I have lots of favorite excuses for not running, but bad weather is one of my absolute favorites. And, lucky for me, it’s winter! Runner’s World has a great story about staying warm while you’re outdoors. They offer 10 tips, but here are my favorite three:
- Make a plan. Meet up with someone who will hold you accountable. If you don’t have a running buddy, tell yourself that you can go back inside after 5 minutes if it’s awful outside. Usually, it won’t be awful. It’s a terrible trick you play on yourself.
- Warm up inside. Do some yoga moves or clean your house. Get your blood pumping before you go outside.
- Change as soon as you get back. Get out of your cold clothes and drink something warm.
I took my new shoes out for a test run this morning.
It was awkward.
I’ve only ever had one pair of running shoes. That’s right. I’ve had one pair of running shoes that I’ve used for three half marathons during the past two years. Yikes. Apparently this is bad.
My new Nikes look kind of like these, only they’re dark purple. They’re super light and feel nicer on my back than my Asics. I don’t know yet if that’s because my Asics were so old or if it’s because they’re better for me.
It felt strange running in new shoes. It was like a first date – awkward, uncomfortable, weird. My old ones have been with me for so many miles. What do I do with them? I didn’t throw them away or give them away or anything. They’re just in my running bag, looking lonely. I guess I’ll figure out what to do with them later.
The new ones made me feel a little creaky in the knees, but maybe they need some more break-in time. We’ll see. At least thing time I’m going to try not to keep them for two years.
I realized a few weeks before the Williams Route 66 Marathon that there was a time limit on your water stops. If you ran slower than a 15-minute pace, you were out of luck. Too slow? Better carry your own water. I’ll be honest: it made me so mad.
I’m a slow runner. This isn’t modesty talking. I’m so slow, I sometimes get passed by walkers. Really. Once, my husband took a picture of me running, and we later discovered there was a man walking in hiking boots – hiking boots! – who was passing me. I don’t like to talk about my pace because honestly, I’m embarrassed. It’s slower than a 15-minute mile.
So when I realized that there was a limit for the water stops, I was scared. What if I couldn’t make it that quickly? What if ran out of water?
Also, setting a time limit can weed out the walkers and slow people like me. It’s pretty disheartening. Doesn’t my training count? Don’t my miles count? I do all the same miles. I do all the same runs. It just takes me twice as long as some people, even three times as long as the fastest folks. Does that mean it doesn’t count? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.
I bought a water bottle belt the night before the race and my running buddy, Megan Rolland, gave me some Gu to put in the pocket. (She told me to eat it at Mile 6. I was pretty sure if I didn’t eat it right then, I would collapse on the course.) I wrote the mileage for the water stops at the time limits for a 15-minute pace. If I could make it to the first water stop at Mile 2, then I wouldn’t have to use my water until after then.
I headed out onto the hilly first half of the course with the determination to make it to the first water stop. I checked my watch over and over and over. I squeaked in and drank both water and Gatorade. I kept moving and made it to the next water stop. And then next. And on and on. Finally, I hit the last one – Mile 12 – just as they were packing up. I was there right at the 15-minute pace. Me. I was running a 15-minute pace. It was only 1.1 miles to go and I was spent.
It took me 20 minutes to finish that last bit. I ran a few steps, walked, ran a few steps, walked some more. It took so long.
I crossed the finish line and still didn’t really believe my watch or the time on the clock above. I shuffled through the food tent, my legs dragging. I met up with Megan, who had finished more than an hour an a half earlier, and then found my family. I sat down for a long, long time.
When I finally stood up, my husband took me to the timing tent, where a sweet woman in a cozy sweatshirt printed out a ticket for me. I beat my best time by 20 minutes.
Twenty minutes? Was that even real?
So, thanks, Tulsa. I was running as fast as I could so I wouldn’t dehydrate and die, and I set a personal best. So I guess I’m not that mad at you now.
It’s time to be honest with yourself. Are you really ever going to play hockey again? I mean, maybe. But do your knees think you should play hockey again? Exactly.
