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Almost two weeks ago the Hubbo, George and I “ran” the Route 66 Half Marathon. I say “ran” because really we walked a lot and ran some. I only cussed a little so I’m calling it a good day! But really, the 10th Anniversary of the Route 66 Marathon was a great weekend for me despite my lack of training. We volunteered at the Expo, Ran the 5k, took shots during the 5k and half, and made some great memories!




Here’s a quick and condensed version of contents this blog.
Medal = Awesome!
Course = Hilly!
Swag = Awesome 10 Year Anniversary Jacket!
Expo = Great!
Volunteering = Tiring, Rewarding, Fun
Blogger’s panel = Fun
5K on Saturday = Most Fun 5k I’ve Ever Ran
Weather on Sat = Cold and WINDY as F!
Weather on Sun = Cold but warmed up to be nice

And now, a more complete review. 

The Medal

PictureRoute 66 2015 Half Marathon Medal
As always, I start my recap with the medal. I'm definitely a "I'm-Doing-This-For-the-Bling" kind of runner and Route 66 Marathon never disappoints!
This year was the 10th anniversary of the race so they did a throw back to an earlier medal and added a slight remix. I lucked out that this is one of the styles that we didn't already have. 
The yellow coin in the middle is a double-sided spinner which I think it the remix part. 
This year volunteers also got a medal. (See pic below with purple ribbon.) When I volunteered last year, I got a nice coin, but it was fun to get an actual medal this year.
5K runners also got a medal. (See pic below with red ribbon.) Since the race is obviously Route 66 themed, the medals are always themed after classic cars that would have traveled the open road. This medal was from the 2011 event and called the Flying Goddess. Rout 66 took a vote on which medal should get a come back and this one won loud and clear! 

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Volunteer Medal
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5K Medal and Bib

The Course & Swag

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The course was hilly. I knew it would be hilly. I didn't train for this race so I'm sure I felt the hills even more than I normally would have. The hills aren't huge, but there are a lot of them and it's a constant rolling/going upward feeling the entire race.

My friend George from came in from Las Vegas and took this photo on the course. It's definitely a favorite photo-op on the course!   

The swag was nice this year. For participating in the 5k I got a medal and a tech shirt. For participating in the half I got a jacket, a medal, and tons of free shots and beer on the course! More on that later. 

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The Hubbo and co-workers modeling the jackets.
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I, on the other hand, made some questionable modeling choices on race day...

The Expo & Blogger's Panel

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We volunteered at the Expo on Friday afternoon at the packet pickup booth. That was a crazy, busy, fun, fast few hours! 
After my shift was over I participated in the Blogger's Panel for the second time. It was really cool to meet the other bloggers and get to discuss one of my hobbies. This year they had two panels. A Friday night panel and a Saturday afternoon panel. 

Overall, the expo is a good size. You have your typical vendors there. One cool thing about the Route 66 Expo is that the Marathon Maniacs set up a booth. So you can buy your gear in person and try it on. Very helpful! If you'v ever tried to buy a MM or HF singlet, you know the struggle! 

I also go to take a spin on an Alter-G treadmill! It was so crazy feeling! 
When you try this thing out, they put you in these crazy space pants that are made of a neoprene like fabric that zips into the air bag like portion of the treadmill. Then the machine calibrates to your weight and then you tell it what percentage of your body weight you want to run with. I took it down to 60% of my body weight and I felt like I could run forever!

5k Race Day!

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Saturday was the 5k and it was cold and windy! We knew we were just going to do the 5k for fun so we joined up with some friends. Before we even hit the first kilometer, we decided to take a detour. 
For shots!
That's right, we hoped into a local diner/bar and took a shot of whisky! 
That's definitely a first for me to go to a bar and order a shot. 
Route 66 is known as a party course and we did our part to contribute to the reputation! Nothing says party like messy hair, shots at 8:15am, and all before we even hit the first mile! #RockStarStatus
Even though we ran/walked the entire way, stopped in and ordered 6 shots, and had to tab out, we managed to finish the 5k in under 50 minutes. Not bad. 

Half Marathon Race Day!

