We were all in the lobby ready to catch the 5 AM shuttle, just as we planned. We planned for the 5AM just so we'd be sure to get to the 6:30 AM start. Shuttles were to run every 15 minutes
and this gave us plenty of room for any unexpected problems. Or, so we thought. As the time ticked by, no shuttle arrived. The stop was getting very crowded too. More and more people were traveling out of their hotel rooms to catch the bus.
I was nervous. I hate being late to a race. I wanted to be there extra early and have plenty of time to get in position. It was nearly 5:50, when I got a hold of Kenton and plan B was put in to place. 6 grown adults were going to pile into our hatchback Mazda 3 and rush to downtown
Oklahoma City. That's what we did. Bill, Rick, Brad, Stacey, Kenton, and I loaded into the car and zoomed to the highway. (Side note: Mazda 3's have seating for 5, and that's cramped at best. Bill opted for the hatch!) This was proving to be an interesting start!
Kenton is good at lots of things. This particular morning brought his talents to the surface. He's got google maps uploaded in his brain. As he recognized the traffic backing up on the highway, he opted to turn early and navigate a new way on the fly. He got us about as close as anyone could to the starting line with no trouble. I'm sure it looked like a clown car unloading as 5 runner's emerged onto the sidewalk. I kissed my husband goodbye once more and was so relieved to be just a few blocks from the start. My comrades and I walked briskly towards the hub-bub in the very humid morning. It was over 75 degrees and it was still only about 6 AM. It wasn't raining, and in fact it was pretty clear skied above us. It was warmer than we hoped, but it looked as though the storms they predicted were holding off.
I was truly blessed to have the friendship and the experience of my training partners. We dashed for the porta potties and just before we split up they declared where we should meet once we were done. There were 19,000 participants after all. It was really easy to lose someone out there. Finally my turn in line came. I rushed in to the porta-potty. I eventually got all my business taken care of. Not without having to literally tell my self to slow down. At one point I was scrambling so fast that I had knocked my glasses on the floor, unclipped my ipod, and nearly kicked over the cup I had been drinking from. So here's me minutes before the starting gun,
standing in the porta potty all flustered and realizing that my shorts are still around my ankles. "Okay, Lacy, slow down. First things first, PULL-UP- YOUR- PANTS." After that brief but humorous breakdown. I was able to get myself together and meet my friends under the 8 minute mile sign. The crowds were so thick we had to squeeze through the fence. With just enough time to do a head count, the gun went off and we were moving towards the start. As luck would have it that we were only about a minute behind the gun. I didn't expect to be running as soon as we were. I heard the high pitch "beep" as the electronic chips crossed over the starting line, and it was official, this race had begun.
The crowds were loud and thick. What a great place to run a marathon. As expected the first miles were quite congested. People dashing this way and that way trying find their place. All I cared about was keeping my friends in sight. We established a "Marco-Polo" game as we got separated. It worked too. But for the most part we were all able to keep right in sight of each other. Mile one passed quick. I knew to look right, because my mom and Kenton were going to be standing there. Sure enough, there they were. I hollered Kenton's name to get his attention. He spotted me and they both waved. I quietly said, "Hi Mom." Stacey said to me, "That's your Mom?" I felt so guilty. Yeah that was my mom! Why didn't I scream, "HI MOM!!"? Football players do it, and their mom's love it. Sorry Mom. Next time, I promise.
The sun was rising and it was getting real warm. There was a heavy wind blowing but it wasn't hitting us, so it felt very very sticky outside. I don't usually drink sports drink during runs, but I knew I would be in serious trouble on this day if I didn't.
More to come................