Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting my kicks ...

A few months ago, I saw something come across my news feed on Facebook. It was advertising for the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I ran the marathon of this in 2010, but, I was not up to running a marathon this year. What I was up for was the special edition Half Fanatic medal the race was offering.

Look at that!
That's right, bling specifically designated for Half Fanatics. Now, if you remember, I earned my spot in the Half Fanatics back in April. But, other than knowing that I was a Half Fanatic, nothing really changed in terms of my running.

Until now. I was so excited about this. Back when I ran the race in 2010, it was a really well-run, well-organized race. I know, you're probably thinking, Tulsa? Really? But, I had a good time (despite dealing with sick children all weekend) when I did it. So, I put the word out to see if anyone would want to come to Tulsa with the goal of getting the Half Fanatic medal. I knew I could count on Anne and Kelli to agree to a girls' trip with the sole goal of this medal.

We had one small problem, though. Kelli had already signed up to run a 50K on Saturday (Route 66 was on Sunday). 50K, in case you're wondering, is 31 miles. Yes, I did not miss a decimal point. It is thirty-one miles. But, she still wanted to run for the Half Fanatic medal.

The logistics got a little tricky because of this. We had to get to the expo by 6pm on Saturday night to pick up our packets, but there was no way Kelli could finish her run and meet us to drive down to Tulsa and make it by 6pm.

So, Anne and I left in the morning with plans to pick up Kelli's packet for her while Kelli hopped a flight after she finished running her 50K. I know, I was also surprised that you could fly from KC to Tulsa. Although, you do apparently have to go through Dallas/Ft. Worth to do it.

To get the weekend off on the right foot (the caffeinated one), we started the road trip with a trip to Starbucks. The drive to Tulsa is not exactly exciting, if you can imagine, so we needed all the help we could get to make it.

Thanks to our delicious drinks, Anne and I did make it to Tulsa by noon. Turned out to be perfect timing for a lunch trip to my favorite place: McAlister's Deli. Yum.

Next up, we went to check out the expo. We picked up our packets, explored a little bit, and shopped a TINY bit. For dinner, we decided to venture out to a restaurant Anne found on Yelp. Hey Mambo is very hip and trendy, and if you think of me, that is the first thing you think of: hip and trendy. Or ... not.

But, we had a great time. Because we knew that we weren't going to be running super hard the next day (we were planning to run with Kelli, and she deserved to take it easy, obviously), we indulged a bit more than we would have on normal pre-race nights. We had some wine and some dessert, plus the pasta was great. The atmosphere had us cracking up, though. In addition to the brick oven for pizzas, the restaurant had a full bar, some bicycles on display inside, Tangled the movie playing on the wall, and a violinist walking around to all the tables. Eclectic is definitely the word you were looking for to describe this place.

Our wine with the bikes in the background. I couldn't figure out a inconspicuous way to take a picture of the violinist.

Kelli finally got to the hotel a little after 9 that night. We all talked for a little bit, but did go to sleep early to get ready for the race. We were all sleeping well ... UNTIL ... someone walked into our room at 1:15am. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone opened our hotel room door with a key, walked into the room, turned on the light, then left.

I might be slightly desensitized to noises at night after living with Charlotte (aka Night Owl Partier Extraordinaire), so, while I woke up when the light went on, I assumed it was Anne or Kelli turning the light on to go to the bathroom. I slept fitfully after that, even though they didn't tell me until the morning that it had been a stranger entering our room. I was then completely freaked out and, to tell you the truth, continue to be a little freaked out when I think about it.

But, in spite of me freaking out, we still had a race to run. Luckily, our starting corral for the race was right outside our hotel. Literally. We just had to take the elevator down and walk out the door. Really convenient.

Posing before the race in our hotel lobby.

Because we started in corral D, we didn't actually get to start running until 20 minutes after the start time. But, we started and then ran/walked for the whole 13.1 miles. Poor Kelli's feet were hurting (rightfully so, so we went with whatever pace she wanted.) It was a pretty easy run for me, except that my heel hurts more when I walk than when I run. But, we all trudged through and had a good time looking at beautiful houses and sights along the way.

Anne and Kelli during the race.
After we finished the race, we had to make our way over to the Half Fanatic tent in order to pick up our special Half Fanatic medal. Turns out, this tent is AMAZING. They had our medals, then had a whole spread of delicious food. Think homemade potluck type food made by adorable old ladies. Breakfast casseroles, dips, brownies, apple crisp, everything. Plus, they gave out free beer. They didn't just give it out, they delivered it to your table. It was awesome, and we spent the whole time trying to figure out other races we could go with these tents.

In the Awesome Half Fanatic corner.

Absolutely delicious homemade apple crisp and beer. Could there be a better post-race treat?

Then, I had to take my traditional beer and medal picture.
 We got chilly after the race, so headed back to the hotel to clean up. Our next stop was trying to find a good spot for a pedicure. Kelli definitely deserved it after running 44 miles in a weekend. We had a rough time at first and drove all around Tulsa while missing turns and dealing with closed highways. Finally, we found a Sonic, I got some caffeine, and we were on a much better, caffeinated, path. And, we found a fantastic pedicure place.

Ahhh, it felt so good!
After a short, but fun girls trip to Tulsa, we headed back on the road to head back to reality. We survived a long drive; a middle-of-the-night intruder; a crazy, ecclectic, hip restaurant; lots of caffeine; getting lost in Tulsa; and, oh, yeah, a half marathon. I think we did pretty good. Plus, we got our bling. Winners.


  1. You girls and your medals. I'm just hoping they don't have a half with cool medals in Hawaii, that would be expensive!

    1. Don't tempt us. I'm sure we can find one there ...