PictureNicholas Norfolk and I before the Blogger's Panel
I already know exactly what you are thinking. That is the most random mash-up of a blog title that you've ever laid your pretty little eyes on, huh? Well it's too bad that "Meeting Bart Yasso, Blogger's Panel, Volunteering at the Expo, and Random Pics from Route 66" didn't fit in the title line. Weird. 
Well what can you do? I have a few topics to talk about but I don't think any of them are single-post worthy on their own. So blog mash-up it is! 

Now before you send me hate mail, I know, I know Bart Yasso is DEFINITELY worthy of his own post! But what can ya do? 

Meeting Bart Yasso

PictureSassy #Bartie
A few days before the Route 66 Marathon I sent a tweet to Bart Yasso that I was excited to see him at the Expo and hoped we could get a pic together. Stalker Pro Tip #1. Tweet in advance that you are looking to meet and get a pic! 

I was actually just putting evidence out there in case any stalking charges would be filed against me later, but it turns out, I didn't need to! Bart replied to my tweet and said we could get a pic! Whew! Stalker Pro Tip #2. Don't be shy! When I first got to the Expo Bart was alone and setting up for his upcoming talk he was about to give. But I got too shy to approach him. Just when I was about to walk up to him, he walked over and started talking to the guys at the Marathon Maniacs booth! Fail! Then when I finally went up to him after he spoke he said he remembered me and we were able to get our Bartie! That's what selfies with Bart Yasso are called apparently. I was lucky enough that we got to take two together. A normal one and a sassy one. The sassy one is my favorite and I'm totally taking suggestion for the best caption for this pic! 

The Route 66 Marathon Blogger's Panel

PictureT-Rex, RunGingerRun, Running Jacksons, and Angie
A couple weeks before the Expo at Route 66 I got a message from one of the Race Directors asking me if I was running in the race and if I was available to be a part of the Blogger's Panel on Saturday. I immediately agreed and was super excited. I had actually attended the panel as an audience member the previous two years and really enjoyed it. 
I had the honor to join these fellow runners and bloggers for a 45 minute Q&A about blogging and running. It was a ton of fun and I can't wait for Route 66 next year! The Hubbo and I are already planning to run the half and the 5k.  

The other fab bloggers:
Danielle Hastings http://trexrunner.com/ 
Becky Jackson http://runningjacksons.blogspot.com/
Angie Whitworth Pace http://www.angiepaceruns50.blogspot.com/

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Blogger's Panel Live Action Shot!

Volunteering at the Expo

PictureBlinky bling and handing out bibs, like a boss!
I've been running in races since 2010 and before last weekend had never actually volunteered at a race. It's been on my mind for a year that I need to volunteer as a way to give back to the running community, but never made it a priority. Until the Route 66 Marathon Weekend. RT66 makes it very enticing to be a volunteer. Here's why:

1.  You get a coin for volunteering. You all know I'm a sucker for bling!
2. There is a post-race volunteer party! Umm hello?! I like to party! 
3. They make it very easy to sign up and have a long list of areas you can help. Everything from packet pickup to course marshal to expo tear down.
4. It let's you see some behind the scenes aspect of the race.  I now have a whole new respect for race directors, volunteers, and outlook on being a participant of a large scale race. 

I volunteered for 2 shifts on Friday before the race on Sunday. From 10-1:00 I worked the packet pickup table. It was crazy busy from 11-1! We could literally tell when they opened the doors. From 1:30-4:30 I worked the shirt table where it was much more chill but I had a run in with a VERY RUDE and somewhat well known racer from Oklahoma. I will say that for the most part, the running community held true to their reputation of being awesome! So overall, it was a great experience! 

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One of the cool things about being at the Expo all day on Friday was that it was super easy to pick up my shirt from Okies Rock that I won on Instagram! I met Adam before the Expo really got started and when I went back to the Okies Rock booth to claim my prize he totally hooked a ginger up! 

Check them out on Instagram to see some of their awesome line if you are an Okie or fan of us Okies! They have their merchandise in stores in Tulsa, OKC, Harrah, Sapulpa, and Bixby. 
And just in case you didn't already know...#OkiesRock!

More Pics from Route 66 Weekend

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Random Silliness before the Route 66 5k!
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Got to meet my Twitter buddy Luis G. at the Blogger's Panel!
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Bumped into another Twitter pal Laura before the marathon!

Questions! Have you ever volunteered at your hometown race? Are you coming to Route 66 next year?

 
 
Picture2014 Route 66 Marathon Medal
Before we get too deep into my Route 66 Marathon recap, I won't keep you waiting to see if I reached my goal of a PR and a 4:45 marathon. 

Nope! It didn't happen and that's ok. 

