"A Run to Remember"

     I ran the Oklahoma City Marathon May 1, 2011, they phrase it as "A Run to Remember" they hold it to honor and remember the 168 people who were killed during the bombing.  The phrase took on a double meaning for myself, as I took time at the beginning of the race during the 168 seconds of silence to think about what had happened at that site (Even if I was in the port-o-pottie for most of the moment of silence, hey when you gotta go :).  But as the race began, it also became a run I'll always remember due to the weather conditions that I was able to experience.
     26.2 Miles of constant light to heavy rain, mild to heavy winds, temps between 46-42 degrees, sleet like rain and hail and cold stream like streets at times with several inches of water to run through.
Believe it or not, even after all of that I actually had fun, and enjoyed the race and the experience.  I ran the entire race in a yellow windbreaker jacket and black garbage bag, pink Nike hat and black shorts (yes I was styling :).  Thankfully I planned ahead and dressed what I felt was perfectly, even if it won't win any fashion awards.  I also grew to appreciate my Saucony shoes, and my pink socks they were worth every penny of the price paid for them, as they released the water from my feet as much as possible, giving me not even a single blister, hot spot or lost toenail.

     At one point around mile 12ish, it stopped raining for about 10 minutes and was just windy.  Believe it or not, I actually thought to myself "darn I wish it didn't quit raining, I was actually almost enjoying the drenching conditions."  (No, I don't actually want or ask for misery, but the conditions hadn't really taken their toll on my by that point.)
Little did I know what was coming a few minutes later, what I felt was a colder storm, stronger winds dropping the temperatures.  Heavier rain, sleet like rain, and off and on hail storms.
Between miles 17-18, the conditions were starting to take their toll on my body.  I was struggling to keep warm, but I kept on using tactics that I had learned from the previous 16 Marathons I had ran to help me get through it. (Thank goodness for experience!)

     The last mile of the race, I wanted at least one picture of me in the race and I hoped that a camera team would be at the finish, so taking my now frozen fingers, that were so cold that it took everything I had to get them to move somewhat, to struggle to unzip my jacket, pull my big number on the shirt underneath straight to show, then push the garbage bag up around my neck for the picture.  (Hey I ran 26.2 miles with that black bag, that probably saved me from hypothermia, I was having it in the picture, and taking it home with me to scrap book in my race book.)  I've never before experiences my hands being that cold, it was discouraging not being able to move them to do what I needed them to do.

     I made it, and loved it, I wouldn't trade a single mile of it!  Sure I'd of loved to finish it a bit faster, but even that didn't really matter because I got the opportunity to experience something new and different in a marathon.  I think it even toughened me up, every time the conditions worsened, I enjoyed trying to push a little harder through it to make it through.

    The race wasn't complete misery, there were several things along the way that I enjoyed and appreciated.  The volunteers, had such great attitudes.  They may have been dryer and warmer than the runners, but it still couldn't have been completely fun for them, but I didn't see any sign of negativity, they were so happy and supportive to all the runners, I was very impressed with so many of them! 
The scenery was also great we ran through some beautiful neighborhoods, believe it or not Oklahoma isn't as flat as one would think.  (Or at least I thought, it's also not as field and prairie like as I thought it would be.)  It's beautiful and green, even rolling hills I'd say most the hills are during the last five miles of the race.
I also loved listening to the thunder roll in.  It sounded different than in Utah, in Utah you hear a crashing of the clouds and then you hear it roll on a little and echo some.
But in Oklahoma, you hear the thunder crash, and then the sound rolls on and on, and on into the distance.  I really enjoyed listening to it!

Great race, I am thankful to some new friends who suggested it to me!  I'd highly recommend this race, it is for a good cause, and it's well organized and on a non rainy day you'd probably say it is a fast course!  OKC, is a beautiful city, full of many murals and art of their states history.  If you go, you need to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial.  Fun eating establishments and shopping in Bricktown, and I highly recommend the National Cowboy & Western Museum (Aside from the race, it was my favorite place to visit.)

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