Saturday, November 6, 2010

Groovin' to Run - Tulsa Run October 31, 2010

For the Tulsa Run, we dressed up in the mod 60s era, Go-Go Girls to be presice. I run with some very creative people and they plan the costumes way in advance. We already have our costumes for next year, but I am getting ahead of myself. Earlier in the summer, one of us saw these cute dresses at Belk's that looked like they'd be perfect for mini dresses and then we would add boots. So here we go, brainstorming about all the accesories. We made the white boots that fit over our shoes, I was amazed at the care and perfection that Carmi had to make sure that the boots fit well, didn't fall down and were shiny enough. We ended up glueing clear tablecloth covers to white vinyl to make it shiny and firm enough. I sewed more the week before the Tulsa Run than I had since I made Halloween costumes for my kids. We had such a blast at the run. Chris showed up looking like John Lennon to complete the package. So many people gave us the thumbs up and it was so fun to see a tired runner look up at us and get a big grin on their faces. The weather was great, chilly and a little breezy, but, I prefer chilly to sweaty. I enjoyed looking at ALL the costumes, Kathy looked adorable as Little Red Riding Hood and Sloan was a Beautiful Snow White.

Now it's time to hunker down and taper for Outer Banks Marathon and Blackbeard's challenge...and more costumes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mother Road Race Report

My first marathon of the fall season was finally here. This one was kind of wierd because I wasn't running it with the group I usually run with. I registered on a whim after I had a good 20 mile training run. But there were some other people I know and we ran together and had a fun time, not during the marathon, but before and after. The marathon was HOT, HOT, HOT. They need to move the start time earlier, 8:00 is too late for this time of year. We ran in 80 degree shadeless, cloudless heat for 2 hours of the race. Ugh! I was the dizziest I had ever been at a marathon and I was well hydrated. I think it was the heat. I am very glad that I did the race though, I really enjoyed the thrill of running through three states and the medal is really pretty, the "66" spins and it was an inaugural marathon. The race goes through small towns, It started in Commerce, OK, goes thru Quapaw, OK, Baxter Springs, KS, Riverton, KS, Galena, KS and finishes in Joplin, MO. It does have a long hill at 18.5 and hills continue until almost the end of the marathon. Considering all the small towns you run thru, the crowd support is excellent and the aid stations are well-placed. The expo was nothing but registration items which we thought was really funny because they kept posting on their website that only cash would be accepted at the expo but there was nothing to buy anyway!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tis the season

I have a friend who cannot wait until Oct. 1 to start playing her Christmas music. Sure enough, this week on FB, she is asking us what our favorite Christmas album is. Now, I love her enthusiasm for Christmas and all that the season signifies, but for me-I can't wait for cool weather because that means it's fall marathon season! Maybe I should be singing Springsteen's "Born to Run!"
So, I've been itching to run a marathon, haven't run one since May. I considered Mother Road this summer but my training in the heat had made me doubt my readiness for the race. After I ran my 20 miles last Saturday and got a look at the medal, I began to think about signing up for Mother Road. I was sitting the fence on whether to jump from the R66 1/2 to the full, a cheaper option, or do Mother Road. Mother Road won out because of it being in October, which gives me some rest for the Outer Banks Marathon, and for the medal and last, because it goes through 3 states. I am really looking forward to it, the weather is supposed to be between 60-70 and I have several friends running in it. The only downside is that it doesn't start until 8, so it will probably be in the 70s for the last past of it, but after all the heat and humidity this summer, I think I can get through it.
I did a short 11 miles today, the downtown loop of the R66 marathon route. It has a couple of good hills but I averaged a sub 10 pace and I felt really good about that.
So taper time now and carbo load.
Yay-marathons, and I'll be an offical certified marathon maniac after St. Jude's, assuming I finish all three marathons.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How much sweat can you wring out of your clothes?

Today was sweltering. Our plan was to run 16 and we ran hard and did 12.50. I didn't see any benefit in going further, by 8:30, the sun was beating down and we were soaked with sweat. We should have started earlier to avoid the sun but I am pleased with my workout. I pushed myself harder than I have in months for a long run, even though it was so humid. I am so happy to have the umph to even want to press on, I've been in such a slump this year. I have a good reason for that but I have been getting frustrated with my sluggishness and I am encouraged that some of my drive is coming back.
I listen to a great podcast, Marathon Training Academy. It's a husband/wife team, she is an experienced distance runner and he is training for his first half marathon this fall. The information is very helpful and they have a very good one on yoga stretches and the video is on their blog: You can listen to the podcast directly from there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are we there yet?

