I did everything I could to remember what was happening throughout the race. And you would think the more recent stuff would be easier. But, at some point, you lose the ability to remember when something happened and/or what mile you were at.
After leaving Cindi and Chris at the hill we headed due east for awhile. I wasn’t feeling too terribly bad but I was tired. I do remember thinking 9.2 miles is less than the Tulsa Run (15K = 9.3) and I’ve run that several years. And that I would be happy when it was down to 10K and 5K after that. I do remember the long park on the map and the water stations. I took another CarbBoom here and I was SO not hungry. But I figured the natural sugar boost couldn’t hurt. Somewhere along here Chris and Cindi met up w/me as a “surprise” stop.
I ate part of a banana then and walked with Cindi. And then started running on. I don’t remember being too upset at the distance to go, I just wanted to get to the low 20’s for the boost of counting down. I was still repeating “Do you have something left in you? Yes” at times. I remember the major intersection at just past 20 miles and the relay exchange. I remember the big curve after 20 because the cops had stopped traffic and were letting the runners through. Again, they were AWESOME throughout the whole race!
At about this point, after the relay exchange and at the next water stop (before 21) I took a walk break and then started running again.
A lady ran up next to me and said “way to go, you can do it” (I think she thought I was giving up by walking). I told her I was run/walking and she asked if I was doing the half (um, no since I’m on the FULL course). I said “no the full” and she yelled “YOU GO SISTER!”.
I’m still laughing about it (pretty sure she was a fresh-new-relay runner). I do remember thinking that was the last relay station and there was ONLY a 10K left (which seems like FOREVER at that point).
The whole time since I had gone straight past Mile 7 into the full I had looked forward to linking back up with the half-marathon course. I “knew” the finish of the course I knew getting back there would make me feel better. Just past Mile 21 was the link-up. But since I was 3+ hours into the race, I didn’t see a soul linking up. So much for that. LOL.
I remember running the half in years prior and being mad that they had the “full” mile markers and not the half. This time I was SO glad to see each marker! I had also really entered “the Classen Zone”. Classen is typically marked by MASSIVE south winds and HEAT. It’s a LONG stretch. Again, no real studying of the course to realize it was a 2+ mile stretch. Turns were almost better then because a long stretch = total boredom!
And, I’ve run it before. I know how awful it is! Luckily, at this point the weather was PERFECT. Totally overcast, light winds and “wet”.
There were Cindi and Chris! Our last meet up before the finish. THAT was exciting! Although there were miles to go, I knew they had to drive to the hotel, park the Jeep and get to the finish in the time it would take me to run the rest. I was really happy to know I’d next see them at the Finish!!
After seeing them and discussing our “back up” meeting place (in case traffic was bad for them) they took off. I continued (and continued and continued) down Classen. Traffic got busier the farther south we went and finally after hitting Mile 23 I could see the turn!
I don’t remember really thinking “only 3.2 to go” but I do remember figuring out I was at 34th street and needed to go to 6thstreet so that was about 2.8 miles and then I was at 24th so that was 1.8 miles, but we had 2.8 to go so that meant we had to go east a lot and so on. I’m telling you, math is the least easy subject while running!
Also, no one reminded me that from 20 -24 was basically a hill! Honestly it didn’t feel like it (VERY gradual) and I knew there were 1 or 2 neighborhood “hills” ahead.
Up next: A 5K away!