can do and how hard to push myself. I'm not even wiped out and the last 5K I raced in May, I had another PR and felt like I had run a marathon. The weather forecast for KC looks ideal, no rain the day before or after or day of and temps will be in the 50s during the day, I will love that. The weather for the River Rush was in the low 50s and it felt fabulous to me.
I'll run only 2 more times this week and take it easy, I must remind myself to take it easy, this cooler weather makes me want to run fast. I'm going to run KC with the pace group for 4:30, they take you over the hills slow and pick up speed on the flat areas. They are very familiar with the route and I think they'll take good care of me. Janet is trying for a 4:15, that is her BQ and Becky is going for 4:10. This may be the first time that I'll run the marathon in capris instead of shorts, we'll see how cold it is in the morning. I still haven't decided about my shirt. In my previous post I said I had received my singlet with my race number on it but I don't want to wear it over a shirt in case I get too warm. So I will probably wear it and wear a long sleeved shirt with my paper number on it and if I get hot, tie my shirt around my waist. I'm also going to make sure I get plenty of sleep at night this week, something I'm usually not very disciplined about so I need to be getting to bed in about 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

24 miles and ready for Kansas City

Today was a very good running day. The temperature was 43 when I got up and I wore a lightweight jacket for the first time since Spring. I had a bad long run two weeks ago and decided to run 22 today instead of having a 3 week taper. I was considering running 24 but wanted to wait and see how I felt after 11. I was also going to try a different fueling technique, start the Gu at 5 miles and every 5 miles after that. That worked really well because I got the Gu in before I was tired. Also, I tried out my running shirt for the KC marathon, you could order your number on your shirt: I did chafe a little bit under my arms, but other than that, the shirt worked really well and I love the way it looks. It cost 27.95 and I'll get a lot of wear out of it. It was fun to wear the shirt before the event occurred and I saw runners staring at it, trying to figure out what race it was from. I ended up running 24 and I ran the whole 24, stopping only for water or potty breaks. I felt good the whole time and averaged 10:33/mile. My goal is 4:30 for this marathon but that will be a stretch. Today the conditions were perfect and I don't know what KC will be like and with my sensitive stomach, I never know what to expect. We'll see, I'm really looking forward to the marathon, I know we'll have fun regardless and eating at the Cheesecake Factory after we shower will be something to look forward to.
As I finished my run, I met up with Bobby and Sandra and she had just completed her longest run ever, 20 miles. Yea for Sandra, those milestones are to be celebrated! And yea for Bobby for being such a good running partner.
I want to give a shout out to Jason and Lisa. They will be doing an ultra this coming weekend in El Dorado, Kansas. Jason will be doing 100 miles, omg, yes 100 mile and Lisa will be doing the 50 mile. Jason is actually excited, said it is going to be fun. Well, people look at me like I'm crazy too when I say that marathons are fun. I feel like those people do, but, have fun, Jason and Lisa, I'll be praying for you.
After I finshed my run, I showered and went over to a friends house with my hubby, Gary, and we put primer on their window and door frames. My friend has her 3rd reoccurence of cancer and had chemo on Thursday so I know this made her feel better, to see progress being made on her house and we really enjoyed helping her. Plus, it's good to move around a lot after a long run so you don't tighten up, I was up and down the ladder, so I shouldn't be too sore on the following days.
This coming Saturday I'm going to do the River Rush, other than that, I'm into my taper.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sweet Relief From Heat

Temp showed 66 degrees when I left the house this a.m. at 5:30. I was really looking forward to a great run. Our course was flat and only 10 miles.

We're continuing to have a great turnout and there's lots of other runners and cyclists on the trail. We had a pretty uneventful training run, Becky, Janet and I talked more about our schedule for the KC Marathon.

Our fantastic run leader, Jason, was in a 50 mile run last w/e and said it was the hardest he had ever done, it was so hot and he was drenched with sweat. He's doing another 50 mile tonight but he still showed up to cheer us on and stayed until we were done. I could tell it was killing him to not run with us, especially with the weather being so cool, but that was a good call to rest before tonight. Thanks for being there Jason!

