|Pretty sure I'm Victoria's Secret's first marathoner.|
I had never ran in/worked out in these leggings before, so that was a bit of a gamble.
Walking to the start line my right hip flexor started hurting pretty intensely. What the hell! Fortunately I massaged it away before the race started and it didn't come back. I made it to my corral with about 10 minutes to spare, and positioned myself near the back of the corral, behind the 1:50 half pacer (the full, half and relay all start together). They counted down the wheelchair start and we runners started shortly after. In my opinion, they should have given the wheelchair athletes a little more time to get ahead as we caught up to a couple of them.
Because the last three weeks of training had been terrible (cement legs, no rhythm) I had planned to go out conservatively at a 9:00/pace and pick it up at mile 15 if my legs were cooperating. Per usual, I couldn't even get that right.
Miles 1-5 (8:32, 8:57, 8:43, 8:44, 8;51) - Leaving downtown, up a big hill. Yes, Tulsa has (rolling) hills. Met a fellow runner from South Carolina.
Miles 6-10 (8:48, 8:26, 8:39, 8:38, 8:51) - Took a Gu around mile 6 (I think). Course went through Brookside area which had super high energy. A local gym held a spin class on the sidewalk, providing upbeat music and a great cheering section.
Miles 11-15 (8:56, 8:47, 8:37, 8:32, 9:22) - Stopped in mile 11 to hand off Relay anklet and take off Relay bib (Full bib was underneath). Stopped in mile 12 to take a selfie - it's the important things. Passed a Whataburger and the employees were handing out water bottles and said to come back later for a free burger. Not sure what happened in mile 15, I'm guessing there was an extra long walk break for water/gatorade? It's also when my stomach started hinting at high-maintenance needs.
Miles 16-20 (8:58, 9:20, 10:05, 8:40, 9:36) - Gu'd again in mile 16 (I think). I had to force myself to Gu during this race. Usually in long runs I can't wait for a Gu break but this time it was the last thing I wanted. I also mentally blacked out - I remember being at mile 17, then mile 20, and then the next thing I knew it was mile 23. There was a port-a-potty stop in mile 18 for the high maintenance needs that started during mile 15. I ALMOST used a port-a-potty that was in front of a house being remodeled, but then I saw a row of official race port-a-potties so I used those instead. There was another potty stop in mile 20... I dashed across the street to a QT (gas station). Stomach was not happy today!
Miles 21-26 (8:30, 8:58, 8:28, 8:36, 8:25, 8:13) - At least all those bathroom stops and walking the water stops seemed to help me maintain a better running pace for these final miles. I forced down half of a Gu in mile 21, even though I wondered if the Gu was causing my distress. In mile 23 I passed by the AirBnB we had rented, and was definitely tempted to stop. In the final mile you can take a detour to the "Center of the Universe" for the World's Shortest Ultra (26.5 miles). I had debated it before hand, but when I got to the detour I knew there was no way I was taking one more step than necessary. I trucked onward, picked up the pace for a strong finish, collected my heat blanket and medals, and promptly sat down.
After the race, we walked to see the "Center of the Universe" and I needed another visit to the port-a-potty. We got lunch at Hideaway Pizza where I ate 3 slices and a chocolate chip cookie sundae. Earned it.
MarathonFoto was there for pictures, which forces you to decide between paying your mortgage or purchasing your race photos. I might have considered buying them, but there are only 8 pictures of "me" and 7 of them were at the finish. The 8th one is not even me, haha.
The Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, OK is a terrific race and the people of Tulsa are fantastic hosts. If you're looking for a high-energy, well-organized race I highly suggest checking it out! Much of the race course passed through neighborhoods, and the residents were out in full force with block parties, jello shots, and high-fives. I recommend carbo loading at Mondo's and treating yourself to the Mile High Pie at Antoinette Baking Co. I enjoyed exploring Tulsa and I'd go back for the half marathon with friends.