PictureBasic corral selfie
On Saturday the Hubbo and I completed our 4th Tulsa Run. This race has been a Tulsa tradition or 38 years now. But it wasn't always my favorite. If you recall, last year I ran this race and then wrote this open and honest recap about my experience. If you didn't read it, I'll summarize it for you.
Not pretty.
Fast forward to this Spring when a mystery package showed up at my house. It was from the Race Director (RD) who saw my review on Bibrave.com and wanted correct an issue I had with my shirt, so he sent me a new one. I was immediately impressed and took him up on his offer to meet up and discuss the race. 

After that meeting, I knew I had to give the Tulsa Run another chance. You can read more details about our meeting here.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Tulsa Run thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Disclaimer #2: I had already decided to give the Tulsa Run another chance based on my conversation with the RD before Bibrave had officially partnered with the Tulsa Run and I received an entry into the race. 

If you are one of those people who just likes a quick rundown of a race recap here you go! If not, keep reading below for pics and a full recap.

  • Pre-race communication = Great, lots of emails
  • Packet Pickup/Expo = Super Easy and Quick
  • Medal = Totally awesome
  • Bib = Super Cute
  • Water Stops = Plenty of stops, plenty volunteers, plenty of water!
  • Post-Race Food = Fun pre-made snack box! 
  • Shirt = One of the best ones I've received yet
  • Finish line = No problems! 

The Medal

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I ALWAYS start my recap of the races with the medal because it's my favorite part of the race. 
I am loving the medal this year for a few reasons. 
1. It's the first medal that I have that is a sun catcher
2. It also glows in the dark!
3. It's bigger than the other Tulsa Run Medals
4. The race landed on Halloween so it's Halloween themed and I LOVE Halloween!

The Course

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The course this year was very similar to last year's course. Since it didn't change much I knew what to expect. Hills, rolling Tulsa, hills.
The Hubbo and I have really slacked off on our training so we knew this would be a challenge. But we went in with a plan to do a run/walk combo for the race including walking most of the hills and it wasn't too bad. I think knowing what to expect really helped make this course not feel as difficult this year. Last year it was sort of a shock to the system after running a relatively flat course the first two years.

The Shirt

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The Tulsa Run shirt curse has been lifted!!!!!!
For the first three years I ran this race there was something wrong with my shirt each time. Which is partly what prompted the RD to send me a new on this Spring. But this time I picked up this super awesome shirt and it is perfect! No more shirt curse! 

The bib is really cute too!

Water Stops/Post-Race Food

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Last year there were issues with the water stops, water at the finish line, and the post-race snacks.
I'm very happy to report that was not the case this year.
We had plenty of water stops and for the first time since I've started running this year, they had electrolytes on the course. Hello Gatorade! 
Last year one water stop and the finish line ran out of water. This year the RD promised that would not happen again and the Tulsa Run team did not disappoint! 

When we crossed the finish line a volunteer handed me a nice cold bottle of water, each water stop was fully stocked and ready to go, and at the finish line I was handed a pre-packed box of snacks and on my way to meet up with my friends. It was so nice and easy. I really hope they keep the snack box idea again next year. 

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What's in the box?!?

Overall Experience

PictureSarah, Heath, Laura, and Cassie!
Even though the Hubbo and I were under trained and I got my slowest 15k time (we did it to ourselves) I still had a great time at the Tulsa Run. The weather was great, the costumes were awesome, and everything that went wrong last year was vastly improved this year. I even got to meet up with some fellow BibRavePros before the race and we briefly chatted with the RD! 





Question! Have you ran a 15k before? Have you ever raced in a costume?

 
 
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My 7th marathon is less than two weeks away and I'm trying to mentally prepare for it.
I survived my last long run of almost 20 miles this weekend but my training this season has been less than stellar. I'm pretty sure won't be setting any PRs anytime soon. But I willing signed up for this race and I'm going to give it a shot.

Why?

Because I like medals.

I collect them. It's not just a collection. It's something I can say that I earned as well. Every step of the way. I know some runners don't care much about medals and we all have different reasons why we sign up for a race, but this is mine. 

When I'm picking a half or full marathon, I go through these questions in this order:
1. Does it have a medal? If yes, move on to question two. If the answer is no to this question, there is no need to move forward to any other questions. 
2. What does it look like? If I think it's neat, cool, unique, etc. Move on to next question.
3. Travel, Lodging, Cost. If it's affordable, move on to next question. 
4. Does it fit in my training cycle? If the race in Oct/Nov or late March/early April, next question.
5. Have I already raced in this state? If no, then its a definite possibility!

Sometime last year there were rumors swirling in my running community that the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas was going to have Dorothy as the main character for their medal this year.

Quick back story - In the past, the half medal has been the Wicked Witch and the Full marathon medal has been rotating the other characters (Tin Man, Scare Crow and last year it was the Cowardly Lion). 

Another quick story - I freaking love the Wizard of Oz! I've dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween 2 or 3 times, I've watched the movie countless times, and I've seen the musical Wicked 3 times! 

Last year, the Hubbo and I and some of our running buddies drove up to Kansas and ran the half marathon. So now I have the Wicked Witch medal and when it was confirmed that the Full Marathon Medal would be Dorothy and I knew I had to sign up. And I did.

It only makes sense, right? If I'm not going to do this race again, this is a perfect set. 
Wicked Witch + Dorothy
They are an iconic pair like, Romeo and Juliet, Popeye and Olive Oil, or Bonnie and Clyde! 
You just can't have one without the other. You just can't. My brain can't comprehend it any other way.

