Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Running Route!!

I think I mentioned in my last post that I found a new running route. There is a dike that goes around Elk City. It has always been there and I've never really paid any attention. Ok, it hasn't always been there. Obviously it was built at some point. As long as I can remember it has been there. Anyway, it has been gravelled. Normally running on gravel doesn't really excite me, but in this case it does. It has been driven on and is packed down. That means I have a really nice running path! I get sick of running the same routes day after day, so this is pretty darn exciting. It clearly doesn't take much.

Sunday Rick and I walked the whole thing. If I start at my house, go to the highway, get on the dike, follow it to the end, and then come back, it is 4.5 miles. Add a little run over the river bridge in the middle and I'm pretty close to 5 miles. Tuesday I set out for a 4 mile run and decided to run the new course. I brought my phone to take pictures hoping to see some deer or something. I didn't, but that didn't stop me from taking pictures! Without further ado, here is my new route:

Just a picture of it after I turn a corner. If you could see through the trees you would be able to see my house on the left.
In some spots, the gravel isn't packed down. I walked these areas. The picture doesn't really do the depth of the gravel justice. I got quite a leg workout.
I'm thinking in this spot I wouldn't want to step wrong and fall. It looks like the roll to the bottom would be slightly uncomfortable.

The run goes right past the water treatment plant. I didn't take a picture of that, but I did take a picture of this. I will let you figure out what it is.

Did I mention that I had to climb over a few gates? It's a good thing I'm a country girl! Climbing gates is something I'm quite familiar with. You can see two gates in this picture. I cross both of them twice.

Did I mention that I'm technically trespassing?

I see nothing on the sign that says violaters will be prosecuted, so I went on. Ok, to be honest, I would have anyway. Most kids who grew up in this area spent hours playing on this dike. No, that doesn't make it ok, but it makes me think I probably won't get in too much trouble.

I think this sign looks less menacing:

After that I decided to put the phone away and acutally run instead of stopping every few minutes to take pictures. I very much enjoyed my new route and can't wait to run on it again. It isn't as easy as running on the road and I won't do it all the time. It will be fun to add it to my routes though. And who knows, maybe some day I will be able to show a picture of a deer!

Today I signed up for my next race. It is another 25K trail race called Turkey & Taturs. Here is the website if you want to see what I'm doing:

Happy Running!! ~Mel

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Neewollah 10K

Oh dear. I had such hope for this race. My training has been going to well and my last few races were great. Unfortunately, I did not have a great race. Oh well.

I got there at 7:50 or so to pick up my packet. Ryan and I got our numbers pinned on and found Rick and Adam. They had dropped us off and went to park the car. I then met up with someoldman and decided to run with him. He looked sad and lonely, so I took pity :p

Ryan and I before the run.. How cute am I?
We lined up. The 5K and 10K have differnt start lines, so I had to part ways with Ryan. They said go and I took off. Remember last week when I said my first mile of the race was too fast? I ran it in 10:00. Well, yesterday I ran a mile in 9:45! Way too fast. I could keep coming up with excuse about why the race went bad, but they don't matter. Ok, a little more whining. I had stomach cramps most of the race. And all day yesterday. And today. Woohoo!

Ok, back to the race.I don't really have a lot to say. Every mile got harder. I walked way too much. I don't think I enjoyed even one moment of this race. I hated it last year too, when it was only the 5K. I'm just going to move past this and start focusing on my next race, which is a trail race. It should be fun.

Ryan finishing the 5K:
He got third place in his age group! He's so fast. Today he is very very sore though. Why does that make me happy? Oh, I know! Because he thinks he can do stuff like that without preparing. Maybe he will have learned a lesson.

Me finishing the 10K:

After the big races, they have a 1 mile fun run. It is insane. Tons of kids, no organization. Adam wanted to do it this year, so I let him. Ryan decided to do it too, since his friend was. He was so tired though that his friend finished way before him and so did his little brother.

Adam finishing:

Yes, he's wearing jeans. Sigh. Things like wearing appropriate clothing escape Adam. He is definitely his own person!

I had a good day overall and I'm so glad my kids participated. Rick was again our pack mule and photographer. He does everything we ask when we run and I appreciate him so very much.

