Sunday, February 27, 2011

Post Oak Challenge

Last year some of my friends ran the Post Oak Marathon Trail run and the 10K, I volunteered and thought that I would like to do a shorter version of it. I love the Post Oak Lodge, I've been out there several times for conferences and women's retreats, the area is very peaceful, close to the city, yet out in the country.
So this year, the organizers switched the events up some and made all the marathon-type events on the road and then had a separate day of trail events. So, I was in and decided to do the 10K trail run and the 1/4 marathon. I have a marathon to run the following weekend so I wanted to keep the distances short. There was some rain on Thursday so the trail got nice and and soggy. This was my first trail run and I am not sure of foot so I took it slow and easy. I ran with my good friend Teresa and she was good company for me throughout the run. It wasn't very hard, I picked my way through the rocks and slippery mud and marveled at some of the runners who flew through the course. The trails were well marked and we had one really good climb to Holmes Peak. When the sky is clear, you can lookout from here and see downtown Tulsa but on this day, there was a lot of fog, so all we saw was...more fog! All went well and we managed to finish injury free.
On Sunday, I ran the 1/4 marathon. The organizers promised that the marathons would be hilly and they delivered. It was the hilliest and hardest course I have ever run! I'm really glad I did both events and the medals are very unique and beautiful.
Here's a shout out to three of my buddies who ran the full marathon in great style, finishing just over 5 hrs and to Carmie Anderson, who won her age group!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2010 Wrap Up Outer Banks, Route 66 and St. Jude's

Since we're into the second month of 2011, I better post about my last two marathons of 2010.

My most fun marathon of the year was Outer Banks in November. We went to celebrate Marv Winter's completion of North Carolina as his 50th state. The Outer Banks community rolls out the red carpet for all who come into town for the marathon weekend. When we arrived, the winds were gusting to 40 mph and we had an 8K to run on Saturday morning. We were dressing up like pirates and we sure didn't want to freeze our booties! By Saturday morning, the wind had died down somewhat but it was still pretty nippy waiting for the race to start. We were quite the topic of conversation, we thought there was an award for best costumes so we were all decked out but we learned that the costume competition was for the marathon the next day! The 8K went through some beautiful trails which shielded us from the wind. By doing the 8K and the marathon, we got a special Blackbeard's Challenge medal. After the 8K we warmed up and toured the town some, including going to Kitty Hawk (those Wright Brothers had amazing persistence), had great burgers and fries at Five Guys and later went to the pasta dinner for the marathon. The pasta dinner was super fun because a lot of Marv's marathon buddies were there from all over the US. The next morning we braced ourselves for some more chilly weather but the wind was much better. We were bussed from Nags Head to Kitty Hawk where the race started. The first half of the marathon was through neighborhoods, Kitty Hawk memorial, some trails and then the last half went out onto the highway and into Manteo. The course is really pretty and not challenging, you could PR if the wind wasn't bad. Our Tulsa group stayed together and took the race easy and slow and we had a blast. Lots of picture taking and just celebrating Marv's endurance and encouragement to others as he ran 50 marathons. I love how both the 8K and the marathon started-the most amazing, heart-felt prayers of blessing on all involved and singing the national anthem at each race. After the marathon, we hung out in the pretty town of Manteo, then headed back to our hotel and chilled our legs in the surf. We had a wonderful time that evening at dinner and continued to celebrate this big event for Marv. In the morning we went back to Manteo to the best Christmas ornament store and then headed out to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and climbed all 214 steps, all of us climbed to the top! We hurried out of there and barely made it in time to the airport to make our flight...we so hated to go!
The next weekend we ran Route 66, some of my group did the full and I thankfully did the half, what a blustery run!

Then, on Dec. 3, we headed out to Memphis for the St. Jude's marathon. I was super excited to do this one because this was my 3rd marathon in 90 days, therefore, I would be an official Marathon Maniac! I really liked the Memphis marathon course and the charity it supports. The wave start went vey fast. I did not like the fact that there was no singing of the national anthem before the race. I think it is the only marathon of the 11 I have run that didn't have the national anthem, very disappointing. And I didn't like the town, my personal opinion, if you're doing the 50 states, choose Nashville instead of Memphis. Since we had lots of Christmas things to take care of, we were anxious to get back on the road and head back to T-town. What a long drive back and we were so hungry because the hotel didn't allow late check out and we didn't eat when we left Memphis. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel later in the day and when we pulled into the parking lot, we saw a school bus pull up at the same time. You never saw 4 tired, sore ladies run so fast into a restaurant, no way were they going to get in ahead of us starving runners!

What a year of running-5 marathons and made many new friends. No PRs and we'll see what's ahead for 2011. I can hardly wait to wear my maniac shirt at Little Rock on March 6!