When I got in my car to go home, it was only 8:20 a.m., it was super to get home so early.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Solo Hill Training

I missed hill training last week and I didn't want to miss another one. The thought of running in this 100+ was sickening so I waited until 8:30 tonight and ran up a hill in my neighborhood. It wasn't the same steep climb as 11th and Riverside but I did do it 8 times and it felt good. It was so dark on the way back that I took a wrong turn in my neighborhood (on foot) and got a little disoriented. But I'm really glad I ran the hill. get up at 4:45 and run again...and that same hill is on my route.

I drank 6 oz of orange juice before I ran and I think that really helped. Unfortunately my Garmin did that "laps database full" trick again so I didn't record my run.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Many Hands at Poker Run

Saturday was another one of Runners World's fun poker runs. We end up with 7 cards by getting one at the start and getting one every mile, then getting one at the finish. At the end, you turn in your cards and, based on your hand, you get to pick out a prize from the items from the Runners World stash. The prizes range from a free pair of shoes, gift certificates, entries to races, running jacket, shirts or shorts, lots of socks and lots of shirts left over from previous races. It is a lot of fun and great of Runners World to give away merchandise and we hang out for awhile and get to visit.

What a hot day! The marathoners started early, at 6:00, and put in 4 miles before we started the 5 mile Poker Run. There were lots of people besides us out running, Fleet Feet training groups and other runners. It is refreshing to see people out here taking good care of themselves, in spite of the heat. I went a little hard for the 4 miles with Becky and Janet and then we took it slower for the 5 miles. The last mile of the 5 was very tiring, I've got to get more acclimated to this heat. We ended up averaging about 10:00 min. miles which was closer to a steady state than an easy run. I did feel pretty tired the rest of the day but had a fun time at a baby shower.

I think I've decided on a fall marathon, the Kansas City one on Oct. 17 It is a little bit hillier than the OKC one but I've been told that with the hill training we're doing this summer, I shouldn't have any trouble with the race.

With this heat, I don't want to do the hill training at 11th & Riverside. It's too long of a drive from work and it is too hot. I'm thinking that I will do my hill work in my neighborhood at 8:30 in the evening. We have a good elevation increase just east of my house.

Last week, I tried some new socks. They are by injinji and they look like this on my feet:

I ran in them for 8 miles and they felt fine. I can feel a little seam on the big toe so I'll reserve saying they're really good until I take them on a 20 mile. I got them at Backwoods, another one of my favorite stores for outdoor gear.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another sweaty day

I got halfway to Veteren's Park and felt like something was missing. Shuffle? yes, Gatorade? yes, Visor? yes, Heart Rate monitor? yes, t-shirt to change into? yes, Garmin? no. Oh rats, no garmin and it's too late to turn back. Don't you hate to run without your Garmin? Especially today, since we were doing hills, I wanted to monitor my heart rate. Well, at least I could take off my monitor and not worry about chaffing.

The first 4 miles were really hilly and I took it slow and easy. I felt pretty heavy with the heat and I'm so glad that we are starting at 6 next week instead of 7. When I was first training for marathons a couple of years ago, I hated that early start time and we started at 5:30 but now I really like it. It keeps the whole day from being used up with the run and you get a head start on the heat. Rachel joined us again and it was great to have her cheery spirit to lead us on. It was great to see Greg as well, he had been injured while training for St. Louis and is getting back into training. And it was great to meet Jason's mom, I think this multi-generational running is way cool.

I didn't go to hill training Monday night because I needed to be somewhere else but I learned that people turned out in spite of the heat and Dave brought icy cold sponges so people could be refreshed after running the hills. So, I'm pretty sure I'll be there on Monday and it is supposed to be a litle bit cooler.

I'm reading an excellent book on running, actually like a runner's bible, The Lore of Running by Dr. Timothy Noakes. It covers physiology, training for all distances, what to do for all types of injuries, it will be a good reference book. I also have a couple of books on reserve at the library,

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (thank you Rachel for the recommendation). Another one that I've already read that was fascinating about the history of women's running was I will forever be grateful to Katherine Switzer for clearing the way for women's running.
Anybody else out there have some favs you care to recommend?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Easy Does It

It is sweltering today, I elected to run with Cindy's group at 6:00 a.m. instead of my RW group at 7:00, good choice, it was so humid even at that early hour and it sure didn't feel like 78. We ran from Helmrich Park up to Turkey Mountain and on to the west side of the river and back to the park, 10 m on my Garmin but could have been over 11, depending on how much you walked. On our way back as we came to Turkey Mountain parking lot we observed that the sun had just come out in full force and we were so glad that we didn't have much further to go.

