2017 Tulsa Run Recap

I loved this run.  I’ve run this race each year since I’ve moved to Tulsa because the locals hype it up so much, and it does not disappoint.  It’s been around longer than the marathons here and has years of history and support.  This year was the 40th anniversary!

My mentality for this run was to just have a good time.  Enjoy the weather, enjoy the course, enjoy the run.  Since there was no pressure on a specific performance, I went out for a girls’ night on Friday (or maybe because of the girls’ night, I didn’t put any pressure on).  Either way, it was great to spend time outside of fitness hanging with the gals.  We went to Prairie Brewpub for drinks and dinner before seeing Maren Morris at the Brady.

I was in bed by midnight and then up again around six to make sure I got to the Studio to see the 5k gals off.  Their race was first at 7:50.  I brought almost my entire wardrobe with me to the Studio because it’s been so long since I’ve run in this kind of weather.  The forecast was calling for low 30s but I knew the sun would be shining and we’d warm up fast.  I had fleece-lined pants, regular pants, gloves, a hat, ear warmers, jackets, long sleeves and a costume.  Last minute I decided to go with the costume, a long sleeve shirt and my regular pants (with a side pocket of course).

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Michelle and I started together with no real plan except to have fun.  I thought about alternating hard miles with easy miles, but once we were out there just decided to run it strong.  Before we even hit the first mile I knew I was going to be too warm.  At mile 2 I began “Operation Layer Reduction while Still Running”  My velvet sleeves of the Supergirl costume were making me so hot as a double layer.  I knew I had to take one layer off but didn’t want it to be the costume.  This was a very involved operation because my bib was pinned to my undershirt, and I wanted the undershirt to be the layer lost.  So I removed the bib, took off both shirts, had Michelle hold my headphones and undershirt, put the costume layer back on, reattach the bib and tie the undershirt around my waist.  So much relief!

We kept running at a pretty good pace, rolling over the hills, and then reached my favorite part of the course.  When we get to Peoria, there’s a couple of miles of runners running against each other and it is so fun and encouraging.  I remember several specific moments of just pure bliss (I know, crazy talk) – smiling at other runners, keeping an eye on Michelle ahead of me and feeling strong.  Plus people loved the costume and cheered me on the whole way!

I did start to struggle a little bit once we crossed to the west side and had just under two miles to go.  I had a little side stitch that lasted a while so I just told myself to breathe through it and keep moving.  I never stopped and it eventually went away.

Finally, we came to the rolling hill to get us back up from the river.  I could still see Michelle but she was a good distance ahead and I knew I wouldn’t catch her.  I rounded the corner on Boston and just pushed it to the finish.  Next order of business was brunch!

I ended up with about a 20 second PR and a renewed sense of racing.  I’m looking forward to continuing to train through the winter, and pick a few more key races to practice running strong in.  What a great event!

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Rudolph Run Week 8 Update

I dropped the ball on weeks 10 and 9 but am still logging those miles for my big target 5k race in December.  I’m hoping to break 22 minutes on this one but as some fellow runners pointed out this weekend, you never know what the weather will do in December, and it’s hard to race when it’s really, really cold.  It’s good training anyway ;).  And the end goal is a BQ next year so taking the training one distance at a time.

This week was awesome.  I’m still sticking to my three runs a week, and three circuits a week plan.  My yoga needs a little more attention but I’m working on it.

  • Track:  This week was a long 200 m pyramid.  We started at 200m and added 200m each interval up to 800 before coming back down.  I thought it was a lot of fun but not all the members of the track club did!  Hit the first half of the intervals in sub 7s and the second half in low 7s.
  • Tempo: This week I treated the Tulsa Run as my tempo day.  We ran this as a group from the studio on Saturday.  Two of my gals from the running group did the 5k and Michelle and I ran the 15 together.  I didn’t really have a plan, or even look up my first year’s time.  And at the last minute I decided to wear a costume!  Fun was more the goal here and I definitely got that – I’ll write about the run in more detail later this week.
  • Long: My long run was a recovery last night after making up a circuit workout yesterday morning.  I’m proud I got all three runs and all three circuits in, and because of the great feeling after the race, already have one circuit and a set of sprints done for this week!

Total Miles: 19.8  (I’m not even bothered that I was .2 away from making a round 20, but I know some people who would be!)

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Week 8 edits

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Fresh Week 7!

All around this was a great week of training.  I loved the Tulsa Run and am so grateful to be back in the running spirit – look for a post about the race later this week!  On to week 7!

My Summer Long Run Uniform

I made a pledge at the start of the year to not purchase any items of clothing for all of 2017 (with a few exceptions).  At this point in the game, I hadn’t signed up to run a marathon yet, so I made a few more exceptions once I was enlisted in this endeavor and had miles of training in front of me.  I wore two particular articles of clothing for every long run and during the race.  They were perfect and I have no complaints about either item of clothing.  Since I loved them so much, I want to tell you about each piece.  I will definitely be buying a second pair of each once my purchasing ban is lifted and I start summer training again next year.

The Perfect Running Bra

It does exist and it is made by Lululemon.  I have squeezed myself into sports bra after sports bra but this is the one y’all: The Enlite Bra.

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Summer long run uniform

I’m lucky in that I don’t have to contend too much with my girls and their bounce or weight when I run.  And I’d honestly never really thought twice about a good sports bra, until I wore this one.   It made the days I wore other sports bras seem restrictive and uncomfortable.

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Full coverage on the front and no bouncing!

