Sunday, May 31, 2009

Branchin' Out

I have to be honest...all the talk of other people out on bike rides made me feel a little envious. So I got my bike out of the closet and took it to the bike shop to get a once over. Once I got my bike back I decided that days I don't have to drive to Bixby I am going to bike to work. I did this for the first time Thursday morning. It was so much fun. I had gotten an email from the Kansas City Sports Commission about the Tulsa Tough bike weekend about a week and a half earlier. How sad is it I learned about a Tulsa event because I did a run in Kansas City? Anyway...

So I browsed the Tulsa Tough website ( and found that they had a "recreational" 8 mile ride on city streets. I thought that seemed completely doable and thought it would be fun to do something outside of running. So I made the decision I would do the Tulsa Townie Ride. I pitched the idea to some of my Runners World friends who had talked about their previous bike rides. Some were excited and some were hesitant, but I was going to do it regardless.

Sometimes I believe things happen for a reason. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday to discuss a lot of things going on with me (nothing major). Well turns out that the doc went to listen to me (which I'm used to with my asthma), and found a heart murmur. He did an EKG and it had some abnormalities to it as well, so he decided to send me for an echocardiogram. He said I was to lay off the running until after he got the results and I saw him again. So Thursday I biked to Runners World and helped with The Big Loser competition and then biked home. Friday evening I ran the Kidney Klassic. I was really pulling for a much so that Bobby got persuaded to run with me to try to push the pass a little...I just couldn't do it. Sorry again Bobby....I finished the 5K in 37:10. I guess I should be glad I finished and didnt' have any big thing go on with my heart. I had my echo done earlier that day and the tech didn't seem too concerned about what she saw.

Saturday was a fun day. I got up and met with the running group and biked about 8 1/2 miles. Then enjoyed a yummy breakfast at IHOP with the eating club. Although I may need to start boycotting the eating club because I need to be healthy and I just give in to temptation too easily. Then Boca and I walked to the Expo building and watched the AKC Dog Agility trials for a bit. Then I went to the grocery store while Boca rested, and then Boca had a play date with Kiwi Michaels (Bobby and Susan's dog). Then we went to my parents house where Boca played with the cats and I helped relocate my grandmother from the hospital to a new long term care facility.

This morning came along and I was so proud of myself because I got up and headed down to sign myself up for the Tulsa Townie whether anyone else wanted to do it or not. Roman actually texted me on my way there asking if I was going to do it. I told him I was and asked if he wanted me to sign him up...he actually did (which I couldn't cuz he has to sign his own release). But thought cool...Then I of course let Ken and Dana know what was going on hoping they would join. And they did. It was a little warm out (the bike ride was at 1). Once all of us unloaded our bikes (or the one we borrowed) we were off to get Ken, Dana and Roman registered. We got to do an extra 3-4 miles to get the packets take the loot back to the car and head back for the start.

The ride itself was indeed just that a ride. There wasn't any racing going on. It was very leisurely and relaxed. I really enjoyed it. There were about 3-4 good hills. Which wouldn't have been bad, but I swear at the middle of every hill I had some kid under the age of 10 feel the need to stop right in front of me and push their bike up the I got to do some creative weaving and pedaling. I think the laid back atmosphere was just good for me. I really enjoyed having company along the way. It was about the 3 mile mark that Dana actually told me Ed had come out to bike as well. The 5 of us hung together at the finish. The best part of this whole event in my opinion is not the shirt (although I really like it) or the medal (which they had enough of) but the popsicles!!!

I would highly recommend this event to everyone and anyone...

I posted a few pictures here, but others on my facebook.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Short "life" Update

Well this week was pretty uneventful in terms of running and everything. It was the first full week without students at TU, so I was able to find my desk and make my "to do" list. My running week was pretty uneventful as well. I did a very short run on Tuesday since I brought Boca out with me and it was quite warm so we did 2.68 miles. Thursday was alright, I pushed myself to do more than I have been during the week 4:25 miles. I was pumped for Saturday and got up expecting to go out and do 5 miles, but the air was not in my favor. About a mile and a half out my asthma was giving me fits, I was not only wheezing as I exhaled, but also while I inhaled. So I did 3 miles....rested about 40 minutes and then went out and did another 1.25 miles. I have not been doing very well at turning over the new eating healthy week, but mentally I am getting there...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Red Truck