I don't plan to do another full marathon anytime soon. So I won't be collecting the other characters. Sorry Scare Crow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man! Who knows if they will be doing the same thing over the next few years.

I don't plan on running any marathons for a while because this is me lately...
And that is how I ended up signing up for another marathon when I had no intentions of training for a full marathon two training cycles in a row. 

I'm just here for the medal.

Question! Have you ever signed up for a race just for the medal?

 
 
Picture2014 Route 66 Marathon Medal
Before we get too deep into my Route 66 Marathon recap, I won't keep you waiting to see if I reached my goal of a PR and a 4:45 marathon. 

Nope! It didn't happen and that's ok. 

I will say that while I'm a little bummed I didn't get a PR, I know that sometimes you win some and you lose some. This was just not my day and that's how it worked out this time. It just means that there will be another time and another race worthy of a PR! 

I don't regret sharing with my blog buddies what my goal was, albeit an ambitious one. For me, sharing my goal with you all made it real and it made it a solidified plan in my mind and it made it feel doable. I received so much love and encouragement on social medial from all  my fellow BibRave buddies and everyone else before and after the race and that was totally amazing and worth every painful step! My recap below will bring you on the adventure of marathon #5. 

The Bling

PictureRoute 66 2014 Medals
I ALWAYS start with the bling because it's my favorite part of any race and since this is my hometown race, I was able to collect a lot of it this weekend.  Between the Hubbo and I, we bought home 8 pieces of bling and 10 shirts! 

Starting on the top row on the left is my 5K medal. These are a definite improvement from last yeas's 5k medal. It's about the size of my palm! 
The next medal on the top is my Marathon Maniacs medal for finishing the full. This is another cool feature of this race. If you are a Half Fanatic, Marathon Maniac, or 50 State runner, and if you register in time, you can get a special medal that shows your club affiliation! The leaves on the outside of medal actually spin which is a cool feature of this large medal! 

The smaller coin on the bottom row is my volunteer coin for helping out at the Expo on Friday. I took a shift of handing out bibs and a shift of handing out shirts and had a blast meeting most of the runners! 

The red and blue coin in this picture is my coin for completing the Center of The Universe Detour. Two years ago when I ran this marathon for the first time the CoU detour was around mile 17, but this time it was after mile 25 and I love that they moved it! 


The Center of The Universe Detour

PicturePhoto Cred: Route66Marathon.com
One of the little extra things that makes this race special is the optional detour that runners can take around mile 25.5. If you want to, you can elect to run up to the Center of The Universe which is famously located here in Tulsa and if you do, you get an extra coin and you get the bragging rights of running the World's Shortest Ultra, a 26.5 mile  race! 

The CoU is an architectural anomaly that is a cement circle and if you stand in the middle of it and talk normal, your voice will echo all around you, but those outside the circle can't hear the echos! I've done it before and it's kinda crazy! 

Technically, I've ran more ultra marathons than I've ran regular marathons since 3 of my marathons have been over 26.2 miles. According to some runner's opinion, an ultra is typically a minimum of 50K and up and I've only ran one of those. 

The Course

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It's no secret that this course isn't flat. Most people will describe it as challenging but not impossible. It definitely has a lot of rolling hills because that is how most of Tulsa is built. It is a course you can PR on and BQ but you have to work for it. You have to train for some rolling hills if you are going to do this race. 
The course also shows off some of best parts of Tulsa including Cherry Street, Brookside, Midtown, TU, and Downtown Tulsa all in one race. It's definitely a good representation of our city. 

The Expo

PictureBart Yasso at Route 66 2014
This expo is one of my favorite expos of any race I've been to. I've been to OKC, Garmin, Little Rock, and a few others and this one is still my favorite. I even volunteered at the Expo on Friday handing out bibs and then shirts. 
This expo is in a space that is big enough to roam around and it's not crowded at all. There are also plenty of vendors there from races, to Addaday, to KINDBars, to many others. 
They also have extras that make this race special, like Bart Yasso speaking at the Expo, a Blogger's Panel which yours truly got to be a part of this year, and they even collected old running shoes to donate this year. 

My Experience

PictureThe Hubbo and I in our matching Maniac Shirts!
I knew when the Hubbo and I completed the 5k on Saturday that the marathon was going to be a little hotter and harder than I would like. I think I say this in EVERY SINGLE BLOG post, but I'm not a hot weather runner. I'll take 30 degrees over 60 degrees any day! Especially a race day. On Sunday before we even got to the starting line it was 58* and 93% humidity. Not good for this Ginger. Some people thrive in this type of weather and that's good. Everyone has a different ideal race temps. But from what I heard from my running buddies, it was a tough day for everyone. 

Looking back, I really should have realigned my race goals and started with the 5:00 hour pacer, but I decided to go with my original plan of going with the 4:45 pacer and shoot for the best I could do.
I managed to hang with that pace for 10 miles, but around mile 4, I was completely drenched in sweat and knew I wouldn't be able to hang for another 22.5 miles at that pace. 

Around mile 10 at a water stop my running buddy Tara and I left the pacer and our other friends Roy and Paul and decided to slow it down. That was good for a while then we started doing run walk intervals. At mile 20 Tara was ready to run it in so we parted ways. Around mile 21 I started getting cramps in my foot and my right quad. They would literally stop me in my tracks and I'd have to sit down on the curb to stretch them out before I could keep walking.  It was not cute. 
I was hunched over on a curb stretching and a fellow maniac came upon me and asked if I was alright, I let him know I was fine just battling some fun cramps. He told me he couldn't tell if I was stretching or curled up in a ball crying on the side of the road. Looking back, it must have totally looked like I was curled up in an upright fetal position when he came up on me. Also, not cute! 

