Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why We Ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon....

I was only a freshman in college when the Oklahoma City Tragedy occurred.  I remember sitting in my dorm watching the news as I listened in disbelief that one man could do something so horrible.

That day, I didn't know how I could help other than to pray.  I did pray.....
Heartbreaking pictures from April 1995.

And 18years later, I find myself here at that place.....running a race to remember, a race that keeps the memory of 168 innocent people alive.

Below are some pictures from the Memorial Park.   (Angel Watts took several of these beautiful pictures.)
This picture above is showing you one side of a wall that says 9:01, while the other side (not pictured) says 9:03.  The time 9:01 represents the moment in time when life was "normal".  The 9:03 time represents the time that live was "changed and lost".  Therefor, 9:02 was the time of the tragedy...that changed everything for Oklahoma City. 

168 Chairs on the site of where the federal building once stood
Explanation of the Field of Chairs
This picture above is a chained link fence along the outside of the wall of the memorial.  Certain items, belongings, and pictures of loved ones hung on this fence.  And what was really neat to see come Sunday after the race, were race bibs all over it.....as many family members and friends were running the race to remember a loved one.
WOW!!! The thought that came to mind often when I was running, is that there very well could have been children (who were grown up now), running this race for a parent they lost??? Heartbreaking to say the least! ****And more the reason to keep on running!
The Survivor Tree
The Survivor Tree is a very important symbol for the OKCity people.  In matter of fact, our medals we received had a picture of the tree on the back of them.  This tree is dated back to the 1920s and it SURVIVED the blast of the bombing. The Survivor Tree is a symbol of human resilience.... a tribute to renewal and rebirth, the inscription around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”
Worship Service the morning of the race at the Survivor Tree

And it was a beautiful morning to have Worship Time around the Survivor Tree just before we started the race.

What a humbling experience this weekend was!

A Race to Remember

WE DID IT!!!  (Glory to God!!!)

OKCity GetFit Marathon Team
Back in November or December of last year, Morgan asked me if I would be interested in helping out with training a running group.  I gladly said yes, not knowing what to expect.

I have been an athlete as long as I can remember.  I have coached many teams throughout my adult years.  And I have trained myself for several different races. But, I had no idea what to expect with leading a running group.   This experience was much bigger and better than I ever imagined it would be.  In my 37years, this weekend was probably my most proudest athletic achievement.  And it wasn't just because I finished my first full marathon....but more because I felt like I had a TEAM that did it with me. 

Growing up I recall playing basketball, running track, and cheering. These were my fondest memories.  Thinking back on those days I remember lots of training/practicing together, as well as, all the competing together.  But, what made it so "memorable" was the laughing together, the crying together, the pushing and challenging one another, the encouraging of one another, and the praying together. 

Our running group did the same thing this past weekend and in the past four months. 

This was indeed a Race to Remember! 
Love this group of women!

***This week I will be posting A LOT more pics and a few more blogs on our weekend together!! STAY TUNED!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oklahoma City Bound!!

Has it occurred to you that among the 11 or 12 of us ladies we will have covered 104.8miles as of Sunday mid-day??  OVER 100 Miles!! FOUR FULL MARATHONS IN ALL!  WOWZERS!!!  That's CRAZY!  And I love that we are crazy!

This past week has been full of preparation, planning, packing, and of course our last group runs and meetings! 
Morgan, Wendy, Stacy, Becky, Jynna, and Shelley--last group run

Look at us? We must be getting smaller from all the mileage we have put in cos we fit in the camera shot at arm length!!
And now the weekend is here!! :-).  We are packing our bags.  We will carpool 3hrs to Oklahoma City.  We will check in.  We will walk, talk, and settle our nerves......  

My bags! My shoes! My watch! My deodorant!  ALL THE NECESSITIES!!

