Saturday, November 20th was Wichita's annual 10 Mile Turkey Trot. Just 4 tiny years ago this was my very first 10 mile run. It was so, so hard. I hurt like crazy after it was over. I felt invincible. I hoped as I walked around that day that all the strangers could sense I had just done something amazing.
Now I laugh because I rarely set foot out the door for a run any shorter than 10. It's a great feeling to look back and see that I've come so far.
|Wearing a cotton shirt and waving at my baby as I finish Turkey Trot 2006|
This year no amount of Kenton's super driving could land us in Tulsa on time. So, plan B was initiated.
Still not knowing for sure what Plan B included, I woke on Saturday the 20th, ran with a small group of friends who weren't racing, jumped in the car and headed to Tulsa. Officially decided to sign up for the 1/2 portion of Tulsa's Route 66 Marathon the next morning somewhere between singing Happy Birthday and the slicing of the cake.
Kenton and I ran down to the expo and took care of business. I headed back to a chaotic cousin/post party/toy overloaded home and remembered that this race should be fun, trying not to sweat the horrible pre-race rest atmosphere.
After a dinner a Pei Wei and a terrible time getting two little boys to be quiet and go to sleep. The early morning alarm went off way too soon.
I checked the forecast, was in disbelief of the warm November morning, and got dressed. I was going to wear the same outfit that I wore in a half in June. I wasn't complaining, just couldn't believe it.
Kenton rolled off the hide-a-bed and ever so graciously drove me down to the start.
I was in a port-a-potty line when the 5 minute warning was given. Thankfully some 5Ker's let me jump ahead, as they had 1/2 an hour until their start.
|Great Starting Line atmosphere!|
I weaseled down to the crowded start with my eyes peeled for "Corral A." I could only assume that was the first corral and jumped through the fence, woke up my Garmin, and "BOOM!" The gun went off, the confetti was flying and I was moving.
I assumed I was in the right spot, but wasn't *really* sure until mile 3. That was a long time of hoping I didn't just waste a lot of money. I feared maybe I had gotten in the full marathon only start or something.
But all was well and I began my nice long run for the morning. The crowd was so thick for the for the first 2-3 miles. I could get a good pace going for a bit. But, eventually it spread out and I just took in the race.
It was windy and cloudy but the streets were lined with fans and there were live bands playing about every mile or two. That was great.
|Around Mile 5|
I thoroughly enjoyed my run. I didn't plan for anything but a strong run and hopefully an enjoyable one. I didn't pay attention to my Garmin until about mile 9. Sure, in the back of my head a PR was bouncing around, but I had just run 12 the day before and had not tapered all week long. However, I thought about what time I could make up if I picked up the pace. So, while mile 9-10 isn't the place to start a race strategy, I went ahead and tried some quick math to see what I could do. Since I stink at math, I just sped up and pushed for the last 4 miles.
|The wind was howling as we crossed the bridges|
Knowing my sister had the boys and Kenton was possibly asleep in the car, I phoned him and said exactly this, "I'm at about mile 10." He heard, "I have about a mile 10 (1.10)." I love that he even thought that was humanly possible.
|Notice "The Flash" in the back?|
He phoned my sister urged her to rush like mad to the finish because he thought I was going to win.
Meanwhile the final miles of the course were one straight down and then back. So, I began to see the leaders. I counted as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and even 7 maybe more females ran past me. I still had some gas left so I pushed it. This was the windiest part of the course. A very strong headwind made the finish pretty rough. I passed at least one female in that last stretch. I rounded the corner and heard the 6th female finish as the announcer was shouting out for the top ten finishers.
Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls," was blaring as I ran to the finish. My sister, nephew, and son on one side, and Kenton on the other.
|I purposely made this face...not as good looking as I thought it'd be|
I finished with the original goals intact. I ran strong and had a good time. Yes, I was bummed, I know I could have run harder, I just didn't plan for my competitive monster to flare up at mile 10.
I ended up with a time of 1:34, 7th overall female, and first in my age group. For a whim, I should be pleased with that...and I'm getting there.
|They had the coolest medals, the wheel spins.|
To keep the peace in my family, I redeemed those tickets and secured my two free beers.
And to offer a laugh to everyone who knows me, this was posted on Facebook.
|One for my homies|
It's all relative. I am actually most proud that I'm healthy enough to run such a strong race on a whim. Who would have thought this was possible, just 4 tiny years ago?