I'm so glad I started wearing my heart rate monitor because I felt like I was working so hard but my bpm were in the 150 range instead of the 170 that it felt like. We took it really slow and took lots of walk breaks. Several from this group are going to Seattle for the marathon there next Saturday so there was no need to push hard, thankfully, I was glad when this run was done and really enjoyed the frappuccino at Starbucks. We had someone new join us, Rachel from Broken Arrow, who was a delight to have along and did her 1st 1/2 marathon at the Aquarium Run and finished under 2.00...I'm impressed!

I've been going to the hill work training on Monday night and even though it is so very hot, it is only about 4 miles plus the hill repeats and I know the hill repeats are going to pay off in strength building. I'm the slowest and oldest one there but that's ok, I will get faster and feel younger.

Want a chance to win a free pair of running shoes? Check out and post a comment on his blog. He's a triathlete.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Great start for Runner's World Route 66 training

Today was our kick-off for training for the R66 fall marathon. We have about 250 people signed up at different distances. We had a great crowd this morning and we were assigned to groups. I think this is a good idea and once we get settled into the right pace group, we'll be smoking. We had a good, easy 6 mile run and I went back out for 3 with Michael M and Rebecca (someone I haven't met before) more afterwards. Jason is our leader and he did a great job of keeping us on pace and encouraging us. He and Leesa just moved into a different house and they were up until 1:00 last night moving in. I really appreciate the dedication of the run leaders. I was glad to see Janet in my group, she pushes me and she's very encouraging. We're close in age and manage to have some good talks while we run. Our group is training for a 4:30 marathon andwe're off to a good beginning. I'm going to try and do the hill work on Monday evening with Dave S. It's really hard to get away from work so we'll see if I can get there by 5:30.

I've started wearing my heart monitor more consistently so I can monitor how hard I am working.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 PRs in 34 days

Dave S and I must be trying to outlast each other in the "who can take the longest to update their blog" race. I finally beat Dave in a race.

I'm really happy with my races this Spring. I had a PR at the OKC marathon on 4/26, 4:56, a PR at the Jenks Aquarium 1/2 marathon on 5/16, 2:06 and last night (5/29) at the Kidney Klassic, I did 27:05, and I'll claim that I have met my goal for the 5K for this year, even though this is 5 sec over. I think I'm done racing for awhile, I'm going to focus on training for the fall marathon and maybe do a 10K if one comes up but other than that, I'll wait for the Tulsa Run. My 1:21:00 goal for the Tulsa Run is looking very ambitious now, my McMillan chart now shows that I would do it in 1:27 based on the 27:05 5K. We'll see how things come together after the speed and hill work this summer.

I'm really looking forward to training hard this summer and getting to know everyone better. Dave has laid out some great routes and we are going blast thru those downtown hills. I've also started biking a little on my own. June 6 can't come soon enough and join us at Panera on Cherry St when you're done with your run.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!

Everyone at the OKC Marathon got a good dose of Oklahoma wind. Yes, it was grueling on the way back, especially coming over Claussen, which seemed to go on and on. But, we had a good race for the first 15 or 16 miles. It got a little rough in Nichols Hills on the way back but we still had some fight left in us but once we hit Claussen and the wind was relentless, it was really hard to keep we didn't. That was the longest 4 mile stretch but I kept thinking about some others in our group ahead of us who were trying to get a 4:15 and I prayed for them that they could achieve their goal. I lost anyone I was running with on Claussen and I was torn between waiting for them or pressing on to do my best and I decided to press on because they had told me to do that if they dropped back and I would want them to do the same if the tables were turned. So many people were walking on Claussen, it seemed that the only ones running were the relay runners.

Once I got to the 25th mile, I told myself that I had to run, especially since my pace had dropped off so much that there was a possibility that I wouldn't break 5:00. Actually, up to mile 24, I was still on pace to finish at 4:45 but I slowed down so much that I was going to need to pick up the pace to even break 5:00. Turning on Broadway and seeing the finish line down the street was such a relief. I kept my eyes focused on the finish line and pressed on and hoped that my Garmin was right because it looked like I was going to be several minutes under 5:00. Crossing that finish line felt so good. I ended up with a 4:56:38 which is a PR for me.

