David and I have completed the first leg of what we hope will be a long journey. We started our weekend dropping off the kids with my awesome parents and heading to the great Oklahoma City. David grew up there and still loves it. God blessed our weekend from the start. In the midst of 27,000 race participants picking up race packets and walking through the expo, we ran into some long-time friends and were able to spend some significant time with them over the weekend. It's always nice to see people that I only keep up with through facebook.
We met a couple of fellow Owasso-ites for dinner in Bricktown and enjoyed some pre-race calories. Thanks Nicole and Steven for a fun night! Sunday morning we woke up early and got ready for a 6:30 race start. It was amazing to see so many people in the starting coral. Swarms of racers as far as I could see in front of me and behind me. Incredible.
David and I wished each other well and took off with the throng. Racing was super-exhillarating. Passing and being passed, so many people on the sidelines cheering for us, lots of high-fiving, lots of racers talking to themselves to keep going through the last miles, and lots of cheering for and encouraging each other. I was amazed at the girls running and chatting away like they do this every day ... the probably do.
One poignant moment for me was around mile 10 or 11. My stomach had been cramping up really bad since about mile 4. I don't know if it was related to dehydration or oxygen levels or what, but pushing through the pain was getting tougher. One guy standing on the sidewalk could see it in my eyes, stuck his hand out and said, "You got this, you're almost there." An amazing surge of energy just from that one word of encouragement. After that I looked for encouragement and took it from the people cheering on sidewalks. Several groups had rigged up speakers and music. Some were passing out shots of beer, etc. One guys had bacon and snickers. I passed, but there presence on the sidelines was awesome.
Crossing the finish line was incredible and such a relief. I got a medal, a plastic/aluminum (whatever) blanket, grabbed some food and water and stretched, then went back to the finish line to wait and cheer for David. Big, Huge, Fat relief to see him cross the finish line. There's nothing so exhilarating or exhausting as running a race like that and crossing the finish line (child-birth may top that, but you get the idea)!
I finished in 2:13:56 with a 10:13 pace. That's very accurate with my training and I was super happy with that for my first big race. David finished in 3:15 - pushing it for over three hours is a major accomplishment and I'm so proud of him!
Future running goals are, of course, bigger, better, farther, faster!
One fun side note - David and I stayed at the Character Inn in downtown OKC where we both used to work for Character First! before we knew each other. We stayed on the 6th floor which was the "girls floor" when I worked there. Kind of crazy. :)