Describing my experience of running the OKC Memorial Marathon could easily take me days. Weeks. Months. Till next year’s marathon. There’s so much to tell! It was truly spectacular, and I am absolutely doing again.
That sums it up, really. This was my first full, not a one-time shot like I’d been saying lately. Yesterday was hopefully the first of many, and though on the slow side, I met my goal of finishing it at forty years old. Oh, and this is part of my basic sum-up too: If any little tiny part of you is even vaguely curious about tackling a distance run, PLEASE DO IT.
- Find a few things to inspire you, whether reading motivational books or collecting photos or making social connections or whatever.
- Nibble at your training in fun ways, setting incrementally longer distance goals.
- Think positively and imagine amazing things. Dragons, for instance. You could imagine dragons.
- Then gradually luxuriate in the four million benefits of running (yes I counted them). Watch your life bloom in ways you have not yet considered.
Okay. So. How could this story go?
I could tell you the funny stuff that happened yesterday. There was a lot of funny stuff… I laughed so much. And according to sly photos taken by Handsome when I didn’t even know he was around, I smiled for most of the five and a half hours. I mean, when I wasn’t crying. I did cry a few times. I cried hot tears from deep, sudden pangs of sadness, oddly, not physical pain. But mostly I laughed. Fun wins over sadness by a landslide.
Or I could stress the 90 minute race delay and paint you a lush portrait of the tense weather predictions leading up to Sunday morning, helping those of you outside of our Great State understand the volatility and un-trustworthiness of our springtime patterns. If I took that route (see what I did there?) I’d also describe in detail the rapid weather changes on Sunday morning between 6 and 8:30 a.m. then tell you about the start time delays and all the precipitating (did it again) effects this had on the race. The morning’s communal feeling of suspense will not soon be forgotten. Remember my dream a few nights ago, about standing beneath the Devon tower during a black-sky thunderstorm, wondering why the race hadn’t started yet? I knooooowwwww. Creepy.
Oooooorrrrr I could tell you about all the amazing runners in my life who have inspired me over and over again, for months. Years. And how Handsome and M and my family and a dozen of our dearest friends came to OKC to support me and fuel me with hugs, cheers, posters, applause, and LOVE right when I needed it most. They popped up all along the course, and it was amazing! I love each of you for it, thank you! Four times as many friends and loved ones stayed tuned to the race via social media and have drenched me with loving words ever since. So, basically, I run for the hugs. Not ashamed of that.
I could whine a bit about my slight but worrisome knee pain around mile 14 or the one blister I suffered (which is already healed as I write this Monday morning) or how quickly I inhaled chicken enchiladas after the race. Or how divine watermelon tasted around 6 pm yesterday.
Do you really want to know how difficult it is to walk downstairs right now,but how much I love that strange ache?
Would you rather know the details of how uncannily my music playlist synced with my emotions and experiences during the race? It was cool as beans how the shuffle setting worked for me. You guys, the perfect motivational or hilarious songs played at the most perfect moments, it was crazy!
My Grandpa called me around mile 9. He had no idea I was running the marathon, just needed a mailing address he thought I would remember. So I gave it to him then we chatted about our gardens and how much we loved each other and promised to see each other soon. I did not mention the race, because it would totally have spoiled the sweet phone call. Plus it was really refreshing to talk about something completely different for a few minutes. We have kind of been on “marathon saturation mode” for a while, you know?
Do you want to hear about my friends who might now be training for their own firsts? This is like butter cream icing on a perfect vanilla cake, you guys. To have received inspiration from so many people and now to be sharing that inspiration with people near me is a pretty phenomenal feeling. It’s all energy that moves and trembles and generates life. It is contagious and powerful, and I love it.
I have no clue what you guys want to read about! So for the next few days, just to get the memories recorded, I will be rambling a lot about this spectacular experience. If it’s not interesting to you, I totally get it. Please feel free to tune in again sometime next weekend. If you do want to know something, send me a note!
Officially in Training for 2015