Even though the last 10 miles were so tough, it was a great weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed the pasta dinner, hearing the speakers and seeing all the RW runners. I especially was inspired by Amy Palmiero-Winters, the amputee: and I thought about her pushing that wheelchair all throughout the race. It was so great to run with friends and to meet some new people (Lauren) and I learned that Lauren is the sister of someone my daughter swims with at Booker T. Having Lauren's parents cheer for us all thoughout the race was so incredible, I can't thank them enough. And it was great to reunite after the race and gripe together about the weather and how hard the race was. Getting a PR was very rewarding, my next goal is a 4:45 but it will be in the fall and I haven't decided where to run yet. I am going to do the Aquarium 1/2 marathon in a couple of weeks and try to finish in 2:00.

Thanks to Joe and Dave too for coming over to OKC to cheer us on, it meant a lot.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm eating my words, another windy marathon

I said I would NEVER run another windy marathon after I ran Dallas last December and here I am, tomorrow's OKC is projected to be windy and most likely rain, in fact, thunderstorms. I hope they don't close the race, please God, intervene and keep the lightening and thunder away. So many people want to run this race because of what happened to OKC.

I was so inspired by the pre-race talks at the pasta dinner-the amputee who is pushing a young girl in a wheelchair for the marathon and talks by Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson. In spite of the weather, I am truly pumped. And it is so great to run with friends, in Dallas I was a lone ranger.

Well, off to bed for some shut-eye, I'll be up at 3.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just 2 more miles-reflection on my longest training run ever

Saturday, April 11 was our final long run before the OKC marathon. The day dawned perfectly, 42 degrees, clear skies. Dave set the tone by encouraging us to "run with perseverance, the course set before us," and most of us could hardly stand still long enough to listen to his instruction, so anxious were we to get this particular run under our belt. We were going to do 4 loops of 5 miles each around the Maple Ridge area and then tag a 2 miler at the end using whatever route we wanted. We also were not supposed to wear our timing devices but addict that I am, I had to hang on to mine, if only to document that I did the distance.

My first couple of loops were a breeze, the first 5 miles I ran with Carmie and it was hard to believe that she had just run Hogeye, one of the top 10 most difficult marathons, in Fayetteville, only last weekend. The next 3 loops I ran with Larry and we paced each other well. Both of us are wanting to qualify for Boston and he has the same QT as I do but he will probably qualify before I do, but's who's in a hurry? I tried Gu Roctane, the ultra endurance gel, for the first time and it went down fine and gave me a good buzz. I really like the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor but the Vanilla Orange was ok too. I think I found a good system for my fuel, taking a gel every 5 miles seemed to keep me ahead of the energy drain at the end of the run. I alternated bt the regular Gu and the Roctane, the Roctane costs twice as much but it has more muscle restoring qualities to it, the biggest change in the gel is it contains Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (okg) which limits the body's tendency to break down muscle protein tissue. OKG keeps you going longer and aids in recovery.

When we were finishing the 3rd loop I told Larry that I was thinking about tagging on 4 miles instead of 2, for a total of 24 miles. OKC would be my third marathon and since I've haven't learned how to keep myself together after 18 miles, I wanted to go most of the distance and see how I did. I said I'd fully commit after we were further into the 4th loop, I was still feeling pretty strong during the 3rd loop, but then again, I usually do.

About halfway into the 4th loop I said that I would do the 24 miles and Larry said he'd go the distance too. I told him it wouldn't be pretty and I was getting really tired but I wanted to mentally tackle this so I wouldn't fall apart in OKC. So, we finish our 4 loops, 20 miles, and we head back north on Riverside and I'm beginning to get a little tight. I should have had more Gatorade. I make the first 2 mile section and we head back south to 31st street, oh, I'm really sluggish and hurting now. We gulped down some water and got right back on the trail, if we stopped, we would surely stop for good. Those last 2 miles were brutal, I whined and wanted to alternate walking and running so badly but Larry wouldn't let me walk. I am so glad he was there, because I definitely would have wimped out. Not only did we do 24 but he had the gall to ask me to tack on .2 so we could say we did 24.2!!! Ohhh the pain, but it was so worth it, I feel so ready for OKC! Now, please God, give us another beautiful, perfect day like Saturday, we've had more than our share of windy Saturday training runs.

