Tag Archives: race

Route 66 Half Marathon Race Report, Part 1

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It’s gotten quite chilly outside the past few days, so let’s travel back in time to another cold couple of days…the weekend B, K, and I drove to Tulsa so that I could run the Route 66 Half Marathon.

We made the quick 2 hour trek from Norman to Tulsa and drove straight to the race expo. It was much smaller than the OKC expo, but it got the job done with much less waiting-in-line time. We perused the things for sale (and I promised K a 0.0 sticker for her Kia- still want one, bby?), made some inspirational race signs, then skedaddled to our hotel.

That night I crammed in a nervous Mexican dinner with B, K, and our friend Beth who lives in Tulsa. Seems like I always eat Mexican food before races?! Maybe they help me run faster. Who knows? We got home and I laid out all of my clothes for the next morning, pinned my bib to my pants, and strapped on my timing chip. I was as ready as I could be…but super nervous. I tried to go to bed at 10 pm, but I was so nervous that it took me forever to fall asleep and I woke up many times throughout the evening. At one point, I remember just praying that the morning would go ahead and come so I could stop pretending to get any semblance of rest.

Race day was COOOOOLD. Something like 12 degrees. We all layered up, B ran and got a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (more on that later), we posed for cute pictures, and then, all too soon, it was time to hit the road.

Parking was a hairy situation, but we managed to park about 4 blocks from the start. And that little walk was INTENSE. The cold was mind-numbing. I sincerely started to doubt if I could run 13.1 miles in that weather. We waited (probably illegally) in the lobby of the Mayo Hotel until about half an hour before the race started— that’s when B and K ditched me to go post up with their signs near the 2.5/5 mile marker at Woodward Park.

Waiting in that corral alone yet surrounded by thousands of people was incredibly difficult. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes. My scarf wouldn’t hang right on my neck. This race was starting to seem like a dumb idea. Then the gun went off, and I started running.

And 5 minutes into the race, I was actively thinking “Where can I meet B and K in order for me to drop out of this race?”

I’m evil, so that’s where I leave you until the next chapter!

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Photo of the Day: me, all bundled up yesterday for the Route 66 Half marathon. It was a little chilly.

Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon Race Recap, Part 2

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So, when I left you last, I was heading out for the race, correct?

Good. Let’s get caught up.

My family and I headed down towards the memorial, and, after narrowly missing the start of the race because I thought some random mass of people was the corral, I made my way through the (real) massive corral and found my friend Wesley at the 9:30 pace marker! While I knew I couldn’t keep this pace for the whole race, I didn’t want to be alone so I hung by him while we listened to the prayer, the seconds of silence, and the horn that signaled the beginning of the race (!!!!!).

It took me 7 minutes to cross the start line, and I began running to the tune of Sweet Caroline. Mile 1 was nothing short of magical. I ran by my hotel, by the firefighters completing the race in full gear, by the arena, and over the first hill of the race on the Bricktown bridge. I went out too fast (shocker) and had a 9:45 first mile. I continued at a pretty good pace until, unfortunately, my right foot started going numb at mile 2. While I thought my shoes were loose enough, they weren’t. (I still haven’t found a solution to this problem.) Luckily, I had trained through this, and knew that if I took off my shoe for about 15 seconds, the numbness would go away. So that’s how I ran miles 2-4, stopping about every half mile to un-numb my feet and then pushing forward again.

I didn’t tell anyone I was having foot problems because I didn’t want them to worry (sorry, family), and when I met K at mile 4, I didn’t stop to un-numb myself until after I saw her leave. (Let’s talk about how awesome K is, she walked a 10k’s worth chasing my butt all over Oklahoma City.)

Mile 5-6 started our journey through some really pretty neighborhoods, and it brought the epicness of Gorilla Hill!image

Unfortunately, it was also at this point that I realized I was developing a blister on my left foot, right where the upper and the sole of my Mizunos met. I messed with my shoe for a bit, but then resolved to just keep going and try to ignore it. I was too scared to take my sock off and see how big it was because I didn’t want to give myself a reason to slow down or give up. I knew there were medical tents coming up later, and I resolved to stop for a band-aid if it got super unbearable.

At this point in the race, I had a moment of discouragement. I saw the race clock at mile 7 and thought I was moving way below my goal time. My left foot hurt. My right foot was numb. It was getting hotter. It took all the strength I had to power through. I resolved to quit walking so much, make up the time I had lost and ignore all the pain. “Only Way I Know” by Jason Aldean came on my iPod, and all of a sudden, I had my second wind. I remember literally singing the song through gritted teeth as I made my way toward the half/full split.

The half marathon course then took a turn down Classen Boulevard, and, since I had creeped on the course so hard, I knew that the end was coming. It was a straight shot down Classen for 20+ blocks until it wound through Mesta Park and then across to Broadway. I was so thankful for my “second wind” because, quite frankly, this stretch of the race was boring. I was going straight for so long, it felt so hot outside, I had started getting awful stomach cramps, and I just wanted it to be over. Luckily, there were some great water stops with yummy snacks and drinks that kept me going. I did not, however, indulge in the free local beer being passed out.

