Alarm to Pre-Race

Alarm goes off.  4:45 a.m.  First thought is “I’m so tired” because it’s so dark and early.  Then I get up.  Instantly.  And, am not nervous.  How?  The whole pre-race thing was totally a surprise to me, I am typically totally antsy and nervous from the second I wake up.  I felt none of that.  I felt calm, focused and in a zone.

Had coffee, hit the bathroom (huge for runners, HUGE), made myself eat (blech).  Almond butter sandwich, usually toasted at home, not so appealing smushy and a banana.

Got dressed, took a pic.

Pre race smile! Posted this on facebook and got several "the weather on the TV!" comments. Which I didn't see until AFTER the race

We had the weather on the whole time.  There were REALLY awful storms out west and north.  Should hit OKC by 6:15-6:30.  I really wasn’t bothered by this.  The year before they had to postpone the race for 30 minutes due to a storm.  I knew it couldn’t happen twice (total denial mode here folks).

At some point (5:35?) there was a knock on the door.  I thought it was some friends running the half but thought “WHY would they stop by?”.  It was Chris!  He got up at 3 a.m. and drove down to be race support.

Honestly I was happy, but more for Cindi than me.  The zone, the focus, the not really “feeling” anything emotion at that point (sorry Chris, probably wasn’t as welcoming as I could have been, but I think he got it).

Enter: bloody nose.  WTH?  Suddenly my nose is bleeding.  Crazy.  I’m sure it was from the nasal spray the guy gave me but now?  Really?  Took care of that and headed to lobby.

Grabbed Chris some breakfast (banana and Nutrigrain bar) from the lobby stash.  Started heading north along Broadway.   Stopped at finish line porta-potties (because runners MUST pee again before the race) and got to the “corral” about 6:05 or so?

Pre-race "inside the corral" photo

I went in (felt like jail).  Took a pic of the crowd when Chris handed me the camera.   And then just hung out.

That glow? Somewhere down there is the starting line

After a couple of minutes they announced they were going to start the 168 seconds of silence.  One for each victim of the OKC Bombing on April 19, 1995.  It took about 15 of those seconds for everyone to fall quiet but they did.  All 27,000 runners, friends, families and race people.  SILENT.  It is amazing.  I had a few tears and thought back to the other years when I’ve been there.  The best year ever a singer started up “Amazing Grace” at the end of the silence and everyone was crying.

This year ended w/the National Anthem and that was my “athletic supporters” time to go.  They offered words of encouragement and support and headed to the hotel to get my support items and the Jeep so they could see me around Mile 6.  I moved into the center of the street/crowd and hung out.

The wheelchair race went off right on time per my watch (6:25) and soon after we heard the starting gun.  We were off.  Or not.  We stood.

And stood.  And stood some more.  After about 7 minutes we moved.  ONE SINGLE STEP.  It was hysterical.  We stood some more.  We started to walk slowly.  After a block (?) or so space opened up a little and people started to jog.  I remember thinking “Why run?  We got a lot of miles to go, let’s just walk to the start”.  Totally cracking up about this now.

And then suddenly?  We hit the mat.  I started my watch and started running.

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