When I got home, I did crash on the couch for about an hour but then I showered and went to the mall with my daughter for a little bit. That's the best thing to do other than an ice bath, keep those muscles moving. I didn't even get sore on Sunday or Monday which means I'm not pushing hard enough. I find that hard to believe, since I was so tired but I think it is all mental. I'm leaving too much on the trail, gotta give it all I've got.

My weekday runs were pretty amazing. Tuesday morning I ran with just a couple of hours sleep. I felt pretty sluggish, but I think that was more from the 24 miles than the lack of sleep. Thursday morning was a great run, perfect weather and I had 2 sub-9 min. miles and a little sprinkling of rain during the run. This was with an average of 4 hours sleep/night. Next week will be different, I must get several good night's of sleep in before OKC.

It's taper time, all easy short runs now. Good because I have 2 baby showers to go to Saturday, perfect timing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crank up the mileage

Last week, we were all prepared for a long 20 miler and then old man winter had his way and most of us did 5-10 miles in wind and snow, kind of like a mail carrier, such dedication. We did get together again on Sunday, the weather was kind and most of us did 15 - 20 miles. Today was a drop back day and I did 11 miles. I felt really sluggish, I haven't had much sleep this week and was up past 1:00 last night so I think that has something to do with it. Thanks Janet for all your encouragement, I really didn't feel perky at all.

It was a hard route, lots of hills, but I know it was good for us. A big thanks to Larry for planning the route. The route took us through beautiful Maple Ridge neighborhoods and it was fun saying hello to people sitting on their porch enjoying their coffee, as I am sipping mine now. We also went through dt Tulsa past some clubs and bars that were quiet early in the a.m. but will be hopping tonight. My daughter is going to one of the places tonight, not a bar, so i was glad to see where she would be since I had never heard of the place. It was so funny, as we ran past these places, we didn't know anything about them, just shows what stage of life we are in...middle age homebodies.

Patty, Janet and Becky were going back out for another 11 and I said a prayer for them, since the wind really picked up after 9:00.

Next week it is the big 22 miler, OKC is 4/26, I'm already getting pre-race tension, i really want to break 5 hours! I think I'm going to try some new GU-Roctane Ultra Endurance.

A shout out to Candice-congrats on a safe delivery and Nate is a beautiful baby boy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Week of Good Runs

After missing a lot of my runs the week of 2/9, I was determined to have a better week this week and I succeeded. Sunday I had a great run around LaFortune Park, nice and easy. Tuesday, I ran by myself in the early a.m. and was totally spooked by a dog in my neighborhood, other than that, it was a very good run. Thursday morning, i ran with my usual running buddies and managed a sub 9 mile split. My next goal on these tempo runs is 2 sub 9 mile splits. This morning, I had a fantastic run in OKC at Lake Hefner with the Fleet Feet group from Edmond. It was great to go around Lake Hefner since I've done only the 1/2 at OKC Memorial marathon and doing this run this a.m. gives me confidence for the marathon in april. After my awful battle with the wind at the Dallas White Rock Marathon, I was worried about any future windy engagements. Well, today I had a chance to see how i would respond to another windy run around a lake and i was undaunted, so i feel much better about the OKC marathon now. I posted my stats on the previous update. I was very satisfied with my overall average of 10:04 and wasn't overly tired. The last mile, I was running into a strong wind and had a 12:22, I could hardly move and ended up walking because I thought i was creating too much resistance by running. I enjoyed getting to know some of the people from the Edmond group and I truly appreciate them taking me in. I was in OKC for my daughter's state swimming championships and was relieved that I could get a long run in and not miss any of her meet.

Route:--Elev. Avg:1205 ft
Location:Bethany, OKElev. Gain:-3 ft
Date:02/21/09Up/Downhill: [+213/-216]
Time:06:09 AMDifficulty:4.1 / 5.0
Weather:Fair and Breezy
 29 F temp; 48% humidity
 29 F heat index; winds N 22 G 31