Or, maybe you’re like me: you just keep playing sports despite the fact you suck and are getting older by the day. You continue buying new stuff, hoping this will somehow make you run faster and jump higher. Or mabye just run less slow and jump less like a drunken snowman.
Or, maybe your kid is growing like a weed and only used a pair of cleats or a baseball glove for one season.
These are all good reasons to donate your sports equipment.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, Oklahoma Cleats for Kids announced a collection drive in conjunction with the nonprofit’s one year birthday.
“When we started Cleats for Kids, we assumed it would take off, but we really didn’t know just how fast,” said Stacy McDaniel, co-founder and Executive Director. “As many of us know, sports can be very expensive. We feel that the benefits of team sports – developing healthier lifestyles and building character – are so great for youth, that we’re dedicated to finding a way for all Oklahoma kids to be suited up, regardless of their family’s financial situation.”
WHO: Everyone in OKC and surrounding! “Kid volunteers” will be on hand to help with the collecting.
WHAT: Cleats for Kids will be accepting new and/or gently-used athletic shoes and equipment. The first 100 donations will get a free t-shirt. There will also be birthday cake, marching bands, and more!
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, 10 a.m. to Noon
WHERE: Public Basketball Courts, Reno & Hudson, Downtown Oklahoma City
WHY: To celebrate the first year of Cleats for Kids! With this event, our goal is to make a visual impact that tells the story of what we do and why we do it.
HOW: Bring any used-yet-wearable kids athletic shoes or equipment and grab some cake. It’s that easy!
ABOUT CLEATS FOR KIDS
Founded in 2011, Oklahoma Cleats for Kids (C4K) collects and distributes new and gently-used athletic shoes and equipment to kids in need. Cleats for Kids was founded by Mark and Stacy McDaniel in October 2011. As parents of three children, all whom play sports, they saw, and heard, story after story of kids who could not play without getting help to acquire shoes, clothing and equipment. Since its inception, C4K has distributed more than 2,000 pieces of shoes and equipment. All donations are distributed to Oklahoma kids, free of charge. CFK partners with civic organizations to help kids get active and play sports. For more information, visit www.okcleatsforkids.org.
Check out these fun times at John Marshall High School. The school hosted its inaugural 5K recently. More than 130 people registered ahead of time, including students from Webster, North Highlands, Britton, Centennial, John Marshall, and Northwest Classen. From Principal Aspasia Carlson: “It was a wonderful evening, with music and Oklahoma Fidelity grilling for all who attended. Family and community members also participated in the 1-mile Fun Walk around the new track. We hope to have an even bigger event next year!”
If you love running in costume …
The Junior League of Norman is excited to announce the 6th Annual Monster Dash 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, November 3, 2012.
The race will take place at Journey Church located at 3801 Journey Parkway in Norman, off Tecumseh Road between I-35 and 36th Avenue NW. The USATF certified 5K will begin at 8:00 a.m., followed by the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk at 9:00 a.m. There will be activities for the whole family including a costume contest, music, donor booths, and more! Register to run at www.juniorleagueofnorman.org.
JLN’s focus is to promote health and fitness for the citizens of Norman and the surrounding areas. This is a topic that is becoming increasingly more important in our community, particularly for our youth. JLN hopes to reach out to children in our community again this year and get them involved in this fun family event while promoting the importance of fitness.
All net proceeds will directly support the Junior League of Norman community projects, including Baby Steps, our program to help teen parents complete their high school education and Food for Kids, our food backpack program for needy middle school students. Donor support will help promote health and fitness in our community by allowing all children under the age of 12 to participate at no charge.
The Junior League of Norman is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
For more information, please call (405) 329-9617 or go to www.juniorleagueofnorman.org
Want to get sweaty in the middle of the day? Me too! Check out this cool event Friday:
The OKC Boathouse Foundation and runhers women’s association is partnering to celebrate National Run@Work Day, which encourages companies to take part in leading healthier and more active lifestyles in the OKC Metro. Companies of all sizes, non-profit organizations, running clubs, running events, running specialty stores, and individuals are all encouraged to come out to the Devon Boathouse on Friday, September 21, at 12:00pm – for a 30/45 minute run or walk out on the Beautiful Oklahoma River Trails. Refreshments will be available post run/walk.
