Wednesday, May 04, 2016

*Almost* Faster than 2 Hours

I got to run in the OKC Memorial Half Marathon again this past April. After six half marathons, I'm still trying to get under 2 hours. This race was close: 2:00:35. This was my fourth time doing this course, and I still loved it. The Gorilla Hill portion was the best I had experienced. There were so many spectators cheering; it really got the adrenaline going.

Indulgent selfie at the start line since I wasn't
with anybody I knew 
I hung with these pacers until about mile 8 or 9

I've written before about my running journey, and for the most part, my training has continued much the same. After training for races in late fall and in the spring, I know I prefer to NOT train over the winter. We had a mild winter here, and I still fought with the cold and being sick. I had to miss a half in January because I got the flu. I probably will never sign up for a winter race again.

I didn't keep to a strict training schedule for OKC like I did for Tulsa. By that, I mean, I didn't always do weekly speed and hill runs. Though I got faster in this race, I think I do better if I have more of a weekly training plan that meets goals of mileage, speed, and endurance.

This race also reminded me that as a runner, I just work with what I've got. It was a rough day for the OKC Memorial race in terms of the humidity and wind. I drank more along the course than I usually do. The heat was affecting me; it was probably the warmest and most humid I had ran in since September. I had two Gu's along the way, and they seemed to help, but I'm pretty sure my electrolytes dropped. About 15 minutes after my race, I was walking to meet Josh and the kids. Both of my calves cramped up, and I was on my tiptoes yelling. Josh was close enough when I dropped my stuff and yelled, and he caught me. He and some kind stranger got me on the ground and helped me work the cramps out. So painful. I limped for about 4 days, and it wasn't for another 3 days that my legs were pain-free.

I sent this pic to my cousin Annie after she texted me that she was tracking me.
We ran the half together 4 years ago.

After I could stand upright again we snapped this pic downtown.
A week later I'm running with a smile on my face because the weather here has been awesome (cool-for-May-in-Oklahoma and sunny) and my legs feel really good. I have another half marathon coming up at the end of the month in Calgary, and I'm hoping to do one in England later this summer.
And I'll make it official by putting it on my blog: I've got my eye on a full marathon in October in Wichita. Good time of the year in terms of the weather, and the course is relatively flat. I'm excited about this next challenge.

I think one of the best things I've come to appreciate as a runner are fellow runners. Whether it's talking about running or training together, that's been an encouraging piece of my running story.

Some of the Wilshire Runners
Here's to a summer of good running!

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