Sunday, November 25, 2012

Route 66 Half & Marathon Recap

If you've read my blog before, then you know how much I love the Route 66 Half & Marathon.  From Packet Pick Up to Finish, they are the best organized race event I've come across to date.  Add that it is in Tulsa, which means we make it a huge family event on the Perfect Pacer's side and that it is always the Sunday before Thanksgiving makes it perfect for us.

This year, the event proved to stay true to the perfection set in place the year before.

We drove up the Thursday before the event - a lovely 7 hour drive made even more lovely with the 2 children in the back (said with sarcasm).

Friday was pretty laid back and I had a simple 3 mile run along Riverside Drive.  I love getting to see the whole town back the Route 66:

school sign along the marathon route

Friday night, the carbo loading began!  Complete with lots of family.  
Our father in laws famous goulash recipe with one of the SILs

Saturday was packet pick up along with Blogger Forum and Tweet Up (2 new additions to the Expo).

Since I love a good fashion find, I thought I'd share what I wore to the Blogger Forum and Tweet Up: 
Coach bag (gift), blouse (courtesy of local boutique), Old Navy Skinnies,  Caramel riding boots (Payless Shoe Source), necklace ($8, Bargarn Barn Boutique), Watch (borrowed from a daughter)

I continued the Carb Fest throughout the weekend with some supermarket Sushi (something I have never found at my local supermarket) and spaghetti with more family! 

Race day arrived early (duh) and of course, I woke up before the alarm (I always have fitful sleep the night before a race).  Did I mention that Chris had decided Friday that he wouldn't run this year?  His back has been so bad and the farthest he had been able to run with me had been a 7 miler two weeks before.  I was torn as to what to do.  I had never run a race without him, although I had run the distance without him during training.  

However, when we got to the expo, and he saw this: 

He committed (again) to the race.  (Who doesn't love a little bling in their life?) His exact words were "What am I thinking?  Of course I'm going to run tomorrow". 

We had our usual pre-race breakfast Sunday - oatmeal for Perfect Pacer, greek yogurt for me.  We don't eat a lot before we run, as we have figured out our fueling really happens the 24 hours before the event, not that morning.  Also, the lighter my stomach, the less GI issues I have during the actual race (remember how I despise port-a-potties).  

My SIL receives the Golden SIL award for getting up early and driving us to the corral (literally, she parks less then a block away from our start corral & she's done this for 2 years now).  We are pretty spoiled, and sat in the car until about 15 minutes before start time. 

This year, we were in Corral B (happy campers).  And not as frozen as the year before!

Once the start is sounded, there is weaving and bobbing going on to get to a position where we can run at our pace.  Which apparently was a little faster then ever before.  We ran 9:30s  for the first 7 miles and that's when Perfect Pacer's back decided it was done.  

We ended up having to walk quite a bit the rest of the way but we still managed to finish in 2:15.  It wasn't the 2:10 I had hoped for but with as much walking as we did,  it was a satisifying finish.  My thinking switched from "PR FOCUS" to "getting my partner across the finish line" at mile 8.  I ran ahead for a bit, then I'd wait for him.  I slowed my pace (which he had done so many times in our previous races to accommodate my turtle pace) and we pep talked each other to the finish line.  It is moments like those that re-enforce what we already know - that we are perfect for each other.  

PP kept telling me to go ahead (he knows how it will eat at me not to finish at my goal pace) however, we have never crossed a finish line without each other and I wasn't about to break that tradition.  After all, he'd never leave me behind. 

One of the great things about Route 66 is that most of his family comes out to watch our finish.  This year, Route 66 had an awesome App which allowed them to track each mile of our run so they didn't have to wait forever at the finish line.  They live within walking distance of the finish line and just walk over about 15 minutes before we cross.  

We also got VIP passes and were treated to some awesome food at the VIP tent!  

The whole family likes the breakfast!!  

So once again, it was a great Route 66 Half & Marathon event!  We saw friends along the route (PP even handed off a Fantasy Football payment to one at mile 4.5), had an awesome finish line event, got to spend some time with family and have already made plans for next years Route 66.  Which by the way, sign ups are now open and you can register here.

Side Story:  On the way home from dinner on Sunday night, we saw a female being escorted by a couple of cyclists with headlamps and a couple of people walking.  I jokingly said "surely she's not still running the marathon".  30 minutes later, we found out that indeed she was.  Another thing that sets this event apart from so many others is how Chris Lieberman conducts his event - when most race directors are in bed and the finish line is already packed away, this is how he responded to  a "later then usual" finish - you can read her story here and you can see how Route 66 stepped up to the plate here (scroll down to Nov 18th).

What's your favorite race event and why? How far would you travel to run?

BTW, fellow mommy bloggers:  


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