Alternate title for this blog post... 
The 5K That Went Too Far!

On Saturday The Hubbo and I, along with a group of our friends, ran the Purple Stride 5K here in Tulsa. This race may sound familiar to you if you've followed this blog for a while being as I ran it last October. For some reason, this year the race was moved up to August and moved to a slightly different location.  

This race is special to me because it is VERY special to a dear friend of mine. This 5k is a fund raising race that benefits PanCAN or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. My friend lost a loved one to Pancreatic Cancer so she raises money and awareness each year. The statistics associated with this disease are alarming and more people need to be aware that there is only a 6% survival rate which only means more research needs to take place so that we can Know It. Fight ItEnd It.

I'm very proud to say that the team I was a part of raised over $5,000 for PanCAN! Thank you to all who donated, bought tickets, ate at Chili's, and ran the 5k with us to raise money for this organization! 
Also, as a whole, Oklahoma raised over $99,000! Our team was excited to hear that we were the 4th place team in terms of money raised. 

By the way, this is the post I had originally planned to publish on Monday but with the ordeal about Turkey Mountain, it had to wait. You can read about the issue Turkey Mountain is facing HERE and you can still sign the petition HERE if you feel so inclined. BTW - I hope you feel so inclined :) and soon I'll post an update to the Turkey Mountain saga. Stay tuned! 

The Race

Saturday was a rough day for me running wise. The Hubbo and I got up at 4:30am and we were supposed to run 10 miles before the 5K to stay on track with our training plan. Key words: supposed to. It didn't happen. I took some medicine the night before the race to help with an ailment that popped up and it didn't sit well with me. When we left the house to go run our 10 miles on our own, we had to immediately turn around and go back home. By the time the 5k rolled around at 8:30, I was feeling better so we decided to go. 

We got to the race and parked no problem and met up with our team. Hello Laurie's Purple Warriors! Then we got lined up in the corral and started the race. My original goal was to finish the race in under 33 minutes. I'm not a hot weather runner and hadn't been feeling that great that morning. After the race started and we finished the first mile, I was surprised to look down at my Garmin and see that I was running in the 8:45-9:00 range! (That's fast for me) I was breathing hard but it didn't feel impossible. That is when it struck me. This is a timed 5k and I could possibly PR! Thank you speed work! Then we got to a water stop at 1.45 miles and I said to my two friends I was running with that I was going to make it to the turn around and then grab water on the way back. Well... that was a good theory.

We passed the water stop and kept running, and running, and running some more. I remember thinking to myself as we came up to the water stop that this must be what running towards the front of the pack feels like because we didn't see anyone already running back towards the finish while we were still heading out! It was too good to be true. Turns out, there wasn't a labeled turn around!  Then, finally, the guys at the front of the pack finally turned around and told us the turn around wasn't marked and to just turn go ahead and around. We finally did, but we had already ran close to 1.70 miles out, which means we had about 1.70 miles to get back. So much for my PR! Also I was sorta towards the front of the pack and after the turn around found myself at the back of the pack because the lead guys had told everyone about the lack of a labeled turn around. So around mile 2.8 I started to get really really hot and decided to stop pushing myself and had to run/walk it back in. 

Overall I still met my race goal and the time on the clock showed just under 33 minutes but it wasn't my best 5k or 3.4 mile race, whatever. I still love this race because it benefits PanCAN and I'll definitely be back next year! 

You can read my BibRave.com recap here

Question! Have you ever missed a turn in a race or ran too far? 

Today I had planned on publishing a totally different blog but something came up that simply can't wait another day. 
There's something I need to bring awareness to and I need to ask for your help! Here in Tulsa we have a wonderful Urban Wilderness Area called Turkey Mountain. It's a wonderful park/dirt trail system in Tulsa where there are miles and miles of trails for running, hiking, taking the kids for a picnic, riding your horse, mountain biking, taking amazing photographs of the skyline of Tulsa and so much more. This amazing little gem is in jeopardy. Last week it was announced that some private property adjacent to Turkey Mountain was sold to a development company, which plans to place a large high-end outlet mall in the area that will close some of the trails.
I know what you are probably thinking, "It was private property, what's the big deal?". The big deal is that the area they bought has miles of trails on it that the previous land owner had been wonderfully gracious enough to let the patrons of Turkey Mountain use even though they weren't in the care of the Tulsa River Parks Authority. And in return, the patrons of Turkey Mountain would care for and maintain the trails. The last volunteer day was in mid July and hundreds of people showed up to maintain the land and trails. It was truly a win-win situation for everyone. 