Some thoughts on the race in general:

The road markings were better this year than last and that was great. Also, they had people at the turns telling you where to go.

No aid stations. I can see not having anything for a 5K race, but they really should have something for a 10K. This is the only race I've done over 5K that doesn't have some kind of drinks along the course. This is something that bugs me. Perhaps I'm spoiled, but I need a drink when I run that far!

The fun run needs to be done differently. They have way too many kids start at once. Ever year some kids falls and gets stepped on for a while until he gets up. I don't know if that happened this year because I couldn't the start, but I know it has every other year. There are people from 2 years up to probably 80 years old that do this race. Perhaps starting in a couple of groups would be helpful.

Ok, don't whining. I had a great run/walk with Rick this morning. Some wonderful person gravelled the dike that goes around Elk City. I have found a wonderful new place to run! Rick and I did it this morning and it was great until we had to cut it short so I could rush home to the bathroom. Perhaps it is technically trespassing, but I doubt I will get in trouble. I guess we will find out! I plan to run there again Tuesday.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tomorrow, tomorrow.... less than a day away!

Tomorrow I'm running the Neewollah 10k. Last year when I started running, my goal race was the Neewollah 5k, which I ran. It had a horrible run. By far my worst race. I'm hoping history doesn't repeat itself tomorrow. I need a good race!

Instead of the 5k, I'm doing the 10k this year. Why? Who the heck knows. I just like a challenge, and running that cemetary road twice is certainly a challenge. It is such a mental block for me. Anyone who has run the road I'm talking about knows exactly what I mean.

I've talked someone from out of town into coming to run with me. Mostly because I'm afraid I will get lost on the course. I've run on this course a ton, but  the course markings are almost non-existant. And I"ve never run the exact course. I normally just run wherever I want in whatever random order or direction I want to. I'm such a rebel. 

Ryan will be running the 5k again and hopes to win a medal. Adam is running the 1 mile fun run and I'm probably running with him. He asked if he could run ahead of me because he's faster. Ryan mentioned training early in the week and when I told him he could go with me he said, "no thanks. I want to run fast." Well. I'm just not sure what to think. I guess I'm raising honest children.

I will let you all know how the races go and I'm sure I will post plenty of pics!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Route 66 Quarter Marathon

I should start this post by telling you all how awesome I am. I rocked the race yesterday! Ok, maybe not awesome, but I did do really well and had a good time.

When I signed up for this race we had nothing on our calendar. I was happy because that meant Rick and the boys ould come. After the race we could spend the day in Tulsa. Fun times, right? Well, Ryan had a football game get rained out and they rescheduled it for the day fo the race. I had already paid my entry fee, so I decided to go anyway. I hate going by myself, so I talked Judy into going with me. We left at 5:30 am to make sure I had plenty of time to find parking, pick up my packet, get my number on, visit the port-a-potties, etc. I was about 10 miles from home when I realized I forgot my ipod and my garmin watch. Crap. I thought about turning around but decided to just run "naked." I've never done a race without Nike+ or my watch, so I was really nervous. I knew I could live without the music since I've been running without it sometimes.

We got to Tulsa in plenty of time, but finding parking was not as easy. Well, it was easy to find it, but to get in the lot was a little more difficult. I will spare you the details about my crappy driving skill, but I will say I will probably get a ticket in the mail soon for the red light I ran.I swear it was an accident! I didn't see it. Anyway, I finally made it and actually parked really close to the start/finish line. Unfortunately, I still had an hour before the race started. I went and picked up my packet and we came back to the car. It was really cold!

The race numbers were pretty cool.
I eventually left the warmth of my car to go line up.

And we were off! Not having my watch, I didn't really know what my pace was. At each mile they haoutd  a clock. I ran the first mile in 10 minutes! That is way too speedy for me. I know I couldn't maintain that pace so I slowed it down. Honestly, the race was pretty uneventful. I don't have a lot to say about it. One thing I will say though is Holy Hills Batman! I was not expecing all of the hills. I was really doing great even with the hills until mile 5.5. At that point my energy just crashed. I don't know why. I kept going though and finished with a really good time. Right before mile 6 I heard someone beside me tell her friend she wished we could cut through. I looked where she pointed and saw a huge hill. We had to run around the block, up  the hill, then we were almost done. I said, "We have to run up that hill?" She said, "yep, it sucks doesn't it?" Yeah, you could say that. About half way up the hill there were some people that had already finished the race cheering us on. That was awesome! I finished in 1:12:45! That is an average pace of 11:06 per mile. I couldn't be happier with that.

