Monday, November 30, 2009

A Monday night update

Monday night was the first sign-up for the spring marathon training group. I know what you're thinking....we have barley got Thanksgiving out of the way, and are already in full-tilt Christmas mode. Now, even before our first freeze, we are talking spring marathons?!?!? Yes, it's true. We had over 70 people sign up for this session, the "Run For The 168." Next sign-up is Thursday at 7:00, after our usual evening run.

A couple of TATURs were among those tossing their hat in the ring for some structured training.

Kirk and Helen both have the half in OKC in their sights.

Archie reads over the sign-up sheet and ponders his upcoming journey to his first half marathon.

Among the new peeps Monday was Christa, who already has a strong Tulsa Run 15K and a 2:09 Rt 66 Half under her belt. Click on her name to view her blog.

Speaking of blogs, Arena has a blog which I just found out about.

She documents her first Rt 66 26.2, complete with some great pictures.

Both of these blogs are now linked to this site.

Friday, November 27, 2009

some more random pics from Rt 66

Hayley did RW proud, winning her age group and finishing 5th overall in the half! Very amazing!!

The Super Runner Girls ride again!! This time, tearing up the half!

Pre-race jitters?? Maybe. But no amount of nervousness kept this crew from breezing through their race.

Love those RunnersWorld shirts!!

Blazing speed personified.

Blazing pants personified.

Hmmm....where to line up???

Bronda and Simone make it look easy.

No, YOU say cheese!

Sandra en route to Marathon Maniac status.

Marvin chalks up another marathon finish.

David finishes in style!

Yeah Arena!! Never was a doubt!

Brian after a rough day.

Can you identify the toe?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dale shows his best race pic : - P

Thanks Brian and Kathy and Ed, my group leader, for making this a fun event. The only picture I have is of my foot after I got home. I was so happy to have finished I really didn't know I had blisters until I took my shoes off at home.
(Note from the blogging staff: LUV THE PIC !!!!)

A word from Irish Ken

Well...its done....from looking forward to the big race we switch attention to looking forward to the big Turkey !!!

Lats Sunday was my first marathon and I have to say that I would not have made it without the encouragement, advise and comradarie that I received from everyone in the training group. So much so that I have decided to do OKC in April...

I want to thank everyone that ever said hello, good luck, have a good run, stay safe, go get em, git r done et al on the training runs and last Sunday morning.

I attach a few photos taken at the end and I look forward to seeing everyone on the trails in the next few months.

May each of you and your families have a safe, blessed and happy thanksgiving.



That was the headline the day after a football game in 1968. There were 42 seconds left on the clock and Harvard scored 16 points to even the score. They did that because no matter how little time was left or how far behind they were, the team never gave up.
42 is our family's code for "NEVER GIVE UP". With the minutes ticking away and my body giving up, my husband cheered me on with this sign at the 22 mile mark.
I finished my first marathon at the age of 62 in 7:04:02.
I couldn't have done it without my husband, family, friends, strangers, and Runners World.
My name is Jan. I think I can. Walking some is my plan.
Good Running to all.

My First Marathon (From Cheryl Rush)

Cheryl’s Story

What an incredible journey this has been. It all began 5 years ago, 2004, when I fell off a ladder. After 2 knee surgeries the doctor was concerned that I was not recovering like I should and the pain was so intense I was on high dosages of pain medication. In late 2006 an MRI of my spine found a tumor. The doctor said that it was a matter of time before I would not be able to walk as it was pressing on the nerves to my lower body. In May of 2007 my friend Jennifer Yeager began walking with me very short distances and that increased little by little. We were joined by Rachael Miller. They both encouraged me to press forward because they knew I could do it. By December 2007 I walked my first 5K, The Jingle Bell Run. I had never walked that far before. I finished! In March 2008 I began the “Newbies” at Runner World. Was I ready? I did not think so as I was still sporting a leg brace but wanted to try. Kathy had me run a pole and walk 2 poles. That was not possible but I ran ½ pole and walked 2. I did that as much as I could for the 2 miles. This was a new challenge. Over the course of the next few months I was able to run multiple poles at a time. In May 2008 I decided to work towards the Rt 66 half marathon thinking it would not happen in 08. The summer past and Kathy walked me through the different running challenges I faced and I ran my First Half Marathon Nov 2008. When I finished I asked God, what did it take to get here? Desire + Determination + Dedication = Destination. Allowing my faith, family and friends help me along the journey, I succeeded. I was set at running half marathons and ran 3 more in 5 months. I tried to enter the marathon training in Jan 09 but failed as my body could not take the toll of the mileage (15) so I dropped back to the half marathon for the OKC Marathon.

