OKLAHOMA, FUN, FAMILY, FABULOUS!!! NUMBER 39!!!
Finally it is time to race again! This race is the second race that I get to run with my sister, Peggy, so it is doubly sweet to see her and run a race and … wait for it … Mom and Dad drove in from Missouri so it was over the top wonderful!!! Brian and I left Antioch on 11/03/2017 in the morning to go to O’Hare and catch a flight to Tulsa. The flight was uneventful and we followed up with lunch and a little shopping and bumming around in Jenks, Oklahoma. We found a super cute pig with wings, so now that pigs are flying at our house, anything can happen! Mom and Dad arrived and we met them at the hotel for a couple of beers in the room and we relaxed and made dinner plans ‘til it was time to go back to Tulsa and collect Peggy. We picked her up around 6pm and headed back to Jenks to have burgers at Red Robin (my favorite prerace meal) and we relaxed in the hotel room, did some stretches and headed off to bed. Mom and Dad decided to stay in for the start and Brian would come back to the hotel after the start, have breakfast with them and then bring them to the finish line for the Joan and Peggy fan club participation portion of the day. I had some shirts made with our names on them so that we can be recognized as a team, we are such GEEKS!!!
So, Peggy and I were up at 5:30am on 11/04/2017 eating our bananas and getting ready. We always have all that nervous energy before the races; her because she wonders whether she can do it, me because I wonder if she’s going to kick my ass! We headed out to the start and found it in a roundabout way, but we had plenty of time to walk around, go to the bathroom a few more times and warm up. We ate our Lara bars at 7:00am and headed off right at 7:30. Peggy set the pace and it was comfortable. I had been sending her YouTube videos on technique and suggesting stuff to her to get her ready and I could immediately tell that she had heeded every single piece of advice I had shared. I’m not the end all be all expert of running, but I do know what has worked for me and with our strikingly similar body types I was hoping it would work for her! Her pace was competitive, she had good lean, good stance, good pull, her arm carry was dead on, her chest was open and head was up. I had no corrections to make. The course was fairly flat at first and then hilly, but nothing horrible and the miles were ticking off quickly. I saw a couple of mile markers and checked in with Peggy, she was doing fine. She had this new thing that was awesome, she sped up to pass people and settle into a good space for the two of us, it made me laugh, on those, she was kind of dragging my pokey ass! At 3.5 miles I handed out the gels and we took them just before 4. We were doing great on hydration, because it was mid 50’s instead of mid 70’s as predicted and overcast, GREAT RUNNING WEATHER!!! A funny cop told us that he would chase us with his tazer if we didn’t keep up the pace at 6 miles. At 6.5 miles I handed out our second set of gels and we took those just before 7. I was thinking that we would be good for the rest of it, but at 10 miles, I could just start to feel some energy loss, so we agreed to share a gel and that got us through to the end. The end of the race was a ¾ lap around the Jenks High School track. We came into the track through a narrow fence opening to the race director calling us by name (someone read our shirts). We circled the track and crossed the finish line at almost exactly the same time as our race in Delaware. I pushed Peggy in front of me for the tag tear off, and that will be important later in this story. I felt great! She felt and looked great! We grabbed our metals, paused to hit the bathroom and headed to Starbucks for a treat. I gave Peggy Recoverite to shake up and drink and her legs felt great, as did mine. It was a great race! She kept a steady competitive pace and didn’t waver, even when I had to stop twice to stretch my back. I hadn’t been having much lower back pain lately while running, but running at a different pace likely jazzed it up. Two 20 second stops to stretch eased it enough to continue.
We all headed back to the hotel where the two runners and Brian headed up to the room for showers and we packed up. Our second night we were staying in Tulsa because there is way more stuff to do! We were cleaned up and ready to go in 35 minutes and drove, literally, across the parking lot for lunch and had a great meal. My Dad has knack for charming the socks off wait staff, so, when you travel and eat with him, you always have great service and we did! We also had a great meal and Peggy and I were both fortified and ready for more walking. We decided to hit the Aquarium after that, another drive across the parking lot and spent 90 minutes seeing lots of creepy, crawly, slimy, swimming things. The most fascinating to me was the turtle skeleton. I didn’t realize that the shell of a turtle is actually a bony structure that grows off of its vertebrae. We had a round of cocktails to celebrate our awesomeness and found a great place to squat in a quiet section of the hotel where there were some comfy couches. We chatted and I broke out the foam roller and Peggy and I rolled our muscles out. We were both quite comfortable, remember, the last two races that I had done were all downhill which means epic soreness in the legs, this mildly hilly run was easy on the legs and neither of us had ANY soreness. After lots of relaxing in the hotel we decided to have BBQ for supper and found a good place a short distance away. We returned to the hotel hugged the parents and made plans to meet for breakfast at the Waffle House where they get on 44E to go home. Brian, Peggy and I, fortified with BBQ and margaritas, head to The Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa. What a place, the hotel was rundown and ready for the wrecking ball and was then purchased for $250K in 2008 and underwent a massive 40 million dollar renovation for 2 years and is now a lovely hotel with a massive suite that was quite high end, without the high end price. We settled in a bit and headed up to the Penthouse Bar for a couple of drinks, watched some mindless TV and went to sleep around 10:30pm…I KNOW…WE STAYED UP THAT LATE!!! We were up and out before 8am to meet Mom and Dad at Brian’s favorite place…WAFFLE HOUSE. My Dad being the world’s most impatient person had already eaten and made friends by the time we got there, so we had our breakfast and we all hugged our favorite parents and sent them on the way down the road. Peggy and Brian and I carried on the celebrating by heading back to the hotel and walking to a few attractions. We went to the “center of the universe” an acoustic anomaly where you hear your voice echo when you stand on it but people outside of circle do not. Then we went to Starbucks for coffee, the Blue Dome District for the best margarita in the world and for lunch we went to Bread and Butter for some good home cooking and dessert!!! The race vacation was wrapping up and we went to the airport and said good bye to race #39 and all the fun we had doing it. Here are the stats: Peggy 203 of 296 runners, Me 204, Peggy 94 of 155 females, Me 95, Peggy 6 0f 10 in our age group (55-59), Me 7 of 10, time – 2:22:52 for both of us. Remember, I mentioned earlier that I pushed her in front of me for the tag tear off…here’s where that comes in…Peggy is also in the Female Masters Top 20…yep…NUMBER 20!!! I don’t have the next race planned but I only have 11 more states, so…STAY TUNED!!!
...and here are the racers with our metals...such geeks...don't you just love it!!!