Happy Turkey-Eve!! Woohoo!! I'm looking forward to seeing my family later this week and spending some quality time (shopping) with my husband!!
But first, let me recap the Tulsa Route 66 half marathon for you. My race weekend started Friday with volunteering at the expo. I only had a 2 hour shift at the Fanzone, where individuals could make signs for their favorite runners. The expo wasn't really very busy at this time, so not many signs were made during my time there. After I finished my shift, I picked up my packet and wandered around to see if there was any new gear that I needed. I really didn't find too many goodies, but I got some really cute shirts for my nieces from my friend, Jessica with Cheerbaby She has some really cute stuff!! I also ran into the lovely race directors from the Little Rock Marathon. They are so much fun!! I told them that the 2014 Little Rock half marathon was a horrible disaster for me. They promised me some "happy" in my email and talked me into running it again in 2015. I couldn't really say no because it is pirate themed!!
Sunday morning, I woke up 2.5 hours early and couldn't really go back to sleep. I was really very excited about this race. It is one of my favorites and it was the first half I had done in 8 months. I suppose I was a little anxious too. I had my race dummy already laid out. One last check of the weather to make sure my clothes were going to be appropriate and I started getting ready. We got to Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa in time for the group photo and then made our way down to the starting line for the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics photo. After that, we found my corral. I made one last pit stop and got in the corral. I wasn't freaking out like I was last year. 2013 it was below freezing and I couldn't feel my fingers! This year, it was in the high 50's, 95% humidity, with light winds. Now, in Oklahoma, the wind also comes sweeping down the plain and this was the case Sunday morning. I opted to keep my lightweight jacket with me but that lasted for about 2 minutes. I took it off and stuffed it in my hydration pack.
Now, I'm no stranger to Tulsa streets and the lay of the land in Tulsa. I've trained here long enough to know that there are hills!! I was expecting that and we had run a mock up of the course a couple weeks prior to the race, so I was feeling good at this point. I met a couple of Marathon Maniacs from Arkansas at about mile 1.5 and ran off/on most of the race with them. I loved the course this year because it took us through more neighborhoods rather than on Riverside Drive. The weather was perfect in my opinion and the course support in the neighborhoods was amazing!!
My previous finish time for this race is 2:23, set last year in the freezing cold. I was hoping to finish a little better then that this year, so I had my sights set on the 2:20 pace group. I finally caught up with them somewhere near Peoria Avenue. I ran with them for a couple of miles, but around mile 8, I got a sharp pain in my side that almost stopped me dead in my tracks. I slowed down a little bit until the pain passed. I could have tried to catch up to them, but I knew I would need some gas for the hills at the end, so I continued at this pace. We were now on Cincinnati Ave, where I knew my friend, Lisa had an "unofficial" water stop. They were calling it #cheersoncincinnati They had beer and jello shots as well as photo ops, cow bells, horns, and other various revelry. I was happy to see familiar faces and stopped briefly for a jello shot.
We finally made it to Riverside Drive at about mile 10. This flat portion of the course was a welcomed reprieve from the hills that we had done and the hills that were yet to come. We went south on Southwest Boulevard briefly before we headed up "Hospital Hill" I've run this numerous times on training runs and it is a pretty daunting hill. I walked about halfway up it then ran the rest of the way. I took a short walk break at the top, then took advantage of the downhill in front of the convention center. This was about mile 12 and I was feeling pretty tired at this point. Even though we train on these hills routinely, they were kicking my butt!! I started walking up the hills and running the downhills at this point. We went under the train bridge on Denver and turned east through the Brady district. At this point, the male winner of the half marathon passed us. I was so happy when we turned east on the final stretch and I could finally see the finish line. I was tired but I used what little bit of gas I had left to finish strong!
I quickly collected my medal and made my way through the throng of other finishers. I collected some fruit and KIND bars and tried to find my husband. After I connected with him, we went to the Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics tent briefly but I wanted real food. We headed to McNellies for grub. After getting my belly full, we cheered for the 5-6 hour marathoners for a little while. The sun had come out and it was now in the mid 60's. It was evident that the heat was affecting some of them. I wanted to stay and watch for my Arkansas friends, but I had no idea where they were and assumed that they had finished. I was tired, ready for hot tea, a hot bath and a nap, so we headed home. I found out later, that my Arkansas friends were still on the course and I could have watched them finish, but I was wiped out! I took a 2 hour nap when we got home!!
The Route 66 was my first half marathon in 2011. This was the 4th time I've run it and it was probably my favorite Route 66 run thus far. I finished at 2:24, so no PR for me this time. But it was still a decent finish time and I had a lot of fun, so that's what really matters.
My race calendar for 2015 is filling up quickly!! Pathways starts again in December. This will be the first time for a winter Pathways session and I'm moving up a pace group, so that is exciting!
I ran a few recovery miles last night with friends. My legs are still tired!! Then I came home and did Body Beast Bulk Shoulders. It was all I could do to finish that!! Tonight is Bulk Chest, tomorrow I'll run 3-3.5 miles before turkey-geddon! Friday will be Bulk Back. Saturday I'm planning a 6 mile run then Bulk Arms and Bulk Shoulders again on Sunday. Monday, we rest! Sheesh.....that's a busy week!! Additionally, I'll try to squeeze in some Black Friday shopping and holiday decorating!
I've got something exciting up my sleeve for next week. We'll talk about that later!
Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!! Whatever you do tonight, make it ridiculously amazing!!
Do you have a favorite race/run??
What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
Will you Back Friday shop??