Overall, it has been a really good week of running for me. I went out on Tuesday and did a nice 3 miles at a really easy going rate with Terrie. On Thursday, I went out and did a quicker than usual 3 miles with Roman. At the turn around we ran with Bobby and Tom as well. Saturday morning was a beautiful morning to run. The sun wasn't out, but it was nice and cool with a slight breeze. I decided to do 5 miles and ran with Bobby and Ken. It was a fun run Saturday as we were running part of the course of the Aquarium Run and were able to see some of our fellow Runners World friends running either the 5K or the 1/2 marathon. I was quite proud of the pace I kept during the 5 mile outing. I finished the 5.17 miles in 1:04:01, which I feel really good about. I owe a lot to Bobby, Ken, and Michael as it was so nice to have company will running along. Now comes the interesting part about "The Red Truck".

Where to start with my crazy running adventure...I will go to Thursday night's eating club meeting. Roman brought up that Ken and Kathy were planning a night run for Saturday night. This made some ears perk up. Bobby mentioned he might like to join in on that as did Lisa, Jason, and Ed. Kathy said they wanted to run from 21st & Riverside to Keystone Dam. Ken guessed that it would be about 14-15 miles out, so a total of around 30 miles. I, of course sat in complete silence thinking they are all nuts. Saturday morning rolled around and I showed up at Helmrich Park to do my miles, as did many of my fellow runners. Bobby and Ken were there. I asked Bobby if he was going to head out for the night run, he said he didn't know yet. I just laughed cuz off he was to do 5 miles with me. As stated above I had a really good run Saturday morning. I joined the eating club for breakfast at First Watch, which was very yummy. After I finished eating I headed home to shower and come up with a plan for the day.

About 10:30 my phone rings and it's Susan. Her question "What are you doing tonight?" I laugh and respond "Not running". She then throws out the idea of crewing for the crazies (no offense) who wanted to head out and run. I told her I would be up for it at least for a bit. The plan was to meet around 9 at Veteran's park. I took a nice hour and a half nap and then headed over to visit my grandmother and have dinner with my parents. The plan came together, with a few hitches here and there, I wound up taking my mom's minivan because it would be easier to haul people and stuff. I picked up Roman at his house and off we went to meet up with everyone at Veteran's park.

Everyone was in high spirits and at 9:23 PM off they went. There were 6 runners: Michael, Bobby, Ken, Kathy, Russell, and Roman. Then Susan, Christin and myself were the "crew". We took Christin's car back to her house and then meet up with the runners about 2 miles into their adventure. At the 2 mile mark, Christin thought she saw someone trip so I threw the car in gear and drove quickly up the street, of course it was just the group goofing around on a statute taking pictures. All was well, so they ventured on and we went and found our next point about a mile away. We honked the horn and cheered as the group came climbing up the super steep Gilcrease Road Hill. Everyone was still looking great! After this cheer session, we headed into QuikTrip, I really needed something to drink. We all picked up a few snacks and what nots and ventured onto our next stop off point. This is where the adventure began for the Crew Team.

We exited at 49th W. Ave and found a parking lot for the Dollar General that was very close to the path. As we waited the Crew Team talked about different authors and books and just passed the time. We were sitting about 5 minutes and this man on a bike rides past us, of course he has dark clothes. It wasn't too long before he passed by us again on his bike smoking a cigarette. We had a good laugh about exercising and smoking simultaneously. We saw the headlamps heading our way so we honked the horn, gave the crew some water and snacks. This was about the 4 mile point for the runners. They all seemed settled and then we ventured to our next cheering destination. We went down to 81st street. I found what looked like an abandoned building so we decided to park there. The car was parked in an awkward position, but we thought if a cop comes and asks us what's up we'll just tell them we are waiting for our running friends. As we get the car settled joking about police officers all of the sudden a car pulls out on the other side of the building and yup you guessed it was a police officer. Turned out and went the other way. As we watched the trail we notice a strange looking man dressed in all black walking down the trail in the direction of our running friends. Our friends came out of the path unscathed.

