Half Marathon #50
Rich and I flew into Tulsa after work on Friday. Thanks to a delayed connecting flight, we didn’t get to our hotel until 1:30am. We slept as late as possible (7:15am for me) and he went back to the airport to get a rental car (since they were already closed Friday night) and I headed out for a 45 minute run along a gorgeous run/bike path.
We hit up the expo right after it opened to avoid crowds. It was a big expo- and I took advantage of a PT doing graston and had him work on my foot (that has been nagging me a bit since MCM-not running, just walking).We grabbed lunch, went to the center of the universe, Lululemon and then chilled in the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. Our friends Ryan and Jami drove over from Oklahoma City to hang with us for the night and we grabbed dinner with them and called it an early night for the race.
We woke up at 6:00 to get ready and have breakfast (Nuun and gluten free bagel with almond butter). Ryan and Jami took us to the start and were kind enough to let us chill in the warm car until about 20 minutes till race time. We hit up the bathrooms one more time before heading to corral A. Right before the start, confetti! It was going to be a party on the pavement (pic from Route 66 Facebook page).Miles 1-8
The corrals seemed perfectly spaced out and I didn’t have a problem with congestion. I had no time goal and wanted to run by feel. The weather was PERFECT. Upper 30’s- so throw away gloves, arm sleeves, shorts, a tank and my Pro Compression socks. I also decided to not carry Nuun since it wasn’t as warm and gave a bottle to Jami to give to me at mile 7.
I felt like I was flying the first few miles, and didn’t pay much attention to my watch. The rolling hills started early on (which I think I was kinda clueless about?) which made it easy to avoid my pace since it was so up and down. Mile 2 we ran through a gorgeous high school campus followed by a very nice neighborhood. One way I knew it was nice? There were 4 ladies in their fur coats cheering. Not sweats or jackets, fur coats.
The beautiful neighborhoods and rolling hills continued for several miles and I felt SO good. There were lots of people out in their yards cheering, churches even cheering and singing, and the aid stations seemed perfectly placed (I took a Huma gel at mile 5). So far, loving it.
Ryan and Jami were going to be at mile 7, near the Lululemon store, so I knew exactly where to look. Luckily I spotted them before they found me and yelled for my Nuun and gave them my throwaway gloves and grabbed my Nuun. The cheers from a Lulu cheer station never disappoint, and a local spin studio had class in front the store which added to the noise and fun.Miles 9-13.1
I kept thinking my legs would slow down or that Marine Corp recovery would catch up with me so when I saw how well I was doing at Mile 9, I was pleasantly surprised.The neighborhoods were involved and out cheering and one that stood out (even though I didn’t partake) had jello shots.
I always love a course with rolling hills because there is just enough effort to climb with the downhill to make up for any time lost. It may sound odd, but it’s fun to me.
I think my least favorite part of the course was around 10 or 11, on Riverside. It was flat and somewhat lonely. I decided at mile 10 (another Huma gel) to start picking targets and going after people for fun.
The course did a weird out and back along a bridge and then made a final climb towards the finish. I felt strong and never wanted to quit- which is more than I can say for my past few half marathons!
I saw Ryan and Jami as I headed into the finish and heard Bart Yasso call my name with a super solid time of 1:37:21. Race Results
About a minute and a half from my PR- not bad on a hilly course and less than a month post marathon without a goal in mind. I was THRILLED to find out I won 1st in my AG (which they will mail).
Garmin Results Post Race
Ryan met me at the end of the finishers chute (with great post race food) and walked me back over to Jami so we could cheer for Rich at the finish.We didn’t have long before our flight so we tried to grab a quick breakfast which ended up being harder than we thought due to closed roads with the race so we had to get a takeout breakfast and we ate it in the hotel. We showered and got packed in 30 minutes and made it back to the airport with plenty of time.
- race organization
Not so Much
I honestly can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like.
Book the hotel EARLY!! I waited too long and ended up at a hotel not downtown. While it was nice and they had a race price and shuttles, I would’ve loved to have been able to walk to everything and not have had to worry about driving back to our place post race.
I loved Tulsa- it’s very clean, has a great running path and good restaurant options. There is just enough to do for a weekend trip.
I love this bling!! This race is known for it’s bling and this year didn’t disappoint. There were different medals for each distance including a special one for first time marathoners, half fanatics and even volunteers!! That’s amazing to me- a lot of attention to detail.I’m still very surprised by this whole half zip thing, and I’m sure people love them, but I still prefer a shirt.Final Thoughts
I loved this race. I loved the weekend. I’m so glad I was able to end my states for 2016 with this one. I would highly recommend this race to anyone, especially 50 staters. I know I will eventually go back to do the Oklahoma Memorial 1/2 marathon at some point (since Rich went to high school and college there and Ryan and Jami are there) so I will be lucky to do two in Oklahoma. This was state 41 and half 50. HALF 50!!! That seems so insane to me. And so does state 41. What an incredible journey so far. Oklahoma, thanks for adding to another awesome memory.