Runner Like You – Run Tulsa – Jessica Mace

People run for all sorts of reasons. Beyond the health benefits and weight loss advantages, it’s not uncommon for mothers with young children to use running as  a way to get a bit of “me time”. Running provides a break from the trials of parenting and offers a way to get that much needed stress relief and maintain mental well being. But there are so many things to consider when starting to run again after child birth. When is your body ready? What to do with the sweet bundle of joy while you run? How to balance it all?

Tulsa runner, Jessica Mace, gave birth to her youngest son earlier this year and has made it back to running after a few hiccups along the way. She is a half marathoner, a wife, a blogger, and streak-er. But more importantly, she was willing to answer a few questions about her experience of running while pregnant and getting back to racing after baby. Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your experiences with Run Oklahoma.

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your running history.

A. After I had my oldest kid 11 yrs ago, I couldn’t run a block without stopping to walk.  Some gals at work were doing the Jingle Bell Run in 2006 and they convinced me to sign up.  I ran it without training in just under 39 minutes and then couldn’t walk properly for a few days…but I was hooked!  I ran my first half marathon in 2013 and have since done 6 halves, 4 15ks, and countless 5ks.


Q. You were a runner before pregnancy and continued to run during pregnancy. How did running change for you while pregnant?

A. Oh man, it was different!  Before I got pregnant, I had just gotten to where I could comfortably run 8 min miles.  I became pregnant in the summer and I was nervous that the heat would harm the baby, so I toned it waaaay back.  I did 3 5ks, a 2 hr trail run, and the Quarter Marathon with no problems.  But, after the Tulsa Run 15k, I started having a lot of contractions.  They went away with some rest and water, but my doctor and I decided that it would be best if I stop running.  I ugly cried the entire way home from the doctor that day!  I continued walking and completed the Route 66 5k.  Then I took it easy, just walking a mile or two a few times a week, until baby arrived in Feb.


Q. Now you have a sweet, new baby at home; it’s been a hot summer so far; and you even had a few health issues including a broken arm several weeks ago. What has been the hardest part of returning to running?

A. Motivation and stamina!  I decided to start back with a C25k program, so as not to overdo it.  Like you said, I fell and broke my arm the first time I ran postpartum, so that made getting out there even harder!  It’s definitely hard to get out there when baby keeps me up at night, and it’s even harder when the heat index is 116°!  Making plans to run with friends and siblings gets me out there when I feel like staying inside. We’ve been going out to run early and, thankfully, I have a treadmill when it’s too hot for baby.  With the C25k app, I’m up to running 28 minutes without stopping.  I’m not trying to increase my speed yet, I’m just trying to build up my stamina! 


Q. What’s been your biggest motivation to begin running again?

A. Running is good for my mental health! Even when I’m pushing a 25lb stroller with a 15lb baby, it’s just so freeing to get out there and run.
I think it’s so important to set a good example for your kids. I like my boys seeing that mom isn’t going to give up. I like it even more when they come with me!
Also, fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, for sure. My husband would appreciate if I didn’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe!


Q. If you had to give advice on running to other women who are pregnant or just had a baby, what would be the key things you would suggest they consider?

A. Listen to your doctor and your body. After the contractions at the Tulsa Run, I was still determined to run the Route 66 half, but I had contractions every time I ran, even when I would go very slow. So, I went to the race and watched my friends and family run instead of running it myself.
Many women can run distances during pregnancy with no problems. It’s important to know your body and to listen when baby says to slow it down!


Q. Do you have any upcoming goal races?

A. I’ll be running the Firecracker 5k on July 4 with my family and the Bedlam 10k on July 30. I plan to run the Tulsa Triple (the Quarter Marathon, the Tulsa Run 15k, and the Route 66 half). Say hi if you see me!


Lightning Round

  • Favorite way to run right now, with or without a baby stroller?      Without!  That thing is HEAVY!
  • Favorite Tulsa area race?      The Tulsa Run and the Route 66.  It’s always fun to cross the finish line with a crowd cheering you on!
  • Favorite after run treat? food or nap?      Post race banana and then a shower!

June Discount Round Up with 40% of Fitbit Flex and More

Discounts! Discounts! Discounts! Run Oklahoma has a round up of great deals for all things running and fitness for you. Check them out.

PRO Compression Sock Discount

Pro Compression socks do all kinds of wonderful things, like improve circulation, reduce fatigue and discomfort, and shorten recovery time. And most importantly, make people feel better.  Now you can feel better all the time with 5 pairs of the PERFECT PERFORMANCE SOCK for the price of 2!
Discount code: 3PLUS

procompression socks


Old Navy 50% Off Active Styles

Are you in need of inexpensive running gear to get you through the hot summer months. Check out an Old Navy store near you for up to 50% off Active Styles. Some styles even starting at $5.

