Oh, running. It’s a delicious and cruel habit.
We drove down on Saturday night so we wouldn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive two hours to the race.
We had a fun day discussing her recent travel adventures, picking up our race packets, shopping at the expo and having dinner with my dad and stepmom.
This event was incredibly well organized and the volunteers did such a great job. It’s only the second year that they’ve held this marathon and I think it’s really going to become a popular one in Oklahoma in years to come.
When we got back to the hotel later that night, we got our race clothes all set out.
The room was pretty nice (minus a moment of freezing coldness because we didn’t realize the thermostat was on the wall and not the window unit).
We hit the hay fairly early and I was able to get in a decent night’s sleep. I usually sleep like crap at hotels, so that was awesome.
The alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. and we were up and about in no time. I think we were both pretty excited!
We drove to the area where we were to be shuttled to the start line (I got us lost, this was to be expected – I am terrible with directions).
We got there at the perfect time though and loaded onto the bus.
The weather in the morning was great – cool with a slight breeze. (If only it had stayed that way.)
I told you we were in the middle of nowhere!
We got to the start line with about 42 minutes to go before race time (8 a.m.),waited in the bathroom line, met Darius from The Biggest Loser and took silly pictures.
The time went by fairly quickly and then it was time to line up and GO!
Please ignore the floppy wrist, bad habit.
The first two miles of the race flew by. Lisa and I were both feelings strong and we completed both miles in a sub-10 min/mile pace.
The trail was surrounded by a lot of trees starting out, which was a good shelter from the wind that would later crush my soul.
There were several unique race sights to be seen – like cows and horses.
Only in Oklahoma. This is nothing compared to where I grew up though. Compared to my hometown - Ardmore is a sprawling metropolis.
As we ran onward, the trees began to thin out and the wind picked up a bit.
We still maintained a pretty solid pace (9 to 10 min/mile) and I was feeling great!
Miles 4 to 8 passed by really quickly and my legs felt light and springy.
However, I could tell I was getting a bit low on energy so I decided to take a honey Stinger pack.
Big mistake. I figured that since it was “natural” that it would be easier on my stomach than other gels. Not so much.
Miles 8-9 were okay. My stomach felt off and my energy levels never picked up.
Then, around mile 10 – the wheels fell off.
The stomach issues were bad, but the contant 20+ mph winds we’d been facing were starting to straight up piss me off.
At one point I looked down at my Garmin and saw that we were running at a 14 min/mile pace. I told Lisa we might as well just walk since we were going that slow.
As I looked ahead, feeling defeated and utterly worn out, I noticed that almost every single other runner ahead of us was walking as well.
The wind was killer!
Fortunately, Lisa got her second wind around mile 10 (she did SO WELL), and she pushed me to keep going.
We ran/walked until mile 12 when we saw my dad and stepmom for the first time.
We knew we were getting close so we started running it in. I was so ready to be finished!
The course ended at the high school football field in Ardmore, so I just kept my eyes on the prize and ran as hard as I could.
As we neared the stadium, I was so relieved… until some guy announced that we had “one more lap” around the track.
In other words, a 400. I groaned. If I’d had the energy, I would have cried.
The 400 was my nemesis in high school track. I hated that distance. And now I had to do it after already running 13 miles? Oh hell.
Lisa was trucking along, so I just kept going.
I hobbled around for 300 yards and then came to the straight away. The finish line was in sight so we sprinted our way across it.
I felt dizzy and terrible. Clearly something went wrong with my fueling process. I’ll have to figure out how to correct that in the future.
We got our finisher shirts, grabbed free stuff and met up with my parents.
I was in awe of Lisa – she did so great at her first half mary. Total inspriration!
We both finished in 2:27:35 which is a PR for me and a PR and PDR for Lisa!
Overall, I have to be happy with my time and performance because it was a really challenging run. However, I can’t help but feel disappointed in how poorly I did at the end.
I know I’m in better shape than that and I put a lot of effort into my training. It’s frustrating to have stomach issues defeat me over and over again. I’ve got to figure out how to get control of the situation.
My stomach was jacked up the entire ride home, through the night and continues to trouble me this morning. What is up with that?
I’ve been Googling, and I think I have some plans to prevent these problems in the future. More about that later on though, this post is a monster!
Thanks to everyone for all the Twitter, Facebook and comment love yesterday. You’re the best!
Hope you all have fabulous Mondays!