I love the Enlite because it has individual cups for each gal.  Turns out I don’t really love having them smooshed into a uni-boob.  I also love that it hooks in the back in addition to the usual elasticity of sports clothing because that helped eliminate some of the bounce that happens when running (again, I don’t have much to contend with here, but I did notice).  The criss-crossed straps in the back also helped me feel tucked in and tight.  The best part though was probably the fabric.  It is SO soft.  And there’s something magical about it that doesn’t collect sweat (and man were there some sweaty days in July gearing up for that race).  I remember wearing a different bra on a humid night run of way less than half the distance of some of those morning long runs and I had to wring it out it got so soaked in sweat.  I never had to wring out the Enlite, because of the magic fabric.

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Enlite Bra + mid thigh tights = perfect running combo

The Perfect Running Bottoms

When I first started running, I wasn’t too picky about the kind of clothing I had on.  I didn’t know any better.  It only took one run over 5 miles to learn that shorts are not a good option for my legs for that many miles.  No thigh gap there.  So for years, I’ve run in mid-length tights all through the summer months for runs over 5 miles.  When the temps started to climb in Oklahoma on this marathon training cycle, I knew I needed a different plan.

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I spy a phone tucked into a side pocket

I bought my favorite pair of running bottoms to date.  They are the mid-thigh tight shorts that remind me of biker shorts.  They’re amazing for a few reasons:

  1. They are way cooler (as in temps) than tights just a few inches longer.
  2. They are way more comfortable than traditional shorts and I can wear them for miles and miles without a concern of chafing.
  3. THEY HAVE SIDE POCKETS

I’ve written about my love for side pockets before but I’ll reiterate again.  As a digital runner who uses her phone for music, run tracking and instagramming on the run, side pockets changed the game for me.  There is less sweat there than at the normal small-of-the-back pocket and the bounce from the large device is minimal when it’s snug against your leg.  There’s also plenty of room for hours of snacks and mid-run essentials like salt tablets and Aleve.  I’ll never buy pants or shorts intended for running without side pockets again.  Ever.

Unfortunately this version of the shorts is no longer in production but I’ll let you know when something similar is available for purchase.   I’ll definitely be buying another pair when they come back around!

 

 

Tulsa Run 15k

Last Halloween I ran a race that I will tell you about today!  Since moving to Tulsa in August of 2014, I’d heard rave reviews of a strange-to-me distance race – the Tulsa Run.  It’s a 15k or 9.3 mile run through downtown and close by neighborhoods of my current hometown.  It’s Tulsa’s longest running foot race and fits well into the training cycle for the more popular distances of half and full marathons in November.

I made sure this year (now, last year!) to fit it into the race schedule.  All fall I’d been focusing on a tough training regime to help me PR in the half marathon distance in late November.  The 15k distance would be an excellent indicator for how ready I was for the half distance just a few weeks later.

I don’t really get nervous for runs like these because it’s just a fun opportunity to have a bunch of people with me on my long run.  Normally I would have sported a costume but I was in this run to actually race it.  So, no tutus or capes that would add wind resistance BUT I did wear a bright orange top.

My game plan was to just run how I felt.  It wasn’t an intimidating distance since I was prepping for 4 additional miles.   I was a little concerned about the hills I’d been hearing about but I figured I was familiar enough with the streets of Tulsa to know where the big hills would be – Utica area and coming back into town from the river.

It’s been long enough that I don’t really remember the weather that morning.  I think it was chilly to start, especially as we transitioned out of a steamy summer.  But I also remember it was humid.  I use the Nike+ app to track my runs now – no more worrying with a watch (I do miss it, just not in the budget currently).

The run was amazing.  I ran strong and felt like I was moving at a decent pace.  I saw a few familiar faces from YMCA and boot camps around town and it was fun to say hello and cheer on some friends.  We started downtown, in a similar way to how the Route 66 race starts, so I tried to visualize that race too.

The first hill came leading up towards Cherry Street so I didn’t try to push the pace.  Just stay steady.  Especially that early in the run.  And then as each mile passed it was still – just stay steady.  Soon I was on the Peoria out and back and really loved watching the crowd pass as I looked for familiar faces.  Didn’t see many but lots of costumes kept the miles entertaining.  There was an entire troop of Star Wars characters, a Forrest Gump (of course) with a fish on a line! (another runner dressed as a fish).

I periodically checked my pace and was pleased to see that for not much apparent effort I was keeping a fast (for me) pace.  All those treadmill track days paying off!

The last part of the race on the West side of the river was tough.  Not sure if it was because it was the tail end of the race OR knowing that there was a big hilly effort to get back into town.  OR that some humidity had set in and by now it was after 10 am and fairly warm.  My Foolish Things family all came out to cheer me on as I ran by and that gave me a surprising burst of energy.  Enough to push hard to the finish line (also slightly up hill).  I finished strong and had my first ever puke at the finish line.  Thankfully not on anyone, and I’m not sure anyone actually saw me.  I feel like a real racer now ;).

Overall this race totally lived up to its hype.  I can’t wait to do it again and again as long as I live in Tulsa.  It is beautifully organized, a challenging course, well supported and the medal glows in the dark!  If you live in Tulsa, you should definitely add this to your calendar.  And if you don’t, you should consider a special trip, even though it’s not one of the “big” distances.

According to Nike+ app I ran 9.46 miles in 1:16:50 for an average of 8:07.  This set me up for a great half marathon effort in just a few weeks.  I only need to add 4 strong miles to the end of this and I think with the right weather I totally could.

A few weeks later I got a surprise package in the mail for an award.  I wasn’t fast enough to be in an age group for this race (although I hope for one in 2016) but I was fast enough in my weight category for a pretty little trophy.  I’m not sure how I feel about weight group prizes….not sure yet if I think it encourages or categorizes people in an unnecessary way.  What do you think?

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3rd place in my “Filly” weight group.