PictureBasic Corral Selfie!
Sunday was the half marathon. It started our super cold, but eventually warmed up to be nice. 
We ran/walked the entire way but somehow I managed to take very few pics. I'm slacking on my blogging duties!
Route 66 is known as a party race and it's no joke! We had beer, shots, donuts, and various other goodies on the race to help us keep our spirits up. I had fruit loop vodka y'all! 
Quick shout out to the citizens of Tulsa for getting the party started early on a Sunday morning! 

Back to the race. The course was hilly! Being as I was vastly under trained, it didn't long before my body was over it. But we got it done, had fun along the way, and eventually crossed the finish line. It was a personal worst for the Hubbo and I but we were just happy to be out there and complete another race. 

Overall, the weekend was great! We had great company, lots of fun, lots of drinks, and made some fun memories! This is exactly why Route 66 is my favorite race ever! 

Question! What's your PR and PW?

 
 
PictureThe Wicked Witch, The Hubbo, and I
You guys! 
It's been almost a full month since I've published a blog! How did that even happen? 
So many things have happened since then. I've ran a marathon, ran a half marathon, updated my blog discount page, and so many other cool things. Today I'm going to tell you all about marathon number 7. Garmin in the Land of Oz Marathon which takes place about 4 hours north of Tulsa, in Olathe, Kansas. (Oh-lay-the)

This is actually my second time to participate in this race, but last year I ran the half marathon. 
This year I ran the full marathon for one reason and one reason only. The medal. You might recall that I wrote this post. 
It's still true. I only ran 26.2 mile to get the Dorothy Medal. It totally completed my incomplete collection! 

Before we get into the recap I have to say that this race was one of my all-time favorite races to date! Not because of the medal, not because of the course, but because I got to run most of it with two new friends and it was a blast! 

The People

PictureTom, Kristy, and I in the corral!
Usually, I start my recap with the medal because it is my #1 favorite part about racing. But not today medal, not today! 

I should start this section by telling you that I randomly ran into Tom ( @toms66stuff ) on the way to Olathe at a gas station. That's not creepy at all! 
I first "met" Tom on Twitter and briefly ran into him at the Route 66 marathon 2 years ago and then ran a few miles with him at Route 66 last year too.  
At the gas station we chatted for a few minutes before I left to get back on the road. I had already walked out when it hit me that I should see if he has dinner reservations and invite him to join us. #SouthernHospitality 
Turns out, he and his wife didn't have plans or reservations so they joined us at dinner and then he and I ran the entire race together the next day. Almost in matching Marathon Maniac singlets. Almost.   

My Twitter pal, Kristy (@pghrunner ) , and I decided a while back that we would both run this race so we could meet in real life for the first time! Kristy and Tom joined me, the Hubbo, and about 30 of our running buddies for dinner the night before the race and we had a great time with everyone. See pic below. 

Originally, Kristy was going to do the half but ended up switching to the full. She ran the first 13 miles with Tom and I at our pace and then picked it up a bit so she could get back to the hotel and catch her flight. We had so much fun! We talked the entire way, ate bananas, and tried to avoid the rude lady on the course. I seriously didn't want the first half of the marathon to be over because I knew I'd have to say goodbye. But, we're for sure going to plan another race so we can meet up again soon. 

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Run Gingers Run! Oh and Run Tom!
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Kristy and I before the race.
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Just me and 30 of my running buddies carb loading...No Big Deal

The Medal

PictureDorothy, Toto, The Yellow Brick Road, and a Twister!
This is it. This is the ENTIRE reason I ran the full marathon and not the half marathon. Even though I was facing a little runner's burn out, I wanted to complete my Garmin Medal collection. Sort of. Last year I ran the half and got a Wicked Witch medal. This year it was Dorothy. In the past, the full medal has been rotating other characters until this year, and it was DOROTHY!
I don't mind that I don't have the Scare Crow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man. Those were cool medals too, but if I'm going to do this race twice, I'd rather have Dorothy and they Witch. 
Mission Accomplished! 

