This knowledge coupled with the fact that mile three was bringing heat, humidity, and now a little sun was priceless.
As we forged on towards the state capital, I was feeling good. The crowd was still thick, but aside from a few cone obstacles (seriously, you look away for a second and "boom", you're about to be taken out by one of the orange suckers!) things were going great.
By this point one of my favorite spectators made his debut. A man dressed in near identical likeness to Will Ferrell's "More Cowbell" character, stood on
the grass and rocked the cowbell like there was no tomorrow! These are the best parts of a well supported marathon!
At one point in those early miles we turned back towards the wind and at that stage in the game it felt good. It helped cool our sticky sweaty limbs and it wasn't too strong to be a problem.
I'd guess somewhere around mile 5 or so we headed into a wonderful neighborhood. I
remembered it from the first time I ran in Oklahoma City and it was even better this time. Residents are in their yards playing music, cheering, shaking noise makers, and offering all sorts of support. One family had donuts to offer. Another had their
children standing at the curb with plates full of freshly cooked bacon. I was in this race to meet a goal, but it's so great to see the others in it just to soak up all the fun, or bacon, they can get. There were a few runners stopping to grab at these crazy snacks and when they did, the spectators cheered.
The park in the center of the neighborhood had performers acting out some sort of interpretive drama. They had a sign, but I couldn't catch the title. Oh well, it's great way to pass the miles by.
Once out of the neighborhood, the field gets very specific. Around mile 7, the half marathoners take a turn and all that remain are the full marathoners. It's kind of an odd feeling. As the half marathoners turned, I remember thinking, "those guys had the right idea, what was I thinking?"
But at the same time, it felt pretty good to be cheered by the crowd, "FULL Marathoners, this
We passed "more Cowbell" Man a few more times, but I had expected to see Kenton much more by this point. Come to find out, he'd crashed his bike back around mile three and my mom was his sag wagon. He texted me, but it's a little tricky to handle the phone while I'm running. But out of concern I quickly got a hold of him and learned all was well and he'd see me before the half. So, if you were out there, yes that was me, #1495, talking on my cell phone while I was running a marathon.
We pressed on. Making sure we took our GU about every 4-5 miles. Yum! Vanilla Bean flavored...well, goo. It does the trick though. My trouble was that I only had two packets with me. I had planned on Kenton delivering the rest to me and now that we were approaching the half way mark I was scared. I once again called him, and he didn't answer. I knew that a large chunk of the race was on a bike path around a lake. Now that Kenton was in a car, there was no way he'd be able to find me. I kept me fears quiet and hoped he'd pull through for me.
We ran underneath a great sign that said, "You are Absolutely, Positively, Halfway There!" It's always good to see that, but even better to see your husband up ahead with Gu and Shot Bloks
at the ready. I was so happy that he took care of all the crash drama and came through for me, I'm a lucky girl to have him.
(In the picture I'm doing the 'phone' signal, as in "I tried to call you," Not a "Hang Loose in OKC sign".)
We headed on with Kenton's promise to see me on the other side of the lake trails. We were still a group of 5 pushing on towards Lake Hefner. We'd picked up another man as well. I'd commented on his pace chart tattoo and he decided to stick with us for a while.
Getting into the lake area required heading up over an overpass. As we got up into the unsheltered open, it was obvious that the wind had gotten a lot stronger. The sun had gone away and the volunteers were wearing coats and jackets. As we made it to the path around the lake, one of my partners said, "Are you guys ready to play leap frog?"