Monday, February 27, 2012

First Half Marathon -Post Oak Lodge Challenge

I  had my bags packed and ready to go.  After I nursed Max and put him to bed, I hopped in the car and headed to Tulsa (in the Sand Springs area).  The Post Oak Lodge is very close to down town Tulsa, but is actually out in the country a bit "City Close, Country Quiet" is their slogan.  They were very welcoming when I arrived, "You must be Rachel!  We saved your pasta dinner for you!"  The Post Oak Lodge Challenge has a TON of races to choose from.  Saturday events included a 10K, 25K, 50K and 1.3 mi. fun run.  These runs were exclusively on the trails on the Post Oak property.  Sunday events were the Marathon, Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon and 1 mile fun run.  These Sunday races were "troad" races.  Part trail, part road.  I would say 60% of the half marathon was on single track trails, a couple miles on gravel, and the final 3.1 miles were paved.  At which point I was too whipped from the previous miles to enjoy the even terrain!  They really try to build this into a "weekend" and there is a Doubler's Challenge in which people run an event on both Saturday AND Sunday (excluding fun runs).  For more information about the races visit or for more pictures of the Lodge visit: .

I got in a bit after 10 pm Saturday night and after checking in, getting settled, pumping for Max (he stayed home) calling Kyle etc. I was asleep just before midnight with my alarm set for 7:30 for the 9:00am start time. I got woken up around 6:45 by the sounds of people opening and closing doors and decided I wouldn't get back to sleep so went ahead an got up.  I threw some clothes on and went to the main lodge to get breakfast.  Then I came back to my room, pumped, got ready and then settled in to read to distract myself from getting nervous.  I settled on wearing a pair of compression socks, compression tights, a tank, arm warmers, my Garmin watch and a headband. I opted to not wear my water carrying running belt and just wear my small light running belt.  I took 3 Gu with me and wore my 13.1 headband that my friend Shanna gave me (you better believe I'm going to be wearing THAT a ton!!!).  I walked out the door 25 minutes early forgetting my sunglasses.  As I left the cabin where my room was I hear a gun and a whole slew of runners took off.  I ambled up to the lodge and commented to someone, "That the marathoners taking off?"  I was informed that NO, NOT THE MARATHONERS....THE HALF MARATHONERS!  Note to self.  Next half marathon....double check the start time.  I was the LAST runner out of the a couple of minutes.  The last straggler runner was a good 1/4 mile ahead of me.  Way to start off on a good note.  So off I go.  This is when I notice my watch hasn't located all of it's satellites so it's not on yet.  Great.  So now my mileage count is going to be "off".  Oh!  It's pretty sunny out...too bad I'm going to have to squint the entire race.  Sheesh.  I will say, the good thing about beginning dead last is that you get to pass a lot of people.  I only got passed twice the entire race and those were towards the end.  The race was on the "easiest" single track trails.  Yeah.  Their easiest trails are WAY harder than the trails at Lake Arcadia and at Lake Draper (the only trails I've run on at this point).  It was super hilly, steep inclines, very steep declines...tons of rocks.   There were tons of rocks.  OH, AND DID I MENTION THERE WERE TONS OF ROCKS? I never actually saw anyone fall down, but people all around me were tripping like it was going out of style.  Myself included.  I quickly decided that my goal of "shoes staying trail side down" really might not happen.  My ankles were very sore running, not from twisting them, but from using muscles to stabilize myself that I normally don't use.  In fact, my ankles muscles are sore today.  I can honestly say that's never happened to me before!  I also got blisters on both feet, which has never happened and I'm certain they can be attributed to the rough terrain as well.  Post Oak Lodge is near the aptly name Sand Springs.  There were randomly soupy mud holes in the trail that I had to stop and pick my way across or jump over.  I only managed to step in one and had to finish with a muddy/wet right shoe and sock.  The bad thing about single track is how easy it is to get "stuck" behind someone.  There's just no way around.  Most people who know people are needing to pass them, will stop and get over off the track allowing other runners to get by.  Also, running behind other people makes it harder to run because you can't see the ground in front of you as well, so tripping is even MORE likely.  I had several good stumbles, but no falls and managed to get several tree branches in the face.  I also regretted my decision to not wear my water bottles as I was thirsty most of the race.  I prefer to take sips frequently, not just a couple of ounces ever 2-3 miles. I took 2 Gu on the run.  One at mile 8 and the other around mile 11.  The race ended on paved road.  I was so beat from battling the trails that I couldn't even enjoy the nice, even terrain (although these roads were quite similar to the roads by our house...and could be deemed quite "trail like" because of the crumbly asphalt and potholes).  The race ended with a .7 mile long hill, advertised as "The Hill From He**".  I ran the first part of it, but when it came to the steepest part...I walked.  I just didn't have it in me.  My official time was 2:16:50.  (It was chip timed, meaning my time didn't actually start until I crossed the starting line and ended when I crossed the finish line).  I finished 51 out of  138 finishers.  I'm okay with my time given the conditions of the race.  But I want to run faster.  I can do better...(I hope!)

The lodge had changed the checkout time to 2pm so I stretched, grabbed a shower and headed home to my beloved foam roller.  Then, at 8:30 my friend who is a massage therapist came at 8:30 and stretched and massaged me.  That was the BEST idea I've ever had in my entire life.  And today?  I'm so sore I can hardly walk down our stairs.  My quads are KILLING me.  I think it was from all the rocky hills and steep declines.