And take a look at what Morgan did tonight! HAHA! She thinks we are gonna be really hungry this weekend!!! :-).
Morgan went shopping! Can you say CARBLOADING?? LOL
Tomorrow begins the Memorial Marathon Adventure!  May God Bless each of us as we take part in something that is so much bigger than us! I can't wait to see what is in store!  LET'S RUN THE RACE!!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Getting Anxious and Antsy Legs

It has been so hard not to take off for a long run this week!  My legs are itching for a long run:-)>  But I am saving it for the Race Day!!!

It's almost here!!!  And tonight, we have our final training session (which everyone is invited too).  I am excited but also sad that it's almost here:-).  We have worked so hard.  We have grown quite close.  We have shared a lot in the past few months.  We have prayed a lot. And, we have some mighty sexy legs to show for it:-). HAHA!

So a few things we will go over tonight....
1) Final Training (jog, walk, stretch, fellowship and pray) at 5:30pm at the track.
2) Please be sure to PRINT your EMAIL CONFIRMATION and bring with you to the Expo to pick up your bag with your race bib, timers, and goodies!
3) We have two departure times...and tonight we'd like to know which departure time you prefer? Morgan has a early crew leaving around 9am.  Mandy has a crew leaving around noon or shortly after.
4) Don't forget to check the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon weblink for some cool details.  One really cool option is to have love ones receive messages about where you are in your race and how you are doing.  Also, there is an APP you can download, too, that will track you.  My husband will be using this Sunday to map us out---while he is in church:-). LOL!!
Also, check out the course and such.  It's always good to get an idea of what to expect!
5) Get those ipods and iphones ready!! Update your favorite music and such.  I always start off with some really slow and old country music so I can make myself settle down and start with an easy pace...rather than get competitive and try to out run everyone at the starting line!  (If you know me, you know that I am serious about that! I can get very competetive!  Ronnie Millsap will slow me down, tho!)

WHAT TO BRING: (This is straight from my personal list)
-shoes and I bring two pairs to be on the safe side
-socks and I bring a few pairs (just in case it rains or something)
-Email Confirmation
-ear phones
-body glide
-ponytail and head band
-running capris and running shorts
-cotton panties (cos I'd be nervous inside---lol)
-bathroom necessities
-running watch
-comfy flip flops for ride home
-light jacket
-GU or Energy Supplements for half and full marathoners
-extra money (we would like to eat an after meal together on the way home since we are coming into two different groups on the way there---and we will most likely be very hungry by then)
-I will bring a little medical kit too.
-favorite snacks or pre-run meal (protein/energy bars or such).  We will have the typical fruit and PBJ sandwich stuff.

For most of yall, this may be a first time race.  And if so, my suggestion is to not worry about anything.  Go with the flow.  Don't worry about the details.  Show up, run, and take in the every part of the first time experience.  Don't worry about time, pace, or any of that stuff.  Take in the crowd. Take in the run.  Take in the other runners.  Enjoy OKCity scenery.  I saw on the marathon website this quote....and I loved it, "The Memorial Marathon is not about running, it is about life."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Race Week!!! Race Week!!! Race Week!!!

I am sooo flip'n excited!!!  It is almost time to run our race!!!!  This week's agenda seems silly to post....cos it is such an easy week.  HA!  But it is soo very important that you follow this agenda to keep your legs fresh and prevent injury.  And trust me, you will want to run and workout more than I am posting, but this once, I am asking you to NOT DO IT!  And yes, that goes for me too:-).

