OKC Memorial half marathon 2018

I started training for this after last year’s Memorial race. I did the 5K and was determined to do the half again, knew I could and frankly I wanted the sticker for my car. The 13.1 sticker from 2012 was coming apart. I admitted I wanted that sweet finisher’s shirt too, to wear and strut around in. Stuff and stubbornness, probably not the best reasons but honest ones.

Seriously, there is something almost sacred about the Memorial race, it’s a reminder of a terrible event, when 168 people including 19 babies were murdered by a guy who didn’t like the way the FBI handled Waco, and felt hatred for anything or anyone affiliated with the federal government. Including babies in the employee nursery, he referred to them as collateral damage. Yet after this, the worst act of domestic terrorism at the time, people opened their hearts to the victims and those hurting. McVeigh was caught outside of Stillwater not by a federal agent but a state trooper. I can verify how easy it is to get pulled over for speeding on that stretch of Highway 151, been there and done that. But this was different. McVeigh, nasty little bastard, was eventually executed and conspiracy theories still linger. We don’t dwell on him, but on those who were murdered. They were the important ones. Something that often gets forgotten. By printing their names on banners and hanging them on the city streets during the marathon we honor their memory.

So I picked up my packet Friday. I went on the pre-race run yesterday, 3 miles downtown. The route included a stop at the museum and along the finish line. It was good. Then last night I watched Las Vegas and San Jose fight it out on Vegas’s ice, even watched overtime but gave up when they were still tied. Frankly neither is my team, it was 11pm and by that time I didn’t care.

There were lots of pictures I wished I took. Like the lady with two canes who chatted with me before passing me, the nun in a white habit walking with the firefighters, more signs and under the finish line sign.

I took Tiny Bear with me. He’s been to Mexico, Peru, China, Vietnam, and Seattle but never to the Memorial half marathon . Until now.

Ironically I got a big cramp when I tried running across the finish so I just walked across it. The last mile was the toughest, my shins began to hurt, my feet hurt and I had to stop to poop. I took my time, the goal was to finish. I took pictures, went to the port-a-potties twice and high-fived every little kid and person in an animal suit along the way. I was slow, and the inclines nearly did me in. I didn’t train on hills or different elevations and I felt it. There were 3 major hills–the dreaded Walnut Street Bridge (AKA Holy Crap Hill); Gorilla Hill and Shartel and a sneaky incline the last mile.

The volunteers are amazing. If you ever need the validation of strangers telling you that you are awesome, that you got this and handing out food and water for free this is it.

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Saturday

I did the long walk again today. It was better than last week, probably because of the weather, cold and windy.

It was also the day of the Pad Test. I wore a sanitary pad because I have an old and fussy bladder. I try to empty it but there are secret pockets somewhere in my bladder that appear and act up at the most inconvenient places. This is probably more than anyone needs (or wants) to know but it’s a fact of getting older and pain in the butt. I can find a spot along the trail where I can do my business but today that didn’t happen. There were more runners than usual out today, ironically the running club was on the same path as me. I couldn’t pull over because I’d be exposed and nobody wants that. So I tested the stamina of the pad. It held up but alas it had its limits and I found them. Found and exceeded them. It was not pleasant.

I also learned the value of black or dark colored pants, they camouflage a lot of shame. Polyester and lycra are your friends, they dry faster. Not necessarily the lessons I wanted to learn but sometimes knowledge is not pretty.

The walk was good. I took a few pictures. After I went home, showered and felt presentable I had a wonderful plate of bliss, wild onions, then went to Sally Ann. Everything was half price for St Patrick’s day.

By this time I got my phone out they’were flying

Wild onions

Sheet set

Resting. My feet are sore.

Receipt. Two bucks, half off

A very long walk

I did this yesterday. My intention was to do, to try walking 10 miles. The running club had a training run of 10 miles for the half marathon runners, 20 for the full marathon. I couldn’t make their scheduled run so did my own. I did the 10, did more and surprised the heck out of myself. This is the longest walk I’ve done, outside of the actual half marathon. I’m not bragging, but admit impressed by my short stubby legs.

I am very slow, this took me 3 hours and 34 minutes. I want to transition from walking to running but right now distance is more important than speed. The race I’m training for is next month and I just want to be able to do it without feeling like I’m going to die. The way I felt the first time I did it. My entire body hurt and my legs ached. I’m glad to say only my feet hurt this time around. My legs complained but we’re still friends.

I know there are people who will finish the complete marathon before I can finish the half. I’m trying to not feel badly, I remind myself I’m a non-athletic person who hated PE and never played sports in school because I was chubby and awkward. I’m also going to be 53 years old when I do the race and there are lots of people my age who wish they could do the same but can’t. I’m going to be one of the few brown people out there. So I try to remember all this when I don’t feel like walking or that it doesn’t matter.

 

 

My day

This was an epic day, in that it was full of extraordinary stuff, journeys and purpose.

It started early this morning. Cho Chang woke me up and I got dressed to do the Saturday training run.Today was 10 miles for full marathon and 5 miles for the half people.

It wasn’t fecking cold like last week but still cold. I followed the instructions from Facebook but still missed the turn, like last week. What was supposed to be 5 miles was a little more. I also lost my car in the huge but empty parking lot, like every time.

Then I went to get a croissant and felt bloated after. I had about an hour to kill til the Womens March. NPR had the best headline I saw,” Still Pretty Damn Mad.” There were more non white women, more kids, dogs and some anxious looking men. I was glad to see lots of other old broads out there too. Before the march kicked off they asked for indigenous women and Dreamers to lead, so I headed up front. I found a friend of mine from an Internet group and asked her to come up too but she has back and pain issues so I went ahead while she waited.

