Sunday, November 24
Half Marathon #96
Route 66 #3
Weather - COLD, windy
I have run the Route 66 race the last two years. In 2011 I ran the half marathon
with L and then last year I ran the full marathon
with a few friends. So why, you ask, did I go back again this year? Well, I had told Kim that I would try to go with her if she was knocking the race off as her OK race. Also, this year, the race added a special Half Fanatic medal, and since I was able to cash in miles for the flight, I decided to run again.
Hope picked up me and her husband drove us to the airport where we met up with L, Kim AND my older sister. Our flight left on time, and I was lucky enough to sit by Kim on the flight and we were able to do a bit of catching up.
Logistically, none of us had really managed to be on the same flights, so since Kim was meeting up with LJ and a few of her other friends, and W (my older sister) had flown in on a different flight, we stuck around and waited for her, with plans to meet up with everyone else later.
I vaguely remember this happening at the Tulsa airport before. As an FYI, if you are renting a car race weekend, it takes forever. You would not think that it would take a long time, but we requested the car and was told it would be about 10 minutes before it was ready. We waited almost 45 minutes. We were driving around looking for somewhere to eat and decided to just hit up the expo first.
We were not there very long, they were out of the shirt size I requested (wow, that almost NEVER happens) and we visited the Maniac table to get our fancy wrist bands.
So I put the wrist band on and tighten it, only to discover THE THING CAN NEVER BE LOOSENED AGAIN EVER. It is scratching the hell out of my arm, but I don't want to cut it off and "void" my access to the tent. More on this later.
Then we check into our hotel and try to find something to eat. The only thing we were able to locate that was open was Jimmy John's. It ended up working out nicely because no one wanted to eat a TON with our dinner reservations being at 5:30. After our quick lunch, we went back to the hotel where Hope, L, W and I were sharing a room. Our room was FREEZING. Even with the heat turned up to 90 it didn't seem warm. Wah.
We met up with the rest of the gang (Kim, LJ, Maureen and Jen) and walked over to the Boulder Grill for dinner. We were seating right away, our appetizer and drink orders were taken. AND THEN FOREVER PASSED. After almost an hour our server offered to bring us more appetizers for free because our food was STILL not ready. By the time we ate and got the check and left it was literally HOURS later. We ended up having all the drinks/appetizers comped, so it ended up being a pretty inexpensive dinner. And the food was actually pretty good.
I haven't really mentioned the weather, but it was THE COLDEST AND WINDIEST EVER. Our walk back to the hotel was pretty awful and we decided to have dessert at the restaurant in the hotel. That also took forever, and by the time we headed up to the room it was already 8:30. Hope FINALLY had an epiphany about what I could do with my itchy horrible scratchy too tight bracelet. The first attempt to cut off the plastic piece was nail clippers. It was chipping away at the plastic but not making any real progress. We went to the front desk thinking if they had scissors that we could cut if off. NOPE. This was the strongest plastic ever. The woman at the front desk said she would "see what she could do" and asked for our room number. Maintenance came up with bolt cutters, and the plastic was finally removed. THANK GOD.
|This is what the insides of the plastic looked like!|
The race started at 8 and the plan was to be outside for as little time as possible before the race started since it was still THE COLDEST EVER. We got up around 6:30 and dawdled around using the bathroom, getting coffee, food, etc. Thankfully, Hope had come extra prepared with running tights AND capris, and she lent me her tights so I would not freeze to death.
We met up with everyone else in the lobby around 7:35, took some pictures, and headed over with about 15 minutes for the start. The fasties were in corral A, I was in B, and Hope was in C. We figured Hope could sneak into B with me, but she got pulled out, so I was going to be alone....
|Thanks for the picture, Kim!|
I had an unofficial/secret goal of trying to beat my half time from 2011, which was 2:14:52. Seemed insane to even think about, with most of my races being slower than 2:30, and my fastest time in a year being 2:20. Not to mention, TULSA IS NOT FLAT.
I could NOT get satellite to register on my watch, and finally, at the very back of the corral I just decided to go. It was about 90 seconds before the GPS kicked in, so my watch was off from the mile markers. I had run the course before and figured I would know where everything was. But, the course was different this year, most notably, we did NOT run around the cute little pond that I had remembered from previous years. I was careful to start out slow the first mile (and it WAS the slowest mile of the day for me). I felt ok the first few miles, and it was hilly for sure, maybe even HILLIER than I had remembered. It was cold and there were sections of the course that were icy.
|Just before mile 3 - SO PRETTY!|
I struggled a bit between miles 4 and 5, and my left foot fell asleep and my calves started tightening and I had to take some walk breaks, which I was hoping to NOT have to do. Finally, there was a reprieve with some downhills and flats, and then I started feeling better. When I was heading into mile 7, I saw LJ blazing in the other direction, she had to have been around mile 9. Somewhere around mile 8 there was a house giving "free shots" - turns out it was vodka. That hurt for a bit, I HATE the taste of vodka.
Thankfully, I still had my gum and it was almost time for my second gel, which I took at mile 9. Mile 10 had another surprise for me, the jello shot lady from last year was back! I took a yellow jello shot AND beer. Yum, yum, yum.