40% Off Fitbit Flex Activity and Sleep Tracker

The Fitbit Flex (refurbished) is your constant fitness companion, tracking steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, and active minutes all day long. The Flex even goes to bed with you, monitoring how long and well you sleep and waking you (and not your partner) with a silent vibrating alarm.

OK Runner Sidewalk Sale

The annual sidewalk sale in Norman, Oklahoma starts Friday, June 17th at 10am and lasts through Saturday. You can find up to 80% off running shoes and apparel. Check out their biggest sale of the year for amazing deals.

OK Runner Discount

Potty Talk and a Mixed Bag of Emotions at #OKCMarathon

Last fall I ran in the Route 66 Half Marathon and the introvert in me really enjoyed listening to the funny conversations other runners were having around me. The Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon was no different and many of the conversations were dominated with potty talk.


That’s the beauty of runners; if you run long enough you lose your inhibition and have no problem talking about your bathroom business. For much of the first 6 miles I heard conversations like these.

“I told him to use that first porta-potty back there. But did he listen? No! Now he has to wait in a line”

“Dude, I keep farting. Never trust a fart”

“My stomach hurts so bad. I feel like I’m going to poop my pants”

“You should have used the bathroom when you had the chance”

But beyond bathroom news, there was a lot of love and genuine care on the course. I saw several couples holding hands, many people running with “In Memory of…” bibs on their backs, spectators thanking the runners, runners thanking the spectators, and lots of candy, beer, liquor, popsicles, donuts, bacon, and sausage being handed out along the course.

My family even came out to cheer me on. They weren’t planning to come out to the course so it was a great surprise to find my adorable husband jumping up and down at mile 10 to get my attention. I got two hugs from my girls and it was felt amazing to have them there supporting me. God bless my oldest daughter who thinks that because I bring home a medal that I won the race. It’s beyond flattering she thinks so highly of me and believes it’s possible for me to win these races. Her faith in me means more than all of the racing medals. I hope she has the same confidence in herself throughout her life.


Although there was a lot of chatter at the beginning of the race, by mile 11 when exhaustion had begun to set in, a hush had taken hold of many runners. For a moment we were almost a harmonious drumming of heaving breathing and rubber soles scuffing the pavement. All thankful to be in misery together but eager for the finish line.

For me, the race was a mixed bag of emotions. It was exhilarating to participate in a race with such strong community ties. Also, this event was kind of a celebration of the running community I’ve become a part of over the past year. As an introvert I have a difficult time making new friends but through Oiselle and running I have met so many amazing women. I’m extremely proud to call these women my friends. It was great to have the ladies that I have spent so many early morning miles with there to cheered me on and I was able to cheer them on as well. Despite all the great things about the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon, running continues to elude me. I have hit a plateau with my speed and it’s maddening. I try different racing strategies and training plans but I can’t seem to break into a 2:10 half marathon. Despite a feeling of disappointment of my overall performance, I am not defeated. I came home Sunday hungry for another race.


Right now I have no races planned for the remainder of the year but need to figure out a plan soon. I’m deliberating between spending the summer on shorter distances, weight training and speed work or just biting the bullet and training for a full marathon Any advice?

Runner Like You – Clint Owens

The Runner Like You series is back! It’s been a while since the last spotlight (the struggle bus has been making frequent stops to my house lately). Is there any better way to bring the series back than with a person who has been on top of their running game lately? I think not.

Late in 2015, the Runner Like You series was created as a way to spotlight everyday Oklahomans who are doing amazing things like running in numerous races or simply remaining dedicated and showing up to daily workouts. The purpose of the Runner Like You series, as well as this blog, is always to encourage each level of fitness and running and to remove some of the intimidation out of the sport by showing that runners are every day people finding a way to fit running into their lives. This month’s Runner Like You, Clint Owens, is no different.


I first “met” Clint through his Instagram feed. The man is ALWAYS racing. Seriously, he is at pretty much every single race in Oklahoma City.




So if you see him at a race (and you likely will), say “hi”. Clint and I were often at some of the same races so I liked to read what he had to say about each race. Beyond the races though, I was inspired by his dedication to training captured in his Instagram feed.  The interesting thing that really caught my eye was when Clint began wearing a Training Mask. If someone is willing to wear an odd looking mask  in an effort to intensify training, that definitely deserves a spotlight and I desperately wanted to ask questions about the mask.

Without further ado, take a minute to learn more about Clint, a Runner Like You.
Q: When did you start running?

A: I always loved to run ever since I was a kid. My favorite event in grade school was the 600 yard dash (Not sure if they even do that anymore, I am old!). From there, probably my college years I was the most consistent, running 6 miles per day during the week. I didn’t actually participate in my first race until the 2009 Redbud Classic and decided to run the OKCMM half marathon that same year.

Q: Do you remember the first moment you “felt like a runner”?

