Archive April 2018

OKC Memorial Half – Disappointing?

Today my Running Husband, Dear Husband, myself and another good friend of ours ran our second half marathon of the weekend. This makes my RH and my second time running the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, and I am of the opinion that if I never run this race again it will be too soon. Not because it is a bad race. In fact it is quite the opposite. It is extremely well supported both by cheering bystanders as well as aid, and is full of runners at all paces. You will never run alone doing this half/full marathon. But alas I am not a fan of the course as it winds up and down the City with only a few flat areas in the more boring sections of town which are always against the wind. I grew up in Tulsa and for some reason prefer our hills and neighborhoods to theirs. Just a personal thing, no offense to lovers of this race.

In terms of races I would totally recommend OKC, but I just simply don’t like it. The only reason I did it again this year was to earn my qualification into the Half Fanatics organization. So now that I have met the criteria I have no need, that I can presently think of, to run this race again. Things can always change but I have no plans in the foreseeable future to return to this race.

On the heels of yesterday’s disappointment, not PR-ing at the Tulsa Drillers Half,  I was hoping to redeem myself today, but alas it simply wasn’t in the cards. I am not however disappointed today, and I am at peace with knowing that I had it in me to blast my old PR out of the water yesterday. The thing about disappointment is that is can be fleeting with the right distractions or occupations to take your mind off of it or to give you a new perspective.

As for today’s performance, I just didn’t have enough juice to run the needed 10 minute mile average on this very hilly course, and luckily I knew this by about mile 2 so I didn’t burn myself out as it was hard enough to finish in 2:27. I was just too sore, dehydrated, and sleep deprived to run my best.  It was actually a bit of a relief to know quite early that I wasn’t going to PR, it took the pressure off and allowed me to enjoy what I could of the experience, although given how horribly sore I was during the race, it felt more like I was running the back half of the Little Rock marathon as we didn’t stroll leisurely and still finished with a respectable time and a PR for both of us for this particular race. Let’s just say my new time is just a tad better than last year’s when I was closer to 40lbs heavier.

After the race, on our way home, we stopped off in Edmond and enjoyed some rather tasty burgers at the Cow Calf-Hay. I would recommend it if you are looking for a decent burger in a down-home atmosphere. The décor is as you would expect and the service was great. All-in-all I am happy to have this whole back-to-back half marathon thing out of the way and in general I am good with my overall performance, and super proud of my team. A good ending to the weekend, one that I am not disappointed in after all.

Dealing with Disappointment

First let me preface this post that my Running Husband and my Dear Husband both ran amazing races today. Both breaking PR’s. My RH did this again so soon after his back to back race/long run two weeks ago. He pushed himself way harder than I did and I owe my own improvements race over race to his continued efforts to be a #betternonrunner.

That all said I am super disappointed in my finish today. I didn’t think I was going to be, I honestly didn’t think going into this race that I cared about my finish time as much as I now have come to realize I do. That was my a big mistake. Not knowing the importance to me of my own personal goals. As an adult we don’t get too many opportunities to shine. Projects tend to have anticlimactic endings in my line work, and as a parent we shine through the accomplishments of our children but that is indirect. We occasionally need a personal win and today I missed that chance.

Overall I felt really good. The hill up Turkey Mountain was a bitch but I had energy to burn because we were conservative and ran/walked smart. Again I give that credit to my RH. I chewed some nasty tasting Run Gum around mile 9 that gave me just enough juice to feel like I could really pull this off, but alas I didn’t. At a 2:18, I was two minutes slower than my personal best from the inaugural race of the Tulsa Route 66 Half Marathon in 2006. That was 12 years ago, I am that much older but honestly I am that much wiser thanks to my RH and his zeal for self-education which he has shared with me.

Things I learned about myself today. First never underestimate the importance of putting a win on the board for your team. Getting me to this place in my running career has been nothing short of a team effort. I owed this PR to my team as much as myself. I feel as much that I let myself down, as I let my partner down. He has worked hard to help me get to where we both are and I totally had it in me to make us proud but I let myself lose sight of this and as a result didn’t push myself when I should have and didn’t follow my instinct which was another big mistake.

Second pay attention to your actual run time and don’t depend on race time predictors. This was a major mistake on my part. I got, for lack of a better turn of phrase, cocky when I saw my finish time was several minutes ahead of my goal time. This allowed me to mentally feel like I had extra time at my disposal to hang back and finish with my dear RH. I DID NOT. The  predictor was off because my distance calibration on my Stryd is slightly off and as such my projected finish time was 2:13, by the time it adjusted and swapped to marathon finish time it was too late for me to make up the time.

