Sunday, March 25, 2012

Running in the Wichita Mountains

OTRA decided to head to the Wichita Mountains in southwestern Oklahoma to get in some hill training on Mt. Scott.  Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim is coming up quickly!  Mt. Scott is a mountain located in the Wichita Mountains near Fort Sill military base.  It rises to a height of 2,464 feet and is a perfect way to get ready for Rim-to-Rim and Angel Fire 50K, both in June.  The plan was 12 miles on Mt. Scott (3 miles up and 3 miles down, then repeart), then 6 miles running the Dog Run Hollow trail (very rocky and hilly trail) and then finish with a 3 mile run/hike up Elk Mountain.

We all met at the base of Mt. Scott at 7:30 am and started running up. (and up. and up. and up!)  : )  I am a former hill hater, now a hill lover and this was FUN!  I loved the trip up because I could push myself and the trip down was fun because gravity did most of the work and I could enjoy the gorgeous views.  Nancy, Cindy and Matt were off like rockets barreling up the mountain and back down.  Peggy, Beth and I took it a little slower and took some pictures.  It was so much fun we are planning on going back next weekend for round two!  

After 12 miles on the mountain, we went over to Dog Run Hollow and got in some good running, hiking and picture taking and then did the same at Elk Mountain.  I came home with 21 miles of hills on my legs, sunburned, happy and tired.  Who says Oklahoma isn't a beautiful state?!?!  
From the top of Mt. Scott

Beth running up

Me running up, up, up

Peggy enjoying the view running down Mt. Scott

Happy group of runners!

Peggy and Shay running on Dog Run Hollow

Beth, Cindy, Peg and I on Dog Run Hollow

Top of Elk Mountain

Where the buffalo roam

Longhorns grazing on the Wichita Wildlife Management Area

Friday, March 23, 2012

Green Smoothies

After reading and hearing about green smoothies for over a year now, I finally tried one and am amazed at how delicious they can be!  I like spinach and kale, but didn't necessarily want to drink a smoothie that tasted like greens, so I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet it is!  I bit the bullet earlier this week and bought a Vitamix and don't think I'll regret it for one second.  Expensive, yes.  Absolutely amazing and fun to use, YES!!  It will grind and puree it's way through no matter what you put in it, and does it so fast. 

This mornings concoction was: spinach, kale, avocado, carrots, flaked coconut, chia seeds, raspberries, mango, strawberries, 1 orange and some aloe vera juice.  Delicious and maybe it's my imagination, maybe not..but I have been drinking these for breakfast the past couple of days and I feel so energized.  It's hard to describe the feeling, but I feel clear-headed, lighter and full of energy. 

I'm curious to see how the addition of a daily green smoothie daily will affect my running.  It can only be a good thing, right? 

Forgive the poor picture was taken at 7am this morning and the kitchen was pretty dark.  Once I have had time to play with it more and develop some good recipes I'll be sure to share on my blog. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Post Oak 25K race report

Well, it's now been almost a month since the race and I should of sat down to write this soon after the race but time got away from me.  So this will be short but sweet with a few pictures.

I loved every single thing about this race!  The organization, volunteers, course, post race was all great!

Post Oak Run is held at Post Oak Lodge which is just northwest of Tulsa in the Osage Hills.  I chose to drive down early Saturday morning rather than stay overnight, since it's a short 2 hour drive.  I arrived early to the lodge and after running inside to pick up my bib, shirt, sticker and cup, I went back out to my car and ate my oatmeal.  It's rare I'm early enough to lounge around in the car for an hour before a race and it was kinda nice!  The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and temps in the 40's to start then rising to high 50's during the day.

I found Peggy and Beth right before the race and we started together.  Peggy took off like a flash right after the race started and I knew Beth was just behind me in the crowd.  I settled into a comfortable pace and tried to stay on my feet the first few miles.  It was rocky and hilly with soggy sections.  After 3 miles or so we came to some beautiful wide open sections of prairie and rolling hills.  This race is known for having "The Hill from Hell" and we got to climb it twice.  Once we went almost all the way up, then curved back down and around the other side of the monster hill...then climbed it all the way from the other side.  This course had a little bit of everything: open prairie, wooded technical single track, a paved section around a large pond, long steep hill and really pretty views.  It's rare to have a race day that is perfect from start to finish but if there ever was one, it was today.  I never had any anxiety or low points, just settled into a good pace and enjoyed it all!  Finished in 3:31:03 and headed into the lodge for a delicious post race meal.  They had vegetarian chili and BBQ sandwiches.  I ate, then put on my compression socks and headed home.  Will definitely run this one again next year!