You would think that the humidity would have dropped by now but such was not the case today. One of the drawbacks of running so early in the morning is fighting the humidity but I'd rather deal with that than the sun. So, our plan was to run 10 miles, some on Riverside and the rest around Jenks. After the first hour, I was dripping wet, I wasn't expecting this and didn't put any Glide on and I was anticipating some wincing in the shower when raw skin was kissed by water. The good news was that we had already done 6 miles and had escaped the burning heat. As we headed through Jenks, I began to tire and tried to focus on my mental training. I looked at my surroundings for distractions and this proved to be helpful. We stopped to drink some water and I was encouraged to discover that we had only 3 more miles to go. At this point my legs were beginning to feel heavy and tight and I realized that pushing so hard on my short runs this week was taking a toll on my long run, yet, I need to get stronger. So, on I plodded, focusing on a technique I've been practicing of raising my knees higher and making sure that my foot plant does not start with a heel strike. I had been commenting to my neighbor, who coaches students for track, that my abductors and adductors were stiff and weak and he told me that was because I shuffled too much, that I needed to pick up my feet more. So, particularly in my short runs, I have been working on picking up my feet more.
When we got to the Jenks bridge, I shouted, "how much further," thinking that we were probably at 9 miles and I was right (my Garmin is not working). That last mile seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r, when we went under Riverside, by Starbucks, I thought, puh-leez, only a little bit more and after a short loop around the parking lot, we were done. The best part about this run was that we were done by 7:30, can you believe that? It's been ages since I got home before 9:00 after a Saturday run. But, now that the temperatures should be dropping, we will probably be starting later and our runs will be getting longer since we're getting closer to our marathons.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Golden Days of Running

I was excited about running a new route on Saturday. We decided to run with Runners World and check out the scenery of a midtown run. I was excited until I heard my friends say we were going for 18. Gulp, I really didn't want to go any further than 16 and the 2 others I was running with were the faster ones in my group so I knew I had to try and stay up with them so I didn't get lost. This was going to be a good mental trial. We had received an email earlier in the week about the mental aspects of a long run, particularly a marathon. We were given several tips about how to overcome the mental fatigue that you experience as you add miles to your running routine. This email was timely for me. My last 4 marathons have been mentally overwelming. I just run out of motivation after the 18th mile. I still want to finish the marathon but, I begin walking and not caring about my finish time. This dilema has been perplexing me but the email really helped because I saw that a veteran runner had challenges staying focused too but she had also learned how to overcome her mental fatigue. So, I applied what I had read, I thought about what I would do if I got really tired and as I got tired, I began to practice these new strategies. One thing that really helped was to breakdown the route into smaller segments, so instead of thinking that we had four more miles to go, I would focus on only the next mile. I can't believe what a difference that thinking made in how I felt about running. Another thing that really helped me was being inspired by the people I am running with. The girl I was running with was in considerable pain but you would never know it. When we got close to the hill at 21st and Yale, going south, and she kept on going on that hill and I really wanted to stop; it was then that I realized that I didn't really want to stop but I needed someone to supply me with motivation to keep on going. Well, I got motivation when I saw her staying strong through those hills. I thought, if she can run through pain, I can run through my motivation issues. Before I knew it, 18 miles were over and done.

We started at the fairgrounds and then ran over to University of Tulsa and then back to the fairgrounds. We did this twice and when we got to TU the second time, we ran all over the campus, trying to get 3 miles out of that part. The campus looks absolutely beautiful, the landscaping is gorgeous and the buildings, both new and old, looked stunning, especially the new performing arts center. We run the same route this coming Saturday, shorter, I hope, and I'm pleased that we'll have another opportunity to get familiar with this area.

On Monday we ran the Run into the Son 5K. This is a super event, lots of fun things for the family and an emphasis on the FREEdom we have in Christ. The route was hilly and I was happy with my time, considering that I had run 18 miles on Saturday. A shout out to Stacy, she PR'd. What a hard worker she is on our weekday runs and her persistance paid off.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Could these be chillbumps!