Easy 2miles and/or cross train
Easy 3miles with lots of stopping and stretching (this should not be done any later than Wednesday)
Easy 2miles
**Take several short walks this week too....and get inside your head to start to start mentally preparing for your race

Half Marathoner-
Easy 3miles and/or cross train
Easy 4miles with several walking and stretching breaks (like around every half mile)--**this needs to be done no later than Wednesday
Easy 2miles
**Take several short walks this week too....and get inside your head to start to start mentally preparing for your race 

Several things to do this week......(I have links posted on the underline words)
1) Go to the Oklahoma City Memorial Website and do some homework.  Check out the course, check out the FAQ section, and other race info.
2) Fuel and hydrate properly this week.  Lay off the sodas and adult beverages until after the race:-). And educate yourself on what to do and what NOT do during the race as far as drink stations and fuel is concerned. 
3) REST!!!   Rest early this week, cos if you are anything like me, the day(s) just prior to race I am sure we will be too anxious and nervous to rest well! HA!
4) Start thinking about what you want to bring. I will make a separate post about this tonight or tomorrow.
5) Pray

Also something else you may want to know about----if you go to the Oklahoma City Marathon Website...half way through the homepage, you can find a section that is for your friends and family back home.  You can have your loved ones follow you on your race through messaging systems.  This looks super cool and I know my family will be using it.

I am sure I am leaving out some important info.  As the race draws closer, I will be sure to keep this blog updated with information, as I think of it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Motivation or Fear?

The Boston Marathon, a world famous and one of the most prestigious marathon races, was bombed yesterday near the finishing line.  Words can't express how sad and how angry I was to hear and see the footage I was seeing on the news.  Innocent spectators cheering on their loved ones as they were finishing up a 26.2mile race.........were killed or severely injured!  It was a bloody, scary mess:-(

As a runner, I know what an emotional moment this can be as you near or cross the finish line of a race that has taken months of preparation for.  But yesterday, these runner had to endure a completely different emotion as they finished their race.  And because of this, I am more determined than ever to run 26.2miles in 12days.

BUT----I want to admit something though right now.  As I watched the news, I had an immediate reaction of fear.  Fear for Boston.  Fear for our country.  And fear to run in the Oklahoma City Marathon.

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is a race that benefits the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City, that took 168 lives.  WOW!! Talk about hitting home!  Thoughts filled my mind....is it safe to run this race since this race does benefit those who lost lives in the OKC "bombing"? Is it safe to race when it's only 13 days from the Boston Marathon race, in which no one has been made responsible for such a hatred crime?  Will they cancel the marathon?  Will I want to run the race now? -----For once I was fearful for running the race!!! FEAR!!

A few hours later..........my fears turned into motivation!  You know why? Well, maybe my kids shed some light on this? Zander looked me right in the eye and said, "You aren't safe ANYWHERE, are you mom?"  You know why he says that? Because our kids are questioning our safety these days.  I mean, who shoots people in a movie theater??  Who bombs buildings of innocent people?  Who blows up planes and crashes them into buildings? Who goes into our schools and kills our children and teachers? Who bombs a marathon race? This is insane!!!  And my kids have FEAR, just as I do!  But guess what, I do not want to have my kids living in fear.  I want them to live life as God intended full of PASSION, COMPASSION and LOVE.  Just as Jesus modeled.

If I have fear of running this race, I am letting "the bad guys" win.  My passion has been for running.  My life has changed because of my love for running.  I will not let them take away this passion.  I am more motivated to run this marathon (hurt foot or not) than ever before.  I want to run because I love it.  I want to run to remember the Oklahoma City Bombing.  I want to run for the Boston Bombing.  And I want to run to show my kids what this stands for!

This will definitely be a race to remember!!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

13 Days and Counting.....

I can't believe it is almost here!  I am so excited!!!!! (Please foot be healed! Please foot be healed!) 

So today at CrossFit, I could definitely tell that the heat and humidity was getting to me! Which is why I want to remind everyone to please hydrate yourselves.  The weather is getting much warmer and with only 13 days till race day, your water intake is very important now! Lay off the soda and drink tea if you need the caffeine.  Otherwise, water, water, water!!!

Got us a nice easy week planned:
Monday: 3 or 4 easy miles on the track
MidWeek: 4miles with no stopping
10K/12K LONG RUN:  One hour easy jog and walk
HALF MARATHONERS: 8miles easy OR 1hr30mins of jogging/walking

***And I just turned on the TV to hear about the Boston Marathon Explosion! WOW! Scarey!  Be praying for them!  Kind of makes your hair stand up:-(

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This is a Mental Test, Right?

