Monday, June 23, 2014

Another Memorial Marathon...

***I originally wrote this post on 5/5, guess I have done a pretty horrible job of keeping up with this. I am not going to edit this, but I do plan to post later why I think this day was so hard for me.***

Marathon #3 didn’t go exactly as I planned.
I think the OKC Memorial Marathon and I are officially breaking up. I know that I had said before that I would never run the full here again, and I don’t know what I was thinking that changed my mind. You just hate to have one of your running buddies go it alone; and I have been running strong all year.

My alarm went off at 4 am, and Josh was wonderful enough to get up to head out the door with me at 4:45am. We picked up Sarah, Rochelle and Cliff, swing by and meet up with some other friends to caravan downtown. The beauty of the Memorial, and I know I have said this before is that my office is right in the middle of the starting line and the finishing line. With a little sneaking around I can get into our parking lot for free parking, real bathrooms and we have now waited out two rain delays in our break room.

Of course there were pre race pictures.

 It all started to go to hell when they announced the first rain delay, then another, and another. In all the race started at 8:15 which, if you are keeping track, was almost two hours after the initial 6:30 start. So by the time we crossed the starting line, we should have been very close to being at the half way point. I ate breakfast at 4:30, so I was almost 4 hours past my banana and bonk breaker breakfast.

We started out well, maybe a little fast, but Sarah and I tried to settle into a pace that was sustainable over the long haul. We made it up the Walnut Street Bridge, through the bottleneck onto Lincoln, and made sure to hit up all the water stops on the course. Josh and Jen were at mile six cheering us on and before we knew it we were at the split and headed towards Chesapeake.

At mile 9, I had to take a walk break. Not long before then the clouds that had brought the earlier rain, decided to clear off completely and all that was left was the blazing sun and heat. My new plan to deal with the heat was to run a mile and walk a minute and get as much water/PowerAde at the water stops as I could. I saw Josh and Jen again at the half way point and they had ice for me that I ended up putting down the front of my sports bra.

After that it just got ugly. There was very little shade and the course heads out to Lake Hefner and the wind going south was brutal. I was not the only runner out there having a miserable time. I was near tears when I saw Josh again at mile 17, in a spot that I had not expected to see them, and I tried to keep running as much as I could by then. The water stop around mile 19 was handing out cold sponges and I kept pouring water down my back to try to keep cool.

At mile 20, Josh ran a little and walked a lot with me for the next mile or so. The highlight of the whole day was the beer that one of the local running stores was handing out at mile 21. Best. Beer. Ever.

If I had known how horrible the day was going to be I would have started drinking earlier. The next couple of miles were more walking than running. Everything hurt; my knees and hips, along with the pain of blisters on my toes made every step impossible and running into the strong south winds made standing up straight even when I was walking a struggle.

Rochelle showed up around mile 23 and grabbed my arm and forced me to start running again. I can honestly say that I would not have been able to finish if she hadn’t been there. She made me keep running and when I was ready to walk so would only let me slow down. She talked me all the way to the finish line, and Josh and Jen were waiting there to cheer me on once more.

I knew that it was going to be a warm day, and I had adjusted my goals for the day before we even began, but I never imagined how horrible it would be. I crossed the finish line in under 5 hours, about 30 minutes slower than Cowtown last year.

No finish line photos with friends this time around, but I did get one selfie with Cliff before we headed home to a much needed ice bath.
I didn’t feel like a quitter this time around, but it’s so hard to train for a marathon and then have your performance on race day not reflect how strong I felt throughout my training. You can’t control everything on race day, and we were just dealt a pretty crappy hand. I am thankful that I had family and friends out on the route that were supporting me, I could not have done it on my own.

No more Memorial Marathons for me. I think I will stick to the half marathon, or maybe I will convince my super speedy friends that we could do well as a relay next year.


  1. I said the same thing this year after OKC. I have run the half 3 times and it always rains. So I am done unless I am doing the relay.
    I saw you at mile 7. I talked to you and Sarah for a minute. I was wearing the Lulu tank and shorts that you also own:)

    1. Cornelia, so this is so funny that I finally saw this comment after seeing you at the track this morning! Ha! Hopefully I will see you out there again!