I managed to limp my way through miles 21-23 and somewhere after that I ran into my running buddy Amber. We had lost each other around mile 4. I have never been so happy to see someone I knew in a race! I just needed someone to help me take my mind off the pain.
Not only was I dealing with the cramps but my feet hurt like hell! I'd stop to walk because I was hot or cramping and all the blood would drain down in my feet until it was too painful to walk. The only thing that helped that feeling go away was to run, but every time I ran, I'd get a cramp. It was a vicious cycle. My feet even got numb and tingly at one point. Again, not cute! 
We managed to run/walk our way to the finish line.
Despite all the heat, humidity, hills, cramping, walking, and stopping to stretch I managed to run my 2nd fastest marathon in 5:43:20. 

More Pics from Route 66

PictureRunning Buddies Tara and Tom!
My running buddy and fellow Okie, Tom, took this photo around mile 14ish. Look at how wet my hair is with sweat and how red my face is! That should tell you that it was a warm one for me! 

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Roy, Paul, Tara and I in the corral and ready to go! 
I saw so many people over dressed for this race. So many turtle necks on under singlets, so many long tights and running jackets and gloves. My running club subscribes to the saying "dress like it is 20* warmer than what the temperature says."
So if the temp is 57* outside, dress like it is 77* outside. I wouldn't be wearing a running jacket, and gloves when it's almost 80*! 

Questions! Have you ever gone for a PR and Missed it? 
Does your hometown race have any fun "extras" like the Route 66 Detour?

 
 
In January I wrote a blog about my goals for 2014. Now that we are almost done with June, I thought it was time to check in on my goals and see how I'm doing so far. You know, for accountability and stuff. 

Goal #1 

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Run a race in a State we haven't raced in before.

Boom! Done!
We crushed this goal already by running the Mustang 50th Half Marathon in Nevada and the Garmin Half Marathon in Kansas

We'll also be able to cross California off the list for The Hubbo when we run the Half at the Ventura Marathon in September! If you want to join me or meet up at this race, you can use the discount code: BibChat10 to save $10 on your race registration! Let me know if you'll be there!

Goal #2

PictureMedals as of January 2014
Earn more medals in 2014 than 2013.
Almost Done!
In 2013 we ended up with 9 medals total. So far in 2014 we've earned 7 medals and have several more races on the books! 

If all goes according to plan, we'll pick up the following medals for the rest of 2014:
  • Firecracker 5K
  • Fleet Feet Quarter Marathon (Maybe)
  • Tulsa Run 15K
  • Ventura Half Marathon
  • Jenks Half Marathon
  • Route 66 5K
  • Route 66 Full Marathon

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Medals as of June 2014

Goal #3

PictureGoal #3B. I still need to wear this shirt!
Complete a Marathon in under 5 Hours for a new Marathon PR.

This is the goal I am most worried about. I haven't ran a full marathon since March 2013. Also, I have never ran a marathon pain free. I'm interested to see if I can make it through this training session pain free and see how good/bad I'll do when I have a fair shot at a full marathon. My previous full marathon PR is 5:16. My plan is to run the full at Route 66 here in Tulsa in November. My realistic goal is 4:50-4:59. My ideal goal would be 4:45 - 4:50. We'll have to see how my body holds up. I've been doing things a lot differently this year which includes more cross training and trying to eat better. 
Side Note - At the Route 66 Full, I'll also be doing the Center of The Universe Detour which adds .3 miles which makes it a 26.5 mile race! 

Race Announcement! 

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You guys! I'm so excited to officially announce this on my blog! We are running the Honolulu Marathon on December 14th! 
This will be my second full marathon for 2014 but I'm not going into this one with any goals other than to have fun, enjoy the view, and cross the finish line. I'm not a hot weather runner and suspect this one will be hot and humid. 
The Hubbo and I opted out of a summer vacation this year to run the Honolulu Marathon and turn it into a Winter Racecation. 
Have you ever ran this marathon? Or traveled to Hawaii? Any advice for me? 
If you want to meet up at this race let me know! I also have a Honolulu Marathon discount code to help you save some cash. Be sure to check out my Discount Page on my blog for race discounts and product discounts.
 Use Code: BibRave15 to save 15% off a race entry fee for the Honolulu Marathon.

Question! How are your 2014 Goals Coming Along?

 
 
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Last weekend The Hubbo and I hit the road and traveled about an hour north to run a small race in my hometown, Pawhuska (Paw-husk-ah) Oklahoma. I haven't ran in my hometown since I was in High School but it felt great to go back and run on some familiar roads and see some familiar faces! 

The Medal

PictureRun For The Health of It 5K Medal 2014
I always start my race recaps off by showing you all a picture of the medal. (If there is a medal to show.) I figure you might get board and if you only stick around for half the blog, I want you to see my bling! I'm a total blink junkee and I'm proud of it.

I'm super proud of this medal! 

Why?

Because I got it with a new 5K PR and my first ever 1st Place Age Group Win!