Finally, cool weather has kicked in. I couldn't wait for this Saturday to enjoy a long run without melting. The plan was to run 15 miles so we ran north on riverside way before the sun was up and headed north about 5 miles. We turned back around and got through that awful boring dead air area before 81st before the sun was all the way up. I really wanted to stop at a bathroom so we decided to take a field trip over to the casino. Now I have never been in a casino and I was all eyes when we went in. Slot machines everywhere, I mean hundreds of them and people were playing on them and it wasn't even 7:00! We were entertained by the winners' pictures, people who had won cars, one of them was particularly funny. We decided that the restaurant would be worth a try at some point. The restroom wasn't bad either. So back out on Riverside, we went over the Jenks bridge, waved at our Runner's World friends who were just finishing their 6 mile drop back run and we headed over past the aquarium and around Jenks. I was happy with my pace, I averaged 10:20 and didn't walk until the last couple of miles. I did stop too long at the water breaks though. I tried Honey Stingers for the first time and really liked them, good flavor and good energy. As we got closer to the end of our run, I dropped further back and as I came to 96th and Riverside, I wondered where the rest of my group went and suspected that they couldn't resist the Harvard hill. So I plodded on under Riverside and told myself that I would run up that hill. No worries, they went only to the bridge so I was safe. Yay! We ended up with 16 miles, I think they had 16.50 and it was a good run. I'm really stiff in my hips and getting antsy for fall marathons. We even began to plan for marathons we want to run in 2011.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Storm that Passed Us By

My alarm went off at 4:15 and I groped around the house getting ready to leave. I had worked all night Thursday, read that as - worked from Thursday morning until Friday evening without sleeping and knew that this long run would be a struggle. Friday evening I could barely get my pizza eaten, lay out my running gear and drop into bed by 9:00. Because I am used to getting only 5 1/2 hrs. of sleep a night, I woke up at 2:30 and had difficulty going back to sleep. I ended up praying for a friend of mine who was grieving the recent loss of their adult child and dozed on and off until the alarm went off.

When I went out to the car, I was shocked to see raindrops and lightening in the sky. I debated about running but decided it would most likely pass over and headed out the Starbucks at 96th and Riverside. When I got there, Mary was checking the radar on her iphone and we decided to wait and let the storm pass. We didn't get any rain while we waited but we did see some lightening strikes.

We headed through Jenks at 5:30 and enjoyed a slight breeze and a little cooler temperatures. We did 5 miles through there and refreshed ourselves at Jenks Park. We headed out to the Creek to tackle some hills. The Harvard hill about did me in and then the one after it is like a slap in the face. The rest of the way to Yale isn't too bad and we stopped for some water and Gu. The route between Yale and Sheridan has a hefty hill and we plodded on to Memorial. Mary was running strong and I was really dogging it but I managed to keep running and I was grateful for that. At Memorial we visited with a cyclist who has run 28 marathons and had just done the Seattle marathon in June. He had run Chicago 3 times, Boston, New York and was running Big Sur.

The 3 1/2 miles back from Memorial wasn't too bad and my Garmin registered 12 as we completed the downhill part of the Harvard hill. Whew, I was glad that was over!

Since it was 8:30 we headed over to Riverside 5K to see Marv, Maryanne and Marolyn fiinsh and when we got there, they were already done. Maryanne had a PR and won her age group, Marv won his age group and Marolyn came in second, yea to you all for your results.

Next week-15 miles.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quarter Marathon Report

I was wondering why we signed up for the "Double," both the quarter marathon and the 5K. I haven't been running well in the heat and hated to waste a race because of my lack of motivation. Saturday morning welcomed us with cloudy skies and raindrops at the end of the race. I won't say I "raced" but I put out a good effort and felt better about running than I have in awhile. I loved hearing Jack Wing make annoucements, what an inspiration he is and I'm so glad he's experiencing better health now. There was a great turnout for both races. I did ok for the 5K, at least finished under 30 min., which is a far cry for my PR, then I slowed down for the quarter and walked a couple of hills. I got to see the new medals for the Route 66 Marathon, they're really cool looking and they spin.
This heat has been messing with my mind and I've been questioning my readiness for fall marathons. I still don't feel fresh but I cannot wait until the temperature drops 10 degrees and I can see how hard I push myself. We have 2 marathons scheduled for this fall, Outer Banks and St. Judes. Outer Banks should be easy because we are not going for a PR, we are supporting another runner. St. Judes should be a good marathon, others have told me they PR'd there. I still need to find a third marathon if I want to get my maniac status but I'm not sure I want to do that many.
Next week looks like it will be another suffocating time. Not much longer and I will be enjoying 70s, I can hardly wait. I remember when we were freezing last winter, sleet pelting our faces while we ran across the 71st street bridge. Hot and cold are equally unbearable and dangerous. I've been dehydrated this summer and played slip and slide on the ice in the winter. That's why I'm looking forward to the pleasureable fall weather.
I did take advantage of tax free weekend and got a new pair of running shoes. I have been wearing Adidas Supernova Classic for 2 years now and they have a new model Supernova Adapt, which has a very high arch, great for me. I tried on several other brands and ended up with the Brooks Adrenaline. They seemed more stable for me and I'll give them a trial run on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Early morning payoff.