I decided to sign up again in May for the summer training schedule for the marathon for Rt 66. Knowing I dropped out before just a few months prior. I did not think I would make it past mile 15 or maybe 16. I set out on this journey with the 26.2 Marathuners group led by Bobby. I saw Bobby complete his first marathon the year before and that inspired me. Applying the knowledge I gained (Desire + Determination + Dedication = Destination) to this new training session was a challenge as I was not able to train like I needed to but I did what I could. Gradually the miles added on. It seemed hard but I was excited to see that I was able to overcome obstacles and still increase in mileage. 14 became 16 and then 18 and then the Mock Marathon where I sprained my ankle 2 weeks before my first marathon.

What do you do? I prayed, rested, iced, and elevated and prayed some more. I was determined to complete this race. Dr. Z taped my ankle and wished me luck. I was going to need it. I began thinking of different scenarios that I might find myself in and what I would do if that happened. It was good to have a plan upfront.

Sunday Nov 22 came upon us, I woke up early. I was excited to know that I would be accomplishing the goal I had set. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the journey that day. Arriving at Veterans Park at 6am I relaxed in my car for a while. At 6:45 I set out to meet the other runners from RW for a picture. The excitement and anticipation for the gun to go off was in the air. We lined up according to our times. Of course, I am a slow runner and my time was not listed so I positioned myself with other RW on the 13+ mark. The gun goes off and confetti everywhere. The journey has started, however I did not stick to my game plan in the beginning which threw me off. The first 6 miles were very hilly but I was doing well with my time. I was pleased. A little ahead of scheduled. The next 2 miles or so seemed nice, flatter ground and I was able to run next to the Biggest Loser Sean for a brief time till the water stop. I continued on. A few miles later I noticed that there were not a whole lot of runners left as the half marathoners split and went another direction. I was alone. Everyone was in front of me. Do I give up? No, stay the path. Eventually the Biggest Loser caught up to me with his trainers. We said mutual hi’s and words of encouragement. I tried to keep pace with them and quickly fell behind as we hit another one of Tulsa’s finest hills. Downtown was not easy as I was mentally trying to get on top of my thoughts. My pace became slower as if I had given up.

I went up and over the hill onto Riverside where I knew it was the last long hall down and back. I saw someone ¼ mi up the road. Hmm… I thought. So, one by one I decided to pick these men off. They were twice my age. You can imagine my thoughts. I am running so slow that I am in the 70+ category. I could not be last one to finish. I don’t like being last. I hunted down a total of 4 men then I was all alone again. I knew I had blisters developing on my heels which I had never encountered before in training. Ignore them was the best thing to do. Yeah, that lasted about a mile. My feet were beginning to hurt so I walked, a lot.
I would try to run a little here and there. At the 20 mile marker I was at 5:15.
I was doing well. Keep this pace and I will be around 6:30 to 6:45. I was happy and right on schedule. But then it happened. Kathy says at mile 20 things fall apart. I do not recall that statement before the race but I now found myself in a situation at mile 21 that I had not thought through before the race. All of a sudden horrible pain and feeling like something just gave way and burning. It took me to a complete stop. The med tent was right ahead of me and the guy came running out. After being check I had plantar fascitis with a blister on top on both heels. He wanted to lance it open but I would be done for the day. So, close but so far away. I said I wanted to go on. I could not give up. He bandaged it and off I went hobbling on the balls of my feet for the next 5.2 miles. At the 23 mi I was done. An older man I had previously passed was passing me. We talked a few minutes as I had to decide if I was quitting. He said it is only a 5K left. You can do it. I pressed on. The police told us that we had to move to Riverside trail as they were opening up the roads. No I said. This was not good. It adds on mileage and hills where I just had to walk straight on a flat road. My heart sank as I looked at my watch. I continued as fast as my feet could walk. I was so ready for it to be over. All I could do was pray and I prayed a lot. Here it is mi 26. Right before the turn off was Russell who had just completed his first marathon. He started walking and talking to me. I asked him if he was going to walk me in he said yes. That meant the world at that point. Then as I rounded the last curve I could hear and see my friends. A flood of emotions hit me all at once. Crying all the way to the finish line I was overjoyed, proud of myself, hurting, thankful, shocked at all the people waiting for me, disappointed but happy I did not give up on myself. I crossed the line and into Kathy’s arms where she embraced me. The journey ended 7hr 27 min. I finished right before the cut off time.