I will say that while I'm a little bummed I didn't get a PR, I know that sometimes you win some and you lose some. This was just not my day and that's how it worked out this time. It just means that there will be another time and another race worthy of a PR! 

I don't regret sharing with my blog buddies what my goal was, albeit an ambitious one. For me, sharing my goal with you all made it real and it made it a solidified plan in my mind and it made it feel doable. I received so much love and encouragement on social medial from all  my fellow BibRave buddies and everyone else before and after the race and that was totally amazing and worth every painful step! My recap below will bring you on the adventure of marathon #5. 

The Bling

PictureRoute 66 2014 Medals
I ALWAYS start with the bling because it's my favorite part of any race and since this is my hometown race, I was able to collect a lot of it this weekend.  Between the Hubbo and I, we bought home 8 pieces of bling and 10 shirts! 

Starting on the top row on the left is my 5K medal. These are a definite improvement from last yeas's 5k medal. It's about the size of my palm! 
The next medal on the top is my Marathon Maniacs medal for finishing the full. This is another cool feature of this race. If you are a Half Fanatic, Marathon Maniac, or 50 State runner, and if you register in time, you can get a special medal that shows your club affiliation! The leaves on the outside of medal actually spin which is a cool feature of this large medal! 

The smaller coin on the bottom row is my volunteer coin for helping out at the Expo on Friday. I took a shift of handing out bibs and a shift of handing out shirts and had a blast meeting most of the runners! 

The red and blue coin in this picture is my coin for completing the Center of The Universe Detour. Two years ago when I ran this marathon for the first time the CoU detour was around mile 17, but this time it was after mile 25 and I love that they moved it! 


The Center of The Universe Detour

PicturePhoto Cred: Route66Marathon.com
One of the little extra things that makes this race special is the optional detour that runners can take around mile 25.5. If you want to, you can elect to run up to the Center of The Universe which is famously located here in Tulsa and if you do, you get an extra coin and you get the bragging rights of running the World's Shortest Ultra, a 26.5 mile  race! 

The CoU is an architectural anomaly that is a cement circle and if you stand in the middle of it and talk normal, your voice will echo all around you, but those outside the circle can't hear the echos! I've done it before and it's kinda crazy! 

Technically, I've ran more ultra marathons than I've ran regular marathons since 3 of my marathons have been over 26.2 miles. According to some runner's opinion, an ultra is typically a minimum of 50K and up and I've only ran one of those. 

The Course

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It's no secret that this course isn't flat. Most people will describe it as challenging but not impossible. It definitely has a lot of rolling hills because that is how most of Tulsa is built. It is a course you can PR on and BQ but you have to work for it. You have to train for some rolling hills if you are going to do this race. 
The course also shows off some of best parts of Tulsa including Cherry Street, Brookside, Midtown, TU, and Downtown Tulsa all in one race. It's definitely a good representation of our city. 

The Expo

PictureBart Yasso at Route 66 2014
This expo is one of my favorite expos of any race I've been to. I've been to OKC, Garmin, Little Rock, and a few others and this one is still my favorite. I even volunteered at the Expo on Friday handing out bibs and then shirts. 
This expo is in a space that is big enough to roam around and it's not crowded at all. There are also plenty of vendors there from races, to Addaday, to KINDBars, to many others. 
They also have extras that make this race special, like Bart Yasso speaking at the Expo, a Blogger's Panel which yours truly got to be a part of this year, and they even collected old running shoes to donate this year. 

My Experience

PictureThe Hubbo and I in our matching Maniac Shirts!
I knew when the Hubbo and I completed the 5k on Saturday that the marathon was going to be a little hotter and harder than I would like. I think I say this in EVERY SINGLE BLOG post, but I'm not a hot weather runner. I'll take 30 degrees over 60 degrees any day! Especially a race day. On Sunday before we even got to the starting line it was 58* and 93% humidity. Not good for this Ginger. Some people thrive in this type of weather and that's good. Everyone has a different ideal race temps. But from what I heard from my running buddies, it was a tough day for everyone. 

Looking back, I really should have realigned my race goals and started with the 5:00 hour pacer, but I decided to go with my original plan of going with the 4:45 pacer and shoot for the best I could do.
I managed to hang with that pace for 10 miles, but around mile 4, I was completely drenched in sweat and knew I wouldn't be able to hang for another 22.5 miles at that pace. 

Around mile 10 at a water stop my running buddy Tara and I left the pacer and our other friends Roy and Paul and decided to slow it down. That was good for a while then we started doing run walk intervals. At mile 20 Tara was ready to run it in so we parted ways. Around mile 21 I started getting cramps in my foot and my right quad. They would literally stop me in my tracks and I'd have to sit down on the curb to stretch them out before I could keep walking.  It was not cute. 
I was hunched over on a curb stretching and a fellow maniac came upon me and asked if I was alright, I let him know I was fine just battling some fun cramps. He told me he couldn't tell if I was stretching or curled up in a ball crying on the side of the road. Looking back, it must have totally looked like I was curled up in an upright fetal position when he came up on me. Also, not cute! 