Distance: 13.17 miles
Speed:6.0 mph
Pace:10' 04 /mi
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 22+0' 185.8-0.2-6 ft
210' 29+0' 255.7-0.2+4 ft
310' 45+0' 415.6-0.4-10 ft
410' 48+0' 445.5-0.4+3 ft
510' 56+0' 525.5-0.5-6 ft
612' 07+2' 035.0-1.0+3 ft
710' 09+0' 055.9-0.10 ft
89' 34-0' 306.3+0.30 ft
99' 54-0' 106.1+0.10 ft
109' 44-0' 206.2+0.20 ft
1110' 02-0' 026.0+0.0+7 ft
1212' 22+2' 184.8-1.1+6 ft
136' 18-3' 469.5+3.5-4 ft
end0' 56-9' 0864.0+58.00 ft
Versus average of 10' 04 min/mile

Posted from

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Workout Log

I discovered this yesterday on the "Qualifying for the Boston Marathon" blog that I follow. It's by Bones In Motion It has great visuals and stats and links to many phones, but not mine. It's free. It has an interface with the Garmin so to get this below to display I imported my Garmin workout to bim then exported the bim to Blogger, took just a couple of minutes. I really like the weather stats, start and stop visuals on the pace/mile and how bim creates the visuals immediately. You can customize how much you want to display on your blog, I posted everything this time but will most likely slim it down in the future.


Route:--Elev. Avg:717 ft
Location:Tulsa, OKElev. Gain:-6 ft
Time:07:21 AMDifficulty:2.5 / 5.0
58 F temp; 77% humidity
58 F heat index; winds S 5

Distance:4.70 miles
Speed:6.4 mph
Pace:9' 22 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 32+0' 106.3-0.1+20 ft
29' 31+0' 096.3-0.1+43 ft
39' 27+0' 056.3-0.1+7 ft
49' 17-0' 056.5+0.1-73 ft
end10' 12+0' 505.9-0.5-26 ft
Versus average of 9' 22 min/mile

Posted from

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sista Left Behind!

A welcome relief with warmer weather today and we loved wearing lighter gear. We ran all through downtown in a loop of 7-8 miles depending on whether you turned your Garmin off during walk breaks. We went all the way over to Owen Park and ran by Tulsa's Oldest House. If you want to read more about the house go to:

We also went by the BOK Center and talked about the concerts we had seen-Eagles and Celine and ones we were planning to see-Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, hmmm, hope Bruce slides better than he did at the SuperBowl.
We made a stop at the Crowne Plaza and were reminded of an important lesson. After we left, we were busy talking, running, taking in the sights and we realized that someone was missing. We just looked at each other and said where's _______? We all drew a blank and were very concerned as we headed back a few miles to where we started at Veteren's Park. When the missing person's car was still in the parking lot our hearts sunk and we discussed our options. A couple of us stayed at the parking lot and a few others headed back out for a few miles hopefully to find our missing person. After about 10-15 minutes, I can't tell you how relieved we were to see our person at 21st and Boulder. Lessons learned:
  1. Do a head count and make sure the group is intact
  2. Carry your cell phone with you if possible
  3. Exchange cell phone numbers with a few people in your group
Our mystery missing person was most forgiving and did all the right things:
  1. Left a note on the windshield to let us know she was ok (but we didn't see it!) and was still running
  2. Waited for us at a couple of stops

Needless to say, I am so sorry and so thankful she is ok and grateful for her sweet attitude!

Other than that we had an enjoyable run, I didn't feel like I was working hard at all, yet my slowest mile was 10:01 and even had one at 9:45.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

I am so looking forward to running in the warmer weather, I'm getting so tired of the long running pants. Will most likely need sunglasses tomorrow for more than the sun, looking at all those white chicken legs, mine included. My short runs this week have been fantastic, I think taking it easy on the long runs is paying off on the short runs, giving me more energy. I'm looking forward to racing a 5K and seeing if there is any improvement on my time.

For a hilarious post go to

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Slippery When Wet

We had an icy blast hit us Monday afternoon and we didn't completely thaw until Saturday afternoon. After my Sunday run, I didn't run again until Thursday night. That run was really a joke, very foolish thing to do, the street had started to freeze over and I ended up walking most of the 3 miles and then I was "escorted" by Dave Sargent since he had mercy on my foolishness. Well, I learned a good lesson I hope, sometimes you have to use the indoor equipment. Saturday, we were on the south end of Riverside, started at 96th and Riverside, went into Jenks, back to 96th, the north to 69th. Most of the group continued south since they were doing eighteen, but I headed back with Dana since I wanted to do only 12. It was slick in many spots during the first half but I was still able to average 10:36/mile.