I'm so glad we were out running by 5 a.m. The early morning air felt good and I really enjoyed the first part of our run. First we did the Jenks loop for about 6 miles, then we headed north on Riverside to the 81st street light. As we headed back toward the Creek Turnpike, we decided to pick up the pace and were running about a 9:45 pace. We did that for a mile and as we headed east on the Creek, the sun was brutal. Going up the steep hill to Harvard, I was determined that I was going to run every step of that hill and I did! As we headed out to Yale we decided to turn back there, it was so hot. Our original plan was to run 15 miles but the sun was getting the best of us. The air felt better as we headed back west and I feel very satisfied that we got in 14 miles before 8:30. We did our usual at Starbucks, so nice to unwind there. We laughed about how we can run marathons but housework was a whole different story! My daughter and I headed out to Porter for the Peach Festival and Lindsay Orchard after I showered. I sweat as much there as I did running and it was fun to be in rural Oklahoma. We brought home some juicy nectarines and peaches. Some people were buying lots of peaches, must be going to can them. I wish I was that ambitious. After that, when we got home, I crashed on the couch for two hours!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another killer run

For Saturday's long run, we decided to go from Olive St out to NSU on the Creek TP and back, which ended up being 15 miles. It's a good, hilly route and totally wiped us out. The temperature was toasty, about 85 and very humid. When we got to NSU, they were getting ready to start a 5K race, probably about 25 people there, what an awful morning for a race. The 15 miles took about 3 1/2 hrs., we walked a lot toward the end, it was so stinking hot. I know runs like these will pay off in the Fall though. The really cool thing was that as I was finishing, I pulled out my phone to call my husband because we were supposed to meet our daughter at the airport since she was returning home from a 5 week missions trip to India. As I flipped open my phone, there she was calling me! Her flight had been cancelled and most likely she wouldn't be in until that night. Shucks, but that was harder on her that me because I wasn't stuck in an airport like she was. She ended up getting in at 11:30 last night, just in time for Father's Day.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hot and Humid

Running the past couple of weeks has been draining with the heat and humidity. Last week, we ran out on the Katy trail and one of the water fountains was turned off. After that experience, I finally broke down and bought a water belt this week. I’ve been so spoiled because RW always has water for us but I couldn’t risk going without water again with all of this heat. Wearing this belt is going to take some getting used to. It’s an Amphipod and it is adjustable. Some of the other brands are already sized. I didn't have the belt adjusted to be tight enough and I didn’t want to take the time to shorten it once we started running so I couldn’t get it tight enough. The belt keep sliding around my hips but once I get it tighter I think it will be ok, it drove me crazy this morning though.
Last week I ran 11 miles, about 4 of them were without water. Today we ran 8 miles on the river then hustled over to Youth Services of Tulsa and ran their Runaway 5K because a friend of mine is on their board. All of us had slow times for a 5K and still managed to sweep the medals for our age groups.
We ate breakfast at IHOP after that and their blueberry nut pancakes, topped with bananas and egg substitute really tasted great!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Marathons - OKC and Ft Collins CO