It took me a while today to grapple with my disappointment. I unfortunately let it get to me, since I wasn’t expecting to feel this way immediately following the race, and sort of stomped all over my DH’s accomplishment of 2nd in his age group and 14th overall which is 1:42 finish time. Yah he is much faster than I will ever aspire to be. I did apologize and congratulated him on his victory, but alas the moment was passed. Seems to be the theme of the morning.

So all that said, tomorrow I am going to try again to break my PR here in OKC. It will be harder, on tired legs, and a more hilly unknown course. BUT so was Tulsa the first time I ran it, and so was San Francisco, so no excuses. I will do my best, and this time know that disappointment may be lurking should I not. I followed my self-care routine this evening and used the hotel tub to soak in hot and ice cold baths. I have tried my best to re-hydrate, although I am sure I will be under-hydrated somewhat tomorrow.

My dear RH is going to pace me until he can’t which likely means that for some portion of the last half of this race I will once again be running solo. I guess this OKC run is just going to be like that for us. One of us has to go off and leave the other, this year I guess it could be my turn, but at least I know I can do it alone.

Shorting For The Summer

So I just bought some new shorts for the summer runs.  Big whoop as 99.999999% of the people would say.  Up till now I’ve been running a variety of shorts, some Under Armor Raid 8″, Champion Vapor 6.2, Champion Performax, Asics Woven 7″.

I don’t care for shorts with a built in liner but it’s almost impossible to find a good running short that doens’t have one.  You can find shorts that don’t such as the Champion but they’re not ‘technically’ running shorts.  They tend to be on the heavy side for one, they’re longer for another.  And over time I’ve found that some of them leave chafe marks around my T-Rex belly on extra long runs.

I went to the all knowing Google and found some sites with various actual honest to goodness shorts reviews by actual runners.  Allegedly because in spite of the commercial you can lie on the internet.

In the end I found two models that were highest recommended of the options.  Brooks Sherpa’s and Salomon Agile shorts.  The Brooks were stupid expensive but allegedly are the short to wear if you’re going Ultra-ing.   The Salomon’s were on pretty deep sale at REI and I have a members dividend from last year so it was like they were both cheap and free at the same time.

Of course they have liners.   The Brooks Sherpa liner is more like a short under short though and isn’t the usual bikini brief liner.

I’m a bit torn now, do I try them out for this weekends back to back halves?  Or do I go with my very tried and somewhat true Champions with Under Armor compression shorts under them.

Over all the Salomon’s in the ‘same’ size as the Brooks are roughly one size smaller.   I ordered 2XL in both and the Salomon’s are, as usual, designed for the ‘old’ sizing pre-vanity so the 2XL is much more like an XL in actual fit compared to modern short sizing.  The Brooks are closer to vanity sizing where the 2XL would have likely been a 3XL 20 years ago.

Both fit well enough although only the Brooks will I have to actually tie the waist ties.

Both are super lightweight, to me anyway, and very ephemeral in feel.  Construction seems on par with what one would expect for a premium short, no loose stitching, no cock eyed stitch lines.

They both only have a single tail bone zippered pouch that’s about big enough for a couple of gels and a key and credit card.   Or a phone from 10 years ago.

I’m not sure if they’re worth the cost, we’ll see.  In the grand scheme of things is saving 3 ounces in cloth on your shorts going to make a big difference?  You take two extra gulps of water and you’ve added that much and more.  And by big difference I mean to elite runners.  3 ounces cut off my 250lbs isn’t even slightly noticeable.

Back to Back Half Marathons

We’ll be doing back to back half marathons this coming weekend.  Technically 2 half marathons within about 26 hours.  The first one will be the Golden Driller Marathon put on by FleetFeet in Tulsa, OK.

Then we’ll head to Oklahoma City to do the OKC Memorial Marathon half.   I’m still very unpleased by their decision to ban hydration vests and this will be the last time I do the OKC run as a result. But it’s their marathon and they get to choose what rules they want to add to the run and I respect that right.  But I also have no desire to change the way I run based on a rule I disagree with.   Especially for a race that has a No Refund policy and race directors that choose to change the rules well after most people have paid to participate in their race.

We’re going to be shooting for a sub 2:15 half result at Golden Driller.   It’s a bit of a push, I _just_ broke a 2:20 half (#250lbnonrunner), and as a result I don’t if I’ll be able to squeeze that out of me. I’ll have to do a little more tapering than normal, this half just happens to fall on the same weekend I’m doing a half for training purposes for my trail marathon in June.   Doing two is pushing that.

I believe my #runningwife is more than capable of breaking her own PR of 2:16:xx that she set at the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco several years ago.   She’s not hampered by the extra 100 lbs of weight between us and 15 years younger and #better so I’m just going to try not to be a #boatanchor for her and push her to set a new PR for herself.

