T-Rex History

I thought I’d throw some notes out there about myself.  First, where did the T-Rex come from?  Firstly when I first started pretending to run I would sometimes look like the proverbial dinosaur with short little arms trotting after some tasty triceratops.

Secondly because of my smaller group I’m quite the older of the lot.

How did I become a #notarunner?

My athletic history for most of my life has been pretty much a roller coaster of peaks and valleys of participation.  More valleys than peaks.   As a kid it was the stereotypical, run around the neighborhood and woods all day till it was too dark to see (no street lights in the tiny little town I grew up in).

Then we moved to a ‘big’ city and for a few years it was fairly quiet on the exertion front then sports came into play, wrestling and football which occupied the school year and part of the summers.

Then it was time to move on and get a job but at the same time I got involved in the fledging sport of Paintball.  So early in the sport that we were still using the same paint that they used to mark trees for cutting down.  Yes, that’s where the paintball came from, marking tools used by lumberjacks and rangers and the like to mark trees.

Paintball involves a lot of running, sprinting really followed by periods of not moving all at random.  A kind of martial fartlek going on.

During this time I also took up running for fun with a good friend of mine.  Together we were able to always prevent the other from just going to the ice cream store instead of running when it was 110F and -10F.  My running was a fairly consistent 25-27 minute 3 mile run 3 times a week, rarely went past that and when I did it was because of some random pretty girl who was amiable to the company on the trail.

Then marriage came and went and came again along with kids the second time and during this time there were moments of lackluster engagment in strength training, weight loss and no running.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago, June 2016, that for a fairly random reasons, the primary one I got a Fenix 3 HR watch which almost demanded that I try to use it for it’s purposes, i.e. tracking running.

To say it was a couch to 5K would be generous.  It was a sleepy sloth to a slow turtle to be honest.

I ran my first 5K 4 months later clocking in a speedy 39 minute run.  But I ran the whole thing without stopping even if my ‘running’ was barely above walking.

2 months later I ran my first 10K in training, not well, on Christmas day.  2 months after that I ran a 10K as a race.  It was during this period that I started running with someone else, my partner in crime on this site who became RW Prime.  At the time I’d been running for about 8 months and she was probably at the same state I was 4 months in.  It didn’t take her long to catch up to me and then of course surpass me.

While at a local running store a pleasant lady by the name of Olga introduced me to the concept of the “Running Spouse”.  And thus T-Rex’s running wife club was formed which has been quite a source of humor.   The only qualification to be a member is you have to run a race with me.  To date this gives me 4 running wives, although one of them, Rabbit, is more honorary because while we ran the same race, it was 1200 miles apart.  I’ve had a shot at a couple of other random wives who approached me during races but we ended up not running together for whatever reasons.

2 months after that I ran my first half marathon.

I didn’t run my first full until March 2018, the Little Rock Marthon 2018.  Prior to that my longest distance was 20 miles, on a day so cold the water froze in our bottles and bladder lines.  Literally froze next to our bodies.

Then 3 months later I ran my first trail run, the Mowdy Mustang Run, in June.  A marathon distance, on trails, in Oklahoma summers.   Not my brightest decision but looking back it was a great experience and certainly pushed me to my limits in keeping moving forward in spite of adversity.

Which brings us to the present and looking back.

In the 2 years 2 months I’ve been running, as of right now I’ve run 2320 miles.  With Run being a pretty generous term, let’s just say that I’ve tracked 2320 training miles over the last 26 months.   That includes a 2 week down time due to injury but other than that every training day I’ve run.  Regardless of temperatures, weather, pain, stress, mental condition, life, work, whatever.  If it’s a run day, I run.

And that I believe is why I continue to run.  Because a run day is the same as a breathing day.  Once you let yourself miss a day, of anything, it doesn’t have to be running, but once you miss a day, the second day is easier to rationalize a reason to miss, the third time is easier until you realize it’s been 3 months since you’ve done whatever it was you were going to do.

My current roadmap is racing against time to reach my goals.  Time is my enemy at my age.  The older you get the harder it gets and I’m starting a bit behind the 8 ball in that regard.

