I loved this run. I’ve run this race each year since I’ve moved to Tulsa because the locals hype it up so much, and it does not disappoint. It’s been around longer than the marathons here and has years of history and support. This year was the 40th anniversary!
My mentality for this run was to just have a good time. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the course, enjoy the run. Since there was no pressure on a specific performance, I went out for a girls’ night on Friday (or maybe because of the girls’ night, I didn’t put any pressure on). Either way, it was great to spend time outside of fitness hanging with the gals. We went to Prairie Brewpub for drinks and dinner before seeing Maren Morris at the Brady.
I was in bed by midnight and then up again around six to make sure I got to the Studio to see the 5k gals off. Their race was first at 7:50. I brought almost my entire wardrobe with me to the Studio because it’s been so long since I’ve run in this kind of weather. The forecast was calling for low 30s but I knew the sun would be shining and we’d warm up fast. I had fleece-lined pants, regular pants, gloves, a hat, ear warmers, jackets, long sleeves and a costume. Last minute I decided to go with the costume, a long sleeve shirt and my regular pants (with a side pocket of course).
Michelle and I started together with no real plan except to have fun. I thought about alternating hard miles with easy miles, but once we were out there just decided to run it strong. Before we even hit the first mile I knew I was going to be too warm. At mile 2 I began “Operation Layer Reduction while Still Running” My velvet sleeves of the Supergirl costume were making me so hot as a double layer. I knew I had to take one layer off but didn’t want it to be the costume. This was a very involved operation because my bib was pinned to my undershirt, and I wanted the undershirt to be the layer lost. So I removed the bib, took off both shirts, had Michelle hold my headphones and undershirt, put the costume layer back on, reattach the bib and tie the undershirt around my waist. So much relief!
We kept running at a pretty good pace, rolling over the hills, and then reached my favorite part of the course. When we get to Peoria, there’s a couple of miles of runners running against each other and it is so fun and encouraging. I remember several specific moments of just pure bliss (I know, crazy talk) – smiling at other runners, keeping an eye on Michelle ahead of me and feeling strong. Plus people loved the costume and cheered me on the whole way!
I did start to struggle a little bit once we crossed to the west side and had just under two miles to go. I had a little side stitch that lasted a while so I just told myself to breathe through it and keep moving. I never stopped and it eventually went away.
Finally, we came to the rolling hill to get us back up from the river. I could still see Michelle but she was a good distance ahead and I knew I wouldn’t catch her. I rounded the corner on Boston and just pushed it to the finish. Next order of business was brunch!
I ended up with about a 20 second PR and a renewed sense of racing. I’m looking forward to continuing to train through the winter, and pick a few more key races to practice running strong in. What a great event!