Route 66 Marathon Medals
It's really hard to believe that Route 66 Marathon weekend has come and gone already. It went so fast and even though it's Tuesday night now, I'm still tired and sore and THAT'S how you know you had a good weekend! I probably took about 1 million pictures this weekend, most of which you'll get to see here, to help me remember this awesome race weekend. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I still can't feel my feet..

Last Friday Night 

Route 66 5K Medal 2013
The Hubbo and I heard that the Route 66 5k was taking place on the Saturday before the big race and this year would be the first year that all 5k finishers would get a medal. OMG! You all know that we'll pretty much do anything for a medal because we are ridiculously addicted to bling. Seriously, is there a 12-Step program for this? We may need it someday. 
On Friday night we had to go to the Expo to pick up our race packet. We weren't able to get there until about 6:45 but we picked up our stuff and checked out the expo. It wasn't very busy but there was a lot of cool stuff to check out. I was most interested in getting to meet the T-Rex Runner who had a booth at the expo promoting her new company. When we got there, this happened...

This is my sad face because TRex wasn't there!
Of course I failed to pay attention to her Expo schedule because I was entirely too lazy to read it, so she wasn't there when we showed up. 
::Insert Sad Music Here::
But I decided to tweet her this picture with "Oh no! No @thetrexrunner here! #WheresTrex" and she replied! A few tweets later and this happened....
Me aka RunGingerRun, Steven Yee aka The Prez, and Danielle aka T-Rex Runner
Yup! That is me, T-Rex runner and Steven Yee aka the Prez of Marathon Maniacs hanging outside of a local bar just after we all had a beer! Totally made my weekend! 

Saturday 5K and Mascot Dash

Excuse me, Red coat guy, can you move? I'm trying to take a picture for my blog!
Some people told us we were crazy for doing the 5K the day before we ran a Half and Full marathon, but we played it smart. We basically just used this as a warm up or shake out run and didn't even try to race. I think we finished it in just over 34 minutes. It was a good practice run actually because we've had such nice weather here in Tulsa I haven't even had to run in the bitter cold yet! 
The Mascot Dash took place after the 5K and was fun! It was short and sweet which was nice because it was so cold out there. I still can't feel my feet! We had about a dozen or so mascots lined up for the dash, a hot dog, a banana, a cowboy, T-Rex Runner, The ORU Eagle and more that I was too cold to remember. 
Oh #NBD just two Gingers and one is in a banana costume. Totally normal.
The space blanket sarong! Keeps you warm and fashionable during the Mascot Dash!

Sunday! The BIG day! 

On Sunday morning, 9,000 of my running buddies and I braved the frigid temperature to run in the Route 66 Marathon here in Tulsa. This was the coldest run I've been a part of which was horrible and awesome at the same time. The temp was in the low 20's with a wind chill in the mid teens. Cold! At least the sunrise was beautiful! I still can't feel my feet...

More awesome runner fashion in plastic bags!
About an hour before the race we met up with these crazy cats and hung out in Lesley's office which wasn't too far from the starting line. We bundled up in our super high fashion trash bags and ponchos and walked our way down to the freezing cold corral where we took this picture. The Hubbo and I both had a goal to get a PR in this race so we said goodbye to our buddies and found our spot next to a pace group. 
Route 66 Half Marathon Medal and Bib 2013
Since this was Half Marathon number 6, I was super serious about this PR business. I decided to start out with the 2:20 pace group knowing that at some point I was going to have to ditch them to finish under 2:18. And that is exactly what I did. At mile 6 I noticed that I kept holding myself back to make sure I was sticking with the 2:20 pacer, and then about a half mile later, I thought to myself that it was crazy I was holding myself back when I was half way done with the race. So I took off and finished the race in 2:16:56 with a 2 minute and 11 second PR! 

                 So what about the course? What was it like? Was it hilly?

The course did have a few hills, but still, nothing compared to the two I faced in San Fran last month. So to me, this course felt easier, but to a lot of people this was a pretty hilly course, so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. 
Also, the course had a few ice patches on it because of the cold temps! The race did a great job of marking the areas and even putting sand on it to help the runners avoid injury. I did like the fact that we had a shorter out-and-back on the river. Mentally it was easier to do 3 miles this year versus the 6 miles last year. 

