October has been a busy month for races at the RunGingerRun house. The Hubbo and I ran the Purple Stride 5K, I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco, and last weekend my Running Buddies and I ran the Tulsa Run 15K.
I did this race last year and this year my goal was to beat my time and get a 15K PR. I did both of those this race and I couldn't be happier!
I'm going to go ahead and get my one and only complaint about this race over with so the rest of this blog can be fun. Last year the race had some issues. The expo was so tiny and crowded that it took over an hour for packet pickup. They also ordered the most freakishly small shirts so no one had a shirt that actually fit them. This year, they learned their lesson. The Expo was in a much larger and easier to maneuver room. It almost felt empty but that's not my complaint. Since the shirt issue was so crazy and I still can't really fit into my shirt even though I've lost 21lbs, I decided to play it safe and order up a size. Well I guess Tulsa Run was also afraid of the same problem so they gave everyone MEN'S shirts. So I don't have a ladies size, I don't have a unisex size, I have a freaking MEN'S LARGE shirt that is wayyyyy too big. Great. I have one that is too small and one that is too big. Maybe next year will be the charm and I'll get it right! To be continued....
Typical before race corral picture!
Before the race, some of my running buddies and I made arrangements to meet up under the Domino's sign downtown. That's a perfect way to start a race right? Under a pizza place? Seems legit.
The course was exactly the same this year as it was last year. Who needs change? Not the Tulsa Run! We started out in downtown Tulsa and run out to riverside and back. The majority of the course is pretty flat but the last mile is up a steady incline which is not very fun.
I'm surprised to say that I got a PR because my body was not feeling it for this race. I looked down at my Garmin and we were only 1.2 miles into the race and I had already hit the wall. Cool. My calf, hip, and hamstring were all hurting and I was starting to develop a fun little side-stitch that stuck around until mile 7.
I know, I know. I said no more complaining. I said my only complaint was about the race, not my body so...
I was lucky to have my running buddy, Deb, stay with me until about mile 7 or so and I was starting to slow way down. At mile 8 someone was handing out free beer so I figured it had helped me in the Route 66 Marathon last year why not give it a try since I wasn't feeling it for this race? Bad idea! It burned the entire last mile like I had just had a shot of tequila. Gross. Lesson learned. No more beer during races.
Oh, one more thing about the course. I have no idea why, but they only had one port-a-potty on the course. Not like one spot with multiple port-a-potties in a row, but one spot with one port-a-potty. There were close to 5,000 runners! What were you thinking Tulsa Run? Glad I didn't have to stop and wait in line because my time would have not even been close to a PR.
After the race, there is an area for families and runners to hang out. It is almost kind of like an outdoor expo. Kinda
. There are a few vendors where you can buy things like Tulsa Run race gear, get your free beer, or even buy pizza from a local restaurant. We all decided even though it was chilly out to grab our post-race cold beer and hang out downtown for a few minutes. Then we got cold and hungry and went to the Old School Bagel Cafe
for a post-race meal and it was perfect! We even got to talk to one of the owners for a little bit and heard they made national news recently for a Pay It Forward ordeal that lasted all day long. Virtual High-Five for you Tulsa! You guys rock! If you are in Tulsa for a run or a race or whatever, you have to go to this place to refuel. It was perfect!
Clearly, we take post-race hydration very seriously. But no one takes it more seriously than my running buddy Carmen! If you look closely you can see that one of us has 2 adult beverages + 2 bottles of water! No one is going thirsty on with this group! :)
Tulsa Run Race Dummy!
Here's my race dummy. I managed to remember everything this time, including my back bib, which was a hit at the race. One woman even said she was going to stay right behind me the whole time so she could read the bib and finish the race. If you can't read it, it says "Left Foot, Right Foot, Repeat". I don't know if she really followed me the whole time, but it felt cool to motivate someone I didn't even know during a run.
My Race Stats:
Overall Place: 2738 out of 4331
Age Group: 240 out of 431
Time: 1:23:37 (Also got a 15K PR!)
Overall Place: 1270 out of 4331
Age Group: 133 out of 267
What is your favorite post-race meal to refuel?