Oklahoma City is now known nationally as a city on the rise. We need to continue on this path with healthier, more active workplaces and lifestyles. Research shows a fitter and healthier company/organization performs better at most everything they do. RUN@WORK Day is another important step in raising awareness about the importance of daily physical activity in workplaces all over the OKC Metro. “Rising healthcare costs has every business/organization’s attention,” says Sheila Kidder of runhers, “we have to activate and engage more people in active/healthier lifestyle at work and at home. This is critically important to individual quality of life, while reducing the consumption of health care dollars.”
“At the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, we believe that an active lifestyle is a key component to enhancing your quality of life,” said OKC Boathouse Foundation Executive Director Mike Knopp. “We invite everyone to come to the Oklahoma River to explore the trails and experience the fun that comes with having an active outdoor lifestyle. Run@Work Day is a great way to get started.”
About the OKC Boathouse Foundation
The OKC Boathouse Foundation promotes the use and development of the Oklahoma River as a world-class urban aquatic venue and provides access to rowing, kayaking and fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities. OKCBF programs pursue the highest goals of sports and embrace the principles of the Olympic spirit which inspire athletes to work toward personal excellence, embrace the power of teamwork, and practice respect for all people and the environment. To learn more or get involved, call (405) 552-4040 or visit okcbf.org, facebook.com/OklahomaCityRiversport or twitter.com/riversportokc.
This morning a friend and I headed out to the Oklahoma River trails, and I achieved a big goal.
I ran at race pace for 3 miles.
OK, so that doesn’t sound like a big deal? I basically have never been able to run at race pace for more than, like, 30 yards. I’m so proud! I have a ridiculously slow pace, and I’m not being modest. My husband photographed me cheerfully running while being passed by a walker during the 2011 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Yeah, you read that right. A walker. In fact, it was a walker wearing hiking boots. I’m so glad we memorialized that moment in time.
So I’ve had this goal in my head of what pace I’d like to run a half marathon at. It’s faster than I’ve done in the past, but maybe I could do it.
I’m registered for the Williams Route 66 Marathon half marathon run in Tulsa in November. I still have 65 days to go, but I realize I probably won’t be able to run at race pace the whole way. But maybe I could set a personal record. Could I? Could that even happen? I mean, I’ve only run two half marathons, so I’ve only got two races to beat. This is as good a time as any, I guess. And 3 miles at pace leaves me only 10.1 miles to go.
Here’s how things went Sept. 2.
Here’s the info from ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer:
Lace up your sneakers and join Urology Centers of Oklahoma, OPTIM Oncology and ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer for the Oklahoma City DASHFORDAD 1/2 Marathon, 5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Walk on Saturday, September 8. The race is part of the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, America’s premier men’s health event series, taking place in 34 cities in 2012.
“More than 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone, including more than 2,500 in Oklahoma,” said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer. “The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge raises funds that are critical for increasing awareness and fighting the disease.” Urology Centers of Oklahoma is a group of urologists in the greater Oklahoma City area who have worked with ZERO over the last couple of years.
Last year, the inaugural DASHFORDAD was held at the Oklahoma River as a 5K race with good attendance. A half marathon was added this year mainly due to the efforts of Bill Snipes, past president and current board member of the Oklahoma Landrunners Club and a prostate cancer survivor himself.
To accommodate the half marathon, the race has moved to the Stars and Stripes Park at Lake Hefner and begins at 8 a.m. This is Oklahoma City’s ONLY fall half marathon. The DASHFORDAD Half Marathon is also a part of the OKC Running Club Series Race. Breakfast will be provided immediately following the race.
Funds raised from the race go to prostate cancer research, education, and free testing. ZERO provides comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk, and free testing to at-risk men around the country. ZERO also works to increase research funds from the federal government to find new treatments and better diagnostic tests for prostate cancer.
For more information, visit: http://greatprostatecancerchallenge.com/races/oklahoma-city/.