Sunday, January 21, 2018

Lessons from State Games

Saturday, Johnna, Lynna, and I made the drive to OKC to trails at Lake Stanley Draper to run the Oklahoma State Games Trail Run. 
Johnna was volunteering at an aid station, and Lynna and I were doing the short run (a 4-miler.) I had signed up for the 12-mile race, but my dad and his lady-friend decided to tie the knot at 2:00 that afternoon so even the 8-miler might be hard to complete in time to drive back home, shower, and get to the church on time. Doing 4 gave us enough time, and we could even grab a bite to eat on the way home.

Last year, we had a pretty good crew from Tulsa here for the race, but this year, it was us three, Mike Clark, Mathew Stroupe, Tiffany Fielder, James Canfield, and Sue Marolf from the NE part of the state. ODTS dominators Jeremy Harrison and Cheryl Kastl also were representing. Ok--that's 10 friends from our group. :-) And it's always good to catch up with friends I haven't seen in a while. I have a lot of OKC ultra-running friends. 

The 12-milers started at 9:00 am, the 8-milers three minutes later, and the short runners three minutes after that. I had the usual "first-mile-sucks" thing going on, and once that subsided, I was too warm so I shed a shirt, head sweating so I altered my buff/hat contraption, and then my shoes were too loose. Whine whine whine. But then, I picked up the pace ever so slightly. At about 2 miles in, I finally caught a walker and I climbed out of last place. YAY!

The zany duo of Beth McCombs and Johnna were at the lone aid station on the course. They posed for a face-stuffing photo, and then I headed out to see if I could finish strong. I had 1.7 miles to the finish line and I made myself increase my cadence and tried to find a quicker pace I could hang on to.

Eventually, I caught another runner. Then a walker with hiking poles who may have been in the 8-mile race. Then I saw a line of runners through the trees, although the serpentine design of these trailz made for runner sightings where the said runners were actually 3/4 of a mile ahead. 

I stopped for a quick picture of the white bike (I wish I knew the story behind this bike.) The final mile by my watch was a much faster pace. I popped out into a clearing and saw that train of runners I had spotted earlier. I may have turned my shuffle into something that more resembled a run. For sure, I had the huffing and puffing noises that are sometimes associated with a hard run. I did manage to pass all of them, and a couple more single runners ahead. The results verify I passed 11 runners in the 4-mile race. 102:33, which leaves a lot of room for improvement. I'm proud of my last mile. I think there's some logic to squeezing out a warm-up run before the race starts. That'll happen in my next short race.

My mile splits
1. 18:20
2. 16:50 (included clothing adjustments)
3. 14:40 (included aid station stop)
4. 13:10  

I'm at a place in my running where I have to look for SOMETHING to hang my hat on. I'm never gonna run at the intensity that I once did. The only PRs I am gonna get are ones where I have not run that distance before. (In this case, my 4-mile PR is 1:02:33.) I did prove one thing to myself--I can suck it up and make my body do what it doesn't want to do. It was a small improvement, and next time out, I want another small improvement in some aspect of my running. Sprinkling in an honest effort in training will help. Last week, I finished a race that I fully intended to quit. Next week, I hope to dig deep and find another piece of inner strength (or stubbornness) within myself. It's a process. I'm making it a process.


  1. Way to go digging in and finishing all them others!!!!

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