Disclaimer - This race was tiny! So before you get really proud of me and check to see if Nike wants to sign a deal with me, they probably won't. Besides, I'm more of a Saucony girl anyways. But you never know! ;) 

The Course

The course was 100% flat! There wasn't even a noticeable incline or bridge or anything that we had to climb. Don't get me wrong, Pawhuska has it's fair share of hills, but the race directors were kind enough to avoid them! 
The course is USATF certified for the 5K. 

Parking was not an issue at all. The race started at the Cultural Park and we got there early enough my parents parked the car and were facing the finish line directly so they could watch us finish from the car if they wanted to. 

The Swag

PictureRun For The Health of It Shirt and Bottle 2014
The swag was actually really good for such a cheap 5K. I think I paid $22 for the 5k and fees. 
We got a nice water bottle, a shirt, and our bib and the race was professionally timed, plus there were awards for age groups.

Is bib considered swag? I know it's required to race, but I keep all mine so I like to think it's a swag-ish. Also, all bibs are not created equal. Some are fancier than others. 

Side note! - I need to really work on my photography skills for my blog. I'll take a pic on my phone and think it looks good and as soon as I upload it, I realize that I am NOT a good photographer. #SorryNotSorry


My Experience

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This race was the toughest 5K I've ever done! Here's why:
  • We ran 3 Half Marathons in April and this race was one week after our last HM. 
  • I had bronchitis before, during, and after the race.
  • I started a low carb diet the week before the race.
  • It's getting hot in Oklahoma and I'm not a hot weather runner! 
You can see how exhausted I was by my causal stroll after I crossed the finish line.  I felt fine for the first two miles and was on pace to SMASH my PR but then I totally tanked from 2-3. I also started coughing from my bronchitis and had to take a quick walk break just so I could breath! 
This race was my toughest but it is also my favorite race of all time now. My Mom and Dad got to see me finish! My Dad was also my own personal race photographer, Thanks Dad! 

My Stats:
27:47 (6 second PR)
4th Female Overall
1st in My Age Group.

You can check out my April races HERE, HERE, and HERE. You can also check out my recaps on Bibrave.com

The Hubbo

PictureThe Hubbo with the Top 3 Males Overall
You guys!! The Hubbo had a great race! Not only did he get a new 5K PR of 24:14, he got first in his Age Group, and finished in the Top 3 Males overall! 
So proud of him and especially after he ran his second fastest half marathon in Garmin one week before! 

More Pics!

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Just me, getting my medal!
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This just shows you HOW tired I really was. I can barely wave!

Ok! I've bragged enough! It's YOUR turn. What race accomplishment are you MOST proud of?

 
 
PictureWe're not in Oklahoma anymore...
This weekend the RunGingerRun crew loaded up, hit the road, and headed north to Olathe, Kansas where There's No Place Like Home! 

We ran the Garmin Land of Oz Half Marathon on Saturday. 
I really liked this race and plan to go back next year!

The Medal/Shirt

PictureGarmin Half Marathon Medal 2014
You all know I'm a total bling junkie and I really really like this medal!

You guys! IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! I'm not even kidding! The orange part glows in the dark.

Ah-mazing!

I understand that the medals for the Half are always the Wicked Witch, but the medals for the full change from year to year based on different characters from The Wizard of Oz. Last year it was the Tin Man and this year it was the Cowardly Lyon.

The shirt reminds me of a football jersey for some reason. I wish they would have used a different color other than dark blue but what can you do? Also, the shirt is themed after the Full Marathon theme, the Cowardly Lyon. 

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Garmin Race Shirt 2014

The Course

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First of all, whoever said that this course was 100% flat is a big fat liar! 
It's Kansas, they said, it will be flat, they said! 
Liars! All of you!

Ok, it wasn't the hilliest course I've ever been on. That award still goes to the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco but c'mon, you expect hills in San Fran! The course at this race in Kansas had one hill between 4-5 that was pretty daunting to run up on. The course even started going up a slight incline. 

I still really liked this course, I just should have gone into it with a better mental expectation that usually courses aren't 100% flat. Now I know and next year I'll be better prepared. 

The Half Marathoners and Full Marathoners broke off from each other shortly after mile 3 and as soon as we made the turn we had a hill to go up. Also, when I was coming in for the finish, it was a little difficult because the the rain had made the road slick and I was trying to run up an incline to cross the line.

The course was slightly confusing with the mile markers. Because the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners broke off from each other and then reunited later in the course, we had random mile markers that didn't apply to us sprinkled in around the course. I remember thinking it was a sick joke that when I hit mile 4ish and saw a mile 12 mile marker that some poor delirious runner who wasn't paying attention would get pretty excited to already be at mile 12 so quickly. It wasn't true. Then I got to the end of the half and my watch said I had 1.2 miles left but I came across a mile marker that said 2 miles? WTF! I didn't know if they were telling me 2 more miles for me to go or what. I thought surely my watch wasn't that far off. Turns out, it was for the 6K race they were also hosting at the same time as the Half. Whew! 

My best advice if you do this course next year is to ignore the mile markers and just enjoy the view! You'll know when you get to the finish line. I promise! 

The Expo

PictureThe Hubbo and I at the Garmin Expo 2014.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 3 miles away from the starting line but the expo was in the hotel next door to ours so it worked out. We got to the Expo a little before 5:00 and quickly picked up our packet and our shirts. At 5:00 the small expo started to break down the tables and clear out to make room for the pasta dinner that was taking place in that same area. I didn't go to the pasta dinner but I really wish I would have because Meb was there! One of my coaches even got to take a picture with him! So cool! 