There were so many spectators you had people cheering for you for about 2 blockes before the finish. I very much enjoyed that. Judy was right at the start line waiting to take a pic of me. Unfortunately, she missed me while working with the camera on my phone. She felt bad but I thought it was funny. They gave us the medals and ushered us to where the drink and food were. I had a very yummy pretzel roll!

After the race was an afterparty hosted by Oktoberfest. Each participant got 2 free beers. It was a little early and I didn't really want a beer, but they were free, so why not? Judy and I got in line and got our drinks.

Me under the sign:
Judy and I:

We took a few drinks and then threw them away. We left and went to eat and go shopping. First I had to change clothes though. I went to a QT to change in the bathroom. I heard some women complaining about all those "damn runners." Sorry for inconveniencing you lady!

This morning I did a 5 mile trail run which was very enjoyable. Next up is Neewollah 10k next Saturday!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Just a warning, this post is a vent. I am going to act annoyed and cranky. Stop reading if you don't want to experience that.

I came across this picture the other day on a blog that I absolutely love.

People are always asking me why. Why do I run? Why do I run as far as I do? The answer is, I don't know. I like it. It's fun. It challenges me. It makes me thinner than when I'm not running. There is nothing like the ache you feel after you have completed a long run. It is so satisfying. I could go on an on. I could come up with funny reasons, philosophical reasons, stupid reasons. There are just so many reasons I run. But my question is, why do people always ask me why? Do I ask you why you don't run?

I get tired of being made to feel like a freak because I run. Yes, I ran a 25K on trails recently. It was hard. That doesn't make me a freak. I was one of 125 people that did it. Actually, I was one of around 50. The other ones ran 50K! That used to seem crazy to me, but now I think I will probably do it next year.

Rick has always been very understanding and supportive of my running. I love that about him. The other day I was discussing something that I'm thinking of training for. Asking his opinion. He was so baffled by what I was talking about and seemed so upset about it I started wondering if I am crazy. Then I remembered other people do it and so much more and I'm not. But the conversation really upset me because I'm so tired of people looking at me and shaking their head when I talk about running. And Rick isn't that way. In the end he told me he would support me if this is what I want to do and he really meant it. I hope!

One thing Rick said during the conversation was "I just don't get it. I don't understand this need to run further and further." But why does he have to get it? Why does anyone? I get it and that's all that matters. I'm not asking anyone else to do it with me, so why do they care what I do? Ok, sometimes I ask people to run with me. They normally don't though and that's ok. I think what bugs me is that when someone asks what I'm training for and I tell them, they act like I'm a freak. They could say, "wow, that's really cool. Good job!" But instead, they say, "why would you want to do that? That sounds horrible." I get that running a lot of miles sounds horrible to some people, but stuff they do sounds horrible to me. Say I was talking to someone who at 5 cheeseburgers for lunch every day. It wouldn't be ok for me to say, "Holy crap! Why would you do something like that?" So why is it ok for people to say that to me?

Maybe I should quit talking about running. In fact, I am going to make an effort to do so. If people want to know how it is going I will tell them, but I'm going to do my best not to talk about it first. Except on here. And I assume if you are reading this then you are interested.

Here is my lesson for everyone. Try not to make people feel bad for choices they are making. Don't judge your friend that eats a large pizza for dinner every night and don't judge the person who runs several days a week. Or anyone else. Focus on you!

Saturday I'm running in a quarter marathon. I'm really excited! Since I've never run that distance I'm guaranteed a PR. Sweet! I will come back with a happier post to tell you about my experience. Oh, and I am looking for someone to go to Tulsa with me to the race since my family can't come. Let me know if you are just dying to get up at 5:00 AM and drive to Tulsa and spend the day with me!! There will be food and shopping after I'm done running.