What’s up party people? I know, I know… it’s been forever and it’s taken me a while to write my Route 66 Marathon experience out. But here’s a recap of the Route 66 Marathon…
Quick Context of How I Got Here
So, about this time last year, my brother Nick came over to visit and told me he wanted to run his first marathon. I was like- Great! Lemme know when and where I can meet you along the Route to bring you some carbs and stuff.
A couple days later, I get an email and my brother had paid for my registration 😳. So, I guess I was running Tulsa again LOL
Pre Race Days
I have a really bad habit of trying to do race day prep a day or two before marathon. I’ll get my ish together one of these days 🤷🏽♂️
Visited the runner’s expo a couple times. Once with my kid crew and to pick up my bib. Of course, we can’t take any serious pictures …
I made to visit the runner’s expo for day 2 and link up with Nick and pick up my gels for the next day. By this time, the excitement and anxiety for marathon day had picked up. After carbing up, it was finally time to relax. 2 marathons in 3 weeks… time to put in work.
Something felt off for this day. I was able to show up on time for marathon and relax for a few. Even then, things felt off. Let’s just say the course, one that I’ve ran a couple times before, was gonna flex on me.
Chilled out in the party corral with Nick and then it was our time to roll out…
My brother here is a supreme athlete, so he immediately shifted into beast mode and blasted out the gates. Meanwhile, my turtles pace… 😂
The first 10 miles went really well. Cruising along at a comfortable, challenging pace. I was enjoying the crowds and being with other runners. And of course, I made sure to pose in front of the cameras…
There’s a tough hill going up to the Route 66 bridge. Nothing too concerning. It was cool tho to see all the other runners trucking along. Made sure to collect and give out some high fives. Now, coming back into downtown gets rugged too as hills pick up some more. Didn’t know this would be a precursor to future miles…
After the Crowd Left
Along the Route, there’s a split as half marathoners cruise to the finish line and us 26.2 crazies turn East to run the second loop. So I’m cruising along and then BAM!!! Tripped on some concrete and got some killer road rash on my left knee. Folks checked on me, but it wasn’t anything a few carbs couldn’t handle (didn’t realize that I coulda really hurt myself LOL).
Began running out of downtown and I saw some folks I recognized. Turned out to be my parents and little sister. I immediately lost it and started ugly crying as I hugged my parents and sister close.
For folks that are new to the marathon game, training and prepping for race day requires a lot of sacrifice and, at times, being away from your loved ones for long run days. And to see your loved ones cheering you while running, a flood of emotions come through. It’s actually a real beautiful thing to experience.
After seeing my folks, I cruised on through on the second loop. At this point of the marathon, it’s really only you, some runners, some neighborhood parties, and the water stop volunteers. Got to see my awesome buddy Sam and her kid crew at mile 15.
At mile 17, I was caught off guard by this person who stopped me. She said she was the runner police and wrote me a $75 ticket for being too sexy for my shorts 😂😂😂
I still have the note somewhere 😂
At this point, not much is happening. Volunteers and police were awesome at cheering you on and keeping you motivated to power through. Thinking about my seeing Mom really helped push me through these miles too.
Science says that your body breaks down at this point. I felt cramps trying to come up, but I was able to manage and cruise at an easy pace. It really helped to see my sister Early at mile 20 and she kept me going.
I was still truckin at a good pace. Mile 21 coming up, awesome! Passed the TU performing arts center and BAM! Cramps galore. Legs and back locked up. Forced me to stop in my tracks for a long time. Every stretch I did felt like it made my body worse. Nothing was working. I thought this would be first ever DNF (did not finish).
After a while, cramps began to slow down and I started to fire up my legs again. I kept reminding myself- my kids are waiting for me at the detour, i gotta see them. And i pulled out my phone and saw messages from all my folks (shoutouts to Ana, Jess, MB, Kellcee, Jeri, Cecilia, and many more!)- i gotta keep going and not let them down. At this point, I ran for 30 seconds, walked for 30 seconds. I was able to kick back into a steady run once I got to Cherry Street.
Center of the Universe
Miles 21-25 were a blur. Made my way back to downtown and then I saw my son Gunter waiting for me at the Center detour. He kept telling me to stay strong and keep going. Love my kid crew…
*Quick note- the Center of the Universe detour is an addition to the Route 66 Marathon. If you take this detour, it adds .3 to your miles and you end up running 26.5. Hence the label “worlds shortest ultra”. Plus they have party waiting for you at the other end. It’s pretty cool!
Once I saw my kids at the detour, I did my circle and caught up with them for a picture…
Then it was time to power through the remaining mile. Knee was hurting, legs and back were extremely tight. My goal of trying to PR went out the window a long time ago. It was just a battle of finishing the race.
On the road to the finish line, I could hear the crowds. I’m there! BAM!!! Leg cramps told me “nah.” So there I am, two blocks away from the finish. Saw my brother’s wife and son at the corner. They came over and gave me hugs. His son was asking me questions, hopefully I was giving coherent answers. After the cramps subsided, I began running along and my nephew cheered me on. It was a huge booster to hear his voice. Here we go, all out sprint to the finish line…
Finished. Crossed the marathon line for the second time in three weeks. And got a killer pic out of it.
There were tons. And I plan to have a season recap. But a couple points- 1. Marathons are the same amount of miles, whether you’re running at a 5:30 pace or a 6:15 pace. It’s all about the journey. And 2- I was scratched up, cramped up, dehydrated from the warm afternoon, and I still found a way to finish. This wasn’t the race I wanted, but it was the race I was given and I crushed it.
Marathon Season Recap Soon!!!
I’ll have another post coming soon, especially future plans and everything else. But this was another special year of marathon running! Met some amazing people, reconnected with some folks, and established long lasting relationships. Stay tuned to this space, more to come soon!!!
One Love -Petey