Here is a map of the area affected. The red box is where the new outlet mall will go. You can see that there are trails leading right into that area and that's the problem. 
Let's be clear, I'm not opposed to the outlet mall at all. I'm opposed to the location of the proposed outlet mall, especially when there is plenty of land nearby that isn't part of Turkey Mountain. 
I'm opposed to the increased traffic hazards that may come when runners/bikers mix with cars. We all know who wins and who loses in the scenario. 
I'm opposed to the domino effect that may take place which could lead to the entire area around Turkey Mountain being developed and reducing the amount of space we have left to enjoy. Here's what I mean by that...

According to a local news reporter, HALF of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is actually private property and could be sold! 
This map shows you the land that could be sold if further development of the area were to take place. It would clearly reduce the land dedicated to trails significantly, meaning the current 45 miles of trails could be reduced to just 15 miles! 

Here is where you come in. A petition has been started. I signed it already and I'm asking all of my running buddies to sign it. I know you may not live in the Tulsa area or you may have never stepped foot on Turkey Mountain, but there will come a day when this could happen to an area you love and you will want all the support you can get. Please sign the petition by clicking here.
The Hubbo and I have spent a lot of time up there on those trails and would hate to see it change to a parking lot for an outlet mall. Let's move the mall further south and leave Turkey Mountain alone. 
I think Country Crows says it best with this song...

Question! Has this ever happened to your favorite park? What did your city do?

Hi Running Buddies!

How has your week been so far? Got any big plans this weekend? I'm running the Oklahoma Purple Stide 5K . But first, let me tell you a fun little story about how my week started...

We had a little scare early Tuesday morning. Look at the picture to the left and that pretty much sums up this blog post in one dog shaming photo! 

That is my dog, Zoey. She's a 12 year old chihuahua who evidently decided we needed more excitement in our life on Tuesday morning. We typically keep her in the bathroom where she can't get into anything and she has room to move around, eat, and hang out in her dog bed. Tuesday when I left for work, I did my usual routine and put Zoey away, and then drove to the office. Around 8:30 I got a text from The Hubbo that the alarm had been tripped and he was going to check it out. I, being the paranoid person that I am, immediately assumed that there were at least 6 robbers breaking into our house again. (Yes, again!) So I left work, and met him at the house. I got there first but wasn't brave enough to go inside alone. When he got there, he had his bat and was ready to "crack some skulls". When we got inside we noticed the alarm had been tripped but it said it was from a motion sensor. Not an entry sensor. Weird. We originally thought maybe something fell over. Oklahoma has been having a TON of earthquakes lately. No joke! As we are walking through our living room looking for signs of something that was out of place, all of a sudden the couch moved and barked! 
And that's when we knew...
Yes, our 5lb dog had somehow let herself out of the bathroom (She's magic) and jumped up on our couch and set off the alarm! So the alarm dispatch company called The Hubbo who tried to give the password but they rejected it and the cops were called and had to come check everything out! Luckily the officer was nice and just checked The Hubbo's ID and we were back on our way to work.

Leave A Comment! Has anything silly/exciting happened to you this week?

PictureSpeed Work + August Heat = 1 Tired Ginger!
Hi Running Buddies!

How has your summer been? Or really, where did the summer go? It's hard to believe that it's already mid August and I'm already starting week 7 of my marathon training program today. It's been a while since I've posted a training update and last week was a really good week so I wanted to share it with you.

Monday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class + 5 Mile Run
Tuesday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class + 4 Mile Run
Wednesday - 30 Minute Boot Camp Class 
Thursday - 3.5 Mile Run - Hills
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - 12.3 Mile Run @Base Pace
Sunday - Rest Day

Summary: I ran about 25 miles and was able to cross train 3 times last week and have 2 full rest days. You all know how I feel about rest days! :) If you don't, you can read it here.

Goals for this week: Be better about foam rolling and trigger point ball massage/rolling for my feet, calf muscles, as well as my IT band and start breaking in my next pair of running shoes. 
I'm really focusing hard on not going back to the chiropractor unless I just absolutely have to!
I'd rather save my cash to spend when we are in Hawaii for the Honolulu Marathon!

Thanks to my pals at Bibrave.com you can save some cash (save 15%) on an entry fee to the Honolulu Marathon to by using this code: Bibrave15
I just added 4 more discount codes on my discount page on my blog, check it out!

Question! How many days a week do your cross train? How many days a week do you run?