Sunday was a day for PRs for the RunGingerRun house!
The Hubbo got a PR in the Full with a time of 4:27:58! He took over 20 minutes off his previous Full Marathon PR! Great job Hubbo! 

Here's the Hubbo, not wearing a lot of clothes on a super cold day just finishing a marathon!
My Garmin Time for the Route 66 Half
The Hubbo's Garmin Time for the Route 66 Full

Race Highlights

Steve and The Ginger
I never thought that when I started this blog that people would...
1. Read it.
2. Recognize me from it.
3. Want to take a picture with me.
But this weekend proved I was wrong and this happened!
About half a mile into the race a Twitter follower of mine tapped me on the shoulder and said hi and that he follows me on Twitter! Hi Tom!
That totally made my day. Then I had just crossed the finish line and Steve yelled out to me and wanted to take a pic with me so he could tell his wife he met someone "famous" today! LOL I don't feel famous but it was super fun to meet both of these guys and to take a pic with Steve. Thanks for the awesome pic! Totally made my day!

Race Complaints

I know that when you organize a race as big as this, not everything is going to go 100% perfect. I'm still very happy and satisfied with everything and will be doing this race again next year. There were a few things that just didn't work out perfectly though.
  • The race medal and ribbon have the wrong dates on them. The medal has Saturday's date not Sunday's date and the ribbon as 2012 instead of 2013. Weird.
  • The Tracking App didn't work for everyone. It worked OK for me, but some had trouble with it.
  • Some things like the website, tracking app, and others still said 2012 on it.
  • Probably the biggest problem was that some people had thought they had registered for either the half or full, traveled all the way to Tulsa only to find out their registrations were no where to be found. So sad and frustrating being as registration was already closed. Please keep your race registration confirmation emails so this won't happen to you!

One last picture for good measure. You can't have too many pics, right?

Race Bibs from the Route 66 2013 5k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon 2013
It's official. Race weekend is here! Get Excited! 

Well, maybe not too excited, don't hurt yourself or anything because you still have to function like the well-trained runner that you are. But still, this is kind of a big deal! 

For a lot of you and most of my running buddies, we've been training for this for 20 weeks! That's longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted to what's-his-face! 

But now, it's GO Time! According to the Tulsa World Article, this weekend it will be race day for me and 13,000 of my running buddies. (3000 in the full and 6000 in the half) 

Since this will be my third year to participate in the race on some level (relay, full, and the half) I thought I would dedicate this blog to giving you some info on why this is the BEST. RACE. EVER! 

But really, here are some tips and info to make your race day weekend fun and exciting, or at least more informed. 

The Expo

We all know the expo is important. You have to pick up your bib, you  need to shop, and take tons of pics of you holding up your bib next to a race sign. Obviously!

If you are running the 5K you have to pick up your race packet on Friday. There is no same day-packet pickup for the 5K.

According to the Route 66 Website, the Williams Route 66 Marathon Expo will hosts exhibitors featuring running gear and shoes, as well as sports and fitness related items. It will also feature a Holiday Market with vendors featuring gift and holiday related items. The Expo is the home of the Packet Pick-Up for all participants and volunteers. Held at the Cox Business Center the two-day Expo is free and open to the public. 

We have bought a few 13.1 and 26.2 Christmas Tree ornaments that will come in handy if we do a running inspired Christmas Tree this year and hang our medals all over it. We are still discussing it but we'll see! I mean, we need to use these things for something, right?

Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103

Friday November 22 - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday November 23 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Bonus Info! 
I also hear that Bart Yasso will be hanging around the expo from Noon - Two on Saturday. 

Annnnnnd the thing I'm probably the most excited about....they are having a bloggers forum again this year! OMG! Totally #FanGirling over the featured bloggers! The featured bloggers will be The T-Rex Runner, Mama Laughlin, Running with the Tiny Dangerous One, and more! The Bloggers forum will take place on Saturday from 4:00-5:00. I plan on being there in the audience rapid fire tweeting these folks like crazy! Just kidding! Or not...

Oklahoma Weather

So... let me break the news to you all. Oklahoma weather isn't exactly known for being predictable. 