A: Probably the first time I felt like a runner was after joining the Landrunners. The marathon training plans along with participating in the series races really helped keep me accountable and improved my running tremendously. It is a great group of people. Very inspiring to get up early on a Saturday morning to attend a training run and there be 300+ other crazy people ready to go.

Q: Which is your favorite race distance and why?

A: I enjoy the half marathon the best. My legs and lungs usually don’t get to cooking until mile 6 or 7 and I am able to push a lower pace toward the end and finish strong, provided that I am running injury free.

Q: Do you have a dream race?

A: I have yet to do a true trail race. I would like to someday do a 50K destination trail run, preferably in the mountains of Colorado.

Q: You’ve started to train with a Training Mask. How is your performance benefiting from wearing the Training Mask?

A: The training mask is awesome. After battling plantar fasciitis for over a year, I changed my training up in order to reduce injury. This included reducing quantity of miles with more quality miles and increasing my cross-training. Using the mask has enabled me to shorten my workouts and strengthen my lungs at the same time. I am already running at pre-injury pace and getting faster each week.

Now time for the Lightening Round:

  • Galen Rupp or Meb?   Meb
  • Recovery drink of choice?   Water and 1st Phorm Phormula 1 and Ignition
  • Boston or NYC?   NYC

Funny Things #HeardonRT66 and a New Personal Record

I remember my first half marathon. I ran it in 2009 as a challenge to myself to see if I could do it. I didn’t have kids at the time and I don’t know what in the heck I was doing with my free time but I didn’t stick to my training plan or cross training and ended up with multiple injuries. I hobbled my way through that race and loathed the entire experience. I checked it off my bucket list and didn’t really think about running another half marathon until this year.

2015 started with me making a promise to myself to get my physical and emotional health back on track. After two kids and a serious bout of postpartum depression, I still felt like a stranger in my own body. I didn’t recognize the spare tire around my mushy mid section and was riddled with anxiety. In January, I decided to get in shape. Like, really get in shape. So I decided to sign up for the Route 66 Half Marathon. I would give myself plenty of time to train and incorporate strength training and cross training to be sure to prevent injuries this time. Eleven months later, I found myself at the start line of the Route 66 Half Marathon feeling mentally and physically healthy, strong, and injury free.

Photo Cred: Rt 66

This was the first time I had ever run the Route 66 Half Marathon and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been warned about the hills and I’m glad I was. I had prepared and trained for them. I repeated my mantra for 90% of the race. “Your quads were made for hills. Your strong legs can handle these hills.” And luckily, the hills made the course more interesting. It was more like an interval run rather than a flat, pounding tempo run. The only time the hills were a problem was at mile 12 when my legs were shredded, my knee was aching, and my feet were cramped up (I think I tied my shoelaces too tight and didn’t know it cause my feet were frozen at the start line).

Photo Cred: RT 66

I had effectively trained for the hills. However, I wasn’t prepared for the ruckus of this particular race. There was crowd support basically the entire course. And I don’t mean just clapping and cowbells. I mean beer flinging, jello-shot having, loud music blaring dance parties along the course. There were live bands at some locations, cheerleaders at others. The city of Tulsa was seemingly completely taken over by this race, its participants, and its supporters.
So I disconnected. I took my earphones out, and put my phone away. I didn’t listen to any music. I didn’t have the voice of the Strava lady telling me my pace and distance. I didn’t need any of that. I wasn’t pushing for a pace. I was running by how I felt and enjoying the fun along the course; talking to other runners, high-fiving supporters. It was exactly what I needed. On that race, I was just running for the fun of it. Celebrating the reasons I signed up for the race in the first place; to be happy and healthy. And I couldn’t believe it. I crossed the finish line and had a new personal record. I had beat my test run half marathon time earlier this year by about 20 seconds. 

Because I didn’t have my headphones in, I eaves dropped on many conversations. Some of the conversations were mundane, some sad, some funny, some disgusting (there is no shame about bodily functions for runners). Here are a few of the gems I heard along the course.

“What do you think the dog is doing right now? He’s either sleeping or licking himself.”
I hope the dog was sleeping but as luck would have it he was probably licking himself.

“Hey handsome! You’re cute! Can I run with you for a little while?”
Who knew picking up a date during a race could be so easy.

“Why? Why do I do this to myself. Never again. Never again.”
Okay, this quote was from me at mile 8 and 9. It never fails. Mile 8 is where I break down. It’s my kryptonite.

“You know that porta-potty back there? Somebody pooped all over the floor.”
This guy kept talking but I couldn’t really hear him and I was too busy looking for poop on the bottom of his shoes.

Have you heard any funny, crazy, surprising things on the race course before?

Wow, what a difference from my first half marathon several years ago. I had so much fun at the Route 66 Half Marathon and am ready to sign up for next year. But that’s an entire year away and I’ve got the bug. I’m fully addicted to this half marathon thing. So what’s next? Maybe Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Dallas?