You may have noticed a few weeks ago that a new badge showed up on my blog sidebar. Well now it's time to let you all in on my next big announcement! I decided to become an ENERGYbits Ambassador! 

In June, I wrote an open and honest review of ENERGYbits. It's a review that has been several months in the making and probably the most honest and detailed review I've ever written. The review I wrote got a pretty big and positive response so that is when I new it was time to join the team! Everyone seems so curious about these little green tablets. 
Over the past year I've interacted with ENERGYbits on Twitter and not only grew fond of their product, but the people behind the company as well. They are always so positive and encouraging, it's hard not to like them! 

Here's What's in it For You

The best part about being an ENERGYbits Ambassador is that I get to save other people money. Everyone knows that running can be expensive! Race fees, new shoes, nutrition, gear, and traveling, all that adds up. Being an ENERGYbits Ambassador means I'm eligible to have and share a discount code with everyone. That just means it's more cash you can spend on your next race entry fee.  You're Welcome!
But really, if I can help you save money on a product that has been so beneficial to me and helped me see so many new PRs over the last year, I'm all for it. Just let me know when you get your first PR while using your bits!! ::Insert Winky Face Emoticon Here::

Just for clarity's sake, I don't make money from being part of their ambassador program. I save money on their products and you save money on their products so it's a win-win all the way around. Also when people reach out to me and ask what nutrition I love, I'll have some good info to share with them as well. 

You can save 30% off of ENERGYbits with my code: RGR30 

Below I've included most my (updated) review on ENERGYbits so you can read in-depth as to why I love them so much. 

RunGingerRun's Review of ENERGYbits

What are they and how do you take ENERGYbits?
I take a single serving of bits before all my longs runs. I swallow 30 bits (one serving) about 15 minutes prior to the start of my run. ENERGYbits are food in tablet form made from 100% organically grown, Non GMO spirulina algae and have 40 nutrients. Each tablet is only 1 calorie but has a high protein content (64%) in each tablet. You take 30 at a time for energy the same way you would eat a handful of almonds or nuts for energy and not just one at a time.

Do they work?
For me, yes! Last fall when I finished my juice fast I needed race day nutrition that wasn't loaded with carbs and sugars. I remembered trying my sample of ENERGYbits and wanted to give them another shot. I bought an entire bag (1000 tablets) in August and started using them right away. I was very impressed that even though I was eating a low carb diet, I didn't crash on my long runs like I always did in the past. I just felt like I could keep going and better yet, I could keep going at the pace that I started out instead of slowing down or hitting the wall.

I also noticed that when I was done running I wasn't starving or craving sugar! It was such a nice change for me! Also I didn't get that blood sugar spike and then crash because they are mostly protein, which is what I need. 

Since I started taking ENERGYbits I was able to PR in every distance I ran over the last 9 months. I PR'd twice in the Half Marathon, PR'd twice in the 15K, PR'd once in the 5K, and PR'd once in the 10K.

The Hubbo has even taken them before a few races as well and managed to take several minutes off his half marathon PR for his first sub 2 hour half!

Since last fall, I've purchased 2 full bags of 1000 bits. Since I only use them for my long runs, races, or when I haven't been able to eat much before a run, they have lasted me a long time. Some people take them for every run, you can do that too or just the long ones. Totally up to you.

Where do I Buy ENERGYbits?
You can buy them online here. Since you get 1000 tabs and you only take 30 at a time, you are really buying your nutrition in bulk. They will ship them right to your door and then you just pop them in the refrigerator for safe keeping. 
Be sure to save money and use my discount code: RGR30

Are they hard on your stomach?
Not for me. Because they are made from a super food, spirulina algae, and not sugar, carbs, gluten, chemicals, or caffeine, I haven't had any tummy issues using them. 

Not Ready To Buy A Full Bag?
I totally understand that. I have samples for sale.
Each sample bag has 30 bits, or 1 serving, and will only cost $3 plus shipping. (Only in the lower 48 of the US) To buy some sample bits just send me an email to Sarah@RunGingerRunBlog.com and tell me how many you want and I'll send you my PayPal information. 
Or you can fill out my contact form on the upper right side of my blog. Or just click here. 

Question! What is your go-to race day nutrition plan?

Recently, I had to take 2 weeks off from running which you can read about here. But it gave me time to think about how I handled my forced break from running. I read other runner's blogs, a lot of them actually and I've noticed a common theme among runners and run bloggers. Everyone seems to be hating on their rest days lately. It's like some runners think if they can't train for 24 hours their world will end. I'm pretty sure it won't. 