To do that I’m going to be trying a 6-30 run walk run.   6 minutes of 10:00 pace, 30 seconds of walking whatever that turns out to be.   If my math is right that’s a 2:15 and change.

But it’s going to be a hard sell for my old dinosaur body so we’ll see.

But barring cardiac arrest I’ll finish both and that will move up out of Uranus and into Jupiter as my Half Fanatic status.   Not that I mind Uranus.

Stroopwaffels at Costco

Just saw that Costco had a box of 30 Stroopwafel’s for $7.    That’s a far better price point than Stinger Waffles if waffles are your thing.   Buy a bottle of Saltstick tablets and take a electrolyte tablet while you’re eating the Costco offering and you’ll save significant money on fueling.

Nothing against Stingers, just at around $1 to $1.50 a waffle they’re crazy overpriced for what you get since they’re just a stroopwafel type cookie with some added potassium, magnesium and the like.


Hogeye Half Marathon

This last weekend I ran the Hogeye Half Marathon in Springdale Arkansas.  Sadly I did it without my normal running partner, aka my #runningwife.  I did though have a running buddy, a much better runner than me normally and when he tries he’s #awesome but he dialed it back and ran at my ancient dinosaur pace.

We drove down the morning of, getting there right at 5:00 a.m.  We went to the tent to try and do our pick up they weren’t ready for us, technically no one was there at all, so we went back to the car to change and then headed back where of course there was now a line.

There was a lot of issues with bibs just in the few people in front of me.  Most couldn’t be found, one guy didn’t seem to have ever registered for the race.   One marathon runner was a little pissed that he couldn’t get a shirt in his size showing up late on the day of the race.

And as it turned out the guy I was running with ended up with someone else’s bib.  I hope Joshua isn’t too upset about his time.

The course wasn’t bad, it wasn’t awe inspiring, it was a city run after all in what is basically a small town but it wasn’t bad.  And the last 3 miles wasn’t uphill which was very much appreciated.

I hadn’t planned on running this one fast, I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ it to be honest but I knew I wasn’t doing based on feel.

As usual I started off a little slow (for me, a lot slow for others) but you know what, as usual I ended up passing some of those folks later on who went out too fast and burned out.  It can be hard to set a plan and even harder to stick to it. But I’ve found over and over that setting a plan enables me to finish stronger.   But as always run your race, not others.

Springdale has a nice wooded area near the lake which they share with Fayetteville and it was a nice place to put part of the route.  Although it was a wee bit hilly to be honest.

For the most part the 2018 route had some sharper hills but they were usually quick to deal with and move on, only one long gradual climb.

Around mile 10 or so I knew I’d been going fast enough that I had it in the cards to set a new PR so I stepped it up a bit and the last few miles rolled past as I ‘ate up’ several people that I’d been playing tag with or that had passed me earlier.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out a heart felt thank you to an incredibly lovely but nameless girl that I leap frogged a couple of times.  She brightened the cold dreary day by just being visible.  But in the end getting a new PR beat out hanging back with her so I moved on.

The last mile was very ziggy and zaggy but coming around the last corner I could see the clock at the finish line and it was ticking up to 2:20 so I kicked it up as much as I could, breaking into a 7min pace for that block thank you very much, and I crossed the line with 8 seconds to spare, with a 2:19:52 cutting another couple of minutes of my half PR which I’d just set 2 weeks earlier cutting 7 minutes off my PR with that one.

I’m going to try and break 2:15 with my next half which is in a week and change just to let my running wife get a new PR for ‘real’.  She has a 2:16 and change PR from several years ago when she ran the Nike Half in San Francisco.   I think she could easily break 2:16 if she wasn’t stuck with #boatanchor in the form of a old reptile.

But I’ll do what I can to get her there.

Gear for this one included (it was damn cold with 20mph winds):

  • Brooks Running Tights
  • Underarmour Shorts (had to wear this to avoid getting naked in the parking lot)
  • Underarmour Infrared Top
  • Chowder Dish Running club shirt
  • Patagonia Vest
  • Garmin HR monitor
  • Ultimate Direction Endure waist belt
  • Crank Sports eFuel and eGel
  • Altra Paradigm V3.0
  • Stryd Footpod
  • Injini Socks
  • Sweetheart Run stocking cap

Half Fanatic

So as it turns out I reached Half fanatic status, at least the reqs awhile ago and just didn’t know it.  I’m currently in Uranus status.  After our back to back halves at the end of the month that moves us to Jupiter status I believe.