I have been enjoying my training runs this Spring but I've been having more fun and not running hard and that showed up in my marathon results. The fun has been a refreshing respite from the craziness in the rest of my life but I am very frustrated with my finish times.
I was a little concerned about OKC because I felt really tired going into marathon week. I hadn't been sleeping well, a combination of worries at work and hormone dificiency. So when I felt really tired after Lake Hefner, I didn't have much mental stamina to push through it. It was really good weather, all the winds were crosswinds, nothing like last year. Our group had a lot of fun, we did walk more than we probably should have on Sat., walked from the Sheraton to the Memorial Museum and back and the museum tour was difficult to bounce back from but if you haven't seen it, you should go through. It made all the banners much more significant when I came to that part of the course. My finish was 5:19, my slowest up to that point but we did enjoy ourselves. We ate dinner at RedPin, a bowling/pub place by Starbucks in Bricktown, the food was really good. Then after the race, we went to the stockyards area and ate at Cattlemen's Steakhouse The waiter gave an elaborate description of their succulent steaks and much to his disappointment, I didn't order a steak. All I wanted was a club sandwich, I wasn't that hungry. I noticed that the others at my table that ran the marathon didn't eat all their steaks, although they were really good, it was just a lot to eat.
Two weeks later we headed out to Fort Collins, CO to run with Marv Winters for one of his 50 states. We had a good size group going and Fort Collins is a quaint college town, home of Colorado State Univ. We needed to get some Gu and were excited to see an REI store. Some of us, me included, had never been inside an actual REI, had only shopped there online. We headed back to our rooms early and we were all dreading standing around the cold in the a.m. and the early start, 6:00 a.m. Buses would shuttle us to the start, it was a point to point race. We got up at 3 and left the hotel at 3:45 to meet the shuttles. The buses were comfy and warm, it was about 1/2 hour to the drop off point. No one wanted to get out of the bus but it wasn't too bad. We were down in the canyon and it felt warmer than the parking lot where the buses picked us up. There were lots of porta-potties and we huddled and stayed warm. Soon it was time to start. There were only 975 of us and it was nice to have a casual start instead of being packed in like sardines. This was the smallest marathon I had run in and once it was time to go, the race director pulled the trigger and we were off. The surroundings were beautiful, the temperature was in the low 40's, no wind, it was perfect. We were in the canyon for the first 18 miles and ran along the Poudre River. I had rafted this river with my family in the summer of 2007, that was part of the reason I wanted to run this marathon. When you're in the canyon, you descend about 1000 ft in those 18 miles. The road slopes really bad and my ankles got very sore. Then you are on a highway for about 3 miles, then you run through a city park and when you come out of there, you can see the finish line on down the street. I alternated between walking and running for the last six miles, the altitude had really gotten to me. I wasn't sure if some of my group had passed me while I took a potty break. I finished in 5:25, my slowest finish, this was my 7th marathon. I cried when I got back with my group, I was so mad but I had given it everything I had. I wasn't the last one to finish from the group but I was surprised how difficult it was to run in the altitude. I went back with some others to run Marv in to the finish. I am really glad we went up to support him as he gets close to completing his 50 states. He was even interviewed by a local station.
Some of the group stayed over another day and it snowed that night! I went back to Tulsa that night because my daughter was going on a mission trip to India the next day. Riding the shuttle back to the Denver airport, I had some good conversations with others who had run the marathon and everyone who was not from Colorado agreed that the altitude had affected them. Altitude aside, this was a great marathon to run and I recommend it to anyone who needs Colorado as one of their states. It does fill up early, it was full by Feb. 8. Next marathons will be Outer Banks, NC on November 14, which will be Marv's final state and St. Jude's in Memphis on Dec. 4. I'm going to do the R66 Quarter on Aug. 7 and the R66 Half on Nov. 21.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Imperfect Run

First day of Spring and we have snow. I don't think I've been in Oklahoma this winter, surely I've been somewhere on the east coast, Oklahoma is not supposed to have this much snow. We set out to go 20 miles this morning. I couldn't seem to get moving, I think I was subconsciously trying to avoid this run. I finally got to Veterens's Park shortly after 8 and of course, the faithful were already on their way. I parked over at 21st and hurried south on the trail. Sure enough, Carmie was waiting for me at 31st. My big blue rain hat is easy to spot. Going south was pleasant and 71st came up very quickly. When we turned to go across the 71st St bridge, it was torture, the sleet pelted our cheeks and we pulled our hoods and hats to cover the left side of our faces. It seemed to take forever to get across the bridge and finally we were on our way up to Turkey Mountain. We headed over on the west side and hit the north wind with full force. I wanted to quit so badly but I wanted to get back to my car more! I thought about the many times we had run on this side of the river and it was stinking hot. Today it was freezing cold and reminded me of the wind when I ran White Rock marathon in 2008. I was not good company today but we struggled through and decided to cut the run short when we got to the other side of the river. We ended up doing 14 but it felt like 20. We were so tense on the west side with our heads hunched down, trying to shelter our faces from the wind. We were the only RW group to show up for our run this morning but a lot of people may have opted for the Snake Run. I was so glad to be done and go to Panera. We talked about future marathons and how work gets in the way of our fun. Its great to have these marathons to look forward to. We are probably going to do the Memphis marathon in December. I hadn't seen this group of runners for awhile and it was fun to see this group again. Simone and Bronda are awesome run leaders and I'm glad we got to run together today. This was one of the worst training runs due to the weather but I feel good that we made it through without injury and most likely we increased our mental endurance. I don't know about next weekend, I am running the Wish Lemons run and I would like a PR which means I won't be able to run long. OKC will be three weeks after that and I've done 20 miles only once since R66. I could run long on Sunday but if I PR on Saturday, I won't have anything in the tank on Sunday.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday in the Parks