The Course

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The course was a little challenging this year. Not for the typical reasons though. Sure, we had rain and wind, but the most difficult part was the mud and mud puddles. 
This is one of the flatter marathons I've ran, but it did have  some hills. 
We ran a lot of the race  on a small paved trail system through a wooded area in Olathe, and that is where we ran into the mud. We had no option at times but to run right through it or walk carefully through them. I was glad to have the rain on one hand, because I was getting hot around mile three. Shortly after that is when we started getting some rain. We were really really muddy/dirty when we finished though. I wish I would have taken a picture of my shoes because it looked like I had just rain a wilderness trail! 
The cool  thing about the course, is the last 100 yards or so they turn it into a Yellow Brick Road! 

The Expo/Swag

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There isn't really an expo. There is a packet pick up at the host hotel. It does have 3-5 vendor booths, but that is really about all. So don't expect much at the Expo.

The swag was a gender-specific tech shirt which was really cute this year.
I would take a picture to post on the blog, but it's lost somewhere in the laundry pile from hell so this picture of The Lion, The Tin Man, and The Scarecrow will have to do! 

Parking and Aid Stations

Parking is free and there is plenty of it! Just get to the starting line a little early for the closer parking spots and to get in line for the bathroom.

The aid stations were really good! In the later miles they were stocked with water, Gatorade, Gu, other snacks and Vaseline! Some were even handing out plastic baggies for your phone! 

My Results

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This was my last marathon for a while but I'm pleased with how the day ended up. Overall it is my second fastest marathon! That's almost a PR, right?

Marathon Number 7:
Time: 5:34:36
Place: I have no idea
Overall Rank: You aren't even reading this anyways 
Weather: Humid, Rain, Muddy! 

Question! What is your second fastest 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, or Marathon Time?

 
 
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This weekend the Hubbo and I took a trip half way across the US and ran the Ventura Half Marathon in California. This was my 10th half and the Hubbo's first visit to Cali! Even though the trip was really quick we had a great time and got to meet new people and see some friends!
We started our trip by getting up way to early for a vacation day (4:30am) to catch our flight out of Tulsa. We landed in LA around lunch time on Saturday, rented a car, and drove on the 405 towards Ventura in the middle of the day! I was more excited about it than the Hubbo was which was weird because I was driving! For a girl from a small town with one stop light, that's a pretty big deal! The race was on Sunday and then we got up on Monday and made the trip back home. Here's how it all went down.

The Medal

Picture2014 Ventura Half Marathon Medal
You guys know from reading my previous race recaps that I always start with the medal. One, because it's my favorite part and two, if you don't read any further I want you to check out this bling! The 2014 Ventura Half Marathon medal was voted on by the runners a few months ago. I'm super excited because this is the one I voted for! If you look closly at the left hand side, you can see that they added a bottle opener. I love it and it looks really good on my medal hanger. 

The Course

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If you are looking for a PR for the Full or Half Marathon, this is the race for you! The course is flat as a pancake! In one of the emails I received from the race, they listed facts about the finishers from last year. In 2013, 21% of the full marathon finishers qualified for Boston
I'll just let that soak in for a bit....
Here's the elevation map for those of you who would like to verify for yourself that it was, indeed, flat. The course is basically an out-and-back for the full and for the half. It's not too scenic though. I thought we would be running right on the ocean side, but I understand that this is the better option for a safe race and I like to keep living sooo...

The Expo/Beach Party/Swag

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This was the first race that I've been to that had an outdoor expo and I loved it! The beach party was in full swing on Saturday when we arrived to pick up our packets and was a little different than I was expecting. They had vendors at the expo, a live band, beer for sale, and of course, packet pick up. Picking up our packets was super easy, we just had to look up our bib numbers ahead of time and get in the right line. They emailed us a link to look up our bib numbers in the days leading up to the race. The expo was small but super convenient being as it was right by the starting line and right by the hotel we stayed at. If you do this race next year, definitely stay at the Crown Plaza right by the pier. It's perfect! 
According to the race the race photos are free but they haven't been released yet. That is an amazing perk for a race since the photos are usually super expensive! 