I went ahead and signed up paying the lifetime membership option of $150.   At $55 the first year and $15 each year after that, it didn’t like it would take long all things considered to save money.  Assuming I don’t have a heart attack and die or get mauled by a rabid cougar while running.  In which case it was a waste of money.

It’s step one toward becoming a Double Agent which ever since we first saw the shirts at Route 66 run last fall I’ve wanted to be one.

This year’s T-Shirts (no offense guys and gals) doesn’t have the usual bug eyed guy/gal logo on it and for me that’s a good thing.  Since I don’t have any history with the group or their logo, which they explain in detail how it came about and it’s a interesting story, the artwork is just not to my taste.    It seems like that may be the case with a fair number of people since they ditched the logo on this years merch.

Honestly my #runningwife and I were only going to buy one shirt, the one with the smallest version of that log on it prior to now but I’ll likely buy two or three shirts to have to run in now that I can get one that fits more my personal tastes.

Anyway I’m a half fanatic now, working my way toward Marathon Maniac hopefully this fall with a Full and a 50K within 2 weeks of each other.

Lake McMurtry Trail Run 2018

Last weekend my #runningwife and I drove down to Stillwater Oklahoma in the crazy dark hours of the morning to do the 25K race at Lake McMurtry.   We left early as there was a chance of ice and snow on the trip and during the race but as it turned out we missed all that weather.  At least one person didn’t though as their car was covered with frozen moisture.

The 25K started later than we thought as well so bottom line is we spent a fair amount of time sitting around waiting for the race to start.  But at least we didn’t show up late?   #silverlining

The race went off without a hitch really at the race level.  The course was with only a single exception marked well.  There was one place where if you didn’t remember how you got somewhere, on the way back you could get confused as there was a lady in front of us who did exactly that but we kept her on track.

It was a double ‘lollipop’ race with us going out about 6-7 miles on one route which was pretty flat for the most part then returning to the start point and going out on the other route for the remainder 15 miles the route.  My Stryd measured right at 15.67 miles overall and we took a side trek for a pit stop when we got back after loop 1 which added that little bit extra so overall the course was spot on IMO.  The week before on a Half on a certified street course my Stryd measured 13.1x so I’m fairly confident the McMurtry race folks had their course measured right down to the foot.

The second loop introduced a little more elevation change but nothing life altering.  None of the route was technical to any degree and the trails were almost all single track dirt with a minimum of tripping hazards.   If you’ve run the Snake Run aka Pink Trail at Turkey Mountain reserve in Tulsa then it’s about that like that.   Easy route to set your brain on 50% and coast.

Each route had a very short section, 2 to 4 hundred yards of road surface, one gravel and one asphalt.

The weather was brisk for this year’s run “coldest we’ve ever had” as one of the race folks put it.  But thanks to all the trees the wind wasn’t an issue and I can run in pretty cold weather as long as it’s not super windy.

The scenery wasn’t awe inspiring if you grew up in Oklahoma, the usual mixed trees and shrubs with some open grass fields.  The route didn’t get to the lake as close as I would have thought, only a couple of places were we near the water and only a few could you see the lake.

Being it was so cold it seems like most of the folks who braved the weather were the more experience (i.e. good) runners which honestly has been my experience with Trail Running so far.  At least in a street race I end up usually in the top 50%, occasionally in the top 25% in terms of finishing times.  For trail runs I’m a back of the packer for sure of the crowds and races I’ve run finishing in the bottom 10% for all but the 3 Hour Snake run where I came in 3rd in my age group.

I believe trail running draws in dedicated runners, street running draws in a more casual crowd and as a result my #notarunner status shows up far more in trail running.

Overall we had a good time I believe on this run, I did anyway and I think if you’re a newer trail runner like myself and my #runningwife then this is certainly a good fit for you.



T-Town Half Race

The T-Town Half race has come and gone and I actually cut my PR by 7 minutes from my last half.  18 minutes off my first half.  It was a typical Fleet Feet race in that it was well done with decent aid stops on the usual course.

My #RunningWife didn’t race it with me but she did join me for part of it as her weekend run.  She caught up with me on the public running trail and ran that section with me and then peeled off once we got back to the closed off streets.  Some people might call that banditing but she only ran on the publicly open running trail, she didn’t use any of the aid stations and she didn’t cross any start, finish or timing mats and she certainly didn’t steal a medal at the end.

So I’ll argue most strenuously with anyone that says that is banditing a race.

The route was the same as last year and most of it is the same as the Golden Driller race coming up in that it uses the Riverparks West trail for the majority of the race.   Most flat course although the last mile or two does have some climb back up to the start in it.

This was also the debut race for our Chowder Dish Running Club shirts.

TREX Near the Finish