The actual march was short, about 3 blocks with cops escorting us. There were speeches after, t-shirts for sale and lots of groups with sign up sheets. We hung out awhile but the crowd started to thin out. I left, said bye to my friend and her husband and went to get an Indian taco.

I changed my mind about the taco and opted for pashofa and grape dumplings. After the croissant I didn’t feel like much like bread. I inhaled the pashofa and dumplings.

Then I finally conked out, took a nap with Cho and took a shower and washed my hair at last. It’s been a good day to be indigenous.

Sunday thrift store haulĀ 

Some thrift stores have colored tag specials on Sunday. I’ve learned it’s best to go early and look at the end of the racks first. I went in with the intention of finding workout clothes. 

The only time I’ll wear leggings is under other pants.

These will be good on cold days.

All the tops are a smaller size than I usually wear, so I can layer them.

I bought these too, Talbots makes good quality work clothes

I like sparkly stuff. Skirt for warmer weather. Blue tag

Big stain on Talbots pants, took the chance, the price was too good.

I washed them but the stain stayed.

Another thrift failure. Another pair of Talbots pants in a smaller size, I thought I might get into them because spandex and my ego said so. Nope.

Green tags were 5 for a dollar, blue tags half off.

3.50 for everything!

New Year’s 2018

This morning I got up and drove across town to go walk at Lake Hefner. A running club was going to run the dam before it’s closed for construction starting tomorrow,  probably forever or close to it. The Dam Run on the Dam Road in the Dam Cold. And it was cold, 10 degrees this morning. About 20 other insane people showed up, bundled up and did this thing. One TV channel even sent a shivering reporter.

I walked it, making me the last person in.  A turtle stampeding through peanut butter. I can also say I’ve peed outside at two locations now, there were no port-a-potties on the trail.

I bundled up, this is what I wore.

  • Underwear, the regular kind
  • Long sleeve knit top
  • Fitted fleece lined hoodie
  • Insulated jacket
  • Fleece lined leggings
  • Pants with mesh lining
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Knit cap
  • 2 pairs of gloves, thin pair and fleece pair
  • Running shoes

I also took kleenex, my ID and money, my phone and earbuds. Got to have brunch then come home to watch the Winter Classic and my guy Lundqvist. It was colder here than NY.

Cho slept through the fireworks and guns shot off at midnight.

The full run was 10 miles but I turned back early. My longest walk since summer.

Icy lake water, some places were frozen.

Tiny Bear wishes everyone a Happy New Year and black-eyed peas.

Early morning

There is a running club that gathers at the unnatural hour of 6am on Saturday mornings and runs. There are two groups, one training for a full marathon and those training for the half, because we are only half crazy (old, old joke).

I am not a real dues paying member and I don’t know anybody there. I know I am the slowest one in the half group. I’ve been passed by strollers. It does slam my ego to get passed by runner after runner but I try to remember I’m a walker, one who is slowly transitioning to running. Slowly is my byword.

It’s also my secret identity.  No one at work knows I do this walking torture on early Saturdays. I don’t mention it and I don’t worry I’ll be discovered because no one in my department runs. Few if any of my coworkers run, some work out at gyms but not that many. I also don’t worry about being found out because I don’t know any of the running club people. A few I recognize on sight, mostly as they pass me but I’ve never exchanged names or anything personal with anyone. People are focused on their run, no time to chit chat. I’m cool with that.

No one sees me. I am up at 5am, stumbling around in the dark, putting on my shoes in the car (I keep them there because its the only way I’ll ever walk, it’s easy to make excuses if I ‘accidentally’ leave my shoes at home) and drive to some place I’ve never walked before. This is helped by seeing a bunch of people, most very skinny, very fit and very energetic, already there. So I’m not crazy and I’m not alone. There’s usually some announcements about the route and water stops. The first time I did this I was so slow the halfway water stop was already gone. So I take my own bottle of water, looking like a dork but at least I’m a hydrated dork.

No one knows me, I don’t know them either. My dad knows I get up and leave while its still dark and return sometime after the sun comes up but has no idea where I’m going. Most times I’m not so sure myself. But no one else knows what I do, at least not until now. It is, was, my secret. I’m undercover. I don’t look like the serious runners or anyone else out there.  I’m old and lumpy,  I’m not white ( I’ve seen a few Asian and Black people but so far I’m the only brown one), I wear comfy clothes instead of serious running shorts and tech shirts. And I am slow, I’ve only seen a couple of other walkers but most are faster than me.

Today’s run was on Sunday and I went to Mass on Saturday so I’d be covered. I got up, made to the Catholic high school where the run was scheduled. So even though I missed Mass I was still on familiar ground, so to speak. The marathon runners did 14 miles today, the half marathon runners and I did 7.

There’s something stupendous about seeing the city before it wakes up. It’s like seeing things in a benign way, you are free and safe, there are no cars or people around when the run starts. lt’s almost like being a superhero, in a low-key way. It’s like we’re a bunch of ninjas traveling secretly through the city, no one knows. But as the sun comes us there’s more activity, more people, cars and reminders that we aren’t alone. It is somewhat comforting to see other people, but that spell of secrecy is broken. Yet most of the people walking dogs or riding bikes are friendly. People in cars, that varies.

I like seeing other runners, usually the marathon runners, as they pass me. I even catch up to some of the half marathon people, those who started out fast and passed me may be walking now and that makes my ego feel a little better. It almost makes up for being passed earlier. Even if I’m not as fast as the others it is a reminder than we are still out there, that we made the effort to get up freaking early and that this is worth it.

It will pay off. Eventually.

I also took these pictures along the way. Since I’m by myself and slow as a turtle stampeding through peanut butter my finish time doesn’t matter.