Then I felt guilty. I felt like I wasn't a real runner. I, of course, wanted to run during my time off, but I knew that I shouldn't. (Doctor's Orders) So I didn't. I felt guilty because all these runners on the media are constantly talking about how they can't take a rest day without being stressed or feeling like they are going to fall apart and here I am just hanging out on the couch watching my shows! I was more worried about my fitness level declining and having to start back up after my break. I was only 2 weeks into my marathon training plan. 

I know some people say they need to run to relieve stress. I think that's great! You found a productive way to handle it. But, if you are that stressed that you can't focus on something else for 24 hours to give your body time to recover, you're doing life wrong. You need to check yo-self before you wreck yo-self!

So with my recent break from running I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not that kind of runner. 

I'm not that kind of runner that hates the idea of taking a rest day. Rest days are the best days in my opinion. I don't know about you, but training for a marathon takes up a lot of my time. I also have laundry, grocery shopping, bills to pay, a house, a yard to mow, a full time job, spending time with friends and family, and my favorite reality show, Big Brother, to keep me busy too. Plus lets not forget that I also cross train 2-4 days a week as well. A rest day, or two, is exactly what I need to catch up on all those things each week.

I'm not that kind of runner that goes on a rampage about how I had to sit out for a couple weeks. Sure, I wrote a blog about my recent MIA status from the blog and from running, but it was more an explanation as to why I've been so silent lately. Turns out that when I don't run as much, I have less to say on the blog. 

That being said, being injured totally sucks, I 100% get that. But you know what else sucks? Injuring yourself from skipping rest days. That kind of injury is 100% avoidable. 

I'm not that kind of runner that freaks out about the taper. If anything, I'm relieved when it is taper time. My body takes a beating during marathon training and I look forward to the lower mileage weeks to allow my body to recover so I'll be ready to go on race day. 

Here's the gist of this blog summed up into two memes.
Some runners are all like....
And I'm just over here like...

Question! What are you thoughts on rest days?

Hi Running Buddies!

Can you believe it's already  been a month since my last and also first RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month blog? This summer is flying by! Today I want to introduce y'all to my buddy George Okinaka. I first "met" George on Twitter but then in April 2014 we got to meet IRL (In Real Life) when the Hubbo and I went to Las Vegas to run the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon. George is actually the one who told me about it and we ended up running the last 10 miles of the race together. 
You all need to get to know George because he's so sweet and encouraging, always has something nice to say and I swear he's Twitter Famous! 

1. How did you get started into running?

Well, I actually ran track for a year way back in high school. I ran the mile, and I hated it. Haha. I also ran a few 5ks after high school, but I can't remember what those times were (so much faster than now). Anyway, fast forward many years until 2012. I had several things going on in my life back then (including turning 40.....#gasp) but I wanted to get off of my butt and start working out again. What really got me back into running was when I found out that the Tough Mudder was coming to the Las Vegas area. I had some friends who did it elsewhere, and I really wanted the challenge. So, I asked around to see if anyone else wanted to do it with me, and a colleague and good friend of mine, Jeb, said that he would. So, we trained by hiking/trail running out at Mt Charleston and went several times before doing the Tough Mudder. #ItsTimeToPutOnTheOrangeHeadband

Then after that I started to add a 5k or two here and there, some fun runs, and more and more races. Then in June 2013, I read the book Born to Run which completely changed my outlook on running and my running style. So, I actually wanted to go out to run just to run, and I switched from being a heel striker to landing on my forefoot/mid-foot.

However, what really supercharged my running is when I signed up on Twitter in July 2013. Joining Twitter was one of the best things for me.....it connected me to a wonderful & supportive running community that pushed me to run more and to run longer distances than I ever dreamed that I would be running so soon!

2. What's Your Favorite Distance?

As of right now, it's a tie between a half marathon and a relay race. Ok sure, I know that a relay race isn't an actual distance, but after doing a Ragnar Trail and a regular Ragnar (on the road), I've found that I haven't had more fun in any race as compared with the relay races. As for the half marathon distance, I love how I've been able to get my training up to the point where running in one isn't such a daunting task as I know that I can run one (I've run in six half marathons so far with several more planned this year). But with the half marathon, you don't have to devote quite as much time to your training as compared with a full marathon (by the way, I'm currently training for my first full right now) but you still get a strong feeling of accomplishment when you finish that half marathon!