The People

PictureGeorge, Me, Hubbo, Clarinda, Katie
You guys! This was the best part of the whole weekend! We got to meet up with our friends from Twitter that we first met up with at the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon this April in Las Vegas! 
Here is a fabulous picture of all of us that George managed to get. You all might remember George since he was the RunGingerRun Buddy of the month of August.
Also in the picture is Clarinda from Enjoyingthecourse.com who manged to get a PR in the half this weekend! Congrats!
Katie is the one rocking the cute outfit with the lei and super fun skirt that she made herself! She always has the best running costumes and makes her own skirts! You can see some of her other skirts here. Oh and Katie got a PR too! 

PictureShane + Sarah = Race Twins!
I also got to meet a new Twitter buddy, Shane, who was running the half. It turns out he's running the Honolulu Marathon in December too! It's like we are race twins! Can you see the resemblance? 

Shane is awesome because he just celebrated his birthday this week and ran 41 miles in honor of turning 41! Just days after the Ventura Half! 

Happy Birthday! 

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I also got to meet an Instagram buddy, Mr. Eddie, who lives in Ventura! He said he can practically see the finish line from his house! How cool is that?

I don't know what's going on with my eye in this picture. I promise I'm not trying to be a member of KISS and no, Mr. Eddie didn't punch me in the eye either. 

My Stats/The Weather

PictureMid-Race Selfies are the best!
Going into this race I knew I wasn't in PR shape. I only had 9 weeks to prepare and I ended up missing almost 3 of those weeks. I definitely don't mind running a race just for fun. You can see that George and I managed to have a little fun on the course! 

Time: 2:21:26
87th out of 172 in my Age Group
Average Pace: 10:48/mile
Overall Place: 513
Total Women: 1048
Total Men: 606

I was doing pretty good until mile 11. The sun was really shining and there was very little shade. We all know I'm not a hot weather runner so between the heat and lack of shade, I started to get goose bumps which is a bad sign. So between the bathroom break at mile 3 and walking a little in the last two miles, I'm still really happy with my results! My goal going into this race was to be under 2:30 and I did it and had fun! Boom! Done!

After The Race

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After we were done visiting with everyone at the finish line, we went back to our room rested for a bit and showered. Then the Hubbo and I set off on our adventure to explore the beach and downtown Ventura! After lunch we went to the beach and took some pictures then decided to head into downtown which wasn't far from our hotel and we stumbled upon a local shop called Very Ventura. I chatted with Angela who owns the shop with her husband. They were really nice and gave us recommendations for a good place to eat for dinner. I bought a cute tank top that was printed by a local artist and the Hubbo bought a wooden decorative piece that spelled Ocean or Beach depending on which side you are looking at, which were also done by a local artist. We found so many cute things and if we had checked luggage instead of just carry-ons, we would have come home with a lot more stuff!

50 States Map

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The Hubbo and I have a very relaxed goal of eventually running a race (half or full marathon) in each state. Here is a map of what we have accomplished since we started running in 2012.
This year alone we will have ran in 4 new states,
Kansas, Nevada, California, and Hawaii!  

Question! What race is next for you? How many states have you raced in?

 
 
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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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 

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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...

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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....
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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

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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. 
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Oh #NBD just two Gingers and one is in a banana costume. Totally normal.
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The space blanket sarong! Keeps you warm and fashionable during the Mascot Dash!

Sunday! The BIG day! 

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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...


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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. 
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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! 

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

Race Highlights

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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?

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Race Bibs from the Route 66 2013 5k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon 2013
 
 
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Some people would say that running two races in one day is crazy. Some might say it's not smart for someone who is training for a half marathon or a full marathon. Some might even be as bold to say it is dumb. And to that I say...#RedHairDontCare!

I actually had a lot of fun running both races last Saturday. Keep reading for a race recap on both races, to hear about my PR, and to see pictures from the events.

The Quarter Marathon Doubler Race Recap

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I've decided this is my PR shirt from now on.
The first race of the day was the Quarter Marathon. AKA 6.55 mile race for those who can't do math in their heads either. Are there any other Quarter Marathon races out there? This is the first one I've heard of. It's kind of weird and cool at the same time. 

