Go Girl Run Oklahoma City 2016 – Race Recap

You guys! I’m gonna get real with you for a minute. I run/train a lot. I’ve been training consistently for half marathons for over a year now. The Go Girl Half Marathon in OKC was going to be my break through race where I finally complete the race in under 2:10. But I freaking failed. Hard.

With as much as I run, I’m embarrassed by my failure. Yes, my training over the past few months has completely sucked. I started a new job and am just now finding my rhythm of working full time, training, parenting, and wifing; so yeah, my schedule has been off. And my IT Band has really been acting up. I can’t seem to find shoes that I feel comfortable in and my training runs have been painful. Lately, my relationship with running has been a struggle. Despite all that, I continued with an altered version of my training plan to allow for my IT Band to rest.  I was determined this Spring racing season would be when I finally get closer to the 2:00 Half Marathon.

Go Girl Run Starting Line

I was mentally prepared  for the the Go Girl Run. Because my training had been off and I wasn’t in top physical shape, I knew my mental game had to be top notch. And actually, my race started off great. I was able to eat a fraction of a bagel (eating always upsets the ole tum tum before a race), drink a bit of water, and use a restroom with indoor plumbing before the race (no one likes port-a-pottys). The temps were chilly but not too bad. It was a smallish race so the starting line was manageable. The race started in the dark and I couldn’t tell you where we ran because I was just following the person in front of me. I wasn’t able to keep a consistent pace at first because I have a difficult time seeing in the dark. A women in front of me tripped on the road and fell hard so I’m certain I’m not the only one that has difficulty running in the dark. By mile two I fell into a nice pace that was challenging but still felt “good”. Before I knew it, I had reached mile four and the game plan was to just maintain current pace/effort for the next four miles.

I ROCKED the steady pace portion of my run! I hit the half way point with a time of 1:01 and a split pace of 9:22. I was right on target and hitting my goal pace like it was my freaking job. I was going to do it! I was going to get below 2:10.

I drank a little water and took in a bit of fuel. Then mile 8 happened. I just can’t seem to get past the affliction that is MILE 8.  At this point the 22 mph wind made it feel like I was dragging a piano behind me. This is the point that sharp pains shooting through my knee were all I could think about (due to IT Band). This is the point where the wheels straight fell off and sent me crashing into a pile of self pity and despair.  I had to stop several times to stretch out my leg and walk to alleviate the pain in my knee. By mile 12 the pain was so bad I contemplated not finishing. But I did and I’m glad I did.


My overall average pace ended up 10:08 and a final time of 2:12:40. No PR for me. [sad music] UGH! I JUST WANT TO GET FASTER!  HOW DO I GET FASTER?!!?

But my lack of preparation and poor performance didn’t mean the entire event was a bust. I wanted to make the best of this well organized, fun race celebrating women. So that’s just what I did. Nebraska Brewing Company was there serving up delicious microbrew beers. I tried their strawberry brew and it was perfection in a plastic cup.  They also had a tent where you can have a custom t-shirt made so of course I had to have a Run Oklahoma shirt made. It’s kind of my favorite thing from the race. I met up with old friends and made new friends. I also got to celebrate in a friend’s first ever half marathon.  Hopefully I can take the things I learned from this race and crush my goals at the next one.

Remember the Ten on Hall of Fame Ave

Remember the Ten Run Race Recap

On January 27, 2001, ten members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team perished in a plane crash. It was an tragic event that rocked the small university community as well as the entire state. On April 21st 2007, a race was organized for a community to come together and remember those that were lost.

Over the past nine years the event has grown to a field of over 1,200 participants with proceeds benefiting the OSU Counseling and the RT10 Scholarship Program.  Remember the Ten Run is one of the few races in this state that openly benefits mental health services and discusses topics such as loss, sadness, and depression. Even though the overlying topics of the event are serious, the event itself is a great celebration of athletics and community.

In addition to the run, the day is filled with the spring football game and Stillwater Arts Festival. So there are plenty of attractions for the entire family. Besides, you can always stop by Eskimo Joe’s for an order of chili-cheese fries and hang with Joe and Buffy.

remember the ten eskimo joes buffy and joe

The race course winds in and out of Oklahoma State University campus, fraternity/sorority row, and surrounding business and houses. The first mile takes you west on Hall of Fame Ave. Because the 10K and 5K runners all start together it’s a big jumbled mess of different paces, walkers and runners. Once you curve on to Western road, it’s a nice down hill stretch. It’s a great point to pick up the pace because the 5K runners are starting to turn off on to their own course and the road opens up on the 10K course with fewer runners. Mile three takes you through a residential area with sporadic spectators comprised of college students, young families, and retirees out supporting the runners. I happily accepted high-fives and cheers from college students and grade schoolers alike. Mile four drops you through some of the fraternity and sorority houses as well as some of the local bars on the strip. As the course turns north on Knoblock Street it passes three of my most favorite things, Chris’ University Spirit Shop (my favorite spot to buy OSU gear), Hideaway Pizza (I could live on ‘za alone), and my boo thang (a.k.a. husband who was nice enough to hang with me and snap some pics).