Golly Ladies!  I have had a really, really bad week.  Well, not just me, my family has.  Weeks like this I need and want to run more because it helps me clear my head and helps me focus on God rather than myself.  But unfortunately, I have not been able to run on this injured/sore foot at will.  And it is killing me mentally!!!

Most of yall know that I somehow injured my foot or have had the onset of plantar fasciitis come on last weekend.  It happened a full day after I ran my 20miler.  I am thinking I did not stretch enough after that LONG run and then wore old blingy flip-flops for the next two days....which made for a bad combination and lead me to where I am now.  The good news is, it doesn't hurt ALL THE TIME.  I think it is just gets aggravated after some foot striking exercises.  Therefore, I am laying off running and any CrossFit running/jumping exercises.  I am gonna try to bike more this week to allow my foot a full recovery.  I am READY for this 26.2mile race.  I really don't want this to play a factor in my marathon.  So I am convincing myself this is part of the training!!!  That this is part of my "mental test".   RIGHT???
Alternative to running---hotel cycling! :-)

I do know, I don't want to injure myself where I am unable to workout at all though, because after this week, I am realizing how much I need running (working out) to mentally and spiritually keep me in check.

So very briefly I will tell yall just a FEW things about my week.  And I will keep it BRIEF!
1) The foot thing is really messing with my mind.  I can't tell you how ready I am for this race.  So this bump in the road, just two weeks prior to race day, has gotten me a little concerned.  But I HAVE FAITH!!!
2) My youngest son, Gabe, has dyslexia, but this week he had an incident that concerned us at school.  Now we will be getting some additional testing to hopefully rule out what doctors said could be "absent seizures".  ***Don't be too alarmed with this, as I am learning is pretty common among kids and is easily treated.  If it is not this, it could be part of his learning disability.
3) My daughter tried out for Jr High Cheer and didn't make it this year.  I could care less about her making the squad but it was terribly painful to see how hurt she was that she was cut!  No mom is ever prepared for that! It's been a learning opportunity for the both of us. And I am still trying to coach her through this.  (sigh)
4) This weekend was bit awkward for me.  I can't really pinpoint it, but I felt very out of place this weekend among my peers.  I am certain that alot of this falls back on myself, as I am sure by the weekend, I was just feeling sorry for myself.  I am sure all I really needed was some good mileage in.  Mileage always takes away my warp thoughts. HA!

And as I tell yall about some of this, I know it really wasn't THAT BAD.  It's all just "life".   In the scheme of things.....these things that have happened this past week will pass and be forgotten soon!  I am a blessed mom and wife with a wonderful family.  I live in a great small town that I call home.  I have a nice little house that is filled with more than enough of anything (love, laughter, food, clothes, etc...).  I can't even count all my blessing cos I am so blessed.

I am in a much better place today....after driving home late last night from Oklahoma baseball tournament (I had to get home for church this morning). I think God met Addie and I in the car late last night.   That drive home did us both more good than anything.....as we put on Pandora Praise and Worship Music and sang as loud as we possibly could all the way home. 

This is gonna be a better week:-). I am convinced--- this is a part of the trainingAnd have the faith!!

Tapering workouts will be posted soon....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Saturday morning, I set my alarm (yes, that's a shocker for a sleep in day) to set out for a 4 HOUR RUN!!!  I had planned out a 10 mile route that I would run TWICE with a bathroom break at my house half way through.

Saturday morning came, I check the weather and guess what??? NO RAIN, PLENTY OF SUNSHINE, but WINDY!! LOTS AND LOTS OF WIND!!!!  The picture below will show yall the wind....and yes, my hair was pulled back in a PONYTAIL and A HEADBAND....but WOW, I still look wind blown! HA!

