Tag Archives: running

Oklahoma Run to Defeat Diabetes 2013 Race Report

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I got a free entry to this race through my sorority, so I really just ran it for fun (as you can see from my time). Also, I had B’s birthday party the night before and was up late, so I wasn’t really in a state to run fast!

The race was pretty uneventful, except for a couple interesting moments. I almost started running in a different 5k by accident because the courses crossed! I also got scared that I accidentally ended up on the 10k course because I felt like I had been running way longer and had missed the split. Both of these problems were due to a lack of signage or volunteers, so if the race people can get this fixed, next year’s race should go off without a hitch!

The one incident that I will remember from this race happened at the end. I was making my way to the finish, and saw a guy running in front of me. I hadn’t really pushed myself too hard throughout the race, so I decided I would try and pass him. And pass him I did! By a pretty wide margin. My legs and chest were burning, but it felt good to have a small victory. Until B told me that the race announcer quipped “Isn’t it nice that that guy is letting her pass him? Chivalry isn’t dead!”

Excuse me?

No one “let” me do anything. I didn’t slip in at the end just ahead of him. I passed him by a lot! And it wasn’t because he wasn’t giving his all. I passed him because I was giving my all. I didn’t need chivalry for that. I know I was near the middle of the pack during the race, but that small victory was mine.

So there!

Bust, part 2

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Tips and what I learned from my horrible, truly epic busted run today:

  • You should probably eat before you run.
  • Also, drinking water is important. Do that occasionally.
  • Don’t try and cry while you’re still running. You won’t have enough breath.
  • When you’ve cooled down a bit, then call your mom and cry. Moms are good at listening to people sob incoherently on the phone.
  • I’m really, really thankful and lucky that the worst thing that will happen to me today is that I can’t finish a run. Holy perspective, Batman!
  • Friends are really good at cheering you up when you’re in the deep dark cave of failure, be that running failure or just general all-around epic failure.
  • Go read some running blogs when you’re sad. While you might think it would make you feel worse, I promise that someone is there struggling like you are. It felt good to see that I wasn’t the only one who got all torn up about not completing a training run.
  • Always attempt a long run with more free time ahead of you so that you have time to try, try again. Hopefully in cooler weather with more hydration.

Remember when I busted last time?

http://thecuppycakes.tumblr.com/post/41847006588/bust

Maybe I’m just jinxed. I messed up my 7 miler last training cycle, too….

What Learning to Run Thirteen Miles Taught Me About Life

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I’ve been feeling like writing something graduation-speechy (after having to endure some truly terrible graduation speeches) lately. Inspiring the masses with some token advice is totally a skill I’d like to develop.

So, I thought I would tie 5,000+13.1 up with a nice big red, sappy bow: what I learned about myself during those 5 or 6 months that I ran for hours at a time on the weekends, tracking sweat all down the North Oval and questioning why I keep doing it. It’s distinctly different than what I learned about running, and it needs to be said. Because I think it will help someone who was just like me. 

Here it is: my big piece of advice in one neat line…

…dreams don’t always find you.

Sometimes you have to find them. Sometimes you have to do something insane to realize what you’re really made of. Sometimes you have to just randomly select a goal out of the ether, and see if it works for you. You have to decide to go run three miles (?!?!) with your best friend through Dallas even though you’ve never done it before. You, the girl they shouted “Run, Forrest, Run” at during soccer practice. You, the one who always copped out of working as hard as the other cheerleaders because you were fatter and “couldn’t do as much”. You have to decide to do something you’ve never done before.

And then, of course, you have to see where it goes. You might end up hating the thing you choose to try out. I’m sure if I had decided to take up fly fishing or calculus, I wouldn’t be feeling so fulfilled at the moment. Don’t consider yourself a failure if you don’t know what you want. Figure it out, and don’t beat yourself up about it.

After that 5k, I decided to run one mile a day for a year. That was my 2012 New Year’s resolution. And then I did more. And then I watched “Spirit of the Marathon”, came out of my boyfriend’s room into the living room, and announced to three other people that I was running a half-marathon.

And so goes the growth of a dream.

If you could have gone back to January 1, 2012 and ask me if I would ever run a half-marathon, I would have shamelessly laughed in your face. “Me? I’m a terrible runner. I’ve never been good at running. What a joke.”

I have always dreamed of being strong. To have toughness, both mental and physical. Most of the time, I feel very weak. I cry a lot, over silly things that shouldn’t get to me, but do. I don’t feel strong during most of my daily life.

The half-marathon made me feel strong. I never felt weak, never felt like I wasn’t good enough, never felt like I wasn’t achieving something great each time I trained or talked about it. Now that I’ve technically achieved my dream, I’m going after more. A two-and-a-half-hour half in the fall, then maybe an even shorter one after that. I want to always feel this strong.

I beg you to try something new. If you feel like I did, like you have no real dreams, like you are weak, like you have never truly achieved anything great, do something you’ve never done before and do it with your whole heart.

There was a time when I thought I had no dreams. Now I know that I was wrong.

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

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Photo of the Day: Finally got this up on the wall! I went to the Goodwill down the street from my house—it’s huge, full of great home goods, and usually not very busy! I picked up this frame for $2. It has a chip in the frame but you’d never notice unless I told you (which I just did, oops…). Already envisioning some wall art clusters a la Young House Love in my new apartment with this prominently displayed.

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.

What I’ve Learned About Half-Marathon Training So Far

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  • Don’t eat sport beans with caffeine.
  • Long run on the weekend, keep your base up during the week.
  • Don’t stress if you miss a midweek run.
  • Cross train when you’re not running.
  • Yes, you must cross train.
  • Don’t buy new shoes too close to a race, but….
  • Don’t race in too-worn shoes.
  • Take it at your own pace.
  • Try and find time to run or workout with friends. They might be faster than you, but treadmills go at anyone’s pace. And you always need a helper to count crunches.
  • Make this battle personal. It’s the only way you’ll find the strength to train for so long, to skip going out with your friends in order to hit the gym, to get up on race morning and pour yourself into shoes and hit the pavement.

Feeling Fine at 9 (+1)

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This post is super late but it’s been in the drafts folder for two weeks! My bad.


I ran 9 miles today.
I ran 10 miles today!

Don’t you love it when you’re bad at calculating distances? Or does that just happen to me… Read on for the full story.

I made a huge mistake during this run: leaving at 11 am so that I could get the run out of the way and see my friends later that evening. By the time I was in the “please, God, strike me down anytime now” portion of my run, it was almost 80 degrees and the hot Oklahoma sun was beating down on my poor little frame.

I did my two mile loop twice to get 4 miles out of the way, but then I realized that due to the heat, I couldn’t wait 20 minutes in between water breaks. So, I switched to a one mile loop. I’m sure everyone who was doing yardwork thought I was literally insane running around in a circle 5 times. Such is the life of a distance runner.

So, I get home, thinking that I’ve completed my 9 miles at a somewhat slow pace for me, but that’s alright. Then I get the itch to check mapmyrun.com…

Turns out each of my loops was about .1 over what I thought it was. (So my 2 mile loop is really 2.2 miles, my 1 mile is 1.1) Not that much, right? But when you’re doing it 9 times, it adds up. So I wasn’t incredibly slow! I was just running more than I thought I was!

10 miles/ 2 hours

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