I managed to limp my way through miles 21-23 and somewhere after that I ran into my running buddy Amber. We had lost each other around mile 4. I have never been so happy to see someone I knew in a race! I just needed someone to help me take my mind off the pain.
Not only was I dealing with the cramps but my feet hurt like hell! I'd stop to walk because I was hot or cramping and all the blood would drain down in my feet until it was too painful to walk. The only thing that helped that feeling go away was to run, but every time I ran, I'd get a cramp. It was a vicious cycle. My feet even got numb and tingly at one point. Again, not cute! 
We managed to run/walk our way to the finish line.
Despite all the heat, humidity, hills, cramping, walking, and stopping to stretch I managed to run my 2nd fastest marathon in 5:43:20. 

More Pics from Route 66

PictureRunning Buddies Tara and Tom!
My running buddy and fellow Okie, Tom, took this photo around mile 14ish. Look at how wet my hair is with sweat and how red my face is! That should tell you that it was a warm one for me! 

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Roy, Paul, Tara and I in the corral and ready to go! 
I saw so many people over dressed for this race. So many turtle necks on under singlets, so many long tights and running jackets and gloves. My running club subscribes to the saying "dress like it is 20* warmer than what the temperature says."
So if the temp is 57* outside, dress like it is 77* outside. I wouldn't be wearing a running jacket, and gloves when it's almost 80*! 

Questions! Have you ever gone for a PR and Missed it? 
Does your hometown race have any fun "extras" like the Route 66 Detour?

 
 
PictureCrossing the finish line of my first RT66 Full!
It's Wednesday night which mean's the weekend is pretty much here, right? This weekend is a big deal because it's the weekend of the Route 66 Marathon! It is also important because it marks my return to the full marathon distance. ::Insert Terrified Emoji Here:: The last time I ran a full marathon was in early March 2013. So it's been a few months. To say I'm a little nervous would be an understatement. I'd give my overall training this season a B-. I had to sit out a total of 3 weeks due to various illness/complications. It was very hot in Oklahoma a lot later in the year than normal. In fact, most of October was unseasonably hot. We all know I'm not a hot weather runner so my training runs suffered. I had a good 15 mile run and good 21 mile run, but my 16 was a little tough and my 18 wasn't pretty. 

RunGingerRun's Route 66 Marathon Weekend Schedule

PictureMe, The Prez of MM, and T-Rex @ RT66 2013
In case you missed it from my last blog, here is where I'll be and when:
Friday: Open-4:30 - Volunteer at the Expo at the Bib Table and Shirt table.
Saturday: 8:00am - Run/Walk the 5K with the Hubbo and Friends. 
Saturday: Afternoon - Speaking at the Blogger's Forum at the Expo (Time most likely will be 3:00 -4:00 pm) Come by and say hi!
Sunday: 8:00am - Run the Marathon 26.5 Miles (Includes the Center of the Universe Detour)
Sunday: Running across the finish line sometime before or around 1:00pm! 

Goals for Route 66

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Way back in January of this year, I wrote this post outlining my goals for 2014. So far I've completed 2 of the 3 goals and goal #3 is why I'm so nervous about my full marathon this weekend.
I've literally been thinking about this weekend for almost a year! My goal is to wear my Marathon Maniacs shirt because I've never been able to wear it and also get a new Full Marathon PR! That's the part that makes me nervous, not the shirt. Although, I need to try that baby on and make sure it still fits!! If not, I'll be buying another one at the expo and selling the one that magically shrunk itself in my closet last year. Weird. I'm sure a magic MM singlet will bring in a pretty penny on Ebay, right? 

Not only am I going for a Full Marathon PR, I've been rather ambitious and decided that my goal is to do the full marathon + the Center Of The Universe Detour (adds an extra .3 miles) with a time around 4:45. That means I'll take off a full 31 minutes from my previous PR of 5:16.
That's a lot of time! I don't know if you can tell, but I'm kinda freaking out the more I write this post. 

BUT! I have a plan. I have my blood sugar under control for this race, I have my plantar fasciitis under control (this will be the first full that I can say this), I have a great nutrition plan thanks to ENERGYbits, I have a game plan to join a pace group (4:45), and I have friends joining me in that group so I'll have plenty of distractions! 

I can do this! Right?

Are you running Route 66? What are your race goals for your next race?

 
 
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We are officially less than a week away from my next full marathon, the Route 66 Marathon here in Tulsa! Last week I had a case of being lazy during taper but I just got in from my run and I am over that now. I have some exciting news to share with you, as well as my schedule for race weekend! 