Windy!!!!! CRAZY HAIR!!!! :-).
The first two miles were terrible.  My calves were super tight.  I should have stretched before taking off and I was already dreading the next 18miles! HA!

I did a great job though setting out my GU and water stops, placing them about every 3-4miles. The last time I tried the GU chompers, I got a bit dizzy feeling and was up all night due the caffeine (I ran in the evening last time---caffeine and me in the evening is no bueno).  But this time, I only chewed HALF of a GU each 3miles and that seemed to help me ALOT! 
Mile 1 at Kerfoot/Pike (Stretching) and a GU stop!! Gosh I have a big mouth!!!

Miles 3-14 were good.  I felt strong despite the wind.  But I was getting a bit bored with the same scenery.  I had opted not to run back home half way through.  One-I didn't need to potty.  Two-the last 3 miles of my ten mile route was running directly into the wind.  I decided to change my route and zig zag a little more to break up my running directly in the wind. 

It was SOOO DANG WINDY!!! Even running parallel to the wind was a challenge!  I looked like a drunk runner, I am sure! :-). Bahaha!

I did need to potty about half way through my run.  I even thought about using a port-a-potty that was on Pike Rd where someone was building, but was afraid it might be illegal??  Luckily for me, Shelley Baird had text me regarding a GBF preschool matter.  When she did, I realized I was less than a half mile from her house.  And therefore, I asked her if I could sneak in for a potty break! She was sweet enough to let me in on a quiet Saturday morning!  THANKS SHELLEY!!!

After mile 15, much of my run was a blur.  I was just ready to be out of the wind and I was getting sick of seeing the same roads over and over.  I was losing my "focus".  I wasn't really hurting.  I think I was tired, but may have just been bored.  I do know I was starting to get very hungry.  I was so hungry, that I started thinking about a big juicy hamburger (like EXXON's BURGER)....greasy and all! HAHA! **I don't eat burgers anymore.  But after seeing I was burning 2500calories, my focus became the burger!  HA!  And my sweet hubby had a burger waiting on me when I got home!

PICTURES ARE: TopLeft-Water and GU station under a stop sign/ TopRight-Where is my pony ride??/Bottom Left: Shelley Bairds house, aka my potty stop/ Bottom Right; My AFTER pic with crazy hair!
I should have taken a picture of the burger, but it was gone in 3bites.  I am not even joking!!! 

So how did I feel after my run?  Well, right after I stopped running, my legs felt tingly and wobbly.  But that was about it.  My hips were a little sore that night when I went to bed. But I am super surprised that I am not sore, tight, or exhausted.  I was even planning on skipping crossfit Monday to give myself two recoop days from the run, but decided to go anyhow.  I felt great at crossfit too:-). 

But the only thing I noticed after running 20miles was I was soo hungry Saturday.  At first I thought to myself....don't waste all that work on eating.  But I also knew that if I didn't REFUEL myself, I would be hungry all week and would fail on my healthy eating for the week.  So I listened to my body and ate when I felt hungry.  But I didn't eat healthy cos of my lack of planning food for baseball that afternoon/evening.  So this is what I ate that day...... DON'T FROWN ON ME! I can't believe it myself.
PreRun-Half PBJ and Naked Fruit/Veggie Drink
After Run---Hamburger for lunch and a clementine
3pm-Hotdog and small bag of cheetos
Dinner- chik-fil-a strips and a fruit cup and a mini ice cream cup
And before bed, I vowed to not eat ice cream ever again.  (If you know what I mean??)

Not sure those food choices were wise or not (ice cream was NOT), but I have been able to get back on track the following day with my strict eating!  :-).  I am another 1.5lbs down as of right now!

The only thing I am concerned with is my foot.....as I wore some of my favorite flipflops this weekend that seriously made my feet hurt.  I spent most of my Monday icing it and taking two epsom salt bathes.  Today, I am feeling much better and hope that was a quick lesson learned!  Ain't nobody got time for flipflop foot injuries!! :-(
Yes, I ice my foot with a bag of frozen peas:-(

My next long run is the 26.2 miles on April 28th!!! O MY GOODNESS!!!!