::Womp Womp::     :(

In fact, we have the famous quote from Will Rogers that says: "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change."

<--- Here is what we are expecting as of today for race weekend.

Low of 25 degrees, Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. North wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Low of 30 degrees, A slight chance of snow before noon, then a chance of rain between noon and 3pm, then a chance of snow after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

My advice for you is to pack for the cold and precipitation but make sure you have some gear for less cold conditions too. You never know!

The 5K and Mascot Dash

Photo from route66marathon.com
On Saturday there will be a 5K and a Mascot Dash. It may not be the smartest idea we've ever had, but the Hubbo and I both signed up for the 5K which takes place oh... about 24 hours before the big race. No Big Deal! You may be asking yourself why? Well...because we saw that each 5K finisher gets a medal! The End. Done! Once we saw that there was a medal up for grabs, we were hooked. Again, I have some random and incurable need for race bling. There's no hope! Medals are for runners what cats are for crazy cat ladies! We just can't get enough! 

So what is the Mascot Dash? The Mascot Dash is an invitation only race (free to the public to watch) that is held at 9:30 Saturday where some local and not-so-local mascots come out in costume and race to see who wins! I saw a video of this from last year and it looked hilarious!  

Last year we had everyone from Fleet Feet Pete from Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, The T-Rex Runner (who lost her T-rex head during the race, oops!), and Hornsby from the Tulsa Drillers Baseball Team. Can't wait to see this! Should be fun! 

Maniac Corner

Are you a Marathon Maniac, Half Fanatic, or 50 Stater? 
You have to run this race, just to get the specialized medal! (see picture below) Well not this year because the registration is closed now but next year, you know? 

If you are a Maniac and/or Fanatic like me, you need to go by the Maniac Booth at the Expo and pick up this bracelet! It gives you special powers....or well, really just access to Maniac Corner. 

According to the Route 66 Website, Maniac Corner features the following free race day benefits for members of the Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics and 50-States Marathon Club.
  • Private VIP Tent and fenced in outdoor area with volunteers to make sure you have a great experience. The location of Maniac Corner is on the course, near the finish line. It is a great place to cheer for everyone as they finish.
  • Professional group photo before the start of the race, made available at no-charge to members.
  • Private Restrooms
  • Private Gear Check
  • Private supply of post-race food, Gatorade, water, soft drinks and lots of beer
  • Recognition of all three clubs prior to the start of the race

Photo from route66marathon.com

Center of the Universe Detour

Photo from route66marathon.com
If you are doing the Full marathon this weekend, you HAVE TO DO THE COU Detour!!!! You just have to! Plus you get a coin for doing it, everyone knows that runners love bling! Duh!

What is the Center of the Universe Detour? Well this year it is a detour at the end of the marathon and before you cross the finish line you take a .3 mile jaunt over to run to what Tulsans call the Center of the Universe. It is an acoustic phenomenon that wasn't put there on purpose.  Once you go up the brick path to the COU you stand on a brick circle that is located directly over the tracks.  When standing on this spot you can make any sound that you like and it will echo in your ears.  What is so amazing is that no one outside the circle can hear it, no one outside the circle sounds like they are echoing to you in the circle and there are no surfaces near enough to the circle to produce an echo.

Last year, when I ran the Full at the Route 66 I remember seeing a banner that said something like 26.5 the shortest Ultra Ever! 
Technically anything over 26.2 is an Ultra so it was my first full and first ultra!

There's an App for That!

The Route 66 Marathon makes it easy for your friends and family to follow your progress during the race even if they can't come to Tulsa or don't want to hang out in the cold. There's an App for that! My parents and friends used it last year and thought it was pretty swell! 

Also, it is important to note that the tracking part of the App won't be "live" until late Saturday night after all bibs have been assigned at the Expo. Just an FYI on that!

Click Here for the Apple Mobile App
Click Here for the Android Mobile App

I hope all the info helped and that you all have a great race! See you on the course!