3. What Races Do You Have Planned for the Rest of 2014?

Well let's see....so far I've run in 16 races this year including 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, relay races, a Spartan Super and a sprint duathlon. For the rest of 2014, I've got the following planned (at least):

- 8/10/14: E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon (near Area 51.....cool, huh?)
- 8/22-23/14: Hood to Coast Relay (w/ Nuun Hydration)
- 8/29/14: Disneyland Family Fun Run 5k (I'll be running this one with my son)
- 8/30/14: Disneyland 10k (Dumbo Double Dare)
- 8/31/14: Disneyland Half Marathon (Dumbo Double Dare where I might wear a costume)
- 9/7/14: Ventura Half Marathon (where I'll get to run with Sarah again!)
- 9/21/14: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation 5k (I don't usually travel for 5ks, but this is for the Dodgers!)
- 10/5/14: Twin Cities Marathon (my first full marathon that I'll run with @corgimamarunner)
- 11/16/14: Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (so many cool people are running in this race)
- 11/22/14: Trails of Glory (distance is TBD)

Yeah, I know that October is kind of light on races, and in December I don't have any races planned yet....but have no fear, I will be adding at least a few more races to my schedule!

4. How Do We Connect With You On Social Media?

You don't. Haha, just kidding! You can find me at:

- Twitter: @GeorgeOkinaka
- Facebook: George Okinaka
- Instagram: GeorgeOkinaka (I just rejoined, so pardon me for the lack of photos on there right now)

Yeah, lots of originality with my names on social media, huh? Oh, and don't don't invite me to any games on FB.....sorry guys, I don't play them. #YepNoCandyCrushSorry 

5. Do You Have Any Long Term Running Goals?

Well, one easy answer is to qualify for the Boston Marathon someday. I know that I'm not that fast right now, but eventually I think that I can qualify, if I put in some serous training for it. And no, I don't think that I'll have to wait until I'm 65 to be able to qualify. #HopeNot

My other long term goals are all about ultra marathons as I'd like to run a 12 hour race (maybe this year or next), a 24 hour race, and 50 and 100 mile races as well. There are no specific races in which I want to achieve these goals at.....except I know that I will never, ever want to run at Badwater. One of my races a few weeks ago was the Poker Run 10k which was at 6pm at a park here in Las Vegas. The temperature at that time was 104F! I don't know what I was thinking because I don't like to run in that kind of heat (or anything really close to it), and I'll be passing on that race next year because it's just too dang hot! So yeah, no thank you to running Badwater. Even though I was born in Las Vegas.....I still hate the heat. I just tolerate it. :) #BringOnTheAC

One last long term goal of mine is to run with as many of my friends on Twitter as I can! This makes traveling to races so much more fun when I can meet up with my friends from twitter, don't you think?

Everyone be sure to leave a comment and tell George hi! Also, what races are left on YOUR calendar for 2014? Running any of the ones George is running?

Happy Friday Running Buddies!
Today's blog post is not about running or being a Ginger. It's about it being FRIDAY and it's time to Laugh! 

It never fails that when you hang out with a group of your friends, someone mentions a funny YouTube video and then the next 30 minutes is spent in a blur of laughter while crowded around someones phone watching everyone's favorite videos. You know it's true! It happened to me last weekend at a birthday party. Happy Birthday Chad! 

My current favorite video is a true and hilariously detailed account of the right of passage all girls experience at least once, Girls Night Out! If you have ever tried to organize a GNO or been a part of the drama that is surely a part of every girl's night out,  you have to watch this video! If you are a guy who has ever wondered what girls are talking about when they are out, I'm pretty sure this is a 100% accurate account and you need to watch this video! 

Oh, this is NSFW by the way....  

1. Girls Night

2. The Dad's Side of the Story

It's a Father's rebuttal to the popular song Rude by Magic!
You know you have a hit when the lyrics "I'm going to punch your face"  and my personal favorite "I may be a Christian, but I'll go to prison" show up in a YouTube song...

3. Girl in a Country Song

Growing up in a small town that just so happens to be the home of the Largest Amateur Rodeo in the World this one hits close to home in a hilarious parody of the stereotype of girls in music videos! Specifically country songs. 

I think it is clever, has just the right amount of girl power, and you have to admit they did a good job of making fun of that stereotype. Plus, putting boys in girls clothing is always hilarious in my book! 

4. Oh My Dayum!

This one is a bit long, but you have to watch the original YouTube video of this guy reviewing Fat Guy's Burgers and Fries before you can truly appreciate the parody song at the end of this! 
Oh, also NSFW!

Question! What's Your Favorite YouTube Video Right Now?