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was a little more difficult than I like. If you do this race, you need to have PLENTY of time to get there. We left our hotel at 6:05 and the race started at 7:00. We had a goal of meeting up with our running club at 6:30 for a picture but we didn't make it. It took us over 30 minutes to drive 3 miles and park. There are plenty of places to park, it's just a one lane entrance to the parking garage they were telling everyone to go into. We ended up parking at a nearby business and walking a littler farther to avoid the parking garage. 

The hotel that hosted the Expo also had two shuttles to take runners to the starting line. I didn't use the shuttles but wanted to list it as an option for those who plan to run this race next year and fly in. 

My Stats and Experience

PictureMid-race selfie!
I didn't set any official goals going into this race either. I had already achieved my spring half marathon PR goal at the Aquarium Run. My only notion of a goal going into this race was to finish between 2:15 and 2:30 and to get that medal! 
Boom! Done!

I had blood sugar issues right before this race too. I knew it was going to be a rough race when I woke up hungry and with low blood sugar before I even got out of bed. I think I've learned my lesson and figured out that I can't carb load the night before a race! Ugh! That sounds so terrible to be a runner and not be able to carb load pre-race, but I've done it twice this month and paid for it both times. Luckily, the Hubbo came to the rescue again and shared his Gu with me. I hate the texture of Gu but it sure beats the feeling of low blood sugar!

I ran the first 4 miles on pace to be around a 2:10 - 2:15 pace but I got a horrible side stitch right before the big hill at mile 4.5. I was already having to push myself at that pace and after the side stitch I knew I couldn't hang on. So I decided to back off and have fun. That's when I took out my phone and starting taking pictures, Tweeting, Instagraming, and SnapChatting. I got some weird looks from runners who were passing me, but #RedHairDontCare.
It was my race and #IDoWhatIWant! 

I took this photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram. It's really hard to hashtag while running. Just FYI!

My Stats:
Finish: 2:23:25
I placed 1500th overall
780th in my Gender
165th in my Age Group (242 Total)

Number of Half Marathon Finishers: 2,199
Number of Females: 1,318
Number of Males: 877

Number of Full Marathon Finishers: 678

The Weather

PictureWell it was the Land of Oz Half Marathon...
The weather forecast for this race was different depending on the weather app you use. According to Weather Bug we had a significant chance of rain and thunderstorms during the race and it turns out it was right. The Weather Channel App was wrong. It said the rain wouldn't come into the area until mid afternoon. 
It was a little sunny at the start but not too warm but that quickly turned to overcast skies. I don't remember exactly when I took my sunglasses off but I didn't even need them for the majority of the race. It started sprinkling very lightly at mile 3. Then at mile 5.5 it started to come down a little more. It rained lightly just before mile 8 and then after mile 8 it started pouring buckets of rain! Some runners were lucky enough to get to run through hail. I never saw it but the reports are that it was very small. More like sleet. 

I wore a visor to this race and I'm glad I did. It would have been very difficult to run in the rain without it. I didn't mind the rain at all actually. It helped keep me cool from miles 8-11 where I tried to pick up my pace again. I was a little worried that my phone would get too wet but it survived. There was even a guy handing out plastic baggies for phones somewhere on the course by I didn't take one. That was dumb of me. 

We did have some lightening far off in the distance from this race. I'm glad they didn't call the race off. Also, a big part of the Half Marathon course was on a paved trail in the woods. If they did call it off, I'm not sure where we would have gone and how they would have gotten us out of the woods. Glad it all worked out ok!

If you like reading race recaps like this one you should totally check out Bibrave.com where you can find and write race reviews! 

More Race Weekend Pics!

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My typical race dummy!
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Typical Race Corral Selfie with The Hubbo!
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The Hubbo made me a Ginger Runner sticker for my car!
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Somewhere in Kansas I tried to take an Oscar-style selfie and failed!
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Pre-race carb loading with the crew!
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We may have stopped at Trader Joe's for some $2 Buck Chuck!
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The typical pre-race group pic!

Question! What's your next race?

 
 
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Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran in a once in a lifetime race, The Mustang 50th Half Marathon. I know what you are thinking? 50th and one time only? Doesn't make sense, right? It's the name the race used to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The race was on Saturday April 19th, 2014 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. My Twitter buddy, George, is the one who first told me about the race a few months back and as soon as I heard it was a one time only event and we had a chance to win a custom Shelby Mustang, I was in! 

Now for the details of the race...

The Medal

PictureMustang 50th Half Marathon Medal 2014
You guys! I love this medal! It ranks up there in my top 5 seriously! It's a nice size, a little bigger than my palm, and even though it represents a brand, Ford Mustang, it doesn't just scream ADVERTISING! Like some medals I've seen. We've already established that I'm a total bling junkie and this one made this junkie really excited! 

The Course

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To look at the course map and really try to follow along it looks really confusing. Luckily for us it was really simple to follow along because the course was marked really clearly. And I certainly didn't have to worry about navigating the course alone because I was definitely not the leader of the pack! Ha!

Also this course was mostly flat. There was one hill and I remember looking over at George and Clarinda and asking them where this hill came from, but in reality, it wasn't bad at all.

We did run on some gravel for a short bit, but also not too bad. Being able to look out at the mountains in the distance was amazing! It was a nice distraction from the heat. 

The Swag/Expo

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Clearly I need to work on my photography skills because this picture isn't centered at all. But anyways, back to the race recap. The swag consisted of this pretty nice race shirt. They had men's sizes and women's sizes which is a plus! 