Exciting News!

PictureRoute 66 Marathon 2012
You guys! I'm super excited to share this news with you! Late last week the Assistant Director of the Route 66 Marathon reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in being a part of the Blogger's Forum this year! I tried to play it all cool and contain my excitement but I think the 100 !!!!! that I left at the end of my message gave it away that I was a tad bit excited. 

I've attended the Bloggers Forum the last two years and enjoyed them both times. All the details haven't been finalized just yet, but if it goes like the last two years, here is what you could expect if you attend.
It is a 1 hour panel type discussion with 4 panelist that are involved in the running community. Last year they had Bart Yasso, T-Rex Runner, and Mama Laughlin on the panel! 
Yes, THE Bart Yasso! I'm dying! 

It is at the Expo on Saturday afternoon. The time has not been set but I remember last year it was around 3:00 or so. They have questions for the panel and then people from the audience can ask questions as well. 
If you are running the Route 66 this weekend feel free to swing by the expo on Saturday afternoon and check out the Bloggers Forum. You can see my amazing trick of making my face turn as bright red as my hair! No really, I consider myself pretty outgoing but I blush very very easily. Should be a fun sight for those in the audience! #FairSkinProblems

Be sure to check out the Route 66 Twitter and Website to get the exact time of the forum. 

RunGingerRun Route 66 Marathon Weekend Schedule

PicturePhoto Cred: Route 66 FB Page
Being as this is my hometown race, I am trying to experience every bit of it that I can. Here is where I'm going to be, what I'm going to be doing, and when.

Friday: Open-4:30 - Volunteer at the Expo at the Bib Table and Shirt table.

Saturday: 8:00am - Run/Walk the 5K with the Hubbo and Friends. 

Saturday: Afternoon - Blogger's Forum at the Expo 
(Time TBA)

Sunday: 8:00am - Run the Marathon 26.5 Miles (Includes the Center of the Universe Detour)

Sunday: Around 1:00pm collect the medal in this pic! 

Question! Are you running the Route 66 Marathon or half? What is your goal?

 
 
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We all know that I'm Not That Kind Of Runner who freaks out over the idea of taking an extra rest day. In fact, extra rest days are welcome to show up at the RunGingerRun house anytime they want! 

Right now I'm tapering for my next marathon. Before you roll your eyes about this being a post about a runner going crazy on the taper. It's not. It's, in fact, the opposite. I'm not going crazy that I'm running less. I'm enjoying it a little too much! Now that the long runs are all in the books, I'm ready to fully relax. I want to let go of my diet and eat pizza and have Dr. Pepper (my weakness) for dinner every night! But I know if I start doing that a few days away from my next marathon, the Route 66, it certainly won't help me get the shiny new PR I've been dreaming about for over 18 months! 

The Hubbo and I managed to run our scheduled 3 times this week and our 4th run of the week is tomorrow morning. While I'm looking forward to our last 8 mile run with our training group, the 3 runs we had this week were brutal! Not only did the weather here in Oklahoma snap from 70* on Monday to the low to mid 30s Tuesday and the rest of the week, but it also gets dark at 5:00pm now and even our 4 mile tempo runs felt hard.  

Anyway, I'm worried that with this attitude of extreme desire to be completely lazy that I will hurt my chances of a PR at the Route 66 Marathon. 

A good omen though is that the extended forecast for the weather are looking good, so I'm excited about that! Temps in the low 40s and climbing to the mid 50s throughout the day. Perfect running weather for this Ginger! 

I'm glad the weather is looking good because I have a very ambitious goal laid out for myself. My previous marathon PR is here at Route 66 doing the extra .3 mile Center of the Universe Detour in a time of 5:16. This year I want to do the same distance, 26.5 miles, in:
A: Finish close to 4:45 
B: Finish under 5 Hours
C: Just PR 
D: Just finish! 

I know that seems like a lofty goal for myself and I agree. But there are a few factors that make me think I can come close to my "A" goal.
1. I've never ran a marathon pain free from Plantar Fasciitus and this will be my first attempt.
2. I've been training with a running group and based on our paces 4:45 should be attainable.
3. I'm going to sign up for a pace group at the Expo to avoid going out too fast in the first half.

In other news, Bart Yasso is coming to the Expo at Route 66 and I totally want to meet him and get a picture with him. I tweeted him and told him my plan and he agreed so if I get arrested on stalking charges someone come bail me out and be sure to have Twitter pulled up! :) 

I'm just curious, am I alone here? Have you ever hit the taper and then lost all motivation to keep up your training for your race? 

 
 
PictureAmber, Hubbo, and I
Last Saturday the Hubbo, my fellow Ginger-in-Crime Amber, and I ran the Jenks Half Marathon here in Jenks, Oklahoma. It's just across the river next to Tulsa. It was my 11th half I've completed. This one may sound familiar if you've followed this blog for a while being as I did this exact same race last year. Now that I've completed 11 half marathons, I feel so lucky to be able to say that. 