First questions that was asked “ Will you do another marathon? I said, Hell NO! Never again”. I have since somewhat changed my mind. I will do another one once I lose some weight and get callouses on my feet. Besides, I will get a PR next time.
Thank you Kathy for being such an inspiration over the last 2 years. You have been a mentor to me, an encourager, teacher, trainer and never gave up. You kept telling me I could do it when I could not see myself doing it. I did it. It was not pretty at the end but I never gave up on myself. I pressed forward and completed the goal.

When I decided to start this journey the healing process began physically, emotionally, and mentally. I could not have a better group of people to surround me. RW runners are amazing and I am glad to be apart of this wonderful group.

This is my story.

Cheryl Rush

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday/Thursday Recap

A quick Tuesday Thursday update. Our marathon training session is coming to a close and this weekend we will have reached our goals of finishing a great goal race. Some are running their first half and full marathon. Huge congrats in advance.

A few of our group had a slightly diffeent training schedule as they were training for the Athens Marathon in Greece. How cool to run the distance where the marathon originated. Bobby puts another notch in his belt, racking up his 5th 26.2. Roman runs his zillionth, Susan ran the 5K there, and looking at her finish line pics, looks like she had a great outing. Sandra ran her 1st marathon. So proud of all of you, and of all the others from our group who traveled around to the other side of the globe to run.

It;s getting dark super early thanks to the morons who thought up the idea of changing the clocks back and forth. I am sure it was not a runner who had this stroke of non-genious. Still, we are running on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 from RunnersWorld, and Mondays at 5:30 at 21st and Riverside.Rachel stretches before heading out for her Thursday miles. Rachel is running her 2nd marathon....sure to break 4 hours this time around!

Look for Dana running another strong half this Sunday. Tom just ran the Rock and Roll San Antonio this past weekend, and will run another 26.2 Sunday at Rt 66. WTG, Tom!!

After our run Thursday, we had a little feeding frenzy on pizza, a RW tradition. Guy goes over a few last minute tips especially helpful for those nervous about their 1st big race.

Candice brought birthday cake admitting to being another year older. (She's still such a puppy!) It was deliscious, and instead of scarfing down another big piece, the last piece of it, I took a picture and called it good. (I did scrape a finger or two of icing off the tray though!)

Larry, who was awarded the bunny slippers last week, wrote a funny report of the goings on with our beloved house shoes. Check the post below this for his confessional and pix. He passed them on to Ashley, who no doubt will spend the week trying to de-traumatize the poor bunnies.
Bunny Lovin’

I think we know each other well enough by now to take a few risks – to share some inner secrets. OK, I’ll go first. Like many other fine folks/folkettes, I have a long deep-seated fear of rabbits – and even more so of bunnies. I can rarely close my eyes without conjuring up the vision of that incessant staring, that constant nibbling, that innocent appearing bundle of soft fur, just waiting for the opportune time to leap into action and thump the living stuffing out of me (extended shuddering).

With that, you can imagine my horror last Thursday when Bobby, my new best frenemy, bestowed upon me the task of overseeing the fate of the publicly revered bunny slippers for the next 7 days. I won’t lie to you – following the triggered fear gene, thoughts quickly turned from “stewing” to opportunistically envisioning “accidental scenarios” that could innocently lead to the bunnies’ demise, despite my “best efforts” to intervene on their behalf. The taste of sweet, sweet revenge was nearly mine. Now settle in for a telling of Larriver’s Travels:

So the first couple of days passed without incident, and without the bunny slippers seeing the light of day. As for me, it presented the opportunity for deep reflection, which led to enhanced images of fellow runners Sloan and Lisa (A.K.A “Jessica”) at the Halloween Tulsa Run. You know the old saying of “You can’t teach an old alzheimic dog to get the early worm before shutting the barn door” – well it was never more true than with me. Maybe, just maybe, some good rewards can come from hanging out with bunnies. With my inspirational boost, I was ready to come face to slipper with the bunnies – yeah, risk-taker galore – me and Indy Jones are two birds of a sweater.

