Monday, November 19, 2012

Route 66 Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, November 18
Marathon #15
State #8
Tulsa, OK
Weather - Mostly overcast, (much) warmer than last year, WINDY

I apparently registered for the Route 66 marathon on opening day - January 31. Obviously that was when I was in the middle of being awesome in my ultra training. And what's the big deal with a marathon?

Well. Obviously, a marathon is now VERY intimidating for me, as I've had quite a few now that were NOT great.

Anyway, this was going to be a "first" for me. The first time I would travel to the same out of state race to run another distance. I had picked this for my Oklahoma half because of the huge presence of 50 staters and Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics. This race does specific bibs and medals JUST for them. Well of COURSE I want a special medal. Also, by doing the full marathon this year, I could participate in the .3 mile detour to the "Center of the Universe" and get ANOTHER piece of bling - a special coin.


Obviously I make travel as complicated as possible. I am super thrifty, so if I can find a deal by picking a weird flight schedule or flying into a random airport, I will.

L did not want to do this race again, but I manged to convince my friend Ruth to join me. We had a 10:35 flight out of Denver to Oklahoma City (much cheaper than flying into Tulsa) and I picked her up in Denver around 8:15 before heading to the airport. Everything took longer than expected and by the time we got to our "gate" it was only about 15 minutes until boarding.

Our flight left on time, and was only about an hour long. Score!! I had booked the hotel in Tulsa and Ruth booked the rental car. Unfortunately her drivers license was expired and she still hadn't received her new one in the mail, and even with the paperwork and her passport, they wouldn't rent to her, which means I got to do the 120ish mile drive to Tulsa.

We had landed around 1 and hoped to pick up some food in Oklahoma City, but there was nowhere tempting by the airport, and before we knew it we were on the toll road to Tulsa, which had ZERO food options.

We didn't end up eating until about 3:30 in the afternoon. Which is WRONG. No one should ever eat that late. We found an Olive Garden and I had a delicious chicken lasagna, bread and salad. Probably ate too much, but we planned on a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner anyway.

From there we headed to the expo and we met up with the Marathon Maniacs (Ruth had to get a wristband to gain access because she wasn't yet a member when she registered). We met up with Lesley, working the Sport Hooks booth. I manged to NOT buy anything, except for an amusing 26.5 sticker - race specific. We did some quick pictures in the free photo booth (I really suck at photo booth pictures) and then we headed out to find the hotel. I managed, once again, to pick a SUPER CLASSY establishment.

We settled in and decided to go to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner so that we could hit up the excellent salad bar around 6:30. Lucky for us, there was one just a few miles down the road. They were super slow and inefficient, but we had a great dinner. Salad and some vegetables, and a pumpkin cupcake for dessert.

Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower, Spaghetti Squash
Got everything ready and laid out for race day, lights out at 10:00.

Race Day

Last year, we accidentally (and conveniently) stayed at the Holiday Inn literally ON the start line. This year, I waited too long and we were staying about 15 minutes away. I knew parking was going to be insane near the start (not to mention all the road closures) and with (of course) me booking travel closely, I decided it would make more sense to park closer to the finish line (they are about a mile apart) so that we wouldn't have to mess with shuttles, etc.

Even though the race didn't start until 8:00, we were up at 5:20. Out the door about 6 am, and we were parked by 6:30. NO issues. We didn't get lost, we didn't get stuck on any road closures. We parked about 4-5 blocks from the finish, and about 2/3 of a mile from the start. Ruth was planning on checking a bag, but I still decided to wear a throwaway. I remembered all too clearly how FREEZING it was last year standing around.

We headed to the start, used the bathrooms with no lines, and hung out in the Maniac tent. We did NOT miss the group picture (I have missed almost all of them lately) and still managed to get through the bathroom line twice.

I even circled myself for you (check out all these 50 staters/Maniacs/Fanatics!)
Ruth and I
About 15 minutes before the race and I feel like I need to pee again. We head over to Corral B and use the bathrooms over there and are lined up with about three minutes to gun time. So efficient!

Corral B
We surge to the front and about 12 seconds before I'm supposed to cross the start, and my watch goes into some weird power save mode. WHAT IS THAT??? I swear, this piece of crap Garmin has been nothing but trouble the last few months. I ended up jumping to the side and messing with it, and when the last of my corral started going by I said screw it and started running. I finally got it to work about a quarter of a mile in. Annoying.

The course is flattish for about 2/3 of a mile, and then we have the first big hill. I made it almost to the top before my calves seized. Again. I'm getting really tired of that and wish I could figure out a solution to prevent that.

I really tried hard to remember the course, and I really didn't remember much except for this:
Swan Lake - Between Miles 1 and 2
Thankfully, my calves stopped aching, and I was able to run a bit better. Somewhere around mile 3 we ended up at the school with all the speed bumps. Wish I would have taken a picture of the speed bump signs - I had not only remembered that from last year, but I remembered how MANY there were (7). The course is deceptively hilly, and there seemed to be a lot more ups than downs as we ran through various neighborhoods.