We had a really fun route through several of Tulsa parks today. I really liked this route, took us all over downtown and varied elevations. It was an 11 mile route then I went south on Riverside to do another 9 to make my 20. While Iwas out on Riverside I met 2 runners, Tanya and Jana, who will be doing OKC as their first marathon. I ran out to 56th with them and enjoyed hearing how their training was going and how excited they are about OKC. That first marathon is so magic, it is so new, you have to trust all your training. I miss that a little. Subsequent marathons have had their own mysteries and uniqueness but their is nothing like the first one, kind of like having your first child...really I even cried when I finished my first and felt as happy as I did after having our first child.
I felt really good for this run, I walked a teeny bit, just between 2 lightpoles in my 16th mile. I'm working on the mental game, I usually check out around the 18th mile and I did much better at R66. And this was my second 20m this year and both times I have run the whole time, almost. Next week will be a drop back along with running the St. Pat run, then another 22 the next week.
When I pulled in the driveway, my daughter was on the cell, wanting to go out to eat. We went to Genghis Grill, yummm, great way to end a Saturday morning run.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giving Back

This week didn't start out very good. At work, 8 people in my department were laid off, part of a company-wide layoff. I had survivor's guilt and felt overwelmed with the burden of missing them and more work than I could even comprehend.

Tuesday morning my neighbor didn't get up to run and the other guy we run with had just had a funeral for the unexpected death of his father and he was headed out to California. Since I fell a couple of weeks ago, I don't feel safe running by myself. I finally got to run on Thursday and had a good run although my neighbor frets everytime she hears my feet shuffle because she is worried I am going to fall.

Yesterday, I did not do a long Saturday run, actually, I didn't run at all. I volunteered at the Post Oak Trail Marathon by working the aid station at the Pole Barn, directing weary runners to the aid station and then directing them back out to the trail, cheering them on. This was a whole lot of fun, observing the different running attire, looking at the various running bodies, young & forever young, some lean, some mean and meeting other people in the running community. This is an inagural event and Tulsa Running Club went overboard to get this event off the ground. The weather was perfect, almost 50, clear skies, light wind. About 200 people signed up for the trail marathon and there were 300 signed for the 10, 25 and 50K on Sunday. These trails are new, they had to be marked, and then there's the aid stations to be set up and manned. Then they have to do it all again on Sunday for the 10, 25 and 50K races.

Trail running is a different running event, very slow. They didn't even take off fast from the starting line, one of my friends, just stood there fiddling with his Garmin, since the satelite hadn't kicked in, he didn't seem one bit concerned that he was the last person to start. As many of the runners came out of the trail to go to the aid station, they took their time. This was not a race, it was an event to finish, without regard for time. The trails are rigorous and to complete these events, without injury, takes focus and endurance. The main reason I volunteered was to support some friends of mine and I was totally impressed as I saw them come out of the trails, looking like they were having a very good time, at least at that point in the event which was 12.5 miles. Look at them, don't you agree? By the time I needed to leave (12:20), I had seen almost everyone-Jason, Lisa, Carmie, Chris, Donna, Mary, Teresa, Carolyn, Ken and Charlie. The only one I missed was Greg, the Garmin guy.

I was a little torn with not running, but this was not the weekend for me to tackle this. I needed to be available for phone calls on a database conversion at work and I think I would have ended up getting injured but I was a little envious as I watched my friends making their way on the trail. Well, missing this one and next week's Little Rock will make the next marathon, Oklahoma City, all the sweeter. There will be many more marathons for me, for now, I will pray for my friends as they recover from this race of endurance, actually, 2 races, they were daring enough to do the 10K on Sunday too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Black Eye

Last week we had one of those treasured running days. We ran 20 miles and had a really good training run, felt great when we were done. We started at the Jenks bridge, ran north to about 56th street. This was my first time on this part of the redone Riverparks and it looks so nice. Then we went back out and up to Turkey Mountain, the parking lot up there is so pretty now with all the rock work.