K was meeting me on this stretch of the course, but I was having trouble remembering what she had said in her text (blame it on race brain). I expected her at 33rd Street, but she wasn’t there. So I thought, “maybe it was 30th Street!”. Nope. It was actually 23rd Street. Oops. That was a little frustrating.

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When I finally saw K, I remember grabbing her arm like it was a life raft. I said (I think), “I’m so tired. I have a huge blister on my foot.” She responded “There’s only a 5k left!”. And she was right. It was mile 10. I had reached my personal distance record.

It was also right around this time that I realized I AM SO BAD AT MATH. I wasn’t running slower than a 3:00 pace, I was running way faster! At this point, I was ahead of the 2:30 pace group.

Yeah. I suck at math.

I was so happy after that. Everything was awesome. I was running through a gorgeous area with historic homes, everyone on the course was so supportive, and I had adopted an attitude of “it’s not going to hurt anymore than it already does, so keep running”.

That attitude got me all of the way to Broadway.

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The finish line was rocking. I ran my hardest down Broadway. I knew my mom and family were waiting for me. I blasted Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” and heard the crowd roaring even over that music. (That song got me through that race, hands down).

I can’t describe the feeling that crossing that finish line gave me. I know it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

I heard my mom’s iconic horse whistle and saw her and my other family members in the finish corral. I stumbled over and we hugged. I remember saying, “I’m so tired. I’m so glad it’s over. I’m so tired.” I started crying tears of joy and my parents were super concerned that I was injured. I left them to go get my medal and take my picture and then they met me outside the medical tent, where my huge blister was patched up.

It was over.

Prosperity Place 5k Race Recap

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Last night, I got the impulse to search the Dallas race listings while making cookies (what a strange coincidence). I found a 5k happening 15 minutes from my house that had a pretty low entry fee and looked small and cute. You can probably guess what happens next.

I dragged myself out of bed at 7:20 am on a Saturday (the sacrifice all runners must make), threw on a top and my Nike running crops (because I knew they had a little pocket for my car key—necessary when you’re racing alone), found some cash and hit the road to Frisco.

There were less than 150 people running, and this was the first race I’d ever run with velcro, non-throwaway timing chips! I strapped it to my ankle, pinned my bib on straight (which I am a champion at now), and hit the pavement at 8:30 am.

Running such a small race was pretty fun, but I had a few complaints. There were no mile markers, which was bad for me because I pace myself on knowing how much I have left to go. Also, the race results reporting is odd. I saw the time on the clock when I finished…and the official results are like a minute slower? Um. The clock is supposed to be slower? Isn’t your chip time supposed to be the faster one? And here’s a complaint about myself: I went out way too fast because I thought it was a small race and I would have a chance at placing. Which I would have…had I not gone out too fast.

It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. Afterward, I showered and my parents and I saw Iron Man 3. It was a good day.

33:19/3.1 miles

Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon Race Recap (Part 1)

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Much like the deranged sorority girl email, y’all better buckle in. This might be a long (but ultimately fulfilling) post!

When I drove into Oklahoma City for the race expo on Saturday, the whole city was buzzing. People were swarming everywhere, armed with their clear gear check bags and expo swag. Traffic was terrible. As K put it, “this city [was] crapping itself”. It took me 15 minutes from when I exited off of I-40 and finally pulled up to the valet station at the Colcord Hotel, also known as paradise.

I felt so fancy as I handed the valet my keys, checked into my room, and ascended to the 11th floor. My room was nothing short of fantastic.

Fabulous, right?

After I squealed a little, I headed to the Cox Convention Center for the race expo. The line appeared to be ridiculous, but it was because they only let a small number of people into the packet pickup area at once, which made that line nonexistent. I was also able to pick up the packets for my family with no wait!

After I got my bib and such, I headed to the real expo area where I bought all my 13.1 swag. I got a sticker for my car, a RUN OKC tech tee, and a fuel belt for my race fuel (more on that later).

K arrived shortly after I got back to the hotel, and we walked over to a Subway because she skipped lunch. Then we watched some trash TV until it was time for dinner at Iguana with my entire family! Best pre-race meal. I was even able to resist loading up on chips and salsa (mostly due to nerves).

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, where I perfected my playlist and waited for my last roommate to show up, Kristen! She was running the full marathon so I offered her my floor so that she wouldn’t have to drive up from Norman at 4 am. We hit the sack at 10 pm to prepare for our 5am wake up call. K gave me a melatonin pill which made me sleep beautifully, and I woke up only slightly annoyed at the world. 

Me!

Me and K!

Kristen!

Part 2 coming soon.

29:59

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Well, I did it!

After nearly a year of running, I finally ran a sub-30 minute 5K.

It was not easy.

Luckily, I had a bunch of my sorority sisters there to help pump me up!

(FTK= For the Kids, because our race benefited Soonerthon, our dance marathon event for Children’s Miracle Network!)

