Can you believe it? I ran the WHOLE thing! My official time was 1:58:24! Three goals completed -- including the two I really wanted to hit! Wooo!!!
It was a great race, too. Literally thousands of people turn out every year to participate in the race. It was the 32nd one! The first 5k was all hills, and you could look ahead of you and see thousands of runners and look behind you and see thousands of runners. It was cool. Not only that, but hundreds of people turn out to watch and cheer on the runners during the entire race, which as you know, can be extremely helpful. And not only that, but every few miles, there would be a band playing live music, not always great music, but they were there! Pretty big deal in Tulsa, anyway.
As I said, the first three miles were hilly. I ran about 2k with my sister and her running buddy, but then I decided to slow down, catch my breath and work at my pace. I still had 13 more k to go...and let's face it, I'd only ever run 5 miles before, so I certainly needed to pace myself! My parents, boyfriend, brother-in-law and niece were waiting for me (and Jamie before me) between the 5th and 6th kilometer to take pictures and cheer me on.
There I am! Even though it was hilly, the first three miles went by really fast for me. Right after this picture was taken, we went down this off ramp and onto Riverside Drive, where we went 2.5 miles down and back before the finish. There were already people heading back...at about 13k into the race.
I spent most of the next 2.5 miles looking for my sister because I knew I'd pass her after she turned around. What was nice about that is that I could spend my time looking at the costumes (a number of people showed up in them, given that it was Halloween and all), so that entertained me fairly well. I ended up seeing her and cheering her on close to the turn around. She was about a kilometer a head of me. I was surprised at how little I had to work to entertain myself during the race. Another good thing about it.
After the turn around, I knew I was halfway done...and pretty sure I'd be able to FINISH...running the whole thing and everything! At about 12k, I started to get dizzy and light headed. I didn't want to start walking just a few miles from the finish, so I concentrated on my breathing until I felt better. Then, of course, there was a huge hill. It starts off fairly short, but incredibly steep, levels off briefly, and then is long, but less steep. Cool. People were there saying, "Last hill. Almost there. It's all down hill from here!" Somewhat encouraging, but then again, they hadn't just run eight miles.
My crew was probably a few hundred yards before the finish line. It was crowded -- Did I mention the thousands of participants? -- so I saw them, they grabbed shots and cheered my on...and I started kicking it...a little too soon! I had to slow down a bit, but really kicked it up a notch (passing a person and tying another) in the last 20 yards or so! I had run the entire race!
After seeing me, Nick ran up to grab this picture of me crossing the finish line at 1:59:27 - my clock time.
I realized how far I'd come...how training for my triathlons had not just helped prepare me for that race, but helped prepare me to do any physical challenge. I wasn't prepared for this race, but I could do because I truly am an endurance athlete...and I am a runner :-)
Jamie finished about 15 minutes before I did! She did awesome!!!