On my Tuesday run, I fell and got a black eye. I was running with my neighbor and when I went down, she said a prayer for me. My only injury was the black eye and it didn't hurt. I'm very grateful that I didn't break anything. On my Thursday run, I fell again and received just a couple of scrapes, thank God. I don't know why I fell 2 days in a row, I was probably too tenative in my Thursday run, fearing that I was going to fall.

Yesterday's run was Poker Run day. I always look forward to this, an easy, untimed run, get cards at different pick up points, end up with 7 and see what kind of hand you have. Runners World brings a bounty of free merchandise, with the best going to those who have a Royal Flush.

We started out an hour early to get extra miles in. It was much colder and windier than we expected, the air was very damp and this put a dismal shadow on our running. We saw Simone and her group ( a big turnout) as well. Carolyn, who completed her first 50 mile ultra last week, joined us. We went thru downtown Tulsa and were thrilled to take a water break at the Adams Mark where it was nice and warm. We were so cold and it seemed to take forever to get back to Veteren's Park. We registered for the Poker Run and headed out for another 5. I met up with Janet Burgess, who I haven't seen in months. She will be running Boston in April 2011, I wish I could run with her but I don't think I'll be that fast this year. I managed to get thru this run with no falls, yay!

When we finished, we looked at our cards and decided to turn them in since they weren't very high and we didn't want to stand around forever for our prize. I am getting tired of the cold, this is so untypical of Oklahoma but I know shouldn't complain. The east coast has much worse weather than us.
Coffee at Starbucks, can't go wrong there, we discussed our future marathons and how I am going to get fast enough for Boston. My running buddies encouraged me, as they always do, together we'll make it happen. Their next race is the Post Oak Trail Marathon. I'm pretty sure that I am not going to do this. I think my recent falls are a warning that I should heed. I'll have a fun time volunteering.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone, I hope you either get a hug or give one and tell those dear to you how much you love them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Skipping another Saturday

Since we're snowed in, I did not brave the elements and go out and run this a.m., but I do have my priorities straight, I managed to get to the salon by 10:00 for color & cut. I love that quiet air that is all around when it is all white outside. It sounds like the RW group had a good run this a.m. but I am glad that I didn't scrape my car at 7:00 a.m., my neighbors would probably tp my property later and thawing out my car took about 15 min. at 9:30 thanks to my hubby. I am doing a 16er tomorrow since I am doing a marathon in about a month, depending on whether I do Post Oak or Little Rock. Here's my lineup through May:

February 13 - Poker Run 5m (untimed)
February 27 - Post Oak Trail Marathon-very uncommitted on this one
February 28 - Post Oak 10K-this is doable
March 7 - Little Rock Marathon
March 13 - RW St Patrick's Day 5K
March 27 - Wish Lemons 5K Tulsa, OK
April 25 - OKC Memorial Marathon
May 9 - Ft Collins Marathon
May TBD 1/2 Marathon

Seeing this schedule gets my motor going! I need goals, even though I'm not fast, I'm also not a recreational runner. If I didn't have a race to look forward to, I probably wouldn't run. I admire the people who get out there and run, day after day, week after week, year after year, with no desire or need to race. I run with someone like that during the week. I know he'll run as long as he is able, has been for 20+ years. Me, I need the challenge of a race.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wet but a worthy training run

So I get the email early in the week that Carmie wants to run at 6:30 a.m. on Sat. I groan and think, I'll go run with the other group. Then others respond and they are jumping on the 6:30 bandwagon. I crater to peer pressure and psyche myself up for the 6:30 start. Then I see that it is supposed rain (again) on Sat. morning. I thought it couldn't have been worse than the Post Oak practice...and it wasn't. We had a good run, got pretty drenched, but went south on the Creek and got some hill work in. Did 13 miles, we'll do at least 16 next week. I feel good getting some long runs in, I was much stronger this Saturday than the Sunday I ran 12 miles a couple of weeks ago. Since I want to have higher mileage weeks this year, I'm going to add another run in this week, that should get me up to at least 30 miles this week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Post Oak Trails