With the end of the year approaching fast, you may be starting to think about your goals for next year. I'm sure at least a few people will plan to start a new fitness routine on January 1. Hopefully some of those people will plan to take up running next year as well! If you are one of those people, here are my top 7 running tips for beginners. 
1. Don't start to run in extreme temps. 
Extremely hot or extremely cold weather is difficult for even the most seasoned runners to deal with. If you are trying to stay motivated to reach your goal, extreme temps won't help. In fact, you'll probably hate it, hate yourself, and hate me for not stopping you. Trust me, I've been running a while and I still HATE running in the summers here in Oklahoma. So hot, so humid, so awful. If you plan to start running on January 1, maybe start at an indoor track or on the treadmill. Or, you know, just pack up and move to a part of the country where the weather is nice year round. I'm sure that's an option.  

2. Proper Running Gear is a must! 
You don't have to go out and drop tons of cash on all the latest technical gadgets, but make sure you have a good pair of shoes and at least one outfit made from tech material. NO COTTON! My running coaches always say, Cotton is Rotten! So avoid it for your running attire. 
It gets wet, it doesn't dry quickly, and it can rub you the wrong way and cause chaffing. No Thanks!

Bert and Ernie. BFFFL
3. Get a buddy. 
Every fitness and health blog will say that if you have an accountability partner you are less likely to quit before you reach your goals. Having a running buddy is good because it gives you someone to talk to help the miles go by. It will also be harder to back out of running plans if you know someone is getting up at 5:00 am to meet you. Nobody likes a grumpy friend!

4. Plan ahead. 
Okay, I know I said that I'm not exactly the best at planning ahead, but there are a few things you'll need to consider when you want to start running. Should you take water with you?  Where should you meet up with your running buddy? How far are you going to run that day? How will you know when to take a walk break or when you've reached your goal distance? Do you need to bring sunglasses for a sunny run or a hat for a rainy run? Knowing these things can make for a better start for your running goals.

5. Use Free or Cheap Technology To Help You.
RunKeeper and MapMyRun are aps you can use on your smart phone that will help you know how far you've gone and what your pace is. There are also several C25K (Couch to 5K) aps out there that can help train and tell you when to run intervals as well.

Also, DailyMile is a fun running community to join, kind of like Facebook for runners. Their ap for smart phones is called Electric Miles, and you can friend other runners and track your distance, pace, and how you felt over time. Your profile will even tell you cool things like how many donuts you've burned off, how many lbs of fat, how many TVs you've powered and how many trips around the world you've ran. I'm currently at 0.02

6. Join the Club. 
Legit, I wouldn't be as focused in my training if I was doing it alone or just with the Hubbo. He's great, but  know I can talk him out of a training run if I really want to. 
We joined a local running store's club that holds training programs for all kinds of distances. Strolling Moms, Couch to 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon groups are all organized by them and it takes a lot of the guess work out of it and makes it easier to train for my goal race. Plus, I've been able to meet a lot of really cool people that I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise. 

7. Sign Up
Stephen Covey said "Begin with the end in mind."
Even though his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, may not have been written with running in mind, it applies here as well. 
If your goal is to run a 5K, then sign up for a 5K that is going to happen a few months after you start training. This will help you keep your goal in mind and stay focused on what you need to accomplish. It also puts the pressure on you to not slack off during your training because you can't cram for a 5K like you can cram for a test at the last minute.  

Hope these helped! Happy Running!

If you have been on Facebook in the last 48 hours you've seen a TON of your friends post a status where they list anywhere from 3-12 things you might not have known about them. And if you like the status they will give you a number and expect you do to the same thing. It's kind of fun and pretty trendy right now. I did it on my personal FB account, but decided to do a running inspired post and put it here to share with you, my running buddies.