Remember the Ten running

Miles five and six wind you back out west of campus then east again to pass through campus as you run past the library and Boone Picken Stadium to cross the finish line just south of Gallagher-Iba Arena. The winner of the race was Normanite, Scott Downard with a 5:15 pace finishing in 32:40. That’s the 10K folks. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that people run the same routes as me at twice my speed and don’t immediately die afterwards. It’s crazy. I placed 195th overall, 80th out of all women, and 15th in my age group with an average pace of 10:06 and overall time of 1:02:50. Not too shabby for me. I’m chipping away at pace and distance. Just trying to get faster at those longer distances.


Ultimately, the course was flat with lots of great  scenery around OSU’s campus. But what made this course stellar was the numerous amount of volunteers. The friendly folks at the registration table, the pace dividers at the starting line, course managers directing runners and traffic, and the oh-so-wonderfull water station volunteers throughout the course made it a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Also, I didn’t hate the sweet swag that came with the reasonable race entry fee.   

It was a great race, for a good cause, on a beautiful Oklahoma spring day. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Surprises at O’Connell’s St. Paddy’s Day 8K Run

Today I ran in O’Connell’s 16th Annual St. Paddy’s Day 8K Run in Norman, OK. The run benefitted the Special Olympics of Oklahoma. Thanks to events like this over 10,500 Special Olympic athletes participate in more than 140 competitions and training events annually. It’s been almost five years since my last real race and I figured a fun race benefiting a great organization was a great way to start. I spent those years on the sideline with injuries and workout restrictions due to pregnancies. This is the first race I’ve been able to run that I’ve been able to train for. It’s almost easier to run a race that I haven’t trained for. My expectations are set so low that I really am just concerned with finishing the race rather than pace and stride.

Nervously prepping the night before.
Nervously prepping the night before.

This race had all the makings to be a personal disaster. My worrisome mind was beginning to get the best of me and I had a giant stomachache. My IT band was tight and my knee was aching for the past few days. The weather was overcast, cold, and windy. Not the sunny, temperate day I was expecting.

As I did a quick warm up jog and stretched out near the starting line, the bag pipers started playing and my mood brightened a little. The runners lined up at the starting light and a few of the Special Olympic athletes recited their mantra:

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

It was a keen reminder of the purpose for the race and for runners to give their best regardless of the circumstance.

At the sound of the shotgun the race started and it was a sea of green runners headed down the streets of Norman. The first mile was uncomfortable because my muscles took their time to warm up in the cool early spring breeze. Around mile two I was surprised to find my own personal cheering crew. My husband and two young daughters decided to brave the chilly day and cheer for me along the road. I nearly broke out in tears to see my four-year-old daughter jumping up and down, waving me on. The joy I felt from getting high fives from my family was short lived because as I turned the corner for miles three and four I started getting passed by other runners and the enemy within was repeating “you’re so slow”, “your legs are concrete”. My training was seemingly failing me.

But my little cheering section popped back up again at mile five. My husband’s smiling face saying “you’re freaking awesome” was all I needed. I reminded myself the reason I run is not because I’m some star athlete hitting world records. I run to be healthy for my family and to be an example for my kids. I want them to understand that fitness is a lifelong effort. And that they can do anything they set their minds to. After seeing them again I decided the only repeating words in my mind would be “you got this” and “run with joy”. So that’s what I did. I waved at spectators, I focused on relaxing my face and smiling, and huffed out a couple of breathy thank you’s to the cops directing traffic along the race route. I turned the corner to the final leg of the race and saw the beautiful, inflatable finish line. My cement legs were aching and I didn’t have much gas left in the tank. I couldn’t make out the numbers on the clock until I was steps from crossing the finish line. As I crossed the finish I saw 4X:XX. It didn’t matter what the rest of the numbers were because that ‘4’ told me all I cared about. I just ran an average pace of sub 10/mile. The race had been full of pleasant surprises so it was only fitting that it finished with one as well.

I finished 100th overall, 39th out of all females, and 10th in my age range. The winner, Matthew Brafford, finished in under 25 minutes with a 5/mile pace. My sub 10/mile seems mediocre at best compared to that. But it’s my personal race and my results have encouraged to keep running and continue to improve.


Even better, there was beer, a bouncy house, music, and face painting after the race. Despite the chill in the air, my cheering squad and I were able to enjoy the festivities and have a great Saturday morning.