Saturday I went out to Post Oak Lodge to do a trail run out there. They are having a trail marathon on February 26, I am not a trail runner and do not aspire to be one but I wanted to have some variety in my training. It had rained most of the night and was very foggy on Saturday morning. About 45 people came out for training run and we separated into groups based on our 5K pace, but we wouldn't be anywhere near that pace, more like 15 min. mile. For the most part I was dressed appropriately. I had a waterproof North Face jacket and a light jacket underneath it and a technical shirt. I have a great wide brimmed waterproof hat. I had trail running shoes. The only mistake I made was to wear my capri pants and socks that didn't cover my ankles. I received only a few scratches though.
It was very muddy, sticky, slippery and cold even though it was about 42. It was a constant drizzle. You don't race on these, you pick your way through and hope you can stay up with everyone and look behind you to make sure no one else is getting too far behind. Some people had a really good time doing this, I did not. I like to move, maybe it will be better when it is drier. I value my history of non-injury, I'm concerned that I could get hurt very easily out here. But, I want to stretch myself so I'm still planning on doing this as long as my schedule permits. There is another training run on February 6 and I hope it is drier so I can get a better idea of what it would be like on firmer ground.
What I learned from this:
  • Protect your ankles with ankle socks
  • Bring a change of clothes, including shoes & socks (I did) and a plastic bag for dirty stuff (thanks Tess)
  • Bring something to eat or gu, even if is only 6 miles, you will get famished
  • Make sure you are with someone and have your cell phone (we got far behind and everyone was looking for us)

My ankles were really sore on Sunday, I dread to think what they will feel like after 26 miles. I need to put in more miles on trails if I'm going to do this. Hopefully, Feb. 6 will be a longer run. I wonder how longer this marathon will take? It took us 2 hours to go six miles but we were sloshing through muck.

The best thing about the day was that I didn't fall and the coffee and fellowship at Starbucks was a great way to wrap it up.

I can't wait to run on solid ground on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Break

With the weather being so cold, I'm doing my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday this week. It's been fabulous to have a whole Saturday at home, I think it's been almost 2 years since this has happened. Right now I'm listening to my favorite running podcast, Pheddipidations, he's talking about their Boston Polar Plunge, it was 34 there compared to our Polar Bear Plunge of 20 something. He's also taking about Spring Marathon options.
So today I got tons of cleaning done at home and thought this would be a good time to write about plans for this year.
Ideally, I'd like to run the Post Oak Trail Marathon, the Little Rock Marathon and the OKC Memorial Marathon, then I'd be a marathon maniac. I don't know if I can do that with my personal schedule though because my sister-in-law has cancer and I don't know if I'm going to be going to the east coast to see her this Spring. I also would like to do the Fort Collins Marathon in May and then I would take a long break and do either the R66 or some marathon in Nov. or Dec. I've done river rafting on the Poudre River where this marathon occurs and it is beautiful.
I want to increase my weekly mileage this year as well. Last year I averaged 20-25 miles/week and I want to up that to at least 30 per week and add more speed and hill work.
I certainly would be thrilled if I ran a 4:30 marathon this year. for the shorter distances, I'd like to run a 5K in 26.50 and the Tulsa Run under 1:30.
How about the rest of you? What are your running goals?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Running

We went to Charlotte, NC for Christmas so I escaped the snow here. All the way to Charlotte on Wednesday, I kept getting phone alerts of bad weather and I couldn't believe the pictures of snow on FB once the snow hit Tulsa.
Charlotte temperature was around 35 and I went on a couple of runs while I was there. My sister-in-law's neighborhood is hilly and on Thursday I did a short 3 miles through her housing addition. On Saturday, I considered doing a 12 mile but I didn't want to short-change family time so I opted for a 6 mile out on a major road that had sidewalks. The hills were long but not a sharp incline, it was a good run. When I got back, I was glad I had decided to do only 6 because our plans had changed and we were going to hit the mall earlier. I sure didn't want to be the reason for delay when the ladies were going shopping.
I was back in Tulsa by Monday, 12/28, but no running outside on Tuesday so I went to the club and did the eliptical, I haven't done that in 2 years!
No running Thursday morning outside again and then I did the Race Into the New Year, I wore my Yak-Trax for the first time and they really helped. Then on Saturday we ran 5 miles in the cold. With all the layers I had on, I was glad to do only 5, we had a great turnout in spite of the weather.
This next week is going to be really cold again, the snow hasn't melted, so I better make plans to run indoors.