P.S. I just picked the number 10 because it sounded like a good idea at the time.
  1. I dislike weekday training runs, but enjoy my Saturday long training runs and have a LOVE/Hate relationship with races. See #2.
  2. I get super nervous right before a race to the point where I start shaking and feel like I'm going to vomit or wet myself. It isn't pretty. 5k-50k, doesn't matter the distance, it happens every time. But I love doing races and getting medals.
  3. I love having my running buddies with me all the time. I could never run a race alone. I'm pretty sure, I. would. die.
  4. I secretly have a dream of qualifying for Boston but am too scared to really try and train for it. (This is no longer a secret, huh?)
  5. I have to force myself not to sing out loud when I'm listening to my iPod and running with my group. I'm not sure they would appreciate the audio attack on their ears that early on a Saturday morning. 
  6. I ran track in High School but hated long distance running back then. Now, I dread going to track night! Kinda funny how that one worked out.    
  7. I've wanted a running skirt for a while but I don't feel "girly" enough to rock one. #tomboy4life
  8. I want to run a race in every State. So far I've ran in 4. So I only have little farther to go.
  9. I don't stretch enough or take ice baths after long runs. But I know I should.
  10. I'm not so worried about my time during races that I won't stop and take a picture or 5 along the way. It's more about the adventure than the PR. 


Today was a good day at the RunGingerRun house. Both of these running items showed up in the mail and absolutely zero bills showed up making it even better! Now, if only every day could be more fun surprises in the mail and less money-sucking and depressing junk mail, the world would be a happier place! Or not, I don't know.

These are all the fun and super cool things that showed up today in my StrideBox. Keep reading below and I'll talk about them individually. But first, let me remind you what Stridebox is by clicking here. For $15 a month, you can't beat the cool things that show up in your box. 

First, let's talk about this sticker. One of the cool things that SB does is they send a small and unique sticker in the box every month. I've been keeping most of mine and when my collection is impressive, I'll post a picture of them on the blog or twitter or something. I don't know why, but it seems like the thing a Ginger would do so...yeah I'm doing that.


Good timing SB! I was just saying tonight that my headlamp seems pretty dim and may need new batteries and viola! A new blinky light shows up! I love it. It is kind of like a ring so I can wear it on my finger or it has a clasp and I can attached it to my belt or hat. It has two blink settings. It blinks or it does a cool fade between the three colors. Red. Green. Blue. 

Side Note - this light is the extra gadget that SB sometimes sends in the boxes. It doesn't have a brand name and I don't know what the retail value is, but I'm glad I got it! They sometimes send stuff like that which adds to the surprise of the box.

Smarty Pants - Gummy Vitamins for Adults
Retail: $29.95/Bottle

They sent two packets of these and the Hubbo and I went ahead and opened one up. The Hubbo said they taste like fruit loops. They are a soft gummy/jelly texture which is easier to swallow than huge horse pills. I'll admit, I'm not the best at taking my vitamins but these are kind of like candy and I like candy so I could see myself taking these more often than a regular pill. Reminds me of being a kid and taking my Flintstone vitamins! Do they make those anymore? Were those even healthy? I guess I turned out fine so...

Joshua Tree - Healing Salve
Retail: $5.75/15 ml

Joshua Tree - Natural Lip Balm
Retail: $4.50/each

The Healing Salve is an organic, unscented, skin healer that can be used after a run to treat chafing, dry and cracked skin, and small cuts and scrapes. The Hubbo took a spill about a week ago during a lunch time run and scraped up his knee kind of bad. I made him put this stuff on it tonight and here's what we said. "It doesn't smell or feel medicine-like, it absorbed pretty quick." So there you have it folks!

The Natural Lip Balm is meant to prevent dry lips and is petroleum free. It is made from a base that is a blend of cocoa butter and beeswax. 
I like the shape of this tube. It is sort of like a flat oval shape instead of a perfectly round shape. It seems like it would sit better in your running belt or pocket a little better and be less bulgy weird shape looking. The texture is good. Both the Hubbo and I tried it tonight. It's a pumpkin pie scent and the Hubbo said it tastes like cinnamon. I can't taste it but it went on smooth. 

Kay's Naturals - Snack Or Cereal
Retail: $10.14/6 packages

This a gluten free cereal/snack that is packed with 12g of plant based protein per serving. I'm kind of excited about this being as we have been trying to eat a more plant-based diet lately. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to take it to work with me tomorrow for my mid-morning snack. 

Epic Bar - Turkey, Almond, Cranberry
Retail: $8.50/3 Bars

I'm too scared to eat this one. I'll make the Hubbo eat it later and tell me what he thinks. Here's the description. 14g of protein in a gluten free, paleo friendly, and 100% natural bar that derives its protein from grass-fed, nutrient rich, lean turkey. 
Hmmm. Interesting. 