We left 81st street and headed towards 97 Hwy. We knew that at McDonald's at 97th Hwy we would take Michael to his truck. The group made it to the McDonald's and looked to be in great condition. Everyone was doing well and still in good spirits. Michael hopped in the van and we drove him to his truck. We then made a pit stop for the crew at QuikTrip to go potty and get some drink refills. Next thing we know we see a fire truck with its sirens going down the street the runners were on. This freaked us out a bit, but not as much as when we saw the ambulance going that way too. So off we went down the little access road by the highway. Our running friends were just at the point where the firetruck and ambulance were sitting with their lights going. The crew was so relieved when we knew that they it wasn't our running friends that caused the sirens and lights to come out. So we ventured up the little access road to 129th street. There was way more traffic than we thought there would be and there was very little shoulder for our friends to run on so we were feeling a little uncomfortable about their running situation. They made it without incident though, and we noticed that the water jug they had brought was running low. We knew that as we got closer and closer to keystone we would be further away from any stores. So the crew made the executive decision to drive back to WalMart and pick up some more bottles of water. We took the highway back out toward keystone and exited at 177th street. Since we had no idea how far our running members had made it, we decided to drive slowly down the road back towards Sand Springs until we found our friends. Let the story of "red truck" begin.

We met up with our runners on a curved hill in a very dark area. So I turned the van around and kinda pulled over..the road was very very narrow, but we figured it was around midnight and what traffic would there be. As the runners were getting their water and having some snacks a big Red Truck with what looked like the word Fox on the back window went passing by us. I laughed and joked that the Red Truck was already calling 911 about suspicious behavior as we were passing things in and out of the van. Well it got eerie because no more than 3 minutes later the red truck comes passing by from the other direction. We thought hmm maybe they are checking out what we are doing. At this point we were driving and our friends were running. We didn't think too much about the red truck at this point.

Ken had informed us that there was a bridge out ahead so we decided to drive down to see how far the bridge was. As we were driving down the road we noticed a church and decided that would be a good place to park and wait for our friends. No soon after we got the van parked in the church parking lot, the same red truck that had passed us 2 other times passed by where we were parked from the direction of the bridge that was closed. The three crew members found this to be very eerie!!! So the ongoing joke for the night for the crew with every car that passed was "Oh no it's The Red Truck". This joke became even funnier that as we picked up Roman at the dam and deliverd bikes to Bobby and Russell at mile 18.6, we headed down another eerie and narrow road. Well sure enough about 2 miles down this road...we have a Red Truck pass it wasn't the same Fox on the back window. But it helped a good laugh and helped to keep me focused on having fun and not feeling tired or stressed out.

I am sure that TZ will post a great report for the runners point of view on the impromptu night run. I was thankful for 6:00 AM when I finally walked back through the doors of my home in preparation for an easy Sunday run with Terrie, and my first orientation meeting to begin training for my first 2 maybe 3 marathons...Dude...hanging out with these crazies is turning me into one of them. What fun.!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday Night Run

I just wanted to blog to say thanks to Roman, Bobby and Tom for hanging back with me, and pushing me to move a little quicker during Thursday's run. I really appreciate it. It was nice to have some company.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Full Moon 5K Run Report

I participated in the Full Moon 5K run this past Saturday evening. It's the first evening run I've done since Race Into the New Year (if that counts as an evening run). I participated in TU's graduation Saturday morning. Made the mistake of wearing my dress shoes without hose, so got a little blister on the top of my 4th little piggy (the one that had none if you do the little piggies). I was a little worried about how it would feel in my sneakers, but it wasn't bad at all. I arrived at Veteran's Park around 6:30 with my Arby's Turkey Club sandwich in hand...dinner ya know. The band Zed Lepplin was already playing. It was a nice relaxed atmosphere. I was feeling pretty excited about the possibility of setting a new PR. My friend and fellow Runners World member, Terrie, joined me and we took in all the environment. As Terrie decided to check out the potty facilities Bobby and Susan tried to sneak up on me, but they didn't realize that I have incredible awareness of my surroundings so their attempt failed. We all hung out. It was a very nice evening. Overcast and about 65 degrees...a great evening for a run.