Only picture where I look moderately normal. No idea where this is on course.

I felt pretty good until we entered the neighborhood off of 33rd Place. My IT Band started to ache, and I stopped to stretch. A bike medic made sure to ask if I was ok. Um. I have been better. I felt a bit better after stretching, and then I tackled the only other section I remembered, the out and back on Riverside by the Arkansas River. I took some water and a GU at the mile 9 aid station, and saw Ruth on the other side - she was about 1.5 miles ahead of me at this point. For once, I was feeling pretty good, and I ran the entire stretch without walking until mile 12. That is HUGE as I have not been able to continuously run that far without a break (during a race) in ages. Across from the aid station was this:

Obviously this was not for me, but it made me smile

If I was hurting, I had hoped to have the option of dropping to the half. This race does not allow that, and stopping at 13.1 would have resulted in a disqualification. I felt reasonably well, so I continued on. I saw Dave right after the split and wanted to run to catch him, but then I got distracted...

Beer AND Jell-O Shots???
Blue raspberry (and I had a cup of beer too).
I ended up running/walking with him for about 5 minutes, just to give my legs a break before continuing on. That might have been a mistake. Around mile 14 we run under this cool bridge:

Immediately AFTER the bridge is the first of the big hills in the second half. I ran up most of that, but I think about there is where I really got off my mental game. My ankles started to hurt. BOTH of them, which is new (and annoying). My IT Band was still aching a bit. And it was still REALLY windy.

We ended up in an industrial section and saw this theater:

Eddie Vedder on schedule for two nights!
Ugliest part of the course...
Pink police car
While walking up this section before approaching mile 15, I talked to a Maniac from Brighton (that's the city where I currently hold my (super) speedy 5k PR). The next thing to look forward to was the Center of the Universe detour. I was hoping it was going to be well marked.

And it was!

I was really surprised at the number of people that did NOT do the detour. According to the results, less than half the people took the detour. And I am not entirely sure it was even a full .3 miles additional. What do I know, my watch is junk.

Center of the Universe
Probably the worst picture of me. Ever.
I totally believe this

Getting back on the course meant going up a big overpass. And then things really went downhill. Everyone around me was walking. And so was I. I have never been this sore during a marathon. I mean, MCM was bad, but I wasn't really sore, I was just "tired." This one HURT. I stopped to use the bathroom right before entering the University campus. There was no line, so I figured, why not.

I've put on about 10 pounds in the last year, and my skirt WAS a bit tight. Thanks to the sweat, I almost couldn't get it back on. That took about an extra minute. Who was I kidding, not like I was going for time anyway. The campus was pretty to run on:

University of Tulsa Campus
I don't remember much of the last section of the course. I don't think it was pretty and I think it was really hilly. My watch claims there was only 600ish feet of gain over the whole course. I think that is a lie. It felt WAY worse than that. Anyway, I was back to jogging a bit and walking a lot. I had initially had a goal of 5ish hours (when I hit the half at 2:30). Now I just hoped for a sub 5:30 (sub Seattle). At mile 23ish we entered "Florence Park" and there was a sign advertising it as the "best damn neighborhood in Tulsa" - and it was. They were giving away  MORE beer. They tried to give me a whole can (of PBR), but I asked for just a cup. A full beer is WAY too much to drink during a race.

I had thought the course was downhill after mile 24, but I remember at least a few hills after that point. I really didn't push and run it in until about .3 miles to the finish, and I RAAAAAN. I chicked a guy in the chute, and I saw his shadow trying to pass me right before the mat. I was sub 8 that last 10 seconds or so. Woo.

No medal right after, since I had to go to the Maniac tent to get my special one. I did a finisher picture anyway (sans medal) and grabbed a diet pepsi and water and headed over to the special Maniac tent.

Medal and Coin
Bib #3244
Official 26.2 - 5:21:15
Official 26.5 - 5:23:51
Official 10K - 1:10:02
Official 10M - 1:54:15
Official 13.1 - 2:30:13
Official 30K - 3:43:24
Overall Place - 1390/1891
Gender Place - 528/822
Division Place - 87/128
Garmin Time - 5:22:05 (Started it late)
Garmin Distance - 26.47 (Started it late)
Garmin Pace - 12:10
Mile 1- 10:37
Mile 2 - 11:46
Mile 3 - 10:53
Mile 4 - 11:09
Mile 5 - 11:51
Mile 6 - 11:13
Mile 7 - 11:17
Mile 8 - 11:13
Mile 9 - 12:07
Mile 10 - 11:40
Mile 11 - 10:54
Mile 12 - 10:49
Mile 13 - 12:43
Mile 14 - 12:45
Mile 15 - 11:25
Mile 16 - 12:35
Mile 17 - 13:05
Mile 18 - 11:52
Mile 19 - 14:06
Mile 20 - 12:56
Mile 21 - 12:55
Mile 22 - 15:03
Mile 23 - 14:02
Mile 24 - 13:31
Mile 25 - 12:26
Mile 26 - 12:32
Mile 26.47 - 9:59 (ha. sub 10 for a HALF MILE).