Totally pumped me up for the rest of the race. I was really cruising for a few miles, and I realized that the course HERE was also different. When running the marathon last year, this section had been mile 13+ - and here I was only at 10. Mile 11 we run under the Route 66 bridge - no picture, my hands were still freezing (but I borrowed this one from Kim):
Up another HUGE hill, and then there was only a mile and a half to go. There was another uphill by the building where we had picked up packets and I was so mad at myself walking some of that section as well. My legs were screaming at me for my "fast" miles.
FINALLY, turned the corner and saw where the marathoners were splitting off (SO HAPPY THAT WAS NOT ME THIS YEAR) and I knew we were close. there was another big hill less than a mile before the end, and I didn't want to walk it but I walked briefly at the very end and knew that was the last turn of the course and the finish should be flat. I had NOTHING left in my legs. I probably got passed by a dozen people in the chute, but at least I still maintained an ok pace. I crossed the line.... CRUSHING MY GOAL.
Official Time - 2:12:03
10K Official - 1:03:27
10M Official - 1:40:42
Overall Place - 1767/4665
Gender Place - 865/2966
Division Place - 151/489
Garmin Time - 2:12:05
Garmin Distance - 13:07 (because GPS didn't kick in right away)
Garmin Pace - 10:06 (!!)
Mile 1 - 11:18
Mile 2 - 10:23
Mile 3 - 10:03
Mile 4 - 9:55
Mile 5 - 10:43 (surprised it isn't slower)
Mile 6 - 10:04
Mile 7 - 9:26
Mile 8 - 10:01
Mile 9 - 9:46
Mile 10 - 9:47
Mile 11 - 9:42
Mile 12 - 10:14 (also surprised not slower)
Mile 13 - 10:06
Mile 13.07 - 9:24
After being herded through the finish area, I knew I had to get to the Maniac tent to get my medal... but I couldn't find it. I was so cold and there were white tents spread out all over the place but no signage telling you where to go. I finally asked at the results tent and was directed to the tent, where I got my medal and met up with Kim, LJ and L, who had actually waited for me.
We were not sure when Hope was going to be done and we had given her a hotel key, so we walked back to the hotel, where roughly mile 13 of the course was running by. We saw Maureen and Jen run by, and right after her was one of the INKnBURN ambassadors, Amber, running her first marathon.
|I didn't get a finisher picture because of frostbite risk, but L got this of me in the hotel|
I WAS SO HAPPY TO BE BACK IN THE WARM. We had turned the temps in the room up to 90 and it did NOT feel like 90, but it was certainly warmer than outside. After we all showered, we checked out and then went to an Irish Pub for lunch - burgers and beer!!
After lunch, we went back to the hotel where we picked up Kim, Maureen and Jen, so we could all head to the airport. We took a quick detour to Sbux and got to the airport in plenty of time for them to catch their 5:30 flight (especially since it was delayed). W, Hope and I were on a 7:30 flight, so we spent the next few hours drinking in the TGIFridays.
|We did another "finisher" picture at the airport since Hope hadn't gotten one either|
Our flight left on time and was uneventful, except for me getting chided for being "too loud." Womp. I don't think I'm THAT loud :(
W took the shuttle home to Boulder, and Hope's husband picked us up. Quick trip to Dunkin Donuts (!!) and then I was dropped off, around 9:30. Shortest, longest, and most fun weekend I've had in a while.
- I am so so so so pleased with how this went. I spent a day or two talking with Heather about my "goal" and it seemed impossible. I am so happy that I took another 8 minutes of my already "fast" RnR Denver time. There were those few sections where I was tired and dejected, but overall, I ran a pretty great race, and it was not the most terrible ever maintaining the pace. HOORAY!!!
- This is a pretty fun event. The weather was crappy and I was too wimpy to even bother with the Maniac picture and meet/greet before the race. Ohhh wellll....
- BRING A THROWAWAY AND WARM CLOTHES FOR THIS RACE. Two years ago, it was freezing, I wore arm sleeves and gloves the whole race. Last year, I wore arm sleeves the whole race. This year, I wore ALL THE CLOTHES. Long sleeves, tights, compression socks, etc. I could have even used hand warmers, which I actually thought about bringing, but I forgot.
- I did NOT care for the new course. The finish was uphill and weird, and the finisher area was really congested in the beginning and then spread out all over the place with no signage.
- Maybe we were just done too early, but there was no special food at the Maniac tent like last year. Womp. They DID have heat lamps though, that was Great.
- The company that made the medals put THE WRONG DATE on the back of the medal. LOL!! I don't care, I will never look at the back of it again, and I probably wouldn't even have noticed, but it seems like SOMEONE should have noticed.
- They were out of my shirt size. Again. I registered in August. I for REAL want an explanation WHY they don't have the sizes that people order. WHY BOTHER ASKING?? Just order whatever you feel like and be done with it.
- Tulsa is NOT the greatest. Downtown NOTHING is open on the weekends. Plan ahead with meals and food, otherwise your choices will be pretty limited.
- I recommend staying at the Hyatt or the host hotel. It was not that expensive and it was close enough that we didn't have to drive in for the race OR take the shuttle. CONVENIENT.
- I'd say I won't be back next year... but the stars somehow always align and I end up here year after year...