Sunday morning I ran solo and since the roads were much drier, I thought I'd try to go hard and see what was in me. I did my hilly route that we do on Tuesdays and averaged 9:10/mile. What I was really happy about was my last 2 miles were 8:56 pace.

Icy weather aside, it's been an incredible week at work. We have a new president at ORU, Dr. Mark Rutland and the Green family (bless them!) gave us another 10 million for summer renovations, which gives us much to celebrate.

I'm estatic that the Steelers have now won for the 6th time, it's one of the few times I miss my home state of PA.

Tomorrow, hubby and I go to the Celine Dione concert, whopee!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Neccesity of Water

I've heard this over and over again but I think it sunk in a little deeper today. I've been doing this distance running for almost 2 years and I still have so much to learn. Something as basic as the need for water even when it is cold. During this cold weather I haven't been hydrating as much and I commented to Carmie that I could go 6 miles in the cold without water. Then she told me about some terrible cramps she got when she skipped water during the cold. I had noticed some tightness in my left calf today, hmm, must have been a need for water. Well, I rarely finish off a bottle of water after running but today, I downed one, and my calves have been fine. So, remember, even though you're not thirsty, pretend that you're in a hot, dry desert and drink accordingly. Cheers!

Chill Factor

Wind chill factor today was 6 with real temp at 22. brrrr! I ran with Carmie, Teresa and Cindy mainly because they were starting earlier than the rest of the RW group. The original plan was to run out to Gilcrease from Veteren's Park but with the biting wind, we did a point to point from Veteren's Park to 96th and Riverside, 12 miles. This was such a great idea, whenever we went north it was brutal and the worst was going east across the 71st street bridge. So heading south the majority of the time was a relief. It felt so good to finish and I tipped them off about some great bargains at I got some chocolate running capris by Sugoi there, can't wait for the temp to go up so I can wear them. I didn't run on Thursday because I pulled an all nighter at work so I was really glad to get out today even though it was so bitterly cold and windy.

Today it was so cold that:
Sweat froze on the outside of our jackets
Water bottles made their own ice

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oklahoma Highs and Lows

Oklahoma is known for its volitile weather, one day it's freezing and the next is balmy, the past couple of days have been no exception. Thursday it was 16 and my morning run was cut short by my buddies when we turned north with blowing wind and they wanted to go back home, so we did only 3.55 miles. I was so disappointed that I decided to go with Runner's World on Thursday night to get more miles in. It was still 16 degrees in the evening and breezy when we headed back north. I ran with Dave and Larry on the way back and we were in the 9 min./mile range and I sprinted the last block at the end. It felt really good!!! Dave is a great coach, knows just how much to push you w/o killing you. Wade and Nealy (sp?) really smoked at a sub 9 pace.

Saturday morning, we had a heat wave, got into the 50s by the end of our approx. 11 mile run. I've been studying Greg Macmillan ( and my long runs were supposed to be no faster than 10:56 so my goal was to run no faster than a 10 min. pace and no slower than 11:00. The first three miles were in the 9:30 range but we slowed down after the 71st St hill and stayed around a 10:05 pace. I felt very good throughout the run, I felt a little tired from the fast run on Thursday but I had an easy time talking while running.

I'm sill having issues with my Garmin. I thought I had figured it out. I usually wear it with the screen under my wrist instead of on top of it because my wrist is so bony. Another runner had been doing the same thing and had trouble getting her satellite to fire off so she suggested that I try fastening the Garmin over the sleeve on my shirt and have the screen on the top. I tried it and it didn't work, it counted the 1st three miles as one lap so I guess I'll have to send it back to Garmin. We're having a Garmin clinic this Thursday so I'll wait until after that.

I think I'd like to do the Winter Classic out at Mohawk and I'm trying to decide b/t the 20K and the 30K. The 20K would be more of a race for me and the 30K would hover b/t a training run and a race.