I’m going to attempt a 50K this fall, a 50Mile in Q1 in 2019 (barring major injury) and potentially next fall there’s a race I’d like to try, the Cave Creek Thriller 50K + 30K double.  You run a 50K in the morning and a 30K that evening.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I’m not sure when, where, if, a Hundred is in the cards but as Rabbit has stated publicly she’s going to do it with us if and when we do that it certainly adds to the draw.  Although she’ll be bored silly I’m sure at the pace that we’d be doing.

Just Who Do You Think You Are?


Western States 100 at 2AM

Toeing the start of any race, this is where my mind goes. How did I get here? What makes me think I can do what these real athletes are doing? I’m just me. Not some impressive individual like those I’m standing with. I’m just the one who as a child my mother couldn’t patch the knees in my pants fast enough as I was constantly tearing around and roughhousing. I’m just the one who as I teacher, my kids used to whisper to me during long periods of sitting, “Mrs. Lanka, you’re getting the wiggles” indicating that I wasn’t being still and we all should go outside and run to the fence before continuing w/ the lesson. I’m just the one who designed and marked 24 annual races as Brazen Racing’s event coordinator, overjoyed purely at the fact that others would be outdoors and on the “playground” the following day. I’m just the one who reported on events such Western States at 2 AM in the morning for UltraSportsLive.TV, half crazed due to supporting live feeds for almost 30 hours in hopes to encourage viewers to realize how much potential they have. I’m just the one who currently derails my own meetings by walking into a conference room and asking about the trail shoes someone is wearing* or after being informed that the majority of a customer’s company bikes to work, asks if they would be comfortable with me doing the same. The threads lacing through these experiences are abundant: the draw to the outdoors, the drive for adventure and love of movement, the encouraging and empowering others to realize the strength within them to join the party. Back at the start line, in taking an honest look around me, I see these threads weaving through those I have the honor of sharing the space with, if only by their interactions with each other. And as I study them further, deeper hues of our commonalities become evident, further bonding us by our nature. We all

2017 White River 50M Finish

On the “Playground”

know that we are going to be blessed with sights only found in the wilds we traverse. We all know we’re going to chance upon new friends as well as discover new realities about our spirits and physical capabilities. We all know that somewhere out there, it’s perfectly possible that we will come across some homemade cookies that taste unbelievably heavenly for the sole reason that we had to labor to find them in the racing wilderness.

So, who am I? I’m just another child surreptitiously hidden in an adult body.

Just like everyone else here.

And we’re going out to play.


* This is how I had the pleasure of first meeting Trex, who in turn introduced me to the Bunny not long after. 😊 Oh and me? I’m the RAbbit (WestsideRabbit if you are on Instagram). But that’s a story for another day.

Sacrifices & Rewards

Finally I have (unofficially) broken my 12-year-old Half Marathon PR. Today, thanks to the creative planning of my RH, we Raced The Dawn and I managed break my record by a whole 1:01 for a total finish time of 2:15:15. This was no easy task, and it surprised me just how difficult it ended up being given how confident I was in my abilities to break this record.

What made it so difficult you ask?  (You probably didn’t ask, but I will tell you anyways.)

For starters, in order to make this happen it required extra hydration over the last few days which resulted in numerous trips to the bathroom, including in the middle of the night; eating when it’s rush-hour at Luby’s (5pm); going to bed before 8pm; getting out of bed at the early/late hour of 2am; and leaving my house 45 minutes later, so T-Rex and I could meet at the half way point, stash a vehicle and water reroute, with just enough time to spare to start our “race” at 3:57am (PR time – Sun Rise time).  As previously mentioned in another post this was a re-run of The Golden Driller route, at which this year I failed to break my PR; and at which last year was cancelled on account of torrential rains, gale force winds, and considerable lightning in the area. This resulted in our not getting to run the half marathon we were trained and ready to run, and the decision to plunk down the premium last minute entry fees for the OKC Memorial race the following day, and we know how that race ended up now don’t we?