The Medal

PictureJenks Half Marathon Medal 2014
Being as this race is a fund raiser for a local school's cross country team, I totally understand their medal selection. This race is also very affordable for a half marathon. I signed up 1 week before and it was $38 with fees. 
The medal may not be much to write home or blog about, but the race has good intentions. I do wish they would have changed it up a little since the medals are almost exactly the same as last year. The only difference is that last year it said "34" and this year it was "35" for the 35th anniversary. 

The Course

PictureHand drawn map. Seems legit.
This course has rolling hills. These types of hills are good for training because they aren't so steep or drastic that they take everything you've got to complete them, but they are enough to be a good workout. The first 6 miles of the course seem to be the worst of it. From 6-9 the hills lighten up a little. And from miles 9-13 the course seems to level out a bit more and you can push it a little harder. Overall, even though it is kinda hilly, I still really love this course. It doesn't hurt that we get to run by a small airport and watch the planes land as we ran by. 

This is a picture of the course map they were handing out at packet pick up. It makes me laugh so I wanted to include it. If I wasn't from around here, it would probably make me a little nervous to run this race, but trust me. I survived and never heard the Deliverance music! 

The Swag

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There isn't an expo for this race. You pick up your shirt and bib at a local running store. Inside by race packet envelope I did get some dental floss so that was pretty snazzy. Here is a pic of the shirt. This picture doesn't do it much justice because it is actually  more of a royal blue which I really like. After the race we were immediately handed a bottle of water by a very enthusiastic volunteer. He was also out on the course and kept things fun when we passed him. The post-race food was decent too. Full sized granola bars and full sized candy bars. 

My Experience

PictureAmber & I Crossing the Finish! #FlexBreak
I knew going into this race I wasn't trying for a PR. I was hoping to practice my marathon race pace to see how I would hold up on all those hills, but plans changed. The day of the race we had some very windy conditions. Wind gusts of up to 25 mph according to my weather app. I was going into this race knowing I was going to run it with the Hubbo and Amber and for the first few miles we just weren't feeling it so we changed our strategy to just have fun, take pictures and beat the 3 hour cut-off time. Mission accomplished! 

Question! Do you ever run races to just have fun?

 
 
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Hi Running Buddies!

It's hard to believe that it is time for our next installment of the RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month! This month we have my fellow Ginger, Ty Godwin from Colorado. Ty and I "met" on Twitter during #RunChat a while ago and have been following each other's blogs ever since. Ty recently had a racing accident and now that he is getting back on his feet so to speak, I thought it would be a good time to share his story with all of you. Hopefully one of these days, we'll end up at the same race and be able to say hi in real life!

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I am that rare breed they call the "male blogger." I started SeekingBostonMarathon.com as you might guess by the name as a runner looking to run in the most elite race in the world, the Boston Marathon. I figured no better way than to hold myself accountable to the entire internet to pursue my dream. I have a busy life as a runner, husband, dad to three kids, and a traveling job which has provided some fantastic material for my blog running in some really cool places around the world. Growing up I wrote and was an artist so you'll find a lot of that come out in my sometimes sarcastic and (hopefully) comedic writing style. I illustrate many of my posts. One of my favorites was "A Run With Runs is No Fun." 
http://www.seekingbostonmarathon.com/2014/03/a-run-with-runs-is-no-fun.html

2. In 140 characters or less, tell us how you got into running.

I started running late in life never having run in high school or any level. Like a lot of people, I kind of tripped into it as I was going through some life changes and wanted to get in shape. Since starting my blog in 2009, I have qualified and run Boston four times. I will be running my fifth this coming April.

3. It looks like you travel a lot for work. How do you manage to train
while on the road?

I find that most runners and certainly the faster ones all have one thing in common and that's discipline. Travel adds a whole other layer of complexity especially if I'm in the middle of a training plan for a race. I ALWAYS pack my run gear and plan my schedule around the work day. The down side is quite often the alarm clock goes off extra early if you have a breakfast meeting at eight and an hour and a half scheduled run that day. Dinner that night? Then you're getting up early. The upside is I've been able to run in Paris, London, and Barcelona to name a few. One of my favorite training runs was San Francisco to Tiburon. A bucket list run for everyone! The furthest away my Garmin registered miles? Taj Majal in India.

4. Besides running, working, and blogging, what keeps you busy?

Did I mention I travel, and have a family? Add in running, and blogging and there's not much time left. I love spectator sports, movies, dining, and traveling with my wife.