Right before I wrote this recap I registered for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 29th.  I will be running the half again.  The OKC Marathon is notorious for horrible weather...last year it hailed, so I shouldn't really anticipate better overall running conditions, I don't think.  And I have new goals.
1.  Don't walk
2.  Run faster than 2:15.

I'll be taking tomorrow off from running to continue to recover, but I'll be back at it bright and early Thursday morning.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Training Recap

I decided in October that I wanted to start running again.  And that I wanted to train for something.  A full marathon seemed out of reach and I didn't want to commit to making the time necessary for training for something like that.  But a half marathon sounded do-able.  After all, my favorite running route in high school was 6 miles long.  A half marathon is not more more than twice that.  Do-able.  And then I started running, and my body (while not out of shape thanks to Body and Soul) quickly reminded me that it hadn't run in 5 years.  And 5 years ago I was regularly running just 3 miles.  Not 6.  And high school was a long time ago.

The runs at the beginning of my training were hard.  I was getting back into shape.  I was dealing with runners knee and a tight IT band.  I was only running not even 1/4 of the distance that I needed to run.  13.1 miles seemed impossible.  I decided I must be crazy.  But slowly I started to see my fitness improve.  I began to run a bit faster.

The runs in the middle of my training were hard.  I was increasing my mileage to distances I had never run before. (Farthest run being ~ 6 miles).  I was still dealing with knee issues.  I really enjoyed the fact that every time I ran another Long Run, I was setting a new personal record for longest distance I'd ever run.  And then I had a fabulous 8 mile run.  The weather was great. I felt great.  I ran fast (for me).

The runs at the end of my training were hard.  I was now running so far on my long runs I had to carry water and Gu (carb gels) to fuel while running.  After running so long, you literally have no calories left in your system left to burn.  I had some brutal long runs.  My 10 miler I forgot to bring Gu with me.  I ran on empty and it took me a long time to recover.  I ran two 12+ mile runs that made me want to die.  On the second I seriously considered calling Kyle to come and get me.  I hobbled around for days after running that far.  After running 12 miles twice, I knew I could run a 1/2 marathon.  But I KNEW I'd hate every minute of it.  In the middle of that I ran a 11 miler on trails.  I fueled.  I didn't want to die, I didn't feel good, but I didn't want to die.  For the first time 1/2 marathon seemed possible.  Then last week I had a mid week run that I killed.  The "runners high" that had been eluding me for the past several weeks had made a return. Then I ran a 12 miler last Saturday.  It was exhausting, like always.  But I had figured out what to eat before a long run.  I ran a great (for me) average pace.  For 12 miles.  And I had a runners high that lasted for days.  And I know that I can run 13.1 miles.  And I know that it could be fun.  We shall see what Sunday holds.

I am proud of myself for doing all this training and making a goal and following through and working to achieve it.  (Luke is sick, so this Sundays race may not happen, but I WILL run one).  

I trained for 20 weeks.  Had 60 scheduled runs.  I missed 10 or so of them due to knee issues/traveling/wisdom teeth.  I have run a total of 272.56 miles since October 6th.

6 of those miles are totally mine.  Kyle was gone and I ran on the treadmill after putting the littles to bed.  266 miles are because Kyle is supportive of me.  He wants me to achieve my goal and he sacrifices his sleep/work time/leisure time/rearranges his schedule so that I can go run around and then come home and whine to him.  He gives Luke and Leta breakfast every morning so I can sleep as late as possible and walk in the door just in time to feed Max.  He feeds all 3 lunch every Saturday and deals with getting them down for their naps.  This is easily the busiest 1.5 hours of my day, and always leaves me counting the minutes until nap time.  So I can fit in a long run.

So.  Come Sunday 1/4 of a mile of 13.1 miles are mine.  The rest are Kyle's.  Thanks Kyle!!!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lastest Luke Quote

"Government is just another word for robbers."

Kyle and I seriously have no idea where he picked this up from...not that we spent a lot of time correcting him.  But it really is random b/c this is not generally a topic of conversation in our home, nor something either one of us has probably ever said...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seen and Heard

Luke on chore time: This is going to take FOREVER! When I'm done it's going to be time to go to Heaven!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Prepare for cuteness!

 Adorable picture of Leta our babysitter, Erin, took.   She is  a much better photographer than I.
Max has big ears.

Here is poor Max, sick.  Doesn't he just look like he feels terrible?
There have been 7 babies born since Max was born (6 months ago) in our smaller (150ish people) church.  There are 5 more babies still on the way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/6/12 Meal plan

Bold Recipes are on the blog
Underlined recipes are new.

Rachel's Lake Brisket -Crockpot
Roast -Crockpot
Roast stew- Crockpot
Chili Cheese Fries Casserole - Company
Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts -Company
Italian Omelette - Breakfast for Supper $Penny pincher$
Salmon with a Raspberry glaze
Indian Corn
Black Bean Burgers from

Other: I also plan on making Grandma Key's rolls, Granola Bars, and Nutty Granola.

Check out my disorganized recipes tab at the top of the page if you want to try any of these bolded recipes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Luke's great idea.

Luke came running into our room this morning at 7:30 SO excited.

L: Daddy can you take me to Grandpa Dana's today?  And Leta could come to.  She didn't get her birthday money from Grandpa Dana yet.  She could get it, then we could go to the STORE and she could buy me a TRAIN!

That's our Luke.  Always thinking of others ;)

Did my long run today.  Not sure how this "runners high" is supposed to work, but it did not make an appearance during or after my run today.