The official race conditions this year were near perfect for a PR, but it seems our re-run was not able to escape the ‘Curse of the Golden Driller’.  As we arrived at the park, much to our amusement, once again we were met with a torrential downpour, strong winds, and lightning. As we sat in the car watching the sheeting rains there was nothing to do but laugh and check the radar again. Luckily the worst of it passed quickly over us and we were left with steady light rains and winds with cloud-to-cloud lightning far enough away not to be of danger, and just enough time to make our official start time.

So into the rain we stepped, found our official start/finish segment of pavement, set our watches to the same race program we used three weeks ago, and then set off at our race pace.

The weather being what it was actually cooled the morning off enough so that overheating wasn’t as big of a problem as it threatened to be, but all the water on the trail eventually soaked our shoes completely, and by the end of the race I was weighed down, drenched in water from head to toes. My soaked clothes and shoes probably added a good 2lbs of dead weight. But the rain made nice sounds as we ran under the trees that canopy the trail in several areas, so there’s that at least.

It being as late/early as it was and pitch black thanks to the clouds, we discovered that the Riverparks trail lights don’t blaze all night. Luckily we had headlamps to light the trail and all the frogs that hopped in front of us.

And unlike a sponsored public race, and because of the ungodly hour of the morning, in the rain, there was no one else on the trails running but T-Rex and I, which has its pluses and its minuses. On the plus side, you don’t have to constantly bunny hop around other runners, forced to weave and dodge around them expending additional energies. Also there is something nice about the quiet of running in the middle of the night in the rain. Meditative. But on the minus side there were no cheering fans, or by-standers, no support, no one to catch up with, and lastly the lack of energy and enthusiasm that comes from the race high. Not that T-Rex wasn’t good company, quite the opposite, although we ran mostly without conversation on account of the harder pace and need to conserve oxygen, which felt scarcer thanks to all the moisture in the air.

Eventually I was given the direction to “go on without me,” and unlike last-time I did.  Right around mile 10 I broke away and hoofed it as fast as I could go at that point, which wasn’t nearly as fast as I had hoped for and squeaked into the finish with just a minute to spare. But my speed vs T-Rex’s gave me just enough time to grab my celebratory supplies, to setup some finish line tape, and open a confetti popper as he crossed the finish. Mission accomplished.

Many things are sacrificed in the pursuit of one’s personal best. Today that sacrifice was sleep, energy, wear-n-tear on the body, and time with family while I mostly lazed around the house in recovery from my run. I was completely deplete of the energy needed to do more energetic activities most of the day, stove up with some muscle knots in my back, and I couldn’t to do much with my family besides sit around and watch movies. Although I did take them to the pool hoping to help them burn off energy and give me a chance to soak in the hot tub, but the latter didn’t happen and I ended up in more pain than when I went in. Oh well, put some mom points on the board for sacrificing recovery for making happy memories with the kiddos, and hopefully this spasming pain in my back will go away with proper rest home treatments.

But, for me, the sacrifices made were worth the feeling of accomplishment that came with finally putting this PR win on the board. And because no race would be complete without bling, separately–unbeknownst to each other,  T-Rex and I both made, and had made, special awards and medals to make official our First Place Male and Female statuses of Race the Dawn, a RunSalty production.

Today turned out to be one our most memorable and fun events, and though T-Rex doesn’t know it yet, I am going to propose that we do this again next year, and turn this into a yearly event. Next year maybe our friends will join us as we try and beat the sunrise again and break the curse of the Golden Driller.


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.

Dual Running Wives

My actual real wife has started a couch to 5K as of last week and has made every training day and a few not training days as well.  I think she’ll end doing far better than she thinks she can.

We’re going to turn the Route 66 5K together in November so that will be a fun race for me.  Unless she ends up like my running wife and a faster better runner than I am.  Which is quite possible as that’s what women tend to do to me, show me up. 🙂

My running wife has, in spite of her denial, gotten better than me.  It would be surprising if she didn’t, she’s 15 years my junior and 100# lighter.   That’s hard to compete with.   Not to mention she’s been pretty athletic most of her life.

But she swears she’s just in it for the health benefits and will stick it out with me.  So who am I the tortoise to argue with the hare?