Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Route 66 Marathon - 29th Marathon and 19th State

Tulsa seemed like a forced marathon, an effort to get in another state before the end of the year.  Laura had planned to join me but was accepted to go on a sponsored trip to Berlin the previous week and with upcoming Thanksgiving travel, sat this one out.  I missed her on the trip but was glad to have friends in Tulsa.  My high school friend Nicole went to college and never left so I got to spend time with her, her husband Bryce, and their daughter.  She ran the half marathon and was part of her company's marathon team.  I also met up with Derek, a friend I met running in Idaho.  He lives in Houston, but is from Tulsa, so coming back to run the half was a good option for him.  He had just returned from India on business.

The weekend started Friday night when Derek picked me up in the airport.  My flight to Midway and the connecting flight were uneventful.  We went to the hotel bar for dinner and he got a beer.  It was nice to catch up.  The following morning, it was raining, so I skipped my two mile shakeout run.  I went to a small bakery for breakfast before picking up my packet.  Back in my hotel room, I spoke with a fellow classmate at JHU who is defending her thesis sometime in December about tips for the defense.  Then, I joined Nicole and her family for lunch.  Nicole and I took a quick trip to the supermarket so I could get breakfast and pick up a few things.  She brought my by Oral Roberts University.

I am not sure what these hands are doing at Oral Roberts University.

After resting, I went with Derek and his wife to dinner.  It was nice to talk running and catch up.  In the morning, I got ready and he joined me in my room since it was right next to the starting line.  We warmed up and were ready for the race.  Since the weather was warm in the 60s and it was a bit humid from previous days' rain, I made the decision to try to hold a 7 minute mile.  That turned out to be a good decision, and I even dialed that number back by a few seconds, especially as I encountered the rolling hills and strong head wind.  The route wasn't too scenic, so I was in my head most of the time.  Since I'm learning trope to recite the Haftarah at my aufruf prior to my wedding, I was going over the sounds in my head.  It helped, especially in the later miles when I was just trying to hold on to a decent pace.  I finished in 3:14 and while it wasn't my fastest marathon, it could be my smartest and best tactical marathon to date.

Splits: 6:48/7:06/08/15/18/6:56/7:12/14/01/09/06/21/12/20/28/14/37/34/28/32/32/ 8:10/17/7:52/8:18/7:37/1:57 (.29) 10K - 44:03 10M - 1:11:12 - Half 1:33:41 - 20M 2:25:15 Overall 39/1682 Division Place 2 Gender Place 37/929

I was pleased to discover that I had won second place in my age group and will get an award in the mail.  After the race, I showered and walked to an Irish pub to meet Nicole and Bryce.  I was able to catch the Patriots game and a beer and enjoy some good food and brews and celebrate our accomplishments.

Nicole and I celebrate our victories and enjoy a sampling of good beer.

After, I walked back to check out of the hotel and passed Arnie's bar.  I still miss my late mentor.

Nicole dropped me at the airport and I flew home.  Overall, I'm glad I went to Tulsa and ran in a new state, Oklahoma.  Now, it's Snowball Series races for DC Road Runners Club and two bachelor parties and two weddings before the next marathon - likely New Jersey.

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