This race had an option to do the "Doubler" which means that you ran a 5K and then the Quarter marathon. Of course this Ginger and her Hubbo had to do the Doubler. There was a special prize for those who were crazy enough to sign up for both. (I'm a sucker for prizes.) 

The race was set up so that the 5K started at 7:30 am and the Quarter Marathon started at 8:30 am giving participants an hour to do the first race and then start the next race. Which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. The nice part is you have time for a bathroom break in between the starting guns going off, but the bad part is your body has time to cool down. So while we were waiting for the Quarter to start you all just look like a bunch of stretching, yoga posing, wiggling weirdos. 

Before the race I was trying to be realistic and not even consider to attempt a PR. (For basically a 15K) 
1. Because doing the Doubler was actually a little longer than a normal 15K. 
2 Because I haven't  been doing speed work at all. (Boo Speed work!)  
And 3. because frankly it just takes the pressure off. We all say it...Oh I'm just here to run, I"m not worried about time, or I'm not looking for a PR. 

I know it's kind of cheating to call doing the Doubler a 15K PR because you have a break in the middle but hey, what can you do? 

After the 5K started I looked down at my watch and noticed I was running a little faster than I had planned. But I felt pretty good so I decided to keep the pace and see where it would take me. I didn't get a 5K PR, but I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to finish it in under 30 minutes! 

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I met up with the Hubbo after the 5K and we were waiting around to start the Quarter Marathon and our running buddy, Mike, found us in the corral. We hung out there, took the required runner selfie in the corral pic and pretty soon the gun went off to start the Quarter Marathon. The Hubbo, Mike, and I all ran together for the first couple miles. We even ran by a couple of cowboys who didn't take me up on my invitation to join our race. What? Jeans, boots, and huge belt buckles aren't comfortable race attire? Weird.  

We kept running and just as we were about to hit riverside the Hubbo broke off to run at his pace and I was lucky enough to have Mike stay with me the whole time to talk to and distract me from the idea of stopping to walk. The race had a little more incline to it than I thought it would but it was good training for my half marathon in San Francisco next month! The rest of the race was pretty good and we even saw one creepy guy standing alone in a parking lot wearing an empty 24-pack Coke box on his head watching (really just staring like a creeper) as the runners went by. I decided not to invite him to join our run. No Creepers Aloud! 

So long story short (too late!) the race ended up being 9.65 miles long and I completed it in 1:39:26 which is kind of a 15K PR for me. My previous 15K PR was 1:45:29 at the Tulsa Run last October. 

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Here's the bling from our race. Since we did the "Doubler" we not only got a medal but we also got a pint glass to help us celebrate our race. 

I wonder why they gave us a pint glass? I'm pretty sure that runners don't even like beer. :)  

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Here is Mike and I as we were getting close to the finish line of the Quarter Marathon. He deserves a big virtual HIGH-FIVE because he got a PR in the 5K! 

High-five Mike!!!!

On another note - why do I look like I am going to punch someone with my right hand but my left hand is super relaxed and creepy looking?? Race photos are always so weird. 

One of the benefits of running with my running club is that they almost always have a photographer or two out on the course taking photos and they allow the runners to download them for free! Runners love free stuff! 

In my next blog post I'll recap our second race of the day, The Corn Dog Classic 5K. You'll have to wait to hear if I managed to choke down that cotton candy, beer, and corn dog or not!

How is your running going? Tell me about a recent or favorite PR! 

 
 
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Lately I've been trying to think of what to blog about next and I didn't really have one solid idea so I've put together a few things that have been "running" through my brain and mashed them up into one blog post.
Enjoy!











Running Update
Last week was a pretty good run week for me. I had one bad run but not too shabby!
  • Sunday - 0 Miles. Recovery Day. 
  • Monday - 0 Miles. Busy with work. 
  • Tuesday - Boot Camp and 4 Miles. Speedy.
  • Wednesday - Boot Camp and 5 Miles at recovery pace. 
  • Thursday - Boot Camp and 3 Miles. This run was tough. I had originally planned to do 4 but my body said no thanks! 
  • Friday - Rest Day - Thank goodness! 
  • Saturday - Long Run Day - 7 Mile progression run. I felt amazing! I wanted to run 10 but had to get to the farmers market and on with our busy day. 