The Expo didn't really exist. I think other than the packet pick-up table there was only one additional table. I'm not even sure if they were selling anything.

If you look at my bib, the upper left hand corner there is a QR Code. All races can learn a thing or two from the Mustang 50th Half marathon because we could instantly retrieve our results with our smart phones and a QR Code reader! So cool! 
Also - when I went to look at my race photos from the event, they had a video of the finish line and showed me the 30 seconds where I crossed the line! Even more amazing! 

Parking/Shuttle

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The Hubbo and I stayed at the Luxor hotel because it was right next door to the hotel where packet pick up was and it was where the shuttle was picking up runners to drive them about 20 minutes out to the speedway for the race. So parking wasn't an issue for us but we had a little trouble finding the place where the shuttle was meeting to pick everyone up. Luckily while walking through our hotel at 5:00 am it's really easy to distinguish the runners from the drunken Vegas goers who were just coming home from a night out on the strip and we followed a group of runners out to the shuttle stop. The shuttle and the parking lot was about a 10 minute walk from the starting line so not a big deal at all. 

The People!

PictureHubbo, Me, Marvin, Diane, George, Clarinda
This race was an absolute blast because of the wonderful people I met up with! 
George organized a Tweet up at packet pick up and we met up with Marvin and Diane there.

At the race we met up with Katie and Clarinda as well! 

If you are on Twitter you should follow these awesome runners!

George: @GeorgeOkinaka 
Clarinda: @EnjoytheCourse
Diane: @Runninrocker
Marvin: @MarathonPitStop
Katie: @Itsjustkatie

Hopefully this fall we'll get to have a reunion at the Ventura Marathon! The Hubbo and I plan on going to do the Half and so far I think the others are considering it! 
This race is supposed to be set up for PRs and has a post-race beach party! I'm sold and ready to head west RIGHT NOW!
Let me know if you are doing this race and we could arrange a Tweet up!

My Race Experience

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First I need to Thank George for 1. taking lots of awesome pics! and 2. Being my running buddy for the last 10 miles of the race! It was nice to run with someone and have a distraction from the heat!

This race was Half Marathon #2 for the month of April for The Hubbo and I. I had already achieved my goal of a HM PR at the Aquarium run here in Tulsa so going into this race I didn't set a lot of goals for myself. I was worried about the heat because I know I'm not a hot weather runner at all! And you know, Vegas is like, in the desert and all. So there's that.

My goal was to come in around 2:15-2:30 if possible. I started our the first two miles on pace for a 2:15 finish but quickly found out that I wasn't going to be able to hang for 11 more miles. I stopped to go to the bathroom at mile 3 and shortly after that met up with George and we finished the race together. 

I've been having trouble lately with  my blood sugar again and right before the race started my blood sugar dropped. Not Awesome. I felt it drop even though I had my typical pre-race nutrition and had my typical breakfast. Luckily The Hubbo takes a Gu Gel right before the race and he shared part of it with me so help stabilize my blood sugar. It worked to relieve the worst of it, but running 13 miles with low blood sugar to start isn't fun in the desert heat of Las Vegas. Just saying...

This is the first race I've been a part of where the status of the race was changed. We went from a Green Flag (normal racing conditions) to a Yellow Flag, meaning that it was getting really hot and runners should be cautious and be sure to hydrate. The temps started in the mid 60s around 7:00am when the race started and climbed to the 70's by the end of the race with little to no wind and no cloud cover or shade on the course. Humidity was around 43%. 

I finished in 2:37:03. 
I've very sad to report that The Hubbo and I didn't win the car. In fact, no one in our group won it despite the fact that Marvin was SURE he was going to win. Sorry Marvin!

More Pictures!

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George, Me, and The Hubbo rocking our back bibs!
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My typical race dummy photo!
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My bibs always look like they went through Hell after a race!

Question! What would you do if you won a new car in Vegas?

 
 
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Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran a local half marathon called the Aquarium Run. For me, this was my Lucky #7 Half Marathon. 
We ran this race once before back in 2012 and it was my very first half marathon so I was excited to come back and give this one another shot. Up until I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon in November the Aquarium Run was my PR race. 
This is a smaller (about 700 finishers in the half) race that benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma. 

The Medal

PictureAquarium Run Medal 2014
Let's start this recap off by talking about the medal.
The Aquarium Run 2014 medal is a little smaller than I was expecting. When I ran this race in 2012 the medal was a totally different style, shape, and size so I was expecting something along those lines.
Overall, I do like this medal, I just wish it was bigger. I know, I'm a total bling junkie. It's bad. It's hard to see but there is engraved writing on the front that has a really pretty blue color in it. If it has been scaled up, it would have been easier to see. 

The Bib

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Bib
If you are like me, you care more about the medal than the bib, but this year I was impressed with the bib so I'm giving the bib it's own section in this recap. In the past, the bib just had a band of a solid color, blue I think, and a black number. This year the bib was all fancy and stuff and had an actual design that went along with the theme. The theme this year was Running with the Bull Sharks. I didn't even know that Bull Sharks could run! Mind. Blown. ;)

The Course

Picture2014 Aquarium Run Course Map
The course is 100% FLAT!
That is probably the number one reason I decided to run this race again this year. I wanted to get another Half Marathon PR and I knew out of all three of my races this month, this would be my best shot. 
It's not the most exciting course, but I knew that going in.

