from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

route 66 marathon

Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 21, 2010. Yeah, that was some time ago, I've been doing other things. Not running, not blogging.

This was probably the most carefully organized marathon I have ever done, with Royal Victoria in British Columbia and Oklahoma City as close contenders. In Oklahoma they take their runs seriously, with all sorts of little special touches. They had this high-tech new thing I never encountered before: if you signed up with a cell number or Facebook address, when you crossed a mat they would send a message (text or post) recording your progress live. It did not work out (I put in my boyfriend's cell number and he did not receive any notification), but I am sure it will in the future. They filmed the finish line, so now you can watch yourself coming in after 26 miles. I did, and did not like it. First time marathon runners had different colored bibs and special medals.

They also had a Marathon Maniac's corner, separate porta-potty included. Yeah, luxury. The tent was installed right before the finish line, with a great view of the runners coming in. After I finished we sat down there, and ate a bit, and watched the show. Yes, I ate, meaning I was not sick, that was cool. I felt special sitting there. The maniac tent was at ground level, like everything else in the field, but it felt elevated, like a balcony.

It was not an easy run. Perhaps I was tired, this being my fourth in four months, but I can hardly bring this up, since there were maniacs there who had run in Arkansas the day before. My right leg hurt, especially toward the end, I don't mean the usual soreness, but something worse, a real pain in my knee, maybe also the hip. Perhaps it was the running shoes, I was a bit overdue in getting new ones.

Nevertheless, I did not walk. I slowed down a bit while eating, at the beginning, but I gave up on eating early, and from then on I just kept running, water stops included. I have done this before a few times, not walking, no big deal. What was really special was that I did not feel like walking. This has not happened before, not in all the marathons I've done. Walking was always a temptation, which I sometimes managed to dismiss without much effort, and mostly had to fight with everything I had. This time I did not even need to shrug it off. I did not need to walk. I am still wondering about this.