Here is how my week is shaping up so far this week.
  • Sunday - 0 Miles. Recovery Day.
  • Monday - Boot Camp and 4 Awesome Miles!
  • Tuesday - 4 Miles of Hills. Ugh!
  • Wednesday - Rest Day and TV Night! Survivor starts tonight!
  • Thursday - 3-5 (Not sure yet) and probably Boot Camp
  • Friday - Rest Day
  • Saturday - Race Day! The Quarter Marathon and The Corndog Classic 5K



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Race Update!
On Saturday I'll be running my 3rd 15k right here in Tulsa! This is my first race since my last marathon in March 2013 and I'm feeling pretty good about it! I haven't been working on my speed work like I should, so I'm not expecting a PR, but I'm expecting to have a lot of fun doing a new race. I'm doing The Quarter Marathon hosted by Fleet Feet Tulsa and decided to add on the 5K so I'm doing the "Doubler" which is barely more than a 15k. If you are wondering exactly how far is a Quarter Marathon, it's 6.55 miles. Don't worry, I had no idea how far it was exactly until I looked it up.

Also- as of last night, the Hubbo and I just registered for a fun 5k on Saturday Night! So we'll be doing the Doubler at the Quarter Marathon in the morning and the Corndog Classic 5K Saturday night! I've never had two races in one day but it should be interesting! We are doing the Corn Dog Challenge in this 5K. So that means each participant must eat a corn dog, drink a beer or lemonade, and eat an entire thing of cotton candy along the race before finishing. I don't even like cotton candy! I may be sick by the end of it or walk more than I run, but we've never entered this race and want to have fun with it! 

What races do you have coming up that you are excited about?

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Weight Loss Thoughts

Weight loss is a funny thing. Not everyone loses weight at the same speed, in the same place, or in the same way.

I feel like my body has a Top-Down approach to weight loss. Meaning I start to see the results first in my face and then slowly see results trickle their way down to my midsection/hips/thighs last.  Right now, I feel like I have the skinniest forehead and neck I've had in years but could use a little more work in the hips/thighs area. Hurry up body and catch up!

I'm still at my 18lbs down from my juice fast and am slowly transitioning back to food. So far so good. I'd still like to fully transition back to an all food diet and continue to slowly drop 12 more lbs. We'll see! In the mean time, running is becoming so much better and easier for me. Which makes it much more enjoyable than it was the last year.

Ladies - where do you notice results first?


Photo Credit: Photo Cred: http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/one-on-one-monthly-counseling/

 
 
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It's time. The 50K is this weekend. All week I've been getting myself mentally prepared and focused. Having picked up my race packet today makes it all seem more real for some reason. I'm as ready as I'm going to be. I've been chatting with friends, co-workers, twitter pals, just about anyone who will listen to me talk about this race.

Here is what I'm excited about:
  • The race is local so I'll know a TON of the runners
  • I know the course
  • The course is SUPER flat
  • I have an AWESOME Hubbo who will be racing with me
  • When I finish, I can apply for Marathon Maniacs
  • When I finish, I can put an Ultra sticker on my car
  • I will have pushed myself to new level

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As a side note or bonus blog, whatever you want to call it. My awesome Hubbo surprised me with this sweet gift yesterday. I posted this picture on my Blog Facebook page, but wanted to include something about it on my blog too. 


I wrote a blog a week or so ago called, I. Am. Terrified. where I talked about my fear of running a 50K and then selected a mantra for the race. All I have to do is Keep Going. Doesn't matter how fast or slow. I just want to finish the race. My Hubbo took my mantra and turned it into a race bib that I can wear on my back to encourage other runners! Either as they pass me or are behind me.  Well let's face it, most likely they will see it as they pass me! :)


I'm really excited to wear it. He is going to wear one on Saturday as well as another Ginger friend of mine, Amber. It will be fun to have a little group of us encouraging others to finish the race and to Keep Going.


Happy Running! My next blog post will hopefully be my Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long 50K Race Recap!