5. You had a pretty bad accident this summer during a Tri. Can you give us a short overview and recovery update?

Sore subject (pun intended.) On the bike leg of a sprint triathlon in July, I took the wrong angle on a downhill corner and hit a traffic cone. I thought I had the whole road and only had half. It was a one bike accident and I was determined to get back on my bike and finish the race. I rode another two miles to the transition area and knew I couldn't complete the rest of the bike course. I broke four ribs, collapsed a lung, separated my shoulder, and tore my labrum. I thought I'd spend two days in the hospital and it turned into eleven with one life-threatening night. This was four months ago and I have only begun modest training in the last few weeks. By far, this is the biggest challenge I've had to overcome, but I'm determined to build up my conditioning to start training for Boston in December.
http://www.seekingbostonmarathon.com/2014/07/crash-course.html

6. What does 2015 look like for you?

Considering my injury, I haven't set my race goals or calendar yet for 2015. My sole focus at the moment is Boston in April. I usually set goals in December or early January.I plan to resume triathlons in the summer as cross-training.

7. What is your favorite destination race you've traveled to?

Wow. Good question and too many to mention. Boston (consistent theme) is right up there, but Chicago might be the other one that ranks right up there. I'd like to eventually race in all the "majors."

8. What PR are you most proud of? Brag a little!

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I love speed and evolving into a better short distance runner than the full marathon. I set my 5K PR in 2014 with a 19:21 at the Lucky Laces in Denver. My half marathon PR (my favorite distance) is a 1:29:18 at the Slacker Half Marathon in 2013.  I want to break 1:29 if I get back to where I was as a runner in July 2015.

9. How can we connect with you on social media?

Running Buddies! Be sure to leave a comment and tell Ty GOODLUCK on his recovery and his next Boston Marathon! 

 
 
PicturePhoto from nuun.com.
If you were able to come to work with me and take a look at my desk, you'd see the normal things. Keyboard, mouse, pens, phone, chihuahua calendar, etc. You'd also see something that doesn't fit in exactly. At least it doesn't make sense to my non-runner co-workers. 
I keep a tube of Nuun (pronounced noon) on my desk. I pretty much keep one there year round as we are always running or training for something. Currently, I have the Strawberry Lemonade flavor sitting on my desk at work. It's one of my favs. 

Why Do You Have Nuun On Your Desk?

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The short answer to this question is that it gives me another hydration choice other than water and it has a nice light fizzy texture. (Can liquid have a texture?) Short answer number two, is that I like the taste and need electrolytes. 

The long story is that I spend several hours a day at work. I do most of my hydrating for my runs during those hours. I drink a lot of water and I mean A LOT! I have mentioned it before, but I'm taking a medication that is a potassium sparing diuretic. (Dr. said it was ok to run on this med.) It's no big deal to me to leave work at 5:00 having already consumed over 80 ounces of water. Add that 80 ounces to the additional 30 or more that I drink before my evening run and after my run during dinner and we are looking at a ton of water each day. That being said, water gets boring real quick when you are drinking 80-110 ounces a day. 
Sometimes you just need something different. Also you need electrolytes. That's why there is always a tube of Nuun on my desk. 

What is Nuun?

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Nuun is an electrolyte packed, light flavor, no sugar, low carb, very portable, sports drink that comes in tablet form you mix with water.  
The tablets are a little bigger than a quarter. You drop a tablet into 16 ounces of water and watch it dissolve like Alka-Seltzer. Once the tablet is dissolved the water is just a tiny bit fizzy but not for long. Each of the tubes has 12 tablet in it. 
Nuun has less than 8 calories per serving and no sugar or carbs which is great for me and my  blood sugar/insulin issues. 

Why Do You Need Electrolytes?

Have you ever drank so much water that you completely flushed your system and gave yourself leg cramps? No? I have and they hurt like hell!
I have also heard of runners who drink so much water leading up to race day that they flush their systems completely of all salt and electrolytes and have really bad cramps out on the race course. Sounds awful to me. 
Hydration is important. Water is good. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 
Here is what the Nuun website says about overhydration...

Dehydration is a common concern but overhydration, or hyponatremia, can be an overwhelming concern for endurance athletes who tend to spend consecutive hours training or racing.

Drinking water is important, but too much water with too few electrolytes impairs performance and body function. This metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium (salt) in the body fluids can be caused by over-hydrating and/or hydrating with only water, which can flush electrolytes from your body. Nuun is perfect for pre-event or during the day hydration as they contain sodium but without much of the un-needed carbohydrates many sports drinks have.


What Flavors Do You Like?

PicturePhoto from nuun.com.
I was sent a box of samples as part of my partnership with BibRave and being a BibRavePro but I've been using Nuun since I started training with my running club in 2011. They put out water and Nuun at all of our water stops on our long runs. 
Here are my favorite flavors:
  • Strawberry Lemonade 
  • Tri-Berry
  • Grape
  • Fruit Punch
  • Watermelon - It's seasonal but it is ah-mazing! 

