Well! I did it! I really did it! I ran a full 13.1 miles in Oklahoma City’s Half Marathon! What a wonderful feeling to have achieved a goal I set. I suppose training is in order for a full marathon now. Perhaps Chicago.
The run was fabulous. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. The Marathon was in memorial to the 1995 bombings. If you have not ever been to Oklahoma City to see this powerful memorial, I really advise you to do so one day. Since the race was in memorial to the victims and their families, they had a memorial service right before the start of the race. 168 seconds of silence, followed by Amazing Grace, then Star Spangled Banner – and then U2’s A Beautiful Day. I tell you, I was so moved! I felt like I was a part of something so amazing. Heath was always finding me along the way to take pictures and bring me things I was needing (chapstick and kleenex). He was also very encouraging and gave me a big boost of energy everytime I saw him. A low light of the run was at the mile 4 water station where they were handing out hard pretzels. I had already taken my water and was off with my handfall of pretzels. I started eating them and ended up getting a chunk of pretzel lodged in the back of my throat and started choking, and then I had to wait another 2 miles for another water station. A really good thing though was that there were tons of people all along the course cheering us on. It was such a great experience. I felt like I was a celebrity or had just come back from war. The city was very encouraging of the runners.
Oklahoma City is a very pretty city, and I am really glad that I got a very in depth tour of it! My time was 2 hours 18 minutes 59 seconds. I am very pleased with my time. It is 3 minutes better than the combined average for all runners in the Half Marathon. My goal was 2 hours 20 minutes. So not bad. Maybe my next race I will have running buddies…. any takers? Another cool thing about the date of the Marathon was that it marked my 6 month anniversary from quitting smoking. So, if I can run a half marathon right after quitting smoking…. I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.