Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Route 66. In the books.

Man, I suck at blogging! I leave you hanging on a regular basis. I'm sorry. All one of you out there. You should post at the bottom so I know who you are that's reading this. Ha!

OK, I'm sort of deceiving you. I can see how many people look at my blog and what countries they are looking from. I will admit to being curious at who is reading my lowly old blog in Russia and China. Do they even speak English? I mean YOU. Do you speak English or are you here for all the crappy pictures of me in all my sweaty running glory? Oh well, either way, I'm glad you've dropped by.

So here's how my last race went down.

Me, PRE-FROZEN, SWEATY, STINKY self, secretly hoping I won't die or go to the hospital the next day.

Tulsa, Oklahoma. November 24, 2013. The forecasters are predicting a winter storm. Ice! Snow! Stay at home! And for Pete's sake, don't be out running! So what did this girl do? I put my big girl panties on, laced up my shoes, and hit the freezing road, hoping I wouldn't get stuck in Tulsa for 2 days sitting in a hotel room.

The morning of the race, I wore 2 pairs of pants, a long sleeve dri fit shirt, short sleeve dri fit, and a dri fit hoodie. I had on an ear band and a warm hat. I wore a scarf. And of course, my shoes (one pair of socks. btw.).

Here we are: me, Shawn, and Terri getting ready to freeze our butts off. We have no idea how cold it will turn out to be. I call it Blissfully Ignorant.

We lined up in our corrals and that's when it hit me. I HAVE TO PEE!! So I did what I had to do. I jumped out of the moving chaos and ran for a porta potty. THANK YOU JESUS that I did. On a side note: ironically, I didn't pee again until 2 pm that day. Can you say dehydrated?

Then I hit the open road. I paced myself pretty well in the beginning, which says something for me. I usually begin at a 10:15 pace and peter out until I cross the finish line. But I stayed closer to 10:45 and was happy with that. The race was hilly, but nothing compared to that 10 mile training run I had recently done.

Have I mentioned how cold it was when the race began? Around 28 degrees. Holy crap is right. It was insanely cold, but I actually warmed up pretty easily within about 2 miles. I shed the cute leopard scarf about 2.5 miles in and was even removing my gloves sporadically because of how warm I was.

But then something happened. We got onto Riverside and started passing runners coming from the other way. Uh-oh. How far ahead of me are they?! When suddenly, we duck into a neighborhood. This "quick neighborhood jaunt" took us 2 miles off the path and back onto Riverside, facing the opposite direction. OK, now I'm at mile 9. But something happened. The temperature dropped significantly as I made my way back onto Riverside. Like now we're at 18 degrees? And then my legs began to freeze up.

I started feeling pains in my legs, feet, back, and anywhere else pain can be found. My left thigh started cramping. And let me tell you, that's a special kind of pain. So from there on out, I created a new mantra: FINISH. I don't care if I cross that line on my hands and knees. I WILL FINISH.

This is the 100 yard or so stretch where we ACTUALLY run on Route 66. Don't blink. You'll miss it.

That's about how I felt by the time I got my medal. Beat up, worn out, frozen, and cramped. I couldn't even run downhill by the end. I was only able to run on flat surfaces.

And that, my dear reader, is when the real cold began. It was obviously located in my extremities at that point, as it had been since practically the beginning. But when I began shivering from the inside out, I knew this was bad. And the two bus rides to take me to my hotel were not helpful in the warming matter. I was thanking God for my friend Terri because I was huddled next to her on that bus, snuggling up for some warmth. Literally. You've gotta love a friend you can snuggle up to when you stink.

So that's it! I went. I saw. I laced up. I conquered. And I've got the wrongly dated medal to prove it.

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