The OKC Marathon has come and gone and what a day it was. This run is such a privilege to be able to participate in, that you can see why Runners World magazine named it one of the must do Marathons. The last time I ran it was 2007 and it has definitely grown since then. The expo was packed and they had over 19,000 runners for all the events with 2,600 in the Marathon. I was feeling confident in my training and had a new pair of Asics Hyperspeed 2's, the same shoes that 3rd place champion in the Boston Marathon, Ryan Hall wore. So, I was sure that I would run just as fast as him. Right!!!
On race day it looked like it was going to be a rough one as severe storms were planned and I thought for sure that I was going to get rained on. Instead it turned out to be a very muggy day. Temps around 70 degrees with 70+ percent humidity. Not ideal running weather. The biggest factor turned out to be the wind, 23 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. The wind really would not be a factor until about mile 14.
I started out with the 3:20 pace group for the first 5K, but they were going to slow for me. I pulled ahead and was maintaining about a 7:25 pace. I felt great and was not having too many issues. I was dealing with some side cramps, but some salt tablets were helping. I went through the half at 1:37 and some change and was doing fine until we started heading south on the trail. Once you turn the corner on the trail, the PR's were over. The wind was brutal. Hats were blowing off, heads were put down, and times slowed. I started losing about 30 seconds per mile after that. I was still on pace through mile 20 for 3:20, but my quads really started hurting. I have never really had that problem during a race. Usually my hamstrings and hips really hurt, but not my quads. The only thing I can figure out is that I was really having to power with my legs in the wind and they were getting beat up. I made it until about mile 23 and started to walk on the long sloping uphill on Classen. I hate to start walking in a race as I know my race is over, but I did. I walked for a little while and started running again and made it until I had 1 mile to go and walked briefly again and ran it in. I finished in 3:31, not my best time, but for the conditions, a pretty good one. I was one pace for a very good Marathon, but the second half into the wind drained me. I am still feeling the effects of the race today, which is not normal for me, so I know I gave it my all.
Once I finished I had my Carl's Jr. and sat down and relaxed for awhile and just soaked in the atmosphere. OKC is truly a special race and I am glad I did it. After awhile I got up and went through the outdoor memorial as the band was playing and it was a very eerie feeling. It really shows what kind of impact one individual can have whether it is good or bad. I get very emotional and sensitive in places like that as you can just feel the spirit about it. I get the same way at the Viet Nam Memorial in DC. As I went through, my comments to Julie were, as hurting as I am, it does not even compare to the hurting created by this one act of selfishness. I was glad to be alive. God bless the friends, families, and volunteers impacted by this tragedy.
Glad to be done.
Female Marathon champion.
Dick Beardsley speaking about the Duel in the Sun at the famous Boston Marathon.
The Memorial Museum.
What it is all about.