This year I set out to run in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, and I did. My mom has done the marathon every year since it’s conception nine years ago, I think. She might have missed one or two, if any.
I started training in the middle part of January and did my best to follow Hal Higdon’s novice marathon training schedule. But, I will be honest some of those long runs that were suggest did not happen. By the end of the race I wish I would have followed his advice a little more closely.
Oklahoma stayed colder longer into the spring this year which made my desire to train less. Bad idea in the end.
When the last weekend in April came up on my calendar I was scared. I looked at the April 26, 2009 and wondered if I would survive.
Sunday morning, race day, I headed over to my moms. I had a peanut butter sandwich and had half a cliff bar for breakfast. I washed it all down with some water. I was nervous, I showed up at my moms in my race day clothes. Which consisted of loose fitting shorts can’t remember the brand, an awesome sports bra from New Balance, a razor back top in yellow, New Balance socks, my ever trusty Asics this year they were the Gel Kanyos. I wear a lap watch and one bracelet.
I attached my bib number and my chip to my shoe and we headed out the door. We headed down town, found a parking spot and headed to the start line. At the start line we ran saw a couple who’s shirts said running in honor of Scott D. Williams. Scott was a co-worker of my mom’s at William E. David & Sons, now U.S. Foodservice. Scott was 24 from Tuttle and was two months shy of being a father for the first time. He was at the Federal Building making a delivery to the child care center. My mom approached the couple and they said that they were family members of Scott’s and they were doing the marathon for him.
We had 168 seconds of silence before the national anthem to remember those killed and then the anthem and then the race started shortly there after.
A side note on the Oklahoma City Marathon is that it is run completely by volunteers. Twenty volunteer chairmen plan, coordinate and implement the marathon. They over see the 6,000 volunteers that stretch the course. This year the marathon brought in 19,300 runners from 49 states and seven foreign countries. The money raised during the marathon helps support the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and Museum. Since the race started it has brought in more than $1.45 million the support the Memorial. The OKC Chamber found the race contributed an estimated $4.8 million in economic impact to Oklahoma City over the three days it was held.
The mission of the OKC Memorial Marathon is to celebrate life, reach for the future, honor their memories and unite the world in hope.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created to honor “those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.”
Race day for the marathon was windy. For the first half of the marathon I could feel the wind but it was not until I crossed over the Hefner Parkway after Mile 13 that I thought I might give up. Once you cross over the parkway you turn right and then back left and run a portion of the race on the side of Lake Hefner, with the wind coming over the lake there were some points I think I might have been moving backwards. I felt very sorry for the some of the smaller, skinnier runner. I mean at least I had some mass to push through the wind with. From there my body just got more and more tired. By Mile 24 I had developed a pain in my knee that would not go away for 4 weeks after the marathon. The doctor said it was tendonitis. I think it was just my body being pissed at me for doing a marathon. But I finished. My goal had been to beat my mom but her training was better than mine and she definitely out performed me in this one. She trained harder, ate better and ran faster in the race. My Mom finished in an amazing 5:01. That is five hours and one minute and twenty minutes before me.
I crossed the finish line at 5:21:03. Five hours one minute and three seconds. I was planning on finishing faster than that but for my first marathon I think I did ok, because I finished.
Some highlight of the marathon were the 4:20 pace group leader lady. Pace group leaders carried sticks adorned with balloons that were labeled with the times, this particular lady had just done Boston which was like 3 days earlier. I mean two marathons in a four day span, and a trip across the country, people like that are awesome. She was a great motivator, talked the whole time, it helped keep your mind off the race and at each mile she would take a mile dedication and someone could speak up and dedicate the mile to someone, a mother, a runner or whom ever they would like. Needless to say I was only with her for a few miles.
Another great thing about this race were the 22 water stops. Each stop sponsored by a business and most of them had a theme. Some handed out more than water and PowerAde, additional items included bananas, pretzels, sunscreen, Vaseline and gu.
But the best addition comes around Mile 23, the Devon water stop hands out sponges and they are amazing. Cold and the are able to soak up moisture from your sweat drenched body.
There were spectators that lined most of the course. When you are running by houses people sit out on the laws sometime they offer you miscellaneous things such as chocolate, fruit, bacon and alcohol. The guy handing out shots was a joke but I wanted to take him up on it at a few points later in the race I wished I would have.
The Oklahoma City Marathon was an amazing one. I loved it and it has inspired me to do my next marathon. I was wanting to do White Rock in Dallas but it is so expensive. I was trying to decide between Tulsa’s Route 66 marathon, which would be good because I am a big fan of the history that comes with Route 66 and the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in San Antonio which is part of a series of Rock n’ Roll Marathons.
A girl at church is doing San Antonio with a group of women from the RunHers group out of Oklahoma City. I talked about it with my Mom and I think we have decided to do San Antonio. I am going to follow a Hal Higdon training schedule again hopefully this time it will work out better.
I will keep you up dated on my training and preparation for the next marathon.