The half starts right in front of the Aquarium then you make a quick loop through a parking lot and then head across the bridge to the east side of the Arkansas river where you do an out-and-back before heading back across the river to the west side to go back to the Aquarium/finish line. The worst part about this course is that when you come under the bridge you can see the finish area when you hit mile 12. If you can get past that mental game, you're fine. The weather was really great for this event too. It started in the mid 40s and warmed up to the mid 50s by the time we were done. There was a little wind but nothing too crazy.

Parking & Swag

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Race Shirt
We got to the race about 45 minutes early to park because we knew that there is a one lane road to get to the Aquarium and we didn't want to get stuck in line. The 5K also started an hour before the Half so there were going to be a bunch of people already there. If you do this race, plan to show up a little early to get a good spot.

If you are coming in from out of town to do this race, there is actually a Holiday In Express right next to the starting line. Pretty convenient. 

The Swag for this race really isn't bad considering it was so affordable. I think it was $40 or $45 and you got a nice bib, a medal, a t-shirt, typical post-race food and drinks, and a ticket to get into the Aquarium the day of the race. 

RunGingerRun Results

Picture2014 Aquarium Run
I'm super excited to say that I GOT A PR!!!
I ran this race in 2:13:09 which is a little more than 3 minutes faster than my last half marathon PR.

29th out of 77 in my Age Group
293rd out of 705 Total Half Marathon Finishers
Total Number of Females: 446
Total Number of Males: 259

I knew going into this race that I wanted a PR. I had 3 goals to shoot for.

1. Sub 2:10 Finish
2. Sub 2:15 Finish
3. Just beat my previous PR by at least 1 second.
And my 4th and unofficial goal was to just NOT DIE. Whew! Glad I made that one! :) 

While I didn't reach my #1 goal, I did hit my #2 goal. Before the race, I looked up a pace chart and knew that I needed to average about 9:55 per mile for a sub 2:10 finish. When the race started out, we had a tailwind and I was feeling great so I was running faster than 9:55.
BIG MISTAKE!
I ended up getting a PR at the 10K distance but I wasn't there to run a 10K, I was there to run a half marathon. So I ended up struggling through miles 9-13. But I was able to  hold onto a a fast enough pace for the second half to at least reach my #2 goal, so I'm really happy!

When I was running I hit the wall around mile 9. I was running alone at that point and decided that I was just going to turn my music up and push through. I'd already ran a huge chunk of the race and I didn't want to give up on my PR with 4ish miles to go. Someone who was still heading out to the turn around yelled at me, but by the time I realized they were talking to me (because my music was loud) they had already passed. I turned around to wave but I'm not sure if they saw me. If that was you, I'm sorry and Heyy!!!

Soon after that a little boy started talking to me too. That's when I knew I needed to take my ear buds out and be social. He was out there running his 3rd half marathon and was so cute! He had to be 10 or so. He complimented me on my back bib (see pic below) as he flew right on by me. 

Shortly after the little boy took off a friend of mine from High School met up with me and we ran a couple miles together. It was a welcomed relief because I was struggling and it gave me someone to talk to and distract me.

Right after I crossed the finish line an Instagram buddy of mine, Mary, recognized me and said hi. As soon as I stopped running my legs were hurting so bad, I wasn't able to stick around much and talk. I also did get a pic with her either.
Bad Blogger!

After the run we went inside to get some food and I ran into a Twitter buddy of mine. I think it's so fun to meet my social media buddies at races! Also it was nice to put a face with a name.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 9:57
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:42
Mile 4: 9:44
Mile 5: 9:53
Mile 6: 9:49
Mile 7: 10:00 (This was after we turned back south and had a headwind)
Mile 8: 9:58
Mile 9: 10:15 (Here's where it started to get HARD!)
Mile 10: 10:24
Mile 11: 10:27 
Mile 12: 10:15
Mile 13: 10:23

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My Motivational Back Bib!
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The Gingers in the corral shot before the race.
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The rest of the RunGingerRun Crew before the race!
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Post Race Hubbo Pic!
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This is the FIRST time that my Garmin time matched my chip time!

Question! How's your racing been going lately? Any PRs you want to share?

 
 
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Hello Running Buddies! How has your running or training been going? 

Yesterday The Hubbo and my P-Town friends ran a fun little 5K here in Tulsa called the Goo Run.  

The Goo run is exactly what it sounds like. A messy gooey fun 5K. It is a traveling fun 5K similar to Warrior Dash or the Color Run. You can see where they will be next by clicking here. It's a little expensive for a 5k, so sign up early or follow them on Facebook to see the discount codes they put out frequently.

Have you ever signed up for a race with your friends months in advance and at the time you thought "Oh yeah, let's do this race, it will be fun!" and then the day of the race you wonder what the hell you were thinking? Or maybe you thought to yourself "Was I drinking when I agreed to this?" No? Just me? Weird. 

Well at first when my friends mentioned doing the Goo Run I was all like...

I thought sure! A messy 5K sounds like a great idea!
Then we showed up to the event and it was cold and windy and then I was all....
The Goo was all slimy and green and I thought it was going to be super cold but it wasn't too bad. 

Plus, in this 5K you got a shirt and a "medal" when you crossed the finish line. I use the term medal loosely though. 
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This was me before the race. I have no idea what The Hubbo and I were thinking but we showed up to run this 5K and the temps were in the low 40s with some strong wind coming from the North. It was way too cold for shorts! 

Also - I realize I'm being a total rookie here and 1. I'm wearing the shirt from the event and 2. It's cotton.
#RedHairDontCare


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This is the before photo. We look all nice and excited and clean.

That didn't last long.