Which brings us to official Taper week--the week before the Route 66 Marathon. After a long talk with Roger the bunny slipper, we made a pact to spend some quality time together through the sharing of cross-hopping activities. Roger was actually quite pleased, as he revealed that although he considers himself rather quick, that long distance running is not his forte. Plus, having just returned from a once in a lifetime trip to Greece with Bobby, Roger was ready to dial it down a notch – just taper if you will. But when I mentioned that we head outside for some sharing in long postponed yard work, Roger let out a curiously foreshadowing deep sigh – one that at the time flew right by me.

To get things started, we summoned up the dusty old yard chomper, and proceeded to cut a path or two. Turns out that mowing didn’t seem to fit in Roger’s sweet spot, so we migrated to some weed whipping.

Again, not that good of a match – seemed to be a little dusty for his tastes.

Moving on, with the hedges having grown obscenely high, I thought that we should be able to fire up the B&D clippers and bring those hedges back to the brink of civilization.

You guessed it – again not a match.

Being the observant and caring type, and thinking that maybe the problem was really with engines and motors, I hoped that Roger and I would better bond over some light moving work. We no more started before Roger started complaining about getting dirt lodged in his nibbler.

Saving the best for last, surely pushing a few fall leaves around would fit the bill as light work, something we could do together, and something without the whir of engines. Turns out that the scraping of tines on the ground were sending little tinglies up Roger’s sole.
We jointly agreed it was time for a break and time to reassess.

That’s when it occurred to me that we started our newly trusting relationship all wrong. Silly me – you don’t build a relationship by jumping straight into work – you need to start more leisurely – have some fun.
A bike ride seemed just the ticket, and would also fit in the cross hopping category. Only, guess what, that didn’t work out quite so well either. Something was malfunctioning with the bike, as it seemed to have developed an unexplained yet methodical thumping.

Even a simple car trip seemed to somehow put another damper on our budding relationship. I was beginning to feel like I had been played. And Roger seemed to have all this pent up energy, looking for some kind of outlet.

That’s when Roger gathered the guts to say: “I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m not the Bugs Bunny outdoorsy type. Plus, I may still be a little jet lag exhausted from the trip to Greece.”

So, still trying to do all I could to nurture our friendship, plus being a little on the hungry side from our on again, off again cross hopping activities, I suggested that we go inside and whittle up vittles. It’s been turning a little nipply lately, so brewing up a batch of my lucky hungry man stew would surely be the ticket.
Once again the adage of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished came to fruition, when Roger suggested that we’ve possibly had a little too much togetherness for one day, and maybe it would be best if we retired our separate ways. Plus, he said that he needed to go over some things with the missus, that they had some issues to resolve. Coming from the old school, I assume that the bunny slippers are married, as they’ve been living together for several years now, so I didn’t feel guilty about letting them stay in the same box that night. Regardless, I chose to let sleeping rabbits lie, and said my good nights.

The next morning, I was suddenly awakened to the sound of overzealous nibbling and gnawing. Being the curious type, plus still possessing the fear of unprovoked bunny attacks, I carefully and quietly investigated and discovered the following scene. Seems the bunnies had managed to find the wine supply and who knows what else.

But there was something else a brewing – Mrs. Bunny had suddenly accumulated a little bit of a midsection bump.
You don’t think …. Too late. Seems that Roger did indeed have a hidden talent. All I can say is that it happened on Bobby’s watch – he’s the one who sponsored the romantic trip to Greece.
The good thing about this story is that it kept you off your feet for a few minutes (for Rob, a little longer). After all, it’s Taper Week. Eat Well, Rest Well, and don’t kill bunnies or you will have to deal with Sloan and Lisa.
See you SUNDAY morning at Veteran’s Park. R66 Marathon starts at 7:30 AM. Don’t be late, and don’t plan on parking in your regular spot.