Stay tuned....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Taper Time!!!

I am so excited to say that it is time to start TAPERING for the race day!  Someone asked me the other day what tapering means.....and I am happy to tell you that it means our hardest "training runs" are over with and we are now decreasing our distances to help prepare our legs to be FRESH on race day!!!  It's my favorite part of training.  Where you have put in the hard work and now get to start buiding the anxiousness, excitement, and even panic for that big day!!  SOOOO FUN!!

Most of yall are still one long run away from tapering, and that is quite alright since yall are running a half marathon or less.  As long as the last long run is in before the weekend, you should be fine!

In the next few days, Morgan and I will finalize the relay teams and who will be running what distance!  ****And yes, we still need a couple of more 5K runners.  So, it still isn't too late if you have a friend interested!!

Now for this week's agenda:

10K/12K Runners: 
-3mile run
-5mile run
-45min run/walk

Half Marathoners: (Wendy---I have asked for you to do something a bit different since you are trying to decide what will be a better fit.  I have text you your weekly agenda.)
-4 easy miles
-9 miles
(these runs are assuming you ran your last long run earlier in this week)

For myself (running a full), I ran my 20miler this weekend (in 25mph winds).  I will be blogging about it later today or this evening.....after I get my chores done for today! HAHA! 

20 days till the race!!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More Randomness and One Running Tip

Yesterday was such a fun training day.  It was such a pretty evening and I was able to station myself at the High School Track and from 4:45pm-7:15pm, I was able to meet up with several of yall.

Shelley Baird, Wendy Enloe, Angel Watts, and Stacy Gilbreath all came to run and of course we got lots of visiting in too:-).

Angel and Stacy both ran 7miles nonstop:-).  Angel kept her mileage at the track, while Stacy did road work (which also means HILLS).  I, too, got 7miles of running in, but it was very broken up mileage since I spent some time walking and talking with everyone!!

This is our last hard week of training before we start tapering for the big race day......
Team GetFit T-shirts are in!!!! 

Our BRIGHT ORANGE DriFit Training Shirts are in!!! It should be easy to spot us come race day:-).  Whew Whoo! 

And speaking of race day....we are in need of 5K runners to help complete our marathon relays!!!  So if you know some runners/athletes, ask them to join our team!!! 

Angel at about mile 6

Stacy G at almost mile 7
 STACY G REMINDED ME OF A HELPFUL RUNNING TIP.  Take a look at her inner thigh from Chaffing.  (And ask her if electrical tape helps????---HAHA)   OUCH!!!! Trust me, this really hurts!
This is why I wear the NO SO PRETTY Biker Shorts! They prevent this!!!

Anti-Chafe Stick also works wonders and is a must for many runner!!! 
 And there you have it!!! Lots of RANDOMNESS!! HA! See yall Thursday for an easy run together!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April is Here!!! (27days)

I can not believe it is April and we are starting the official count down till race day!!!! I am so excited! So nervous!  And a bit freaked out!!!  HA!  I have been watching and reading everything under the moon that relates to marathon running and probably have information overload going on:-). HAHA!!!  But, as the date approaches, I keep my eyes on HIM and keep the faith that HE who helped me trained, will help me finish the race.

"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. "
                                                               Isaiah 41:10

This week's agenda (the hardest workout week for us all, then we begin the tapering)

- One hour of running (run 9mins/walk 1min)
-Easy run of 4miles
-LONG RUN of 6miles for 10K racers...or 7miles for 12K

Half Marathon:
-6 mile run (comfortable and no stopping)
-4mile run (super easy/like embarrassing easy)
-LONG RUN of 12miles

For myself, I am to run a 20miler this weekend!! YIKES!!! Hoping Friday will be that day, weather permitting!!!