I saw Lesley outside and found Ruth inside with no issues. The tent was amazing. Our own beer and fluids and food.

Lesley and I
Ruth and I by the Marathon Maniac (tent of awesome)
We ate and had a beer with Lesley before we headed out. Obviously we had booked a 7:00 flight out of OKC and it was already after 2:00 before we started heading out. We tried to find a Starbucks in Tulsa, but without knowing the city, we tried to go to one in a Mariott and they did not have the mugs Ruth was looking for, so we gave up.

We started to the drive to Tulsa. Uneventful except we were on the toll road with NO stops and I had to pee SO bad. It was a dire situation for a while, but thankfully we made it to the gas station with no incidents.

Returned the rental car around 4:45 and had PLENTY of time to check in, get to our gate (the OKC airport is teeny tiny) and have a luxurious dinner. We found a burger place and ordered cheeseburgers and fries (from the tiniest rude woman EVER) and watched the Broncos game until about 6, when we headed to the gate. Boarded and left on time.

Pretty uneventful, except for the obnoxious kid/parents behind me. I understand that kids cry. I have a kid. I have flown with an inconsolable child. But it is NOT ok to allow your kids to kick the seat in front of you. After 15-20 minutes of being kicked, I stand up and ask the woman to have her toddler (must have been under 2 as she didn't have her own seat) stop kicking my seat. She says "but it will take all my strength to control her." Not, "I'm sorry," just a rude/inconsiderate response. FYI, the kicking and screaming continued until we landed. Thankfully, the flight was only 1:16 long (and YES, I was timing it).

Landed about 5 minutes early, dropped Ruth off, and was home before 9.

Of note:
  • DO THIS RACE if you are a Maniac/Fanatic/50 Stater. It is an awesome atmosphere. The tent before was awesome, the tent after was awesome. LOVED the special bibs and medals.
  • Stats: 3 cups of beer and a Jell-O shot during the race, 2 cups of beer after. Probably the most alcohol I've had during a race, ever.
  • The course (in my opinion) is more difficult than it looks, and definitely save "some" for the hills in the second half.
  • Not entirely sure what the post race FOOD was, but they had soda and energy drinks, so I approve of that.
  • The course next year is changing - new finish line was somewhere over by the Center of the Universe. Not sure if that will make things easier or worse.
  • Aid stations had water and Gatorade - different flavors!! There were 2 GU stations that I counted, but Ruth said there was a third I must have missed.
  • Probably the most un-complicated travel I've done (all things considered)
  • This was still a struggle and SLOW going. My body seems to be rejecting races/running. Thankfully I am not committed to that much more over the next few months, and I'll likely be stepping back from the marathon after Little Rock while I try to get this all under control.
  • I ran with my iPod for the first time in a month.
  • With that said, I didn't HATE this race. It was just harder than I am used to, and my body is pretty beat up right now.
  • The outfit (I've been asked a few times)
    • Top - Ink N' Burn (Hollywood Dragon)
    • Skirt - Lululemon (Back on Track)
    • Socks - Pro Compression
    • Arm Sleeves - YMX
    • Headband - Razzy Roo
  • I wore my flip belt, and for the first time ever, it annoyed me. I don't know if it was because the Ink N' Burn shirts are shorter, or because I had my camera in the front, but I kept having to adjust my shirt. I guess it gave me something to do.


  1. Even though the actually running part kind of sucked, it sounds like you had a fun day. And at least there was no big travel headache. Yay for the little things?!

    And thanks for including the info about what you wore, I was going to ask about your skirt ;)

  2. Sorry the marathon was slow going but it's another one on the books. The reply of the woman with the kid is unbelievable. I would've been so irritated!

  3. That's a huge group photo. There were a ton of fanatics/maniacs/racing the states people at this race it looks like.

  4. Hmmm....guess I need to consider this one for OK. Although, I wanted to do the OKC Memorial. Decisions, decisions.

    Nice race. Looks like a good time.

  5. ooh, this is for sure the race that is on my list for OK. perhaps i need to actually pay my half fanatic dues again. oops. congrats on another race! have you had a sports massage? just curious if that would help with some of the soreness. or yoga? oh, and i would’ve smacked that mother.

  6. Check another one off! It was cool to see the Tulsa course again - it's my current marathon PR - but the main thing I remember about it is it was much hillier than I thought it would be. Good job!

  7. Love that medal! This race looks like a lot of fun with all the fanatics and maniacs there:).

  8. Congrats on finishing another marathon. this is amazing!!

  9. I have so much to comment on this... where to begin?!?! First of all, I ran this too! Bummed I missed hooking up with you. I'm a Half Fanatic who ran the full, so somehow I missed out on all the communication for the prerace photo/postparty (boo hoo). I agree the course was beautiful and fun (beer!), but very challenging. I struggled in the backhalf, first time I ever walked in a race... up those darn hills. They just kept coming! And I'm doing Little Rock too!!! Hope we can meetup there!! :)

  10. Lovely pics!I love the medal and the coin.Congrats on finishing an amazing marathon!


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