The race was at night, so it was a little chilly. A neon theme forced me to break out some of my favorite workout gear: blue and purple gradient leggings, purple shorts, and a lime green shirt. Also, huge blue and purple tulle bow that got lost in the frenzy. Oops!

I started out on the far left as always, directing B and K to stand on that side in my vain attempt to mug for a picture as I passed.

This never happened because I was running too fast. Small victory or disappointment? Not really sure.

I headed out at an 8 minute/mile pace (STUPID STUPID STUPID), eventually cruising into a comfy 9:15-9:30 pace for my first mile. I took a walk break as planned (I follow the Galloway method, you should try it, it saves me from shredding my calves and I love it) and then set off again.

Since I knew I was painfully close to sub-30-ing, I spent most of the race in a mental battle. I know that I recover better taking multiple walking breaks then picking up the pace rather than running until I eventually slow to a snail’s pace (and guess what? my shins are beastly by then also). But I didn’t want to walk at all, I wanted to beast mode this 5k and power across the finish in less than 30 minutes.

Luckily, I kept yo-yoing past Tonya, one of my sorority sisters. She runs way more than I do because of her epic extracurricular activities, and I was impressed that I was keeping up with her! I would slow to a walk and she would run past, yelling something encouraging, and then when she slowed to a walk, I would run past and yell something to her. It was a pretty nice setup. Chasing after Tonya really helped me stay in the game because I had the smaller goal of “keep up with Tonya” rather than thinking “WHAT IS YOUR PACE ARE YOU UNDER 30 CHECK YOUR SPLITS FREAK OUT FREAK OUT YEAH” the entire time.

This lasted until the end of the race, at which time Tonya turned up the heat and sprinted to the finish way faster than me. But I followed close behind, legs burning with pain. I could see the race clock was already a few seconds past 30 minutes, but I knew that my official chip time had to be less. I powered through, knowing that every agonizing step I took forward would pay off when I saw a sub-30 time on those race results.

And… it did.

SPLITS:

Mile 1: 9:11

Mile 2: 10:29

Mile 3: 9:50

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Me and my little baby timing chip at my latest 5K! A pretty interesting race report is to come…luckily it has a happy ending!

31:59

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This past Saturday, I ran the Oklahoma Run to Defeat Diabetes held by an OU fraternity. I wasn’t sure I was going to participate until I got a free entry through my sorority. (This race even gave us tech tees. Um, hello, so there.)

Race morning was cold and just a bit windy. While it was significantly warmer than my 5k last winter, I was still a bit chilly waiting for the gun to go off. (Speaking of, I never actually heard the gun…oops.) I intended on wearing a long sleeve tech tee, another short sleeve shirt, and long leggings, but this was not enough. Luckily, B is the Responsible One and provided me with extra layers.

This also made me look like a ninja.

The best part of this race is that I did not wish for death at any point, and that is a personal victory!

Also, I PRed, and my feet didn’t go numb (likely thanks to my new running method, the Galloway Method, google it, it’s the coolest).

Mile 1: 9:48

Mile 2: 10:46

Mile 3: 10:38

Positive splits are yucky but definitely due to my running method.

BEST 5K EVER. On to the 10k!

35.37

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This past weekend, I ran my third 5k!

Pre-race, of course.

My aunt and uncle from Dallas were planning a visit to Norman anyway, and they’re super fit people who run pretty much every day, so I signed us all up for the Hotter 5K in Oklahoma City (it’s part of the Hot, Hotter, Hottest Summer Race Series by DG Productions!).

Me, B, uncle and aunt. Yeah, I don’t know how my aunt and I are related. She clearly got all of the gorgeous genes!

The course was an out-and-back starting at Wheeler Park in OKC, meaning we ran into the sun along the Oklahoma River for 1.55 (hot) miles and then turned and ran 1.55 (still hot) miles back. 

I had been planning on running this race for a while after I axed the idea of the Color Me Rad run since it was in the afternoon in the Oklahoma heat (we’re talking 100+). This race was at 8 pm and there was a breeze! Only 92 degrees when I crossed the finish line.

(Yeah, I know. ONLY 92. Welcome to the Great Plains in July. Here’s a bottle of water, you’ll need it.)

Me and B post-race. Not cute.

I had lots of time to prepare for this race, but about three days before, I came down with some sort of mysterious cold-like illness. Sore throat, coughing, runny nose- the works. My Google medical degree said that it wasn’t strep or mono, so I decided to fight it out at home- no doctor visit. Running the race wasn’t terribly difficult while sick, but I felt especially exhausted afterwards. Breathing was easy for the first 2 miles, but the third mile was a struggle with my stuffy nose.

I ran the first two miles, then limped along during the third mile because my feet went numb (again). This is becoming a common occurrence that might need a doctor’s attention. Big frowny face. But about a quarter mile out, a nice lady running ahead of me called out to me to keep going. We ran together until the finish. Thanks, nice lady in the Red Coyote shirt! You helped tons.

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Pictures from my race tonight, the Hotter 5K at Wheeler Park in Oklahoma City! Full blog to come. Here’s a hint: I PRed!

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