Wednesday, May 6, 2015

OKC Memorial Half {Race Recap}

Last week I shared about my emotional visit to the OKC Federal Building Memorial, but I almost completely forgot to do another post sharing details about the memorial race. That would have been a shame since I have never had so much fun running 13.1 miles.

Let's start at the beginning.

Saturday morning we loaded up and headed out of town, OKC bound. This was a girls only trip that was bound to be fun, exciting and quiet. 

Ah yes, a mommy get away indeed.


I guess I could  go ahead and insert a joke about us being willing to run 13.1 miles just so we had a reason to get out of town :).

We arrived in OKC and headed to packet pick-up.


I obviously wasn't the least bit excited....obviously.


We found this AWESOME photo-op, how cool is this?!

Then we walked around the expo where we gathered a random aray of goodies including: pancake mix, good bars, sunglasses, a box of rice and some other random items. Who doesn't love freebies?

The rest of the day/evening was spent in Norman, OK. Anna has a cousin there and they were amazing hosts who let us stay with them. We had great conversation, laughter and an awesome Italian dinner. It was wonderful.

We headed to bed early and about 4:00 a.m. our alarms went off. Rise and shine? I have never been so glad that I am already an early riser 4:00 a.m. is brutal. 

We headed to downtown OKC where we caught our first glimpse of the memorial before heading to the corrals.


Next up were our obligatory pre-race selfies. 
Some traditions will just never die.


We had company this race too.


Anna's cousin Jacy was running her very first half marathon. 
It is so exciting when someone sets out to do something they never imagined them-self doing. 


I can't even begin to tell you how large the crowd was. Imagine 26,000 runners if you can.

Is your mind blown? Mine sure was.


That was something this "small race girl" was just not used to. Usually the first mile or two of a race is pretty crowded. Not in OKC. There was a mass of people behind and in front of you for the entire race!

And it wasn't just runners the streets were LINED with spectators for nearly the entire race. You were never alone where there wasn't someone cheering you on. 


Now we have to talk about the course. It was # 1) beautiful & #2) amazingly flat. Joplin is anything but flat and our half marathon course here is brutal. 
I can now officially say with my whole heart, "I LOVE Oklahoma."


The pace we ran wasn't our normal pace. We averaged about 2-3 minutes a mile slower than we usually run. But sometimes races are about more than an PR or a great pace.

Never leave a fellow runner behind. Anna and I learned that the hard way on one of our first ever LONG runs. Ever since then she and I have stuck together like glue. This race wasn't going to be any different. We had no plans of letting Jacy fall behind


So I danced, I sang and I had more fun than I ever imagined 13.1 miles could be. I was able to really soak up this AMAZING race. When the last few miles got tough I was able to see Anna be the encouragement for someone else that she has so many times been for me. That was awesome.

With the finish line in sight and a huge goofy smile on my face....


We all crossed together.



As for a finish time we wrapped it up in about 2:39. I went to OKC with different goals in mind but I walked away with an amazing race experience, a beautiful medal and a few lessons learned.



The first lesson is that people and relationships are so much more important than a time on a clock.


The next lesson is one about myself. I have said many, man times that the day I cross a half marathon line and feel like I could keep running I'll think about running a full marathon.

Well guess what? It happened. It may not be soon but I definitely see myself attempting one.... let's say in the spring of 2017.

For now I am content that I finished half marathon #3


Which also means 3 half marathons with this girl by my side.


As for OKC I will most certainly be back. I already have made plans of running the half again next year and taking Russell along to run it with me. He must really love me to agree to do something like that. I just hope that I can keep up with him. 

I have one more half marathon planned for this year. The Joplin Memorial Run on May 16th.
Even though the course is going to be hard I know the company, as always, will be good.

I can't wait.


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18 comments:

  1. I am so impressed with your running!! GO GIRL!

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  2. You go girl!!! That's so awesome! I love that you said that you hope you can keep up with Russ next time. He is a running machine!
    Also, so there's this little place by my house called Disneyland that hosts quite a few runs... just saying...

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  3. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesMay 6, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    Per the norm, I'm tearing up. There is just something so amazing about crossing that finish line, regardless what the time on the clock says.
    WAY TO GO LADIES!!!
    As for the full mary… Which one are you considering??

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  4. Thanks friend. It is true! He is just a total natural. I bet he hardly will have to train.... I hate him.

    Oh dear Lord, that would be simply wonderful. I bet I could get Desiree to do one with me.

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  5. Haha. This race was not at all what I expected and a part of me was initially struggling with the "what could have been" question but it was so good for my heart and there is always next year. People are always the most important. Thank you.

    For the full I would like to say OKC. But I think it will be ran on my home turf, Joplin. The beloved JMR is adding a full marathon starting next year. I'd love to say I am going to do it then but it's complicated and involves a certain someone I love to run with planning on a pregnancy in the near future (SO NOT ME, just to be clear!!!!). Since a full would 100% for sure be a one and done, let's just survive this thing I kind of want to wait for that person and do it together. So next year I will have a new running buddy for a couple half marathons (Russ who has never ran more than a 5K).

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  6. It sounds like you gals had so much fun! Great job!! I can't even imagine running with that many people, wow! And I second Elizabeth's idea... do a Disney race! :)

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  7. WOW! COngrats girlie. I so admire people who run marathons and halfs!! :-)

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  8. What a race! I was chanting "run run run!" as I was reading this :) And love the team spirit that you three had.

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

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  9. You girls are amazing! I am so impressed!

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  10. Hehe he! It was a great day for lots of spirit. It was also pretty fantastic to finish a race and not feel like I am about to die :D!

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  11. Aaahhh thanks! I'd do 2-3 halfs a year, they are the perfect distance for me. The marathon however will definitely be a one and done thing.

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  12. We did have so much fun! It was pretty stinking amazing that is for sure. A Disney race would be so... MAGICAL! *Sigh* :).

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  13. Nathan used to have a yearly baseball tournament in Oklahoma
    City and he always told me how emotional it was! Yay for a Mommy getaway. I
    love those pictures of you two. You’re right, who doesn’t love free stuff? How
    fun is that! 26,000 runners is amazing!! Okay, wait. Have I never put it
    together that you’re in Joplin? My brother’s girlfriend is in Joplin. He’s here
    in Texas, but they make the drive to each other almost every weekend. I love
    your perspective on the race!

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  14. It is so beautiful and very emotional. If you ever get the chance to go, go!

    I am in Joplin. That is so crazy! Wow what a drive that must be for them to make.

    Thanks friend.

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