Where Can I Get Nuun?

You can buy it online here. Or you can check your favorite running stores. There are 18 places in Tulsa that sell it. It retails for about $6.00 - $6.50 a tube. 

I was sent a box of samples as part of my partnership with BibRave for being a BibRavePro but I've been using Nuun since I started training with my running club in 2012. As always, all opinions, bad pictures, and typos are my own. 

Question! Have you tried Nuun? What's your favorite flavor?

 
 
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This weekend called for a 20 mile training run as I prepare for my marathon. I knew from the start that instead of 20 miles, I'd actually be running 21 miles. It was a mind game that I played with myself and it turns out, I was right, and I won. 

Before I get into the specifics of my training run on Saturday, let me explain something. I think I've been confusing people on Twitter. I posted on Saturday after my run that I had just completed my 21 mile Honolulu Marathon Training run and I was excited. A Twitter follower of mine replied and assumed that the marathon was 2-3 weeks away. It's not. The Honolulu Marathon is 6 Weeks away. But it is my big race this season so I tweet about it a lot and HELLO! It's freaking Hawaii!!!! However, I am running another marathon 3 weeks before it here in Tulsa. So really, I'm following my training plan leading up to the Route 66 Marathon so I'll be ready for it in time and then I'll rest a little after that and run maybe one more longish run before I taper off again for Honolulu. 

Now that we've cleared that up, back to how I survived the 21 mile run...

I Was Mentally in the Game

When I woke up Saturday morning at 5:00 AM I told myself repeatedly and out loud that I was going to run 20+ miles, I was going to have a good run, and that I could do it. You can even ask the Hubbo because as I was sitting on the floor foam rolling my legs before we left, he could hear me saying it out loud to myself. I needed to do this because I didn't do it for the Tulsa Run last week and I suffered. While this training cycle has had it's ups and downs, I've had very few long runs that I would call great or even good. I had a great 15 miler and a great 21 miler. The rest, I would say I survived for one reason or another. Being in the game mentally, was a huge help this weekend on my long run. 

My Nutrition Was Good

I'll never say that my nutrition was great because it's something I struggle with, but leading up to my long run, everything I ate this week focused on running 20+ mile run. My nutrition was pretty on point this week and especially the night before the run. Even though it was Friday night AND Halloween, the Hubbo and I stuck to our meal plan and our bodies thanked us for it on Saturday morning. That means, no alcohol, very little sugar (1 cookie) no other junk like pizza or chips and dip. We did go to a Halloween party for about 90 minutes, but we ate our usual pre-run dinner (grilled chicken, brown rice or quinoa, and avocado) before we left the house so we'd be less tempted to consume party goodies. 

I Played Mind Games with Myself

First, I tried not to look at my watch too much. I know that can be hard but I really tried to focus on the conversation with my friends and others in my running group. I even ran next to new people for a few miles for a new conversation opportunity. 

Second, after we reached the 10 mile mark, and I started to countdown how many miles I had left, I'd add an extra mile. So for example, if we were at the 10 mile mark, I told myself I had 11 mile left not 10. It was a good thing too because we ended up with 21 miles on the dot!
I had to do this because I know that it is typical for my group to run .5 or .75 miles longer than what's on the schedule. Sometimes it just happens. But in my mind, when I'm focused on stopping at mile 10 and we are still half a mile away from the car, the last half mile can be a real bitch because I didn't mentally prepare. This time, I knew we'd be going over and I was okay with it from the start.

Last, I kept telling myself that I'd have to run longer on race day. Meaning that even though I ran 1 more mile than I was "scheduled" to run, really on race day, I'd be running about a 10k longer than my longest training run and what's one more mile at that point? 

I Had a Secret Weapon

Well, not really a secret weapon. It's not a secret that I run with music. My "weapon" was that I didn't allow myself to put my music in until we had less than 5 miles left. I ended up only listening to about 3-4 songs total and only put it in when we had less than 4 miles to go. 

I Knew What To Expect

My running club is good about sending out not only our training plan so we'll know what to run each day, but also we get a map of our upcoming long run. I also get weekly emails from my coaches telling us how we did on our long run along with running tips and articles. So when the email came out earlier this week with the map attached for our 20 mile run, I looked it and studied it. I knew that we would hit 20 miles before we got back to our starting point. I thought it was only going to be about half a mile, but knowing my group (we like to take wrong turns :)) I knew we'd end up with close to 21 or more. Which is why I started playing mind games with myself early on with  my mileage count down. 