What's your favorite running product? 

This weekend, on a whim, the Hubbo and some of our running buddies decided to run a local half marathon at the last minute. We entered the Jenks Half Marathon on Tuesday and ran it on Saturday. I took a lot of pictures before, during, and after this race so... there's that. You have been warned. 

Here is the traditional pre-race Running Dummy I like to do so I don't forget anything on race day. It's fun to create a little running dummy person on your floor the night before the race, but it also helps calm my nerves that I'll forget something and be frantically searching for it the morning of the race. 

Hubbo, Me, Amber, and Mike
Here is our typical, pre-race ginger pic! 

Ginger Twins with Back Bibs.
The Ginger Twins decided to wear our super fun back bibs for this race. We got a lot of comments and kudos on these things which makes the race more fun for me! A few people kept saying how they want to stay right behind me for the race so they can read my bib and finish the race. Not sure if that is creepy or flattering, but hey...#redhairdontcare. 

Can you see the airplanes behind me?
So onto the race details. The girls all decided to start together while the boys had a super fast goal of finishing this thing in under 2 hours! Crazy boys!

I went into this race with 3 goals.
1. Finish in under 3 hours because that's how long the course was open.
2. Have fun and take pics!
3. Get another  medal. 

Mission accomplished! Now, where's my gold star???

The course was kind of flat with several rolling hills. Definitely nothing compared to the half I just did in San Francisco but I wouldn't call this one totally flat either. The course was really pretty and reminded me of the Joplin half I did a couple summers ago. The weather was pretty great too. Started out cool and got just a little warm at the finish. 

The first 6 miles of this race definitely were not the best for all of us girls. We all seemed a little sluggish and my belt was giving me fits. I couldn't find a comfortable way to wear it. At one point, I even took it off and tried to just carry it, but decided that was dumb and I'd just deal with it bouncing around like a heavy bouncy ball on my hip. 

Getting comfortable and feeling sluggish weren't the only problem we encountered during this race. We got to a water stop early in the race and we were lucky enough to have gotten some of the last cups of water! They ran out of water! How does a half marathon that has been going on for 34 years run out of water??? I'll never know. This is the second race in a month that I've participated in and they ran out of water. Not cool race directors, not cool! It's really not cool because this particular water stop was a repeated one. Meaning we hit it twice on the course. So it was out when we went by the first time but was really out when we came back by the second time. 

Luckily somewhere around mile 6-7 I started to hit my stride. I had water, I finally decided I could ignore  my super bouncy belt and my legs just all of a sudden felt so much better! So weird and random, I know! 

Between mile 9 and 10 we ran by a small airport in Jenks. That's where this picture from above was taken. I yelled out to the planes and offered them a dollar if they would pick me up and fly me closer to the finish but no one accepted. Weird. 

Somewhere after mile 9, Amber hit a good rhythm and kept going while I hung back with Carmen. Carmen decided she wasn't having a great run and that I should go ahead. Somewhere close to mile 10, I took off and eventually caught up with Amber just before the finish line. 

So here I am being a hyper little Ginger and jumping across the finish line. I didn't realize it but my running buddy Mike took this pic of me finishing. LOVE THIS PHOTO! It makes me laugh every time I see it. Thanks for the photo Mike! I love that this race ended on the school track. There were a lot of people on the field cheering for us and it just felt like even for a small race that there was a lot of energy there at the finish. Which is probably why I decided to jump across the finish line like a weirdo. Right after I did it though, I was worried that maybe my timing chip wouldn't be close enough to register my time but luckily it did. I guess white girls can't jump that high. 

So this happened. Somewhere between miles 3 and 4, the race photographer, Dr. Chris Barnes, snapped this photo. I vaguely remember waving at the camera as I ran by. I was really surprised yesterday when my Facebook page started blowing up and Oklahoma Sports and Fitness used this picture to post on their Facebook page that the race results were ready. They tagged me in their post and then a lot of my running buddies saw me and tagged me as well. 

This is now my profile pic for almost all of my social media accounts.

Mike, Amber, Hubbo, Me, Carmen
Here's the typical post-race photo with our medals!

