Saturday, March 2, 2013

Post Oak on Saturday

Almost a last minute decision, I decided to run Post Oak for my last long run before Prairie Spirit. I needed a long slow run, and most of my buddies were running or volunteering anyway, and the thought of toughing out 30 miles on pavement seemed dreadful. So, even though I did not need a hilly technical run, I signed up. I set my alarm for 5:45--but I forgot to turn the dumb thing ON. Well, who is really dumb? I woke up at 7:10 and missed the 7:00 early start. Getting there with 8 minutes to spare, I had to sign my waiver, pick up my number and chip, and get lined up to go. I missed the start, and gave the whole field a 6 minute head start.

Picture by Cole Starkey
The good thing about starting late was I did not have a long line of runners to wait behind at every water crossing and mud hole. My first 5-6 miles were between 12 and 13 minutes per mile, which is good for me on this terrain.

I thought I would eventually catch a few runners, but caught no one by the first aid station.

Picture by Diana Mar
Stormy, Edward, and company manned the first aid stop, and this station was hit three times in the early miles. It was the happening place from a race logistic standpoint, and was by far the most festive.

Picture by Ken Saveth
The theme this year was 80's Prom. And in the 80's, head-banging hair bands were the deal.

Picture by Ken Saveth
But the best thing about the Stormy/Edward oasis was BACON!!!

Picture by Ken Saveth
Or mimosas. Both were jet fuel.

I put my music on and just RAN. I started catching a few people here and there, which kind of gets me going.

The trail zigged and zagged, and I figured out that I was supposed to be following green ribbons. Had I been there for the pre-race meeting I might have known that earlier.

The blue was for the marathon the next day. I felt the course was well marked, but still, a few runners missed turns. Run fast and don't pay attention. Then, when the dude in front makes a wrong turn and everyone behind him follows, it's a disaster. But that is not a fault of the course--at least it was not in this race.

It was nice having K markers along the way.

Still catching a few runners here and there, but I definitely walked the steep hills.,

The vies here are spectacular.

A mile long climb was slow going for me, and it was along here when I realized it was not gonna be a fast race for me. I gave thought to bailing, but pushed on.

I lost a lot of my pace during a long up and down and up which was mostly mud. This was that wonderful mud that sticks to the bottom of your shoes in 5 lb clumps. Since I run liker a duck on ice skates anyway, I complete lost heart and decided to turn around and jog back to meet my buddy Tom and hang out with him.

Tom was running 25K, and the thought of finishing up early, having a good lunch, and enjoying a couple of beers was too much to pass up.

In the picture above, atop Holmes Peak, Tom mimics the proposed Indian statue that was the talk of the town a few years ago.

It was supposed to be over 200 feet tall, and be built atop the highest hill  in three counties, and point to the east.

It was supposed to be completed in 2011, and I suppose it is never gonna happen now.

Descending the other side of Holmes Peak, we were starting to smell the barn. I think we were just a 5K away.

We enjoyed almost a mile of downhill running, but we still had the Hill from Hell. Post Oak makes a big deal out of this hill, and well they should. I have had worse hills, but this hill climbs, and then the trail switches back and comes about halfway back down before turning and heading back up. That's bad, right?

Well, there is a special aid station that you hit going up, and then again going back down. Special--because they serve one thing and one thing only--BEER! We both has a couple of dixie cups on our first and second visits.  Barley and hops Gatorade, I call it. Running fuel.

The final climb, and another postcard vista of downtown Tulsa.

Picture by Cole Starkey
Tom and I shuffled across the finish line and headed for the lodge. Lunch was beef chili, chicken chili, or bbq sandwiches. We sat around and visited with friends. I headed back down to my favorite aid station after lunch and hung out for a bit, and then headed home and was actually on time to a business appointment, which I would have missed completely had I finished the 50K. All is well.

Thanks to Ken Saveth, Diana Mar, and Cole Starkey for the tags and letting me borrow a few pix.

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