Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oklahoma Reflections

Tonight was our official pace group celebration get together at Max and Denise's house. They threw an awesome party, and I'm just sad that again I forgot to take any pictures. :( But it was great having time to sit and talk about all of our marathon experiences from last weekend, and brought up a few memories I'd forgotten...

1) Water stops-- there were some very entertaining ones in OKC... at one point I remember running through a circus- complete with man walking on stilts, a Big Top, clowns, and who knows what else. Another time I ran through a scene straight out of Alice and Wonderland. It all actually seems like a dream looking back on it-- but it was actually there-- much like the priest I wasn't sure if I was actually seeing or not during mile 23 of Arizona.

2) When I just got back to my hotel and got on the elevator, it was crowded with a group of people (not runners) just checking in. One woman looked at me and, noting my exhausted look and finisher's medal I suppose, asked, "Oh, was there a race today?" My response- "yes, I just ran a marathon". She asks, "Oh, how far was this one?" Still being under time stress, exhausted and angry at the wind, I prayed she was asking about how long it took me-- so I told her. But no-- she wanted to know how many miles this particular marathon was. For some reason at that moment there could not have been a single question I wanted to hear less than that. I honestly considered trying to come up with some sarcastic response, but maybe I was too tired. "26.2 miles" I said.
Now- for you non-runners out there-- let me explain this right now so you can save yourself the embarrassment next time you strike up a conversation with a runner. ALL marathons are 26.2 miles, regardless of location, date, weather, color of your shorts, etc.-- unless you drop out early (in which case, it wouldn't count), they are all the same distance.

The next marathon finisher you meet (especially if they just finished within the last 20 minutes), will be so grateful not to have to explain this to you. After running that far through those conditions-- there's nothing you want more than to be around people who appreciate what you've been through and understand-- or at least can intelligently appear to understand. :)

In case you're wondering how my pace group turned out...they all did cross the finish line not long after I did and were still alive. Max and Denise also successfully completed the Big Sur Marathon in California the same day, and now have 2 new medals to add to their collection of.... never mind, I can't count that high.

Future plans for my group-
Me- maintance training as much as I'm able through the summer, and then working toward the Texas marathon in December.
Danielle- after finishing her first marathon (pain and all), officially seems to be addicted to the process and is registered to run the Chicago Marathon in October.
Becky- proud first time finisher who looked great wearing her medal to the party tonight- is not planning on another marathon, but is thinking about training for a triathalon instead.
James- also a succesful first time marathon finisher-- also running the Chicago Marathon in October.

Way to go team!!!

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