The fun run started 15 minutes before the 5K and the 5K runners got to shoot Goo all over the fun runners. It was messy and people were shooting Goo all over. I was a total chicken and tried to avoid the pre-run Goo even though I knew in less than 15 minutes I'd be covered in it.

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Here we are after the race.

We ran through a Goo waterfall at the very beginning and the very end. We ran through 5 Goo stations where volunteers were shooting Goo directly at us.  We got lucky on one of the Goo stations and ran by without getting hit because the volunteers had to reload their Goo guns. 
The Hubbo ran most of the race alone and us girls hung back and made inappropriate comments during the 3 mile run. Because we are mature and all. I'm sure you can imagine so I won't go into detail. 

PictureGoo Run Medal 2014
Here are the "medals" from the Goo Run.
They are kinda cool and unique but since they are plastic with Goo inside of them, I suspect that in a few years the Goo will be dried up or turn brown or something not as pretty as right now.



Tips for the Goo Run 5K

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Here are a few tips to help you have the most fun possible at the Goo run. 

  1. Bring friends! This was way more fun with my friends than it would have been had I done it alone. Plus, people that you just met may not appreciate your hilarious yet inappropriate comments. :) 
  2. Wear a "clean" layer of clothing. And by that I mean, were a pair of shorts and a tank top as a base layer that won't get exposed to the Goo. There weren't any changing areas or showers so we had to strip down as much as possible in the parking lot before we got into the car. Bring plenty of towels. 
  3. Wipe the Goo off as soon as possible. The stuff is made out of a jelly silicon like substance and when it dries on your skin it cracks and kinda hurts.
  4. Take Pictures! You'll want proof that you were able to tolerate a crazy, silly, mess to show off to all your friends and make them totally jealous that they aren't as cool as you.
  5. Don't wear your good running shoes/clothes. We had to wash our clothes twice and our running shoes three times. I wore an old pair of shoes, but the Hubbo wore his good pair. Luckily everything did come out clean.
  6. Wear a hat! It's almost impossible to get Goo out of long hair. So you may want to cover it up. I wish I had, but it's too late now. I'll be pulling Goo out of my long Ginger locks for weeks! 
  7. Wear sunglasses. They Goo volunteers found it to be a personal challenge that if you covered your face while running through a Goo station, that is exactly where they wanted to hit you with Goo. So wear some sunglasses to protect your eyes. 
  8. Check out parking before the event. They charged $10 for parking if you parked in the parking lot adjacent to the starting line, but if we parked across the street, it was free.

Leave a comment! Have you done the Goo Run? What messy/fun runs have you been a part of?

 
 
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January 25, 2014 Tulsa
This weekend the Hubbo and I participated in our first 10K in over a year. We ran the Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long race right here in Tulsa. This race may sound familiar to you being as this was the same race that we ran our first Ultra (50K) last year! You can read about that race recap here. 

This year we decided to not torture ourselves and signed up for the 10K. This race has 4 distance options, (hence the name, go short, go long, go very long) you can run the 5K, 10K, 25K or the 50K. 

The Course - 100% Flat! If you are looking for a PR, this is the race for you! It's not super interesting since it is an out-and-back on the Arkansas River, but for the 5K and 10K, it's perfect PR conditions. For the 25k and 50K runners, there is one hill on the west side of the course at Turkey Mountain. (50K runners have to do it twice)

The Medal - This is the first year that I've ran it that they gave out medals to 5K and 10K finishers. This year the 25K and 50K got a slightly bigger and different shaped medal which is exactly how it should be, being as they had to Go Very Long for their races. But the medals are a cute Dr. Seuss theme which is fun! (See Pic Below

The Race Shirt - The race shirt is a long sleeve tech shirt and is also Dr. Seuss themed with the Dr. Seuss characters running on it. Loved the gray color this year instead of white. (See Pic Below)

The Parking Situation - Eh. Parking isn't the worst, it isn't the best. The race is on the River Parks trails in Tulsa so their isn't a giant parking lot right next to the starting line. Most race participants had to park in the neighborhoods nearby the starting line. So it's not too bad really. 

The Food - The post-race food is awesome! The race starts and ends at Blue Rose Cafe and they always put on a big spread of fruit, juice, oatmeal, and beer for the 5K and 10K runners. For the 25K and 50K runners there get burgers and fries and of course, beer! (See Pic Below)

My Results - 1:01:28. New 10K PR!  I finished 7th out of 27 in my age group and there were 229 total 10K finishers. Not sure of my place overall. 
It wasn't until mile 5 that I even realized I could try for a PR. My running club said not to actually race this race and to use it as an endurance run. Yeah right! But I started out just running how I felt and looked down at mile 5 and realized if I just pushed myself a little I could possibly PR, so I gave it a whirl and took ~ 90 seconds off my previous PR time.

Overall - This race is great because it's not very expensive, it's local for me, I have several options on distances, the medals are unique, you get a full meal and a nice tech shirt for like $35. It's also a smaller race. The 5K and 10K were capped at 500 runners and the 25K and 50K were capped at 300 runners.

Oh! And the race even has a photographer taking pictures and the pictures are free if you are lucky enough to get your photo taken. I was lucky and the results are hilarious...er hideous!  (See Pic Below)


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Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long Bib and Medal 2014
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Best. Oatmeal. Ever!
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Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long Shirt and Bib 2014
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Races are more fun with running buddies!
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I guess we got confused and thought we were going to a funeral and not a race?
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Worst. Race. Photo. Ever!