Before I knew it the 1 mile fun run was off. So my anxiety really began to kick in. It is the part of the running events I hate...that feeling of needing to puke because there are so many people around me. It is somewhat like claustrophobia I imagine, but I have such anxiety of being around so many people I don't know. I took my race photo (see above) before we headed off. It was an easy out and back route. I actually heard the gun for this run and I was ready. Once I crossed the starting mat I began trotting along trying not to get sucked in to everyone else's adrenaline. I have to say Terrie did awesome...she got sucked in...but she did her first mile in about 9:30. I just kept looking at the Garmin trying to keep around an 11:30 pace so that I could get a PR...I needed to finish faster than 36:49. I felt pretty good during the entire run. I heard the 2 mile chime on my watch and looked down and it read 23 something so I calculated in my head that even if I ran closer to a 12 I should finish in sub-36. Well that's when it went wrong I guess. I allowed myself to walk for 5 one-hundreths of a mile...why did I need to walk...I have no idea. Guess I'm still in recovery mode...gotta snap out of that and maintain my ability to go out and do 3 miles without a whole lot of difficulty. I mean it is challenging to do 3 miles...but it's a challenge I want to overcome on a regular basis. So here were my splits from the 5K:

Mile 1: 11:34
Mile 2: 11:36
Mile 3: 12:22
.14: 1:28
For a finishing time of 37:04.

I think my favorite part about this run, is for the entire run I was with people. For most runs I feel like I am with people for about the first mile, mile and a half, but then all the speedies take off and I wind up pretty much by myself not in a pack of people. For this run, there were people around me the entire time. I don' t know if I felt this way because of the out and back course or the amount of people running. The free beer and band at the end of the run was fun. Was all in all a great run for me despite not getting a PR.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recovery Week

It has been a nice laid back "recovery week". I took Monday off of all exercise after the miserable OKC 1/2...see previous post. It was nice to head out with the group on Tuesday. I just did a low key 1.5 mile walk. There was all the buzz in the air though about everyone's perspectives and adventures in the OKC events. I think it is true that misery loves company. You feel so much better about your horrible race when you hear that someone else also had a horrible race. I do have to share my highlight from Monday evening though, that gave me the first step to acceptance of my not-so-hot OKC event. I went to my Weight Watcher meeting, and they were talking about the "Truths and Myths about Carbs" well one of the topics the leader brought up was that carb intake can be different for people who are...get this...extreme adventure exercise those that run or bike far distances. Her words, I swear. Here's the odd part for me as an individual...Everyone in the room kinda chuckled. The leader then asked if anyone in the room was an "extreme adventure exercise enthusiast" of course I raised my hand. The crowd got silent..she asked what I did, I told her that I just ran the 1/2 marathon the day before, then the silent crowd turned into a murmured crowd everyone was talking with their buddy about my "AMAZING" accomplishment. I walked out with a new perspective on my running. I am so used to hanging out with very cool people who also enjoy running, and run amazing distances (marathons and ultras) and you lose sight of what the average joe thinks of running. So although I have not been doing well writing down what I am putting in my mouth, I am feeling very excited about starting my training for my first marathon.

I attempted to run Thursday. It was so nice to run with Stacy. We did some more rehashing of the whole OKC thing. My legs felt tired and weak, but it felt good to be back out there running. I decided to forego the Hope Rains 5K, due to the amount of mud I expected would be on the course. So I met with the couch to 5K group at Helmrich at 7. I headed out and did 4 miles in the rain. I actually really enjoyed running in the rain (coulda done without the lightning) but I found it cleansing and therapeutic.

I decided to try to go out today, Sunday, and do another 4 miles to try to get myself into a rhthym. I got 3 done, but then decided to walk the last 1.4. I really need some help and guidance about when to try to push myself to do more and when to let myself rest because the body says so. I won't be able to meet up with the group Tuesday evening because I'm giving a final, which makes me sad. But at the same time, I am so excited to really focus and work on my running this summer. I have no obligations at TU or KU, other than to finish my dissertation and get the Ph.D. thing done, so I really hope to run daily, even if it's just a mile or two...So again I'll take any advice about building up my endurance that anyone wants to give...