Overall it's been an excellent running week for me, I was very focused as I ran. I really needed to have a good running week b/c work was very stressful, I had to tell someone they were included in our Reduction in Force. Even though I had other people I could reroute the tasks to, it required training and follow-up but I am very grateful for the help that everyone has given me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

I love running in very cold weather. Today it was 22 when we ran at 5:15 this a.m. There was a slight breeze. We usually start out way too fast and go up a hill right away. I had already decided that I was going to start earlier and run a slow mile before the rest of my 3some ran, but I didn't do that this a.m. becuase it was so cold. Well, what do you know, we started out really slow, about a 10:30 pace and what a difference that made. By the first 1/2 mile, I was warm and ready to move faster. I stayed ahead of the group the whole time and didn't stop at all and backtracked after all the hills so I could stay with my group. I felt really good when I was done and averaged a 9:51 pace. I was hardly breathing hard at any point until the last block at the very end, so it was a very easy and fun run.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bumps in the Road

Our run started out cold and windy, a “feels like” temp of 14, but it was actually 32. Regardless we had a good turnout of runners and we were rewarded with a bumpy (Kathy calls hills, bumps), beautiful run through the Maple Ridge area between Brookside and Utica Square. It’s so great to catch up on everyone and share running experiences. As I talked to one runner about my pitiful Dallas marathon (12/14/08), she empathized because she had a similar experience at Chicago. Then I met Wade, who is training for his first marathon, and I shared how life-changing the process of training and running my first marathon was and how much more respect I had for marathons after running my second marathon. After my first marathon, I couldn’t wait to run another one and after my second marathon, I questioned whether I would ever run another one, but I knew that would pass. So here I am, mapping out my strategy and runs for my Spring marathon, most likely the OKC Memorial. I’ve been reading an article by Greg MacMillan that Dave shared with me that will help me plan my runs better and maintain a reasonable pace while still getting stronger and faster.
I felt really good after today’s run, I tried to maintain a 10 min. pace but hovered around 9:30 and did 10:30 on the hills.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Goofy Garmin

I've been having challenges with my Garmin. It doesn't kick in immediately on my first mile and then it measures the first mile too long and my pace reading is too slow. It does this often on my Tuesday/Thursday run but not so much on my Saturday run so I think I'm not giving it enough time to load the satellite during the week. I know the pace readings were wrong today, I was breathing too hard to be running a 9:27 pace. I did stay in front of our threesome but was disappointed that I didn't average a 9:15 pace. We had no stops this morning and I even doublebacked at one point because I was so far ahead. I'm really trying to get mentally tougher to push myself harder on my weekday runs.

Thanks for the training tips Dave.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Still chilly

Our Tuesday morning route we run is a somewhat hilly 4.72 mile journey through our neighborhood. In the first block we start an incline immediately. What a way to start a morning! Today I ate a banana before I started, first and last time to do that, felt heavy the whole time, it just stuck there somewhere in my chest and I never felt the sugar from it. My neighbor overslept but the other one of our threesome was there and we charged on. Usually we walk the crest of the steeper inclines but we didn't do that this time until the last one before our last 1/2 mile home. We averaged a 9:32 pace but I should have pushed for a 9 min. Thursdays route is flatter and I'll push harder.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Toughing it out in the wind and cold

After a beautiful day yesterday into the 70s, the temperature dropped into the 20s overnight. My neighbor and I ran over to LaFortune Park. My Garmin was low on juice and gave out before we were done but it would have been about 5.5 miles. The wind was forceful when we turned around to head for home, it was difficult moving forward at some points. Our faces were numb, but it was good to get the run in.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Plans, Hopes and Dreams

This is my journey to qualify for Boston, preferably for April 2010, if not then, then some year after that, I will run the Boston Marathon. I'll post some goals here to help me stay accountable.

So far this year, I've had a very good start. My husband, daughter and I ran the "Race Into The New Year" on New Year's Eve. It is a 5k, I ran 28:52, which was a PR for me. My 18 yr old daughter ran 25:11 and my hubby ran 25:40 and finished 3rd in his age group, not bad for someone who doesn't like road running, prefers the treadmill. He's going to do more 5ks this year, so it will be fun to enjoy this together.

Today was a long run day. We ran 10 miles, met up at 69th & Riverside, which we hadn't done in a long time. We went south out to the Creek Turnpike and back. I ran with Gregg, who I hadn't seen in months and it was great to catch up with him. I also saw Becky and Janet, who I hadn't seen since early November. I had a good training run, my goal was to average 9:30 and my average was 9:38 so I felt good about that. I also asked Kathy about the tightness I have below my right knee after running and it is a stretching issue, so I need to stretch my quads more.