I Have Awesome Running Buddies

While we aren't very good at taking group pics, we always have a good time during our runs. There isn't one person that I can't run along side and strike up a conversation with. That distraction can be so helpful sometimes during some hard miles. 
My core group within my group that I usually run next to had a great time talking about Halloween, concerts, kids, dates, and race strategy. We are also happy to report that we have a solid race plan in place for the Route 66 marathon in a few weeks. So glad I have Tara and Suzy to help entertain me during these long runs! 

Question! How do you make it through your long runs?

 
 
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Two weeks ago as the Hubbo and I were preparing for a long run, I looked at him and said that I wasn't sure how I was going to carry all my stuff during our upcoming marathons. In November, I'm running the full at Route 66 here in Tulsa and in December, I'm running the Honolulu Marathon
Since my training has required that I run longer miles, I need to take more nutrition with me. Even though my EnergyBits aren't big and bulky, I have other things I like to carry with me during my runs like my cell phone, my ID/Credit Card, sometimes a car key, and my iPod Shuffle. Shortly after that conversation with the Hubbo I got notification from BibRave that I would be getting a FlipBelt to try out and review being as I'm an ambassador or a BibRavePro. It was one of those rare moments in life where things lined up absolutely perfectly! 

Back to the belt. The belt is basically a tube with several pocket openings to put your belongings in. Then all you have to do if flip it so the openings rest against your body and your stuff is nice and secure. Hence the name FLIPbelt. It is made of a moisture-wicking, spandex-lycra blend material and is machine washable and dryable. 

I had actually heard of these before and they sell them at my local running store. A bunch of my running coaches wear them too. You can find a store near you by clicking here or you can order them online here. They retail for $28.99 and they are worth every penny! When I posed on Instagram that I was going to be reviewing one, a lot of people commented on how much they love theirs. 

Now for the important questions...

Will It Hold All My Stuff?

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The quick answer to that is YES! It held all my stuff and I had plenty of room for more things when I used this during my race on Saturday. 

Here are the contents of my belt from run.
1. iPhone 4
2. My Driver's License
3. 1 Baggie of Energybits
4. One sleeve of Clif Shot Bloks
5. iPod Shuffle/Earbuds




You could put other things in the belt too, such as:
1. Kleenex
2. Chap stick
3. Candy
4. Money
5. Keys
6. Medicine or an EpiPen 
7. Gifts for your Favorite Ginger! :) 

I have a large cell phone, will that fit?

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Yup! I am lucky to have a coworker that has an iPhone 6+ and he let me borrow it to see if it would fit in my FlipBelt and sure enough, it did! 

This picture shows the iPhone 6+ sitting partially in and partially out of the belt. I even put the belt on with the iPhone 6+ in it to see how it felt and it felt fine to me. 
I will say, I didn't run around my office like a crazy person with it, but wearing it around my office like a normal professional felt fine. 

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The website does say there is one phone they know won't fit in it, the Note 2. FlipBelt does have a 100% customer satisfaction policy. So if the belt doesn't work for you, they will be happy to do a return or exchange. 

This belt would be good for vacationers and tourists too. Taking a purse to Disneyland sounds awful, but you'll still want all your money, credit cards, cell phone, etc. This would be an easy way to keep those items on you, but not have to worry about them being stolen or falling out of your pocket on a ride. 

How does it fit and feel?

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You can't really see it, but I'm wearing my FlipBelt in this picture. I ordered a black one because all of my running shorts, tights, and carpris are black. They have several colors for you to chose from though. See the picture below. 

I like how I no longer have a huge awkward bulge (don't get weird) anymore that resembles a fanny pack from the 90's. 

I ordered a large FlipBelt and I'm happy with my size choice. I'm an 8-10 in regular pants and that was in between sizes on the sizing chart. The website had a few helpful suggestions for sizing too:

*Size Tips: To ensure the most comfortable fit, choose the size appropriate to how you prefer to wear the belt.  If you prefer it around your waist go smaller, your hips - go bigger.

**Depending on how/where you like to wear your belt; measure waist or hips where you like to wear your belts and the measurement should stay around 2" below the Max Stretch Circumference.

Did the belt ride up while running?

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After wearing the belt for a few minutes, I couldn't really even tell I was wearing it. It felt like a normal piece of my clothing. It really didn't move or ride up on me during my race. I even wore the belt last night on my 6 mile run with slick compression shorts on and it did much better at staying put than my other belt did. (My other belt is a pouch with a strap type set up.) 

I like the fact that I can toss this belt in the washing machine on cold to keep it nice and clean. Some running belts don't allow for that. 

Summary - I really like this belt and it will now be my go-to belt for all my runs. If you are in the market for a new belt or want to add something running related to your Christmas list, I highly suggest this belt! 

Disclaimer - I was provided a FlipBelt free of charge to try out and review. I wasn't compensated in any other way and as always, all opinions, typos, and awkward photos are my own. 

Question! What color belt would you pick?