Here's a close up of the medal. Not the fanciest thing I've ever brought home, but for a cheap, local race that benefits a high school XC team, I'm ok with it. 

Here's the Hubbo drinking a beer and celebrating reaching his goal of finishing in under 2 hours! He beat his half marathon PR by almost 17 minutes! So proud of you Hubbo!

Time: 1:58:27

Overall, I loved this race. My attitude was just different this time around. I didn't care about time and I didn't even wear my Garmin. I cared more about hanging out with my running buddies and finishing the race with good memories and that made a huge difference. I'd definitely do this race again next year since it's local. 

Race Stats:
135th out of 189 Females
19th out of 28 in my Age Group
362 Total Half Marathon Runners
Time : 2:31:15

What has been your favorite race? What made it stand out as a good one to you? 

The Hubbo and I aren't exactly the best at planning out things in advance. We wait until almost the last minute to plan things like oh, vacations, meals, and even birthday gifts. We've been known to buy birthday gifts on the way to the person's birthday party and wrap it in the car before we get there. Oops! Now you all know my procrastination secret when it comes to the important things in life, like gifts. 

Races are no different. Some runners like to have their races scheduled months in advance. Not the Ginger Kids! In fact, you could say we are more fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of planners when it comes to these things. A perfect example of this is the Jenks Half Marathon that we just signed up for. We signed upon Monday and the race is this Saturday. No big deal right? We don't think so. We even managed to recruit a couple of our running buddies to join us for this one.

Plan a race in advance? Whatevzz..
The Jenks Half Marathon is a tiny and local race so it's not like it would take a lot of planning on our part to make this happen. But, here's how it all went down. 
My running club is now officially in taper-mode (kind of the opposite of beast mode) for the upcoming Route 66 Marathon. So instead of a typical long run this Saturday, they have partnered with a local bar and are putting on a 4 mile race called the McNellie's Pub Run. We did this race last year and the Hubbo had a lot of fun chugging pints of Guinness as he ran. Me? Not. So. Much. I didn't even do the Guinnes challenge but it was hot that day and I had bad race. 

A friend of ours is also celebrating his birth that day (Happy Birthday Jake!) and the Pub Run is in the afternoon. Weird. So we didn't think we'd have enough time to do the race and make it to the b-day party on top of the fact that we already know that the Hubbo and I will probably have to squeeze some birthday present shopping before the party anyways soo...we decided not to do it. 

So how did we decide to go from a 4 mile pub run to a half marathon? Keep reading running buddies...

A Facebook friend of mine and running coach posted that she was doing the Jenks Half instead so we decided to look into it. Turns out, you get a long sleeve tech shirt and a medal for $35! Not a bad deal. The Pub Run was around that same price and no medal and I don't even like Guinness! We all know I'm a sucker for medals. Case closed.

So in my research about the Jenk's Half I finally found this picture of the course. Which is way better than the hand drawn picture below that I had originally found. 
(Yes, we still signed up knowing that the only course map at the time was hand drawn and has absolutely zero water stops labeled).

Something about this picture just makes me think that all 200 of the Half Marathoners and 5K runners may never make it back to the finish line or see their friends and family again! ::Insert Banjo Music Here from Deliverance::

Love you all, it's been great!
Just kidding...

But really, we know this race is going to be small so we are setting our expectations accordingly. I just hope they don't run out of water like the Tulsa Run did a few weeks ago.

One of the websites said that they usually have about 200 runners for the 5K and the Half. Thank goodness I recruited my running buddies to go with me! We just increased their turnout by 2.5%! Or not, I don't know. 

                             Other things to know about this race include:
  • We finish on the Jenks High School Track so we'll have a good "photo finish" opportunity. I'm also a sucker for pictures. Just ask my iPhone and the 3,500 pics that I have on there taking up all my memory. (Note to self, Get a new iPhone)
  • The race benefits the Jenks High School Cross Country Team. Just supporting future Half and Full Marathoners folks!
  • I've heard the course isn't too bad. Mostly flat with some rolling hills that go right by a small airport! Maybe I can ride a plane while I'm there?

Have you ever signed up for a Half or Full Marathon the same week of the race? Or are we the only weirdos who do that?

October has been a busy month for races at the RunGingerRun house. The Hubbo and I ran the Purple Stride 5K, I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco, and last weekend my Running Buddies and I ran the Tulsa Run 15K. 

I did this race last year and this year my goal was to beat my time and get a 15K PR. I did both of those this race and I couldn't be happier! 

I'm going to go ahead and get my one and only complaint about this race over with so the rest of this blog can be fun. Last year the race had some issues. The expo was so tiny and crowded that it took over an hour for packet pickup. They also ordered the most freakishly small shirts so no one had a shirt that actually fit them. This year, they learned their lesson. The Expo was in a much larger and easier to maneuver room. It almost felt empty but that's not my complaint. Since the shirt issue was so crazy and I still can't really fit into my shirt even though I've lost 21lbs, I decided to play it safe and order up a size. Well I guess Tulsa Run was also afraid of the same problem so they gave everyone MEN'S shirts. So I don't have a ladies size, I don't have a unisex size, I have a freaking MEN'S LARGE shirt that is wayyyyy too big. Great. I have one that is too small and one that is too big. Maybe next year will be the charm and I'll get it right! To be continued....

Typical before race corral picture!
Before the race, some of my running buddies and I made arrangements to meet up under the Domino's sign downtown. That's a perfect way to start a race right? Under a pizza place? Seems legit. 

The course was exactly the same this year as it was last year. Who needs change? Not the Tulsa Run! We started out in downtown Tulsa and run out to riverside and back. The majority of the course is pretty flat but the last mile is up a steady incline which is not very fun.

I'm surprised to say that I got a PR because my body was not feeling it for this race. I looked down at my Garmin and we were only 1.2 miles into the race and I had already hit the wall. Cool. My calf, hip, and hamstring were all hurting and I was starting to develop a fun little side-stitch that stuck around until mile 7. 
I know, I know. I said no more complaining. I said my only complaint was about the race, not my body so...

I was lucky to have my running buddy, Deb, stay with me until about mile 7 or so and I was starting to slow way down. At mile 8 someone was handing out free beer so I figured it had helped me in the Route 66 Marathon last year why not give it a try since I wasn't feeling it for this race? Bad idea! It burned the entire last mile like I had just had a shot of tequila. Gross. Lesson learned. No more beer during races. 

Oh, one more thing about the course. I have no idea why, but they only had one port-a-potty on the course. Not like one spot with multiple port-a-potties in a row, but one spot with one port-a-potty. There were close to 5,000 runners! What were you thinking Tulsa Run? Glad I didn't have to stop and wait in line because my time would have not even been close to a PR.

After the race, there is an area for families and runners to hang out. It is almost kind of like an outdoor expo. Kinda. There are a few vendors where you can buy things like Tulsa Run race gear, get your free beer, or even buy pizza from a local restaurant. We all decided even though it was chilly out to grab our post-race cold beer and hang out downtown for a few minutes. Then we got cold and hungry and went to the Old School Bagel Cafe for a post-race meal and it was perfect! We even got to talk to one of the owners for a little bit and heard they made national news recently for a Pay It Forward ordeal that lasted all day long. Virtual High-Five for you Tulsa! You guys rock! 
If you are in Tulsa for a run or a race or whatever, you have to go to this place to refuel. It was perfect!

Clearly, we take post-race hydration very seriously. But no one takes it more seriously than my running buddy Carmen! If you look closely you can see that one of us has 2 adult beverages + 2 bottles of water! No one is going thirsty on with this group! :) 

Tulsa Run Race Dummy!
Here's my race dummy. I managed to remember everything this time, including my back bib, which was a hit at the race. One woman even said she was going to stay right behind me the whole time so she could read the bib and finish the race. If you can't read it, it says "Left Foot, Right Foot, Repeat".  I don't know if she really followed me the whole time, but it felt cool to motivate someone I didn't even know during a run. 

My Race Stats:
Time: 1:37:41
Overall Place: 2738 out of 4331
Age Group: 240 out of 431

Time: 1:23:37 (Also got a 15K PR!)
Overall Place: 1270 out of 4331
Age Group: 133 out of 267

What is your favorite post-race meal to refuel?